Miami football alum Jaelan Phillips named 10th best transfer CFP era

Oct 10, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2020; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports /

Jaelan Phillips made a big impact on the Miami football program during his one season in 2020. Phillips was a menace for the Miami football team defensively during an 8-3 season. Mike Farrell of Rivals.Com named Phillips the 10th best transfer during the College Football Playoff era that began in 2014.

Phillips was the number one player in the country when he signed with UCLA in 2019. Injuries hindered Phillips’ career with the Bruins before he temporarily retired in 2018. Phillips transferred to Miami in January 2019, sat out that season before his stellar 2020. Phillips had 45 tackles 15.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks in 2020.

Quincy Roche and Phillips gave Miami a pair of outstanding edge rushers. Phillps breakout season resulted in him earning second-team All-American. A few plays and games stood out in 2020. Against Florida State, Phillips made an athletic interception off an ill-advised pass attempt by Jordan Travis of Florida State.

Phillips played his best in the last four games of 2020. In the final four games of the 2020 regular season, Phillips finished with 26 tackles, 11 TFLs and 6.5 sacks. Phillips opted out of Miami’s 2020 Cheez-It Bowl loss to Oklahoma State to get ready for the NFL Draft. Phillips had one of the best seasons by a Miami DE in history.

"10. DE Jaelan Phillips“UCLA to Miami: UCLA landed Phillips coming out of high school, an absolute coup for the Bruins, as he was a top-10 prospect in the country for the 2017 class. But injuries derailed his career early and he actually medically retired from the game after the 2018 season.He transferred to Miami before 2019 and had a huge impact after he was forced to sit out a year. A second-team All-American as a senior, he ended up being drafted in the first round by the Dolphins. He didn’t impact the playoff but his ability to come back from medical retirement through a transfer was big.”"

Miami challenged for a spot in the College Football Playoff when the Hurricanes began the season 8-1. A loss in the final game of the regular season to North Carolina ended those hopes. The Cheez-it Bowl loss without Phillips was the fourth straight postseason defeat for Miami. Phillips was a perfect addition in the Miami defense.

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When he was selected 18th overall by the Dolphins in the 2021 NFL Draft, Phillips was the first DE taken. Former Miami DE Greg Rousseau was the final edge rusher taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft when he was selected by the Buffalo Bills 30th overall. The Miami football program is looking for their next star DE.