Miami football new 15 Jaelan Phillips perfect Greg Rousseau successor

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Redshirt junior defensive end Jaelan Phillips has changed his uniform number for the Miami football team from 95 to 15 after redshirt sophomore DE Greg Rousseau opted out of the 2020 season.

The torch has been passed for number 15 in the Miami football program. Redshirt junior defensive end Jaelan Phillips has switched from the number 95 he was assigned to the number 15 he wore while playing for UCLA in 2017 and 2018. Hurricanes redshirt sophomore Greg Rousseau previously wore number 15.

Rousseau who is a likely top 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft chose to opt-out of the 2021 college football season. Phillips will replace Rousseau wearing his former number and likely in the starting lineup. After being ranked the top signee nationally in 2017, Phillips has struggled with injuries throughout his collegiate career.

Phillips sat out the 2019 season after transferring from UCLA. Replacing the 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks Rousseau recorded in 2019 will be difficult for Miami. The depth the Hurricanes have on the defensive line makes it possible. Phillips is favorite to start in place of Rousseau at one DE.

Graduate transfer Quincy Roche who was the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 for Temple moves up to be the top pass rusher for Miami. Roche had 19 TFLs and 13 sacks for the Owls in 2019. Pro Football Focus graded Roche the best returning pass rusher in college football for 2020.

Behind Phillips and Roche is redshirt freshman DE Jahfari Harvey who the Miami coaching staff is high on. Harvey enters the 2020 Miami football season similarly to where Rousseau was entering the 2019 season. Harvey graded even higher coming out of high school as a four-star signee with Miami to Rousseau’s three-stars.

Miami DL has enough depth to absorb Rousseau opting out. dark. Next

In order to keep his redshirt status, Harvey played in four games as a true freshman in 2019. Harvey recorded a tackle against Bethune-Cookman. Losing Rousseau was a tough blow for the Miami football team. Having a talent like Phillips will keep the Miami pass rush as one of the best in college football in 2020.