Most good offensive lines in college have two things going for them -- talent and game experience. Last year's group didn't play like one of the top units in college football but it was certainly one of the most talented and experienced groups. Miami lost Ereck Flowers (1st round), Jonathan Feliciano (4th round), and Shane McDermott (over 30 career starts) from last year's unit. Replacing them will be a huge challenge for Miami.
Flowers was clearly an elite talent, and a 3-year starter. He was going to be extremely difficult to effectively replace and that challenge will be up to sophomore Trevor Darling. While he's a talented kid who started a couple games at right tackle last season, he doesn't have the talent or experience that Flowers had last season. Miami is hoping he turns in a solid season at the very important left tackle position.
Alex Gall has been given the task of replacing Feliciano. With similar size, Gall doesn't have Feliciano's strength, versatility, or game experience. Still, he's in his fourth year in the program and he's had a solid fall camp. He should be able to step in and have a solid season.
Nick Linder, who started a handful of games at guard last season, takes over as McDermott's replacement at center. He's emerged as one of the offensive leaders, and should be able to effectively step in and pick up where McDermott left off.
Danny Isidora returns as the starter at right guard. He can also play right tackle if needed and his return means the Canes will be stronger there than they were a year ago.
Sunny Odogwu and K.C. McDermott have been in a heated battle to become the starter at right tackle. They've gone back and forth this entire month. Line coach Art Kehoe said on WQAM radio recently that Odogwu will be the starter, although the coaches have not released an official depth chart for the opening week yet. Odogwu is 6-foot-8 and in his third year in the program. He's still very raw, however. McDermott, a former five-star recruit, has loads of talent and will likely play a lot even if he isn't the starter.
True freshman Tyree St Louis has been working in as Darling's backup at left tackle. However, if something were to happen with Darling it's unlikely that Miami would use a true freshman there. In that case, look for Junior College transfer Jahair Jones to get a strong look. St Louis has been Miami's top freshman lineman while Jones is massive and brings some college experience to the table.
Hunter Knighton is back in action for the Hurricanes. He was competing for a starting spot a couple years ago when he last played. He is now expected to be Linder's backup at center although he can also play one of the guard spots.
Joe Brown came here as a late addition to last year's recruiting class. He played mostly defensive tackle in high school but started his career here on offense. He's had a strong camp and surprised a lot of people by starting the final scrimmage (at right guard while Isidora played right tackle). Obviously he's making progress and the coaches are starting to trust him in the lineup. He should fill in for Isidora if and when the starting right guard plays tackle.
Senior Hunter Wells and freshman Tyler Gauthier are backup guards who are still trying to work their way into the rotation. They're currently running third team but were both in the rotation during fall camp. This is the final season for Wells while Gauthier has been impressive early in camp.