Thanks to the all powerful transfer portal, the Miami Hurricanes were able to add three very talented players to their 2020 football team, each will without a doubt play a vital role in UM’s success this upcoming year.
Improving the culture is the message from #Canes Head Coach Manny Diaz. He notes not everyone was buying into the culture they wanted to instill. To fix it? get the right guys through recruiting and transfer portal. pic.twitter.com/MrDpqXuF3D— Mike Cugno (@MikeCugnoCBS4) February 5, 2020
Manny Diaz and the Canes brought in quarterback D’Eriq King from Houston, defensive end Quincy Roche from Temple, and kicker Jose Borregales from FIU. As Miami approaches spring practices just over three weeks away, I figured what better time to go over some of the expectations for these grad transfers for the 2020 season.
Starting off with King, it’s pretty clear that he’s going to be the starting quarterback for the Hurricanes in 2020. If that was even in question at all, I doubt he would’ve made the decision to transfer to Miami. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is a big fan of King’s talent, and he’s expected to fit the system like a glove with his dual-threat abilities.
D'Eriq King totalled 431 yards and three touchdowns through the air, and added another touchdown on the ground, but Houston falls 63-49 in an offensive shootout with Texas Tech. #AmericanFB pic.twitter.com/FyhZodbbrE— American Football (@American_FB) September 16, 2018
King’s accomplishments at Houston are well documented, most notably his 2018 season, where he threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns, while also rushing for 674 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns on the ground. King became one of the most electric players in all of college football.
Now that he’s at Miami, King has already been labeled as a preseason Heisman candidate, and why shouldn’t he? He’s been phenomenal in the years prior to coming to Coral Gables, and now he’ll have Lashlee as an OC, along with playmakers like tight end Brevin Jordan, and receivers Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins. The weapons and system is in place for King to have one of the more successful seasons for a Miami quarterback that we’ve seen in nearly 20 years.
Not to be outdone, @UHCougarFB responds with a TD of their own.— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 1, 2018
D'Eriq King goes up top 40 yards to Courtney Lark.
After a successful 2-point conversion, the score is tied at 17. pic.twitter.com/cl9Aw6hzaw
On Wednesday when talking to the Miami press, King was very clear and confident what his goals are for the Hurricanes and also himself in 2020, to go 12-0. While I'd be shocked to see the Canes go 12-0 this season, I think 10-2 is absolutely possible, if King continues to be the leader that he’s shown so far, and also makes the same kind of plays we’ve seen him make in the past. I’m really expecting a high-octane offense from the Hurricanes, with King putting up impressive numbers.
D'Eriq King says he's "very aware" -- of the history of the program, the expectations from the fans, etc.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) February 5, 2020
"My goal this year is to go 12-0 this year, and wherever that takes us, that's where it takes us."
Secondly, we have Quincy Roche, who was named first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated in 2019, after putting up ridiculous stats at Temple, totaling 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Roche was also named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year last season.
I don't think there’s any question that Roche will be starting at one side as defensive end, with fellow superstar Gregory Rousseau on the opposite end. An elite edge rusher, I’m expecting Roche to continue his dominant play for the Canes this season, he has such an impressive first step off the line of scrimmage, he’s simply unblockable at times.
Three pass rushers to watch in today's bowl games:— Daniel Valente (@StatsGuyDaniel) December 27, 2019
Temple's Quincy Roche (video below)
- 2019 AAC DPOY (13 Sacks)
Michigan State's Kenny Willekes
- 8.5 sacks this season
Iowa's A.J. Epenesa
- 9 sacks this season
Full preview of today's bowl games:https://t.co/LWHY4wphX2 pic.twitter.com/clcGD0lHy6
More so than anything, the opposing offensive line is going to have to decide whether to double-team Roche or Rousseau with blockers. The impact that Roche will bring to the Miami defensive line is going to be far greater than the many sacks he collects in 2020. That being said, I'm predicting Roche finishes his year with the Canes with around 10-12 sacks, he’s just an exceptional talent rushing the quarterback, perhaps the best returning in college football for 2020 doing just that.
Most sacks in the FBS over the last two seasons:— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) December 28, 2019
1️⃣ Chase Young, #OhioState - 26.0
2️⃣ Curtis Weaver, #BoiseState - 23.0
3️⃣ Jessie Lemonier, #Liberty - 20.5
4️⃣ Bradlee Anae, #Utah - 20.5
5️⃣ A.J. Epenesa, #Iowa - 19.5
6️⃣ Quincy Roche, #Temple - 19.0 pic.twitter.com/xnq2oYnFP6
Finally we move on to our kicker, Jose Borregales, who is making the very short trip from FIU to the University of Miami. If you ever doubted the importance of a kicker in the game of football, all you had to do was watch the 2019 Hurricanes, where in several games for Miami, the Canes kicking game couldn’t come through. Against UF, UNC, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, Miami’s kickers missed crucial field goals or extra points that cost UM at least one or two wins.
Then you have Borregales, who has a history of actually making field goals. In fact, when FIU somehow beat Miami in 2019, Jose had two kicks he booted in from over 50 yards. This past year, he connected on 21 of 29 field goals, and then he was also a Lou Groza semifinalist in 2018. Career wise, Borregales in 50 of 66 on field goals.
Adding a reliable kicker like Borregales will definitely come in handy for the Hurricanes at least once in the 2020 season late in a game. As far as a stats prediction for him, I’d say he’ll be good on 90% or even more for his kicks, hopefully. Miami coaches and also the fans are praying they don’t have to relive the special teams nightmare they saw in 2019.
So like I said at the beginning, all three guys are going to be key players for the Hurricanes this year, and Miami will need them if they want to improve on their 6-7 record from last season.