Spring Football Analysis: DE

Spring football is over. We learned a lot about the team during their last 15 practices. CanesTime's Mike Bakas breaks it down, focusing on the defensive ends in this piece.

Anthony Chickillo leads the way at the defensive end spot. Now close to 280 pounds, Chick has bulked up enough to be tried inside on passing downs. We saw some of that toward the end of last season and saw a lot more of it in the spring. He is a steady performer with a good motor but lacks top notch athleticism and pass rushing skills. Look for him to be an end on 1st and 2nd down and then drop down inside on 3rd down.

Ufomba Kamalu really started turning the corner the last couple games of the 2013 season. He came here as a Junior College transfer with a lot to learn. It happened, and he carried it over into the spring. At close to 290 pounds, Kamalu is a lot like Chick -- limited with his pass rushing skills but solid against the run and someone who can drop down and play inside on passing downs. Look for a much better 2014 from the player who's expected to emerge as the early down starter opposite Chick.

Quan Muhammad and especially Tyriq McCord provided most of the pass rush for the Hurricanes last season. McCord started seeing playing time on earlier downs late in the season but these are guys who are pass rushing specialists. McCord is capable of getting 10+ sacks this season, while Muhammad isn't far behind. Both are coming off strong springs and have added needed weight and strength since last season.

Dwayne Hoilett signed with Miami a few years ago but has been unable to see the field through his first two seasons here. This spring was no different. It appears he's already been passed up by one freshman and is expected to be passed by a couple more when they arrive this summer.

Trent Harris looks a lot like a young McCord. He can play rush end or OLB in a 3-4 alignment. He still has a lot to learn but showed flashes of why he was so heavily recruited during the 2013 recruiting season.

The Hurricanes will get a lot more help this summer when 5-star Chad Thomas and pass rushing specialist Demetrius Jackson show up on campus.


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