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Do the Canes Have Enough to Contend: Tight End

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TEU will show how good they are in 2020, but will it be enough for Miami to contend?

Virginia v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Miami has 1 goal every year, and that is to win a National Championship in football. Yes, there are other small goals along the way, including beating FSU, winning the Coastal, getting to and winning the ACC title, but the ultimate goal is to put Championship trophy #6 in the trophy case. Unfortunately, outside of 2005 and 2017, the Canes haven’t been in the discussion past the month of September in most years. The question has always come up, whether it was coaching, QB play, or the overall talent on the field.

This is part 4 of 10, where I ask, Do the Canes have enough to contend for the College Football Playoffs?

Miami has put some really quality Tight Ends into the NFL, and the 2020 team has a potential 1st round pick in Brevin Jordan, and Will Mallory who matured a lot in 2019. Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow Jr and David Njoku roll off the tongue when you think about the real TEU, but you can go back to Glenn Dennison and Willie Smith back in the mid 80s to see how long lasting Miami’s TE run has been.

The best thing about the 2020 group is they are versatile and can be absolute mismatches in the passing game. With a new uptempo spread concept, imagine Brevin Jordan matched one on one with a safety or a linebacker. FSU tried that in 2018, and was torched for a monster play which proved to be the game winner.

If Miami struggles at WR with youth and general ineffectiveness there should be an ability to create positive matchups with both Mallory and Jordan on the field at the same time. One of the many things Dan Enos’ offenses failed to accomplish was taking advantage of the physical ability of the Tight End Position.

Miami lost a couple of players to the transfer portal as Michael Irvin II and Brian Polendey decided to take their talents elsewhere. Irvin II, unfortunately was beset by injuries throughout his career, and Polendey was passed by many on the depth chart. The loss of these 2 will not effect Miami in 2020, though you hate to see a legacy like Irvin II leave the program.

Does Miami have enough to contend, let’s examine.

Brevin Jordan - Simply put, Brevin Jordan is the best Tight End in college football going into 2020. He would’ve won the Mackey Award in 2019 if he didn’t miss the final few games with injury. He’s 6’3” 245lbs and can do everything your prototypical NFL player can do. When given the chance safeties are too small to cover him, and linebackers are too slow. With Rhett Lashlee spreading the defense sideline to sideline, Jordan will have even more space to operate. Look for Brevin to have 50 plus catches, 700 plus yards and multiple touchdowns in an All-American season. Brevin is arguably the best player on the roster, and one of the best in the country.

Will Mallory - Mallory struggled with drops in the opener against Florida, but showed a lot of promise and flash when he was able to fill in for Brevin Jordan at the end of the 2019 season. He caught 4 passes in each of the final 3 games of the season to finish with 16 grabs, 293 yards and a couple of scores. At 6’5” 240lbs, Mallory can be a great number 2 tight end in this offense, and step into a starting and starring role in 2021. On most other teams in the county, Will Mallory would be a starter with the ability to put up all conference type numbers. Miami has the best 1, 2 punch in the country potentially.

The remainder of the position grouping is rounded out by Larry Hodges, who played briefly as a freshman, and incoming freshman Dominic Mammarelli. Hodges figures to get some time when games are out of reach, but Mammarelli figures to redshirt in 2020.

Verdict

This is a college football playoff group, and arguably the best group in the country. With Jordan and Mallory, Miami has the weapons to exploit any defense. Rhett Lashlee has 2 players that most coaches across the country only dream about, and now the offensive system should help these players thrive and put up monster numbers. If D’Eriq King is as good as advertised at QB, there is no reason Jordan can’t win the Mackey Award, and be a 1st team All-American. This is arguably the best position grouping (along with DE) on the football team.

Next Up Offensive Line

Go Canes