What Erik Ezukanma brings to the Miami Dolphins

With the 125th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanma.

The Miami Dolphins 2022 NFL Draft series continues with fourth round pick Erik Ezukanma

Round 3: Pick 102

Pre-draft

Initially in the draft process the Miami Dolphins were interested in Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanma. During the NFL Combine, the Miami Dolphins had a formal interview with Ezukanma.

“Throughout the process, Miami did show a lot of interest and I had a formal (interview) with them at the NFL Combine. That’s where I got this hat. They just showed love throughout the process and for them to pick a spot with me, it was big.”

Erik Ezukanma on his pre-draft process with the Miami Dolphins

On Mike McDaniel’s evaluation of Erik Ezukanma, both he and Chris Grier liked him enough to draft him.

“It was exciting to watch him play and I think he fits the energy and the skill level that we’re looking for. We want guys to be fast and play fast and doing both with a decisiveness and a team-first passion that he bleeds. We’re excited to add him. That was the biggest thing, I saw a football player playing the receiver position.”

Mike McDaniel on Erik Ezukanma 

Scouting Report

Strengths

At 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds, Erik Ezukanma’s best ability in his toolkit is his contested catch ability. He’s goes above defenders and makes catches with defensive backs draped all over him.

The red raider product has the size, length, and strength to defeat press jams. Can make spectacular catches in the open field and when covered by defenders.

My favorite asset of Ezukanma and how Texas Tech preferred to use him. Ezukanma is built for breaking tackles after the catch. He looks like a power back when breaking away from tackles with his frame.

Another facet of his game is his versatility. At Texas Tech, Erik Ezukanma lined up mostly out wide; however, he was used plenty in motion, on screen plays, and swing passes as well as the occasional jet sweep.

“I’m a versatile guy. I feel like I can fit in right where Jaylen Waddle – the way he can take the ball out of the backfield as well as be a deep threat down the field, but also just a versatile guy with RAC ability and YAC ability – yards after contact and run after the catch. You can put me anywhere on the field and I feel like I can help the team in any situation.”

Erik Ezukanma describes his play style

Ezukanma’s hands are strong and among several NFL talents. However, with a revolving door of quarterbacks at Texas Tech Ezukanma had some drops that showed he was adjusting the other quarterbacks

Weaknesses

As mentioned above, a revolving door at quarterback and a coaching change was not ideal for Erik Ezukanma.

His production during the beginning of the season was red hot with 13 catches and 322 yards in his first two games.

The Texas Tech alum needs to improve his release package at the next level. He doesn’t gain enough separation on most of his routes, with the exception of the drag route over the middle.

Erik Ezukanma does not have enough route running ability which is needed for the NFL. Furthermore, while Texas Tech runs a spread concept, Ezukanma was used on scripted routes to maximize his usage and gain production.

There some inconsistencies at the top of his routes and when making adjustments in traffic, more so relying on his frame and contested catch ability to make plays on the ball.

Projection

The way in which Erik Ezukanma or “EZ” can simply pluck the football out of the air is ridiculous. There should not be any issues with his hands throughout his career and based on what he has shown on tape.

I expect Mike McDaniel to put Ezukanma in any position and let him work. His playstyle is very similar to Houston Texans wide receiver Nico Collins, who was also able to snag nearly every deep ball.

“That’s one of my strong suits. I feel like throughout my career I’ve really worked on contested catches, bang-bang plays. I feel like in the beginning of my career at Tech, that was one of the places I struggled at, but I gained more confidence with that and just getting bigger in the weight room, buying into the weight room and being able to make those contested catches even if a defender is on my back or hitting me at the same time. So I feel like that’s one of my high points of my game.”

Erik Ezukanma on his contested catch ability

Often, wide receivers are asked to block in Mike McDaniel’s offense. Ezukanma is more than willing as a blocker and should see an increase in snaps as the season progresses on run plays. Ezukanma has the size and strength to be an asset as a run blocker out on the edge.

In Miami,  he will be best served as a possession receiver that can work the middle of the field, a red zone target and a mismatch against defenders on motions, screens, and jet sweeps.

The modern day of NFL wide receivers is changing where wide receivers are more athletic than defensive backs. A weapon in any route or scenario that can make big plays, Ezukanma is just that.

