2019 Spring Preview: DT

2019 Spring Preview: DT

Additions: None

Departures: Gerald Willis (Graduation), Tito Odenigbo (Graduation)

If you were to point to one position on the defense that has the most questions for the 2019 season, I would say that it is the defensive tackle position. Miami loses All-American Gerald Willis and down-the-stretch starter in Tito Odenigbo, and lacks a ready-made difference maker at the position.

Miami runs a 4-3 defense that is predicated on attacking the gap in front of you and creating plays. This means that the “3-technique” DT is extremely important to making this defense go. Willis was the prototypical playmaking 3-technique for this defense and his loss will be felt this season. No one player can replace him, but Nesta Silvera will get the first crack at doing so this spring. Silvera finished his freshman year having appeared in seven games and making a total of 13 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss. He did not have a sack. Silvera started the bowl game against Wisconsin and had mixed results against a big and veteran OL. A plus athlete, Silvera has the requisite speed, motor, and tenacity to be a big contributor in this scheme.

Jon Ford is a rising junior who is expected to be ready to contribute important snaps this season. Generally, defensive tackles take longer than other positions to develop and Ford came to school an underdeveloped player who needed to add strength and show a better motor. The time is now for Ford to make good on the promise he showed as a 3-star recruit out of Dillard. Tall, and a bit high-cut, Ford should benefit from a new direction in the Strength & Conditioning program. Last year he appeared in five games, making eight tackles with two for loss.

The veteran in the room this spring will be rising senior Pat Bethel. Bethel came to Miami as a defensive end, but was moved inside after his freshman year and provided solid snaps for the team. At the end of last year, he was replaced as a starter by Odenigbo and more will be expected of him this season. Bethel struggles to anchor against double teams partly due to being undersized at 285 pounds. Last year, Bethel appeared in nine games and made 22 tackles with five for loss. He also contributed the only two returning sacks at the position on the team.

Jordan Miller will be asked to fill a role this year after redshirting this past season. The 6-4, 325-pounder has worked to reshape his body after coming in a bit heavier than the coaches would like. He has surprising quickness for a man of his size and may see his snaps increase as the season goes along.

Redshirt junior Tyreic Martin will serve as depth this season. He saw action last season versus Savannah State.

The team signed several DT’s in the 2019 class, but none will participate in spring ball. Miami added Jason Blissett, Jared Harrison-Hunte, and Jalar Holley from the high school ranks and then added Chigozie Nnoruka as a graduate transfer from UCLA. Nnoruka could push for a starting spot if he picks up the defense quickly this summer.

Bottom Line

Miami has to replace 84 tackles, 23.5 of which went for losses, and four sacks at the position. Gerald Willis is too talented to be replaced by one player but there are some talented players left this spring. Bethel and Nesta are expected to see the majority of snaps in spring practices but keep an eye on Ford to see if the light has finally come on for him. With the talent at the defensive end position, do not be surprised if Miami employs more packages that use three DE’s and only one DT on passing downs (or even no DT’s). This is a way that they can reduce the need for impactful DT’s while getting their best pass rushers onto the field more frequently.

motorcitycane

Senior
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
4,756
I think Nesta will be a stud.

DT# 2 is a toss up. I’d like to see Ford step up there. Bethel will give solid minutes. I think Ford is the more natural DT.
 

Liberty City El

Dejazmach
Joined
May 14, 2016
Messages
9,294
In before all the scary ass Canes fans start posting about how scared & shook they are about DT, because ours fans are always pissin their pants every damn offseason about every position.

"I'm scared about CB, I'm scared about Safety, I'm scared about RB, I'm scared about LB..."

"We need 12 5th year Seniors at ever position group with 40 starts a piece before I won't tremble in fear all offseason"

Smfh lol
 

BigBoi

Freshman
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Messages
445
Here's another position that worries me. Our most talented guy is Nesta and he didn't get the type of playing time that I thought he'd get due to the need to keep Willis on the field because we were ass on offense and very rarely had a big lead. It's important for him to make a jump in his play because if it isn't him I don't trust anyone else being able to do it.

Overall we have bodies. We just need consistency from a 4 man rotation on the inside and we should be okay.
 

D_G87

Sophomore
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
931
In before all the scary ass Canes fans start posting about how scared & shook they are about DT, because ours fans are always pissin their pants every damn offseason about every position.

"I'm scared about CB, I'm scared about Safety, I'm scared about RB, I'm scared about LB..."

"We need 12 5th year Seniors at ever position group with 40 starts a piece before I won't tremble in fear all offseason"

Smfh lol

you forgot we need 12 5 stars too... 3Frosh, 3 Soph, 3 juniors and 3 seniors and then we are fine. Anything else and we r panicking..
 

JHallCanes

#TNM
Joined
Nov 3, 2011
Messages
24,459
If Nnorka plays like he did for UCLA in 2017, and Nesta makes a similar leap to what RJ/Norton did btw Year 1 and Year 2, we'll be in good shape. Cant just replace an All-American though.

