Breaking Down the Depth Chart

The Hurricanes released their depth chart heading into fall camp today. CanesTime's Mike Bakas analyzes it by breaking it all down.

Stephen Morris is clearly the leader of the team. Ryan Williams enters fall camp with the edge over Gray Crow and Preston Dewey for the number two spot on the depth chart. He'll likely keep it, too.

Duke Johnson is clearly the team's top running back. Checking in behind him is Dallas Crawford, which is no surprise considering Eduardo Clements isn't healthy, Danny Dillard hasn't played yet, and Gus Edwards has only been here for five weeks. Maurice Hagens is the team's only full-time fullback.

The depth chart features three starting wide receivers -- Allen Hurns and Phillip Dorsett on the outside and Herb Waters in the slot. Rashawn Scott and Malcolm Lewis are the two backups listed. No matter how you look at it, those will be the five primary guys through fall camp. Stacy Coley is the most likely of the three freshmen (including Jontavious Carter and D'Mauri Jones) to get into the rotation.

Asante Cleveland and Clive Walford enter fall camp as co-starters at tight end. Walford had a much better year last season, and will likely emerge as the main target there again. Al Golden seemed excited about the progress Juco transfer Beau Sandland's been making. "Ever since the 7th or 8th practice of the spring, he's been what we expected him to be when we recruited him."

Golden said six guys "will go to bed tonight" thinking they're starters along the offensive line. Those six are Ereck Flowers (LT), Malcolm Bunche (LT or LG), Shane McDermott (C), Brandon Linder (RG), Seantrel Henderson (RT), and Jonathan Feliciano (LG). Bunche has the ability to play guard or tackle, while Flowers can play either side. Look for those six to remain the top guys throughout fall camp. Jared Wheeler (C), Danny Isidora (RG), and Sunny Odogwu (RT) are the primary backups. Sophomore Hunter Wells and redshirt freshman Taylor Gadbois have been unable to crack the depth chart yet, and likely won't anytime soon. Unless the Canes have a rash of injuries, Alex Gall and Hunter Knighton will likely redshirt.

Anthony Chickillo and Shayon Green return as the starters at defensive end. Kelvin Cain and Jelani Hamilton are the two primary backups, while David Perry is also listed. Senior Dyron Dye (who was injured at the end of the spring) and redshirt freshman Dwayne Hoilett are not listed. It seems like Dye is running out of time, while Hoilett isn't coming along as quickly as some had hoped.

Olsen Pierre is probably Miami's best defensive player, and mans one of the tackle spots. Seniors Luther Robinson and Curtis Porter are competing for the other spot. Porter is more of a nose guard, while Robinson has some more versatility. Corey King is the fourth tackle going into fall camp -- ahead of junior Jalen Grimble and sophomore Earl Moore.

Jimmy Gaines and Raphael Kirby are listed as co-starters at middle linebacker, but Golden made it seem like Gaines is the main guy there today. Junior Denzel Perryman and freshman surprise Alex Figueroa are the starters on the outside. Tyriq McCord will be used as an edge pass rusher when the defense moves to a 3-4 look at times. Thurston Armbrister and Tyrone Cornileus are also listed. Jawand Blue is not.

Ladarius Gunter and Tracy Howard are competing for one corner spot, while Antonio Crawford and Nate Dortch are competing for the other. Gunter ended spring as the team's most consistent corner, while Dortch is behind in experience and will likely start out as the 4th guy here. All four are very similar in ability, however.

Deon Bush is the team's best defensive back, and he has one of the safety spots. A.J. Highsmith and Rayshawn Jenkins are competing for the other one. Highsmith has experience on his side. Jenkins is a more talented player. Kacy Rodgers is the 4th guy here.

Cincinnati transfer Pat O'Donnell will be the team's punter and he's actually pushing Matt Goudis to be the team's place kicker as well. A winner likely wont emerge until later in fall camp.

Dorsett will be the team's primary return specialist, and he'll be joined by either Johnson or Lewis on kickoffs. Johnson may be limited on special teams because of his increased role on offense but he's a game-changer there so he'll likely still play a key role in the return game.


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