Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive tackle Leonard Taylor is one of two five-star signees for the Miami Hurricanes in the Class of 2021 with safety James Williams. Through his first week of training camp in college, Taylor has already national praise. Taylor should challenge an already established rotation at DT for Miami in 2021.

Fifth-year DT Jon Ford, fourth-year Nesta Jade Silvera and third-year Jared Harrison-Hunte are proven college interior defensive linemen. The talent Taylor brings to the Miami football program will be difficult to keep him out of the Hurricanes rotation at DT. Miami needs to improve stopping the run in 2021.

Improved play against the run will begin with the play at DT as stated by head coach and de facto defensive coordinator Manny Diaz earlier this month. Taylor has unique athleticism at 6’3, 310 pounds. Based on his projections coming out of high school, if he produces in college, Taylor should be an eventual first-round NFL Draft pick.

Taylor was mentioned by 247 Sports college football analyst Blake Brockermeyer on Wednesday during his Fall camp report: Immense hype for USC freshman QB, other big national notes (8/11).”  Taylor will be the future anchor of the Miami DL. Ford is in his last year of eligibility and Silvera could enter the NFL Draft.


Five-star freshman DT Leonard Taylor is wrecking shop. He’s very twitchy for his size 6-foot-3, 310 pounds and has been a “load” to move. He’s expected to play significant snaps this season. Taylor was the No. 11 prospect and No. 4 DT in the country in 2021 and represented a massive recruiting win for Manny Diaz & Co.

Harrison-Hunte will be eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft. Without a big season in 2021, Harrison-Hunte will likely return to Miami in 2022. Signing Williams and Taylor helped Miami secure the 11th best class in 2022. Miami is building an excellent defense for the future with four blue-chip commits to the secondary in 2022.

Taylor has the potential to be the latest elite DT in a program that procured Hall of Famers the late Cortez Kennedy and Warren Sapp. Taylor is not likely to be a starter as a true freshman this fall, but he has a chance to make an impact. Harrison-Hunte and Taylor provide Miami with exceptional depth at DT.