Miami Hurricanes DL should exceed 25th ranking nationally

Sep 30, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The addition of five transfers and the return of primary 2021 tackles Jared Harrison-Hunte and Leonard Taylor should give the Miami Hurricanes one of the defensive lines in the country in 2022. Expect Miami to exceed their ranking of the 25th best DL in college football by Athlon Sports this season.

Mitchell Agude from UCLA and Akheem Mesidor from West Virginia are projected to start for Miami at edge rusher. Maryland transfer Darrell Jackson has been pushing Harrison-Hunte and Taylor to start at defensive tackle. Jackson is massive at 6’6, 300 pounds and provides the Miami Hurricanes with run stuffer.

Jackson had 22 tackles as a true freshman for Maryland in 2021. Harrison-Hunte had 19 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, one pass breakup and four quarterback hits in 2021. Taylor was the Miami co-leader in 2021 with 8.5 TFLs and is primed for a breakout season in 2022. Miami will be extremely deep on the DL in 2022.

Jacob Lichtenstein from USC and UAB transfer Antonio Moultrie join the Miami DL and are expected to backup primarily at tackle with veteran Jordan Miller. Elijah Roberts returns and can play end or tackle. Competing for playing time with Agude and Mesidor, Miami returns Jahfari Harvey and Chantz Williams at edge rusher.

Harvey was the representative for the Miami defense at ACC Kickoff in July. Entering his fourth season, Harvey has the potential for a breakout season. Freshmen Nyjalik Kelly and Cyrus Moss are the likely third-team edge rushers with a chance to breakthrough for playing time. Kelly and Moss should have bright futures.

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Miami will play three of the top nine DLs in 2022 as ranked by Athlon. Clemson is the top-ranked DL, Pittsburgh fourth and Texas A&M ninth. The Hurricanes OL will have a tough challenge versus the Tigers, Panthers and Aggies. None of the top 10 offensive lines as ranked by College Football news are on the 2022 Miami schedule.