Miami Hurricanes DTs managed weight during offseason

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The praise for the elite Miami Hurricanes defensive line in 2020 has been on the edge rushers. The return of defensive tackles Jon Ford and Nesta Silvera will anchor the interior of the defensive line.

Jon Ford returns to the Miami Hurricanes football team for his senior season after starting 10 games as a junior in 2019. Ford provides Miami with a huge run-stuffer in the middle of the Hurricanes defense at 6’5. His weight has fluctuated and according to defensive line coach Todd Stroud is something to be monitored.

Nesta Silvera could be ready for a breakout junior season in 2020. Silvera missed the first four games of the 2019 season after foot surgery. Despite missing so much time. Silvera had nearly identical stats to what Ford accumulated. Silvera finished 2019 with 19 tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and a fumble recovery.

Ford finished 2019 with 18 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, three sacks, one pass breakup and one forced fumble. Stroud spoke to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald this week about the development of the Miami defensive line and the challenges that the defensive tackles have had during the pandemic.

Backing up Ford and Silvera in 2020 will be redshirt sophomore Jordan Miller and redshirt freshman Jalar Holley, Jared Harrison-Hunte and Jason Blissett who is back at DT after switching to defensive end this spring. Interior lineman getting their weight in check can often be the most challenging position to accomplish that.

"“We feel real good about…The biggest challenge for guys during the pandemic was managing body weight. Jade (Silvera) came back and was about 300 pounds, Jon was a little heavy when he came back, 334. He’s down to 322, will probably play at 315. Both those guys are moving around very well, progressing as you’d expect.”"

Silvera is lighter than Ford, but three inches taller at 6’2. The interior of the defensive line for Miami will be a key in 2020. With Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche putting pressure on opposing offensive lines off the edge, Ford, Silvera and the Miami DTs are not likely to see double teams.

Miami Defensive tackle Depth Chart projections 2020. dark. Next

Being able to have the opportunity to concentrate on and beat one blocker should help them in 2020. Miami was 17th against the run in 2019 allowing 114.62 yards per game and 10th allowing a paltry 3.17 yards per carry. Both those numbers are indicative of good play at DT. Miami needs to improve its interior pass rush in 2020.