One of the position battles going on for the Hurricanes during spring camp is middle linebacker, and it seems that second-year player Corey Flagg is a cut above the rest up to this point. Competing with Bradley Jennings Jr. and Tirek Austin-Cave, Flagg has been the talk of camp thus far, earning praise from just about everyone the media is able to interview.
From what we’ve heard from camp, I think we’re about to see Corey Flagg take a huge step for the Canes at linebacker.— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) March 30, 2021
Last season, the linebackers were one of the weak points for this Hurricanes defense, and finding a consistent starter Miami could rely on became a year-long headache. Jennings proved to be too slow at times, but Flagg came in towards the end of the season as a true freshman and impressed everybody.
Going over the game and Corey Flagg really stuck out when he was in.— (@CaneFilms) October 12, 2020
Played 30 total snaps and graded out as our 2nd best run defender at linebacker.
He got caught up in some blocks but hardly looked out of position. Impressive for a freshman against the #1 team. pic.twitter.com/Wxm3QHKNDt
Jennings started all 11 games, but Flagg ended up playing over 200 snaps. Against Duke and Oklahoma State, Flagg totaled 10 tackles and a fumble recovery.
● True Freshman Spotlight ●— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) January 19, 2021
LB Corey Flagg Jr - Miami
• Flagg was an under the radar pickup for the Canes from Texas. This season he didn't play a ton but when he did he made an impact with 15 Tackles & 1 Fumble Recovery. pic.twitter.com/WtrXx6pHcN
Now in his second season, Flagg arrived at spring practice lighter and quicker, looking to take over as the starter at middle LB.
Corey Flagg at today’s third spring practice for the Miami Hurricanes ( Miami Athletics) pic.twitter.com/ZDhub88CiX— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) March 20, 2021
“Corey Flagg has continued to make strides,” coach Manny Diaz told the media recently about Flagg. “Instincts are driven by his preparation, so he’s constantly preparing in the film room, constantly preparing ahead of time with what defenses are going in. The guy, he’s just a football junkie.”
Update: LB Corey Flagg has reportedly been taking boxing lessons to get in better shape because he “doesn’t want to come off the field” next season. Flagg has also been working on his hips and other areas to become the best athlete/player possible going into camp.— CanesCorner (@canescorner_) March 9, 2021
His instincts are something that scouts had raved about when Flagg was coming out of high school in Texas, and was praised for his high football IQ. As a senior in HS, Flagg registered 144 tackles and 33 TFLs.
Flagg could be the answer that Miami is looking for at middle linebacker, and the Canes will need him to take a big leap in 2021 if they want to improve their run defense. Improving his speed is something Flagg continues to work on, but it’s clear from what we’ve heard during spring, Flagg is taking on a leadership role on Miami’s defense.
Top #PFF Grades for #Miami in the Cheez-It Bowl:— Saturday Gameday (@SaturdayGameday) December 30, 2020
1. Nesta Silvera 79.2
2. Corey Flagg 79.0
3. Cam’ron Harris 78.0
4. Waynmon Steed 76.2
5. Brevin Jordan 73.9
6. Sam Brooks 72.4
7. Jared Harrison-Hunte 71.6
8. N’Kosi Perry 70.0
9. Jahfari Harvey 69.5
10. Zion Nelson 68.2
It is early, but I feel pretty confident Flagg will start at middle linebacker week one, and continue to hold that position. Who will be beside him at outside LB is another question, and right now it’s between Sam Brooks Jr., Avery Huff and Waynmon Steed.
Keep hearing good things about Avery Huff so far this spring. Him and Corey Flagg name keeps coming up immediately. Fast and physical— Caneville (@caneville305) March 30, 2021
“We have young linebackers that we think are talented, but they just need reps. They now have to cease the opportunity,” coach Diaz said.
Flagg is that young linebacker Miami has been searching for, as UM has struggled mightily at the position for the better part of 10-15 years. Nobody is expecting Flagg to play like Dan Morgan right away in his second season, but we will need to see more consistency, enough that’ll it give the coaches and fans confidence that he’ll carry this defense.