Position Group Superlatives: Defensive Tackles

Position Group Superlatives: Defensive Tackles

Lance Roffers
The sands of summer are slipping away and the sound of pads popping will soon fill the air. CanesInsight has you covered with position group breakdowns. Today we take a look at the big ‘uns; the defensive tackles.

Most Valuable: Gerald Willis

Following the early departure of both of Miami’s starting DT’s, outsiders watch with keen interest to see who will fill the hole in the middle of the defense. Enter Gerald Willis, who sat out last season but practiced with the team throughout the season and terrorized the scout team all season long. The Miami defense is predicated on creating pressure and chaos up front with the defensive line. Willis, listed at 6-4, 300 pounds is exactly the type of athlete to thrive in Miami’s one-gap, upfield style. I keep a database of recruits coming out of high school to identify athletic traits and Willis tested as a 90th percentile athlete out of 195 defensive tackles coming out of high school (19th overall). Where Willis really excelled in athletic testing was in his short shuttle time of 4.32 seconds at 275 pounds. This number was nearly two full standard deviations above the mean for his positional group and was fourth overall in my database. One spot ahead of Rashan Gary and a few spots behind Solomon Thomas. It’s these movement skills that will allow Coach Diaz to get creative and get the full value out of this athletic package. Willis is focused in his senior year and ready to make good on the promise he has shown in practice.

Most Upside: Nesta Silvera

If Willis’ game is built on pure athleticism, Silvera’s game is built on power and just being plain mean. Already listed at 6-2, 305, Silvera has the size necessary to play early. His testing results show he also has the power to play early with a 40’ PowerBall throw during athletic testing, which is a well above-average total. Earlier this year, Director of Player Personnel, Matt Doherty, was quoted as saying he is particularly eager to see Nesta play in camp, stating he is the meanest high school player he has seen in his life. While Silvera is known more for his power, he is also a solid overall athlete, having tested above average in all areas except for Short Shuttle and finishing in the 68th percentile for all DT's. Silvera will play early and has a chance to make a huge impact right away against the run.

Most Intriguing: Jordan Miller

While recruitniks have known about Nesta Silvera for some time, Jordan Miller comes to Miami a bit of an unknown. Miller transferred to Sandalwood for his senior year after playing at a small school his first three seasons. Miller was a revelation, earning late offers from several Power-5 schools. Miami coaches are excited to have the wide-bodied Jordan Miller and coaches privately feel he is a Kendrick Norton clone. Former DL Coach Craig Kuligowski believes that Miller will contribute immediately. When I watched him play I was amazed at how well he moved from a man 6-4, 330 pounds.

Most Improved: Jon Ford

This was a close decision between Ford and Pat Bethel, who coaches say have impressed them. Ford just has physical gifts that are rarely seen for a man 6-5, 300 pounds. A very lean 300 pounds, Ford has long arms and movement skills that you notice immediately. If the game starts to slow down for him so that he can finish the plays that were near misses last year, Miami’s DT group could be just as good as last year’s group and I’m expecting big things this year.
 

Comments (24)

I hope we can redshirt Miller.
Highly doubt it, think he will have to play. Also, redshirting players is almost pointless in todays game. Most players will not stay 5 years. Either they will leave early for the draft or they will transfer somewhere for playing time. Of course there are exceptions (D Jack), but Im speaking generally.
 
Highly doubt it, think he will have to play. Also, redshirting players is almost pointless in todays game. Most players will not stay 5 years. Either they will leave early for the draft or they will transfer somewhere for playing time. Of course there are exceptions (D Jack), but Im speaking generally.


Key word.

"Hope"
 
Ford is the key, but Bethel and Willis must play big for us to be a top caliber D.
 
I think Willis and Bethal start, Ford will come on as the season goes along. I dont mind redshirting Miller so he can develop properly
I dont even know what position Martin plays, DE or DT.
 
pay attention to the picture. Mccray in the back...there goes another DE. Not sure if he moved fully..but i thought i saw him working there in the spring..and when guys said which de would bump down i thought it would be him
 
pay attention to the picture. Mccray in the back...there goes another DE. Not sure if he moved fully..but i thought i saw him working there in the spring..and when guys said which de would bump down i thought it would be him
You expecting anything out of tyreic Martin? Looks like he has good size in that photo and didn’t he flash alittle bit in the spring?
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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2020 Schedule

09/10
UAB
Miami Gardens, FL
W 31 - 14
09/19
Louisville
Louisville, KY
W 47 - 34
09/26
Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
10/10
Clemson
Clemson, SC
10/17
Pittsburgh
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10/24
Virginia
Miami Gardens, FL
11/06
NC State
Raleigh, NC
11/14
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
11/21
Georgia Tech
Miami Gardens, FL
11/28
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
12/05
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
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