Miami Football preview: Freshman DL Elijah Roberts adds versatility

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Elijah Roberts signed with the Miami football program as a four-star defensive end in the class of 2020. Roberts has the potential to eventually move inside to tackle.

Elijah Roberts signed with the Miami football program in the class of 2020 as the nation’s 358th ranked player, 13th ranked strongside defensive end and 58th ranked player in Florida. Roberts is listed as a defensive lineman without a specific position on the official Hurricanes football roster.

Roberts was listed at 6’3, 267 pounds when he signed with Miami. Entering the 2020 season Roberts has grown to 6’4 and added eight pounds to fill out to 275. The Miami coaching staff believes Roberts has the body type to play defensive end or tackle in college.

Roberts is part of a strong group of DEs that signed with the Miami football program in 2020. Four-star weakside DE Chantz Williams is making a push to be part of the rotation of edge rushers this season and Miami also has three-star WDE Quentin Williams. Miami can give all of them time this season.

The ruling by the NCAA to allow fall athletes an extra season of eligibility provides freshmen in 2020 the chance to play without having to worry about playing in only up to four games to redshirt. That can provide a player like Roberts a chance to push his way into the rotation. Roberts is likely no better than sixth at DE.

Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips are the first-team defensive ends for Miami in 2020. Redshirt freshman Jahfari Harvey will be third in the rotation and Chantz Williams and redshirt freshman Cameron Williams are competing for the fourth spot in the rotation with the other to likely receive the fifth spot at DE.

Next. Jaelan Phillips could be National Comeback Player of the Year. dark

Roberts could be a year away and use this season to develop. The potential is that Miami could use him on the defensive line on special teams this season as well. With Roche and Phillips probably leaving for the NFL after the 2020 season, Roberts will have a bright future in the rotation on the DL for Miami.