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Marsh’s Mailbag: 2021 Recruiting Needs. Worried About The Canes Defense?

Is there reason to be concerned about the Canes defense? Which 2021 QB’s are we looking at? That and more

Florida International v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Is the shadow of our past greatness hindering us from succeeding today?

In a very big way, yes I do, and I've thought that for a long time. I know that the Hurricanes have a storied history, five national championships, invented swagger, you know the story. However, every year, many of our fans still believe that it’s 2001, and they keep predicting an 11-12 win season, just based on the fact that we’re Miami.

I think that because of how successful we used to be, we as fans can’t humble ourselves and accept the fact that Miami has been pretty dreadful over the past 15 years, and that this program is rebuilding. This false sense of entitlement needs to get out of the program, and if the 2019 season didn’t prove that, then I don't know what to tell you.

I know that comes off bad, and I've been called a negative fan many times, but there’s a difference between being negative and being delusional. I don't think we’re going to go 14-0 every year because our 2001 team was the greatest of all-time, or that we’re the U, that doesn’t work for me. It’s ok to admit that we have a long process to go through before the Canes are back on top again.

My last thoughts on this question, again, because of the incredible teams to come through UM, current Canes teams will always be compared to the early 2000’s teams or Miami in the 80’s and early 90’s, and that’s just not fair. Hopefully that answers your question.

Who is your #1 choice for our 2021 QB (including committed QBs if there is a chance they open it back up) and who do you think we land?

Well if you’re including quarterbacks who are already committed, I'd have to go with Jake Garcia, Aaron McLaughlin or Garret Nussmeier. Sadly, Garcia has committed to USC, McLaughlin to NC State and Nussmeier to LSU.

Now, who do I think we land? I really think that Miami has a good shot at Jalen Milroe out of Katy, Texas. Milroe is committed to the Longhorns at the moment. One of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the 2021 class, Milroe is an exciting player to watch. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s apparently friends with D’Eriq King. We’ll see if Rhett Lashlee and company can pull a switch.

I think people are overhyping our defense, should we be worried on that side of the ball?

I’ve been asked this question a lot lately, many Canes fans are worried about certain parts about Miami’s defense, especially the cornerbacks and linebackers. What it’ll come down to, first and foremost, is the big guys up front. If Gregory Rousseau and Quincy Roche can do their job and get to the quarterback, that’ll take a lot of heat off our young secondary.

Then, will our defensive tackles be able to clog the middle and shut down the run? How will Zach McCloud man the middle at linebacker? Who’s going to be the other starting linebacker beside him? Yes, there’s a lot of questions about our defense, but I'm not worried at all that they’re going to struggle. Personally, I think Miami’s defense in 2020 is going to one of the best in college football,

Are we still going after Jake Garcia? And what are the odds of him transferring here?

I haven’t heard much about the Canes talking to Jake Garcia again, but I could be wrong. I think the odds of him coming to Miami is slim to none, but then again, you never know what could happen as a result of the 2020 season. If Rhett Lashlee’s offense does what I think it’s going to do and Miami is winning, the possibilities are endless when it comes to recruiting.

Who’s going to be our punt/kick returner?

This is an interesting question, because the Canes don’t have that “guy” when it comes to the return game. However, I think there can be a few options. I’d love to see Jaylan Knighton out there returning kicks and punts, his style of play, combined with his speed and ability to make defenders miss in the open field, he can be lethal in that position.

Other players who I think can do it are Mark Pope, Dee Wiggins and Marcus Clarke, just to name a few. Honestly, just put the best athletes back there. In the early 2000’s, we had Andre Johnson and Sean Taylor returning kicks and they were great at it.