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Miami Hurricanes 2023 position preview: Tight End

Jaleel Skinner is the star of the room, but there’s blue chip talent in every seat for Miami’s new tight ends coach

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 North Carolina at Miami Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes have been putting tight ends into the NFL since the 1980’s. The position has evolved over the years but Miami has traditionally used the tight end in a modern way since Willie Smith was in orange and green catching TD’s in the Orange Bowl.

Rose Bowl X

Smith, Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Jimmy Graham, Glenn Dennison, Chris Herndon... the list of Miami’s NFL TE’s is a storied one. For the 2023 season, Miami has six scholarship tight ends all with varying skillsets and even backgrounds.

The Coach: Cody Woodiel

Senior offensive analyst Cody Woodiel was moved on the field to coaching tight ends, while tight end coach Stephen Field moves into a recruiting role. Woodiel followed Mario Cristobal from Oregon and has worked with the offensive line and tight ends in the past.

Woodiel, a former offensive lineman and tight end from Troy University, is a solid recruiter and will be on the field for the first time at the FBS level.

The Position Room

I would expect a lot of 12 personnel (one running back, two tight end) groupings from new Miami OC Shannon Dawson. Miami is light on wide receiver talent, and high on TE’s with varying skillsets and body types. Jaleel Skinner might be the ‘starter,’ but Elijah Arroyo will get plenty of playing time if he’s at 100% coming off of an injury.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Middle Tennessee at Miami Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

True freshman Riley Williams and 9th year transfer Cam McCormick should be worked in while Jackson Carver redshirts and Dominic Mamarelli is primarily used as a blocker. Let’s breakdown the TE room in alphabetical order.

Elijah Arroyo

Elijah Arroyo is a six-foot-four, 235 pounder out of Texas. The former four-star prospect was showing a promising start to his college career at Miami before ending the 2022 season with an injury. He’s played in 17 games in two seasons, catching one touchdown. As a prospect, Arroyo was a top-10 TE in the country coming out of high school.

Arroyo’s strengths are his polish as a route runner, soft hands, and willingness to block in the run game.

2023 Prediction: Four touchdown receptions.

Jackson Carver

Jackson Carver comes to Miami from the Culver Academy in Indiana. Carver, a former ice hockey and lacrosse player, didn’t start playing football until his senior year of high school. The six-foot-six, 220 pound Minnesota native became a three-star recruit chased by Miami and other Power 5 schools (LSU, FSU, Wisconsin, Iowa).

2023 Prediction: Redshirt.

Dominic Mammarelli

Dominic Mammarelli is a six-foot-four, 248 pound third year redshirt freshman out of Naples High School in Florida. A former four-star prospect, Mammerelli saw action in 10 games in 2020 before playing on the practice squad in 2021, and playing in eight games in 2022. Mammarelli, mainly used as a blocker, has one career reception.

Prediction: Mainly used as a blocking TE again in ‘23.

Cam McCormick

The Van Wilder of the bunch, Cam McCormick returns to college for his 9th season of football. McCormick is a six-foot-five, 260 pound transfer from the Oregon Ducks. McCormick was listed as both a three-star coming out of Bend, OR in high school, and again as a transfer this off-season.

2023 Prediction: Two touchdown receptions as a role player.

Jaleel Skinner

Jaleel Skinner came to Miami from the IMG Academy as a top-150 player in the country. Skinner, a consensus blue chip prospect, has NFL range at six-foot-five, and has bulked up since arriving on campus.

As a true freshman in a bad offense, Skinner caught nine balls for 143 yards and a touchdown over nine games. With a combination of soft hands, size, and speed- Skinner should be the go-to target for quarterback Tyler Van Dyke in 2023.

2023 Prediction: Nominated to the All-ACC team, five touchdown catches.

Riley Williams

Riley Williams also comes to Miami from the IMG Academy. Williams is a ready-made TE at six-foot-six, and 240 pounds. Williams left high school as the 75th best prospect in the nation, and 2nd best prep tight end in the country.

Williams was selected to the Under Armour All-America Game and Polynesian Bowl as a senior in high school. Much like Skinner, the benefit of Williams having played at IMG is he understands the business aspect of college football.

IMG requires mental coaching, tutoring hours, and has an elite strength and conditioning and nutrition program. Williams isn’t your ordinary freshman and will work his way into playing time, even in a crowded room.

2023 Prediction: Plays in a majority of games, catches one touchdown.

The Wrap

Skinner and Arroyo are the clear favorites to receive the most playing time in 2023. They are a pair of NFL talent type TE’s that can make an impact for Dawson in his tight end heavy Air Raid offense.

McCormick and Mammarelli are there as blocking tight end options. I would expect to see them in on short yardage packages and goal line sets. Williams will be a hard player to keep off of the field with his frame and skillset. Seth Parrott is a walk-on fullback type that’s under six-feet tall and will get limited playing time in ‘23.

If Dawson can spark the offense and Van Dyke stays healthy, I would expect ten touchdowns from this group in ‘23.