Whether its been within the circle of Cane fandom, or on a more national stage in college football, the Miami Hurricanes have been a frequent topic of conversation. From major personnel changes, to national signing day victories, to bringing on program changing talent, Miami has been seen as an offseason darling. Yet it seems to be, what, or who, we are NOT talking about that may turn out to be the most pivotal figures in most of this seasons success.
The inspiration for this article, it feels so good to know that the TOP tight end in the country (fight me) is returning to the Canes at full strength, following a pair of shortened seasons. The 2019 John Mackey Award finalist AND ACC First Teamer is primed for a huge season in an offense that is truly an excellent match for the junior tight end. Despite limited play calling over his first two seasons, his talent was apparent nationally, to the point his name is regularly found in 2021 NFL Draft First Round Mock Ups. A complete tight end, Jordan should see the field early and often in an offense that likes to run and use different looks. Being that he is the best blocking tight end on the team, he is a lock to be on the field most of all our guys in the TE room.
As for what his numbers could look like, what we saw from Lashlee’s tight end at Southern Methodist last year should be considered the FLOOR for Jordan. The SMU tight end last season, Kylen Granson, size wise, profiles similarly to Jordan at 6’3 and 235 lbs. Granson saw himself all over the field at full back inline, split out and in the slot. He was the third leading receiver for the Mustangs, with 43 receptions, 721 yards and 9 TDs. Jordan, who can line up similarly, will be a matchup nightmare with way more snaps than he has seen before. Expect a monster, Mackey finalist season with an excellent chance to hold the trophy at years end. Soon the name Pitts will be a tier below.
Jordan’s Bishop Gorman brother in arms, Bolden came to Miami for a fresh start after his trust was broken with the University of Southern California. With knowledge two of his former teammates, Tate Martell and the previously profiled Jordan, it took but a few phone calls to get the safety on his way to Coral Gables. The 57th ranked prospect from the 2017 class is a true centerfielder in the defensive backfield. His ability to cover the field sideline to sideline is truly a sight, while his playmaking ability makes him a threat to impact the game on any play. While his numbers may not reflect it from last season, it should be no surprise that from his first start to his last, the defense gave up no more than one offensive touchdown while holding opponents to 140 yards passing per game, 50 yards lower than their season average. Already on campus with Jordan to confirm full health with the training staff, Bolden should the secondary's top back and should provide the most turnover chains since Jaquan Johnson’s SIX turnovers in 2017.
If the first two installments on this list created a movement, Phillips makes the West Coast migration to Miami an entire MOOD. The announcement of Phillips to “the U” “Broke the Internet” last year as the 2017, number one, overall prospect, committed to finish his college career in Miami. The caveat? He had to sit out a year, a gift in disguise to allow him to recover from a wrist injury suffered the previous year. Playing the number one most important spot on defense, defensive end, Phillips athleticism goes beyond even that of Gregory Rousseau and Quincy Roche, the two first round picks playing in front of him. Formerly a UCLA Bruins, the defensive playmakers laser 4.6 forty is only bested by Chantz Williams (4.54). Holder of a 111 Sparq score and a 4.5 shuttle, all at 6’5, 260lbs, the music producing monster will be the country’s best rotational player at any position in America. Many tackles and guards in the country will struggle mightily guarding Rousseau and Roche. To break an offensive line down with those two, only to attack them again with Phillips? The Havoc Rate for the Miami Hurricanes will assuredly rank again in the top 3 nationally, focused on being not only the country’s best defense, but one that may stand as a top Miami Hurricanes defense of the last 30 years.
Stay Woke, Hurricane fans. You know whats coming. As for the rest of the country, you’ve been warned. Sleep at your own discretion.