The Miami Hurricanes lost a pair of key defensive starters Saturday, as the program permanently dismissed Al-Quadin Muhammad and Jermaine Grace.
Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports was the first to report the news, and Miami later confirmed it via this statement, courtesy of Christy Chirinos of the Sun Sentinel:
Christy Chirinos @ChristyChirinos
Statement from Miami re: dismissal of Al-Quadin Muhammad and Jermaine Grace: https://t.co/7LyL18TmEP8/27/2016, 5:00:01 PM
Muhammad is a redshirt junior defensive lineman who led the Hurricanes in sacks last season, while Grace is a senior linebacker who was Miami's leading tackler in 2015.
Muhammad made seven starts for the Hurricanes last season, and the New Jersey native registered 54 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He missed the entire 2014 season after getting suspended because of his role in an off-campus fight.
Grace started 10 of 13 games in 2015 and ended the campaign with 79 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks.
Having Muhammad and Grace out of the picture will test Miami's defensive depth in a big way throughout the 2016 season.
As things stand, junior defensive end Trent Harris figures to step in for Muhammad, while sophomore linebacker Charles Perry or junior linebacker Darrion Owens could fill Grace's vacated spot.
New head coach Mark Richt is already facing adversity ahead of his regular-season debut at the helm for Miami next Saturday, but after winning at least 10 games in a season on nine occasions while at Georgia, he is among the best-equipped coaches in the nation to handle it.
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