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2017 Fierce 40 Previews: #16 Miami

by DJ Boyer on Aug. 11, 2017

#16 Miami Hurricanes

2016 Recap:
2016 was an interesting year as Mark Richt came back to his alma mater and coach after spending 15 years coaching the Georgia Bulldogs. Miami came out of the gate quick with four wins before four consecutive losses. Miami then reeled off five straight wins including a 31-14 triumph over West Virginia in the Russel Athletic Bowl to finish the campaign at 9-4.


Coaching:
2016 was an interesting year as Mark Richt came back to his alma mater and coach after spending 15 years coaching the Georgia Bulldogs. Thomas Brown and Manny Diaz coach the offensive and defensive units.

 

Offense

It starts and ends with the quarterback they say so the hiring of Mark Richt to come back to his alma mater last season is starting to look better and better. Richt is about as quarterback-friendly as a coach can be and Miami will have a new starting QB. The experienced player here is Malik Rosier while the buzz surrounds freshman N'Kosi Perry. No matter who throws the ball we know the majority of the time it will be Mark Walton toting it. Walton gets to run behind a line that only needs to replace the starting right tackle from a season ago. Ahmmon Richards and Lawrence Cager will be the primary targets for the quarterback(s) to stretch the field. We purposely state quarterbacks because this highly publicized quarterback battle could spill into the regular season.
 

Best Draft Prospects: Ahmmon Richards WR 2nd Round 2020

                                       KC McDermott OG 3rd/4th Round 2018.


Defense

The trio of linebackers at Miami comprises the best young players in the country at the position as all three sophomores comprise the back end of the 4-3 set in the line. Zach McCloud, Miachael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman could all possibly be 1st or 2nd round draft picks when they make themselves eligible for the draft process. While all show big time talent Quarterman looks like a future top 10 pick and franchise type player. Chad Thomas will provide most of the pressure up front, he is a veteran who seems like he has been on the roster for about six seasons. Kendrick Norton and R.J. McIntosh return in the middle of the line. The question mark on defense will be the secondary where no starters return and the secondary seems to be filled with athletes without true positions right now.

Best Draft Prospects: Shaquille Quarterman LB 1st Round 2019 (Early Declaration Candidate).               

                                       Kendrick Norton DT 3rd Round 2019.


Special Teams:

Michael Badgley has one of the strongest legs at the NCAA level after hitting four career field goals from 50 yards and beyond. Zach feagles looks like he will be the punter and the last name should look familiar. Zach's father Jeff was one of the most successful punters in NFL history. The return game is always a big deal with the Hurricanes but the spots are not set in stone at this time.


Schedule:

Week 3 of the schedule the Hurricanes go on the road to open ACC play with Florida State in a game that will give one of these teams the early inside track to a conference title. No Clemson on the schedule while Virginia tech and Notre Dame will be back-to-back home games in October. Florida State will go on the road to Chapel Hill to try and avenge their last second loss from a year ago.


Draft and Overall Outlook:

The linebacker talent is mind-boggling and Ahmmon Richards is an underrated wide receiver who should make a splash in the NFL. If N'Kosi Perry makes the immediate splash many are expecting than this school will be fun to watch over the next few years.

 

DJ Boyer