Coach: Jethro Franklin (2nd season)
Anthony Chickillo (6-4/260/So) ... 38 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and 5 sacks
Kelvin Cain (6-3/240/Jr) ... 32 tackles, 1 for loss, and 1 INT
Shayon Green (6-3/260/R-Jr) ... 8 tackles, 0.5 for loss
Ricardo Williams (6-5/220/R-Fr)
Dwayne Hoilett (6-3/240/Fr)
Tyriq McCord (6-3/220/Fr)
Jelani Hamilton (6-5/260/Fr)
Jake O'Donnell (6-6/230/Fr)
Top Returner: Chickillo was widely considered Miami's top recruit in Al Golden's first recruiting class and he was the one who ended up making the biggest impact in his freshman season. A high motor player, Chickillo was entered into the rotation early in the season and continued getting better and better as the season wore on. He's coming off a solid spring and now will look to elevate his game to become one of the best defensive linemen in the entire conference. He's also one of the leaders on this year's team.
Top Newcomer: Hamilton brings a lot to the table as a prospect. He was recruited nationally before making a commitment to the Canes as a four-star player. Unfortunately, he missed last season with a knee injury but seems ready to go. Hoilett has an advantage over the other three because he went through spring ball but he doesn't have Hamilton's skillset. McCord is considered the best pass rusher of the group but his size will likely limit his snaps. He could have the biggest impact in pass-rushing situations but Hamilton probably has the best chance to crack the two-deep this season.
Bottom Line: Chickillo was very good at the end of last season. He was one of Miami's best overall players when the season ended. He'll likely pick right up where he left off last season. Cain moves down from linebacker, where his size and athleticism should allow him to present some pass-rushing mismatches against opposing tackles. Green's been hurt a lot throughout his career and the Canes could really use some production from the former linebacker. Williams is still a little small to be an every down player but will likely provide some pass rushing help. Three of the incoming freshmen will likely have to contribute this fall because of depth issues. Among the eight players here, they have five sacks among them so it'll be interesting to see what type of spark players like Williams and McCord can provide in that department.