Over the last couple months, Hurricanes fans have been wondering whether or not Manny Diaz and his staff will bring in more players from the transfer portal, prior to the start of fall camp. While Miami did add Tyrique Stevenson, Deandre Johnson and Charleston Rambo earlier in the year, no further players have been brought in from the portal.
So we need to ask the question, do the Canes NEED to bring in at-least one more portal player before the 2021 season starts?
Guys, whether teams are giving money or not... we ALL have 25 scholarships each year to use on players.— Jasmaine P. ✍ (@Truly_Jas) May 10, 2021
My point is that, we shouldn’t get mad if Canes coaches are getting players from the portal despite the position. Depth and competition is important.
Great teams build it.
Well in my opinion, the only position that I think would be considered a position of NEED is linebacker. Miami’s LB unit struggled in 2020, and the young group is going to need to improve their play if the Canes want to make a run at the ACC Coastal.
Manny Diaz says Keontra Smith "has looked at home" at Will linebacker. On Amari Carter at striker, he likes having him closer to the ball. He likes the versatility both provide the defense being able to play multiple positions.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) April 15, 2021
Corey Flagg will look to build on a strong freshman season, Avery Huff and Keontra Smith apparently had solid springs, but other than that, Miami is thin at both depth and experience.
Canes LB Avery Huff: "I'm just trying to show everybody they can depend on me...I've got a good understanding of it. The sky's the limit."— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) April 13, 2021
It’s been said the Hurricanes are looking at Dimitri Moore, the former Vanderbilt linebacker who entered the portal in November of 2020. Moore was very productive for the Commodores, totaling 99 tackles in 2019. At inside linebacker, Moore could challenge Flagg for the starting job at the position, but regardless, he would add depth and experience.
Coming to a school near you!! Stay tuned pic.twitter.com/LBAX01ydWt— Dimitri Moore (@DimitriMoore7) April 19, 2021
I’ve heard different things about whether or not Miami is exploring the idea of bringing in Moore, but I'd be for it. Mike Farrell from Rivals said in an article this week, “The Canes are one of the newer schools to the chase and have increased their level of interest significantly in recent weeks, so keep an eye on them.”
Former Vanderbilt linebacker Dimitri Moore has been in the portal for nearly six months, but his patience is starting to pay off with Power Five interest. @rivalsmike has the latest on that and more in this week's @RivalsPortal Rumor Mill: https://t.co/kZyfu3Y84V pic.twitter.com/VS2lvnyurs— Rivals (@Rivals) May 13, 2021
Besides Moore however, there aren’t any other LB’s in the portal that could come in and make an immediate impact, in my opinion.
And here’s my thing, I’d rather Miami roll with the linebackers they have, give them that experience and playing time, as opposed to taking a mid-level portal player, who will be gone in a year or two. Play guys like Avery Huff, Waynmon Steed, Tirek Austin-Cave, let them make mistakes and grow as players as the season goes on. If you resort to the portal at linebacker, we’ll still have the same problems next year there, with certain players not being experienced enough.
Manny Diaz on Tirek Austin-Cave and Avery Huff: "They can both run, they can both hit, but you have to learn where to run and who to hit."— Josh White (@_JoshRWhite) March 12, 2021
I’ve also heard some people say we need to bring in a transfer portal player on the offensive line, and I disagree. While our OL isn’t elite, it’s growing, and I believe it’ll continue to improve in 2021. If there was a talented and experienced player at guard? Bring him in. Though, I don't know of any.
Why bring in an average lineman, who hasn’t done anything throughout his career, instead of playing guys like Issiah Walker or Cleveland Reed?
Don’t sleep on Issiah Walker... That man was my biggest want in the ‘20 class. Felt it was a must to keep him home. Dominated the camps. And then he committed to UF. Better late than never, he came to his senses and now he bleeds Miami pic.twitter.com/cvCwcVIsQA— Kiss Your Lovers & Eat Your Wings (@Canes_LoudMouth) March 9, 2021
Here’s the thing, every year, Miami is going to have a position group or two that is a weak spot, that’s just the reality of football. That being said, you go through the bumps and bruises that season with that position group, develop them, and hopefully by the time next season comes around, that unit is now much better.
Even still, I believe this Hurricanes team, even with the concerns at linebacker, are still talented enough to win the Coastal in 2021. That’s the biggest goal for this season, and Miami can make it happen with their current roster.