Miami Hurricanes defense will be anchored by DT and safety in 2021

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

The return of three key players at defensive tackle and safety will make those positions the anchor of the Miami Hurricanes defense in 2021.

The returns of defensive tackles Jon Ford and Nesta Silvera and safety Bubba Bolden for the 2021 season will make those positions the anchors for the Miami Hurricanes defense this fall. Bolden and Silvera could have left as draft-eligible juniors. Ford decided to return to Miami for a fifth season.

Ford took advantage of the NCAA granting all fall sports athletes an extra year of eligibility. Bolden returns after his 74 tackles led Miami by a wide margin. Bolden added 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, three pass breakups and four forced fumbles. Bolden should be part of an experienced safety room in 2021.

Junior Gurvan Hall and senior Amari Carter have the options to enter the NFL Draft but are expected to return for the Miami Hurricanes. As a senior Carter can utilize the extra year of eligibility. Hall could enter the NFL Draft as a junior. Bolden and Hall played in all 11 games in 2020 with nine and three starts.

Carter played in 10 games with nine starts. Carter missed the Cheeze-it Bowl loss to Oklahoma State for undisclosed reasons. To remain a key part of the Miami defense in 2021, Carter has to eliminate being called frequently for targeting. Carter was ejected twice in each of the past two seasons for targeting.

Carter was second on Miami with 53 tackles behind Bolden. Hall finished sixth on Miami with 43 tackles, had 1.5 TFLs and three pass breakups. There is a lot of talent behind Bolden, Carter and Hall for Miami at safety. Miami signed one of the top two safeties in each of the last two classes.

Avantae Williams was the second-ranked safety signee in 2020 but had to sit out this past season with an undisclosed medical issue. Miami signed the top-ranked safety, James Williams, in the Class of 2021. Miami also signed Brian Balom, Jalen Harrell and Keshaun Washington at safety in 2020.

Balom was the lowest-ranked of the four safety signees for Miami in 2020 but earned the most playing time. With Carter out against Oklahoma State, he started the Cheez-it Bowl. Balom finished the 2020 season with 10 tackles. The depth Miami will have at safety in 2021 will be a strength of the defense.

Defensive tackle will be the other strength of the Miami defense in 2021. The returns of Ford and Silvera plus redshirt freshman Jaren Harrison-Hunte are the anchors of the Hurricanes defensive line in 2021. Silvera led the Miami DTs with 35 tackles and Harrison-Hunte paced them with six TFLs and three sacks.

Ford provides an interior presence against the run at 6’5 318 pounds. Miami also returns redshirt sophomore DT Jordan Miller and redshirt freshmen Jason Blissett and Jalar Holley in 2021. Leonard Taylor was the top signee for Miami in the Class of 2021. Taylor was the 10th ranked player, top DT and third-ranked in Florida in 2021.

Next. Jahfari Harvey named breakout player by ESPN. dark

Despite the depth at DT, Taylor is expected to challenge for playing time as a true freshman in 2021. Miami also signed three-star DT Allan Haye in 2021 who will be a strong candidate to redshirt in 2021. Miami will be anchored by their DTs and safeties on defense in 2021 with experience and talent at both positions.