Mike McDaniel will find a way to get Erik Ezukanma the football and let him eat.

 

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

 

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Meaningful May in Miami Sports is Here

May is setting up to be a memorable month in Miami sports.

It’s an exciting time as May ushers in multiple post-season series for Miami sports fans.

The East in both the NBA and NHL runs through South Florida.

Hell, even the Marlins are giving us hope (for now).

 

Not to mention a great end to the week with the Miami Grand Prix at Hard Rock Stadium.

 

The Miami Heat and Florida Panthers will each be in the spotlight this week.

Starting Monday the Heat and Panthers alternate game nights, including four consecutive South Florida home contests.

These are two teams that are stylistically different yet similarly effective, these matchups offer something for everyone.

Heat match up with Sixers in East semifinals

The Heat begin the second round of the NBA Playoffs against a weakened Philadelphia 76ers squad.

 

Without Embiid for the time being, this becomes a drastically different series.

Philadelphia will need more offense from James Harden, who averaged just 14 points-per-game versus Miami this season.

The Heat want teams to try and beat them from beyond the arc, and in this matchup Philadelphia will likely oblige.

That may not always work out for Miami as Philadelphia shot 40.8% from deep in the opening round.

The emergence of Tyrese Maxey has given the Sixers another option on the perimeter.

Maxey has played well in the playoffs and against Miami (21.3 PPG), how the Heat defend him could be a key to the series.

Is the the Panthers’ year?

Across the county line in Broward, the high-flying Florida Panthers open their post-season Tuesday against Washington.

Fresh off their first ever Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL’s best record, expectations are at an all-time high for the Panthers.

 

Unlike their colleagues on Biscayne, the Panthers are not terribly worried about defense.

The Panthers simply attack and overwhelm opposing teams with line after line of skill.

 

Washington played the Panthers tough this year; each game was decided by a single goal with the Cats winning two out of three.

The status of Alex Ovechkin is something to watch as he missed the final three games of the regular season with an upper body injury.

Ovechkin has never missed a playoff game due to injury, and if he is close to healthy expect the NHL’s third all-time leading goal scorer to play.

The Panthers have two superstars in Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau, who just led the NHL in assists.

No team scored more goals or took more shots than the Panthers, with any semblance of goaltending the Cats should advance easily.

So relax, crack open a Biscayne Bay Brew, and enjoy this week for the ages Miami sports fans!

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What Channing Tindall brings to the Miami Dolphins

With the 102nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall.

Pre-draft

The Miami Dolphins brought in Channing Tindall in a 30-visit. Overall, General Manager Chris Grier and the Dolphins brass were impressed with the Bulldog Product. 

Chris Grier cited his game speed, versatility, and character. 

“That character too, that part of him really stood out to me like, ‘Hey, this kid loves ball and wanted to be around his teammates and do anything he can to help them win.’ And it paid off. They won a national championship. We really enjoyed getting to know the kid. Specifically, the speed stands out on film on him.”

Chris Grier on Channing Tindall

Tindall on his pre-draft visit in Miami:

“I just really got in with the linebackers coaches. I talked to the whole staff and I felt like home, honestly, when I was there.”

New Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Tindall

Scouting Report

Strengths

Channing Tindall is a super fast and athletic linebacker that runs a 4.4 forty time.  He’s a sure fire tackler who always brings down the ball carrier

At 6-foot-2, Tindall may be a tad undersized but it does not show on film. The Georgia product is a hard hitter and flys by blockers blowing up run plays. Has surprising strength for his size. 

Channing Tindalls’ coverage skills are reminiscent of a big nickel, or strong safety in the slot position. He’s able to cover tight ends in press man and stick with faster running backs. 

In terms of Tindalls’ pass-rushing prowess, he has some natural pass rush moves. In high school, Tindall was an EDGE. He’s got fluid hips and nice lateral movement. 

He provides a good outside rush and is able to get around bigger offensive lineman with his blazing speed on the outside. Also, as a run defender, he takes good angles and pursues ball carriers. Very rarely do you see Channing Tindall out of position.

Weaknesses

Tindall was never able to secure a starting spot in the linebacker core behind Quay Walker and Nakobe Dean. 

While the Bulldog alum did see increases in production numbers his senior year, he barely even logged over 600 snaps over four years at Georgia. 

