The Miami Hurricanes had a bit of a comeback year last season and won their first seven games before losing three in a row. They then won their next two games and looked good going into the Russell Athletic Bowl. Then, Louisville absolutely crushed them.
Finished the season 9-4
No doubt Miami will miss two year starter Stephen Morris at QB. The logical replacement will be Ryan Williams(6-6,220) who will be back for his senior year and he was the starter for Memphis back in 2010 and threw for over 2000 yards back then. He played a little a year ago and threw for 369 yards and he is the only QB on campus with actual starting experience.
Sophomore Gray Crow (6-3,225) completed 6 out of 8 passes for 55 yards in mop up duty and he will battle with Williams for the starting spot.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen (6-3,200) the younger brother of TE Greg Olsen of the Carolina Panthers is also in the competition. Sophomores Preston Dewey (6-2,200) and David Thompson (6-1,195) are in the same class as Gray Crow and are running behind him. Not sure if they will ever be a factor.
Incoming freshmen Brad Kaaya (6-4-215) a 4 star from California and 3 star Malik Rosier (6-1,195) figure to be in the mix soon.
Duke Johnson (5-9,195) returns at RB and he’s a good one. He only played in 8 games but still had 920 yards rushing and 6 TDs. Also an excellent return man, Duke Johnson is one of the most explosive player in the entire country. He is short, has great balance and shifts directions more often than some coach’s game plans. One of the very best players in the country when healthy.
Dallas Crawford (5-11,195) is Johnson’s primary back up. The talent level drops off significantly when Johnson is not out there but Crawford is dependable and had 558 yards and 12 TDs in 2013. Another back in the mix is Gus Edwards (6-2,225) a freshman last season out of Staten Island, NY and he put up good production at 338 yards.
Top Miami recruit Joseph Yearby (5-9,190) is remarkably similar to Duke Johnson in not only build but in speed, moves and explosiveness. Yearby is rated as the 23 best recruit in the country and the 4th rate RB. Fournette is the top rated back but 3 out of the top 4 are from South Florida. Even more incredible is the fact that Yearby was rated #4 and the #3 rated guy, Dalvin Cook was on the same high school team. I have never heard of any high school teammates playing the same position and being this good. Expect Yearby to be big time for the Canes.
The Canes lost big play WR Allen Hurns and his 1100 reception yards. Stacy Coley (6-1,180) is the top returning receiver with 33 receptions for 591 yards and 7 TDs as a freshman. Coley was one of the top ranked WR recruits in the country a year ago and he is big time. He’s extremely fast and elusive and seems to have the hands. He’s dangerous with the ball in his hands as shown by his 73 yard run on an end around.
Herb Waters (6-2,195) had 28 catches for 5 TDs. Like Coley, he is dangerous on an end around or a reverse and he had a very impressive 63 yard TD run.
Phillip Dorsett (5-9,180) had 13 catches, but missed a few games due to a knee injury. The knee should be fine and Dorsett is in line for a big year and should put his 4.29 speed to good use.
Malcolm Lewis (6-1,185) has battled injuries at Miami and has 15 career catches. Rashawn Scott (6-2,205) is a big receiver that missed 6 games from a broken collar bone last season and only had 3 catches. In 2012, Scott had 35 catches, so he has the incentive to have a big senior year.
Darrell Langham (6-4,190), Braxton Barrios (5-9,180), Trayone Gray (6-2,195) and Tyre Brady (6-3,195) are hot shot recruits that could play in a hurry at WR for the Canes.
TE Clive Walford (6-4,260) had 34 catches and returns for his senior season. Beau Sandland (6-6,255) was the top JC TE in the nation a year ago, but ony had 9 receptions. Sandland only has one more year to live up to his recruiting hype and I hope he can get it done. Standish Dobard (6-4,260) was a highly rated recruit out of New Orleans and played only sparingly a year ago recording 1 catch. He should have a hard time getting on the field again this season with 2 seniors ahead of him but should still have a bright future. Jake O’Donnell (6-6,250) is a sophomore from Pennsylvania that hasn’t played yet, but has that potential.
Christopher Herndon (6-4,230) is a 3 star incoming freshman out of Norcross, Georgia.
Offensive line has 3 starters back, but lacks much depth. Starters could be talented but any injuries could be deadly.
Ereck Flowers (6-6,320) returns for his junior year at LT, Jon Feliciano (6-5,320) returns at LG. Shane McDermott (6-4,295) is a veteran center. Danny Isidora (6-4,315) redshirted in 2012 and then was injured for most of 2013, is projected to start at RG.
Sunny Odogwu (6-8,320) a redshirt freshman or Taylor Gadbois (6-8,315) a redshirt sophomore that played a little in 2013 should battle for the vacant RT position. The #4 rated OT recruit in the country, KC McDermott (6-6,300) the younger brother of Shane may be pressed into starting duty here if the others don’t come through.
Malcolm Bunche potentially a starter at RT transferred to UCLA and another back up, Hunter Knighton (6-5,290), was just hospitalized. So, depth may be a problem at Miami. Alex Gall (6-5,300), and Hunter Wells (6-4,310) will have to provide depth. Trevor Darling (6-5,330) and Nick Linder (6-3,285) are incoming freshmen that may not get the luxury of a redshirt year.
The Hurricane defense was not great a year ago, but could be improved this season. with the return of leading tackler Denzel Perryman (6-1,240). They pay a 3-4 base defense and have some experience returning.
Olsen Pierre (6-4,305) returns at one end where he made 33 tackles and had a sack. Anthony Chickillo (6-4,275) returns at the other and he had 46 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Earl Moore (6-1,305) is expected to take over the Nose position. But, he may be pushed by JC transfer Michael Wyche (6-4,325) or Cory King (6-1,305)
Jelani Hamilton (6-5,285), Ufomba Kamalu (6-6,285,) Al-Qudain Muhammad (6-3,230) and Dwayne Hoilet (6-3,245) are young guys that need to step up and provide depth.
Chad Thomas (6-5,245), Trent Thomas (6-2,230) Anthony Moten (6-4,290) and Demetrius Jackson (6-4,225) are incoming freshmen that will need to help at some point. Also, JC transfer Calvin Heurtelou (6-3,305) could help in the middle.
There are no Warren Sapp’s or Russell Maryland’s on campus right now and that needs to change.
ILB Denzel Perryman (6-1,240) was Miami’s leading tackler a year ago and returns for his senior year.
Thurston Armbrister (6-3,235) started at OLB some last season. The other positions are up for grabs. Alex Figueroa (6-3,235) or Raphael Kirby (6-1,235)could start at ILB. Maybe Tyriq McCord (6-3,230) or Jermain Grace (6-1,210) at OLB. Spring ball will tell us something. Chad Thomas was recruited as a DE, but could play OLB. Darrion Owens (6-3,220) is a 4 star incoming freshman that could play also.
The defensive backfield is pretty good a bit like the old Canes.
Left Corner Tracy Howard (5-11,185) led the team with 4 INTs and was a team leader in tackles.
Artie Burns (6-1,190) was a star at CB as a freshman and is talented. Ladarius Gunter (6-2,195) was the team’s 4th leading tackler and had 3 INTs. Deon Bush (6-0,205) and Rayshawn Jenkins (6-1,215) are both returning starters. Secondary is deep and loaded.
Miami seems to be taking steps to returning to glory years, but they aren’t there yet. I am predicting an 8-4 season but I would not be surprised at all with 9-3.