Miami football 2021 ACC contender per 247 Sports

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

With 19 returning starters the Miami football program is a contender in the ACC for 2021 according to 247Sports.Com. The Hurricanes will likely be picked to finish second in the ACC Coastal Division behind North Carolina. The health of Miami quarterback D’Eriq King will be a major factor in how good Miami is in 2021.

King is returning after tearing his ACL in the 37-34 loss to Oklahoma State in Cheez-it Bowl in December. King is expected to be ready for training camp in August and when the Miami football team opens the 2021 season against Alabama on September 4 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Miami has entered the transfer portal for the third straight offseason under Manny Diaz. Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, defensive end DeAndre Johnson and wide receiver Charleston Rambo add an upgrade in-depth and talent at positions of need. Johnson, Rambo and Stevenson are all likely to become starters.

Rambo will provide Miami with a deep threat and needed speed at WR, Johnson will be part of the task of replacing All-ACC DEs Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche and Stevenson is the most talented CB the Hurricanes have on their roster. The Miami offense should continue to improve under offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.

"2021 outlook: Miami has quickly rebuilt itself into a contender thanks to the transfer market. Miami went from a team that couldn’t score in a shutout loss to Louisiana Tech just one year ago to being among the most exciting offenses in the country in 2020.The big question will be D’Eriq King’s health after injuring a knee in the bowl game. If he’s healthy and confident, he will have plenty of weapons. Miami needs help on the outside, and the Hurricanes believe they found it with Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo in January."

The Miami football team improved from 90th averaging 25.7 points per game in 2019 to 26th and 34.0 PPG in 2020. The Hurricanes improved from 98th in total offense averaging 367.2 yards per game in 2019 to 32nd and 439.8 YPG in 2020. The addition of Rambo will add a missing element from the 2020 Miami offense.

Junior tight end Will Mallory leads the returning Miami receivers with more than two receptions with an average of 15.2 yards per catch. Senior Mike Harley leads the returning WRs with 15.0 YPC. Rambo should help Miami improve their average of 8.0 yards per passing attempt that ranked 37th nationally in 2020.

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Mallory will likely take a step forward in 2021 with Brevin Jordan moving on to the NFL. Rambo gives the Hurricanes the speed they need and Harley returns as King’s most reliable receivers. Miami will return 10 starters on offense and nine on defense. Miami’s game at North Carolina could be a de-fact Coast Division title game.