Miami football: What we know and don’t know about 2021 team

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

In an article examining the top 25 teams for the upcoming season, 247Sports examined “What we know and don’t know about CFB’s top 2021 contenders.” The Miami football team is ranked 12th by 247Sports in their preseason rankings. The return of quarterback D’Eriq King is praised by 247 with many other questions posed.

The Miami football program could return as many as eight starters on offense. The defense has big questions at edge rusher with the departures of Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche as the starting defensive ends. Miami also lost tight end Brevin Jordan following his junior year and kicker Jose Borregales.

Replacing the departed players for Miami has a varying level of concern. Junior Will Mallory will replace Jordan and Borregales will be replaced by his brother, incoming freshman Andres. DeAndre Johnson transferred to Miami from Tennessee earlier this month and is expected to start at one DE.

Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson and wide receiver Charleston Rambo have also joined Miami as transfers this month. Rambo is expected to start at WR with Mike Harley. Returning starters Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins will compete to earn the third starting role next to Rambo and Harley.

"NO. 12 MIAMI HURRICANESWhat We Know: D’Eriq King is back under center for Miami, which raises the roster’s ceiling considerably, especially with eight offensive starters returning around him.What We Don’t Know: Do Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo and the return of Mike Harley give King enough weapons on the outside after a rough season for the Hurricanes receivers? Is there any way to replace Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips at DE?Tennessee transfer Deandre Johnson and redshirt sophomore Jahfari Harvey are likely to get the first shot. Can the defense rebound after falling from 12th to 57th in yards allowed per play? The big question, really, is whether is King will be fully healthy after tearing his ACL in the bowl game."

Pope and Wiggins have to become more consistent receivers for Miami in 2021. In the Cheez-it Bowl loss to Oklahoma State, Pope and Wiggins had about a half dozen drops. The addition of Rambo, maturation of the young WRs on the roster and three incoming four-star WRs should help King this fall.

Johnson, Harvey and potentially sixth-year senior Zach McCloud, who could convert from linebacker, project to give Miami a talented but most unproven trio at DE. Behind that troika is redshirt freshman Cameron Williams and true freshman Chantz Williams. Miami needs to continue to get into opponents’ backfields.

Next. Former Miami OL Joaquin Gonzalez continuing to criticize Hurricanes. dark

King returning healthy is the most critical component for success for Miami in 2021. Behind him are redshirt junior Tate Martell who opted out of the 2020 season, redshirt freshman Peyton Matocha, freshman Tyler Van Dyke and 2021 signee Jake Garcia. The entire Miami football in 2021 begins with King.