The heart and soul of the Miami Hurricanes, “The Ambassador,” running back DeeJay Dallas is gearing up for his junior season in the orange-and-green.
Because he’s such a fan favorite due to his passion for the program, mostly everyone is familiar with Dallas’ career thus far as a Hurricane. The Glynn Academy (Georgia) product was once a UGA commit, though we’re thankful he ultimately chose to come to UM.
His freshman year in 2017, Mark Richt had Dallas seeing action at wide receiver, until an injury to Mark Walton forced DeeJay to make the switch to running back. Whether it was from the Wildcat formation, catching passes as a WR, Dallas absolutely made his presence felt his first season.
Walton left to the NFL after the 2017 season, so that left Dallas now as the number two back behind Travis Homer heading into the next year. As a sophomore, DeeJay was a great compliment to Homer, and added another level to the Miami rushing attack.
Dallas finished 2018 with 617 yards rushing and six touchdowns, plus a team-leading 1,260 all-purpose yards playing both running back and also returning kicks and punts.
Homer left Miami early and is now on the Seahawks, which leaves Dallas as the go-to guy at RB going into the 2019 season. Behind him are sophomores Cam’Ron Harris and Lorenzo Lingard.
The pressure of taking over the starting job didn’t seem to phase Dallas during spring practice. While Harris also played exceptionally well, DeeJay showed his veteran vision, and proved why there’s so much hype surrounding him for this season.
Yes, Harris and Lingard will no doubt get plenty of touches in 2019, but Dallas’ skill-set leads the pack, and truly sets apart the Hurricanes rushing attack as being potentially lethal.
First off, coming in at 220 pounds, Dallas is a bruising back that can break tackles from any defensive player. Here against North Carolina in week-five, he showed that power as he was able to fight off defenders for a good gain.
And yes this was in the rain, but Dallas is also a lot faster than people give him credit for pic.twitter.com/8gzEhdReAa— Bring Issiah Walker to Miami (@hurricanesmarsh) June 12, 2019
Another aspect of his skills is his speed, which people are starting to catch on to. While he’s bigger than both Harris and Lingard, Dallas can turn on the gas, like this 83-yard dash to the end zone in the rain against Duke.
And finally, can we more Wildcat in 2019??? Also, check out Brevin Jordan on the block pic.twitter.com/vD1UD6rMdG— Bring Issiah Walker to Miami (@hurricanesmarsh) June 12, 2019
Finally, he’s shown in both his freshman and sophomore seasons that he can be effective running the offense in the Wildcat formation. Let’s hope that Dan Enos will realize the damage he can do in it, and we’ll see more of it in 2019.
Plus, when he doesn't have the ball, Dallas can be absolutely deadly when it comes to blocking. Against Virginia Tech, #13 leveled an interior defensive lineman.
Bud Foster still knows how to meet at the qb. VT gets Miami to change protection to the potential blitz side. Miami will slide right but VT doesn't come.— rOmaN (@Romancane) November 18, 2018
Gauthier blocks absolutely no one BUT DEEJAY DALLAS CERTAINLY DID. pic.twitter.com/pQ5uUuxZm3
With such a variety of skills, as well as experience his previous two years have taught him, expect to see Dallas carry the load for the Hurricanes this season.
Almost as equally important for Dallas and his role with the Canes is his leadership. I mean, they don’t call him “The Ambassador” for nothing, there’s absolutely no doubt that #13 loves the UM program and is always trying to improve. Perfect example of this was in 2018. At the midway point of the season, Dallas had gone through some fumbling problems, coughing the ball up against Duke and Georgia Tech. Instead of whining about it and feeling sorry for himself, DeeJay sought help from sports psychologist Dr. Eric Goldstein.
Combine both his leadership on the field and in the locker room, expect a big junior season for Dallas in 2019.