Depth Chart Analysis: Offense

The Hurricanes released their first fall depth chart this afternoon. Read on for a complete, in-depth analysis of it from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

QB: It was expected that Jake Heaps and Brad Kaaya would be the two quarterbacks competing to see who would be the team’s opening day starter. It’s turned out that way. Ryan Williams isn’t ready yet, Kaaya is ahead of fellow freshman Malik Rosier, and Heaps has a big advantage over Kevin Olsen in terms of experience. While the coaches may already have a good idea of who the starter will be, it makes sense for them to continue letting the two compete. A starter likely won’t be named until after preseason camp. Both players turned in solid performances in the scrimmage and are listed as the co-starters.

RB: Duke Johnson leads the way – as expected, especially after an excellent scrimmage. Joseph Yearby has passed Gus Edwards as his primary backup, which isn’t terribly surprising. Yearby is more explosive and a more natural runner. He’s a young Duke in many ways. Edwards will likely carve out a role as the team’s short-yardage back.

FB: Walter Tucker has gone back and forth between fullback and linebacker this month. Part of the reason for his move had to do with Miami losing two linebackers before fall camp started. The other part had to do with the progress than walkon Ronald Regula has made. Walkons have had success at this position over the years, going back to when someone like Will McPartland played a key role on some explosive offenses during the Butch Davis era. More likely, however, is that the Canes won’t have a fullback on the field for a lot of the time.

WR: Stacy Coley is clearly the best player at this position so the fact that he’s listed as a 2nd team guy is most likely a wake-up call to him. He was quiet in the scrimmage and regardless of where he is on the depth chart going into the Louisville game he’s fully expected to be Miami’s most productive receiver this fall. Phillip Dorsett is listed as a starter, and that was to be expected. Malcolm Lewis is listed as the other starter, ahead of guys like Herb Waters and Rashawn Scott. Interestingly, Scott isn’t even on the depth chart, which indicates that he’s likely not having the type of fall camp the coaches want from him. Braxton Berrios and Tyre Brady are the two freshmen listed – instead of Darrell Langham and David Njoku. D’Mauri Jones has struggled to see the field his first couple years here, and that trend doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.

TE: Clive Walford is coming off a solid junior season and should be expected to have a similar season in 2014. The fact that Stan Dobard is listed ahead of him indicate that either Dobard is tearing it up for that the coaches want Walford to play better. It’s probably a combination of both but it’s encouraging to know the Canes have two very good pass-catching weapons here. Beau Sandland, the third player listed here, will also play a key role.

OL: Ereck Flowers is Miami’s best lineman, so it’s no surprise he’s the starter at left tackle. Taylor Gadbois has barely played over his first few seasons and doesn’t have the same skill level as Trevor Darling so it’s not a surprise that Darling is listed as the starter at right tackle. Shane McDermott is proven at center. Danny Isidora was the starter at right guard at the end of spring and he’s continued his solid play. The most surprising part here is that Hunter Wells is listed ahead of Jon Feliciano at left guard. Considering Wells has barely played and Feliciano is among the league’s most experienced linemen, this is likely a wake-up call to the senior. If Feliciano isn’t starting against Louisville, expect big things from Wells this season. It’s unlikely, however. The disappointment here is that 6-foot-8 Sunny Odogwu is the only healthy scholarship player not listed. The fact that he’s the 5th tackle in the rotation, behind a pair of true freshman, indicates that his development is probably going slower than hoped or expected. Hopefully it simply means that Darling and K.C. McDermott are that ready (it’s common knowledge that both are premier talents).

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