Miami Football: Grading Post-Spring 2-Deep Depth Chart

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2014

Miami Football: Grading Post-Spring 2-Deep Depth Chart

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    Deon Bush
    Deon BushCredit: 247Sports

    Like many programs across the nation, the Miami Hurricanes coaching staff released a post-spring depth chart, showing the current offseason status of the roster.

    Various injuries sidelined or limited key players during the workouts, so the two-deep list is far from a finished product.

    With that being said, a few 'Canes who had been reserves in 2013 emerged as contenders for starting positions or important backup roles.

    And head coach Al Golden certainly recognized the lesser-known players, awarding more than a mere handful of players co-starting status.

     

    Note: Full depth chart is available on HurricaneSports.com. Stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.

Quarterback

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    Kevin Olsen
    Kevin OlsenCredit: 247Sports

    QB: Kevin Olsen; Gray Crow

    Had senior Ryan Williams not torn his ACL, the Hurricanes would be much less concerned about the quarterback position.

    Regardless, Miami has to move on, and the redshirt freshman Olsen is now the No. 1 option under center. Olsen had a lackluster end to spring ball, slowing the fast-moving hype train regarding the 'Canes offense in March.

    Crow holds the second-string role, and fall camp will be an important opportunity for the sophomore to prove he is capable of winning the starting role.

    Of course, he must outplay incoming freshmen, too, but that's a different story for another day.

    Grade: C-

Running Back

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    Walter Tucker
    Walter TuckerCredit: 247Sports

    RB: Duke Johnson or Gus Edwards

    FB: Walter Tucker; Ronald Regula

    Duke Johnson missed the majority of spring practice, but his name isn't leaving the starting position unless an injury remains.

    However, Golden tabbed Gus Edwards as a co-starter after his clear improvement, leading to a solid performance in the spring game.

    True freshman Joseph Yearby was not mentioned on the depth chart, which may surprise some. Then again, the buzz surrounding Yearby is based on high school performance at this point in time, especially considering he is still recovering from a leg injury.

    Walter Tucker was used as a running back throughout the spring, but his game-day position is fullback. Senior Ronald Regula is listed as the backup to Tucker.

    Grade: A

Wide Receiver

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    D'Mauri Jones
    D'Mauri JonesCredit: 247Sports

    WR1: Stacy Coley; Rashawn Scott; D'Mauri Jones

    WR2: Malcolm Lewis or Phillip Dorsett; Herb Waters

    Flanking the Miami quarterback on one side, sophomore Stacy Coley earned a post-spring starting position, presumably locking down that honor in the fall.

    Senior Rashawn Scott, who tallied the second-most receiving yards in 2012, and sophomore D'Mauri Jones currently serve as reserves to the 'Canes' best playmaker.

    Malcolm Lewis earning a co-starting spot was certainly a surprise—but in a good way. Alongside Phillip Dorsett, the leading wideout in 2012, Miami's top two receivers on each side are either proven weapons or budding talents.

    Plus, junior speedster Herb Waters hasn't even been mentioned, and he has provided a positive impact for the passing game since the final games of his freshman season.

    Save for Coley, none of the Hurricanes receivers are elite talents, but as a unit, Miami is a well-rounded group. Ultimately, the coaches can be comfortable sending out any three of the six mentioned players in most scenarios.

    Grade: B+

Tight End

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    Clive Walford
    Clive WalfordCredit: 247Sports

    TE: Standish Dobard or Clive Walford; Beau Sandland

    Walford needed a few practices to work back from an injury, and Sandland was slowed over the six-week period, contributing to Dobard's ascent over the seniors.

    The sophomore took full advantage, earning a co-starting role alongside Walford. During the spring game, Miami announced Dobard was named the team's Most Improved Offensive Player of the workouts.

    Walford caught the second-most passes in 2013, and he should be a reliable target again this season. Sandland and Dobard combined for 10 receptions for 109 yards, and the combination's main responsibility is to give the 'Canes a legitimate second option at tight end.

    Grade: B

Offensive Line

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    Ereck Flowers
    Ereck FlowersCredit: 247Sports

    LT: Ereck Flowers; KC McDermott

    LG: Jon Felicano; Hunter Wells

    C: Alex Gall; Shane McDermott or Hunter Wells

    RG: Danny Isidora; Alex Gall or Trevor Darling

    RT: Taylor Gadbois; Sunny Odogwu

    Flowers and Feliciano each started every game in 2013, and the veterans will be protecting Olsen from the left side.

