Miami Football: 5 Freshmen Who Will Make a Huge Impact in Fall Practice
In less than a month, the Miami Hurricanes will enter fall practice with hopes of improving on their 7-5 record from a year ago. With all the pieces in place (19 returning starters), there should be nothing holding Miami back from getting at least 10 wins.
The added bonus to so many returning starters is the help from the incoming freshman. The Hurricanes have plenty of true freshman who will get valuable playing time this upcoming season.
Here are the five freshmen who will make a huge impact this season.
*All recruit rankings courtesy of 247sports.com.
Alex Figueroa, LB
In case you missed it, linebacker Alex Figueroa tore it up in the spring session, earning him a starting spot on Al Golden's post-spring depth chart.
Figueroa came to Miami via Fork Union Military Academy and was listed as just a 3-star prospect. The 6'3", 231-pound freshman proved that those little stars beside their names on websites mean nothing.
Coach Golden and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio were pleasantly surprised by how Figueroa worked so hard this spring and his unique ability to catch on to the defensive scheme D'Onofrio has set.
I honestly believe Figueroa will dominate again this fall and be named as the starter come August 30 when Miami hosts Florida Atlantic.
Artie Burns, CB
Artie Burns didn't enroll in time to compete in spring practice but is in school now, and I expect big things from the 4-star cornerback.
The Hurricanes' defensive backfield is littered with question marks, and Burns has the physical ability to provide depth for the unit right away. Burns has the speed to keep up with any wide receiver in the country but is also not afraid to make a hit.
ESPN.com's Recruiting Nation (subscription required) believes that Burns may become a safety, but with the holes at corner, it won't happen anytime soon.
I believe Burns will make an immediate impact this fall and will most likely be listed as a backup corner when it's all said and done.
Stacey Coley, WR
There may not be a freshman on the Miami Hurricanes who has drawn my attention more than wide receiver Stacy Coley. The 4-star commit brings great athleticism and amazing hands to an already deep Hurricanes receiving corps.
He did not enroll in school early, so we have yet to see Coley on the field. But all signs point to him being a terrific addition to the team.
I understand the Hurricanes are already loaded at receiver, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for Coley. Coley is a deep-threat receiver who runs like a deer in the open field.
I cannot wait to see him this fall, and I think he does enough to earn serious playing time this season.
Jamal Carter, S
There has been a plethora of NFL-talent safeties who have passed through Miami over the years, and this year will be no different with the addition of 4-star commit Jamal Carter.
Carter is a tremendous athlete who has the speed to be productive in coverage at safety as well. The 6'1", 190-pound freshman didn't enroll early, so we will get a glimpse of him for the first time this fall.
There is no doubt that Deon Bush will be one of the starting safeties, but if Carter is as good as advertised, don't be surprised for one second if he gets serious playing time this season.
Alquadin Muhammad, DE
If there were one position on the Hurricanes roster that could be filled by a true freshman, it'd be at defensive end. The entire line struggled last season, allowing team's to pass and run at will.
Muhammad has the physical attributes to make an immediate impact this fall. He has great size (6'4", 230 lbs) and tremendous quickness off the ball.
Once he arrives—which I am predicting to be soon—all eyes will be on him, and I expect nothing less than amazing things.