Miami Football: 5 Players Who Have Surprised Us in 2013

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2013

Miami Football: 5 Players Who Have Surprised Us in 2013

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    Gus Edwards has dominated Miami's lower-level competition.
    Gus Edwards has dominated Miami's lower-level competition.Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    Collectively, the Miami Hurricanes have surprised many college football fans around the nation with a 3-0 start, and there have been plenty of individual surprises, too.

    The Canes were expected to win games because of its experienced and big-play offense, but Miami's defense has been the bright spot so far.

    Questions concerning second-stringers on the depth chart still lingered near the beginning of the season, but some less-heralded Hurricanes have stepped up in a big way.

    Just remember, like in many facets of life, surprises are not always a good thing.

Eduardo Clements, Running Back

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    Eduardo Clements is a very important piece in Miami's backfield.
    Eduardo Clements is a very important piece in Miami's backfield.Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    Eduardo Clements has not necessarily lit up the scorebook.

    But the senior running back underwent neck surgery during the offseason and missed spring practice before returning to the team.

    Clements, however, has been running like a man on a mission. The determination to finish runs that he has displayed is nothing short of remarkable.

    Clements gained 75 yards vs. Savannah State, and his 98 rushing yards this season is a career best. Even as the third-string back, Clements has proven himself a valuable and headstrong reserve.

Stephen Morris, Quarterback

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    Stephen Morris has yet to be on the same page with his receivers.
    Stephen Morris has yet to be on the same page with his receivers.Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    Stephen Morris was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation at the conclusion of the 2012 regular season, throwing 11 touchdowns and zero interception over the final four games.

    But Morris has been far from that during the first three contests, as he has thrown for just 162, 160 and 82 yards.

    The senior gunslinger and his receivers have simply not been on the same page, and Morris' golden opportunity to get back on track was derailed by a tackle on Saturday.

    Morris left the game with an injured right leg, but he is expected to play against South Florida—and he certainly needs the reps.

Denzel Perryman, Linebacker

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    Perryman took no prisoners vs. Florida and has been the 'Canes defensive MVP.
    Perryman took no prisoners vs. Florida and has been the 'Canes defensive MVP.Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

    As a sophomore, Denzel Perryman was nicked up, and the dreaded sophomore slump seemed to bite Perryman. In reality, the physical linebacker racked up 64 tackles in just nine games.

    This season, however, Perryman has been even better.

    Perryman currently has registered 20 tackles, two pass breakups and a quarterback hit, but it was production against Florida that attracted attention.

    He racked up 13 tackles and forced a fumble, leading the Canes to an upset win over the Gators.

    Perryman is the type of player who can lead an entire defense, and he is doing just that in his third collegiate season.

Phillip Dorsett, Wide Receiver

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    Dorsett made a huge play vs. Florida, but that's about it.
    Dorsett made a huge play vs. Florida, but that's about it.Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

    Phillip Dorsett caught 58 passes for 842 yards and scored four touchdowns as a sophomore.

    But through three games as a junior, he has practically disappeared. Dorsett has managed just four catches for 63 yards.

    Yes, his 52-yard touchdown against Florida was absolutely a massive play and cannot be discounted, but Dorsett is missing the explosiveness he showcased last year.

    Of course, Dorsett did hit a major lull during the middle of the 2012 campaign, snaring just eight passes for 81 yards over a four-game stretch.

    Miami lost three of those four games, and the Canes are about to enter ACC play. Miami cannot afford for Dorsett to continue his struggles, so he must step up this weekend vs. South Florida.

Gus Edwards, Running Back

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    Gus "The Bus" Edwards carried quite a few Savannah State defenders on his back throughout the 77-7 rout.
    Gus "The Bus" Edwards carried quite a few Savannah State defenders on his back throughout the 77-7 rout.Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    Gus Edwards was a late commitment to the University of Miami, but the true freshman is getting noticed early.

    Edwards did not play against Florida, but he has racked up 132 yards in two games, including a career-high 113 yards and three touchdowns vs. Savannah State.

    The competition level (Florida Atlantic and Savannah State) has obviously not been great, but the fact that Edwards is producing is encouraging.

    Listed at 6'2" and 225 pounds, Edwards has the build and skills to be Miami's change of pace back—something the Canes lost when Mike James graduated.