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Miami Hurricanes Scrimmage #1: Separation day

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Here’s what I’m looking for from tonight’s Canes scrimmage. What about you?

Miami Hurricanes football practice Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Okay kids. Tonight’s the night: Miami Hurricanes fall camp scrimmage #1. Here are some positions and players that need a big showing tonight:

Offensive Line

Look. LOOK. We all know Miami’s offensive line was a sieve last season. But, with a new scheme, upgraded coaching, blue chip talent across the board, plenty of game experience, and the addition of Jarrid Williams from Houston, there should be no reason for that to continue this season.

As happens with most new staffs, Miami has been rotating or “experimenting” with combinations along the OL so far this camp. But, tonight’s scrimmage needs to be a time where the experimentation stops and the core group of starters is established. Sure, there will be some rotation during the season, but tonight needs to be a big step towards setting the starting 5 OL in stone.

Cornerbacks

I know it was said as “defensive backs” have something to prove by coach Baker the other day, but let’s be real: this is about the corners. There are multiple future NFL players at Safety — Bubba Bolden, Amari Carter, Gurvan Hall, and Avantae Williams for starters — and with that talent come way more answers than questions.

At Cornerback, however, the story is much different. Al Blades Jr. is the best and most consistent player, but beyond him (and some might argue even including him), there are questions. DJ Ivey needs to play up to his recruiting ranking and physical tools. Te’Cory Couch is tiny but can his cover skills — likely the best on the roster — overcome that? Will Christian Williams take a step forward and push for a starting job? Can Isaiah Dunson and/or Marcus Clarke burst onto the scene as a true freshman starter?

Sure, Safety can see some movement on the depth chart but that’s just picking which elite player will play when. At Cornerback, this group needs much more attention, and this scrimmage will be a big step toward figuring out where things stand for this season.

Backup Quarterback

Like we said from the moment he picked Miami, D’Eriq King is QB1. Set it and forget it.

There is no such level of clarity regarding the backup QB situation at present, so this scrimmage will be big for those players. N’Kosi Perry, Tate Martell, Tyler Van Dyke, and Peyton Matocha will all have the opportunity to prove that they should be the understudy to King, which will benefit them this season and surely put that player in position to be the starter when Miami faces Alabama to open the 2021 season as well.

Everybody has their favorites, and all 4 of those players has different skills and abilities. This will be one of the top things to watch from and after this scrimmage.

The Freshmen

This will be the first “real” college action for Miami’s 2020 recruiting class. We’ve heard good things about Jaylan Knighton and Donald Chaney Jr. and Xavier Restrepo and Keyshawn Smith, but I wanna see how ALL the freshmen fare when the lights go on. Some will play big roles this year, some will play rotation snaps, and some will need another mango season before they’re ready for prime time.

We’ll start to find out who falls into what category after tonight.

Who dominates?

In order for Miami to win to the level they (and we) desire, star players are gonna need to do star player things. So I wanna see who dominates, who makes the routine plays but also turns tough plays into highlights. Will it be D’Eriq King? Brevin Jordan? Cam’ron Harris? Jaelan Phillips? Quincy Roche? Zach McCloud? Avery Huff? Al Blades Jr.? Or one of any number of talented, blue chip recruits finally turning potential into performance in a moment that matters?

Who will prove themselves to be “the guys” for this team? Tha’ts what I’m looking for.

Those are some things I’m looking for on this Separation Scrimmage Sunday. Share what you’re looking for in the comments and let’s talk about it.

Go Canes