Miami Football: Top 3 breakout candidates for 2021 season

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Oct 28, 2017; Tempe, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans safety Bubba Bolden (2) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bubba Bolden

With so many key departures from last season’s defense, the Hurricanes need USC transfer Bubba Bolden to be the heart and soul of the defense. Bolden does not necessarily have to be the best player on the defense but needs to be its leader.

That’s not to say Bolden will not be the best player on the defense, however. Bolden led the Hurricanes in tackles and also led the ACC in forced fumbles. Bolden quarterbacks the secondary, but the ‘Canes need more from him. Miami needs player leadership as head coach Manny Diaz continues to change the culture at “The U”.

Not only does Diaz want to change the culture, but he also wants to change the narrative at Miami. The Hurricanes beat the teams they were supposed to beat last season, but the losses last season were bad.

The blowout losses to Clemson and North Carolina were poor defensive performances. If Miami expects to contend in the ACC Coastal this fall, they have to be better against the top of the conference, specifically North Carolina.

This season, Bolden has to be to the defense what D’Eriq King is to the offense; steady, consistent on the field, and a leader off the field.

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