In such a talented collegiate defense, Tindall was rarely focused on as a weakness and that might have not shown how he does when teams target him. 

Routinely, as an “undersized” player he was pushed around when teams ran at him. A majority of his successful plays were when he was a chaser than in a blockers face.

However with such little snaps, the reps Channing Tindall played in, he made the most of his opportunities. Tindall was third on the team in tackles. 

Projection

Projecting how new Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Tindall will not be hard. 

Miami’s defensive philosophy asks their linebackers to play the run, rush the quarterback and occasionally be a spy in coverage. 

Channing Tindall has done all those things in his time at Georgia. 

“I think when you watch the film, it’s a very talented defense and how they use him – they use him as a spy, they use him to blitz, he covers backs. Just a lot of the ways that are kind of similar to how he will probably be used here in different schemes”

Chris Grier on how Channing Tindall was used in Georgia

Tindall is one of the fasted linebackers in this year’s class – he’s a player who covers like a safety and possesses serious tackling and hitting power.

It’s likely that Tindall will be used as an inside linebacker, but that’s not all he can do. Not only can he be a MIKE, he can also be on the outside as a SAM or WILL linebacker. 

“The way they use their linebackers is different. They use their linebackers everywhere, put them on the edge sometimes, put them on the line, they put them at Mike, Will. They are very versatile and I feel like I fit into it.”

Channing Tindall on the Dolphins Linebacker usage

It’s a solid selection to start of Mike McDaniels’ first ever draft as a head coach. Channing Tindall fills a need and brings more athletic talent and speed that the Miami Dolphins currently have and covet.

 

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

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Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes offer rising 2023 quarterback Emory Williams

The Miami Hurricanes are the latest school to offer 2023 quarterback Emory Williams. They extended an offer to Williams on Thursday.

Williams is a rising 2023 quarterback. He is not ranked in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, but his offer sheet is growing.

In addition to Miami, he also has offers from the likes of Indiana, Jacksonville State, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and USF.

Williams measures in at six-foot-four, 195 pounds. Josh Gattis was the member of the coaching staff who offered Williams per a report from Gaby Urrutia of 247Sports.

What could he bring to Miami Hurricanes?

When you look at what Williams can bring to the table, it’s a similar to the play style the Miami Hurricanes have been looking for in all of their quarterback recruits. Williams is a player who mostly stays in the pocket. With that being said, his best work comes from the pocket, as he is able to make quick reads.

In addition to making quick reads, he is also able to fit throws into tight windows. He is not afraid to step up in the pocket and take a hit. In the process, he allows plays to fully develop. The term “pocket passer” often carries a negative connotation with it. However, this is a strength for Williams.

Currently, the 2023 Miami Hurricanes recruiting class ranks 25th overall nationally. With five commitments, they have been able to fill several positions and have worked on getting playmakers on both sides of the football. One of the things that Miami has focused on over the last month or so is getting offers out to quarterbacks.

I’ll be interested to see who the Miami Hurricanes land at the position. There is little doubt that they want to get an impact quarterback, and they’ve made it a priority to try and at least get their foot in the door with big names. Jaden Rashada and Dante Moore are names in particular that Miami has been paying attention to. It appears that they are doing their homework on several quarterbacks throughout multiple classes.

 

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2022 NFL Draft Rumors

It’s the largest smokescreens NFL teams put out year after year. Many NFL Teams moves are a mystery as news is intentionally leaked out by the organizations themselves, truth or not.

The odds and news have changed dramatically over the last days as this years NFL Draft is truly the most unpredictable in years.

Here are some of the 2022 NFL Draft rumors and notes:

Deebo Samuel

League source confirms Deebo Samuel is not being traded at this time, which means a draft day move is unlikely for many teams hoping to get an electric player.

Top 10 news

Jacksonville Jaguars

Georgia EDGE rusher Travon Walker is garnering a lot of hype lately and the oddsmakers are betting on the Bulldog product to be taken first overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I’ve had Aidan Hutchinson in several mock drafts to Jacksonville, but with rumors coming out, it may not be far fetched.

Schematically, it favors Walker than Hutchinson as Walker can play outside linebacker, standup EDGE and as an interior lineman. This help out K’Lavon Chaisson and Foye Olukun, compared to Hutchinson who is a hand in the dirt rusher.

