Canes Football Blog: 12/8

The 2014 regular season might be over but there's still a lot going on surrounding the University of Miami football program. Read on for the latest blog entry.

* CBS Sports released their latest NFL Draft rankings today. The following Hurricanes have draft grades:
OT Ereck Flowers -- 2nd
RB Duke Johnson -- 2nd
LB Denzel Perryman -- 2nd
TE Clive Walford -- 3rd
WR Phillip Dorsett -- 3rd-4th
CB Ladarius Gunter -- 4th
DE Anthony Chickillo -- 5th
OG Jon Feliciano -- 6th-7th

Shane McDermott, Olsen Pierre, and Thurston Armbrister each have Free Agent grades.

* Phillip Dorsett finished the 2014 regular season as the nation's most explosive wide receiver in terms of yards per catch. His 26.6-yard average edged out Ohio State's Devin Smith. Dorsett finished the regular season with nine touchdowns, while Smith grabbed 11.

* The Canes will play South Carolina in the Independence Bowl on December 27th. Typically known for their strong defense, the Gamecocks did not play well on that side of the football this season. At first glance, you'll notice they played four ranked teams all season and gave an up average of 41 points per game. I know the Canes aren't ranked but that indicates an inability to stop any decent offense from scoring lots of points. Even if Walford is unable to play, this has the potential to be a shootout. USC is just 1-3 in those games. They're very talented on offense, led by running back Mike Davis who ranks just behind Johnson on NFL Draft boards right now. I'll be talking about and analyzing this matchup a lot more in the coming weeks.

* The first college football playoff is set and I truly believe the four best teams are in it. Alabama seems to be the most complete team from top to bottom. The way Ohio State absolutely hammered a solid Wisconsin team in the Big 10 Championship game was impressive enough to get them in. Florida State continues finding ways to win, while Oregon continues winning big.

What's interesting about three of those teams is how much impact players from South Florida are making. Alabama's best player is wide receiver Amari Cooper, who leads the nation in receiving and will likely be the first WR taken in April's draft. The former Miami Northwestern standout picked Bama over Miami a few years ago. At Ohio State, their best player on defense is often defensive tackle Joey Bosa. The former St. Thomas Aquinas standout never considered Miami much but it's worth noting. Florida State's best player lately has been true freshman running back Dalvin Cook. A one-time Clemson and Florida commitment, Cook is from Miami Central but never gave Miami strong consideration.

Miami's still loaded with talent but if they want to get back to competing for championships, those are the types of players they need to keep at home.

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