This week, 13 of the players who signed on the dotted line in the Early Signing Period have officially moved to Coral Gables and started classes. A lot of them are expected to be important contributors in the 2020 season and one big benefit players are getting is the opportunity to start strength training early as well as to get a head start on learning the playbook. Here’s a list of the players who have moved in and began classes this past week:
QB Tyler Van Dyke – Don’t be surprised if he makes the QB competition a little interesting, especially with a new system.
RB Don Chaney – With the loss of Deejay Dallas (NFL Draft) and Lorenzo Lingard (transfer), it wouldn’t be surprising to see Chaney get a decent amount of carries this season.
RB Jaylan Knighton – Same situation as Chaney, Knighton is very quick and dangerous in space. Could be a great change-of-pace back.
WR Michael Redding – Excellent size at 6’3”, Redding has a chance to fight for playing time with the loss of KJ Osborn (graduation) and Jeff Thomas (NFL Draft).
WR Daz Worsham – Very talented and productive receiver in college, but it could be a similar situation to Christian Williams last season where he may need time adjusting to college level speed.
WR Xavier Restrepo – Miami hopes Restrepo can fill the mold of a productive slot receiver with his sneaky speed and stature.
TE Dominic Mammerelli – Mammerelli will most likely find himself buried on the depth chart due to talent already at the tight end position so redshirt is highly possible.
OL Jalen Rivers – Rivers was officially measured at 6’5”, 329 pounds when he arrived on campus and should be in the running for playing time this year considering the lack of depth on the line. It would not surprise me if he’s a starter by 2021.
OL Chris Washington – Washington fit the mold of what ex-offensive line coach Butch Barry sought in his linemen: a lanky, athletic linemen they can bulk up. Remains unlikely he sees the field this year.
DE Chantz Williams – Williams flashes ability that can get him on the field early and should be a rotation player by 2021.
LB Corey Flagg – A big volume tackler in high school, Miami isn’t in a dire spot to start true freshmen at linebacker this year with the return of Zach McCloud and the emergence of Sam Brooks, so Flagg may get some time on special teams.
LB Tirek Austin-Cave – Similar to Flagg, he may see the field on special teams and could be a solid contributor due to his speed.
S Keyshawn Washington – Miami has the option to either keep him in safety or even move him to the striker position. Still, it’s looking Washington still needs to bulk up in order for him to see the field.
The Early Signing Period may have ended last month but now’s the time for teams to fill whatever holes that have formed. The Canes find themselves scrambling for offensive linemen and cornerbacks as both positions are glaring needs. There’s three weekends left until the official National Signing Day, which means three weekends to host recruits and possible transfers. Miami will have three visitors this weekend, starting with:
QB D’Eriq King (Transfer from Houston)
King’s decision to take an OV is huge for Manny Diaz and the Canes and I’ll leave the link down below to the article by our very own Danny Jaillet on why this visit is important. King decided to take a redshirt in 2019 due to the season looking bleak for Houston and he did so with the intention that he would return in 2020. However, he changed course this week after announcing he would enter the transfer portal. King’s best season came in 2018 under Major Applewhite’s offense, where he was arguably one of the top QBs in the nation. He threw for almost 3,000 yards with 36 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions with a 63.5% completion percentage. If that’s not good enough for you, throw in an extra 674 yards on the ground for 14 touchdowns. Without a clear cut starter at quarterback heading in 2020, he can easily become the frontrunner and will be a star in new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee’s spread offense.
S Avantae Williams (Deland High, Deland, FL)
The hard-hitting Williams decommitted from Oregon a week before the Early Signing Period and since then, his recruitment has solely been a Miami-Florida battle. The 2nd-best safety in the Class of 2020 will be making his way to Coral Gables this weekend. He was once committed to Miami about two years ago and although the Canes are a legit contender for his services, two big things more so swaying in the Gators’ favor are location and his cousin, former UM RB Lorenzo Lingard. Williams has two kids and may opt to be closer to his family. Lingard recently announced his intentions to transfer to Gainesville, which essentially is another family affair.
CB Isaiah Dunson (Tucker, GA)
The former FSU commitment ranks as the 23rd-best cornerback in the Class of 2020 according to 247Sports, and wow won’t you look at that? Cornerback is a huge need for coach Diaz right now, considering Miami only signed one corner during the Early Signing Period (Marcus Clarke) and junior CB Trajan Bandy has opted to enter the NFL Draft. Dunson essentially has what cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph seeks in recruits, which is a long frame (he’s 6’2”) with good speed (4.22 shuttle.)