Eight Hurricanes selected to PFF’s Preseason All-ACC team

Third-year defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, pictured at Miami football's media day on Monday, July 31, 2023. Photo credit: Luke Chaney

Pro Football Focus (PFF) put together a list of All-ACC preseason teams, and Miami is represented well. The Hurricanes have eight players selected to the teams, seven of whom were elected onto the first team.

On the offensive side of the ball, PFF chose offensive tackle Zion Nelson, Alabama transfer guard Javion Cohen and Central Florida transfer center Matt Lee.

According to PFF, Lee is the highest-graded center returning to college football this season. He was a huge get for the ‘Canes as the fourth highest-rated interior offensive lineman, according to 247 Sports.

The highest-rated offensive lineman was Cohen. He comes to Miami from Tuscaloosa and is expected to start right away. At 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, he’ll be a welcomed addition to a Miami offensive line that struggled at times last year. These two transfers will come in and help secure an offensive front that is led in part by Nelson.

On the defensive side of the ball, projected early-round draft pick and former five-star recruit Leonard Taylor III leads the way for Miami. A native of South Florida, the 6-foot-3 defensive lineman was a bit limited with playing time last year but contributed when he could. He will likely be given a larger role in his third season.

PFF also selected defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor, who will be a key cog on Miami’s defensive front. He was an All-ACC honorable mention after his first year in Miami, racking up seven sacks and 38 tackles.

On the back end of the defense is the best safety duo in the country, according to PFF.

Kamren Kinchens and James Williams were the highest-rated pair of safeties by PFF last season and they are both returning this year. Both natives of the Miami area, they were anchors for the defense. Kinchens led the team in interceptions with six. Williams is a towering 6-foot-5 with a blend of speed and length. They’ll be the leaders as the safety nets for the defense.

Miami has a featured specialist as well in kicker Andres Borregales. He was 17-for-20 on field goal attempts last year. He also went 32-for-32 on extra-point attempts. His dependability will be counted on this season.

Returning running back Henry Parrish Jr. was on the second team, and quarterback Tyler Van Dyke was not on any of the three teams.