Miami Football: Q&A with Canes Featured Columnist David Mayer
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Last week, fellow featured columnist David Mayer asked me some questions to see where I stood on the recent goings-on of Miami Hurricanes football.
Fast forward to this week, and it's now his turn to answer some questions about the State of The U.
Mayer has been entertaining the Hurricanes faithful here on Bleacher Report since 2009.
1. Which position has the greatest depth on offense?
I think the wide receiver is the deepest position on the team. Allen Hurns, Phillip Dorsett, Rashawn Scott, Herb Waters, Malcolm Lewis and Robert Lockhart Jr. could each start on any team in the ACC. Dorsett had a monster year, and if he can be more consistent catching the ball, he has the chance to break 1,000 yards this season.
Lewis is one of my favorite young wideouts, and if he is fully recovered from that gruesome ankle injury, I expect big things from him. Hurns needs to run better routes but is a solid go-to guy for Stephen Morris. Scott just needs to stay out of trouble and he can become a great receiver for the Canes.
2. Which positions has the least depth on offense?
Offensive guard has to be a position of concern for the Hurricanes. Jeremy Lewis and Jermaine Johnson both graduated leaving a hole at guard on the depth chart. I am not 100 percent sure what the coaches will do with Taylor Gadbois, but I am assuming they will use him at tackle.
The only other true guard Miami has on its roster is Danny Isidora. Jared Wheeler is the backup center, but I also assume the Hurricanes will use him as a backup guard as well. Other than that, I honestly have no idea who else they will use.
3. Which recruit are you most looking forward to see make an immediate impact?
Out of the current recruits, I believe defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad will be the player who gets the most playing time—how much of an impact he make remains to be seen. Muhammad plays outside linebacker as well, but I don't see him playing that position at all for Miami.
I think Muhammad will be used in passing downs right off the bat and become a legitimate threat halfway through the season. He is such a terrific athlete and has proven to be a dangerous player off the edge.
4. Of the committed players, which recruit's potential excites you the most?
My personal choice is Beau Sandland. I've watched tape of him and see him being as good as Jeremy Shockey when he played at Miami. Sandland is such a terrific athlete and can catch anything thrown his way. He is faster than current tight end Clive Walford and could be a complete nightmare for linebackers to cover.
I love the way he plays and Sandland is already enrolled, which gives him an edge come spring practice.
5. Which game next season can you not wait to see?
Easy one, Florida Gators. Not only do I despise the Gators, but it will be a good measuring stick to see how good the Miami Hurricanes will truly be. UF finished last season at 11-2 and will have a lot of good returning players coming back. Many early preseason polls have UF ranked around the No. 5 spot.
I would love nothing more than to see the Canes upset the Gators and prove to the entire country that they are legit.
6. Pittsburgh and Syracuse are added to the ACC in 2013, does either team pose a great challenge for the Hurricanes?
I don't think either of them will right away as both teams will be missing too many players. If I had to choose one, I would go with Pittsburgh because they generally recruit better players.
Syracuse has improved over the last few years, but I don't believe they have what it takes to pose a risk to this Hurricanes' squad.
7. Is there a veteran player (junior/senior) who you expect to have a breakout season?
Junior linebacker Denzel Perryman. Perryman had an up-and-down sophomore year due to multiple injuries. If he can stay healthy there is no doubt in my mind that he leads this team in tackles and shows us what we saw his true freshman season—an absolute freak athlete. Perryman has the ability to be just as good as any linebacker Miami has ever had.
8. What will you miss about offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch? What will you not miss?
Are you satisfied with the hiring of James Coley as OC?
Honestly, not much. Fisch did open the offense up a little bit—especially for the final three games—but his play-calling was so inconsistent. I don't believe Fisch understood what kind of athletes Miami had on his team.
I also hated the fact that he didn't run the ball, but I can't blame him on that 100 percent because the defense wouldn't allow Miami to run its patented pro-style offense.
9. How would you grade the job head coach Al Golden has done since coming to Miami?
A-. I think he is a savior after the poor coaches the Hurricanes have had over the last decade or so. He is a terrific leader, one of the best recruiters and an amazing head coach. He definitely is the right coach for the job.
The only reason I give him an A- is because I do not like his friend and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. Even after the first season there was something about D'Onofrio's defense that I just didn't like. I really was hoping that Golden would cut ties with D'Onofrio after last season's embarrassing defense.
10. Who is your favorite Cane on the current roster and why?
My favorite player on the Miami roster is Deon Bush. I am a safety guy, and I think Bush has the physical ability to become an All-American. He has the hitting power of Sean Taylor, and once he understands the game more at the collegiate level, he can become a cross between Taylor and Ed Reed.
I love watching him play, and I honestly cannot wait to see what his future holds.
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