The Miami Hurricanes released their initial spring depth chart today, which is when Al Golden gets to troll half of his team and the entire fanbase by listing players that will never, ever start or sometimes even play ahead of guys that everyone knows will be starting come the fall. The depth chart is allegedly based on who performed the best or worked the hardest in off-season conditioning, and I guess in that sense it may give a hint as to who is laziest on the team, but otherwise it's mostly a joke that will lose its meaning as the years go on and walk-ons that are listed as "starters" eventually lose that designation when the subsequent depth chart is released.
So without further adieu, here's how the offense and defense are listed headed into spring practice.
QB: Ryan Williams / Gray Crow / Preston Dewey
Stephen Morris is out this spring, so Williams predictably assumes his role. Both Crow and Dewey should redshirt, but I suspect those will flip as practice continues on.
No surprises here, although you have to figure that at some point Duke Johnson will work his way in here.
FB: Maurice Hagens / Mike James
No surprises here, either, as Hagens is basically the only fullback on the team. Jedd Fisch doesn't use the fullback that often, though, but Hagens may get some short yardage carries this year.
No shock here. Hurns is ostensibly Miami's best returning receiver, and Scott should get a shot at playing time before the freshmen arrive.
TE: Asante Cleveland / Clive Walford
Cleveland didn't play all year, so it's a bit surprising to see him above Walford here, and this is one that just may stick, as Cleveland is pretty talented, even though Walford is probably the better overall tight end.
LT: Malcom Bunche / Erick Flowers
Bunche was in this spot for most of the spring and summer last year and then never saw the field, so this may be bullshit. Bunche has talent though and is in line to start at one of the tackle spots this year. It's doubtful that Flowers sees the field at all this coming season considering UM's depth at tackle.
Feliciano started some at tackle last year but is not nearly as talented as Bunche or Seantrel Henderson. If he can thrive at guard, it would be a huge help to UM's offensive line. Lewis is a converted defensive tackle who is unlikely to see the field next year outside of special teams.
Pretty standard here, though I'd expect Wheeler to get some looks as a back up at guard.
RG: Brandon Linder / Ben Jones
Linder will be here until he leaves UM. Jones is a converted tackle on his last year of eligibility who has never seen the field at UM outside of special teams, and I doubt he'll see major time at guard barring an insane rash of injuries.
RT: Jermaine Johnson / Seantrel Henderson
Henderson will be a starter next year unless this coaching staff has lost its mind, but it does seem like they like to motivate him by burying him on these earlier depth charts. Johnson went from a starter under Randy Shannon to completely MIA under Al Golden, but he has size and talent and shouldn't be ruled out for playing time.
Chickillo will be here until he leaves UM. Williams is a redshirt freshman who is an unknown to anyone outside of the coaching staff, but there's enough of a lack of depth at defensive end that Williams could see time on passing downs if he's bulked up in the past year or so.
DT: Darius Smith / Junior Alexis
Smith is a presumed starter, while Alexis is a walk-on redshirt freshman who hopefully won't see meaningful time next season.
Porter is the most talented tackle on the team, so this is probably a bit of trolling on Golden's part, though Pierre has long been a favorite of the staff and will be in the rotation at tackle this year.
DE: Shayon Greene / Dwayne Holliet
Green may start opposite of Chickillo if he can stay healthy, and Holliet is a true freshman who may see some playing time thanks to enrolling early and Miami needing any help it can get at end.
This is presumably Ramon Buchanan's spot, but he's out for spring. Cain may have a chance to start though, as he's showed flashes of competence in his two years at UM, which passes as good enough for this defense. Johnson is a redshirt freshman who is basically a total unknown, and Witt is an early enrollee who will likely be redshirted unless he gets thrown out on special teams.
MLB: Jimmy Gaines / Gionni Paul / Raphael Kirby
Gaines looked completely lost at MLB last season, but may get the start here this season by default. Paul is undersized and it's hard to envision him playing a major role this season. Kirby is another early enrollee whose natural fit is outside and is likely to redshirt.
OLB: Tyrone Cornelius / Denzel Perryman
This, I assume, is more or less a transparent joke.
CB: Larry Hope / Ladarius Gunter
Hope is an early enrollee who I doubt will see playing time this year. We saw Thomas Finnie atop depth charts all of last year before barely stepping on the field once games started, as Golden and his staff opted for experience over talent. Gunter is a junior college transfer who likely isn't very good but may get thrown to the wolves because of his age. Tracy Howard figures to come into play at this spot once he gets on campus.
FS: Ray Ray Armstrong / A.J. Highsmith
SS: Andreu Swasey / Vaughn Telemaque
This, obviously, will change.
McGee will start here come game time, and he probably had an underrated season at corner last year for UM, but I guess he didn't try very hard this offseason, which is really encouraging. Finnie will probably get on the field this year after being kept under wraps as a true freshman. Payne may figure into the corner rotation, or he may not.