Eight issues a UM analyst got here away pondering after the offseason. And extra perspective


Eight issues that UM radio analyst Don Bailey Jr. got here away pondering after watching the Hurricanes (together with closed practices) this offseason, and my further ideas:

▪ At operating again: “We’re very fortunate to have [Mississippi transfer] Henry Parrish. I saw Parrish play against Arkansas and I was thoroughly impressed. If he’s a 100 yard rusher in an SEC game, he certainly can help us. Parrish is a talent. It’s obvious we needed running backs when you go through spring football with two. [And] Thad Franklin definitely showed improvement from last season to spring football.”

My take: This is the primary time I can recall a operating again competitors with a minimum of three legit candidates: Don Chaney and Jaylan Knighton (again from damage) and Parrish, whom I make the slight front-runner. And Franklin and freshman TreVonte’ Citizen will push for taking part in time.

▪ The most fascinating factor to Bailey in regards to the offensive line: “Where Jalen Rivers plays,” Bailey stated.

He opened final season because the beginning left guard (earlier than a season-ending knee damage within the third sport) but in addition can play proper sort out.

“He’s got to play,” Bailey stated. “When he’s healthy, he is an asset. Athleticism, good footwork, size, intelligence, experience. He’s complete and on his way to being [very good]. With Mario Cristobal and Alex Mirabal, you will see big improvement in that unit.”

My take: If Rivers wins a job – and he ought to – that would go away one spot open past projected starters Zion Nelson, DJ Scaife and Jakai Clark. Oregon transfers Logan Sagapolu and Jonathan Denis could be among the many contenders.

▪ Even although Jaleel Skinner and Elijah Arroyo are distinctive younger skills who might press for lots of taking part in time, Bailey stays satisfied that “Will Mallory is the guy” regardless that he had a sluggish begin final season earlier than ending sturdy, and regardless that a shoulder damage short-circuited his spring.

“A healthy Will Mallory is the man, period,” Bailey stated. “My immediate thought on Skinner is I can see why he was a four or five star guy. He will help. He benefited greatly from being here in the spring.”

My take: Expect much more two tight-end units with Josh Gattis changing Rhett Lashlee. There’s no tight finish on the roster extra proficient than the early enrollee Skinner, however Arroyo has the sting of getting spent a full yr in a school power and conditioning program.

▪ On vast receiver, Bailey stated: “Without question, Xavier Restrepo had the best spring and was the most productive. He was the most consistent receiver. I have to believe Key’Shawn Smith will continue to get better. I don’t think anything is clear cut at that position other than Restrepo is going to play.”

My take: I’d be shocked if Restrepo and Smith don’t play a ton. Beyond that, the battle for snaps will probably be fascinating between Clemson switch Frank Ladson and junior faculty addition Colbie Young (who will probably be instantly competing, with a minimum of one more likely to play loads), Jacolby George (with the primary group most of spring), Romello Brinson and Brashard Smith (the quintessential multi-purpose weapon) and Michael Redding Jr.

▪ On cornerback: Bailey stated: “I felt higher popping out of spring than entering into and I really feel even higher with [West Virginia transfer] Daryl Porter Jr. and [the return of Tyrique Stevenson. That unit has progressed. Te’Cory Couch will get better.”

My take: Porter was solid for West Virginia, but he’s going to need to earn the No. 2 cornerback job over Couch (who had a good spring), Al Blades Jr. (don’t underestimate him) and DJ Ivey, among others. Porter had a 99.2 passer rating in his coverage area last season, so he’s not being handed a starting job.

▪ On safety, Bailey said: “It’s a good problem to have” with at least three starting caliber players. “Kam Kinchens is going to play. James Williams is going to play. The obvious thing you see is James’ pure length and physical ability and his speed. He’s a presence. With Avantae Williams, I still go back to that interception he made [last season]. If he wasn’t standing subsequent to James Williams, he would pop a bit extra. You’re standing subsequent to a specimen.”

My take: I imagine defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will get James Williams, Avantae Williams and Kam Kinchens on the sphere collectively for a major quantity of snaps. And I gained’t be shocked if Brian Balom returns from his 2021 damage to grow to be an element.

▪ On what stood out in regards to the prime defensive ends from the spring (Jahfari Harvey, Jacob Lichtenstein, Chantz Williams, Cyrus Moss), Bailey stated: “Harvey is the guy. Without a question, Jahfari Harvey impressed with his effort, his increased size, impressed with how he has improved his pass rush and he had a very good spring.”

My take: Coaches are hoping for a breakout from Harvey, who’s rated the nation’s sixteenth greatest defensive finish in Phil Steele’s revered preseason information. UCLA switch Mitchell Agude, Harvey and Chantz Williams will play loads; transfers Akheem Mesidor and Jason Lichtenstein can play finish or sort out.

▪ On defensive sort out, Bailey stated: “Leonard Taylor got better. And I think Jordan Miller will help a lot.”

Can Taylor be as impactful as Gerald Willis was in his ultimate yr at UM?

“Taylor has shown me there’s not much he can’t do, but Willis’ best year was his fifth year. Can Taylor produce the same type of production that Willis did? We have to wait three years to see that. The ceiling is very high.”

My take: I count on a giant leap from Taylor. If Lichtenstein and Mesidor and Maryland switch Darrell Williams play loads, that would minimize into the snaps of Jared Harrison Hunte and Miller. This group, on paper, is improved, even with Nesta Silvera leaving for Arizona State.

Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written the Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.





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