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Miami Hurricanes NFL Draft Profile: DE Al-Quadin Muhammad

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AQM looks to realize his full potential in the NFL

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Measurements: Six foot three, 253 pounds

Hometown: Ramsey, New Jersey

High School: A weakside defensive end at Don Bosco Prep, one of the powerhouse programs in the state of New Jersey.

Miami Days

The highly touted Al-Quadin Muhammad from the prestigious Don Bosco Prep committed to the University of Miami. As close to a consensus four-star prospect as one can get, Muhammad represented the type of potential Hurricane that fans envisioned in a great pass-rusher screaming off the line of scrimmage.

Muhammad contributed immediately on defense as a reserve in the 2013 season. Playing all 13 games as part of the defensive rotation, Muhammad posted a respectable nine total tackles, two of which were sacks—a team high for freshmen that season. Based on that first year, it was clear that Muhammad had the skill set to ascend to a higher level of production in his sophomore season.

That progression unfortunately did not come to fruition. Muhammad was handed a season-long suspension for an altercation involving a former roommate after Miami’s spring game. Allowed to practice with the team during the initial two-game portion of his suspension, Muhammad seemed to be dealing with the news fairly well. Ultimately, it was decided that he would be ineligible throughout the entire season.

To his credit, it would have been easy for Muhammad to have transferred out of the program for a fresh start somewhere else, to distance himself from the incident and focus primarily on football. Instead, he stuck around, working on being both a better player on the field and a better person away from it. His absence from the team was a sizable blow to a player who former UM coach Al Golden described as one of the leaders on the team.

With a renewed passion for the game after missing his second season, Muhammad looked to make the most of his sophomore (redshirt) season in 2015. In his return to the field, he put together his best season as a Hurricane leading the team in sacks (5) and QB hurries (4). Playing as a stand-up linebacker in Miami’s 3–4 defensive scheme, Muhammad finished third on the team in total tackles with 54, adding a pass break up and a forced fumble. Once again, Muhammad had a good season and created the expectation that a better season was to follow.

But Muhammad would miss out on another season after he was suspended and later dismissed from the football program for his role in a luxury rental car scandal that violated NCAA rules. Following the decision that ended his college career, Muhammad was left with few options.

Ultimately, Muhammad declared for the 2017 NFL Draft, seeing himself as ready to tackle the next challenge of professional football.

There has to be plenty of interest in Muhammad, regardless of the incidents that occurred during his Miami tenure. He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February and welcomed back to the Greentree Practice fields on UM’s campus. For a man who has not played a game since December 26, 2015, Muhammad is doing his best to show how far he’s come to realizing his dream of making it to the NFL.

Best Game Film

Georgia Tech vs. Miami Hurricanes, November 21, 2015

Had 11 tackles, his first forced fumble in his collegiate career, and three tackles for loss

Who is Al-Quadin Muhammad? That’s what many evaluators and teams asked at the beginning of this draft process. Maybe even the man himself asked this question. Do some teams see him as a two-point edge rusher, or can he put his hands down to the ground and rush as a down lineman? The bigger question is, what kind of man will a team get when he comes into the building? Muhammad has publicly stated his regret for how his situation ended in Miami. He’s discussed that matter ad nauseam, about how he’s better for having gone through the adversity and what he brings to the table. Muhammad will be a bargain for whoever takes a chance on him. In a draft that has many great pass-rushers, Muhammad is one who should come in with the motivation to prove that he’s better than what his overall draft number indicates.