Kevin Olsen, who was suspended for the bowl game against Louisville, is having a better spring than people expected. He's starting to buy into the process that it takes to become a quality quarterback at the college level. The physical tools were never an issue with him. He has the size, the arm talent, and the athleticism to become a premier player at this level. He needed some time to mature and learn as a freshman, and he went through that like a lot of freshman quarterbacks do. His talent is really starting to show this spring and he's on the verge of really giving Williams a strong run for the starting job. This likely won't be decided until the fall but the next couple scrimmages will be very important for both players.
Gray Crow remains a distant third but has been showing improvement from his first two seasons here.
RB: The thinnest position group on the entire roster this spring due to injuries to Duke Johnson and Joseph Yearby, the running back spot has been manned by Gus Edwards and Deandre Johnson for the most part. Walter Tucker has also been working in as a fullback/tailback. Johnson is another body but walked on here for a reason. Edwards always had the size and speed to make big things happen. He just needed to become a more patient and downhill runner with better pad level. He's showing signs of those things this spring and looks like an improved player already from his freshman season in 2013. Tucker looks like a fullback in an offense that will likely run a lot of one-back sets and someone who could potentially move back to linebacker.
WR: This has been a very limited group this spring due to various injuries. Rashawn Scott has been the biggest surprise. He's having a tremendous offseason and it's carried over into a strong spring. If he stays on this path, he could be a kid who catches 40 or 50 balls this season and provides the type of playmaking ability that Allen Hurns provided in 2013.
Stacy Coley is clearly the best kid in the group. He should become one of the best in all of college football this fall and is having the type of spring that would indicate that.
Phillip Dorsett, who joined late because of track, is best used deep down the field. He'll be more effective with a gunslinger at QB (like Stephen Morris or Olsen) but simply doesn't have the same impact with a player like Williams at QB. Still, he's a major threat.
Malcolm Lewis and Herb Waters have been worked in slowly. D'Mauri Jones has shown improvement but seems like a kid who will still have to really elevate his game to see much playing time anytime soon. Garrett Kidd will likely play a very limited role, especially when the incoming freshmen arrive over summer. Braxton Berrios has been out.
TE: With Clive Walford out, the others have had a chance to showcase themselves. Beau Sandland continues improving and becoming more of a complete tight end. Despite being severely underutilized last season, he came here as a pass-catcher and is emerging this spring as a more complete player at the position. Jake O'Donnell always had the size and athleticism and looks a lot more comfortable at the position this spring. He has a chance. Standish Dobard has a premier skill set and has shown flashes of excellence this spring. He's becoming a more complete player here too and should start really making noise.
OL: Ereck Flowers was the best returning player here and has looked like it again this spring. He's still not Bryant McKinnie but he has a chance to be Miami's best left tackle since before Jason Fox.
The biggest surprise has probably been Danny Isidora. He's having an excellent spring and has shown flashes of dominance at times. He's massive and has improved tremendously, especially since he rarely played in 2013 due to an injury. He and Jon Feliciano should make a very good guard duo in 2014.
Trevor Darling and K.C. McDermott have been as expected. They are extremely talented and have very bright futures here but they're still young and learning.
With guys like Shane McDermott and Hunter Knighton out, the Canes really need young players like Taylor Gadbois, Alex Gall, and Sunny Odogwu to step up. Gadbois seems close to breaking into the rotation. Odogwu has all the physical tools and just needs to continue learning.