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Marsh’s Mailbag: What are Miami’s chances against Clemson? Has D’Eriq King lived up to expectations so far?

How long will Rhett Lashlee be at Miami? Has D’Eriq King lived up to the expectations so far? Those questions and more.

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Has D’Eriq King lived up to expectations?

HOW IS THIS A QUESTION??? The answer is yes, and I really shouldn’t have to expand on this, but because I'm a nice guy, I'll do just that. For the first time since Brad Kaaya, and for just the second time since Ken Dorsey, Miami has a quarterback that fans are confident in, that can continually move the ball downfield and score points. So far, King has thrown for 733 yards and 6 touchdowns. There’s a reason why he’s one of the top Heisman Trophy candidates.

Not only is King moving the Canes offense with ease, he’s not putting the ball in harms way whatsoever, and has yet to throw an interception. The superstar from Houston that we were all expecting, well we’re seeing it, and it’s glorious.

Who are the top recruits the Canes should be going for?

Honestly, it’s the same players that we’ve been talking about for months now. The top ones right now I'd say is 3-star running back Amari Daniels, 4-star CB Markevious Brown, 5-star LB Terrence Lewis, and then of course 4-star QB Jake Garcia.

Daniels and Brown are likely the top two guys who could make a decision soon. Apparently the Miami coaches are big fans of Daniels, even though UM has a RB committed in the 2021 class in Thad Franklin. Daniels is at Miami Central, and is teammates with 2021 UM commit Laurence Seymore, as well as Terrence Lewis. For Brown, who’s at IMG Academy, it’s still expected to be a race between the Canes and Virginia Tech.

Who deserves more credit, Manny Diaz or Rhett Lashlee? Who’s the more valuable coach right now?

Well honestly, I don’t think we necessarily have to choose coach Diaz or Coach Lashlee, because they’ve both done a fantastic job this season and both deserve credit. Diaz’s decision to hire Lashlee in January is looking like a grand slam after three games.

In terms of who’s more valuable, not sure how to answer that question. They’re both great coaches, Diaz has shown that he can build a defense that can shut down explosive offenses, and looks to be growing as HC. If Miami continues to win, his stock will continue to rise as a head coach. What he’s been able to do in recruiting in 2020, is nothing short of astounding.

What are the Canes chances against Clemson? Score prediction?

If you weren’t aware, Miami’s next game following this bye-week will be in Death Valley, against the #1 Clemson Tigers. I have no shame in saying I predict Clemson to win, they’re one of the elite teams in college football, and have been for the past several years. For Miami, this game is going to be a measuring stick, to see how close or how far the Canes are the best that the nation has to offer.

While I don't predict a win for the Hurricanes, I think I can speak for most Miami fans when is say, I need it to be competitive. Yes, Miami is 3-0 and ranked in the top 10, but are they for real? Can they live up to Kirk Herbstreit calling them the fourth best team in college football? We will definitely find out next Saturday.

What’s up with our wide receivers?

They’ve had some ups and downs to begin the 2020 season when you look at dropped passes and what not, but the wide receiver position was one that many were questioning heading into this year, so I'm not surprised they’ve had some struggles.

Wide receivers drop passes, it’s going to happen, unless you’re Randy Moss or Jerry Rice. Even though he’s had some mistakes on punt return, I think Mark Pope is improving at WR every week, gaining more confidence after every catch. Mike Harley had a few drops in the FSU game, but I'm not concerned about the senior and I expect him to turn it around. Dee Wiggins has had sure hands so far this season, and also caught his first touchdown on Saturday, hopefully it’s the first of a few more.

Based on the last three games and looking at the schedule ahead, what is our record this year?

This is the most confident I've probably ever been in a Miami team in my lifetime, and that’s no joke. However, there’s still that fear inside which has come from 15 years of mediocrity, which makes me worry about certain games. Though, it’s the games against lesser programs that have me concerned, just because those are the types of games we’ve lost in the past. Two road games in particular, at Wake Forest and at NC State are ones that Miami can’t afford to overlook.

Clemson I think will be a loss, but after that, from what we’ve seen so far, there’s no reason this Canes team can’t finish the regular season 10-1. On paper, the two toughest opponents after Clemson will be at Virginia Tech, and then the home finale against UNC. 9-2 is the floor however, especially with this quarterback and offensive coordinator.

Any chance Terrence Lewis stays home and goes to Miami?

I honestly don't know what to think when it comes to Lewis’ recruitment. He committed to Tennessee back in the spring, but there’s been rumblings recently that Miami has had frequent conversation with the 5-star linebacker. I’ll say this, I'm much more confident the Hurricanes can flip Lewis, than I was a month ago.

How long do you see Lashlee staying with Miami?

Before the season started, I said Lashlee stays at Miami for at least two years. Now, given the success that his offense has had in these three games, he’s bound to receive some head coaching offers at the end of the regular season. That being said, I think the offers he will be getting after 2020 will be somewhat smaller schools, but if Lashlee stays for 2021 and Miami is putting up points again, that’s when the bigger programs will start offering. I think Lashlee has the potential to be a big time head coach, and is definitely a rising star when it comes to college football coaches.

What would you grade our linebackers?

I don't have many real concerns for this team at the moment, though one of them is the play of our linebackers. I’m not freaking out, because Zach McCloud and Bradley Jennings Jr. are still making plays. When you watch them however, there’s a few missed tackles, and the speed that we all thought would be coming from the LB’s isn’t there. Still, they’ve done enough to help their team to a 3-0 start.

McCloud is tied for the lead in sacks so far, so his pass-rushing skills are coming along, and Jennings is second on Miami with 3.5 TFLs, so there’s a lot more to like than you’d think. The Canes defense will be relying on them heavily as the year goes on, especially when defending the run, which Miami has struggled at so far. Moving forward, I'd like to see more of Sam Brooks Jr. out there, who’s probably our fastest linebacker.

My grade so far for the linebackers would be B-