Miami Hurricanes top 10 CFP programs ready to take next step per 247 Sports

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

The Miami Hurricanes are one of 10 programs named by Brandon Marcello of 247Sports that are ready to take the next step. Marcello defines programs ready to take the next step as “10 programs that are in prime position to take the next step within their own limitations and expectations.”

Miami finished 8-3 during the 2020 season which was an improvement from 6-7 during the4 Hurricanes’ first season under Manny Dia in 2019 and 7-6 in the final season under Mark Richt in 2018. With 19 returning starters in 2021, the Miami Hurricanes are poised for another outstanding season in 2021.

Diaz has been able to secure talent through the transfer portal as well as any program in the country over the last three offseasons. No transfer has been more important to the Miami Hurricanes football program than Quarterback D’Eriq King. King has transformed the culture on and off the field.

On the field, King has provided Miami with a dynamic play-making QB that is unprecedented in program history. No Hurricanes QB has ever been as much of a threat passing and running while wearing a Miami uniform. King set a Miami record with 537 yards rushing by a QB last season and added four touchdowns.

"MIAMI HURRICANESMiami has an unfortunate problem that’s not going away: The Hurricanes play in the same conference as Clemson. Still, the Hurricanes are set up for success in 2021 and could make a push for the ACC Championship with a few breaks and improvement on defense.Miami is in position to capitalize because of Manny Diaz and crew’s magnificent work recruiting players out of the transfer portal, where the Hurricanes might be second in the country only to in-state rival Florida .The Hurricanes brought aboard star quarterback D’Eriq King and pass rushers Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips in 2020, and then picked up a speedy receiver in Oklahoma’s Charleston Rambo and Tennessee sacks leader Deandre Johnson. They also brought Georgia cornerback Tyrique Stevenson aboard.Miami’s Recruiting ProfileYearRecordNational recruiting ranking2021???No. 1220208-3No. 1620196-7No. 2720187-6No. 8The Hurricanes, like North Carolina in 2020, will be a popular dark horse pick to end Clemson’s six-year run atop the ACC.That might not happen and King returning to full form after tearing his ACL in the bowl game is vital, but finishing second in the ACC race will place the Hurricanes in position to move onward and upward in 2022 and beyond.The only question is whether Miami will continue to lean on short-term fixes in the transfer portal."

Phillips was named a second-team All-American in 2020 and Roche was third-team All-ACC. That type of production might be a lot to expect from Johnson, Rambo and Stevenson in 2021. All three will have a major impact on the Miami Hurricanes 2021 season. Johnson is critical to help stabilize a young group of defensive ends.

Rambo helps upgrade the Miami wide receivers corps and provides a deep threat in the passing game. Stevenson will become the top cornerback on the Miami roster for a position that was woefully thin in 2020. The immediate goal for Miami should be the challenge for the ACC Coastal Division title.

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Miami at North Carolina on October 16 is expected to be the defacto Coastal Division Championship Game in 2021. Clemson is irrelevant without winning the Coastal in any given year for the immediate future. Once a Coastal Division title is secured then the Hurricanes or Tar Heels can focus on the Tigers.