Miami football building blue-chip linebacking corps

Sep 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Richard Graulich-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Richard Graulich-USA TODAY Sports /

Four-star prospect Malik Bryant is the latest blue-chip linebacker to commit to the Miami football program. Bryant is the third blue-chip LB who has committed or signed with Miami in the last seven months. Chase Smith helped Miami set the foundation at LB as a 2021 signee. Miami has five blue-chip LBs on the 2022 roster.

In addition to Smith, the 2022 Miami football roster has true freshman Wesley Bissainthe, Gilbert Frierson, Avery Huff and Keontra Smith as the blue-chip LBs on the Miami roster. All five players were rated four stars when they signed with Miami. Frierson signed with the Hurricanes as a cornerback and Keontra Smith as a safety.

Frierson and Keontra Smith were converted to the previous hybrid position as strikers and is currently called a star under new co-defensive coordinators Kevin Steele and Charlie Strong. They are listed as LBs on the official athletic department website MiamiHurricanes.Com. Miami has needed an upgrade of talent at LB since 2019.

Michael Pinckney and Shaq Quarterman concluded their tenure as four-year starters at LB for Miami at the end of the 2019 season. Miami has struggled with inconsistent play at LB since Pinckney and Quarterman graduated.  Caleb Johnson transferred from UCLA to Miami during the 2022 offseason.

Johnson is the projected starting middle LB in 2022 with one season of eligibility remaining. Aguirre, Bissainthe, Bryant and Chase Smith will have a chance to compete to be the starting Miami LBs in 2023. They would give Miami traditional blue-chip LBs. Strong led the recruitments for Aguirre and Bryant.

Aguirre and Bryant are the best traditional LB pair Miami has signed since Pinckney and Quarterman in 2016. Johnson and Waynmon Steed are the only Miami LBs in their last season of eligibility entering the 2022 season. The LB corps will be worth watching for potential Miami transfers.

Next. Miami gets commitment from 4-star LB Malik Bryant. dark

The infusion of talent for Miami at LB could cause to lose at least one LB following the 2022 season. Miami lost LBs Bradley Jennings Jr., Tirek Austin-Cave and Deshawn Troutman since the beginning of the 2021 season. Upgrading the talent at LB has been critical for the Miami football program.