    Shane McDermott missed spring practice, and Gall took over for the senior. McDermott will regain his starting position, but Gall will also remain a backup at both center and guard, providing crucial versatility off the bench.

    Moving to the right side, Isidora and Gadbois were named starters, and both players are favored to keep those spots for the season opener in September.

    True freshmen and early enrollees KC McDermott and Darling made an appearance on the depth chart, meaning the young players are in a good position to receive game action in their first collegiate season.

    Grade: B

Defensive Line

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    Al-Quadin Muhammad
    Al-Quadin MuhammadCredit: 247Sports

    DE1: Ufomba Kamalu or Anthony Chickillo; Chad Thomas

    DE2: Al-Quadin Muhammad or Tyriq McCord or Trent Harris

    DT1: Earl Moore or Calvin Heurtelou; Michael Wyche

    DT2: Corey King or Jelani Hamilton or Olsen Pierre

    Basically, every Miami defensive lineman who participated in spring practice is listed as a co-starter.

    Kamalu appeared to outperform the returning starter Chickillo, and his name atop the depth chart is an adequate reward. Of course, it means Chick needs to step up in order to regain his role. On the opposite side, Muhammad and McCord are expected to be menaces as edge-rushers, so the Hurricanes won't necessarily demand production from Harris as a true freshman.

    Moore was the lone defensive tackle who earned a black jersey during the spring, and Golden expressed how he was impressed by the JUCO transfer Heurtelou. At the other D-tackle spot, King and Hamilton were able to break even with Pierre while the senior was sidelined due to a head injury.

    Somewhat surprisingly, Thomas and Wyche still managed to earn a spot on the depth chart, despite neither athlete being on campus.

    From top to bottom, depth on the defensive line is much improved compared to last season. Before the unit receives a higher grade, however, the men in the trenches must get results.

    Grade: B-

Linebackers

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    Alex Figueroa
    Alex FigueroaCredit: 247Sports

    OLB: Alex Figueroa or Thurston Armbrister; Darrion Owens

    MLB: Denzel Perryman; JaWand Blue; Juwon Young

    OLB: Raphael Kirby or Jermaine Grace

    Perryman choosing to remain in school for his senior season was an enormous lift for the Miami defense, which otherwise would have only returned Armbrister at linebacker.

    The Hurricanes have been waiting on Kirby to get comfortable, and Figueroa was still adjusting to increased speed as a first-year player in 2013.

    Grace spent the majority of his freshman season on special teams, but he was a notable performer during spring practice and earned a black jersey after the second scrimmage.

    Unless Perryman is sidelined for any reason, Young and Blue will see limited action at middle linebacker. However, the duo plus Owens round out a decent—but unprovenpositional unit on paper.

    Grade: B

Defensive Backs

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    Artie Burns
    Artie BurnsCredit: 247Sports

    CB1: Tracy Howard; Corn Elder; Ladarius Gunter

    CB2: Artie Burns; Antonio Crawford

    S1: Jamal Carter or Deon Bush; Nantambu-Akil Fentress

    S2: Dallas Crawford; Rayshawn Jenkins

    Howard and Burns being the starters is no shock, and despite Antonio Crawford's second-string role, he will likely be the No. 1 nickel corner.

    While Gunter was unavailable throughout the spring, Elder jumped into a reserve spot behind Howard.

    Carter was remarkably prepared for the early stages of the competition, staying even with the highly-touted junior and hometown product in Bush.

    Jenkins was also watching from the sidelines, relegating himself to a current backup position behind Crawford, which isn't a bad place to be.

    Grade: A-

Specialists

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    Matt Goudis
    Matt GoudisCredit: 247Sports

    K: Matt Goudis

    P: Matt Goudis or Ricky Carroll

    Matt Goudis had a disappointing spring game, missing a pair of long field goals, but the kicker is in no danger of relinquishing his job.

    Additionally, Goudis is challenging senior Ricky Carroll to be the starting punter.

    However, Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post notes neither player impressed during practice. Of course, being the successor to Pat O’Donnell—who shattered the school record for yards per attempt—is no easy task.

    Though the 'Canes added Florida transfer Justin Vogel, he is not yet on campus and contending for the position.

    Grade: C