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Ranking the 2017 Miami Hurricanes Roster Based on Bill Walsh College Football

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The first EA Sports College Football Game from 1993 used players from the 1992 season

CRAIG ERICKSON HURRICANES

In 1993, Bill Walsh College Football was released on Sega and changed my young world. It was my first college football game and I was immediately hooked. My brother and I would pass between the team of hype and being the Hurricanes based on coin tosses or arm wrestling or who would bitch more. I really can’t remember. But sitting down and playing BWCFB was a life changer.

The 1992 Hurricanes have always held a special place, even though they got slapped around by Bama in the title game. It was Hurricane Andrew, moving to Nole/Gator country, beating the Noles on a wide right, moving back, and watching the title game in the dual threat living room / mine and my brother’s bedroom on our old Sears TV. It was a weird year and Miami played another daunting schedule.

Today I’m going to look at the current Hurricanes and how they would rank based on the Bill Walsh original model. From my guess, 15 is the highest anyone can be rated on any given category. National Champion and future Heisman winner Gino Torretta was ranked a 13 on pass range and a 12 on pass accuracy. Known speedster Quadry “The Missile” Ismail was a 13 speed. And BMF Mike Barrow a 14 tackler.


The Offense

Quarterback

Back in that day, true freshman were hard to come by in a video game. I would image we would get Evan Shirreffs and Malik Rosier if Walsh came out today. Perry would be in the next years edition.

Shirreffs- I would compared him to Columbus, OH #4 aka Kirb Herbstreit. Hell I haven’t seen him in a game so this is merely a guess. But from reports it sounds right.

6 Pass Range 10 Pass Accuracy 5 Speed 5 Scrambling

Rosier- He would have compared physically to a young Tommie Frazier. More mobility and a weaker arm than Shirreffs, although I think he has a better arm than this. I’m really not sure why Marvin Graves isn’t rated higher as a runner getting 5’s in speed and scrambling is a joke for a guy that mastered the freeze option.

2 Pass Range 6 Pass Accuracy 8 Speed 8 scrambling

N’Kosi Perry- Hell with it I’ll rate Perry anyway and I think Mark Brunnell aka #11 from Washington ‘92 would be the way to go... yes- I’m on the hype train.

6 Pass Range 10 Pass Accuracy 7 Speed 7 scrambling


Running Back

Mark Walton- Ratings wise, matches up well to the Syracuse Orangeman RB #33 David Walker. Walker averaged 5.3 yards / carry which is similar to Walton in 2016 and their body type and running style feels similar. Walton isn’t in the triple option but I think Walker is the closest example.

9 Speed 10 Agility 10 Break Tackles 8 Hands

Travis Homer- I put him on par with Donnell Bennett #33 for the ‘Canes. Bennett is a “fullback” and Homer should run with power with that body, but he’s far from a complete back.

7 Speed, 6 Agility, 4 Break Tackles (man, Donnell was underrated) 4 Hands


Wide Receiver

Ahmon Richards- Richards compares to Horace Copeland. Copeland aka #88 is rated the fastest of the two stud WR’s (Lamar Thomas aka #36 being the other).

11 Speed, 9 Catching, 6 Break Tackles, 8 Quickness

Lawrence Cager- Cager is a guy #Canes fans are ready to see have a breakout season. His skills remind me of OJ McDuffie aka State College player #24.

10 Speed, 9 Catching, 6 Break Tackles, 9 Quickness


Tight End

Christopher Herndon IV- Herndon reminds me a lot of Coleman Bell, the ‘Canes TE in 1991-1992 after Chud left Gables. Bell did some amazing things given the amount the ball was spread around in Erickson’s offense.

9 Speed, 8 Catching, 5 Break Tackles, 6 Quickness

Offensive Line

With so many unproven parts and underachieving players, the ‘92 and ‘17 Miami O-Lines are similar. Every ‘92 OL received a 9 pass blocking and 6 run blocking by Walsh and I don’t see much difference now.


The Defense

Defensive Line

The strength of Miami in 2017 is the front 7 and it wasn’t much different in 1992. Darrin Krein, Kevin Patrick, Pat Riley, and Mark Caesar are the 4 D-Line guys in Walsh. In 2017:

Chad Thomas- Thomas ranks around where Nebraska Defensive End John Parrella ranked in 1992. Parrella was an all purpose end versus the typical Miami rush ends of the early 90’s.

Speed 8 Tackling 12 Agility 8 Pursuit 8

RJ McIntosh- McIntosh reminds me of Bryant Young of South Bend ‘92 in Walsh.

