Storm 18 is off to a crazy start with the commitments of Lorenzo Lingard and now Nesta Silvera. our biggest Junior day ever is on Saturday and have a nice visitor’s list for the weekend of the 25th also. I do not expect Strom 18 to slow down any time soon...
With all of that said we have Spring 2017 coming up and there are a few position battles and players I will be paying extra attention to.
With both Jamal Carter and Rayshawn Jenkins leaving we know that there will be a battle for at least one of those spots. We can all agree that one of those spots is going to Jaquan Johnson, the Dade County legend. The other spot will likely be a battle between Romeo Finley and Amari Carter. Coach Banda recently said that the player that tackles the best will win the job. I think you will see a mix of players at that other safety spot with Ced Wright and Robert Knowles also getting looks.
For my money I like Carter to start because of his tackling and hitting ability. Not to mention that Coach Banda basically lives at Palm Beach Gardens High School over the past year recruiting him. Spring will tell us a lot.
Miami signed 5 OL in the class of 2017. While I expect that Corey Gaynor, Kai-leon Herbert, and Hillery will make noise in summer and fall I will only discuss those that will participate in Spring for this article. Those players include Navaugh Donaldson and Zach Dykstra. A lot of people view Donaldson as the prize of this class. The 6-6 335 lineman with feet like he has will certainly push for a job along the starting offensive line. He has the feet to pull and play guard from day 1. I am looking forward to Spring to seeing him play against DEs of the calibur of Chad Thomas and Jo Jo Jackson. With matt drills and Felder working with him along with Searles I expect Navaughn Donaldon to be on my starting offensive line sooner than later. Another player to look out for this Spring is George Brown, transfer from LSU.
We are also returing K.C. McDermott, Sonny Odogwu, Trevor Darling, and Tyree St. Louis with Linder and Gauthier battling for the center. Guards will be the hardest to project for me. McDermott looked lost most of this last season and Sonny may be best suited for the outside which will probably push Donaldson inside. Heres my best guess...
LT-Brown LG-Darling C-Gauthier (dog that needs to be on my field) RG- Donaldson RT-Sonny
Now the postion that will get the most attention in the Spring. This is an article that is based on Spring football so I will only discuss players who will be enrolled at Miami while Spring practices are taking place. Having Brad Kaaya was such a luxury and some took him for granted. I think we will have a new appreciation for him while watching the Spring play out.
Coach Richt has hinted several times that he wants a quarterback that can move a little bit. None of the guys that will be in the mix in the Spring are as limited in that area as Kaaya was.
The only player on our depth chart with any game experience on this roster is Malik Rosier. Malik is a fine player and we know what we have in him. He does have the win over Duke under his belt I am just not sure that he is our guy going forward. I am going to take him out of the running for the starting job.
If you would have asked me a year ago who would start at Quarterback when Brad left I would have said Evan Shirreffs. After a hand injury last Spring where he could not win the back up spot I have changed my tune on that...
This is a 2 man race to me in the Spring. I think Jack Allison and Cade Weldon will battle this out in Spring. Cade Weldon a coaches son that has shown tremendous accuracy on timing patterns and is a good/not great athlete in the pocket. I was very impressed by Cade in a camp setting when I saw him. He is also a coach’s son. That will help him in film room and getting a grasp of the offfense fast. Jack Allsion the 6-5 kid with all the tools has the advantage to me. He has been through Canes practices and knows what Coach Richt expects in a quarterback. Also being around Kaaya for the last year going back to when he was an Early Enrollee will benefit him greatly.
Let the debate begin.. No matter how it plays out this is a really exciting time to be a Canes fan. Enjoy all of it. If we get 3 open scrimmages this year go out and see for yourself. Jump in the comments and give some of your position battles and argue with my takes.