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Transfer Breakdown: Simeon Barrow Jr.



Credit: MSU Spartans

With the departures of starting defensive tackles Leonard Taylor and Branson Deen, the Miami Hurricanes needed to address the interior DL in the fall and spring transfer portals. The Canes were able to add C.J. Clark and Marley Cook in the fall transfer portal window to help Miami weather the loss of Taylor and Deen. With the recent departure of Jared Harrison-Hunte, who recently entered the portal, Miami was once again thin at a position of need. But the Canes just landed a massive addition to the defensive line as Simeon Barrow, the number one defensive tackle in the spring portal window, committed to the Miami Hurricanes over LSU and Missouri Texas who made a run late. Barrow is 6’3” and 300 lbs and is an instant upgrade for the Canes, giving them their most productive and disruptive interior DL in recent memory.

Barrow started 30 out of 34 games for his career with the Spartans, totaling 110 tackles with 18.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. For context, Leonard Taylor, who played 25 games for the University of Miami, recorded 65 tackles, four sacks while Branson Deen, who had 37 total games in college, had 91 tackles, and eight sacks. That means that Barrow had superior stats to a fifth-year senior in Deen, who played two more games than him at the college level and almost doubled Leonard Taylor’s production in total tackles while doubling his sacks.

Barrow projects as an immediate starter and an upgrade over both of their starting tackles last year, and possibly the best DT the Canes have had since Gerald Willis III. Barrow is particularly strong in run defense, where he effectively uses his size and strength to disrupt running lanes. He demonstrates good leverage and the ability to shed blocks, making him a persistent threat in the tackle box. His PFF (Pro Football Focus) grade was 72.2 overall and a solid 72.3 PFF against the run. For context Leonard Taylor’s PFF was 74.8 with a run defense score of 64.4 PFF. Likewise, Branson Deen’s total PFF was 68.3 while his run defense scored at 66.6 PFF. One of Miami’s weaknesses in these past five to six years has been their run defense, and Barrow provides immediate relief in that department for the Canes as he scores significantly higher than last year’s starting unit. His durability and his ability to stay on the field are also a plus as he played in 469 defensive snaps last season compared to Taylor’s 340 snaps and Deen’s 334 snaps respectively.

Another important trait that Barrow possesses is his versatility. He is athletic enough to play various positions on the defensive line, contributing to both interior and edge defenses. He also possesses great football IQ as his understanding of the game, particularly in diagnosing plays and reacting quickly, highlights his football intelligence. This allows him to be a step ahead in many situations, contributing effectively to his team’s defensive schemes.

Miami has added a very good player who has the ability to continue to grow. This is an ‘SEC’ caliber defensive tackle, a game-changer that can anchor a line and allow your team to have good depth. With a rotation of Barrow, Clark, and Cook, the Canes have three dependable tackles whose total production will exceed the production from last year. Barrow’s potential looks like a day-two type tackle with potential to increase his stock and production, and possibly sneak into the first round. Good defensive tackles are scarce, but this cycle the Canes got the best one.

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