- Ashton Gillotte (6-2, 265, Soph)
- Ramon Puryear (6-3, 268, R-Soph)
- Zach Edwards (6-3, 265, R-Soph)
Sometimes you find diamonds in the rough. That’s what Ashton Gillotte was for Louisville Football in 2021. A True Freshman, Ashton hit the field as an impact performer right away…. despite being the #1267 rated recruit in the 2021 class and managed to record 8 TFLs and 4 sacks.
Ramon Puryear came from Louisville’s Eastern High School and hit field right away as a surprise walk-on. He’s still very young and at 268 lbs might be finally growing into the role.
Zach Edwards came out of high school in Mississippi highly ranked and has found himself in a specialized role during his career.
All 3 of these guys are young and full of potential….. the best guess is that Gillotte breaks out and really solidifies himself as the #1. But it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Puryear or Edwards also excel.
Who We Are Watching: Victoine Brown chose Louisville over Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, NC State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Mississippi, Pitt, Purdue, Miami, Arizona State, Boston College, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland and Miami. He has great size out of Georgia and I wouldn’t count him out of the mix after redshirting in 2021.
- Dezmond Tell (6-1, 285, Soph)
- Jermayne Lole (6-2, 305, Sr.)
- Jared Dawson (6-1, 275, R-Fr.)
- Caleb Banks (6-7, 303, R-Fr.)
It’s time for Dez Tell. The Soph has two years of college football under his belt, he’s been in some battles he’s had time to work on his physicality at the point of attack. He won this job coming out of Fall Camp. But Louisville also went out and got Jermayne Lole from Arizona State. Lole is PFF’s #1 Defensive Tackle Transfer of the 2022 season and many think he’ll be in the advanced part of the NFL Draft.
Jared Dawson has the frame to grow into a really good DT. He’s still young but did play a good bit in 2021. Not to mention that Caleb Banks is a recruit out of Michigan that was originally an Arizona State commit. Banks is BIG and he’s grown more into his body after a redshirt freshman season. Louisville has options here. So listing 3 guys really isn’t appropriate…. there’s more options.
Who We Are Watching: Selah Brown, Tawfiq Thomas come into 2022 with varying levels of experienced and perceived readiness. Dawson has played some college football and looks the part in pads. But it’s time to get it going.
Tawfiq Thomas has lost weight coming into Louisville in the 2021 class out of Tampa, but he’s still a very big Defensive Tackle prospect with a low center of gravity. Thomas might very well crack the rotation. Lastly, Male High School prospect Selah Brown needs to grow into his body and will likely redshirt….. but we wouldn’t be surprised if you see him develop more into a Defensive End depending on body development.
- Yaya Diaby (6-4, 270, Sr.)
- Mason Reiger (6-4, 254, Soph.)
- Ryheem Craig (6-3, 220, R-Fr.)
Yaya Diaby in the 2nd half of 2022 finally was the player on gameday that his coaches would always talk about. Diaby broke through in 2022 holding the edge. Mason Reiger is LONG and a former walk-on that the coaches really like out of Illinois. Reiger had 4.5 TFLs and 2 sacks in limited action as a freshman last year and we’ll see if he can build on that production with a larger role in 2022.
Rhyeem Craig is one of those body development guys. He has great burst but he needs to add weight in order to move out of a strict pass rushing role. But if it is 3rd and Long…. watch out.
Who We Are Watching: RJ Sorensen is a freshman coming off a redshirt that we need to learn more about. He has ‘right now’ size and chose Louisville after flipping from Nebraska and holding other offers from Georgia Tech, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Rutgers, and Syracuse.