Manny Diaz states 2021 early enrollee Chase Smith perfect skill set for striker

ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 24:.(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 24:.(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Chase Smith signed with the Miami Hurricanes in the Class of 2021 hoping to build on the legacy his father Willie set as a tight end under Jimmy Johnson from 1984-86. Chase Smith is the prototype in the evolving position of striker for Miami per Manny Diaz. Smith will be behind Gilbert Frierson and Keontra Smith in 2021.

Greg Biggins of 247 Sports projected Smith as a safety or outside linebacker in college which is exactly what the striker position is. Biggins praises the ability Smith has to run down plays from behind, his ability as a big hitter and the ability to be used as a blitzer. Smith is the type of player always around the football.

Frierson and Keontra Smith were converted from cornerback and safety to striker once they got to Miami. Entering their fourth season using the striker, the Hurricanes are now recruiting players to the position. Chase Smith will provide Miami with the length Manny Diaz covets on his roster at 6’2.

Smith is going to have to add to his 176-pound frame. With Frierson and Keontra Smith ahead of him, Chase Smith will have the opportunity to work with strength and conditioning coach David Feeley and fill out. Smith is an ideal candidate to redshirt in 2021.

Manny Diaz praised Smith on National Signing Day


"“We see it in college football with the development of our striker position and how important it is to find a guy that’s got that very unique skill set to be able to play in space, do some coverage things, but still be tough enough to stop the run as well. Chase does all of those things very well.You watch him disengage and be able to get off the block, use great length and change of direction to get a tackle for loss. Relentless, gets a guy on the ground, does all of the things we ask our strikers to do. You see a guy with great length that can really make plays.His dad is a legacy [player] and great to see another Smith embark on another career here at the University of Miami.”"

Miami will be more aggressive on defense in 2021 with Diaz returning to his roots and adding defensive coordinator to his responsibilities. New coaches at every position on the defensive coaching staff will provide Miami with a different look in 2021. Smith will work with new strikers coach Ishmael Aristide.

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Chase Smith has a bright future at Miami. With the Hurricanes inconsistencies at LB, he potentially could receive team there. Miami has great depth at safety and Frierson and Keontra Smith had good seasons at striker in 2020. Diaz is rebuilding the Miami defense in 2021 after an inconsistent 2020 season on that side of the ball.