Detroit Lions

A Malik Willis pairing in Detroit is all about the future. Willis can learn behind Goff as he needs the most development of any quarterback in this years 2022 NFL Draft class.

General Manager Brad Holmes is “looking” at the quarterback position and it might not be with the second overall pick.

It may come down to Aidan Hutchinson or Travon Walker to beef up the defensive trenches.

However, how much longer does Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers have left to play, the same may be said about Kirk Cousins.

The Chicago Bears still need some pieces and Justin Fields is still developing, drafting Willis may pay off in the future.

Houston Texans

Derek Stingley Jr. and the Texans have had connections for a while due to his former DB coach part of the Texans Coaching staff.

If Houston is all in on Davis Mills, building the trenches would be a better option with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. In the latest mocks and with some news coming out, the Texans do have two offensive tackles in mind: Evan Neal and Ikem Ekonwu.

It’s a deep defensive class towards the backend of the draft, especially for defenders. The 2022 NFL Draft rumors have the trading back from the 13th overall pick.

New York Jets

I’ve heard that Robert Saleh is not a big Travon Walker fan. Also, Kyle Hamilton fourth overall would not fit with what the Jets defense is looking to build.

Ikem Ekonwu is a favorite of Jets General Manager Joe Douglas. Having another offensive lineman fortifies the the line for Zach Wilson and we may see shades of his BYU playing days.

Gang green will look to load up on offense by pairing Wilson arm with a big body wide receiver in the likes of Drake London. Jameson Williams is a possibility with the tenth overall selection.

Head Coach Robert Saleh may want to get better in the trenches on defense. If Kayvon Thibodeaux falls, it may be a tossup between him and Jermaine Johnson.

New York Giants

The 2022 NFL Draft rumor mill has it that the Giants may look to trade back a few spots to gain more value.

While General Manager Joe Schoen has hinted that the offensive line is a priority, they may forgo passing on a lineman for more pressing needs. An EDGE rusher, a deep class overall, is very much in play. Especially the top three in Thibodeaux, Walker, and Johnson.

If the Giants are comfortable at fifth and seventh overall Evan Neal and Charles Cross are targets. Big Blue has a big decision to make after the draft if they want to keep Daniel Jones for a fifth year, which does not seem likely.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina is a weird team this year. Considering the fact that they are heavily interested in a quarterback this year, Sam Darnold is still “the guy”.

They have the sixth pick and their next is in the fourth round. I highgly expect Carolina to select a quarterback with the physical tools of Matt Corral. Kenny Pickett seems like the logical choice– have Matt Rhule and co. made a logical decision recently?

Atlanta Falcons

Expect Terry Fontenet and the Falcons to after several EDGE rushers hard. I’ve heard Kayvon Thibodeaux is a favorite but Jermaine Johnsons skillset is very hard to pass up on.

Atlanta could be a dark horse for Malik Willis if he were to fall to the eighth pick, even if Kayvon Thibodeaux is on the board.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle just seems so perfect for Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner.

They’ll have to re-build their defense and Sauce brings the moxie and physical play style Carroll wants in his defense.

However, recent draft history has shown that the Seahawks routinely trade back to garner more picks later on to fill needs. Offensive line is another deep position group in this years class.

Notes

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia is on the market for cornerbacks and Trent McDuffie has been mocked routinely. The 2022 NFL Draft rumor mill has Kaiir Elam as the third or fourth corner picked, I would not be shocked if Kaiir Elam is picked up by the Eagles with their second first round pick.

The Eagles are also on the marke for an EDGE rusher, George Karlaftis has been a mainstay in several recent mock drafts. Although, another wide receiver for Jalen Hurts would not hurt, a potential trade up for Jameson Williams may be in play. Garrett Wilson could also be on the board.

Kyle Hamilton

Hamilton seems to be one of the most polarizing players in this draft cycle as he can do it all on the defensive side of the ball.

The range he showed on tape didn’t match the speed he showed in workouts; shockingly, to NFL teams it may matter. However, teams within the top 10 have other pressing needs than a safety.

The Washington Commanders and Houston Texans have been heavily linked to Kyle Hamilton in the 2022 NFL Draft rumors.

Running back in Round 1?

A new saying goes that you do not ever take a running back in the first round, there are differing opinions.

