With loads of returning production on both sides of the ball and impact transfers coming in, Miami football is hoping for a big season in 2021.
Last season was largely seen as a step forward for the Miami football program, getting eight wins and spending the entire season ranked. The Hurricanes beat every team that they were supposed to beat, but in the big games against top teams like North Carolina and Clemson, Miami left much to be desired.
In 2021, Miami will hope to have better performance when the lights are shining brightest and to do that, they will have to work on some of their issues this spring.
Miami is returning the third-most production in the country heading into 2021, but this spring will be about figuring out if any of the returning guys could/should be replaced by younger players waiting on their opportunity.
On offense, the only guy that will be missing is tight end Brevin Jordan, who left early for the NFL draft. The offensive line will have continuity for the first time in years and all of the top receivers and running back will return. The biggest key is going to be the health of quarterback D’Eriq King, who tore his ACL in the bowl game against Oklahoma State.
On defense, the losses of defensive ends Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips is going to be huge. Phillips emerged as a huge threat last season. Miami will need young guys to step up.
Two welcome additions on defense will be transfers Deandre Johnson, a defensive end from Tennessee and Tyrique Stevenson, a defensive back from Georgia. Those two guys should be able to give Miami some leadership and experience on the defense.
This is a big year for Manny Diaz and the Miami program. The experience is there and there will be expectations to win the coastal division this fall. To do that, the Hurricanes will have to fix some of their bigger issues this spring.
Here are the three storylines to watch this spring for Miami.