Miami Football: 5 Newcomers to Watch for the Hurricanes

Several new faces expected to play a major role this fall under new head coach Manny Diaz

After a disappointing 7-6 showing in 2018, the Miami Hurricanes made many changes this offseason.

 

Among them was defensive coordinator Manny Diaz becoming the head coach after Mark Richt surprisingly retired just days after Miami's Pinstripe Bowl loss to the Wisconsin Badgers. In only a short time in recruiting, Diaz has already put his stamp on the program.

 

Not only did the Hurricanes sign some talented freshmen earlier this month, but they will also field some recognizable transfers on the field this fall.

 

Here are five new Hurricanes that can make an impact in 2019.

 

Trevon Hill, DE

Hill was a standout defensive end for the Virginia Tech Hokies before being dismissed early during the 2018 season. Prior to his dismissal, Hill recorded 94 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries, a forced fumble, and an interception in his two-plus seasons with the Hokies.

 

Hill was leading Virginia Tech with 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2018 at the time of his dismissal. A garduate transfer who can play right away, Expect Hill to make an immediate impact on an already talented Hurricanes defensive line.

 

Bubba Bolden, S

As both Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine are off to the NFL, safety was a need for the Hurricanes. So Manny Diaz and the coaching staff are hoping a former highly regarded recruit will be able to make the transition to his new team and compete for playing time right away.

 

A four-star recruit and the seventh-ranked safety in the class of 2017, Bolden comes to Miami by way of USC. As a true freshman, Bolden played in 13 games for the Trojans but did not appear in any this past season due to a reported suspension that resulted in him transferring.

 

Tate Martell, QB

A former four-star recruit and the 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year, Martell announced in January that was transferring from Ohio State to Miami. Martell put his name in the transfer portal shortly after former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields said he was going to be a Buckeye. Martell will need a waiver from the NCAA to be able to play in 2019, but assuming he gets it he will be the favorite to start under center entering fall camp after the inconsistent quarterback play the Hurricanes got last season.

 

Christian Williams, DB

While the Hurricanes are welcoming in several key transfers, they also have many talented incoming freshmen. Among them is Williams, who should see some playing time next season. A consensus four-star prospect out of Alabama, Williams recorded 52 tackles and eight interceptions as a senior, earning first-team all-state recognition for Class 6A Daphne. Even more important, Diaz got Williams to flip from Alabama to the Canes on National Signing Day.

 

Louis Hedley, P

While no one hardly ever talks about signing a punter during National Signing Day, the Hurricanes clearly needed one as they struggled in that area in 2018. So they signed Hedley, a junior college transfer from City College of San Francisco. Even though he has yet to step on the field, Hedley is already making a name for himself due to the native Australian's size (6-4, 215) and his extensive collection of tattoos.

 

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

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