3 Miami football defensive freshmen to watch in spring game

Several freshmen have been impressive this spring for the Miami football program on defense and have a chance to make an impact during the spring game on Saturday.
Chaminade-Madonna's Zaquan Patterson (12) walks off the field to meet with his team during a
Chaminade-Madonna's Zaquan Patterson (12) walks off the field to meet with his team during a / Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA

It's been a productive spring for the Miami football program. Several freshmen have impressed observes this spring during practice. On defense, edge rusher Cole McConathy, linebacker Cameron Pruitt and safety Zaquan Patterson are players to watch during Miami's spring game on Saturday.

Miami emphasized defense in the transfer portal for the 2024 roster. Six of the nine transfer additions for Miami are on defense. Several freshmen have shined for Miami defensively during spring practice. Per the consensus reports, McConathy, Patterson and Pruitt have stood out.

One-third of the defensive transfers Miami brought in were at safety. Miami needed to improve its safety depth with the departures of starters Kamren Kinchens and James Williams. Patterson is competing to be a starter with transfers Mishael Powell, Savion Riley and Isaiah Taylor. Powell has primarily played slot DB this spring. 

Patterson is one of four safeties Miami signed in the 2024 class. McConathy is also part of a deep group of defensive linemen, particularly edge rushers, in the 2024 class. The 2024 Miami DL class is considered the best in the country. Pruitt could have a clearer path to playing time at LB in 2024.

Zaquan Patterson. . 6'0, 185 pounds. Zaquan Patterson. Zaquan Patterson. 63. . Safety. player. 834

Like wide receiver JoJo Trader on offense, Patterson has received national praise for his performance this spring. Patterson is a versatile player who performs wherever he lines up. A valuable special teams performer, Patterson had 12 interceptions, seven blocked punts and two blocked field goals in high school.

Cameron Pruitt. . . 6'3, 187 pounds. 834. linebacker. Cameron Pruitt. 488. Cameron Pruitt. player

Pruitt is pushing the four 2023 Miami LB signees on the two-deep depth chart. With Francisco Mauigoa out this spring, Miami LBs behind him and Wesley Bissainthe have had a chance to assert themselves. Pruitt has put on 20 pounds, but at 6'2, 200, he still has to continue developing physically.

743. player. . edge rusher. 6'5, 225 pounds. Cole McConathy. . Cole McConathy. 834. Cole McConathy

McConathy was an exceptionally productive edge rusher in high school who did not receive as many accolades when he signed with Miami as the other DL in the 2024 class. McConathy had 111 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss, 24.5 sacks and 38 sacks as a senior in 2023. Expect McConathy to have some impact plays in the spring game.

Next. Miami defensive early enrollees spring expectations. Miami defensive early enrollees spring expectations. dark

The DL should be the strength of the 2024 Miami defense. Several 2024 signees should have a chance to contribute this season. Miami has opportunities throughout its defense for young players to make an impact. The spring game will be a chance to see who has developed in the last five weeks.