Miami football should look into Oregon transfer LB Isaac Slade-Matautia

Dec 6, 2019;Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2019;Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier this year head coach Manny Diaz said the Miami football team could add a transfer linebacker during the offseason. Oregon transfer LB Isaac Slade-Matautia is experienced and was extremely productive the last two seasons with the Ducks. Miami had inconsistent LB play in 2020.

In 28 games during three seasons with Oregon after a redshirt season, Slade-Matauatia had 131 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 16 pass breakups. Slade-Matauatia signed with Oregon in 2017 as the 325th ranked player, 16th ranked outside LB and second-ranked player in Hawaii.

Coming out of high school, Slade-Matautia considered Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, UCF, Washington and Washington State. Slade-Matautia considering UCF shows he had an interest in playing in Florida. Adding experience at LB would be a big boost to a position group of players still developing.

Slade-Matautia was named to the Butkus Award Watch list during the summer of 2020. There are two seasons of eligibility remaining for Slade-Matautia. Slade-Matautia redshirted with Oregon in 2017. There was no indication from Slade-Matautia which schools he is considering as a transfer.

No expert projections have been made about which program Slade-Matautia could transfer to. Slade-Matautia had arguably his best season in a shortened campaign for Oregon in 2020. In games against UCLA, Oregon State and the Ducks Fiesta Bowl loss to Iowa State, Slade-Matautia had 33 tackles, 0.5 sacks and two pass breakups.

The games against the Bruins and Ducks were back to back. The Miami football team missed that type of dominant play from a LB In 2020 after losing four-year starters Michael Pinckney and Shaq Quarterman following the 2019 season. Bradley Jennings Jr. will be challenged for first-team snaps in 2021 for Miami.

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Zach McCloud who started at LB with Pinckney and Quarterman beginning as true freshmen in 2016 through 2018 has moved to defensive end. Second-year LB Corey Flagg and Sam Brooks and Avery Huff who are entering their third seasons with the Miami football program are most likely to contend for snaps at LB.