Miami football defensive early enrollees spring expectations

Eight of the early enrollees for the Miami football program are on defense with most having high expectations.

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Five of the eight Miami football early enrollees on defense are blue-chip signees. Expect several of them to compete for first-team snaps and make an impact this spring. Defensive lineman Armondo Blount and edge rusher Marquise Lightfoot are two of the three five-star signees in the 2024 Miami class.

Five-star DL Justin Scott will arrive in Coral Gables later this year. Other defensive early enrollees are safeties Dylan Day, Zaquan Patterson and Isaiah Thomas, linebackers Adarius Hayes and Cameron Pruitt and edge rusher Cole McConathy. Hayes, Patterson and Pruitt are most likely to break through this spring.

Blount has the potential to play edge rusher or tackle. Lightfoot joins the deepest position on the Miami football team. Hayes and Pruitt join a relatively thin Miami LB corps. All-ACC Francisco Mauigoa returns as a starter with Wesley Bissaithe. The transfer of Corey Flagg to Missouri took away LB depth for Miami.

Day, Patterson, Thomas and the Miami secondary will work with new defensive backs coach Chevis Jackson. Miami hired Jackson after Jahmile Addae left the Hurricanes after two seasons to become the secondary coach with the Buffalo Bills. Jackson comes to Miami from Marshall.

Second-year Miami defensive coordinator Lance Guidry and Jackson worked together at Marshall in 2022. Guidry and Jackson led one of the top pass defenses nationally in 2022. Jackson is also an adept recruiter. Jackson was the top recruiter in the Mid American-Conference in 2017 per 247Sports.