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Position Preview: Defensive Tackle

For the third year in a row and new force must emerge.

Pittsburgh v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Miami has a long-standing tradition of dominant Defensive Tackle play going all the way back to the 80’s, and one thing Manny Diaz and his staff have been able to do is get that play closer to “Miami Standards”. The penetrating, attacking 4-3 defense has been a Canes staple since Jimmy Johnson took over way back in 1984, and having a disruptive force in the middle is key for this style of defense to have success. Gerald Willis IV was that guy a year ago, and someone must step up and fill his immense shoes.

Who are the candidates at DT in 2019?

North Carolina v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Pat Bethel – 22 tackles, 5 TFLs and 2 sacks in 2018. Bethel is a guy who has the potential to take the next step forward, and as a senior the time is now.

Jonathan Ford8 tackles, 2 TFLs in 2018, Ford is in a place now where he must step forward and become at minimum a true rotational piece.

Nesta Jade Silvera – 13 tackles, 1.5 TFLs in 2018, Jade entered with much fanfare last year, and now as a Sophomore must become a force. Has worked hard to reshape his body, which was softer than he wanted in the Pinstripe Bowl.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 21 Oregon at UCLA Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chigozie Nnoruka – Transfer from UCLA who has 1 year to play at Miami. Playing in a 2-gap system a year ago, Chigozie only registered 7 tackles, but the previous year in a system more like Miami’s he registered 46 tackles, 8 TFLs and 2 sacks. Should be motivated to show how good he can be.

Jordan MillerMiller is a Redshirt Freshman who also used this off-season to reshape his body. Has a chance to be a monster in the middle if given a chance to play. Has tremendous size.

Tyreic Martin – Martin has yet to register any stats in his Miami career. With more help on the way in the interior, Tyreic needs a big fall to gain any reps.

The Freshman Class

Jason Blissett – 6’3-1/2” 271 lbs composite 4 star out of Brooklyn, NY. Blissett has the best chance of any of the Freshman to play in 2019.

Jared Harrison-Hunte – 6’4” 286 lbs composite 3 star out of Middle Village, NY. Redshirt candidate.

Jalar Holley – 6’2” 280 lbs composite 3 star out of Buford, GA. Redshirt candidate.


Who will be Miami’s best DT in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Nesta Silvera
    (179 votes)
  • 8%
    Pat Bethel
    (30 votes)
  • 29%
    Jonathan Ford
    (104 votes)
  • 3%
    Jordan Miller
    (12 votes)
  • 5%
    Chigozie Nnoruka
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    Tyreic Martin
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    One of the true freshman
    (2 votes)
347 votes total Vote Now

Projected Depth Chart

Pat Bethel Chigozie Nnoruka

Jonathan Ford Nesta Silvera

Jordan Miller Jason Blissett

Tyreic Martin

Player with the Most to Prove

Nesta Jade Silvera – If “Jade” wants to “Make the Crib Great Again” he needs to become a wrecking ball this year and look close to RJ McIntosh from 2017 at minimum.

This group is young, and somewhat unproven, but in Manny Diaz’s scheme we have seen in 2017 and 2018 guys can step up. Judging by the spring, and the pictures from summer workouts, it is safe to say that Miami will not experience much, if any drop off in 2019.