Running Backs Off to Good Start

The Hurricanes lost a tremendous talent in running back Lamar Miller. The guys who will be replacing him are off to a fast start this spring.

Lamar Miller had over 1,300 yards of offense for the Hurricanes last season and was often Miami's best offensive player. He's expected to be drafted very high in next month's NFL Draft.

One of the biggest tasks for Miami this spring was to develop the running backs who are coming back. Miller won't be easy to replace but the Canes are hoping a trio of tailbacks can effectively make it happen.

They're off to a fast start this spring -- especially James, who finished last season with 275 yards rushing, 80 yards receiving, and eight total touchdowns.

"Mike's having a really good spring and that's not to say Eduardo isn't," Al Golden said. "He's been productive. Those guys are competing."

The Hurricanes used Eudardo Clements a lot down the stretch last season, especially in short yardage situations. He's expected to play a major role for the Canes this season and is well-liked on the team.

"I like Eduardo, personally," Golden said. "He lights up the building, has lots of energy. He brings a swagger. He's confident, very consistent, always getting better. He's good in pass protection. He was our short yardage back at the end of last year. He grew a lot and will take a bigger role this year with the departure of Lamar."

Redshirt freshman Dallas Crawford was switched to running back this spring and has seen reps with the first unit. Fullback Maurice Hagens touched the ball 13 times last season, and could see a rise in that number this fall.

"Dallas is getting some," Golden said. "Maurice Hagens can give us a big package and then we have (Danny) Dillard and Duke (Johnson) coming in."

While none of these guys might be Lamar Miller, they're a talented group that has Golden excited.

"There will be competition there," he said.

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