Cyrim Wimbs, who has a year up on Byrd in terms of experience, would probably have to be considered the favorite to win the spot after a great career at Pompano Beach Ely where he and fellow-Hurricane Andrew Bain paved massive holes for another-Cane Tyrone Moss en route to a Class 5A state championship in their senior year.
It seems that Wimbs might finally be starting to reach the potential that coaches had expected of him when he signed with Miami three years ago.
Wimbs, who at points, probably hovered around 350 pounds is currently down to 328. The 6-foot-3, redshirt junior expects to be down to 315-320 when the season starts though. He attributes that weight loss and body fat loss to his improved play, especially with his quickness.
"You notice it in the second drive at like the eighth play," Wimbs said. "You see yourself having a lot more juice in that second drive. It's allowed me to have quicker feet. Even in the passing game, the defensive ends say that I've got quicker feet."
While the key for any offensive lineman is a good running game, Wimbs also recognizes how the passing game will be able to open more running lanes for ‘Canes running backs.
"It's good when you start throwing the ball against defenses because they can't keep everyone in the box to defend the run," Wimbs said. "It also allows us to run the ball."
With a virtually brand new group expected to start next year, spring practice has definitely been a key time for the group of young players that includes the likes of Bain, Anthony Wollschlager, Wimbs, Reggie Youngblood, A.J. Trump, Derrick Morse and Byrd as they try to get a cohesion that will help the ‘Canes offense improve exponentially next season.
"It's been good, but it ain't where it needs to be," Wimbs said of the offensive line's improvement. "I know we are going against the number one defense in the world (UM's defense), but we need to be able to move cats off the ball."
Personally though, Wimbs has been confident in his play and his improvement and his continued weight loss will surely prove to make a difference for him.
"I feel like I've progressed really good," Wimbs said. "I've had some hurries, but overall it's been pretty good. Speed kills and I've been getting quicker feet."
Add in new offensive line coach Mario Cristobal who took over for former coach Art Kehoe, Wimbs notices a difference in the two coach's styles of coaching.
"Instead of saying do this and do that, we talk about stuff in meeting and then do it in practice everyday," Wimbs said. "Cristobal is really a player's coach. He's going to find out and help you get it done."
And that's what Wimbs has in store for this spring as he tries to secure the starting right tackle position.
"We've having a battle, but hopefully, I'll be able to win it out over Byrd," Wimbs said.
Either way, the battle can only make the ‘Canes as a team better which is really what it's all about.
Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat is a Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com