Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on Monday that freshman safety Jalen Harrell could move to striker for the 2021 season. A four-star signee in 2020 with the Miami football program, Harrell was passed by three-star safety Brian Balom on the depth chart during the 2020 season.
Harrell played five games for Miami in 2020, making his only tackle in the 52-10 Miami football victory against Florida State. Jackson reported on Monday that Harrell has bulked up to 200 pounds from the 180 he played at in high school at Hialeah Champagnat. Jackson reported Harrell played only 10 defensive snaps in 2020.
Balom recorded 10 tackles in 10 games for Miami in 2020 including starting in the Cheez-It Bowl loss to Oklahoma State. If Harrell moves to striker he would compete for snaps with Gilbert Frierson and Keontra Smith who split playing time at striker in 2020. Frierson tied for second on Miami with 53 tackles in 2020.
In his redshirt sophomore season, Frierson added nine tackles for loss, two sacks, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Smith had 22 tackles, one TFL and a pass breakup. Miami is extremely deep at safety. Harrell at least learning how to play striker during the spring might help him get on the field in 2021.
The Hurricanes return their entire secondary in 2021. The trio of redshirt junior
provide Miami with a lot of talent and experience on the back on the backend of the Hurricanes defense. Miami signed the top-ranked safety in the Class of 2021, five-star
Also looming for Miami at safety was the second-ranked safety in the Class of 2020 according to the 247 Sports composite rankings Avante Williams. Williams had to sit out the 2020 season for undisclosed medical reasons. Defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson will have an embarrassment of riches at safety.
Robinson and recently hired strikers/outside linebackers coach Ishmael Aristide will work together to figure out how to best get Harrell on the field. At 6’2, 200, Harrell has the size and skills to succeed at striker. Frierson will have the option to leave after the 2021 season but also has two years of eligibility remaining.
With striker, a hybrid position most players do not play in high school, grooming the young players on the Miami roster for the future at the position is critical for the success of the Hurricanes defense. At 6’5, 218 pounds, Williams could be another safety who could eventually move to striker. Williams needs to get on the field.