Mixed reaction usually follows when someone brings up the conversation of legacy players at the University of Miami. Most in recent memory have not continued the proud lineage of their families at the U, with few exceptions. One of those most notable exceptions is KC McDermott. He committed to Miami, following in the shadow of his brother, Shane McDermott. The middle child of the McDermott siblings chose Miami over offers from Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan and a myriad of other premier FBS programs.
A member of Miami’s 2014 recruiting class, McDermott was used sparingly his freshman year at the U. Seeing some time early in the season, however, he performed well with despite getting most of his snaps on special teams. The time on the sideline allowed the youngest McDermott member on the Hurricanes to adjust to collegiate-level game, as well as learn from the veterans in the Miami’s offensive line.
To put a wrench into the misconception that linemen are not athletes, take a look at McDermott's sophomore season. Splitting time between left guard and right tackle, McDermott saw in an increase in playing time later in the season, starting the final eight games of the season for the ‘Canes. McDermott excelled as a member of an offensive line group that was fifth in the country in allowing the fewest tackles for loss per game (4.17), and the 15 sacks allowed were third fewest in the conference. With the progress made in just his second year on campus, the expectations entering his junior season were high, even with the turnover among the coach staff.
With new offensive line coach Stacy Searels in the mix, McDermott and the rest of the offensive line unit had to prove their worth to a staff that did not recruit them. McDermott proved that he was more than just a name on a jersey in his junior season, starting all 13 games that season. Once again McDermott’s versatility came into play, starting nine games at left guard and finishing the final four games of the season at left tackle. Miami’s offense scored an average of 34.3 points per game, rushed for 274.2 yards per game and tying for fourth in the ACC in tackles for loss allowed with a 5.6 per game average.
Entering his senior season, McDermott and the offensive line were questioned in the offseason, stirring the debate of whether the starting unit would be good enough to let the skilled players do their job. So, with just two games remaining in the regular season, the answer has been a resounding “Yes.” With a yards per game average of 5.4 yards, placing the Hurricanes second in the ACC in the category, McDermott has helped to reshape the culture in a program expecting excellence. According to Pro Football Focus’ metrics, McDermott comes in as the 18th ranked tackle in the country, the McDermott has allowed one sack, two QB hits, and five QB hurries on on 340 pass blocking snaps. McDermott’s 98.2 pass blocking efficiency is among one of the best for the tackle position looking ahead to the 2018 NFL Draft.
State of the U salutes KC McDermott and the rest of the 2017 senior class.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!