The grass is green, the sky is blue, and Miami will have another group of talented defensive ends to choose from this season. I love routine, and Miami’s defensive line has been that for several seasons now. As such, I wanted to take a look at the 2019 defensive line, specifically the DE position, and “rack ‘em and stack ‘em” in preparation for the season opener.
A legitimate 2 deep across the line will go a long way in Miami’s quest to return to national prominence. The lack of a weak spot on the D-Line will mean less double teams by opposing offensive lines, and the necessity to keep the backs and/or tight ends at the line of scrimmage to protect the quarterback. Expect a lot of sacks, tackles for loss, and general havoc on the line. A lot can change between now and August 24th, but let’s take this snapshot and run with it until further notice.
Here is the list of contenders (Alphabetical order):
Jonathan is a returning starter at defensive end, and has the greatest star potential for the 2019 year. He is the only clear-cut starter of the bunch in my opinion having played in 26 consecutive games, and starting the last 13. He is a well-balanced edge rusher entering his Junior season with Miami. Expect him to emerge as a leader on the defensive side of the ball after a season that saw him stack up 60 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and five PBUs. For good measure, he added his first touchdown of his career on a fumble return versus the Tar Heels. Garvin was in the backfield early and often providing Miami with a disruptive force that ranked fourth in ACC and second on the team (behind Gerald Willis) with 17 tackles for loss. Not a bad resume for a Senior, let alone a Sophomore. Barring a major injury, expect Garvin to set the edge, and to control the LOS.
Harvey was the first player from the “Surge19“ class that officially signed with Miami during the early signing period. Having taken no official visits other than Miami, the proof is in the pudding that he was ALL cane from the start. As an early enrollee, he has taken the off-season program seriously, and has worked himself into playing shape rather quickly. Harvey’s defensive line coach at Vero Beach was former Hurricanes tight end Randy Bethel. Randy is also the father of current Hurricanes Senior Defensive Tackle Pat Bethel. With a long frame, and good speed, expect him to put on weight and still perform at an optimal level. Here’s a good player profile on him from earlier in the year.
If you think that the addition of Virginia Tech transfer Trevon Hill gives Miami an immediate impact player with NFL potential, you’re absolutely right. Without question, Tre is a talented edge rusher. Although he hasn’t played in a year, Hill is impressive when on the field. He spent four seasons at Virginia Tech, seeing action in 30 games with the Hokies after red shirting his freshman year. He had 16 starts, 94 tackles, 20.0 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks in two-plus seasons. He only played 3 games of what was expected to be a breakout Junior season last year before being dismissed from the team by Head Coach Justin Fuente. At the time, Coach Fuente noted it wasn’t just one incident that precipitated Hill’s dismissal. I read that as Tre has had some “issues” off the field that have hindered his ability to fully grow on the field. Hill is an admittedly passionate teammate, so let’s hope he has learned from his past situations, is willing to channel his passion, and will lead by example this season. I see him as a day 1 contributor, and potential starter if he is able to acclimate to the team and the staff well. We’re rooting for you, son. Be great!
As a redshirt senior, Patchan is one of most experienced and resilient players on the team. He saw action in 12 of 13 games and finished with career-high 29 tackles (14 solo) last season. Patchan has been the consummate team player during his tenure at Miami having endured a season ending knee injury in 2016, followed by switching to tight end to fill the void left when the TE group was thin due to injury in 2017. In 2018, the legacy Hurricane (his father Matt won championships with Miami in ’83 and ’87) had a good year as a back up. This season, Patchan should be a significant contributor. I don’t expect him to crack the starting lineup, barring injury at the position, but he will see significant snaps.
Miami’s defense was led by redshirt freshman Greg Rousseau in the spring who had at least 8 sacks. He saw action in just two games his freshman year before suffering a season-ending ankle injury that required surgery. Rousseau had five tackles (one solo) in a win over Savannah State prior to his injury. At 6’6 and 250lbs, Rousseau’s size, speed, and athleticism will undoubtedly create problems for opposing offensive lines. Believe it or not, Rousseau played WR and S among other positions in high school. Yeah, he’s a freak of nature athletically. I expect him to have a breakout year in 2019. Rousseau discusses his comparisons to longtime NFL veteran Calais Campbell with the Miami Herald.
Cam Williams is a jewel awaiting his opportunity to shine. Another tall and slim Defensive End at 6’5 and 215lbs, he has been on campus for a couple of weeks now and isn’t looking to wait around for an opportunity. His initial contribution will likely be in passing situations, but I expect the strength and nutrition staffs will beef him up into an every down body type during the season. His style of play could benefit from some adjustments at the collegiate level, and I am confident he will be able to make the transition. You can read more about him in this player profile we posted previously.
Former UCLA DE Jaelan Phillips has joined the team, but will sit out the 2019 season in accordance of NCAA transfer rules. Phillips will likely have an impact on the scout team.
With a legit two deep at the position that could start, our defensive end position group should be a force to be reckoned with this coming season. Equally impressive depth and talent at the defensive tackle position will bode well for the defense’s ability to create havoc in Blake Baker’s system. Expect this group to apply maximum pressure on opposing quarterbacks, which should create opportunities for turnovers.
DE position rankings
- Jonathan Garvin
- Gregory Rousseau
- Trevon Hill
- Scott Patchan
- Jahfari Harvey
- Cameron Williams
- Jaelan Phillips (ineligible this season due to NCAA transfer rules)
Rousseau over Hill may seem like a shocker, but with Rousseau having an excellent spring after his return from injury, and Hill being new to the program, I’m giving a slight edge to Rousseau. Regardless of who starts, I expect all of the defensive ends to play meaningful snaps this season.
I welcome the best player at every position earning the privilege to start. This is, after all, The New Miami. #TNM
Here is you chance to name the starters
What DE combo will start vs UF?
This poll is closed
Some other combo (comment below)
How did my rankings compare against yours?
Let me know in the comments below.