National expert believes Miami football has improved ACC title chances

Aug 28, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program has added 11 transfers during the 2022 offseason. National college football expert Mike Farrell named Florida State and Miami as the teams in the ACC that “have Improved Their Chances in Conference With the Portal .” Seven of the 11 transfers Miami has added for 2022 are on defense.

Mario Cristobal has put an emphasis on the Miami defensive line. Miami has added five defensive linemen to the 2022 rosters. Edge rushers Akheem Mesidor and Mitchell Agude, linebacker Caleb Johnson and cornerback Darryl Porter Jr. are expected to start this season. Miami also added depth on the DL.

Jacob Lichtenstein and Antonio Moultrie are expected to provide Miami with snaps at end and tackle. Tackle Darrell Jackson has a bright future after recording 22 tackles for Maryland as a true freshman in 2021. On offense, running back Henry Parrish and wide receiver Frank Ladson provide Miami with more playmakers.

Miami needs more production defensively in 2022. The Hurricanes finished an uncharacteristic 42nd in 2021 averaging 2.75 sacks per game. Johnson should help improve the poor tackling Miami has had the last few seasons. Miami finished 48th allowing 3.89 rushing yards per carry in 2021.

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"Miami — Mario Cristobal entered Miami with weaknesses at WR and DL and now the defensive line is a strength. Additions of Akheem Mesidor and Darrell Jackson are huge for the pass rush as well as stopping the run and LB Caleb Johnson is a tackling machine.The defense has improved enough to make a push in their division."

Agude had 55 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2021 for UCLA. Mesidor 48, eight and 4.5 for West Virginia last season.  Jackson gives Miami exceptional size in the middle of the DL at 6’6, 300 pounds. Johnson had 45 tackles and three pass breakups since 2021. Miami will need more big plays from Johnson in 2022.

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After recording 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks for UCLA in 2020, Johnson did not have any TFLs last season. Kevin Steele and Charlie Strong bring over 70 years of experience as the new co-defensive coordinators for Miami. Expect more accountability and physicality throughout the Miami football program under Cristobal.