Spring practice is in full swing for the Miami Hurricanes, and now is a great time for younger players to step up and make a name for themselves. Though we’re still several months away from the regular season starting, it’s never too early to take a look at some second-year Canes that we’ll see more of in 2020.
Whether they’re sophomores or redshirt freshman, Miami has more than a few players who I believe will contribute heavily for the Hurricanes now in their second season in Coral Gables. While they may not make this top-3 three list, I think guys like Zion Nelson, Jakai Clark and Jahfari Harvey will surprise a lot of people in the fall.
Corey Gaynor says Zion Nelson and Jakai Clark are primed for big years— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) March 2, 2020
My first player on this list is wide receiver Jeremiah Payton. This Duval County native has had his name all over any preseason watch lists for the Hurricanes, as many are expecting big things from Payton. With Jeff Thomas and K.J. Osborn gone to the NFL, Miami’s offense needs a new receiver to come in and take their place, and Payton is believed to be that guy.
Jeremiah Payton is my breakout star for the offense, and maybe the entire Canes team— Mamba Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) February 26, 2020
Through the first two days of spring practice, everything said about Payton has been positive. He looks bigger, more developed, and is catching anything a quarterback throws his way. His athletic ability and pure build makes him a great threat in Rhett Lashlee’s offense, and he’ll no doubt be challenging for a starting receiver spot come week-one, if he doesn’t already have it locked in by the end of spring.
I haven't made one of these in a while. Jeremiah Payton with the snag. pic.twitter.com/TjPFNJlRe5— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) March 3, 2020
My second guy on here is another redshirt freshman, linebacker Avery Huff. If you’ve been reading my articles lately or pay attention to me on Twitter, you know that I’m a big fan of Huff, and I believe he can fit right in to the 2020 Miami defense. Just like the receivers, the Canes linebackers lost two starters in Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney. Huff is a strong candidate to claim one of those starting jobs alongside Zach McCloud.
I think our starting LB’s come week one is gonna be Zach McCloud and Avery Huff— Mamba Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) February 23, 2020
With several other linebackers injured for spring ball, Huff has a great opportunity to make his claim on the defense early this season. What I like most about Huff, and what everyone loves about his game is his speed at linebacker. Several reports this week have Huff to be looking bigger, but still has that same level of quickness.
Avery Huff looks fast at LB.— Caneville (@caneville305) March 2, 2020
Finally, the last second-year player I wanted to talk about is sophomore cornerback Te’Cory Couch. Now I’ll fully admit, I wasn’t as high on Couch coming into spring because of his weight, kid was very thin last year. However, after talking to some people who are around the program on a regular basis, they all think Couch is going to be a key to Miami’s secondary, and I do too now.
With Trajan Bandy leaving, Te’Cory Couch is going to step up. Has seen a lot of time on the field as a freshman on special teams. Played a good amount in the secondary yesterday— Canescorner (@canescorner_) December 27, 2019
On Tuesday at practice, our very own Gaby Urruitia specifically noted Couch’s performance on day two from Greentree, saying he “was a blanket in coverage.” Others have also said Couch may just be the most skilled in coverage out of any of the Hurricanes defensive backs. I love Couch behind Al Blades Jr. and DJ Ivey, and think he’ll fill in nicely for the Canes pass defense.