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Marsh’s Mailbag: What Kind Of Stats Will D’Eriq King Have? Favorite 2021 Commit?

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What are the chances Miami lands Chase Smith? Can D’Eriq King break UM records? Those questions and more.

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

Who, if any, starts as a true freshman from the 21 class?

I will say this, I don't think people really understand how hard it is to start as a true freshman in college football. That being said, the one 2021 commit who I think has the best shot at starting in their first year would be Leonard Taylor. When you look ahead at the Canes defensive tackles in 2021, Nesta Jade Silvera will be a senior and he’ll be one of the starters. Though other than him, I don’t there is anyone else at DT that Taylor couldn’t beat out for the starting job, even as a true freshman.

Now, I'm not predicting that Taylor starts right away, I could just see it happen. I’ve said it before, Taylor is the type of superstar talent at DT that Miami hasn’t had in a long time.

As much as I like Cam’ron Harris, can you see Jaylan Knighton passing him at some point on the depth chart?

I’m the biggest Jaylan Knighton fan in the world, but I don’t think he passes up Harris on the depth chart his first year. Though, that doesn’t mean Knighton won’t have “starter-like” carries. I think Knighton is going to be fed the ball a lot, whether it’s on a handoff or in the passing game.

I also think people are underestimating Harris in 2020. If you watch his tape from last season, Harris was a very effective runner as the backup to Deejay Dallas. Now in an offense that runs the ball plenty, we’re going to see Harris breakout for a big year.

Who is your favorite commit in the 2021 class?

That’s almost an unfair question, because I love them all. However, I have two answers, and I’ll have a third if Jake Garcia comes to Miami. First, I've become one of the biggest fans of Brashard Smith out there. The playmaking ability that he has, his 4.46 40-yard dash time, the talent speaks for itself. In Rhett Lashlee’s offense, it’s built for receivers and athletes like Brashard Smith.

My other favorite commit in this class is safety Kamren Kinchens. I know that James Williams gets most of the hype, and rightfully so, he’s going to be elite for the Canes. But don't forget about Kinchens, don’t forget that he’s the biggest ballhawk in South Florida, 9 interceptions last year as a junior.

Is there any defensive concerns seeing the numbers that were put up offensively in the scrimmage? Or do you think the offense is just that good?

This is me being completely honest, not as a delusional Canes fans, but I don't have really any concerns about this Miami defense. I know there are big question marks at linebacker and also cornerback, and while I think they may struggle at times early on, I don't have any real concerns on defense that make me worry.

Our pass rush, even with the absence of Gregory Rousseau, is going to be elite with Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche. If the front-four can consistently pressure opposing QB’s, the rest will take care of itself.

As far as the scrimmage goes, the defense still forced turnovers and got to the quarterback. I also think we have to give D’Eriq King and the offense a lot of credit, just goes to show you what a quarterback like that can do.

What school record do think D’Eriq King can beat this season?

I've thought about this question a number of times since King transferred to Miami. I think King has a shot at breaking the UM single season record of touchdown passes (29) and total touchdowns (31). If you think about it, in 2018, King threw for 36 TD passes, and ran for another 14, which would’ve shattered the UM record by 19 touchdowns.

Since King is departing this year. Who would you like to see at QB next year/think will win the starting job?

Well, since the NCAA announced their decision that the 2020 season will not count towards players eligibility, maybe King is the quarterback next year.

For the sake of answering the question, I’m going to say N’kosi Perry. I know a lot of Miami fans don't like this response, but I'm a big believer in Kosi in the spread offense that Rhett Lashlee runs. It’s a system he’s much more comfortable in, and gives him the opportunity to play in a scheme that fits who he is as a quarterback. I also wouldn’t count out Tate Martell either, I think his athleticism really works with Lashlee too.

What’s the chances of getting Chase Smith and flipping Garcia? If we fail to get Garcia what are our other options?

I think the chances of Miami landing 4-star Chase Smith are pretty high. The only hard part is that Smith has been relatively quiet throughout his recruiting process, so it’s tough to really know what he’s thinking.

As far as Jake Garcia goes, I've been confident for a while now that Miami flips him from USC. Especially now that he’ll be playing his senior season in Georgia, that’ll help the Canes chances a lot. If he doesn’t come, options are very thin for quarterbacks in 2021, it became more thin when Jalen Milroe announced he’s flipping from Texas to Alabama.

Is Manny Diaz out if the Canes don’t make it to Charlotte?

With the addition of Notre Dame, and the fact that the ACC won't be in divisions this year, I personally don't think Miami makes it to the conference title game. As far as Many Diaz, that all depends on how the 2020 season goes. If Miami wins 8 games this year and there’s a positive feeling, but doesn’t make the ACC Championship game, I don't think at all Manny gets fired.

However, if the Canes struggle this season, winning 6 or less games, I could see it happening. All the recruiting progress is awesome, but you still have to win, and with the talent that Miami has, and now the offensive scheme, there’s no reason you can’t win at least 8 games.

Is there any interest or chance in flipping Terrence Lewis? Not sure about his recruitment but he is from a pipeline school and he looks great on tape. Any word?

At this moment, I’d say the odds of flipping Terrence Lewis from Tennessee are relatively low. However, I do know that he likes the idea of staying in South Florida, so the hometown factor is the biggest thing going for Miami in this situation.

Talent wise, he’s absolutely incredible at linebacker. 105 tackles, 15 TFLs, 9 sacks and 3 interceptions last year, Lewis is an elite prospect. He’s a player that could see serious playing time as a true freshman.

Who’s on your “Mt. Marshmore” of Canes from the Al Golden era to now?

Yes, I love these questions! So any player from 2011 to right now. Ok first player on my Mt. Marshmore is quarterback Brad Kaaya, who became Miami’s all-time leading passer during his career from 2014 to 2016. Second guy is wide receiver Braxton Berrios. Now he hasn’t even been the best receiver during this time period, but I’m a huge Braxton fan, and also loved how much of a leader he was at Miami. Since 2011, UM hasn’t had many players like Berrios.

Third would be running back Duke Johnson, who, like Kaaya, broke schools while at Miami, leaving UM as the programs all-time leading rusher. And my last player is Gregory Rousseau. He only played for one season, but talent wise, I don't think Miami has had a guy as talented as Rousseau in the past 9 seasons. 15.5 sacks in 2019, Rousseau didn’t even need 2020 for me to put him on here.