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SOTU 2019 season predictions roundtable: part 1

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Our crew of SOTU contributors share their thoughts ahead of the 2019 season

Duke v Miami Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

After a long offseason, made longer by virtue of a horrific 2018 season, Miami Hurricanes Football is (almost) back! And, with the 2019 season just days away from starting, I convened our SOTU contributors for a roundtable Q&A to give their thoughts and predictions for the season. Here’s the first part of our discussion, with the second part coming tomorrow.

Question 1. What are your expectations for year 1 of the Manny Diaz era?

Cam Underwood: Call me crazy, but I’m expecting a step forward. Manny Diaz might not have experience as a head coach, but he did yeoman’s work rebuilding Miami’s defense after the previous DC turned the unit into a laughingstock. With his energy, enthusiasm, and some help from his assistants, Diaz should hopefully be able to take advantage of a relatively weak schedule to propel Miami toward a 10+ win season. The talent is here, and I expect that to happen.

Marsh Thomas: I know that Diaz is a first year head coach, but there’s so much talent on this team and I love the coaching changes he’s made, I see this team winning the Coastal, finishing the regular season 10-2 and ending up around 11-3.

Matt Washington: I have tempered my expectations for Manny Diaz’s first year at the helm. There are still plenty of questions on offense entering the season that prevent me from being completely optimistic. However, I figure that we see enough improvement to compete in every game this season.

Gaby Urrutia: My expectations are what they should be at Miami regardless of the year or coach -- win the ACC Coastal. Get to Charlotte. It’s a feat that has alluded Miami far too many times. I believe that this team is as talented as any team with a front seven as good as any team in the country. A rock solid defense should be enough to carry Miami through a fairly weak schedule. The floor should be 9 wins and a trip to Charlotte.

Justin Dottavio: I want to see a competitive fire. Manny is in year 1, he doesn’t get a year zero since it’s Miami, he was here, they won 10 games 2 years ago. The players can’t quit, they can’t make stupid mistakes (false starts, sloppy turnovers, bad snaps, delay of game, wasted TO’s).

John Michaels: I expect a sense of urgency that hasn’t been seen in Miami since the early 2000s. I also expect a team that fights through adversity and doesn’t fold after a bad game, series or loss. He is the 1st coaching hire I’ve liked since Larry Coker.

KappaCane: I expect the team to coalesce around Manny and for them to have a successful season.

Todd Forrest: I’m looking for the three E’s on offense: Effort, Energy and Excitement. I’m optimistic that Manny Diaz will breathe new life into the offense, similar to his defensive overhaul in 2016. I can live with mistakes and growing pains as long as the effort remains consistent and they don’t continually shoot themselves in the foot as they’ve done in years past. On defense, I want the Turnover Chain appearing a lot more than it did in 2018. Last season, Miami forced 25 turnovers (tied for 11th nationally, which is still very good) but that number was down from 31 (T-3 in the country) in 2017. If the Canes force 30-plus takeaways this fall, I guarantee they will return to the ACC title game.

Carl Bleich: The expectations for year one of the Manny Diaz era should be to continue to be a dominant top 10 or top 5 defense while drastically improving on offense and special teams. Offensive coordinator Dan Enos hopes to take care of the offensive issues while signing punter Louis Hedley will hopefully help Miami be much better in the field position battle next season. If Miami makes even slight improvements on offense and special teams and does not get worse on defense, winning 10 games and the ACC Coastal division is very attainable.

Austin Pert: I have high expectations for the Manny Diaz era, but year one is just year one of what truly amounts to a mini-rebuild. Rebuilds take time. Hopefully with the continuity of what made up much of last year’s defense allows 2019 to be as seamless as possible, but much work has to be done to smooth out the rough edges from 2018 and earlier. I expect the defense the stay the same as last year, with the offense, special teams, and recruiting to improve, as we know there is much room for improvement.

Goldman: I have been impressed by how Manny has carried himself off the field, as well as what he has done in recruiting and in the transfer portal. However, I don’t want to set the expectations too high, as Miami was still a very mediocre team last season. Despite that, I think this is a talented roster that should make it to Charlotte and the ACC Championship Game. So my expectations are an ACC Coastal title and 8-10 wins this season.

Question 2. What do you expect from Quarterback?

