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Miami Hurricanes 2016 Freshman Profile: Michael Pinckney

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In an effort to keep even the most hardcore Miami fan up to date on their favorite players, SOTU will be running a Freshman Profile series. In these posts, our writers will profile UM's newcomers for 2016. That way, when the season get's here, you hopefully will have a new found love for the team on the field.

Michael Pinckney

LB - 6'1 215 Freshman - Jacksonville, Fl

Came in as an early enrollee and spent most of the spring running with the starters at the "Will" spot, chipping in 4 tackles in the Spring Game.

Also earned Most Improved LB in UM's April Awards Banquet.

Confident player, willing to learn and improve.

Natural fit for an attacking scheme.  Shoot gaps, pursues with a high motor, and brings thunder when he gets to the ball.

(He also loves to throw up the U).

Summary:  Pinckney will face a stiff challenge for the starting weak side LB spot when Darrion Owens returns to 100%.  Owens is the bigger, more experienced player.  But there is definitely a role for Pinckney on this defense, even as a true freshman. His speed and athleticism should make him a terror on blitzes, he seems more than comfortable out in space, and can also drop back in coverage with his well above average mobility.  The big question will be, can he be a three down player and hold up against the run given his size?  If Pinckney gets comfortable enough to trust his instincts and shoot gaps, he should do fine.  Long term, as he gets bigger and stronger, he should be a staple in Manny Diaz' attacking defense for years to come.  In 2016 I expect him to be a part time player, perhaps play some ST, and contribute 30 or so tackles with a handful of TFL's.