Miami Hurricanes DC Blake Baker could be highly sought after 2020 season


After leading a Miami Hurricanes defense to a top 25 finish in all four major categories in 2019, co-defensive coordinator Blake Baker could be highly sought after the 2020 season.

In the first season with Blake Baker and Ephraim Banda as the Miami Hurricanes Co-defensive coordinators, the defense finished in the top 25 in all four major categories. Miami finished 23rd in scoring defense, 13th in total defense, 17th against the run and 18th against the pass.

Baker and Banda continued to lead a Miami defense that had one of the best pass rushes. The Hurricanes finished seventh in sacks in 2019 led by breakout redshirt freshman Greg Rousseau who finished second in the nation with 15.5 sacks. Rousseau opted-out for the 2020 season but Miami will still have a great pass rush.

Graduate transfer defensive end Quincy Roche and redshirt junior Jaelan Phillips will lead a fierce Miami pass rush that hopes to continue to be among the best in the nation. Baker coaches the inside linebackers for Miami in addition to his duties as the co-defensive coordinator. Zach McCloud returning in 2020 is a huge boost.

McCloud returns after redshirting in 2019. If the Miami Hurricanes defense has another season as one of the best in college football, Baker will be 15 college football coordinators to watch this fall” according to National College Football Analyst Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.

"13. Blake Baker, Miami defensive coordinatorManny Diaz has two protégés who have gained the attention of athletic directors in Baker and co-defensive coordinator Ephraim Banda. Each has a chance to turn more heads in 2020.The bad news for Baker and the ’Canes: Gregory Rousseau, the best pass rusher in the country, announced he’s not playing this season and instead is off to the NFL.The good news is Miami still is stacked on the edge with standout Temple transfer Quincy Roche and a re-energized Jaelan Phillips, the super explosive 6-5, 270-pound former UCLA Bruin.Jahfari Harvey is another DE who probably would start for a bunch of Power 5 programs. Nesta Jade Silvera and Jon Ford are solid inside guys.The Hurricanes coaching staff also has been encouraged by what it has seen from CBs D.J. Ivey and Al Blades Jr, as well as Te’Cory Couch and Christian Williams. Safeties Bubba Bolden, Amari Carter and Gurvan Hall Jr. also have impressed in camp.Miami feels like the overall speed of the defense is even better this year than in 2019."

Baker is a coach on the rise after coaching the FBS leader in sacks Jaylon Ferguson at Louisiana Tech in 2019. Ferguson had 26 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks for the Bulldogs in 2019. Baker was the defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech from 2015-2019 succeeding Manny Diaz after one season.

Blake Baker defense continues to produce edge rushers. dark. Next

The success of the Miami defense was often overlooked in 2019 after a 6-7 season. The fact the Hurricanes finished in the top 25 in the four major categories and continued to be a force getting into opposing backfields is a credit to Baker and Banda continuing the vision Diaz has for Miami on defense.