Despite losing several key players on the defensive side of the ball, the Miami Hurricanes have what it takes to make the leap from a good defense to a great one.
The big question mark is how the Canes will replace first round draft pick cornerback Artie Burns, fifth round draft pick safety Deon Bush, and other impact players like linebacker Raphael Kirby.
With four of the top five tacklers from last year’s season returning, the Canes will have more than enough to make up for the lost players. With a stacked defensive line returning with defensive ends Trent Harris, Chad Thomas, and Al-Quadin Muhammad, and defensive tackles Kendrick Norton and Courtel Jenkins, Miami will look to control the line of scrimmage this year.
Along with the powerful defensive line, the Hurricane linebacking corps looks to be strong with last year’s leading tackler, strong side linebacker Jermaine Grace leading the way. Following his lead will be junior’s middle linebacker Juwon Young (suspended) and weak side linebacker Darrion Owens who have shown promise and potential throughout their time at the U. The front seven are expected to dominate opponents all year long.
Supporting the front seven is a secondary that is returning two key stars in cornerback Corn Elder and safety Jamal Carter who both shined in the spotlight for Miami last season. The pair will look to make up for the loss of Artie Burns and Deon Bush through performing among the top defensive backs in the nation. Assisting them will be cornerback Sheldrick Redwine (sophomore) and Rayshawn Jenkins (senior) who both played well in their roles last season. Luckily, for new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, the Hurricanes roster is returning plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball. As long as these players are given the right opportunities they will perform for the University of Miami this year.
Best of luck to them as they work their way back towards greatness.