The Strength of the defense of the Miami football team on defense in 2020 will be its defensive ends. The Hurricanes need the production at defensive tackle to make the defense truly special.
The Miami football program is tied for seventh with Texas with 20 defensive linemen drafted in the past 20 years. Only seven of those lineman drafted were tackles. For the Hurricanes defense to be special in 2020 Miami needs the interior of the defensive line to be reliable at the very least.
Redshirt sophomore Greg Rousseau, redshirt junior Jaelan Phillips and graduate transfer Quincy Roche will lead what should be the best pass rush in the nation for the Miami football team. The Hurricanes need the defensive tackles led projected starters senior Jon Ford and junior Nesta Silvera to reach their full potential in 2020.
Rousseau leads all returnees in 2020 nationally with 15.5 sacks during the 2019 season. Add in Roche’s 13 with Temple and no duo entering next season had as many sacks as Rosseau and Roche’s combined 28.5 in 2019. They will be backed at DE up by Phillips who was the top recruit in the country in 2017.
Miami needs Ford, Silvera and the young trio of redshirt sophomore Jordan Miller and redshirt freshmen Jalar Holley and Jared Harrison-Hunte to complement the elite edge rushers for Miami. Those five will have to replace the production lost by the reliable Pat Bethel who had 24 tackles 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 2019.
Most Defensive Linemen drafted since 2000:
23- Ohio State
** Not a coincidence the last 15 National Champions are on this list (and 10/15 runner-ups)
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) March 25, 2020
Ford started all 13 games for Miami in 2019 and recorded 18 tackles, 3.5 TFLs and three sacks. Silvera played in nine games last season as the third DT in the Hurricanes rotation behind Bethel and Ford and finished with 19 tackles, one TFL and one sack. Miller was fourth in the rotation and had 12 tackles and 2.5 TFLs.
Manny Diaz and his staff are very high on Harrison-Hunte and Holley, Coming out of high school, Silvera received the highest grade of the Miami DTs. He is the only Miami interior lineman who received a grade of better than 90 coming out of high school. Miami will need some interior pass rush to alleviate pressure from the DEs.
If Silvera, Ford and their backups fail to provide consistent pressure on the quarterback up the middle, opponents will be able to double team the Miami edge rushers. Holley has been praised for his “motor” and Diaz stated that Harrison-Hunte “knocked some guards back” during the first week of spring practice.