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2023 BREAKDOWN: Defensive Line Targets

February 15, 2022

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After signing another elite recruiting class in the 2022 cycle, all eyes now turn to the 2023 class.

Georgia defensive line coach Tray Scott signed an outstanding class last cycle, landing 5-star EDGE Mykel Williams‍, 5-star EDGE Marvin Jones Jr.‍, 4-star DT Christen Miller‍, 4-star DT Bear Alexander‍, 4-star EDGE Carlton Madden‍, and 3-star DT Shone Washington‍.

Here are some top 2023 DL targets to know about in the current recruiting cycle...


James Smith - 5-star DT - Carver (AL)

An elite defensive tackle prospect at 6-foot-4 310-pounds, Smith is a big, powerful interior lineman who can overpower opposing offensive linemen with ease. One of the nation’s top defenders in the 2023 class, Smith is a major Bulldog target who was in Athens in early October to watch the Bulldogs take down Arkansas in easy fashion.

Smith was back in Athens for a visit in late January as well. A dominant force in the middle of the trenches, Smith is someone Georgia fans should keep a close eye on moving forward. He’s ranked by the 247 Composite as the No. 10 prospect in the country for the 2023 class.



Victor Burley - 5-star EDGE - Warner Robins (GA)

Another elite defender off the edge, Burley has been a Georgia target for some time now and is one of the better overall pass rushers in Georgia. The 6-foot-5 275-pounder was in Athens last month to celebrate Georgia’s national championship parade.

“Coach Smart is from South Georgia and he went to UGA so when he talks to me I can relate to him”, Burley told Dawg Post. “With Scott it’s like he talks to as family. UGA just has that feeling where you know there’s a strong bond between coaches and players.”

The Middle Georgia star is also a major Clemson target and many feel the Tigers could be his leader behind the scenes. He’s ranked in the 247 Composite as the No. 32 overall prospect in the country for the 2023 class.


Jayden Wayne - 5-star EDGE - Lincoln (WA)

Another elite defender off the edge, The Washington native is very familiar with Georgia as he took a visit last June and was back in the Classic City last November to watch the Bulldogs take down Charleston Southern.

 “It felt like a family”, Wayne told Dawg Post after the visit.

The Bulldogs aren't believed to be his leader at the moment, but they are a team to know about in his recruitment. The 6-foot-5 245-pounder is ranked in the 247 Composite as the No. 30 overall prospect in the country for the 2023 class.


Kayden McDonald - 4-star DT - North Gwinnett (GA)

Arguably the best and most productive defensive lineman in the entire state, McDonald is an absolute wrecking ball 6-foot-3 330-pounds who was truly unstoppable last fall as a junior.

Playing on the interior, McDonald lived in the backfield all season, making 20 sacks and an incredible 62 TFLs. There wasn’t a single team who could stop McDonald last year. 

McDonald was in Athens last fall to watch Georgia defeat Arkansas and will be back in Athens again for a visit next month. If the Bulldogs continue to push for him, they could be tough to beat down the road. 

“Georgia’s defense is player-led”, McDonald added. “They’re all leaders. They all buy in and work hard. That’s why they were the best defense in the country, possibly of all-time. At Georgia, it’s the home state. Coach Smart, coach Scott, and coach Coop, those are just great guys.”


Kelby Collins - 4-star DT - Gardendale (AL)

One of the top DL prospects in Alabama, Collins is high on Georgia and very familiar with Athens and the Bulldog program.

The 6-foot-5 280-pounder was in Athens last month to watch the Bulldogs take down Missouri, and was back at Georgia for a visit at the end of January.

“Everything was my favorite part from the visit”, Collins told Dawg Post. “What makes Georgia special is that they treat me like a major priority to them and that I have a great relationship with everyone on the staff. I was able to speak with all of the coaches, really.”

Collins is ranked as the No. 9 DL prospect and the No. 7 prospect in Alabama according to the 247 Composite. He's also ranked as the No. 70 overall prospect in the country.


Tomarrion Parker - 4-star EDGE - Central (AL)

Another impressive defender from Alabama, Parker was in Athens last month to take in Georgia’s national championship parade and broke down that visit with Dawg Post. 

“The fans were loud and amazing”, Parker said.  “I spoke with coach Robert Muschamp and coach Tray Scott a lot yesterday and we talked about my role if I came to UGA. They told me I’d be used as a hybrid DE can play 5 tech or stand up and rush the passer. Coach Scott is a cool guy and is fun to be around.”

Parker has always been high on Georgia, but you can’t rule out the in-state Crimson Tide for one of the best players in the state. The four-star made a visit to Tuscaloosa in late January, the week after his visit to Georgia.

The 6-foot-4 255-pounder is ranked in the 247 Composite Rankings as the No. 9 prospect in Alabama, the No. 13 DL prospect in the country, and the No. 88 overall prospect in the 2023 class.


Jamaal Jarrett - 3-star DT - Grimsley (NC)

Don’t let the ranking fool you. Jarrett is a powerful DT prospect at 6-foot-5 and 330+ pounds who could be another “Jordan Davis” type of player down the road. Jarrett earned an offer from Tray Scott and the Bulldogs last summer and should see his stock continue to rise over the next several months.

Jarrett was in Athens last month for a visit and could be back in the Classic City again this spring.

“When Georgia offered me my heart dropped to the floor”, Jarrett told Dawg Post. “Me and coach Scott’s bond has been tight since my sophomore year.”

In 9 games last fall, Jarrett made 35 tackles, forced two fumbles, made 8 TFLs, 3 sacks, and terrorized opposing offensive linemen all season.


Other defensive linemen to know:

4-star DL Sydir Mitchell Jr.‍ 

4-star DT Peter Woods‍ 

4-star EDGE Zavion Hardy‍ 


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