Miami Hurricanes DE Jahfari Harvey must step up in 2021

Dec 29, 2020; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2020; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

The loss of defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche to the 2021 NFL Draft created the biggest holes for the Miami Hurricanes entering this season. Tennessee transfer DeAndre Johnson and super senior Zach McCloud are the projected starting DEs for Miami in 2021. Jahfari Harvey is a DE to watch.

Harvey is entering his third season with the Miami Hurricanes but maintains freshman eligibility. As a true freshman in 2019 Harvey redshirted. In his first full season of playing time in 2020, Harvey had 16 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Harvey is projected to be the third DE in the Miami rotation.

With head coach Manny Diaz resuming control of the Hurricanes defense, a more aggressive style of play is expected. Phillips and Roche were the only two starters lost from the 2020 Miami defense. After finishing 32nd nationally in sacks per game in 2020, Miami will attempt to return to the top 10 as they were from 2017-2019.

Harvey, Johnson and McCloud have to step up for Miami in 2021. Johnson and McCloud move on to the NFL following the 2021 season. Harvey will likely become the player expected to become the next great Miami pass rusher. A 247 Sports article named Harvey as “One player that must step up for every ACC team in 2021.”

"“247Sports’ Take: A four-star recruit out of Fort Pierce (Fla.) Vero Beach, Jahfari Harvey was the 247Sports Composite’s No. 210 overall prospect and No. 12 weak-side defensive end for the 2019 class. As a redshirt freshman during Miami’s 2020 season, Harvey totaled 18 tackles (five for loss) and 1 1/2 sacks (five quarterback hurries).After a pair of edge rushers departed as first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, the spotlight could find a next man up in Harvey.”"

Diaz has continually produced defensive linemen during his five seasons in Miami. The lack of significant snaps that Harvey has received during his Miami Hurricanes career is not indicative of the potential that he has. Phillips and Greg Rousseau became All-American the last two seasons without previously being a factor.

Next. Miami must get 2022 four-star LB Wesley Bissainthe. dark

Phillips and Rousseau were both first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. With a breakout season in 2021, Harvey could decide to leave for the NFL. The greater likelihood is that Harvey will step up for the Miami Hurricanes this season to give the Hurricanes at least a good three-man rotation at edge rusher.