By: David Franklin
Miami will have its first scrimmage of the Spring tomorrow and although it’s early on in the process fans are anxious to see the progress made so far. Without getting to carried away this early on here’s a few things that may be worth keeping an eye on.
The offense is looking to make major improvements from a more than disappointing season last year. New OC Dan Enos will be trying to implement his “Spread Coast” offense and the rest of the new offensive staff will look to see who starts to show signs of moving ahead of the pack.
The defense will just need to pick up where it left off. New DC Blake Baker is familiar with Manny Diaz and his system but will have to replace a few key contributors from last year.
The QB group is one of the more interesting groups on the team and although we won’t get a clear cut leader this early on I would expect someone to try and show a little more spark than the others. Jarren Williams, N’Kosi Perry, and Tate Martell will all get reps of some kind and I would expect them to go in the order I just mentioned.
The RBs don’t really have a lot of concerns as DeeJay Dallas is expected to be the leader there. I expect Cam’Ron Harris, who has been impressive so far to get lots of work tomorrow. Lorenzo Lingard continues to nurse his knee injury from last season and will push for time soon.
The WRs have been up and down so far. One day everything seems good and the next it’s dropped passes and mental mistakes. We all know Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley can impress and have the speed to stretch a defense . I’m looking for them to get some well deserved reps tomorrow but I’d like to see who else is going to push for a spot. Freshman Jeremiah Payton has shown good things all Spring and Is like to see Mark Pope and Brian Hightower start to emerge. See Wiggins is also looking sharp so far. Grad transfer KJ Osborn has been a great addition so far.
The Offensive Line continues to be an area of concern. OL Coach Butch Barry has ran with numerous combinations trying to find the right fit. Corey Gaynor at Center, Navaughn Donaldson at RG, and DJ Scaife at LT have seemed to be solid choices so far but even those have been shifted around. Aggression and a group that can gel together is what I’m hoping for regardless of the combination.
The Defensive Line has been somewhat surprising. With Todd Stroud taking the reigns there we’ve seen good things from DTs Nesta Silvera, Jon Ford, and Jordan Miller as well as Jon Garvin, Greg Rousseau, and newcomer Jahfari Harvey on the outside.
The LBs have plenty of experience in the starters. I don’t look for the starting trio of Quarterman, Pinckney, or McCloud or even Finley or Smith to see much action tomorrow. Expect to see DC Blake Baker to be looking for the second layer behind the starters as it’s time for a few others to step up.
The Secondary is something I’m interested in. They are super talented but also inexperienced and untested. Trajan Bandy will lock down one side at CB but other than that we really don’t know much. Expect a heavy rotation of DJ Ivey, Al Blades, Gilbert Frierson, Gurvan Hall, and others.
Special teams always gets overlooked but is in definite need of improvement. New Punter Louis Hedley hopefully takes over the punting duties and Bubba Baxa will continue with the Kicking role. What I’d like to see is someone take over as that electric kind of PR we haven’t seen in a while.