Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Weak and strong: Miami Hurricanes
By Andrea Adelson
We move on in our series looking at the weakest and strongest positions on each team in the ACC with Miami:
Strongest position: Running back.
When you have Duke Johnson on your team, running back qualifies as the strongest position. Johnson earned headlines last season as one of the top freshmen in the country after he totaled 2,060 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns en route to ACC Rookie of the Year honors. He gained a Miami freshman-record 947 yards on the ground, with 10 touchdowns, and is looking for much more this season as the featured back in the offense. Already, he has garnered preseason All-America buzz. But if there is a concern here, it is over building some depth with Mike James gone. Dallas Crawford showed some flashes during the spring but needs to be more consistent. Eduardo Clements is the veteran of the group but needs to work on his consistency as well. Miami could rely on a true freshman here again for the second straight season.
Weakest position: Secondary.
Truth is, I could have chosen the defensive line, too. They are both weak spots headed into the season based on what happened in 2012 and some of what we saw in the spring. The front returns its starters, so that gives them a slight edge when it comes to projecting improvement. You have to figure a line with four returning starters, a healthy Curtis Porter and five upperclassmen on the two-deep will be better. Meanwhile, the secondary has to replace its best player in Brandon McGee. Three of the four spots in the secondary remain open headed into fall camp -- Ladarius Gunter and Tracy Howard are competing for one starting cornerback job; Antonio Crawford and Nate Dortch for the other. AJ Highsmith and Rayshawn Jenkins are up for one of the starting safety jobs. The only guy who appears to be safe? Sophomore safety Deon Bush. Where the line has experience, the secondary is still young -- only three on the two-deep are upperclassmen. You see why this spot remains an area of concern.
More in the series.