The Miami Hurricanes had a linebacking corps that was etched in stone for the last few years. With Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, and Zach McCloud, the Canes starters were set for 3 seasons. Quarterman and Pinckney started for a 4th consecutive year last year, while McCloud redshirted to come back in 2020.
With Quarterman and Pinckney now gone, and McCloud only around for one last year, the Canes are in need of new blood at the Linebacker position for this year and moving forward. At the forefront of the list of player who will get a shot to step into one of those starring roles is Redshirt Freshman LB Avery Huff.
A 4-star recruit from Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas in the 2019 recruiting class, Huff is an incredibly athletic and fast player for the LB position. Huff redshirted last season for academic reasons, but should be at the top of the list of names to know for the LB corps this year.
At 6’3” 200lbs, Huff is tall and well built for the modern day linebacker. Sure, he could gain a bit of weight, but too much would mitigate his quickness and speed, which make him a special player. Ranked as the #207 player overall, #12 OLB, and #30 in the State of Florida as a senior, Huff has very strong prep credentials to his credit. And, all reports were that he used his redshirt year well to learn the defense and mature mentally and physically, so he should be ready to step into the lineup from day 1 this season for the Canes.
Miami Hurricanes 2019 Recruiting Notebook: LB Avery Huff. Multiple college coaches called @averyhuff9 the best LB prospect in FL this cycle. High praise for the #Canes’ newly-signed versatile, talented playmaker. https://t.co/l5j7hIo3ew pic.twitter.com/4tvlVnqDn1— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) December 19, 2018
With Huff and fellow LB Samuel Brooks (who we’ll talk about another time) joining McCloud and STRIKER Gilbert Frierson at the 2nd level of the defense, Miami should be far more athletic, but not as heavy or proficient at stopping the run. Both Quarterman and Pinckney were 230lbs+ and could stone any run play cold. So the LB/2nd level unit will be new-look this year, but with guys like Avery Huff at their disposal, this new group should be even more dynamic than in the recent past.
While his stats may not reach the levels of Quarterman or Pinckney this season, Avery Huff will be a key component to the Miami defense in his first year on the field, and a foundational player for the unit in the years to come.