Connect with us


Penn State football defensive line ranked in top-5 ahead of 2023 season

The 2023 Penn State football defensive line was ranked in the top-5 by a major college football media outlet.



Penn State football, Dvon Ellies, Peach Bowl, NFL Draft
Nov 12, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Dvon Ellies (91) carries the American flag onto the field prior to the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into year two of the Manny Diaz era in State College, the Penn State football defensive line unit is looking to be one of the best in the nation this fall. Last season, the Nittany Lions’ D-line impressed nationally as they helped spark an 11-2 season with a top-10 finish and a Rose Bowl win — 2022 marked the fourth time Penn State won 11 games and finished in the top-10 over the past six full seasons. Despite losing some major talent, such as Joey Porter Jr. and PJ Mustipher, the Lions’ defense is looking as good as it has ever been. This week, Penn State’s defensive line was ranked among the top five units in the nation by On3.

Penn State football defensive line ranked in top-5 heading into year 2 of the Manny Diaz era

Defensive tackle is still a notable area of concern for the 2023 Penn State football defensive line, yet the Nittany Lions did manage to add another depth piece via the transfer portal and appear to have a solid outlook in that regard right now. While Penn State is losing some major contributors from last year’s team, such as defensive tackle PJ Mustipher, there are also a few impressive rising stars emerging thus far, such as sophomore tackle Zane Durant.

On the outside of the defensive line, top-graded pass-rushers and electric run-stoppers — such as Abdul Carter and Chop Robinson — are going to be deadly assets for the Nittany Lion defense this fall. A plethora of returning talent means that Penn State will be experienced, deep, and efficient on defense, which is critical in the Big Ten where games are often won and lost in the trenches.

Despite being a top-5 defensive line, the Nittany Lions’ D-line is ranked third in the Big Ten behind Michigan (2) and Illinois (3). In all, five Big Ten defensive lines broke the top 10 on On3’s preseason defensive line rankings: Michigan (2), Illinois (3), Penn State (4), Iowa (7), and Ohio State (10).

On3’s take on the Penn State defensive line

Here is what On3 had to say about the Penn State football defensive line, and their reasoning behind ranking it among the top-5 nationally:

“Despite losing top cornerback Joey Porter Jr., Penn State might have a Top 5 defense in the country in 2023 – and its defensive line/edge unit is a major reason why. The Nittany Lions, which led the Big Ten in sacks in 2022, boasts a defensive line group of Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac at end with fifth-year seniors Dvon Ellies and Hakeem Beamon on the interior. Notable depth pieces include Dani Dennis-Sutton, Curtis Jacobs and Coziah Izzard. PSU’s front-line is stacked without even counting sophomore Abdul Carter among the group — who led the team with 6.5 sacks as a WILL linebacker in 2022.”

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at or direct message us on our social media. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!


Spinstralia Casino: online pokies real money, real fun! Get in on the action today!