It’s not breaking news to anyone that the Hurricanes are running low on linebackers. Yes, Miami has seniors like Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud, but beyond them, the depth is not as deep as they’d like.
In yesterdays scrimmage, LB Bradley Jennings Jr. went down with an injury, and his return is not yet known. Jennings had been having an impressive spring thus far, but unfortunately his injury will set him back. Not only is Jennings down, but fellow linebacker Waymond Steed is also out with an injury.
UM does have incoming freshman LB’s who will join the Canes in the summer with Avery Huff and Sam Brooks, but Miami simply has to add some bodies in that unit.
Earlier this offseason, the Hurricanes were able to add to their roster via the transfer player, bringing on players such as K.J. Osborn, Tate Martell, among others. So the question is, should Miami look back to the portal to try and add depth to the linebacker position.
Here are available LB’s that are in the transfer portal at the moment.
Kylan Johnson (Florida):
Starting off with someone within the Sunshine state, Johnson is looking to move on from Gainesville. He will be able to play immediately. Johnson was mostly used as a reserve, but does have starting experience, making two starts in 2018 and playing in all 13 games. If Johnson came to Miami, he’d most likely be in the second rotation.
Florida LB Kylan Johnson has entered the transfer portal.— College Football Rankings (@CFBRanking) March 1, 2019
Johnson had 77 tkls, 5 tfl, 1 sk and 2 passes defended in 3 seasons with the Gators. 27 tkls and the 2 PDs came in 2018. pic.twitter.com/stegbNNXX2
Kylan Johnson was a sure-tackler for the Gators in 2016.— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) August 7, 2017
Can he keep that up, and even improve in 2017? pic.twitter.com/5ZouzNhxaT
Rahyme Johnson (UCLA):
Johnson is an outside linebacker who could benefit Blake Baker’s aggressive defense as a pass-rusher. The sophomore would most likely have to sit out 2019. Johnson was a teammate at UCLA with Jaelan Phillips who, as we know, has made the transfer himself to Coral Gables. Johnson only played in two games in 2018, but the former four-star recruit has obvious talent.
Now that I think about it, would be HUGE if Miami could land UCLA transfer LB's Rahyme Johnson and Jaelan Phillips. Quarterman, Pinckney, McCloud and Romeo are all gone after next season. Need that depth— Beat UF (@hurricanesmarsh) February 6, 2019
Jacob Hollins (Illinois):
Perhaps my favorite player on this list is Jacob Hollins, who announced just this month that he plans on transferring from Illinois. In his freshman season in 2018, Hollins played in only eight games, but had playing time on special teams and defense. The Fresno native was only a two-star recruit out of high school, but has tremendous upside.
LB Jacob Hollins has entered the NCAA transfer portal pic.twitter.com/xVWKXkfMs7— EZRecruiting (@RecruitingEz) April 9, 2019
Tyler Dunning (Mississippi State):
Dunning coming to Miami makes sense. The former three-star product of St.Thomas Aquinas in South Florida, Dunning was once upon a time committed to the Canes. Dunning redshirted this past year for the Bulldogs.
Now there are obviously others that Miami can after, but these are the ones that really stood out to me. Also, Canes coaches have made it clear that they will not bring in players just to fill needs, but that they’ll look for those who fit the defensive role and understand the program.