Dillard cleared and ready to begin camp

Danny Dillard has been cleared by the NCAA and is set to begin practice tomorrow, according to head coach Al Golden. Lets take a closer look at what it means for the team.

The University of Miami signed 33 players in its 2012 recruiting class and 32 of them are now officially on the fall roster. The only one who isn't is Palm Beach Central wide receiver Angelo Jean-Louis, who is hoping to report in January for the spring semester.

Dillard, 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, was a three-star running back prospect from Venice High. He landed an offer from the Hurricanes in the early part of his senior season and chose the Hurricanes over the three schools he also visited -- Illinois, N.C. State, and Western Kentucky. He ran for over 1,000 yards in each of his final two seasons in high school.

Scout's Geoff Vogt watched Dillard on several occasions throughout his prep career and offered the following analysis.

"Dillard is a big running back with sub 4.5 speed. He carried the load for the first time as a junior and ran for over 1,000 yards. He runs well between the tackles and shows great power in the hole, he rarely goes down on first contact. He possesses straight line speed, but needs to improve his lateral mobility and make defenders miss in space. He's a top athlete and could get looks as a Safety as well as RB."

Dillard's addition to the fall roster means the Canes now have five running backs on the team. Mike James is the leader of the group, followed by Eduardo Clements. Redshirt freshman Dallas Crawford, who spent his first season at safety, will play some running back and some slot receiver. True freshman Duke Johnson is an elite level talent who will likely see a good amount of touches this season.

James and Clements are good short-yardage backs, who can get a lot of yards between the tackles. That's the type of player Dillard is, and the type of runner the Canes are hoping he becomes early in his career. Not able to go through summer conditioning with the rest of the team, Dillard will begin fall camp as the fifth running back on the depth chart and that could indicate a possible redshirt. However, if James or Clements miss any time for any reason, Dillard becomes the number two big back, which indicates that a redshirt season may not happen in the end.

The Hurricanes begin fall camp tomorrow.

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