Eleven days to go until Miami opens the season against the UAB Blazers. The opener will not be an easy contest because Bill Clark is an incredibly good coach, who could be at a bigger program, and this will be the Super Bowl for UAB. The Blazers look at Miami and see a team who lost to FIU, GT, Duke and La Tech, and probably think why not us.
With eleven days to go, let us rank the 11 best players on the 2020 Miami Hurricanes
- D’Eriq King - This is an easy choice. King will be the most athletic QB in Miami history, and gives the Canes a true dual threat at the position for the first time since Kenny Kelly in 1999. If King accounts for 35 touchdowns Miami will have its best offense in almost 20 years. Look for 3000 plus yards passing 28 passing TDs and another 7 on the ground.
2. Brevin Jordan - Jordan would have won the Mackey Award in 2019 if it were not for injury. 35 catches, 495 yards and 2 scores were the tally in 2019, and those numbers should explode in Rhett Lashlee’s offense. Jordan will be a 1st round pick after this season and continue the TEU tradition.
3. Quincy Roche - How important is his transfer via the portal look right about now? Roche brings 13.5 sacks a season ago to Miami, and immediately becomes Uber important with Gregory Rousseau’s decision to go to the NFL. Roche has a great burst off the edge and should be able to contribute at a high level in the ACC.
4. Bubba Bolden - Bolden was finally making plays in the Miami secondary when he was hurt after an interception against FSU. Alongside Gurvan Hall, Miami will have one of the best safety combinations in the country. Bolden is 6’3” and over 200lbs with plenty of range to be a playmaking ballhawk in Blake Baker’s defense.
5. Cam’ron Harris - Harris will be the lead dog in the Canes backfield, and with two true freshmen behind him, Harris should have a monster year. As a sophomore Harris racked up 576 yards on 5.1 ypc. Harris will have space to operate now and should easily be a 1000 yard back in 2020.
6. Al Blades Jr. - Blades is the best corner on the football team and was not fully appreciated by Canes fans a year ago. Provided great coverage most of the season and outside of a few missed tackles, should be one of the stars of 2020. Blades finished 2019 with 35 tackles and 2 ints. Look for the turnover numbers to double at minimum in 2020.
7. DJ Scaife Jr. - He is a versatile 6’3” 314lb junior to be who has shown the ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line. Scaife played well as a true freshman at Right Tackle but should move inside this year to his more natural guard position. Scaife is an All-ACC type talent who should have a big junior season.
8. Jaelan Phillips - The transfer from UCLA is finally healthy, and finally eligible at Miami. Phillips dealt with injuries and a year off from football but transformed his body during that down time to a 265lb physical specimen on the edge. Phillips has 3.5 sacks as a true freshman at UCLA and I expect at minimum double that at Miami.
9. Jarrid Williams - Crazy to think two of the best players on the team are transfers from Houston, but that is exactly the case for Miami. Williams will slide in and be the starting Right Tackle immediately. This will allow Scaife to move to guard and make the entire line better. Williams started 19 straight games at Houston and was one of their best linemen.
10. Zach McCloud - McCloud’s return can’t be understated with his ability to play both inside and outside LB. Zach is one of the most unselfish players on the team and he will have to have a good season of Miami will return to Top 10 statistically on defense. Look for McCloud to lead the team in tackles and take over as one of the team leaders.
11. Gurvan Hall Jr. - Hall came into his own in the second half of 2019 and should be even better in 2020. With Bolden and Amari Carter playing alongside Hall the game should slow down his 2nd year as a starter. Hall should come up with 4 or 5 turnovers and become an enforcer in the back end of the secondary.
12. Jaylan Knighton/Don Chaney Jr. - Yes this is a cop out, but these two super freshmen will be a huge part of Miami’s offense. Both are super-fast, and just difference makers with the ball in their hands. 700 yards and 7 TDs combine should not be a stretch for these two guys to deliver.
Miami is talented and seems to have the coaching staff to match. If these 11 play up to potential, Miami will be playing meaningful games in November and December.