Miami Hurricanes LB Avery Huff ready to contribute in 2021

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes linebacker Avery Huff is ready to contribute in 2021 after playing only 11 of his 163 snaps on defense in 2020. Huff finished with five assisted tackles in 2021. Linebacker is the most competitive position for Miami this spring.

Returning starting middle LB Bradley Jennings is the most experienced player Miami has at the position entering the 2021 season. Huff is competing primarily with Sam Brooks to be the other inside LB for Miami likely next to Jennings. Brooks and Huff were both 2019 signees for Miami. Several other LBs bear watching.

Freshmen Tirek Austin-Cave and Corey Flagg are more likely to backup Jennings than earn the other starting LB position for the Miami Hurricanes. Flagg showed a lot of promise for Miami in 2020 with 15 tackles during his first seasons. Huff is practicing on another level this spring than he did during the 2020 season.

Huff is continuing to learn the Miami defense and better understand what the coaches experience from him. Huff is continuing to evolve against the run, as a pass rusher and in coverage. Miami needs much better play from its LBs in 2021 for the defense to function at a higher level.

"“I feel like I got it right now…The hardest part I had to overcome is understanding how they want me to play and see it how they [wanted me to see it] instead of seeing it from the high school athlete point of view. I had to sit back and be coachable. I’m trying to show everybody they could depend on me.What held me back is understanding how the coaches want me to play and getting used to how they want me to play it. Now that I’ve got a good understanding, the sky is the limit…I consider myself a dual-threat. I made strides in my blitzing. I got better as a pass rusher.”"

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald quoted Huff during his zoom meeting with reporters on Tuesday. Huff is an athletic LB who is working on adding muscle to his 6’3, 225-pound frame. A four-star signee who was the 12th ranked outside LB in the Class of 2019, Huff has not lived up to his potential.

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Miami needs Huff to be a contributor in 2021. The Hurricanes are not deep at LB, and other than Jennings, no one has consistently performed on the field in college. Jennings also needs to raise his level. After four seasons of Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney, the Miami LB play decreased significantly in 2020.