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Is Jahfari Harvey Ready To Take The Next Step At Defensive End?

With Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche gone, it’s time for Jahfari Harvey to step up at defensive end.

While the Miami Hurricanes will return plenty of veteran players and starters for the 2021 season, they did however lose two of their top performers from 2020, defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche. As both now seek careers in the NFL, that leaves Miami searching for their next dominant force at the end position, though many Canes fans believe that question will be answered in the form of Jahfari Harvey.

Harvey, who’s going to be a redshirt sophomore in 2021, started to gain more buzz heading into last season, as someone who could be a reliable third-option behind Phillips and Roche. In 2020, Harvey collected 16 tackles, 4.5 TFLs and 1 sack, and while his production may have not met the expectations of fans, his potential was clearly seen when he was on the field.

Harvey made his first start against Oklahoma State in Miami’s bowl game, and played exceptionally well. Against the Cowboys, Harvey totaled 2.5 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble.

A physical freak, Harvey added 30 pounds of muscle during his redshirted freshman 2019, adding more size to go along with his 4.5 40-time and 4.5 shuttle. Harvey has all the tools and making of what you look for in a defensive end in college football.

When talking about Phillips and Roche during fall camp last year, former defensive line coach Todd Stroud put Harvey in the same mix. “Those three are as talented as anyone that we’ve had during my time at the University of Miami,” Stroud said.

Harvey is very much expected to claim one of the starting spots at defensive end for Miami in 2021. Other candidates to start opposite of him is Deandre Johnson, Cam Williams and Zach McCloud, who’s returning for another season, now playing at DE.

I think Miami’s defensive line, which of course is losing two of its top players in Roche and Phillips, will still be a force to be reckoned with. Harvey and the other DE’s, and then interior players like Nesta Silvera, Jared Harrison-Hunte and Jordan Miller, it’s going to be an exciting unit to watch play and develop.

Miami has had success in recent years in developing defensive ends rather quickly. Joe Jackson and Jonathan Garvin come to mind in 2016 and 2017, and then of course you had the emergence of Gregory Rousseau in 2019. I believe Harvey could be that next special player at DE, and will be the breakout player of this defense for the Hurricanes in 2021.