Oct 23, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 23, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The return by striker Gilbert Frierson for the 2022 season helps the depth and experience for the Miami football team. Frierson has started 14 games in his Miami career. After starting all 11 games in 2020, Frierson started three in 2021 as the primary backup at striker to Amari Carter who had moved from safety.

With Carter graduating, Frierson will have a chance to start in 2022. Miami could have an entirely new defensive system with a yet-unnamed new defensive coordinator. Frierson finished 2021 with 41 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and one tackle. Frierson is the third Hurricanes player to announce his return this week.

On Monday the official Miami football Twitter account announced that cornerback Tyrique Stevenson and offensive tackle Zion Nelson are also returning in 2022. Frierson and Stevenson are two experienced returnees on a Miami defense that will not have a lot of upperclassmen starting in 2022.

The returns of Frierson, Nelson and Stevenson are important for new head coach Mario Cristobal. Players are returning to Miami instead of transferring with a new coaching staff. Miami has only lost defensive tackle Nesta Silvera to the transfer portal since Cristobal was hired last month.

Cristobal will be the third head coach Frierson plays for as he enters his fifth season in the Miami football program. Frierson signed with Miami in 2018 ahead of the Hurricanes last season under Mark Richt. Manny Diaz was hired at the end of 2018. Frierson had his best season for Miami in 2020.

Starting all 11 games in 2020, Frierson had 53 tackles, 9.0 TFLs, 2.0 sacks, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Frierson will be able to mentor a young Miami linebacking unit and secondary entering 2022. This spring will be critical for the new Miami coaching staff. Having a veteran like Frierson helps the transition.

Cristobal is still finalizing his coaching staff. Defensive line coach Joe Salave’a is the only certainty on the defensive staff. Defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson and cornerbacks coach Demarcus Van Dyke could return in 2022. Frierson provides Miami with an experienced and versatile player to provide depth and leadership.