I know it’s way too early to start thinking about 2020, but I’m going to do it anyways. We still have 2 regular season games left, then a bowl game and our Hurricanes are looking to end 2019 with a 6 game winning streak and a lot of positive momentum going into 2020. Miami also has started a ton of young players, and the experience they’ve gained so far should be an extreme positive next season. Looking ahead to next year’s schedule Miami has no business (much like this year) with anything less than an ACC Title game shot vs. Clemson. Thinking about the talent on next year’s team, Miami should be preseason Top 20, and realistically a Top 10 team by seasons end. Let’s examine the offense, and how it will look going into 2020.
Tyler Van Dyke
Jarren Williams will be the unquestioned starter and leader on an ever improving offense. In year 2 he should be much more comfortable leading a diverse offense, not taking as many sacks, and hitting more explosive passing plays. Expect some movement in this room, as at least one of these guys will most likely transfer for more playing time elsewhere. This will be the deepest and most settled the QB room will be in a long time in Coral Gables.
Don Chaney Jr.
(FB) Realus George
Assume that DeeJay Dallas returns for his senior season at Miami, and leads a super deep group at RB. DeeJay absolutely bleeds orange and green, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return. If he does, there is speculation that Lorenzo Lingard could transfer for more playing time elsewhere. I hope this doesn’t happen, as he is the back with the most pure speed and talent on the roster. If Dallas does leave, and Lingard stays, think about the prospects of a Harris/Lingard 1, 2 punch. Defenses should be very afraid. Chaney is one of the best prospects to step on campus in a while, and could contribute immediately.
If Jeff Thomas decides to stay at Miami, then this group will be experienced and explosive, but if he decides to leave one of the younger players, either Pope, Payton or an incoming freshman will need to step up and make plays. Dee Wiggins is beginning to look the part or a kid who can take the top off the defense, and make contested catches. Miami could use a couple of signees after 2 guys hit the transfer portal during the year. Replacing KJ Osborn will be a big question next season, as the transfer from Buffalo has been very productive in his one season on campus.
Michael Irvin II
Depth and high end talent, the Canes will have arguably the best group in all of college football led by Brevin Jordan. Miami can be versatile and split these guys out wide, or bunch them in tight and run power, as this group can block very well. Jarren Williams has a great explosive safety blanket in Jordan, and Mallory should take a bigger step in 2020.
DJ Scaife Jr.
Miami was young and inexperienced as 2019 got underway, but about half way through the season this group found their sea legs. Miami will return their entire starting 5, plus all the relevant backups going into next year. The Canes will look to bring in 3 or 4 freshman to help augment the depth chart. After looking overmatched early in the year, Zion Nelson looks to be a 4 year starter at Left Tackle, who should only get better with an offseason of weight room and film study. Donaldson needs to drop a few pounds and take advantage of his final year on campus before heading to the NFL draft. Scaife will be a fixture at RT, and Clark and Gaynor should round out the rest of the starting group. John Campbell has emerged as a rotational piece that will push for more playing time in 2020. This group could be the difference from a 4 loss season, to an ACC title game appearance.
The Canes should score 35 points per game or more if the offense lives up to their potential. 2019 was a year of growth and molding key piece for the future, but 2020 should be the year the offense puts it all together. I will re-examine this article when we get closer to next season.
Next week we will look at the defense.
Go Canes, beat FIU