Miami football likely to have to rebuild edge rushers for 2021

Oct 10, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program is likely to have to rebuild their edge rushers for the second straight offseason in 2021.

After having to replace their five leading sackers from 2019, the Miami football program is likely to have to replace the elite edge-rushing tandem Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche following the 2020 season. Phillips leads Miami with five sacks and Roche leads the Hurricanes with 11 tackles for loss.

The interior of the Miami defensive line might be the strength in 2021. Redshirt defensive tackle Jared Harrison-Hunte has been a breakout star for Miami in 2020 with 16 tackles, 5.5 TFLs for loss and three sacks. Roche has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl which almost definitely means he will enter the NFL Draft.

Phillips was the number signee in the country in 2017 and after dealing with injuries throughout his college career, is more likely than not to join Roche in the 2021 NFL Draft. The edge rushers behind Phillips and Roche have not played significant snaps this season. Jahfari Harvey has not made the impact expected.

After redshirting during his true freshman season in 2019, Harvey has eight tackles and two TFLs in 2020. Harvey played in the first four games of 2019. Harvey last got on the scoresheet with three tackles against Virginia. The best game for Harvey this season came against Clemson with three tackles and two TFLs.

If Phillips and Roche are in the NFL next season as expected, Harvey will be the top edge rusher currently on the Miami football roster. As Miami did with Trevon Hill and Phillips through the transfer portal in 2019 and Roche in 2020, expect the Hurricanes to look for help at edge rusher to add to its 2021 roster.

There are three edge rushers in the transfer portal that appear to be ahead of everyone else. Former Alabama linebacker-defensive end Kevin Harris, LSU DE Travez Moore and Old Dominion defensive end Keion White would be good fits for what projects to be a young Miami corps at edge rusher in 2021.

Harris has had a minimal impact for Alabama after being ranked the number two DE in the country in 2019 coming out of high school. If the NCAA one-time free transfer is not allowed, Harris might have to sit out in 2020. Moore was a junior college transfer to LSU in 2018 who similarly has not made much of an impact.

Miami could target Alabama DE transfer Kevin Harris. dark. Next

White made a huge impact for the Monarchs in 2019 after changing positions from tight end. The former two-star signee had 62 tackles, 19 TFLs and five sacks for Old Dominion in 2019. White would seem to be a perfect fit for Miami at DE to provide senior leadership like Hill and Roche have done the last two seasons.