There’s been a recent trend of running backs devalued in the first round; however, it is situationally based.

The 2022 NFL Draft rumors has the Buffalo Bills circling around Iowa State’s Breece Hall as the first running back taken off the board. Pair with a lethal aerial attack in Orchard Park, the Bills may well be on their way back to the AFC Championship game.

Miami Dolphins

It’s quiet in south beach, a bit too quiet. It’s been an aggressive off-season for the Miami Dolphins and General Manager Chris Grier.

Grier talked about finding the right time to be aggressive in the off-season and the NFL Draft is a part of it.

With Miami only having four picks in this years draft a move up to grab a player they really like is a good possibility to complete a piece on either side of the ball.

 

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analyst at Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at @HussamPatel

 

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Miami Hurricanes land Maryland transfer DL Darrell Jackson

The Miami Hurricanes landed transfer defensive lineman Darrell Jackson on Tuesday. He made the announcement in a tweet on Tuesday evening.

Jackson most recently played at Maryland. He played in eight games in 2021, recording 22 total tackles on the year. He had six tackle outings against Illinois on September 17 and Virginia Tech on December 29.

One of the biggest things Jackson can bring to the Miami Hurricanes is size. He measures in at six-foot-six, 274 pounds. There is a common misconception when it comes to defensive lineman that they should be pass-rushers. However, Jackson should be viewed more as a space-filler which will help when it comes to defending the run game.

Jackson also has ties to the Florida area. He played his high school football for Gadsen  County.

When you look at the new additions that the Miami Hurricanes have made just in the last month or so, it is clear that the coaching staff wants to remake the defensive line. They were able to bring in Akheem Mesidor and Mitchell Agude within the last month. It is not as though the Hurricanes do not want to develop players on that side of the football at this time. They want proven impact players. This is exactly what the transfer portal is for, and Mario Cristobal’s  not afraid to use it.

Although Jackson’s statistics do not exactly pop off the page, he does bring ACC experience as well as a bit of playing time to his resume. He has the opportunity to be a force in the trenches for Miami. Jackson may be a bit more raw in comparison to some of the other commitments we have seen over the last month. However, the potential is there, and coaching staff is in place for him to develop and be an impact player.

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Miami Hurricanes land much-needed LB depth with Caleb Johnson

The Miami Hurricanes picked up another player from the transfer portal on Friday, as UCLA linebacker Caleb Johnson committed to the program.

This is Miami’s second UCLA transfer in less than a month, as they picked up edge defender Mitchell Agude last month.

Johnson started in 17 games over the course of two seasons with the Bruins. He tallied 89 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, and 5.5 sacks. Before joining UCLA, he had a junior-college stint at Fullerton.

Last season, he had 45 tackles. His best game statistically came against Arizona on October 9. In that contest, he recorded seven tackles.

This is a big pick up for the Miami Hurricanes. As evidenced by the spring game, Miami still needs help at the linebacker position. Mario Cristobal is not afraid to use the transfer portal, and bringing in Johnson allows them to have additional experience at the position.

Miami continues to add to going to 2022 class via the transfer portal. In total, they have nine transfers in the class . The class itself ranks 13th overall nationally per the 247Sports Team Rankings.

The Miami Hurricanes addressed a depth problem with this latest news. Currently, they have Keontra Smith, Corey Flagg Jr., and Gilbert Frierson. Adding some experience is important for the position. Experience is a major weakness for Miami currently, and now this will help bolster it.

There is also some familiarity between coach and player. Cristobal extended an offer to Johnson while the coach was at Oregon.

Overall, this is a big get for the Miami hurricanes. We have seen throughout the offseason how this current and coaching staff is getting players they are familiar with be of the transfer portal. This is another case of that type of scenario. Johnson will give Miami some much-needed juice at the position.

 

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Miami Hurricanes fill big need with Akheem Mesidor pickup

There was some major news for the Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday as they landed on West Virginia transfer defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor.

Mesidor was offered by the likes of Auburn, USC, and Tennessee, but the Miami hurricanes managed to beat those schools for his services.

Mesidor measures in at six-foot-two, 272 pounds. He played in 12 games last season recording 38 total tackles and a sack. His best game statistically came in the team’s opener against Maryland. He recorded nine tackles in that contest.

