Miami had two defensive ends – Gregory Rousseau and Quincy Roche – named to the AP Preseason All-America team Tuesday, but, of course, Rousseau won’t play this season due to COVID-19 concerns.
Rousseau, who had an ACC-best 15.5 sacks last season, was named first team All-American along with Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, who won’t play this season because the Pac-12 has opted to play in the spring because of COVID-19 concerns.
Roche, who had 13.0 sacks for Temple in 2019 while winning AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors, was named second-team All-America. Roche and Rousseau would have been a challenging set of bookends for any ACC offensive line. As it stands now Rousseau will be replaced in the starting lineup by Jaelan Phillips, a former national No. 1 recruit.
Miami coach Manny Diaz said his defensive ends, Roche and Phillips, had a strong showing in last week’s second fall scrimmage. But it’ll be tough to overcome Rousseau’s loss. He’s a possible top 10 pick in the NFL draft.
In total 23 preseason All-Americans – 11 first-teamers and 12 second-teamers – won’t play in the fall due to COVID-19 concerns from their conference or on a personal level.
UM is scheduled to face five members of the preseason All-America team among Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Clemson running back Travis Etienne and Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson as first-team selections and Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham and North Carolina linebacker Chazz Surratt as second-team selections.
Miami and Florida State were the only Florida schools to have players named to the preseason All-America team. Florida, along with UCF, USF, FIU and FAU, didn’t have a selection.
UM opens the season Sept. 10 when it hosts Alabama-Birmingham at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff time hasn’t yet been announced.
Interestingly, Miami didn’t earn a spot on SI’s Still Standing 16, the remnants of the already-published Top 25, which came out before the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they’re playing in the spring.