Time will tell, but I would be surprised if the Miami Hurricanes are not vastly improved by next season.
Returning Quarterback Brad Kaaya has been really good, but I he may have looked improved in the Hurricane’s Spring Game. Kaaya has 6,436 yards passing in 2 seasons. He will pass for probably 3,000 more yards this season, but expect the Miami running game to get seriously rolling in 2016.
Miami has 3 really good Running Backs and maybe 4.
Junior Joseph Yearby ran for just over 1,000 yards last season while sharing carries with Mark
Walton. The sophomore, Walton, ran for 461 yards as a true freshman.
The most impressive Running Back on the roster might be Gus Edwards. After a promising sophomore season in 2014, Edwards injured his foot before the 2015 season and he was given a medical redshirt. Edwards is a 235 pound Running Back with power, speed and moves.
Then, there’s Trayone Gray. He played very little under previous coaching staff, but that staff managed to get themselves fired. Gray is 6-2, 220 and an impressive looking back.
Mark Richt likes to run the ball.
Another situation in the Hurricane’s favor is that they return all starters in the Offensive Line.
Danny Isidora is supposedly the most improved Offensive Lineman, but KC McDermott looked good as well.
Returning Wide Receiver Stacy Coley was injured and not able to play in the Spring Game. But, Braxton Berrios put on a show.
Lawrence Cager is a 6-5, 215 big bodied receiver that every coach covets in today’s game. Cager, is big, but Wide Receiver Darrell Langham is even bigger at 6-4, 245.
Miami of the glory days was always known for it’s great Tight Ends like Kellen Winslow Jr and
Jeremy Shockey. This team has a set of twins in David Njoku and Christopher Herndon IV and these guys looked like the Hurricane Tight Ends of old in the Spring Game. Njoku dropped a couple of passes in this scrimmage, but they both have good hands and are really tough and hard to tackle.
On the other side of the ball, Manny Diaz takes over as the new Defensive Coordinator. Finishing 69th in the country on defense in 2015 is not where Mark Richt wants to be in 2016. Even Miami of Ohio finished better than the Canes when they were at 68.
One of the biggest reasons I believe the improvements will be dramatic is the eligibility of Florida Gator transfer Gerald Willis. He sat out last season, but he has a chance to make a difference this season. The big sophomore from New Orleans is a beast and he was all over the place in the Spring Game. His acceleration is beyond belief for a Defensive Tackle. He will be a huge impact on the Hurricane defense in 2016.
RJ McIntosh is coming on strong at Defensive Tackle and there’s Anthony Moten, Courtel Jenkins, Kendrick Norton and Ryan Fines also all at Tackle.
Al-Quadin Muhammed, Trent Harris, Chad Thomas and Demetrius Jackson at Defensive End remind of the Hurricanes deep and talented Defensive Lines of yesteryear.
Demetrius Jackson really came on during the Spring and should be a real star this year. He was
almost unblockable in the Spring game. Muhammed runs like a deer.
Watch out for true freshman Shaquille Quarterman at Middle Linebacker. He is big, strong, fast and aggressive and he impressed in the Spring Game.
Jermaine Grace led the team in tackles during the 2015 season.
Rayshawn Jackson is back at Safety and the two Cornerbacks should be Corn Elder and Sheldrick Redwine.
Maybe the biggest problem of all in 2015 for the Hurricanes was 112 penalties. They had more penalties than anyone in the country and that needs to change immediately. Richt is trying to install discipline both on and off the field with hopes that will fix the problem.
Brad Kaaya is one of the top Quarterback in the country and the Hurricanes have a lot of other talent on hand. They also have a great recruiting class coming in with excellent Wide Receivers led by Sam Bruce and Dionte Mullins. They also brought in some good Linebackers and Defensive Ends.
Watch out nation for the Miami Hurricanes.
The U could be back.