[editor’s note: responses for this roundtable, including this question, were submitted before Jarren Williams was named as the starting QB. I’ve edited most responses down to the pertinent sections, but some were a paragraph inclusive of all 3 candidates. I’ve left those submissions as they originally were]

Underwood: I have no idea. I have hopes, sure, but expectations? That’s a bit harder to put my finger on. I’ve said this elsewhere, but if Miami can get league-average QB performance — something in the 50s or 60s instead of the 100s to 120s — then the offense should take a massive step forward. Jarren Williams was recently announced as the starter, so he’s the man. Let’s go get ‘em, kid!

Thomas: From Jarren, I expect to see a QB with a great arm and great delivery, running Enos’ offense very well.

Washington: There’s going to be some growing pains in 2019 as UM gets used to a new starting QB. Jarren Williams lacks game experience, but by all accounts has the intangibles to be a productive signal caller and has been the most efficient in scrimmages. N’Kosi Perry is the incumbent who has displayed moments of brilliance, but will have you muttering “what were you thinking” a few plays later. Hopefully he’s matured and settled down from what he was in 2018. Tate Martell is the shiny new toy that we want to see get a chance to line up behind centre. He brings bravado to the position and is able to turn negative plays into positive gains with his legs. The reports from spring to fall camp have been mixed for Martell, who many assumed would be the favourite to win the job after transferring into the program. My only expectation is that we don’t bungle the QB situation similar to last year. I could see two of three getting multiple starts early in the season. I would like to see what Jarren Williams go bring to the offense.

Urrutia: Based on what I have seen, Jarren Williams will be a capable passer with the potential to grow quickly as the coaching staff instills more confidence in him. He has the athletic ability to be the runner, the arm to be the passer, and has ideal size for the position. Williams coming in as a dark-horse and winning this job is a direct product of him sacrificing his summers and school breaks to work on his craft with quarterbacks from across the country. The weapons available to him could allow him to prosper as the general of the offense and I could see him reaching that coveted 60% completion percentage and potentially break out into one of the best quarterbacks in the conference.

Dottavio: Williams has a strong arm and a tight spiral. I expect to see some big time throws on deep balls and intermediate throws.

Michaels: Jarren is a polished passer, and just need the game to slow down for him. He has the most upside of the 3.

Kappa: Jarren Williams - The protégé with the highest ceiling of the group, found a way to put together a consistent enough performance for the staff to label him as the one. He is a pure passer with great accuracy, and minimized his mistakes when the ball was in his hands. This was vital to him being selected to start at Quarterback.

Overall, I welcome the best man at each position to take the field for each game. No seniority. No favorites. No gimmes. This is a meritocracy, and it requires preparation, scheming, and calculated gambles.

Forrrest: I want Jarren Williams to become a team leader on the sidelines and take charge in the huddle. He certainly has all the tools but I hope he immediately earns the respect and confidence of his teammates and unites them behind him. If he does, he could leave Miami as one of the all-time greats.

Bleich: Once rumored to be leaving Miami this offseason, Jarren Williams is set to step in and lead the Hurricanes as a redshirt freshman for the 2019 season. Reports from pre-season practices often stated that Williams consistently threw the best ball of Miami’s quarterbacks and that is great news for Miami’s mid-range and deep passing attacks this season. Throwing an accurate mid-range ball and keeping defenses honest by going over the top with Miami’s speed on the edge will allow Williams to be successful at the position during the 2019 season.

Pert: I expect N’Kosi Perry to clean up some of his boneheaded mistakes from a year ago. We all know how athletic he is but I need to see some more football IQ out of him. Reports all offseason are encouraging, but I need to see game results to be convinced. Tate Martell has always been my preferred option but I need to see more actual game reps from him, as Florida will provide a far more stern test for him then mop-up duty against Rutgers ever will. Jarren Williams is the wildcard here, but I’ve seen so little from him (other than during a single qtr against Savannah State) that it’s impossible to make a claim on him yet. Best case scenario, he’s a less erratic version of Perry, but if he were at that level yet, we would all know.

Goldman: Jarren is a true wildcard, as we really haven’t seen him play in college. Williams was a very highly-regarded prospect out of high school, and has great arm strength. Perry and Martell have gotten all of the attention in this competition, but Williams is more then competent, and might be the guy that wins the job.

Question 3. Which offensive position is the strongest for Miami in 2019?

