When Michael Irvin II. committed to Miami in 2016, there was careful optimism. The family legacy had Canes’ fans hoping that the 3-star tight end could produce on the field and become a solid piece of Mark Richt’s offense. However, in his two years in Coral Gables, he has been more like Ray Lewis III than Jarrett Payton. As a true freshman he was behind David Njoku and Chris Herndon and remained behind Herndon last season. Almost half of his receptions came when he was forced to start late in the season, a resulted of Herndon’s injury. He managed to accumulate 78 yards on nine receptions last season, playing in 12 games with three starts. The one game he did miss, Syracuse, was the result of a suspension for undisclosed reasons.
Irvin II functions much like an oversized wide receiver, a better player when he is split wide or in the slot then lined up on the line of scrimmage. However, he is a bit lumbering in his movements, not the smoothest athlete or route runner. He does possess solid hands but will need to continue improving his game if he hopes to hold off freshmen Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory.
The Junior, both in name and year, will need to prove that his experience in the offense surpasses the raw talent level that the newcomers bring. If he can, then he should be starting early. If not, then he could very quickly find himself as the no. 3 TE.