Miami football adding USC DT transfer Jacob Lichtenstein helps depth

Sep 18, 2021; Pullman, Washington, USA; Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2021; Pullman, Washington, USA; Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program added four-star defensive tackle Jacob Lichtenstein from USC on Friday. Lichtenstein prepped at Cypress Bay high school in Fort Lauderdale. After an injury-plagued career with the Trojans, Lichtenstein had his best season in 2021 with 28 tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks.

Miami needed to add depth at DT with Jon Ford and Nesta Silvera moving on after this season. Lichtenstein was a three-star signee with USC in 2017. Coming out of Cypress Bay, Lichtenstein was the 529th ranked player, 20th rated DT and 70th in Florida. Miami did not offer Lichtenstein out of high school.

Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were ACC rivals that offered Lichtenstein out of high school. Lichtenstein also received an offer from Alabama among multiple other Power Five programs. Miami adds their first transfer during the Mario Cristobal era in the 6’6, 270 pound Lichtenstein.

Lichtenstein started eight games for USC in 2021 according to David Lake of Inside the U. Miami will likely start fourth-year sophomore Jared Harrison-Hunte and true sophomore, Leonard Taylor, at defensive tackle in 2022. Lichtenstein provides much-needed depth for Miami with fifth-year junior Jordan Miller in 2022.

Finally healthy, Lichtenstein should be a valuable addition to the Miami football program. Lichtenstein missed time with calf and knee injuries during his USC career. Lichtenstein played in all 12 USC games in 2021. Prior to 2021, Lichtenstein played in only two games in 2020 after opting out of the first four.

Lichtenstein missed the first four games of the 2019 season recovering from offseason knee surgery. The addition of Lichtenstein accomplishes two goals Miami head coach Mario Cristobal mentioned during Early National Signing Day on Wednesday. Miami adds size upfront and brings a local player home.

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Cristobal stressed the importance of Miami signing local players during his introductory press conference last week and during the Early National Signing Day meeting with reporters on Wednesday. Miami is expected to continue to be active in the transfer portal. Alabama CB Marcus Banks is expected to commit to Miami.