The 2013 Miami Hurricanes return 19 starters but still have plenty to work on before the upcoming season. Last year's defense was one of the worst in the country, and the spring session didn't show much improvement.
While the defense is still trying to figure out its identity, the offense could very well be one of the best anyone has seen at Miami in years.
Here are the four weakest positions Miami needs to work on before the season begins.
Out of the entire defense, the end position is the one with the most promise. That being said this spring season didn't give us any hope that the ends have improved that much.
Anthony Chickillo still seems to have trouble shedding blockers while Shayon Green looked decent, but also was pushed around by the offensive line in the spring game. I know the Hurricanes have a tremendous offensive line and that is part of the reason the ends have been struggling, but let's be honest, this group has shown very little improvement thus far.
The good news is that the Hurricanes will be welcoming stud freshman Alquadin Muhammad in August. Muhammad is a 4-star prospect out of New Jersey that could be an immediate impact to this questionable unit.
There really is no surprise that the defensive tackles have the biggest issues heading into the 2013 season. This unit struggled against the run and forced no pressure on any quarterback it faced last season.
The good news is for the first time in two years Curtis Porter participated in spring practice. Porter is a very talented tackle but has had trouble staying healthy since he came to Miami in 2009.
The rest of the tackles still need work, but Olsen Pierre and Luther Robinson do have experience and could help boost the line at some point this season.
Although the Canes have a lot of talent at cornerback, they lack experience and will undoubtedly miss Brandon McGee (graduation). In fact, the returning Canes corners have just five combined starts among them.
Now it isn't all bad, as Ladarius Gunter had a tremendous spring and Tracy Howard is physically gifted to take over the other starting spot. Add incoming phenom Artie Burns and there could be something brewing in the defensive backfield at Miami—hopefully sooner than later.
The kicker spot isn't necessarily a weak position, but not one of the current Hurricane kickers have kicked a field goal in a college football game.
Matt Goudis is taking over the kicking duties this year and has only been on the field twice—kicking off twice and punting once.
The backup kicker, Ricky Perez, has yet to kick anything for the Canes.