Speed 10 Tackling 10 Agility 9 Pursuit 9

Kendrick Norton- The big bodied 312lbs Norton has some Dan Footman in him from the ‘Noles ‘92 squad. The dude’s a space eater that can control the line of scrimmage and still get to the QB.

Speed 7 Tackling 9 Agility 8 Pursuit 7

Joe Jackson- Jackson got PT as a young buck in ‘16. Kevin Patrick started getting PT as a freshman in 1990. Patrick, now a long time football coach, became a starter and solidified that role with a strong ‘91 season and was even an All American in 1993.

Speed 12 Tackling 5 Agility 10 Pursuit 11


Linebacker

OK it’s hard to not get excited about the current Bermuda Triangle linebacker trio but let’s face it, being Smith-Barrow-Armstead is a lot to live up to. You’re talking Super Bowls, Pro Bowls, All-Pro teams and two of three have hung around the game for years as a coach or front office member in college or the NFL.

McCloud- McCloud plays the coverage role of a Darrin Smith. That’s where the comparison lies and I’m not getting creative here.

Speed 12 Tackling 10 Agility 10 Awareness 11

Shaq Quarterman- Quarterman embodies Michael Barrow in so many ways it’s not even fair. A stalky, BMF mike linebacker that calls the plays and starts getting thrust into the spotlight as a youngster. Barrow sat behind Tiger Clark for a year in 1989, but by 1990 he was a star. Shaq started immediately and they compare favorably.

Speed 10 Tackling 14 Agility 12 Awareness 12

Pinckney- Pinckney plays a bit like Michigan ‘92 #36 Steve Morrison. He can move but he can also fill the gap and make plays inside.

Speed 9 Tackling 15 Agility 7 Awareness 9


Defensive Back

Malek Young- Young is the ‘next big thing’ at DB for Miami. Young came on late as a true freshman and showed that he could play ball with the best of them. Young reminds me of Ryan McNeil who wore #47 for the ‘Canes in Walsh.

Speed 11 Tackling 10 Pass Coverage 10 Interceptions 11

Dee Delaney- It’s hard to judge a transfer but based on what I’ve read we have a steady player that won’t make a lot of mistakes. That channels Paul White for me, #4 for Miami back in 1992. White got more PT in ‘93 and ‘94 and Delaney is getting a knock for not being an FBS player until this year.

Speed 10 Tackling 11 Pass Coverage 10 Interceptions 10

Jaquan Johnson - Johnson looks to be the new captain of the DB’s. He’s a guy that started games towards the end of the year and was sitting behind seniors in the back 4. Jaquan can run, pick the ball off, and make sure tackles. He’s the Casey Greer, or #29 for Miami, back in 1992.

Speed 11 Tackling 12 Pass Coverage 9 Interceptions 11

Sheldrick Redwine- Redwine I’ll compare to Brandon Sanders from the Arizona Desert Swarm defense of 1992. Sanders wore #18 and had speed but wasn’t the surest tackler. Redwine switching from CB to S will have speed for a safety but not quite the thumping ability of a Johnson or Greer.

Speed 12 Tackling 7 Pass Coverage 10 Interceptions 12

Amari Carter- Carter is a true freshman and probably wouldn’t be in the Walsh game, but I can compare him to Terris Harris. Possibly not ready to start but the big hitter can come up and play the game. Harris wore #6 for Miami and started a lot of games from 1992-1993.

Speed 9 Tackling 11 Pass Coverage 9 Interceptions 9


Special Teams

Placekicker

Michael Badgley- Badgley is a player I expect to see improvements from in 2017. Badgley is a talented kicker that needs more consistency. I would compare him to Bama’s kicker in 1992 Steven Cole.

Range 12 Accuracy 8

Punter

Feagles- The Miami punting situation is practically unknown and while it’s Jeff Feagles’ son I would compare him to UF’s punter in ‘92 Shayne Edge. New punters are usually solid in range but lack the ability to direct and control their punts resulting in more touchbacks and less balls downed inside the 20 or 5.

Range 12 Accuracy 5


Kick Return

Jeff Thomas- I think we’re all hoping for more explosion in the kick return game and Jeff Thomas could be that guy. I’m comparing him to Miami’s Jonathan Harris who played the slot and returned kicks from 1992-1994.

Speed 11 Agility 10 break tackles 9

Punt Return

Braxton Berrios- Berrios is a sure thing to keep possession of the ball and I think Miami will sit in good field position between their own defense and punter. Berrios will once again carry Kevin Williams’ jock here.

Speed 8 Agility 10 Break Tackles 3