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’22 Projected Starters: Defense

Yesterday we previewed the projected starters on offense. Click here to see the projected Miami Hurricane two deep on offense. Today we take aim on the defensive side of the ball and formulate a potential Miami Hurricane two deep there. Despite having so many moving parts, the defense has the benefit of using them in multiple fashion.

Kevin Steele has been in the coaching business for 38 years. He is the consummate collegiate war daddy. Steele has been a Broyles Award finalist and coached in SEC country for 13 years. It is safe to say Steele has seen a thing or two in this sport. The Miami defense is set to have a metamorphosis embodied in a Steele cocoon. We now look at a potential two deep rotation on defense.

Defensive End (Strong)

  1. Akheem Mesidor
  2. Chantz Williams 

Defensive End (Weak)

  1. Jahfari Harvey
  2. Mitchell Agude

At the defensive end position new addition and West Virginia transfer Akheem Mesidor has reportedly been moving outside. Lining up over the tight end, the former freshman All-American is a potential powerful punch first then penetrator type. Jahfari Harvey will be pushed by UCLA transfer Mitchell Agude and the wild card is incoming freshman Nyjalik Kelly.

Kelly was the number 119 overall player in the ESPN 300 and makes way from Dillard high school in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Elijah Roberts is another name who can be inserted into the rotation at defensive end. This group has multiplicative avenues and a player like Mesidor can easily slide back inside. The former mountaineer played defensive tackle in a 3-4 scheme last year.

Defensive Tackle

  1. Leonard Taylor
  2. Jake Lichtenstein

  1. Jordan Miller
  2. Jared Harrison-Hunte

Sophomore Leonard Taylor was the former number one defensive tackle coming out of Palmetto high school in Miami. 56 reasons looks to be the nightmare in the middle who disrupts offenses continually. USC transfer Jacob Lichtenstein had a very good spring for Miami and had a fumble recovery in the Spring game. These four names are interchangeable cogs and you have a healthy rotation at defensive tackle. Darrell Jackson, a transfer from Maryland, and Antonio Moultrie, a transfer from UAB, make this group even more formidable.

Linebacker (Sam)

  1. Chase Smith
  2. Wesley Bissainthe

Linebacker (Mike) 

  1. Caleb Johnson
  2. Corey Flagg

Linebacker (Will)

  1. Keontra Smith
  2. Waynmon Steed

Corey Flagg led the Miami Hurricanes team in tackles last year with 60 however this group overall underperformed in 2021. A jolt could come from UCLA transfer Caleb Johnson who was a late addition to the Miami Hurricanes. Chase Smith has the instincts and the speed to factor and incoming freshman Wesley Bissainthe has turned heads in fall camp with his physique. Converted safety Keontra Smith could apply the Jimmy Johnson rule and slide down with instant impact. This group needs to improve in a hurry and new linebacker coach Charlie Strong has the pedigree to improve them.

Cornerback

  1. Tyrique Stevenson
  2. Daryl Porter Jr.

  1. DJ Ivey
  2. Isaiah Dunson

Nickel

  1. Te’Cory Couch
  2. Jaden Harris

Stevenson and Ivey were main stays in last year’s defense but both WVU transfer Daryl Porter Jr. and Al Blades Jr. can factor. Yes, Blades has worked some at safety this fall but he is also a multiple based player. The interchangeable avenues intersect at the corner position as well. If new defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae can optimize the most out of this group, Miami could be much better defensively. This group isn’t necessarily clamps U but it is not void of talent either.

Safety

  1. Avantae Williams
  2. James Williams
Safety Avantae Williams showing off his quick feet

Safety Avantae Williams showing off his quick feet

  1. Kam Kinchens
  2. Brian Balom 

Star

  1. Gil Frierson

This position is the Tyler Van Dyke equivalent on defense. If the Miami Hurricanes have a position of strength it is easily the safety group. James Williams is listed behind Avantae Williams but these are synonymous safety swaps. Kam Kinchens is a heady ball hawk who is a diabolical diagnostician. Gil Frierson is the hybrid star role player who can drop in the box and add an additional DB aspect to the defense. Opposing ACC wide receivers beware. The Miami Hurricane two deep is now complete.

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About the Author: Roman Marciante

Born and raised in South Florida. Local Boy. Husband. Tali and Franco’s dad. “Hey grandpa, is there a local college team we can watch?” “Do they throw the ball?” They don’t run the option do they?” Thus the love affair was born. Proud supporter of St Thomas Aquinas Raider nation and alum. One day got in a studio with two other buddy’s and started a conversation about a local team and the rest was history. A former pro athlete who secretly had a CIA job and some people call “Chief.” Yells “Bang” a lot. “It is not wrong, it is just different.” Managing Editor for the OBB Legend, host of X’s and Ro and Student of the Game connoisseur. I still remember the day I beat Mike Tyson in a fight. 007-373-5963. Thanks for all your help Mac. I couldn’t have done it without you.

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