The Hurricanes finished their final week of spring practice on Thursday before hosting the annual BankUnited Spring Game at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday.
It has been a very good spring season as the Hurricane veterans have shown that this will be a much better and more focused team then those of the past.
Read on to see whose stock is up and whose is down after the final week of practice.
It should be no surprise that offensive tackle Ereck Flowers has had an awesome spring. The sophomore was a big surprise last season as just a freshman playing in all 12 games for the Hurricanes.
Flowers has tremendous size (6'6", 315 pounds) and has great foot work for someone so young. During practice this week, offensive line coach Art Kehoe praised Flowers hard work and dedication. (InsidetheU, subscription required)
Even though the Hurricanes are stacked on the offensive line, don't be surprised if Flowers takes over a starting spot at some point this season.
Defensive end Jelani Hamilton was having a great spring before Tuesday's injury during a warm-up drill when he went down with an apparent knee injury. According to the Miami Herald, head coach Al Golden does not know how long Hamilton will be out.
It's yet another hit the defensive end position took this spring as Dyron Dye is out indefinitely with an injury to his Achilles.
After seeing linebacker Raphael Kirby's recruiting videos I knew—as long as every recruiter in the country—that he was going to be something special. This spring has been his coming out party.
For the sixth straight week, Kirby has shown why so many schools went after him. The sophomore has been doing so well that he has actually been splitting time with senior Jimmy Gaines at starting middle linebacker.
Kirby has a terrific understanding of the game and can hit just as hard as fellow linebacker Denzel Perryman. Even with the departure of Gionni Paul earlier this season, this linebacking corps could be the best one in years.
This slide hurts me to write because I am very high on sophomore quarterback Preston Dewey. He seems like an outstanding young man and really has the tools to become a starter at Miami. He was listed as the third-string quarterback all year last year ahead of Gray Crow.
That being said, this has been a forgettable spring for Dewey as he has fallen back to third string on the depth chart. Ryan Williams and Crow have been competing for the backup role all spring, and it continued this week.
I understand that there is a lot of football left before the season begins, and I am confident that Dewey can compete for the backup role this fall.
After last season, the cornerback position took a huge hit with the departures of Brandon McGee and Thomas Finnie. With nothing but youth in the defensive backfield I was suspect on who was going to take the reins.
At first I thought freshman Tracy Howard was going to take over but this spring has been owned by junior Ladarius Gunter.
Gunter has been all over the field making plays for the defense and it was no different on Thursday. He is doing so well that we all may forget how important it was to lose McGee to graduation last season.