While it’s never easy losing players that Miami has recruited and developed because of a transfer or an early departure to the NFL Draft, it has become more commonplace in the Hurricane program and college football in general recently.
Miami lost 10 players who suited up and had eligibility left after the 2018 season, including Travis Homer, Joe Jackson and Venzell Boulware declaring early for the NFL Draft. Hayden Mahoney, Lawrence Cager, Cade Weldon and Marquez Ezzard transferred to other schools while Bar Milo and Zach Feagles left the program. Ahmmon Richards was forced to medically retire in September 2018 because of a neck injury.
How many players with eligibility left might Miami lose prior to the 2020 season? Attrition (particularly transferring players) is extremely tough to predict but don’t be surprised if the below players consider making the move elsewhere based on their situation at Miami or their NFL potential.
5. Trajan Bandy
Bandy was named All-ACC Third Team in 2018 after a breakout season in which he started all 13 games, made 36 tackles and wore the Turnover Chain five times. If he has another season like that, the junior very well may test the NFL Draft waters. He is penciled in to be Miami’s top defensive back this season and was named one of the Top 25 ACC NFL Draft Prospects to Watch by Athlon Sports in April. Drafttek has Bandy rated the No.30 eligible cornerback in 2020 but his height (5-foot-9) may be a concern to scouts as he is the shortest cornerback prospect listed on Drafttek’s list.
4. The Third-String Quarterback
Alright, this is a bit of a cop-out answer in not naming a specific player. But Manny Diaz and Dan Enos haven’t decided on a starting quarterback yet between redshirt sophomore N’Kosi Perry, redshirt sophomore Tate Martell and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams. That means they haven’t decided on a third-string quarterback yet either. And something tells me when they do, whoever that individual is won’t like being buried on the depth chart behind two quality signal-callers. All three of the quarterbacks have enough talent to start at an FBS school. Don’t be surprised if whoever isn’t named the starter or the back-up after fall camp decides to eventually look elsewhere for more playing time. Miami prepared for this by bringing in 2019 recruit Peyton Matocha, a 3-star recruit according to 247Sports.com.
3. DeeJay Dallas
Hurricane history tells us that Dallas might explore his options with the NFL Draft after his junior season in 2019. Miami has a tradition of running backs leaving early for the NFL Draft dating back to when Edgerrin James declared as a junior for the 1999 NFL Draft. Including James, Miami has had nine running backs (Travis Homer, Mark Walton, Joseph Yearby, Duke Johnson, Lamar Miller, Frank Gore, Willis McGahee and Clinton Portis) leave eligibility on the table to go pro early since James went fourth overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. Dallas compiled a team-high 1,260 all-purpose yards during the 2018 season and scored seven touchdowns. With the lifespan of the NFL running back shrinking rapidly and with Dallas reportedly expecting a child, don’t be surprised if Dallas becomes the 10th running back to leave school early since 1999. If Dallas does leave early, it would be the fourth consecutive year a running back has left Miami early and the fifth time in the last six years.
2. Jonathan Garvin
Garvin started all 13 games at defensive end for Miami in 2018 and finished the season with 60 tackles and 5.5 sacks. That put him on the radar nationally entering his junior year as he also was named as one of the Top 25 ACC NFL Draft Prospects to Watch by Athlon Sports along with Bandy. Drafttek has Garvin rated the No.17 eligible edge pass rusher for the 2020 NFL Draft. Garvin has been healthy and productive in both of his seasons as an edge rusher in Manny Diaz’s attacking defense and he is clearly Miami’s top returning defensive end for 2019. If he plays like Joe Jackson did last season, the NFL might be tempting.
1. Jeff Thomas
Thomas seems like the most likely Hurricane with eligibility remaining to enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Everyone knows about the offseason saga with Thomas at this point (if you don’t, click here) so let’s focus on Thomas’ on-field ability. When Hurricane quarterbacks could get him the ball in 2018, he was a weapon that many defenses did not have an answer for. Thomas had 563 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 11 games despite the sub-par quarterback play and being the center of the defense’s attention in the secondary. Thomas’ speed is game-changing and his reliable hands resulted in several huge catches for the Hurricanes last season. What NFL scouts and teams will make of Thomas and the drama that surrounded his sophomore season remains to be seen. It certainly is not a guarantee that Thomas will declare for the 2020 NFL Draft but a big year in Dan Enos’ offense could propel him out the door.
Which Miami Hurricane do you most expect not to be on the 2020 roster?
This poll is closed
The Third-String Quarterback
Other (leave the player’s name in the comments section)