The Miami Hurricanes are coming off a solid 10-win season and just added the No. 8 recruiting class in the country, giving them one of the most talented rosters in the ACC and in the country as they retool for 2018.
And while things ended disappointingly (three straight losses to end the season), Miami is expecting a competitive spring and summer between their returning veterans and their incoming recruits.
Anytime you add an extremely talented class like this one, you know that eager freshmen are going to come in hoping to earn early playing time. That means that you’ve got to have veterans without entitlement willing to compete to keep their respective roles.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at three returning Hurricanes who should be extremely motivated by Class of 2018 signees.
Miami tight end Michael Irvin II
Michael Irvin II was suspended indefinitely back in October of last year before returning in mid-November, so he’s got work to do off the field before he can pencil himself in as the starter. Even if he does, he’ll have an incredibly short leash on the field because of some incredible talent coming in with the 2018 class.
Brevin Jordan was the No. 33 overall player in the country and he looks game-ready at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds. Fellow 4-star Will Mallory needs to fill out quite a bit at a listed 207 pounds, but at 6-foot-5 he could also provide a red-zone threat for the Miami offense.
Irvin stepped in and made a few plays (9 catches for 78 yards) when starter Christopher Herndon IV was out, but they’ll need a heckuva lot more productivity than that to feel comfortable. If Irvin can’t provide that, don’t be surprised to see Jordan making starts as a true freshman.
Miami defensive tackles Anthony Moten and Pat Bethel
After Kendrick Norton and RJ McIntosh left for the 2018 NFL Draft, Anthony Moten and Pat Bethel were left as the only two experienced defensive tackles on the roster. Luckily, though Miami intended to sign four or more defensive tackles in the Class of 2018, they only came away with two.
That means that Moten and Bethel are virtually assured to be in the rotation no matter what, but it doesn’t guarantee them starting roles. Nesta Silvera was a 4-star Army All-American who played extremely high-level competition at American Heritage and he’ll look to factor heavily into the rotation from day one.
However, the darkhorse is 3-star signee Jordan Miller. His recruitment exploded late after initially registering as a 2-star or even unranked by most recruiting services and it was because his senior tape looked almost too good to be true.
At 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds, he showed explosiveness and power that could genuinely make him a factor early. Think, if he could go from getting looks from schools like Georgia Southern to high-major overnight based on late-season film, then he could blossom quickly at Miami even though he is raw.
And Mark Richt also made mention of how they’d certainly be interested in a solid graduate transfer addition if one became available.
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