Miami football roster stabilizing and limiting transfers with culture changes

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11: N'Kosi Perry #5 of the Miami Hurricanes in action against the in the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11: N'Kosi Perry #5 of the Miami Hurricanes in action against the in the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Miami football program lost only four transfers following the 2020 season. Defensive lineman/linebacker Patrick Joyner, quarterbacks Tate Martell and N’Kosi Perry and running back Robert Burns are the only players who departed the Hurricanes after the 2020 season. Only Joyner has a new destination.

The culture changes that head coach Manny Diaz demanded after when he became head coach have slowed the exodus of unhappy players. Joyner followed former Miami co-defensive coordinator Ephraim Banda to Utah State while Burns, Martell and Perry haven’t found new schools or made them public.

Perry is rumored to be headed to Florida Atlantic after the Miami school year is complete to play for former Florida State head coach Willie Taggart. One crystal ball from 247 Sports projects Martell to return to Las Vegas where he played for Bishop Gorman in high school. Miami added three players through the transfer portal.

Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, defensive end DeAndre Johnson and wide receiver Charleston Rambo are all expected to start for Miami in 2021. Miami has thrived in the transfer portal over the last few years with a few exceptions, notably Martell. Diaz and his staff are recruiting players who want to be at Miami.

Too many Hurricanes in recent years have signed with the Miami football program eyeing the NFL. Multiple Miami players have left for the NFL Draft with eligibility remaining and were not selected until the third day (rounds four through seven). Miami lost five players to the NFL Draft after the 2020 season.

Defensive ends Jaelan Phillips, Quincy Roche and Greg Rousseau are expected to be drafted on the first (first round) or second (second or third round) day, tight end Brevin Jordan is projected in the middle rounds and kicked Jose Borregales will likely be a third-day pick from the fifth through seventh rounds.

Miami has far too often had players leave early and go undrafted. Creating an environment of players who put the team first above their own interests. Miami won close games late in 2020. In the few years prior, Miami often was not able to win tight games. The Hurricanes were 3-5 in one-score games in 2019.

A lot of the change is attributable to QB D’Eriq King who transferred to Miami from Houston in January 2021. The decision by King to return for a sixth season of college football and second with Miami in 2021 influenced several other Hurricanes to return. Wide receiver Mike Harley returned largely because of King.

Players like King and Harley are setting the example for the younger players on the Miami roster. The Hurricanes will lose seven super seniors after the 2020 season. Those seven players who include Harley and King chose to take advantage of the extra season granted by the NCAA after the 2020 season.

Harley, King, offensive tackle Jarrid Williams, defensive ends DeAndre Johnson (who transferred from Tennessee for the 2021 season) and Zach McCloud, defensive tackle Jon Ford and safety/striker Amari Carter have all taken advantage of the extra season and showing they want to be at Miami.

Next. Miami transfers haven't found success at new schools. dark

Those seven players are putting the Miami football program first while waiting to begin their NFL careers. The players behind them can take a year to learn and step into leadership roles in 2022. In about two and half years since becoming the Miami head coach, the culture for the Hurricanes is beginning to change.