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Miami Needs To Land UCLA Transfer LB’s Jaelan Phillips and Rahyme Johnson

Landing these two UCLA transferring linebackers would benefit the Canes for several reasons.

Texas A&M v UCLA Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

National Signing Day is now over for the Hurricanes, but that doesn’t mean the transfer train stops for Manny Diaz’s team. Miami and its staff have done a great job this offseason at landing transfer players like Tate Martell, Trevon Hill, Tommy Kennedy and several others who have made the switch to UM.

Even so, additional opportunities are always emerging and two players have now risen to the top of Miami’s priority list, or at least should be near the top. UCLA linebackers Jaelan Phillips and Rahyme Johnson have both entered their names into the transfer portal, and would be yet another home-run-snag for the Canes.

Both players have already played two seasons for the Bruins.

Phillips announced that he’d transfer from UCLA back in December, and has hinted heavily towards coming to Miami. Phillips finished No. 1 on the 247Sports Composite in the class of 2017, but injuries has served as a halt in his college career so far through two years, playing in just 10 games.

Though, the talent is obviously there. In only the 10 games he’s appeared in, Phillips has 41 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Johnson is another product of the 2017 recruiting class, and was the No. 19 athlete recruit that year. The California native announced Wednesday he’d been leaving UCLA.

In Johnson’s case, he just hasn’t been able to see the field very much, seeing action in only three games in two seasons. And there’s been several reasons for that apparently, whether it wasn’t meshing with head coach Chip Kelly or supposedly a suspension.

Just like Phillips though, the talent is absolutely there for Johnson. Sometimes a player just doesn’t fit a certain program or scheme, case in point Gerald Willis III. Plus if there’s one thing coach Diaz and the defensive staff have been able to do over the past three years, it’s develop linebackers.

These two transferring to Miami would be beneficial for a couple reasons. One, in a year from now, the Canes linebacking depth will be lacking a bit, when Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, Zach McCloud and Romeo Finley (mainly striker) are all graduating following 2019. The Canes added two LB’s in this years recruiting class in Avery Huff and Samuel Brooks, but depth and experience will be in short supply going forward.

Also, them coming to UM would help further strengthen recruiting ties for Miami and California. They’ve already added grad-transfer and fellow UCLA Bruin defensive lineman Chigozie Nnoruka a few weeks ago, as well as bringing on Bubba Bolden, transfer safety from USC. And let’s be honest, you can never have enough connections to California for recruiting.

This is a process that looks to have some real potential as well. We know that Phillips is seriously considering Miami, but ever since Johnson announced he was transferring, the two have been talking via the Twitter.

So as we’ve been doing the past month as Canes fans, let’s get on that Twitter and wait for a possible announcement.