Miami Hurricanes LB Avery Huff has huge opportunity to start

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Head Coach Manny Diaz stated during his National Signing Day Press conference that a number of Miami Hurricanes players will miss spring football. Rising redshirt freshman linebacker Avery Huff will have a big opportunity this spring.

Arguably the biggest hole Manny Diaz and the Miami Hurricanes staff will be tasked to fill this off-season will be replacing two, four-year starters at linebacker in Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney. Rising redshirt freshman Avery Huff will have a chance this spring to make a statement.

While Hurricanes fans may have been frustrated at times with Shaq and Pinckney due to their lack of speed, their absence will be felt early because they were two great players and leaders on the defense. Unfortunately for the Miami Hurricanes, they will be down four linebackers for spring ball.

Rising Sophomore Sam Brooks, rising redshirt Junior Bradley Jennings Jr, and true freshmen early enrollees, Tirek Austin-Cave and Corey Flagg will all be out. This many injuries to the LB room present a huge opportunity for rising redshirt freshman Huff to compete for a starting LB spot.

Rising redshirt Sophomore LB Patrick Joyner who has also played defensive end for Miami and should compete to be a starter this spring. As of now, it appears clear that redshirt senior Zach McCloud will have a guaranteed starting spot at LB spots barring something drastic happening.

With McCloud redshirting in 2019 that essentially secured his spot for this season. Heading into the off-season many expected Brooks to start opposite McCloud but after suffering an injury it looks like Huff’s job to lose. Huff was a highly coveted recruit in the 2019 class.

He was ranked as the 12th overall OLB, 207th overall player and a consensus four-star player according to 247 Sports. As a recruit, Huff held offers from a number of prestigious universities such as Alabama, Texas and Penn State to name a few. Huff was forced to sit for all of last season as an academic redshirt.

Huff was on the practice squad and shined week in and week out in practices. Huff has had a full year to get acclimated to the college schedule and more importantly a full year of work put in with Miami strength and conditioning coordinator David Feeley in his weight program.

Huff is currently up to 6’3, 208 pounds, has an insanely long wingspan and freaky athleticism.  Entering his first season of playing time, Huff will have every chance this spring to put himself in a prime position to be a starter heading into summer ball.

Huff’s athleticism paired with McCloud’s experience and leadership could be the recipe needed for a great linebacker unit. While the LB room is going to be thin for the spring, Diaz discussed expectations.

"”All of those players we expect to have our team comes together in the summer with training and player-led practices. We expect all of those guys for sure when we start training camp."

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The competition will get much harder in the summer and we all know competition breeds success. The Miami Hurricanes  LB room is in good hands for years to come. Everyone other than McCloud, barring a transfer or player leaving school early for the NFL Draft, in the LB corps should return for 2021.