Underwood: Gotta be either Running Back or Tight End. Since I have to pick one, I’m going TE. Brevin Jordan was the Nation’s #1 recruit here and was Freshman All-American at this position last year. Fellow sophomore Will Mallory might have a higher ceiling than Jordan for the future with his combination of size and athleticism. Michael Irvin II has taken a big, BIG step forward this spring and fall, and freshman Larry Hodges is undersized but incredibly athletic, and looks to be a player here in the future. Add in depth with Brian Polendey and this is the best unit on the offense, to me.

Thomas: The running backs. You have an experienced junior like DeeJay Dallas, then throw in super talented sophomores like Cam Harris and Lorenzo Lingard. If they can stay healthy, this will be the deepest RB room for Miami they’ve had in a while.

Washington: Tight End. Brevin Jordan, Will Mallory and Michael Irvin II should all be pro prospects in the near future. You can make the case that the wideouts can boast similar praise, but I’m siding with the TEs based on quality, depth and potential for significant production in 2019.

Urrutia: Tight end has to be the answer. You got two young and extremely capable blockers and pass catchers in Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory. Then you have experience and grit in Michael Irvin II, who is also sneaky athletic and makes plays in the passing game too. Then from a depth standpoint, you have Brian Polendey who could help in the running game and true freshman Larry Hodges, who is built and plays much like Brevin Jordan does. There is a lot to be excited about at the position.

Dottavio: Tight end has to be the top position group. Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory are elite athletes and Michael Irvin II has looked improved.

Michaels: Tight End ...with Jordan, Mallory, Irvin II and Hodges, the Canes May have the best group in the country. If Dan Enos finds a way to exploit the defenses like we expect, look for Jordan to be a borderline All-American.

Kappa: The wide receiver corps is the strongest position group for Miami on offense in 2019. There is leadership and depth and as a result will be the strongest group.

Forrest: If Lorenzo Lingard or Michael Irvin II were fully healthy, I might consider running back or tight end. However, the depth of Miami’s receiving corp stacks up with anyone in America, especially considering that tight ends Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan are more than capable of splitting out wide. Junior speedsters Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley are as dangerous as they come and grad-transfer KJ Osborn has All-ACC written all over him. Youngsters Brian Hightower, Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins are capable of going for 100 yards on any given Saturday, while Evidence Njoku has the potential to replace Lawrence Cager as Miami’s favored redzone target. With all this talent, I’ve still yet to mention the Canes’ highest rated commit in the Class of 2019 and an early-enrollee, Jeremiah Payton.

Bleich: The strongest offensive position for Miami in 2019 is the running back position. Miami’s top two running backs--junior Deejay Dallas and sophomore Cam’ron Harris--are both capable of being a feature back for Miami at this point in their careers. The Hurricanes will rotate Dallas and Harris in the backfield often and will use both as a receiver out of the backfield as well in Offensive Coordinator Dan Enos’ offense. Redshirt sophomore Robert Burns is finally healthy and seems to be able to step in and be the power runner that Miami may have been lacking in years past. Once sophomore Lorenzo Lingard is fully healthy from the knee injury he suffered last season, the Hurricanes will have four running backs worthy of playing time this season.

Pert: Tight End for sure, with running back close behind. But the leaps that Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory will surely make as sophomores in 2019 are going to remind the nation who TEU is.

Goldman: I would have to say running back. Receiver and tight end are deep, but running back is really strong going into this season. Deejay Dallas is a proven college running back who has been very good in his first two seasons as a Cane. Additionally, Cam Harris showed really strong flashes last year, and as a four-star in 2018, he should get more playing time this season. Additionally, five-star RB Lorenzo Lingard has a ton of talent, and he’ll be featured more after injuries slowed his season last year. Finally, Robert Burns provides very solid depth if he can just stay healthy.

Question 4. Which offensive position is the weakest/most concerning for Miami in 2019?

Underwood: Offensive Line. Quarterback gets the headlines, and we’re all wondering about that choice, but Offensive Line affects every play, and has been quite terrible in recent years. If the QB — whoever that ends up being — and offense are to take a step forward, the OL is gonna need to step up. And with a true freshman likely to start at Left Tackle, that surely won’t be an easy task. Oh well. Go make it happen, guys.

Thomas: Weakest would be the offensive line, just based on what we’ve seen and read. Most concerning is quarterbacks, the lack of experience and the fact that they haven’t named a starter yet.

