Al Golden and Mark D'Onofrio got some much needed good news Friday.
Leading tackler Denzel Perryman is coming back for his senior season.
A family member of Perryman's told me a big reason he wanted to stay at UM was to get his degree. "It's important to his family and Cassie [his girlfriend]," the person said.
“This coaching staff is dedicated to player development and getting us better. I’ve grown as a player and person each year thanks to them."
Perryman started all 13 games at outside linebacker for the Hurricanes in 2013, leading the team with 108 total tackles and 69 solo stops. He posted six games with 10+ tackles en route to first-team All-ACC honors from ACSMA and the league’s 14 head coaches. He also garnered All-America honorable mention from SI.com.
“Before this season, we hadn’t had a 9-win season in a long time,” Perryman said. “For those of us in my class who had never been to a bowl game because of the sanctions, it was a great feeling and I want to be a part of the next step forward.”
To take the next step forward Perryman is going to need a lot of younger players around him to develop. Miami is losing second-leading tackler and starting middle linebacker Jimmy Gaines to graduation and has received inconsistent play from the rest of its linebackers.
Junior Thurston Armbrister (6 starts, 33 tackles, 2 sacks), sophomore Raphael Kirby (13 games, 10 tackles, 1 sack), sophomore Tyriq McCord (13 games, 13 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INTs), freshman Alex Figueroa (2 starts, 17 tackles, 1 sack), freshman Jermaine Grace (11 games, 8 tackles) sophomore JaWand Blue (2 games, 1 tackle) are who is returning alongside Perryman in terms of experience at linebacker.
UM also brought in incoming freshman Juwon Young (Albany, Ga.) at linebacker on Thursday.