Miami Football: 5 Under-the-Radar Players Who Could Shine in Spring Practice

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2013

Miami Football: 5 Under-the-Radar Players Who Could Shine in Spring Practice

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    With March underway, many eyes are looking forward to the NCAA men's basketball tournament, searching for under-the-radar sleeper teams to make a run for the championship.

    Meanwhile, on the football field, the Miami Hurricanes have a few players who could emerge as sleepers on the depth chart.

    The 'Canes are looking for these athletes as a number of injuries are holding key backups out of spring practice.

    Here are five under-the-radar players who could shine this spring.

Jacoby Briscoe, DT

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    I know many of you are thinking, "The defensive tackles were bad, dude. We get it."

    As I have said, "Someone can and will step up...right?"

    Jacoby Briscoe is a monster in the middle at 6'5" and 302 pounds heading into spring practice.

    After redshirting in 2012, Briscoe has all four years of eligibility at a position of need for the 'Canes.

    Briscoe could help solve the troubles Miami had at plugging up the middle on running plays and with the practically non-existent pass rush generated by its tackles.

JaWand Blue, LB

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    JaWand Blue took a redshirt season in 2012 and could be a hidden gem as a freshman this season.

    Additionally, Blue was not listed on the first release of the two-deep depth chart.

    With the well-documented absences of Gionni Paul and Eddie Johnson, Blue has a chance to prove himself in competition at outside linebacker.

    With three returning players with starts in 2012 in front of him, he will really have to earn every second of playing time he gets.

Danny Dillard, RB

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    With senior Eduardo Clements being held out of spring practice following neck surgery, redshirt freshman Dillard found himself third on the depth chart.

    Listed at 6'2" and 210 pounds, Danny Dillard has the makings of a big ol' boy.

    Sophomore speedbacks Duke Johnson (5'9", 194) and Dallas Crawford (5'10", 196) are practically mirror images of each other, so Dillard could potentially make a huge impact as a power back.

    If Dillard shows that powerful running style without fumbling the ball, he might just shine in the Hurricanes coaches' eyes.

Jontavious Carter, WR

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    As with Dillard potentially stepping up in Clements' absence, Jontavious Carter can shine with Malcolm Lewis and Robert Lockhart Jr. out of commission this spring.

    He's yet another talented redshirt freshman at Miami, and part of a loaded receiving corps.

    With that being said, Carter is a big-bodied receiver at 6'2", 208—something the Hurricanes can utilize as other top receivers are built more for speed.

Preston Dewey, QB

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    He won't become the starter even with an outstanding spring performance, but redshirt freshman Preston Dewey can still earn something big.

    Junior Ryan Williams saw playing time in a few games last season. Understandably, he was less than stellar.

    This spring, the two signal-callers will vie for the backup QB position.

    Look for Dewey to make some noise.

    Remember, Dewey's talents during his final two years of high school were under the tutelage of 1990 Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer.

    Yeah. That'll work.