Washington: Quarterback. If you had asked me the same question before spring, it would have been the offensive line without hesitation. I get that the QB battle is meant to be fierce and you can’t make a decision based on a single practice, scrimmage or drill. However, the fact that by most reports no one has pulled away significantly in the race that at the time I’m answering this question has three guys vying for the job, has me concerned. Ending on a positive note, whoever wins the job should have better protection upfront this year.

Urrutia: The offensive line. I believe there is potential for the group to make a massive jump compared to a year ago. The interior line is rock solid with C Corey Gaynor, LG Navaughn Donaldson, and RG D.J. Scaife, who moves inside after playing tackle. I believe the two guards are finally in their correct position and they will flourish in those roles. Having a true freshman left tackle is concerning and I don’t believe there is any other way to spin that. I don’t care how good he is or how much weight he has put on. No team wants their left tackle, who will be facing off against top pass rushers game in and game out, to be fresh out of high school. I believe Nelson is going to be good, potentially great, but it is a cause of concern. The shuffle at the right tackle between John Campbell and Kai-Leon Herbert creates questions too because we simply don’t know who it’s going to be. And the depth is thin. Very thin.

Dottavio: Offensive line. But I’m excited about Zion Nelson and his potential. Corey Gaynor, Donaldson- there’s a ton of potential. But they sucked in 2018.

Michaels: Offensive Line - I’m slightly more confident than last season, but potentially starting a true Freshman at LT and an inexperienced RT is not a recipe for success. Average play out of this group will lead to a big season.

Kappa: The offensive line group, specifically the Tackle position is the weakest/most concerning for Miami in 2019

Forrest: Offensive line, without a doubt. Mark Richt and Stacy Searels should be commended for cleaning up the ridiculous false start penalties that plagued Miami during the James Coley years, but overall, the front-five saw little, if any improvement during the last three seasons. The weak link in 2016 was also the weak link in 2017 and 2018. With the exception of quarterback, no other position has held the Canes back as much as the O-line. With the early departure of George Brown and grad-transfer Tommy Kennedy’s struggles, new position coach Butch Barry is essentially working with the same two-deep as his predecessor. Freshman tackle Zion Nelson has been a pleasant surprise, but how much can be expected from an inexperienced, undersized left tackle over the course of a 13-14 game season? Hopefully, first-year offensive coordinator Dan Enos’ new system will play to the strengths of the O-line. This unit won’t be elite (at least not this year), but average-to-above average line play would provide a major boost to the offense.

Bleich: The most concerning offensive position for Miami in 2019 is the tackle positions on the offensive line. While true freshman left tackle Zion Nelson’s growth since January has been incredible, starting a true freshman at a position as important as left tackle is extremely nerve-wracking. With the rotation of John Campbell and Kai-Leon Herbert at right tackle, UM figures to have an inexperienced right tackle to start the season as well. While the interior of the offensive line seems to have shaken out nicely, Miami has reason to be concerned about the tackle positions early in the year.

Pert: Has to still be offensive line until proven otherwise. However, with Searels gone, the unit improves regardless of personnel.

Goldman: I would have to say offensive line. While there a lot of concerns about QB, the OL was simply bad last year. There is very little depth, and although he’s gotten rave reviews, starting a true freshman at LT in Zion Nelson right out of the gate is a little unsettling. Hopefully coach Butch Barry can help improve the unit as time goes along.

Question 5. Who is your breakout player on offense in 2019 and why?

Underwood: Whoever ends up being the starting QB. I know it’s a bit of a cop-out, but if the QB is even league-average, they could approach Heisman Caliber/record-setting numbers (just look at Malik Rosier in 2017 for very recent proof of this). IDK who it’ll end up being, but that’s the most premium position in the sport, and if the QB can settle in and be decent or better, that’s the clear answer for breakout offensive player to me.

Thomas: My breakout player for 2019 on offense is Will Mallory at tight end. He has such incredible size and considerable speed, plus Dan Enos loves to use tight ends in passing situations.

Washington: RB Cam’Ron Harris. The guy has excellent vision and balance. We got a small sample size last year and he made the most of thsee carries. Entering his second year, it’s going to be hard for Coach Enos to not feed him the ball.

Urrutia: I’m going to go with Will Mallory. He is a guy I have been saying since the spring that is about to break out, not only on the Miami Hurricanes, but as a nationally recognized tight end who will be atop of scouts draft boards at the position heading into 2020. I believe he is that talented. Dan Enos’ offense has been kind to tight ends (see Hunter Henry at Arkansas and Irv Smith Jr. at Alabama) and I believe Mallory, along with Brevin Jordan, are the next beneficiaries of his scheme.

