When you look at the Miami Hurricanes roster, they have a collection of talented running backs. Some are more talented than others. Some also have more experience than others. With five in total, one name I would pay attention to is Don Chaney Jr.
He was not the main back in the Miami rushing attack last year. Rather, he played in spurts, and played well. Jaylan Knighton and Cam’Ron Harris made up the bulk of the Miami rushing attack last year, leading Chaney to hardly see any action. Even still, he was able to shine towards the end of the year.
Take the contest against Duke on December 5. In that game, he recorded nine carries for 62 yards. A couple weeks later, he provided strong production in the Cheez-It Bowl. He recorded six carries for 50 yards including a 27-yard rush that was his longest of the evening. He was a bright spot in what was a dismal game overall.
In that game, he was able to put this full skillset on display. He ran hard, and he ran physically. Those two traits in particular were things that were missing from the Miami rushing attack for a good portion of last season. He also hit the holes hard ,and it was not afraid to bear all over defenders when he needed to. With his performance in that game, he gave a potential preview what could be coming down the road.
His good end to last season is only one reason to be excited about his potential heading into 2021. The other reason is his impressive numbers in the weight room. Chaney told the media his squat was to 555 pounds, and his benchpress was up to 315 pounds. Those numbers are certainly not too shabby.
Between his good performance at the end of last season and work Chaney has put in this off-season, I see him having a breakout year. He could be a key piece for a Miami Hurricanes rushing attack that ranked seventh overall in the ACC in 2020. That number is not too shabby, but it’s one that can certainly be improved upon. Chaney could bring stability to that portion of the offense.
Chaney figures to be high on the depth chart for Miami in 2021, so he will have opportunities to prove himself. If he can show the same tenacity and physicality that he did at the end of last season, the starting running back job could be his for the taking sooner rather than later.
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