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Miami Hurricanes 2022 Spring Position Preview: Running Backs

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Spoils of riches in the Miami RB Room

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With Cam’Ron Harris officially declaring his intent to enter the 2022 NFL Draft, he’s taking his production with him (339 rushing attempts for 1794 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. He also had 48 catches out of the backfield for 393 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns in 38 games), that leaves the door open for a new feature back in the 2022-2023 season. With a couple of high value additions to an already impressive position group, the reps are going to be hard fought as Spring football kicks off on Monday, March 7th. The players should all be prepared for fierce competition on the field, but equally so in the weight room and the meeting room. With a new offensive coordinator comes a new install of offense and guys are going to be expected to pick up everything from concepts to calls to coverages. Blocking will be equally as important to catching and running in Gattis’ offense. This is a full team approach to moving the ball so to be on the field the RBs will need to 1. Know what they’re expected to do at all times, and 2. execute on that at a high level consistently.

I, like many, expect there to be some attrition on the team during and/or after Spring ball, and this position group is not immune to that expectation.

Let’s review the spoil of riches Miami has at the position (The 247 recruit ranking AVG of the RB room is 93.32) and discuss who’s available and what we think their role will be in the upcoming this coming season.

Syndication: The Clarion-Ledger
TreVonte Citizen
Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger via Imagn Content Services, LLC

7. TreVonte Citizen - Although he won’t be on campus until well after the Spring training concludes, he deserves honorable mention here. 6’0” 217lb All-American, Citizen picked Miami over the Auburn Tigers, Florida Gators, and LSU Tigers. The decision to pick Miami was a shocker, really, as Citizen had been trending toward Florida heavily in the days leading up to NSD. The Freshman was the only RB in the current recruiting class for Miami, and was ranked as the 4th highest rated player in Miami’s 2022 recruiting class. Citizen will enter college with “low mileage” in the position as he played with RB and LB in high school. He is a player that projects well as a Power Five running back with the potential to become an impact starter at some point in his collegiate career. I don’t expect him to get much burn as a Freshman, but he will definitely be pushing the other backs in the room. The competition in the RB room will likely be the best in the country this Fall.

Isaiah Cashwell
Miami Hurricanes

6. Isaiah Cashwell Is listed as a Running Back on the Miami roster. Cashwell, who has served as a valued practice squad member for the last two seasons, has a chance this Spring to fight for some reps. I don’t expect he will see much playing time during the season with the stable of backs in front of him, but nothing would surprise me. He played in two games last season against, the first against Central Connecticut State where he carried the ball twice for 4 yards and again late in the season against Duke where he had 5 carries for 15 yards. As a rising Redshirt Junior, Cashwell hails from Mineola, N.Y.

Cody Brown
Miami Hurricanes

5. Cody Brown will be a second year Freshman this season and was a Consensus four-star prospect by all major scouting services coming out of high school. Last season he appeared in 10 games and ran the ball 34 times for 139 yards and three touchdowns with zero receptions on the year. Brown hails from Lilburn, Ga. and has been rumored to be a candidate to transfer out, but nothing has been published from him or his camp. I chalk that up to fan expectations more than anything else at this point. Brown has the goods to contribute to the team, but will need to be consistent and productive to see any meaningful playing time. I expect him to be farther down on the depth chart going into Spring, but he shouldn't be discouraged. With hard work, consistency, and the potential for injury at the position his number may be called, and all he has to do is be ready.

Thaddius Franklin, Jr.
Miami Hurricanes

4. Thaddius Franklin, Jr. The Chaminade-Madonna alum rushed for 172 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns last season. Franklin was known as an extremely productive high school back with a heavy workload. He’s shown he is a durable and tough runner. There has been talk of the former staff wanting him to slim down and him being frustrated with his role during his Freshman campaign. Keep an eye on him as a potential transfer if things dont work out for him heading into the Fall. I hope that isn’t the case because when given the opportunity he played well last season. My expectation is he will be relied on in short yardage situations this coming season and could see his role grow based on his performance on Greentree.

Henry Parrish
Ole Miss

3. Henry Parrish is joining Miami this season as a transfer from the Ole Miss Rebels as the Rebels’ fourth-leading rusher this season, having ran for 553 total yards. Parrish is from Goulds, Fla. and looks to make his presence felt early and often for his hometown team. I expect him to be the lead backup coming off the bench due to the experience he brings in having run in the SEC for the past two seasons. A fan favorite, Parrish will have a leg up on his teammates as he played for RB Coach Kevin Smith at Ole Miss previously and he knows what to expect from the veteran coach. A proven contributor, Parrish will be relied on for his experience and grit.

Donald Chaney, Jr.
Miami Hurricanes

2. Donald Chaney, Jr. will be listed as a Sophomore this season but is actually entering his third season with Miami. The kid from Homestead, FL saw action in the first two games of the season before suffering a season-ending injury in the Hurricanes’ 25-23 win over Appalachian State. Chaney rushed for 44 yards on 11 carries and scored one touchdown last season and added one reception. Chaney was listed as the backup to starter Cam’Ron Harris last season and should be in a prime position to take the reigns if he has fully recovered from the knee injury. Chaney has been bit by the injury bug throughout his college career. He suffered a shoulder injury In the second scrimmage of 2020 spring practice and underwent surgery that sidelined him for several months. Here’s to a successful return to Greentree for him during 2022 Spring Ball.

Jaylan Knighton
Miami Hurricanes

1. Jaylan Knighton is another young back entering his third season with Miami. The Deerfield Beach alum is the returning workhorse from the 2021 season as he ended last season as the team’s starting running back. He finished with a team-high 561 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns in eight games. With 20 catches for 280 yards and three receiving touchdowns, Rooster is a legitimate dual threat coming out of the backfield. He played well in big games and was second on the team with 871 all purpose yards. I expect him to lead the group going into Spring practice, and the starting role is his to lose in my opinion based off of his contributions the past two seasons.

With Spring practice set to kick off tomorrow morning, I hope each player is able to meet or exceed their potential. We’ve suffered tough loses due to injuries in the past few years, so I look forward to an injury free camp and continued depth at the position.

What are your thoughts on our RB room? What order would you have the room set in going into Spring practice?

Let me know in the comments below. #GoCanes