The Hurricanes have concerns in a lot of places on the football field, and that statement should not be a surprise to anyone who has watched a Miami game this season.
One of those problems comes in the defensive backfield, with the concern of secondary depth behind the usual starters in the lineup.
In the safety room, only Gurvan Hall Jr. has earned himself a clear starting spot over the course of the season. Hall already has 28 total tackles and a sack to begin the season, and has started in each of the Hurricanes four games.
Alongside Hall, the Canes have seen two different safeties get starting time, with Amari Carter starting the first three game and Robert Knowles earning the start against Central Michigan after Knowles’ strong performance against Bethune-Cookman the week prior.
Knowles, however, has little experience in terms of starting games. Currently in his senior season, Knowles has started just three career games, with his second career start coming against Central Michigan just last Saturday.
While Carter has been better at safety for Miami, there’s still room for more depth, and talent, in the defensive backfield.
Enter JUCO transfer Bubba Bolden, who, as head coach Manny Diaz has confirmed, gets the chance to make his season and Hurricane debut after being ruled indelible to begin the 2019 season.
“Yeah, Bubba will be out there...,” Diaz told the Joe Rose show during his weekly appearance. “It will be good to see him going and providing more competition in our secondary. He’s been waiting around, he’s working really hard. I’m just excited to see Bubba get out on the field and play.”
The introduction of Bolden could not come at a better time for the Miami defense.
The Hurricanes can use Bolden’s terrific range, solid footwork and willingness to take contact at the point of attack in various situations, including safety and even special teams, which Bolden will likely play a lot to begin.
Talent wise, Bolden may have some of the most talent in the defensive backfield.
Coming out of high school, Bolden was ranked as a 4-star recruit and the 59th ranked overall player in the 2017 class. In January of 2017, Bolden committed to USC, where he saw just 13 games in the 2017 season.
Bolden’s first game will come against a struggling Virginia Tech team that ranks 86th in passing yards (214 yards) and 99th in points scored (23.3).
Following Virginia Tech is Virginia, who features one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC in Bryce Perkins, who finished the 2018 season with 2,680 passing yards, 923 rushing yards and 34 total touchdowns.
Against a player like Perkins and Virginia, Bolden’s versatility can play a huge factor for the Hurricanes defense, especially if the Hurricanes decide to attack the line of scrimmage with more players, including some from the defensive backfield.