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Sleeper candidates for next season

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Let’s take a look at players that could make an impact in 2017

NCAA Football: Miami at North Carolina Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

Each position group has a player or two that will perform above expectations. A few of them could actually have breakout seasons and help fill positions of need. Last season the entire defensive line improved drastically. Specifically defensive end Chad Thomas who did not do much in his first two seasons at Miami, but exploded as a junior. After only one season, it is clear that these coaches know how to develop and get the best out of their players.

Now, let us take a look at some players who can turn some heads next season.

Jovani Haskins is a player that many people who cover the team rave about. The redshirt freshman has great athleticism and could definitely help bring that dynamic to the tight ends group, with David Njoku leaving early for the NFL Draft.

Michael Irvin II played some as freshman, but he did not impact the end result like the entire freshmen linebackers core did. He also did not have the same opportunities as them. With Christopher Herndon IV will most likely be the No. 1 tight end next season, but the No. 2 slot has not been filled. There will be plenty of players fighting for that slot.

Wide receiver Lawerence Cager was set to breakout last season, until a knee injury derailed those aspirations. It will be intriguing to see how well the redshirt sophomore plays during the spring. The receiver group has two proven products in Ahmmon Richards and Braxton Berrios. The rest of the group has played some, but they have not separated themselves.

Scott Patchan could be one of the more intriguing players to watch. The defensive end has faced injuries while at Miami, but the talent is clearly there. The redshirt sophomore has few players ahead of him on the depth chart, but he stays healthy, there should be ample opportunity for him to make an impact.

The competition at defensive back will be intense in the spring and in the fall. There are plenty of open spots that have not been spoken for. Sophomore safety Romeo Finley was able to push two senior for playing time, but these year he is in battle with freshmen and players in his class. The coaches have mentioned that a freshman could very well be starting at defensive back next season.

I am sure there are plenty of others that could surprise, but that is what the comment section is for!