The veterans and the offensive line and defensive line will need to have a good summer to help them prepare for a strong season in 2007.
A number of key defensive linemen from 2006 are gone including—Kareem Brown, Baraka Atkins, and Bryan Pata.
A new cast will be expected to step up to carry the load led by 2006 Team MVP Calais Campbell.
Senior Teraz McCray and juniors Antonio Dixon and Dwayne Hendricks need to have productive seasons this year as the likely trio in the defensive tackle rotation.
McCray has the most experience of the three—56 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 28 games—and started eight games last season. McCray is needed to have a breakout season and be a dominant playmaker.
Dixon has the potential to be a dominant run-stopper, but will need to get ready in a hurry as they cant afford to wait for him to be ready. Miami faces Marshall and Oklahoma in its first two games this season.
Hendricks has made just 11 tackles in his first two seasons at UM after redshirting in 2004. He is a bit undersized as a tackle, but is able to make plays. One thing to watch this season for the Millville, N.J. native is his ability to stay away injuries, which has hampered his development in 2005 and 2006.
Things on the offensive line are looking to improve as well.
Seniors Derrick Morse and Andrew Bain have plenty of experience and it is time to be dominant players.
Morse has played in 29 games, making 18 starts.
Bain has played in 32 games, making 14 starts.
Last year Morse graded out to 84 percent as the team's right guard, Bain graded out to 73 percent as the team's left guard.
Another senior who is looking to crack the lineup is Cyrim Wimbs, who has played guard and tackle in his UM career while playing in 26 games. Although he has not made a start, he could provide the team with quality depth.
All three seniors have been doing well this summer and hope to carry that into the fall.
Christopher Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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