Dottavio: KJ Osborn- I have a ton of faith in him to get drafted and have an All-ACC year.

Michaels: Jeff Thomas - I know he was the beat receiver last year, but with Coach Enos stressing that he will get him 10 touches a game, I can see Jeff having a 1000 yard season and moving on to the NFL,

Kappa: Will Mallory is my breakout player on offense in 2019 because he is virtually un-guardable. His size, speed, and athleticism make him a matchup nightmare for opposing Linebackers. Couple that with the fact defenses will be keying on Brevin Jordan, and have to respect our WR corps, and you have a recipe for success here as lesser skilled defensive players will be on an island covering him.

Forrest: I’m leaning towards Mallory but it’s not 100% solid. My first reaction was to go with Lingard, which I assume will be a very popular pick, but with the depth at running back, I could see Lingard making a bigger impact in the return game. After an injury severely limited Mallory in 2018, I expect him to be among Miami’s leaders in receiving touchdowns. He has the athleticism to line up at receiver, which will allow Brevin Jordan and Mallory to remain on the field together. With Thomas and Osborn on the outside and Jordan in the middle, Mallory will be a challenging cover for whoever draws the assignment.

Bleich: Miami’s breakout player on offense in 2019 will be sophomore tight end Will Mallory. Mallory is in line to benefit greatly from Offensive Coordinator Dan Enos’ reliance on two tight end sets and getting the tight end in involved in the passing game. Mallory is a capable route runner and pass catcher with great size and body control. He will be a red zone target on offense and will be extremely difficult for opposing linebackers to guard one-on-one.

Pert: I’d have to say Mallory. This question will attract a range of different answers, but Jordan’s presence naturally takes away opportunities from Mallory. But more reliable play at QB can allow both TEs to be lethal in space, and with defenses well aware of Jordan, Mallory can surprise a lot of people this year.

Goldman: Will Mallory. I think Dan Enos is going to take advantage of the weapons he has at tight end and use them to terrorize the opposing defense. Fellow tight end Brevin Jordan had a coming out party last year, and Mallory, the four-star, will have his party this season.

Question 6. Who is your offensive newcomer of the year and why?

Underwood: OT Zion Nelson. I was gonna cheat and put WR K.J. Osborn, but he’s a 5th year senior. It would be a monumental ascension for Nelson to go from a 240lb 2-star recruit committed to Appalachian State to being Miami’s starting LT (at 290lbs presently) for the duration of the season. This answer presumes he 1. stays healthy and 2. performs decently or better this season, but he’s done that so far, so I’m riding with it.

Thomas: My offensive newcomer is receiver Jeremiah Payton. He has great size and length, plus he’s already making plays on the nations best pass defense from last year. He’ll be a great no. 3 at WR.

Washington: KJ Osborn is my offensive newcomer of the year. The University of Buffalo transfer has quickly become a leader in the locker room. Osborn has been praised for his work ethic, often staying after practice to work on his craft. If Tate Martell wins the QB job and becomes the superstar QB many projected him to be coming out of Bishop Gorman (LV), it would be easy to see him earn this recognition.

Urrutia: K.J. Osborn is the obvious answer. His knowledge and work ethic has been contagious not only for the wide receiver room, but for the entire Hurricanes program. He is the epitome of leadership despite not being a part of this program for very long. Osborn is the next grad transfer that is going to have success here at Miami, and could be potentially have the biggest impact of any of the previous ones. It would not be a stretch to say he leads receivers in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

Dottavio: Since KJ Osborn would be that guy, I’ll go with Zion Nelson. If he’s willing to work this hard and invest this much I think he’ll have a hell of a year.

Michaels: Zion Nelson - He’s going to be the starting LT from day 1. His physical growth has already been immense, and if he starts the entire year that means he has a good year.

Kappa: I think Jeremiah Peyton will be the offensive newcomer winner as his skillset is more advanced than most Freshamn. I could say the same about Zion Nelson, but OL don’t usually get much publishing, and I expect he will face far more difficult opposition as a starter.

