Miami football adds experience and size with UL transfer LB KJ Cloyd

Sep 25, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA;.Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA;.Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program added experience and size with 6’2 and 229-pound Louisville graduate transfer linebacker K.J. Cloyd. New Miami LB coach Derek Nicholson coached Cloyd during his three seasons with the Cardinals. Cloyd recorded 40 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery with Louisville.

Louisville signed Cloyd in 2020 out of Columbia, Mississippi and Jones College. Cloyd was the 115th junior college prospect, seventh outside LB and 25th prospect in Mississippi per the 247 Sports composite rankings. Cloyd started one of the 36 games for Louisville and was a key contributor on special teams.

Pro Football Focus graded Cloyd with a 71.8 run grade and a 70.8 pass-rushing grade during his Louisville tenure on 326 snaps per Gaby Urrutia of Inside the U. The Miami football program gains depth with the addition of Cloyd. Sophomore Wesley Bissainthe could be pushed for playing time by Cloud.

Cloyd had his best performance in his final ACC game for Louisville with four tackles against North Carolina State in November. Miami continues to add length at LB. Washington State transfer Francisco Mauigoa and the five 2023 high school signees at LB are all at least 6’2 and 210 pounds.

Cloyd adds another LB in the transformation at the position on the 2023 roster. Miami has been undersized and lacked consistent production at LB since Michael Pinckney and Shaq Quarterman finished their Miami careers after the 2019 season. Cloyd should receive more defensive snaps with Miami than he did with Louisville.

Miami returns Bissainthe, 5’11 and 230 pounds, Corey Flagg and 5’11 and 205 pounds Keontra Smith as the primary LBs from last season. Flagg is expected to back up Mauigoa and Smith will likely be utilized as an outside LB and in the hybrid LB, safety star position Miami utilizes.

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Cloyd was the 98th prospect, 11th LB and 23rd player in Mississippi as a four-star recruit in the 2019 class per On3. Miami has the seventh-best transfer 2023 transfer class per 247 Sports. Cloyd is the 15th transfer added to the 2023 Miami football roster. Cloyd will create competition for Miami at LB.