Miami football ranked 16th nationally by longtime CFB analyst Phil Steele

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 30: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Longtime college football analyst Phil Steele ranked the Miami football team 16th nationally in his annual preview via 247 Sports. The summary by Steele via 247 was short and concise. Only the recovery of quarterback D’Eriq King being 100 percent following offseason ACL surgery was mentioned.

All signs have pointed towards King making a full recovery. The Miami football staff have stated that King has smashed every milestone during his rehab during the offseason. Having King healthy is essential for the Hurricanes 2021 season. Miami will likely be favored in every game except Alabama and North Carolina.

The Hurricanes open the season on September 4 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta against the Crimson Tide. Miami travels to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina on October 16. North Carolina being the consensus favorite to win the ACC Coastal Divison should help alleviate pressure for Miami in 2021.

The second season under offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee with King returning for another season should elevate the Miami offense this season. Steele highlighted the most glaring need on the Miami football team in 2021 is the need to generate a pass rush after losing Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche to the 2021 NFL Draft.

"16. MIAMI HURRICANESWhat Steele says: “D’Eriq King should be 100% and Miami should have its best team yet under Manny Diaz.”Our take: Miami did not play with a full deck this spring, but gets its best player, quarterback D’Eriq King, in back in time for fall practice in prep for a title run in the ACC Coastal this season. For now, the Hurricanes are playing second fiddle in the preseason to North Carolina and that’s just fine with Manny Diaz.The most important factor for this year’s success after the quarterback spot is along the defensive front and finding pass rushers to replace Gregory Rousseau and Jaelan Phillips. No team in college football has a bigger opportunity than the Hurricanes during Week 1 against Alabama in Atlanta."

Steele also ranks the Miami football program second in the ACC Coastal as quoted in a separate article by 247 Sports. Miami was picked second by Steele behind North Carolina. The return of King is big for Miami on and off the field. Head coach Manny Diaz has credited King with helping change the culture of the Miami football program.

"2. MIAMI HURRICANESMiami took a significant step forward this year, going from six wins in the first year under Manny Diaz to eight last year and sniffing around for a College Football Playoff berth. While they came up just short, the Hurricanes were an incredibly impressive team.The biggest thing, though, is the fact that the Hurricanes get D’Eriq King back at quarterback. Assuming that King can recover from his torn ACL from last season and be back to the player he once was, he will be huge for the Hurricanes as they look for an ACC title."

Miami has to keep the momentum going in 2021. Improving from 6-7 to 8-3 in the second season under Manny Diaz was a big step. After blowout losses to Clemson and North Carolina in 2020, the Hurricanes need better performances against Alabama and the Tar Heels in 2021. Continued development is critical to Diaz’s legacy.

Next. Manny Diaz ranked ACC fourth best head coach. dark

Miami needs to keep winning in 2021 to continue its momentum on the field and in recruiting. Miami signed the 11th ranked Class in 2021 but have only three commits for 2022. Getting off to a good start during the 2021 season with four straight home games after playing Alabama sets up momentum before playing North Carolina.