The Miami Hurricanes started spring practice last week, and one of the biggest question marks about this team is their offensive line. After an abysmal 2019 season, is the line going be able to bounce back and protect D’Eriq King? Will new OL coach Garin Justice be the difference maker?
Mark Pope, Gurvan Hall, the entire offensive line https://t.co/8djotv58K2— Mamba Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) February 11, 2020
There’s plenty of questions to ask, but last week, the Canes and the o-line hit the field for the first time in 2020. Yes, Miami came into spring practice already with an injury or two on their offensive line. Senior guard Navaughn Donaldson, who has practically been starting since his first year, he’s out of spring ball with a shoulder injury.
However, Donaldsons injury now allows some other lineman to make a mark on the Canes offense, and show their potential with the starting five.
Offensive line coming along nicely pic.twitter.com/mVLu7QRFFu— Mamba Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) March 12, 2020
A few players on the line had a surprisingly real good first week, first being John Campbell Jr. Though he played mostly guard in 2019, Miami coaches decided to try Campbell out at left tackle. The other one was redshirt junior Kai-Leon Herbert, and he was lined up at right tackle.
The third offensive lineman that caught my eye and also caught plenty of reps with the first-team offense, was guard Ousman Traore. This redshirt sophomore spent almost all of 2019 on the scout team, and saw just a few snaps during games.
Traore transferred to Miami last summer from Hutchinson (KS) C.C. where he was first-team All-Conference, and started all 11 games in 2018. It was said that Traore picked the Hurricanes over LSU.
Congratulations to Ousman Traore, 1st team All-Jayhawk Conference Football Team pic.twitter.com/9jHiaouaj9— Blue Dragon Sports (@bluedragonsport) November 22, 2018
I was very excited when Traore came to UM last year, and though he may have been a little forgotten heading into 2020 spring practice, Traore is making people remember his name. Last week, Traore was working at left guard with the first team, lining up next to Campbell.
Ousman Traore and Kai-Leon Herbert getting work with the first team OL. Left to right has been John Campbell, Traore, Corey Gaynor, DJ Scaife, Herbert— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) March 6, 2020
Now I think Traore could be one of the breakout players for the Hurricanes in this 2020 spring and eventually the season. He only played one year at junior college, but Traore has tons of potential, and again, LSU was also after him. That must tell you something.
As @Andrew_Ivins first reported, this tweet from Manny Diaz last night was for Miami’s latest commitment from JUCO offensive lineman Ousman Traore (6-4, 337) who will help provide depth on the offensive line this fall at guard. https://t.co/p4rFE0rvhO— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) June 7, 2019
What I like about Traore’s game is his size and his ability when it comes to run blocking, which Miami definitely needs more of. Traore still needs to work on his pass protection, and that’ll be interesting to see the remainder of spring and into fall camp.
With Donaldson out at the moment, the offensive guard position is a very interesting one. You have Traore, you also have Jakai Clark, who began to develop nicely at the end of 2019 as a true freshman.
Happy Birthday, Jakai Clark! pic.twitter.com/QKaEusvIB1— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) December 21, 2019
Then of course you have D.J. Scaife, who is probably Miami’s best offensive lineman, but do you put him at tackle or guard? If Scaife ends up at right tackle, I think Traore could compete for that starting guard spot. And just remember, Traore still has two more seasons of eligibility after 2020, so I think we’ll see his name for the next couple years.