Story and photo by Zach Shugan
This was the last week of taking a position-by-position look at some of the top players in Georgia high school football, and we'll finish it off with the state's best defensive linemen.
There are thousands of standout football players in Georgia, and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive! Use the comments section to discuss the other defensive linemen worthy of fans’ attention in 2021.
Pictured above is Johns Creek's Alexander "TA" Cunningham, the top-ranked sophomore defensive lineman in the nation.
TOP DEFENSIVE LINEMEN IN GEORGIA
Mykel Williams, Hardaway
Columbus is home to one of the top defensive linemen in the country in Williams, who racked up 17 sacks for Hardaway as a junior. He committed to USC in June, but he's taken a couple visits to both Auburn and Georgia recently. Wherever he ends up, he’ll be a player who arrives with plenty of fanfare.
Tyre West, Tift County
Georgia has climbed to No. 1 in college football’s national rankings, and those who have watched the Bulldogs play this year know the defense — especially the defensive line — has been key to the team’s success. West has the potential to be one of the next great defensive linemen for Georgia. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, the senior tackle has started since his freshman year for Tift County.
Christen Miller, Cedar Grove
Miller is one of the best players in the state, regardless of position, and he plays on one of the best defensive lines in the country. The Saints boast three players along their D-Line who will play for a Division I team in college, and Miller has been the most sought-after of them all. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive tackle’s top schools are Georgia, Ohio State and USC, and he plans to announce his decision Jan. 8 at the Adidas All-American Bowl.
Darris Smith, Appling County
When Smith steps on a football field, he’s always one of the tallest and most athletic players out there. The Georgia commit is a 6-foot-6, 225-pound defensive end who uses his height and strength to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
Joshua White, Cedar Grove
White is another Division I pass rusher out of Cedar Grove. The Memphis commit uses his 6-foot-5, 275-pound frame to bully offensive linemen and get in the backfield at a consistent rate.
Darren Agu, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee
Up in north Georgia a few miles away from North Carolina is Rabun Gap-Nacoochee, which plays in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletics Association. The school is home to Agu, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound edge rusher who flipped his commitment from Notre Dame to Vanderbilt in June.
Joshua Josephs, North Cobb
Josephs is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker/defensive end who is one of North Cobb’s small army of Power Five recruits. He’s elite when lining up along the defensive line and getting to the quarterback, and he can more than hold his own when dropping back in coverage as a linebacker. Kentucky, Michigan, Penn State and more are recruiting the senior.
Felix Hixon, Jackson
Standing 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 285 pounds, Hixon fits the bill for a defensive tackle and does everything coaches want from that position. The senior committed to South Carolina in July over Georgia Tech, Virginia and Wisconsin, among others.
Quentel Jones, Peach County
Strength is a given for the 6-foot-2, 315-pound senior, but he also has impressive speed for someone his size, which allows him to line up anywhere along the defensive line. He’s currently being recruited by Auburn, Miami, Mississippi State, Tennessee and more.