Miami Hurricanes Manny Diaz states Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips problem off the edge

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz joined ACC Network Show Packer and Durham Wednesday, and expressed his confidence in the defensive line and its newcomers Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips, despite the loss of star Greg Rousseau.

Losing redshirt sophomore defensive end Greg Rousseau for the 2020 season definitely hurts. For Manny Diaz and Miami Hurricanes fans, it hurts a lot less knowing transfer DEs Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips, who are both eligible for this season, will replenish an already-strong Miami D-Line.

Diaz stated on Wednesday on the ACC Network Show Packer and Durham that“Quincy has been really, really good these first five days of practice. And let’s also not sleep on Jaelan Phillips. Jaelan Phillips transferred and had to sit out last year from UCLA. Those two are a problem off the edge” 

The numbers for Roche certainly back up Diaz’s prediction. The pass rusher, who missed just one regular-season game in three years with the Owls, ranked top five in the FBS in both sacks (19) and tackles for loss (13) in 2019.

The addition of Roche may have been overshadowed by the superstar the Canes already had in Rousseau, but with his opt-out decision, Roche will certainly get the attention and limelight that he deserves. Phillips, on the other hand, started just six games in two seasons with UCLA.

Clearly though, there’s some major upside with Phillips, which is what the Hurricanes are trying to unlock in South Florida. Phillips was ranked as the number three prospect nationally in ESPN 300’s 2017 class rankings.

Unlike Roche, Phillips had to sit out last season without a waiver. You’d have to imagine that the former five-star is chomping at the bit to play, especially now with a potentially bigger opportunity.

Roche and Phillips may both be newcomers, but they join a D-Line with multiple years of collegiate experience. Upperclassmen defensive tackles Jon Ford (played in 30 games) and Nesta Jade Silvera (played in19 games) are reliable veterans. The Hurricanes have an ideal mix of talent with experience.

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Despite losing Rousseau, there are still more reasons to be excited about Miami’s D-Line than concerned. Roche has racked up Rousseau-esque numbers, while a change of scenery may allow \ Phillips to reach potential unseen with the UCLA Bruins.