Forrest: I touched on this earlier but I would be surprised if Osborn doesn’t receive an All-ACC nod at season’s end. The only question is: Will he be first, second or third team all conference? However, with so many talented pass catchers on this year’s roster, I don’t see anyone approaching 1,000 yards. Last season, Thomas led the way with 35 catches on 563 yards; and of the seven players that recorded double-digit receptions, two were running backs and two are gone (Cager, Langham). Last year, Miami’s offense averaged just 167 passing yards per game (113th in the country). If Miami’s passing game just moves into the middle of the pack (60-65th), that would be an additional 60 passing yards a game and 720 yards over a 12 game regular season. Of those extra yards, I predict Thomas, Osborn and Jordan will account for the majority.

Bleich: Miami’s offensive newcomer of the year in 2019 will be redshirt senior KJ Osborn. Osborn has been a work horse in practice as numerous reports have stated that he is often spending extra in the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility working on routes and catching the football. Osborn appears to be locked into a starting wide receiver spot alongside junior Jeff Thomas, who figures to draw a lot of attention from defenses this season. This may open up space for Osborn to work and the Buffalo transfer will benefit greatly from this.

Goldman: Jeremiah Payton. The freshman was very highly-regarded as a four-star out of high school, and he’s been getting high praise since he’s arrived on campus. He’s got a great chance to break through and become an impactful player on offense.

Question 7. Which defensive position is the strongest for Miami in 2019?

Underwood: Linebacker. I mean, c’mon. This is the no-brainer answer. Seniors Shaq Quarterman, Mike Pinckney, and Zach McCloud have started for 4 years, and fellow senior Romeo Finley was a revelation (and the team’s most improved player, too) in the hybrid STRIKER role a year ago. There’s precious little depth behind that quartet, but you’d be hard pressed to find a group of this caliber anywhere else in America, let alone the ACC.

Thomas: Defensive end. Jonathan Garvin, Trevon Hill, Scott Patchan, Greg Rousseau and Jahfari Harvey. Enough said.

Washington: This a tough question. I’m going to go with the defensive ends. Jonathan Garvin is an All-ACC caliber player that has proven to be a disruptive force his first two seasons. Scott Patchan appears poised to have a big year and has turned in a good fall camp. Trevon Hill is a one of the best senior prospects in the country, providing a huge boost in leadership and production off the edge. Greg Rousseau is still figuring out how to be a well-rounded defender, but has the talent to be a menace in the backfield already. And freshmen Jahfari Harvey and Christian Williams round out the depth chart. The Canes will have waves of pressure off the edge this season.

Urrutia: Linebackers may be the popular answer, but I am going to go with the defensive line. Despite losing an All-American tackle in Gerald Willis III, they remain truly two almost three deep at the position. There are five defensive ends that would start on almost any college football team. The rotation of defensive tackles is strong and the UCLA transfer Chigozie Nnoruka could have a big impact right away. Losing Nesta Silvera isn’t ideal, but if there is any position that could afford to lose a guy, it’s the defensive line.

Dottavio: Linebacker. Multiple returning starters, All-ACC type of players in Quarterman, Pinckney, McCloud, and Finley.

Michaels: Linebacker - 3 seniors, plus a senior at striker, this group might be the beat in the country. They must make impact plays in 2019.

Kappa: The defensive line is undoubtedly the strongest position group on defense for Miami in 2019.

Forrest: For one final year, this title belongs to the linebackers. How many teams can claim three four-year starters at a single position?

Bleich: The strongest defensive position for Miami in 2019 is the defensive end position. Yet again, Miami is loaded on the defensive line, particularly at end. Miami has five defensive ends who will factor into playing time this season in junior Jon Garvin, redshirt senior Trevon Hill, redshirt senior Scott Patchan, redshirt freshman Greg Rousseau and true freshman Jahfari Harvey. This group will effectively rush the passer in Miami’s aggressive scheme and can also stop the run consistently.

Pert: Linebacker. With the Bermuda Triangle all back, there may not be a stronger linebacking core in the nation. The only thing to be concerned about with this unit is post-2019.

Goldman: I’ll go defensive line. This position is loaded with established players and potential breakthrough stars as well. Jonathan Garvin and Trevon Hill are stars, throw in Scott Patchan, Greg Rousseau, Jon Ford, Pat Bethel, Nesta Silvera (when healthy), and others, opposing QBs will be having nightmares about this Canes d-line.


That’s it for the first part of our Season Preview roundtable. We’ll be back tomorrow with even more predictions for the 2019 year.

Which SOTU writer do you agree with? Which breakout player did we overlook? Talk it up in the comments section below.

Go Canes