Miami football significantly upgraded experience with transfers

Sep 11, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team entered the 2022 offseason with a lack of experience at several positions. New head coach Mario Cristobal and his staff have adeptly used the transfer portal to improve the experience for the Hurricanes at multiple positions. Miami has added 11 transfers during the 2022 offseason.

Cornerback Darryl Porter Jr., defensive ends Mitchell Agude and Akheem Mesidor and linebacker Caleb Johnson all project as starters for the Miami football team on defense in 2022. Defensive linemen Jacob Lichtenstein and Antonio Moultrie add depth, experience at versatility to play inside and on the edge in 2022.

Defensive tackle Leonard Taylor is entering his second season of college football after tying for the team lead with 8.5 tackles for loss as a true freshman in 2021 despite playing limited snaps. Fourth-year redshirt sophomore Jared Harrison-Hunte and Taylor are the projected starting DTs in 2022.

Miami also added rising sophomore DT Darrell Jackson from Maryland. Jackson had 22 tackles for the Terrapins as a true freshman in 2021. Rising fifth-year redshirt junior DT Jordan Miller provides Miami with experience and depth. Harrison-Hunte, Jordan and Taylor were the only returning Miami DTs with extensive snaps.

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Porter is part of an experienced group of CBs for the Miami football program. Al Blades Jr., Marcus Clark, Marcus Clarke and Te’Cory Couch are all returning CBs for Miami who have started at some point in their careers. Tyrique Stevenson was the best CB for Miami during the 2021 season after transferring from Georgia.

Agude and Mesidor bring extensive experience as starters at UCLA and West Virginia. Jahfari Harvey and Chantz Williams return for Miami to provide the Hurricanes depth at edge rusher. Miami has a group of young talented edge rushers behind them who can develop this year and learn from the veterans.

Johnson is expected to start for Miami at middle LB over returning starter Corey Flagg. Keontra Smith and Waynmon Steed return for Miami at the outside LBs. Freshman Wesley Bissainthe is expected to challenge to be in the rotation at LB. Miami lost most of its depth at LB to the transfer portal.

On offense, running back Henry Parrish and wide receiver Frank Ladson add depth and experience. Parrish was the top RB for Miami this spring with returnees Don Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton out with injuries. Rising sophomore Thad Franklin is expected to be part of the rotation for Miami at RB in 2022.

Parrish is valuable as a receiver and runner out of the backfield. Miami lost Cody Brown as a transfer after spring practice. Highly touted true freshman RB TreVonte’ Citizen brings size and speed and could challenge for carries this season. Chaney, Knighton and Parrish provide Miami with good experience at RB.

Ladson will compete with Jacolby George and leading returning WR Key’Shawn Smith for first-team snaps as the outside WR in 2022. Smith started with leading receivers Mike Harley and Charleston Rambo in 2021. George had an outstanding spring and is a candidate for a breakout 2022 season.

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With 14 signees in the 2022 freshman class, Cristobal and his staff did an outstanding job using the transfer portal to add depth, experience at talent to the roster for the upcoming season. The transfers have a nice blend of experience and players with multi seasons of eligibility remaining.