Rueben Bain added to his legendary status when Pro Football Focus tweeted that he was the top-graded Power Five freshman edge rusher nationally in 2023. Bain had a breakout true freshman season for the Miami football team in 2023. Miami had to elevate Bain to a starting role early in the season.
Bain was pressed into a starting role after Miami lost first-team edge rushers Nyjalik Kelly and Akheem Mesidor with season-ending injuries. Bain started in the last 10 2023 games after being elevated to first-team in the third game of the season. Expect Bain to enter 2024 with some preseason All-ACC recognition.
Bain erupted in the middle of the season with five consecutive games with a tackle for loss and four straight contests with a sack. The two biggest breakout games for Bain came at the end of October in wins over Clemson and Virginia. Bain had eight tackles, two TFLs, two sacks and a forced fumble versus Clemson.
Bain was named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week and ACC Rookie of the Week for his performance versus Clemson. After recording 7.5 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, two sacks and a pass breakup versus Virginia, Bain earned his second consecutive ACC Rookie of the Week award.
Bain finished the 2023 season with 43 tackles, 12.5 TFLs, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass breakup. The ACC named Bain the 2023 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Bain was named a Freshman All-American by 247Sports. Bain was first among true freshmen nationally with 42 quarterback pressures,
Bain was consistent throughout the season, with at least two tackles in every game as a starter and tackles for loss in seven games while starting. The injuries to Kelly and Mesidor forced Bain to play a lot of snaps in 2023. With Alston added to the roster and Kelly and Mesidor healthy, Bain should be fresher in 2024.
Led by Bain and with Kelly and Mesidor returning in 2024, Miami should have a dominant pass rush. Miami finished 18th, averaging 6.77 tackles for loss per game and 22nd with 2.69 sacks per game in 2023. Those numbers have the potential to increase significantly during the 2024 season.