UM Football Blog: 8/31

In today's blog CanesTime's Mike Bakas breaks down the newest depth chart and provides his analysis on what it means at certain positions.

QB: As expected.

RB: With Gus Edwards out for the season, Joe Yearby and Mark Walton will split the majority of the carries. I've said on numerous occasions that despite Yearby having experience and being a former five-star recruit, Walton should be expected to be the team's top running back by mid-season. It appears he's already pulled even so it's likely only a matter of time before the freshman takes over Miami's backfield.

FB: I don't know whether it should be encouraging for walkon Gage Batten that he has the starting job heading into week one or disappointing that Walter Tucker couldn't keep his job. While it's probably a combination of both, the importance is minimal because of how little UM is expected to use a fullback this season.

WR: The starters were as expected. Stacy Coley, Herb Waters, and Rashawn Scott entered fall camp as the top three wide receivers on the team, and they remained that way throughout camp. The interesting part here is that freshman Lawrence Cager has already seemingly passed Tyre Brady and Darrell Langham on the depth chart. I had high hopes for Langham and always thought Cager was a bit overrated coming in here. Because of those things, I was hoping to see Langham listed here but it's Cager instead.

TE: I don't know if it's a sign or not but UM listed both a tight end (in-line) and an H-Back as starters. Does this mean we should expect to see multiple tight end sets on a regular basis? Chris Herndon certainly can provide mismatch problems so it wouldn't surprise people. Having him on the field in passing situations makes more sense than having a fullback on the field, and it's not unrealistic to think he could end up a better pass-catching option than Miami's third wide receiver.

OL: Art Kehoe announced the starters on the radio last week so the starters came as no surprise. What surprised me was that K.C. McDermott was listed as the backup on the left side. Most people expected him to compete with Sunny Odogwu on the right side -- and that could still happen. Tyree St Louis, who played left tackle in the recent scrimmage, always seemed like a more natural right tackle so it makes sense that he's listed there now. Tyler Gauthier seems to be doing well, which is encouraging considering he was so lightly recruited out of high school.

DL: The big surprise here is that Ufomba Kamalu is listed as the starter over Chad Thomas. Kamalu, who was expected to play defensive tackle, flashed quality pass rushing skills last season and is a sleeper pick for a breakout season. Seeing Thomas not in the starting lineup is odd, though. Kendrick Norton is having a very good month and he's already moved ahead of senior Michael Wyche. It appears as though Norton will be strongly in the mix for major playing time. When Jelani Hamilton started the spring game and coaches talked all summer about how much he's improved I remained skeptical so I'm not surprised he's not listed anywhere on this depth chart.

LB: The pass-rushing spot was one of the most intense position battles on the entire team throughout fall camp. Most people expected Quan Muhammad to win it. Instead, Trent Harris is at the top of the depth chart. While Demetrius Jackson is also listed as a co-backup, expect Harris and Muhammad to go back and forth all season here. Both players can impact games because of their ability to harass opposing quarterbacks. Lets hope they're unleashed. Juwon Young not showing up likely means he's not healthy to play yet, which is something worth watching -- especially since Golden downplayed the injury all month.

DB: It's obvious the coaches went with experience and knowledge of the system at one of the safety spots by giving Dallas Crawford the starting nod. He's not a playmaker but won't make mental mistakes, and will help everyone get lined up. As witnessed by how much Nentambu Fentress played last season, this staff places a big emphasis on that. Miami has four freshman cornerbacks and it appears as though Sheldrick Redwine is the best of the four right now. This is worth noting because of how late the Hurricanes decided to offer him a scholarship last recruiting season. It turned out to be a good decision.

ST: The only surprise here is Braxton Berrios being listed as the primary punt return specialist. While he has good speed and quickness testing numbers he just didn't strike people as a difference maker there last year. Hopefully that changes this season.

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