UM Football Blog: 8/14

Read on for the latest surrounding Miami's football team, with analysis from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

Lets review the newest depth chart, released last night.

I figured it was only a matter of time before Stephen Morris was named the starter. He technically hasn't been yet but is now atop the depth chart. It's his job to lose and it's been that way since Ryan Williams had a disappointing spring while running with the ones.

Running Back:
Duke Johnson is the surprise, checking in at number four. Remember, he's only been practicing for a little over a week. The kids in front of him have been here a lot longer. They probably want to make him earn it. He had one good scrimmage. Lets see him do it a few more times. Either way, Dallas Crawford will not touch it more than Duke this fall, regardless of what these depth charts are saying.

Wide Receiver:
The surprise to me was the absence of Robert Lockhart. I really thought he was the 2nd most college-ready WR that UM signed this past recruiting season. He went without a catch in the scrimmage and now Herb Waters is listed. Waters seems like at least a co-number two among the freshmen right now. Malcolm Lewis will play and play a lot so it's not surprising that he's listed. Lockhart needs to step up and start making more plays.

Tight End:
Does it really matter? This team needs them badly. Like I said in another thread last night, there's a reason why Asante Cleveland was very lightly recruited out of high school. There's a reason why Clive Walford once quit football in high school. There's a reason why David Perry and Dyron Dye have barely seen the field in their first couple seasons. Don't expect a huge turnaround. UM likely won't involve the tight end much in the passing game until 2013 commitments Standish Dobard and Travis Johnson -- much better pass-catching prospects than any of the current tight ends -- arrive on campus.

Offensive Line:
When we had to submit our state rankings at the end of last season, I went out on a limb by putting Ereck Flowers in the top six. I watched him twice last season and thought he could be a future 1st rounder. After he got in early, I wasn't surprised at the progress he's made. He'll make mistakes but the kid has everything you want. At this point, he's more trustworthy in there than Seantrel Henderson.

Defensive Line:
This group of tackles is supposed to eat up lots of space and be tough against the run. That wasn't the case in Sunday's scrimmage and it's probably why a kid who's been practicing for just over a week is listed as the starter. Dequan Ivery, until now, is clearly Miami's top freshman DT of the three who signed. Kelvin Cain missing at D-End is another disappointment. He's got all the tools and this team really needs pass rushers. He's not getting it done for whatever reason. If a 2nd DE doesn't emerge opposite Chickillo, UM's pass rush could be atrocious this coming season. It'll likely end up being a true freshman.

They're getting destroyed with injuries. Jimmy Gaines, Eddie Johnson, and Gionni Paul are all limited and should be competing for starting spots. Instead, it's given Thurston Armbrister a chance. He's not one of the 3 best LB's on this team but with all the guys injured, he is right now. That'll change soon. Rapheal Kirby is probably getting a wakeup call from this. He's the best of the freshmen yet isn't listed.

Now that Davon Johnson is back at receiver, there are two with game experience here. Wow, talk about inexperience! Ladarius Gunter has been up and down. He's there because he had the spring. It's only a matter of time before Tracy Howard takes it over. By being listed also, Antonio Crawford seems like the 2nd freshman corner so far.

I was encouraged to see Rayshawn Jenkins listed as co-backup with Deon Bush. I'm not sold on guys like A.J. Highsmith and Andreu Swasey and I know Bush can play. So seeing Jenkins there is encouraging because he's not as sure thing a prospect.

Special Teams:
Dallas Crawford didn't last long there. I watched Lewis and Johnson return kicks and punts in high school and they're both difference makers so it's not surprising they're now listed. Dorsett, to me, is a better return threat than at receiver.

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