Miami Hurricanes DL has enough depth to absorb Greg Rousseau opting out

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes defensive line has enough depth to absorb the loss of preseason all-American defensive end Greg Rousseau who announced on Thursday he is opting out for the 2020 season.

The decision by preseason All-American defensive end Greg Rousseau to opt-out for the 2020 season would have devastated most college football programs. The depth the Miami Hurricanes have on their defensive line will allow them to absorb the loss of Rousseau.

Led by graduate transfer Quincy Roche and redshirt junior Jaelan Phillips the Miami Hurricanes will have one of the best pass rushes in the country in 2020. Co-defensive coordinator Blake Baker and head coach Manny Diaz are excited about the potential that redshirt freshman Jahfari Harvey provides Miami for 2020.

The transfers of Phillips in January 2019 from UCLA and Roche from Temple in January 2020 are even more critical to Miami entering the 2020 season after the decision by Rousseau to opt-out for 2020. Roche comes to Miami as the highest-ranked returning edge rusher in college football according to Pro Football Focus.

Roche had 49 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 13 sacks in 2019 for Temple. Rousseau had 59 tackles, 19.5 TFLs and 15.5 sacks for Miami last season. Phillips might be the most talented of those three. In 2017, Phillips was the top-ranked signee in the nation with UCLA. Harvey enters 2020 ready to contribute.

"“I know going into this year we felt really, really good with the four guys. You know Jahfari Harvey, he always is the forgotten one. He might be the most athletic of them all, so that’s always a good thing, right?  I think now we just have to figure out who that forth and who that fifth guy is.Jason Blissett can play inside and outside for us, same with Jared Harrison-Hunte. I think we have a very good stable to work from and I think those guys are going to separate themselves in fall camp. But for me to say right now who that guy is, I’d be lying to you. I think it’s going to play itself out.I always say competition makes everybody better and as happy as we are for Greg, I know there’s probably some guys in that room that could see more playing time and probably thrive off of that situation.”"

It’s clear the top three for Miami entering training camp that begins Friday night are Roche, Phillips and Harvey. Redshirt freshman Cameron Williams and true freshman Chantz Williams will compete with versatile defensive linemen Jason Blissett and Jared Harrison-Hunte to be the fourth and fifth DL in the Miami rotation.

Next. Diaz and Baker show great leadership after Rousseau opt-out. dark

The competition created with Rousseau’s departure might be good for Miami and the future. The players now have a more immediate goal to work for than they might have with Rousseau, Roche, Phillips and Harvey in front of them. The Hurricanes should still have one of the best defensive lines in college football in 2020.