Stroud is going to have to earn his money real quick at this spot
Hopefully Bethel can finish strong. He should be able to give us Tito-like production
 

rokulika

All-American
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
15,371
In before all the scary ass Canes fans start posting about how scared & shook they are about DT, because ours fans are always pissin their pants every damn offseason about every position.

"I'm scared about CB, I'm scared about Safety, I'm scared about RB, I'm scared about LB..."

"We need 12 5th year Seniors at ever position group with 40 starts a piece before I won't tremble in fear all offseason"

Smfh lol
I'm scared by our punter. Does that count?
 

Mklein13

Avid Hockey and 16” Softball Fan
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
6,091
Good depth but little expierence. I’d like to see a rotation of Nesta, Bethel, The UCLA dude, Ford, Blissett, and maybe Miller or Harrison-Hunte pushes for time. Martin obviously won’t play and then redshirt Holley.
 

CaneDog66

Sophomore
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
1,170
Not stressing DT, have a great feeling Nesta turns full Chucky and owns the middle this season. While he won’t put up GWIII numbers I think he’ll get enough tackles and TFL’s that we will be pleasantly surprised. Between Nnoruka, Bethel, Ford, and Miller we need them to man the other spot and perform, which I think they’ll do. I also like the thoughts of 3rd and long bringing in that 3rd DE across the DL and stunting to cause havoc.
 

jed1250

homesteadcane
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
36
Man. the only position I am worried about is QB. Lesss than 50% completion. I think Nesta will be better than everyone thinks. They gonna be fine. We have talent. QB QB thats who needs to groww up stand up and play ball.
 

FrancisSaywer

Senior
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,654
In before all the scary ass Canes fans start posting about how scared & shook they are about DT, because ours fans are always pissin their pants every damn offseason about every position.

"I'm scared about CB, I'm scared about Safety, I'm scared about RB, I'm scared about LB..."

"We need 12 5th year Seniors at ever position group with 40 starts a piece before I won't tremble in fear all offseason"

Smfh lol
I agree with what you're saying. We don't need returning All ACC caliber players at every position to be a very good defense. However I am very much looking forward to having a deeper team on defense. I'm tired of going into spring with 4 CBs and having to wait until summer or fall for guys we will probably be counting on to arrive. Am I asking to much?
 

Liberty City El

Dejazmach
Joined
May 14, 2016
Messages
9,294
I agree with what you're saying. We don't need returning All ACC caliber players at every position to be a very good defense. However I am very much looking forward to having a deeper team on defense. I'm tired of going into spring with 4 CBs and having to wait until summer or fall for guys we will probably be counting on to arrive. Am I asking to much?
That's just it though, it's a 100% CIS myth that we don't have depth, when we actually do.

Our fans are just always scared & assume the worst case scenario will happen every year, so they think every single starter is going to get injured for the season at every position, so we need a roster full of Grad transfers in order for them to feel better.

Fans just don't think it's ever possible for players to be developed early in their career, that's why TF & Red Frosh/Soph scare them so much & make them think there's no depth. If it was up to them Ahmmon Richards, Trajan Bandy, Malek Young, Shaq Q, Mike Pinckney, Joe Jackson & a bunch others woulda never played until they were Redshirt Juniors.
 

FrancisSaywer

Senior
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,654
That's just it though, it's a 100% CIS myth that we don't have depth, when we actually do.

Our fans are just always scared & assume the worst case scenario will happen every year, so they think every single starter is going to get injured for the season at every position, so we need a roster full of Grad transfers in order for them to feel better.

Fans just don't think it's ever possible for players to be developed early in their career, that's why TF & Red Frosh/Soph scare them so much & make them think there's no depth. If it was up to them Ahmmon Richards, Trajan Bandy, Malek Young, Shaq Q, Mike Pinckney, Joe Jackson & a bunch others woulda never played until they were Redshirt Juniors.
I would agree with that and to your point yes we certainly do have depth and there is also quite a bit of talent. My point is quite simply that I will be glad when we have ideal numbers at every position group. The next 2 recruiting classes should take care of that.
 

2020 Commits

WR
6'1"
180
West Palm Beach, FL
WR
5'10"
160
Miami, FL
DE
6'4"
245
Opa Locka, FL
TE
6'4"
235
Naples, FL
DT
6'2"
275
Saint Petersburg, FL
DT
6'3"
290
Hollywood, FL
RB
5'11"
195
Miami, FL
CB
6'0"
185
Homestead, FL
S
5'9"
195
Southwest Brevard County, FL

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2018 Schedule

09/02
LSU
Arlington, TX
L 33 - 17
09/08
Savannah State
Miami Gardens, FL
W 77 - 0
09/15
Toledo
Toledo, OH
W 49 - 24
09/22
FIU
Miami Gardens, FL
W 31 - 17
09/27
North Carolina
Miami Gardens, FL
W 47 - 10
10/06
Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
W 28 - 27
10/13
Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
L 16 - 13
10/26
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA
L 27 - 14
11/03
Duke
Miami Gardens, FL
L 20 - 12
11/10
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, GA
L 27 - 21
11/17
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
W 38 - 14
11/24
Pittsburgh
Miami Gardens, FL
W 24 - 3
12/27
Wisconsin
Bronx, NY
L 35 - 3
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