The Miami football program received a huge boost with a report from Christopher Stock of Inside the U that defensive lineman Jacob Lichtenstein will return for a seventh season. Miami loses senior DL Mitchell Agude and Antonio Moultrie. Defensive tackle Allan Haye and lineman Elijah Roberts chose to enter the transfer portal.
Lichtenstein returned to South Florida from USC during the 2022 offseason. A Weston Cypress Bay alum, Lichtenstein played in eight games in 2022 with four tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and a blocked field goal. Per Stock Lichtenstein missed the last four games with an injury.
Miami is expected to return DTs Jared Harrison-Hunte, Darrell Jackson and Leonard Taylor and edge rushers Jahfari Harvey and Akheem Mesidor. Per Stock Lichtenstein “Averaged 10.4 snaps per game and received a 66.8 defensive grade with a 73.7 pass-rushing grade, good for fifth-best on the team, according to Pro Football Focus.”
Lichtenstein can play the seventh season because of a redshirt season and medical redshirt while at USC in addition to the freeze of eligibility for all NCAA athletes during the 2020-21 school year. Lichtenstein is important to the Miami football roster due to his ability to play defensive end and tackle.
The report that Lichtenstein is good news for Miami on the first day that players can enter the transfer portal. Miami will have a very experienced DL in 2023. Expect Mario Cristobal and his staff to try and add more DL through the transfer portal. Miami has three DL committed to its 2023 recruiting class.
Four-star edge rusher Jayden Wayne committed to Miami in July. Miami received commitments from four-star edge rusher Collins Achaempong and three-star tackle Joshua Horton in the last week. They join a talented group of 2022 Miami DL signees that included Nyjalik Kelly and Cyrus Moss.
Kelly had 11 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks as a true freshman in 2022. Cristobal has made the defensive and offensive lines a priority since being hired nearly a year ago. Miami needs more consistent production upfront in 2023 to improve on the disappointing 5-7 2022 season.