Miami football has thrived with transfer defensive linemen

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

The Miami football program has thrived adding transfer defensive linemen in recent years. In the last four offseasons, Miami has added six DL who have had varying degrees of impact for the Hurricanes. Defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche were critical to Miami during their 8-3 2020 season.

Phillips transferred to Miami from UCLA in 2019, sat out that season and was one of the best DL in the country in 2020. Roche teamed with Phillips in 2020 to make up for the loss of Greg Rousseau who opted out of the 2020 season. Phillips had 45 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and three pass breakups in 2020.

Phillips was named a second-team All-American in 2020 and is poised to become a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Roche equaled Phillips’ 45 tackles and added 14.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries. Roche transferred to Miami from Temple where he was the 2019 ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Phillips was one of three transfer DL Miami added in 2019. Trevon Hill played well at DE for Miami in 2019 and Chigozie Nnourka added critical depth on the DL for the Hurricanes. Hill had 27 tackles and was fourth for the Hurricanes in 2019 with 9.5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks. Nnourka had 12 tackles and one TFL in 2019 in a reserve role.

Tito Odenigbo preceded all of the above at DT on the Miami football team in 2018. Odenigbo was a solid backup for Miami at DT in 2018. After leaving Illinois, Odenigbo finished with 25 tackles and 5.5 TFLs in a reserve role on one of the best defenses in the country. Miami finished fourth nationally in total defense in 2018.

The latest defensive lineman to transfer to Miami is DeAndre Johnson from Tennessee. Johnson joins the Hurricanes for the 2021 season. Johnson is taking advantage of the extra season granted by the NCAA. In four years with the Volunteers, Johnson had 58 tackles, 15.5 TFLs and 10.0 sacks in 32 games.

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Johnson should receive the most playing time of his career with Miami in 2021. The Miami Southridge alum is projected to start at DE for Miami in 2021. The Hurricanes are extremely inexperienced at edge rusher other than Johnson. Johnson will be a key part of the Miami DL in 2021.