The Miami football team added defensive tackles C.J. Clark and Marley Cook, edge rusher Elijah Alston and safeties Mishael Powell, Savion Riley and Isaiah Taylor as transfers on defense for the 2024 season. The six new players add depth at needed positions and several should become starters in 2024.
Miami lost defensive tackle Leonard Taylor to the 2024 NFL Draft. Clark projects as his primary replacement. In five seasons at North Carolina State, Clark had 72 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks over 42 games Clark played 25 games in the last two seasons.
Jared Harrison-Hunte returns for Miami and is projected to start next to Clark. Miami also added Middle Tennessee transfer Marley Cook. Sophomore Josh Horton and redshirt sophomore Ahmad Moten return for Miami in 2024 seeking bigger roles at DT. Miami signed five-star DTs Armondo Blount and Justin Scott in the 2024 class.
Entering spring practice, Clark and Harrison-Hunte project as the first-team DTs with Cook third in the rotation. Blount is an early enrollee. Scott will not arrive until summer but expect him to compete for snaps as a true freshman. Miami will be much deeper at DT in 2024. The Hurricanes could still add another transfer defensive lineman.
Alston adds experience and depth for Miami at edge rusher. With Rueben Bain, Nyjalik Kelly, Akheem Mesidor and Jayden Wayne returning and three four-star edge rushers in the 2024 classdge rusher will be the deepest position for Miami in 2024. Bain and Mesidor can move inside on passing downs.
Powell, Riley and Taylor could be the most important transfer additions for Miami other than quarterback Cam Ward. The departures of Kamren Kinchens and James Williams to the NFL a year early left Miami extremely thin at safety. Powell and Riley project to compete to be first-team safeties this spring.
Taylor projects more as a player who adds depth. Freshman Zaquan Patterson will also compete for first-team snaps at safety in 2024. Fifth-year redshirt junior, Brian Balom and redshirt sophomore Markeith Williams, also return for Miami at safety. Miami should be finished adding safeties to the 2024 roster.
Cornerback and linebacker will be the positions to watch this spring. Miami needs depth at CB and experience at LB entering the 2024 season. Miami incorporated CBs and LB Francisco Mauigoa into an improved defense in 2023. Expect Miami to continue being active in the transfer portal during the spring window.