Miami Hurricanes linebacker depth chart entering summer

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02:. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02:. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

Linebacker is the position with the most uncertainty for the 2021 Miami Hurricanes. Miami received subpar play at LB in 2020. The Hurricanes were 75th against the run in 2020 allowing 174.45 yards per game. Miami needs to drastically improve that number in 2021. All of the Miami LBs return in 2021.

Bradley Jennings Jr. and Zach McCloud were the primary starters for Miami at LB in 2020. Jennings will be challenged to remain a starter during August training camp. McCloud moved defensive end for the Cheez-It Bowl last season and will begin the 2021 season as a starter at the position.

Jennings led the Miami LBs in 2020 with 39 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks in 2020. The other LBs competing for snaps in 2021 with Miami are Tirek Austin-Cave, Sam Brooks Jr., Corey Flagg Jr., Avery Huff, Keontra Smith and Waynmon Steed. Brooks has the most experience of the LBs completing to be first team in 2021.

Brooks needs to be able to stay healthy to be a consistent contributor for Miami. In two seasons, Brooks has 55 tackles, 3.0 TFLs, 1.0 sack and two pass breakups. Brooks set a career-high with 12 tackles and a 0.5 sack against Louisiana Tech in the 2019 Independence Bowl. That was one of Brooks’ two career starts.

Flagg will press Jennings at middle LB. As a freshman in 2020, Flagg had 15 tackles and one fumble recovery. Miami likes his instincts and speed. Austin-Cave has the same attributes as Flagg and had seven tackles in less playing time last season. Huff has a ton of potential but yet to consistently get on the field.

Miami likes the potential of Smith after he moved from striker this spring. Steed has dealt with injuries throughout his Miami career and adds depth. Miami also signed outside LB Tyler Johnson and inside LB Deshaun Troutman in the Class of 2021. Johnson and Troutman are likely one year away from consistent playing time.

Next. Miami Hurricanes DT depth 2021 strength. dark

With Alabama in the 2021 season opener, the LB play from Miami is going to have to significantly improve at the beginning of the season. Unless a few players establish themselves early, expect head coach Manny Diaz and LBs coach Jonathan Patke to try different combinations frequently in September.