Impact of Miami Hurricanes defensive linemen missing spring practice

Dec 18, 2021; Shreveport, LA, USA;. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2021; Shreveport, LA, USA;. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Hurricanes football program will be without defensive linemen, freshman Nyjalik Kelly, redshirt freshman Jabari Ishmael and UAB transfer Antonio Moultrie. Ishmael, Kelly and Moutrie are a part of 16 Miami players, 12 of whom are on defense. The missing players will have varying impacts on the Miami spring roster.

Kelly and Ismael were likely to challenge to be on the two-deep depth chart this spring. Moultrie is expected to backup projected starting defensive tackles Jared Harrison-Hunte and Leonard Taylor in 2022. Ishmael signed with the Miami Hurricanes as the 18th ranked edge rusher in the Class of 2021.

Ishmael and Kelly will miss opportunities to compete for what should be wide open spots at edge rusher. Jahfari Harvey and Chantz Williams return in 2022 as the projected starters for Miami at defensive end. Harvey and Williams need more consistency in 2022. Expect freshman Cyrus Moss to push Harvey and Williams.

Harvey had 26 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception that was returned for a touchdown and one pass breakup. Williams had 14 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks and two PBUs. Miami also has versatile DL, sophomore Elijah Roberts and USC transfer Jacob Lichtenstein. Roberts had 8 tackles, 0.5 TFLs and 0.5 sacks.

Lichtenstein had 42 tackles, eight TFLs, four sacks and one PBUs in primarily two seasons while missing most of his other two years at USC with injuries. Lichtenstein and Roberts can play inside or outside on the DL. Miami will likely utilize different combinations on the DL this spring. The Hurricanes have multiple options.

Moultrie is another versatile player on the Miami DL. At UAB, Moultrie played on the DL and linebacker. Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said Moultrie will be a DT for the Hurricanes. In four seasons at UAB, Moultrie had 116 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, two sacks, an interception, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

The loss of Moultrie this spring will hinder the Miami coaching staff from developing cohesiveness with Harrison-Hunte and Taylor. With Moultrie out this spring redshirt freshman Allan Haye and fifth-year redshirt junior Jordan Miller will rotate in behind Harrison-Hunte and Taylor this spring.

Next. Impact of four Miami offensive players missing spring practice. dark

Lichtenstein and Roberts will likely see snaps at DT in different formations. Miami should have enough depth on the DL this spring to absorb missing Ishmael, Kelly and Moultrie. Cristobal has hired a deep staff of talent coaches on the DL. Joe Salave’a comes from Oregon, plus Hall of Famer Jason Taylor and Rodrique Wright from UTSA.