His numbers were a bit down from what was a solid 2020 season. That year, he appeared in 10 games and recorded 32 tackles. He was more of a pass-rusher, recording five sacks on the season.

What could he bring to Miami Hurricanes?

Mesidor brings experience to the Miami Hurricanes’ defensive line. This is something that they desperately need. The Hurricanes have the talent on the line, just not a bunch of experience. Jared Harrison-Hunte and Leonard Taylor are two players on the line that have talent. However, they are going to need to develop a bit more.

Mesidor allows for the Hurricanes to have experience as they look to bridge the gap to the younger players. He is somebody that can play right away on the line, and it gives them immediate help at the position. For the Hurricanes, this is more of a question of having game-ready depth than not having enough depth at all.

With the addition of Mesidor the Miami Hurricanes have now added four defensive lineman via the transfer portal this offseason. This is an area that the program obviously wants to address, and they have done so to this point.

How it all shakes out is going to be the next question, but the addition of Mesidor looks very good on paper. He gives Miami some breathing room at the position.

 

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Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes: Transfer DL Darrell Jackson visiting this weekend

The Miami Hurricanes are set to get a visit from transfer defensive lineman Darrell Jackson this weekend. This was first reported by Gaby Urrutia of InsideTheU.

Jackson played at Maryland in 2021. He appeared in 13 games, recording 22 total tackles. He had two stand out games in the 2021 season. The first one came against Illinois. In that contest, he recorded six tackles. His second big game came against Virginia Tech. He also recorded six tackles in that contest.

As of this moment, Jackson appears to be leaning towards Florida. Nevertheless, he is going to take a visit to Miami as he tours several schools.

What could he bring to Miami Hurricanes?

Jackson is a space-filler, something that could help Miami in terms of stopping the run. He measures in at six-foot-six, 274 pounds, making him an ideal size to fill gaps. Jackson’s athleticism could help Miami as they look to keep pace with the top teams in the ACC defensively.  In addition, he would give Hurricanes another speed piece on the defensive line.

Miami does have some talent on the defensive line. There are young faces such as Leonard Taylor and Nyjalik Kelly. There are also veterans at the position such as Jacob Lichtenstein and Jared Harrison-Hunte. The latter should be a key piece of the Miami Hurricanes defensive line for this year.

Miami has a nice mix of veteran pieces and young talent right now at the position. Bringing in a player like Jackson could give them a nice bridge piece as the upperclassman exit and the younger players develop.

Although it sounds like Miami is not the favorite in this scenario, it’s a positive development that Jackson is at least taking a visit to Coral Gables. We have all heard about head coach Mario Cristobal’s recruiting pitches. It sounds like he will have to make a strong one here.

 

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Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes emerging as top choice for 2024 RB Drew Pickett

More recruits were on the campus Thursday for the Miami Hurricanes. One player in particular was impressed during his visit.

2023 three-star running back Drew Pickett was impressed with his visit to Miami, per a report from Matt Shodell of Canesport.com. As noted in Shodell’s report, Pickett indicated that UM was his “probably No.1 choice.”

Pickett is a three-star running back. He is the 41st overall running back in the 2023 class, and the 29th overall player in his class from the state of Alabama per the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

His offer sheet includes Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Michigan State, and Ole Miss. It is worth noting that he was recruited by Kevin Smith  while the latter was at Ole Miss.

What could he bring to Miami Hurricanes?

Pickett measures in at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds. He is a one-cut running back. As soon as he finds a hole  he bursts through it and is able to find the open field. One of the things that was noticeable in the highlights I watched was his vision. He was able to cut quickly in order to find open space.

Pickett rushed for 1,352 yards and 11 touchdowns for Holtville High School last season.

Currently, the Miami Hurricanes 2023 recruiting class ranks 18th overall nationally and third overall in the ACC per the 247 sports team rankings. Most recently, the program was able to get a commitment from offensive tackle Frankie Tinlau.

This is another example where the Miami Hurricanes running back room is being remade. When you look at some of the new names at the position such as Henry Parrish and Tre’Vonte Citizen, this running back room is being set up for the future.

Kevin Smith wants to fill the running back room with impact playmakers. Pickett would certainly fit the bill. It will be intriguing to see where his recruitment goes from here, especially with Miami being a high-priority school.

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