Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Before last season started, I looked at Miami's linebacking unit and couldn't believe how deep it was. Littered with young talent, the players were terrific athletes, and I honestly thought this could have been the best unit we have seen at Miami in years.
Then just like that, the unit was picked apart.
Ramon Buchanan decided not to pursue a sixth-year medical waiver and try out for the NFL, and backup Gionni Paul decided to pack it up and leave Miami.
To make things even worse, freshman phenom Eddie Johnson was suspended last year for breaking team rules and is now suspended indefinitely by coach Golden for undisclosed issues.
And then one of my personal favorites, Nantambu-Akil Fentress, moved to cornerback. He wasn't the best linebacker on the team but had a nonstop motor and could make some devastating hits.
Now, instead of tremendous depth at linebacker, the Hurricanes unit has some question marks.
Some depth was added when Golden moved defensive end Tyriq McCord to outside linebacker this spring. That will help the unit but hinder the defensive line as McCord was well on his way to stardom as a pass-rusher.
The Hurricanes still have Denzel Perryman, Raphael Kirby and Jimmy Gaines, but beyond those three are huge question marks this spring.
McCord could do well, and Alex Figueroa looks to be an impressive true freshman, but overall the unit needs a lot of work compared to what it was before last season.
I hope Johnson gets his focus together and comes back this fall to help this unit become stronger. Lord knows the Hurricanes need all the help they can on the defensive side of the ball.