Miami enters 2021 with high expectations and the latest preseason polls reflect it.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 2021 USA Today preseason Coaches Poll was unveiled, with Miami being ranked as the No. 16 team in the nation. Miami returns star QB D’Eriq King and has more veteran leadership than years past under head coach Manny Diaz. The Canes opened last season ranked 22nd in the preseason coaches poll.
A revamped offense last year under offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is expected to reach new heights after a full offseason of practice and experience.
Miami returns veterans who were instrumental to the squad last year with WR Mike Harley Jr and S Bubba Bolden choosing to stay in Coral Gables rather than try their luck in the NFL Draft.
The Hurricanes brought in the number 11 recruiting class this past cycle, per 247 Sports’ rankings. They also brought in three key players from the transfer portal in former Georgia CB Tyrique Stevenson, former Oklahoma WR Charleston Rambo, and former Tennessee DE Deandre Johnson.
Stevenson has the potential to be a first round pick in the NFL Draft under new DB Coach Travaris Robinson and CB Coach Demarcus Van Dyke. Rambo is expected to start at wide receiver this year and has looked excellent in spring and fall camp. Johnson is competing for a starting spot as an edge rusher alongside Jahfari Harvey, Zach McCloud, and Chantz Williams.
Miami will face two opponents ranked in the poll. They open the season in twenty-five days against the nation’s top ranked team, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
UM will face another top 10 ranked opponent in the North Carolina Tar Heels. Mack Brown’s Heels came in at No. 9 in the Coaches Poll.
Miami will face off against the Tar Heels on October 16 on the road in Raleigh in what’s shaping up to be one of the most pivotal games in the ACC landscape this year. The Canes were defeated 62-26 in last season’s matchup with UNC.
No. 2 Clemson and North Carolina are the only other ACC programs ranked in the Top 25.
Miami and Florida, who are ranked No. 11, are the only teams representing the state of Florida in the rankings.
Full Rankings Below:
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Notre Dame
- Iowa State
- North Carolina
- Penn State
- Oklahoma State
- UL Lafayette
- Coastal Carolina
- Ole Miss
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