At quarterback finding the backup to starter to Jacory Harris is still something that seems to be unanswered at this point. True freshman Stephen Morris seems like he's not quite ready a push for that job yet. Spencer Whipple, son of UM offensive coordinator mark Whipple, has put together some impressive practices in recent weeks and is pushing for more opportunities. Sophomore A.J. Highsmith seems to be a front runner for the number two job and with a big performance at tonight's scrimmage he could solidify that spot even more.
The Hurricanes are six deep at running back right now. Lee Chambers moving over to defensive back and Graig Cooper still sitting out with injury, the Hurricanes are still loaded. Senior Damien Berry seems to be the most likely candidate to be the starter at the beginning of the season so the Canes will likely use scrimmages like tonight to find out which of the other running backs will push for major playing time. Lamar Miller and Mike James will both have big opportunities in tonight scrimmage to showcase their skills and to make a push for more playing time of the three true freshman Storm Johnson seems to be the one that is most likely to play and his performance in tonight scrimmage will be very important to continue to determine that.
At wide receiver Junior LaRon Byrd will be out for the next couple weeks while he nurses a hamstring injury. This will give the other receivers opportunity to showcase their skills in front of the coaches in a scrimmage atmosphere. One player that is expected to benefit from Byrd's time off is sophomore Tommy Streeter. At 6 foot five, Streeter has a lot of upside and can do big things when called upon. It will be interesting to see if he's able to take advantage of these opportunities with the next couple of scrimmages.
At tight end Richard Gordon's seems to be starter. Finding a backup to him and someone who can also catch a lot of passes for the Canes is something that has become very important. Junior college transfer Chase Ford and true freshman Asante Cleveland have both put together solid camps so far and will have a big opportunity tonight to really make a push up the depth chart.
Along the offensive line the Canes are trying to build depth, With five primary starters in place, the Canes are trying to find the right mix of second team guys. At center Shane McDermott and Brandon Linder are competing to become Tyler Horn's backup. At tackle Benjamin Jones and Jermaine Johnson seemed to be the most likely candidates to back up Orlando Franklin and Joel Figueroa. It is simply a matter of which side of the line those two will be playing. At guard redshirt freshman Jared Wheeler will have a big opportunity to make a push for playing time. Scrimmages like the one tonight will be very important for Wheeler and how will determine how much playing time he will receive early in the season.
On the defensive line, the Hurricanes have one of the best in the country in senior Alan Bailey. Who emerges as the main guy on the other side is still in question. Adewale Ojomol is having a solid camp and so is Junior Marcus Robinson. Both players are excellent pass rushers and will be looking to get a leg up on the rest of the competition tonight. At defensive tackle, there are several players still in the mix vying for playing time and all of them seem to be pretty close together so using scrimmages like tonight will be very important for the Miami coaches.
At linebacker the biggest issue has been trying to find the number three starter. Will it be Kylan Robinson in the middle or will it be Junior Ramon Buchanan on the outside? Robinson is a fifth-year senior who has very little playing experience as a hurricane but had a good spring and started fall camp as the team starting middle linebacker. Buchanan has had a solid month so far and is really making a push to become a starter. Their performance tonight will continue to go a long way in determining which one will be Miami's third linebacker this season.
In the secondary the two cornerback positions seem to be locked down with Brendon Harris and the DeMarcus Van Dyke. At safety Vaughn Telemaque has one spot on lockdown while Ray Ray Armstrong and Jamaal Reid continued to battle it out for the starting job on the other side Jared Campbell, who played a lot last season, is also in the mix.
A lot of these questions will be answered tonight while others will not be answered until later on this month. Some may not even be answered until the Canes play a few games this season but we will continue to monitor these position battles and more.