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2019 Fall Camp Preview: RB

2019 Fall Camp Preview: RB

Stefan Adams
Summer Additions: None

Summer Departures: Asa Martin (Transfer)

In 2018, the Hurricanes finished 45th in the country at 191.5 rushing yards per game. Overall, the running game was mostly effective against opponents that the Hurricanes were expected to beat and clearly outmatched in talent level, but UM struggled to run on fronts that recruited at the same level as Miami.

Often times, Miami backs had to create room for themselves when the line couldn’t get push, and consistently running up the middle proved to be a tough task for the Canes. Previously stifled by an unimaginative power-oriented run game poorly suited for an undersized and more athletic OL, Miami is hoping a change in offensive philosophy with new OC Dan Enos can get the most out of the offensive line and a talented stable of backs just looking for room to run in 2019.

Miami split things pretty evenly in the backfield between DeeJay Dallas and Cam’Ron Harris this past spring; they are currently Miami’s most proven backs, as well as the only healthy RB’s on the roster.

Of the two, I thought it was Harris that most shined this spring, showing exciting burst and blending that with tough inside running, proving he had plenty of potential. Harris took the rock for 28 carries for 166 yards in 2018, and found the endzone in crucial moments for the Canes, scoring against Georgia Tech to keep UM in the game, and scoring twice to help Miami pull away versus Virginia Tech. He might have the most natural running back instincts on the roster and is the most ideal candidate as a true #1 back.

Regardless, Dallas is going to get his fair share of touches, but I believe he is at his best as change of pace back that can be a versatile option lining up all over the formation and threatening the defense in a variety of ways. The junior is a running back with a receiver’s skills, as proven by Dallas starting his career at wide-out, and he showed off his versatility last season, running for 617 yards on 109 carries, catching 10 passes, and operating as Miami’s main return man on kickoffs and punts (1 TD return). As a weapon that can be moved all around the field, Miami finally started to get creative with Dallas and line him up all over the formation towards the end of 2018. Hopefully that continues with Enos to show off Dallas’ excellent hands and keep defenses off-balance in 2019.

Even though Dallas and Harris represent a more than solid top 2, arguably the most talented runner on the roster will at the very least be limited to start fall camp. Sophomore Lorenzo Lingard missed much of his freshman season due to knee surgery, recording 17 carries for 136 yards and 2 TD’s in just 6 games. Minor issues in Lingard’s game like pass protection and running too stiff and upright held him back a bit in 2018, and he sat out for recovery purposes this spring, so it’s unclear if progress has been made in those areas this spring. Still, at 6’0” 202 pounds, Lingard was previously running in the 4.2’s and he will be hard to keep off the field as a change of pace back at minimum if he can return at 100%. Look for him to slowly get worked into the rotation as camp goes along.

This Canes really missed an opportunity to build depth behind their top 3 this spring. Sophomore Robert Burns was uninspiring and got injured once again, while highly-regarded Auburn transfer Asa Martin got hurt as well, then decided to leave the program. Burns is in danger of becoming transfer fodder, as he’s shown nothing in 2+years to make you think he can contribute to this program, and especially when you consider a guy like Don Chaney is coming in next season.

At fullback, redshirt freshman Realus George proved this spring that he slimmed down and improved his overall strength. In spring, Dan Enos proved that the fullback would have a relatively important role in his offense, and George saw the field a ton. With the depth issues at RB, he could get a few carries here and there this fall, and he certainly has the ability to be an asset in goal-line opportunities when he’s called upon.


Bottom Line

I was concerned about the depth problems here in the spring, and things are looking worse since then. Lingard is unlikely to be a full-go to start camp, Burns continued his injury issues, and Martin left the team.

All in all, there is talent from top to bottom in the running back crew, but depth remains a concern. The Canes only have four scholarship backs with two coming off injury. If nobody misses time during the season, this spot will likely be a strength of the offense provided the line can open some running room. An injury or two here, however, could be disastrous for this group and leave Miami in a position where they have to promote a walk-on like they did when Mark Walton went down in 2017. Watch how the reps get split up this fall, as I could see Harris eventually getting the biggest chunk of the carries, with Dallas and a healthy Lingard in complimentary roles.
 

Comments (45)

Lingard is unlikely to be a full-go to start camp

And no walk-ons to speak of?

Are Dallas and Harris going to take every rep?
 
Lingard really did run like a sprinter who happens to play football, from what I remember. If that changes, he may be a dangerous man.
 
What the fvck? We have one of the best running back rooms in the country and now it looks like we are 1-2 injuries away from putting **** on the field at RB. I guess having one of the best in the country on paper is much different than actually having one of the best in reality. Fvck me, this report sucks and I hope it is way off base. No offense, Stefan, you do a great job. Just venting at this chit this close to game time.
 
What the fvck? We have one of the best running back rooms in the country and now it looks like we are 1-2 injuries away from putting **** on the field at RB. I guess having one of the best in the country on paper is much different than actually having one of the best in reality. Fvck me, this report sucks and I hope it is way off base. No offense, Stefan, you do a great job. Just venting at this chit this close to game time.

Relax Gloria. Jesus Christ
 
We're plenty deep and talented at RB. Pretty much any school, at any position, would be in trouble if their Top 2 guys got injured. We've got 3 good options.

I still think the depth chart will start Dallas, Cam/Lingard with Lingard emerging as the most talented RB as the season goes on.
 
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Wasn’t Burns healthy all spring? If he’s our 4th RB things could be a lot worse.. lol y’all expect 6 starters deep at every position. RB room is fine
 
Cam is next level. He is so elusive and has this instant break away speed where he can put some distance on you after he makes a cut of juke.
 
surprised Diaz did not use the portal to add depth.
 
Yeah, I'm not too worried about our RB depth, either. I mean, you could say the same thing about every position. If our first 2 QBs are injured, or our first two OTs or DEs, or LB, or Safeties. I know RB is a more violent position than most, but half the problem this past decade is we often never gave our boys even a step of wiggle room to make a cut. That Duke injury against FSU still burns me up.

Net/net, We've got four thoroughbreds at the position, and I am looking for some great things from them. Can't underestimate their receiving ability. I hope this is a big element of a more dynamic offense.
 
Wasn’t Burns healthy all spring? If he’s our 4th RB things could be a lot worse.. lol y’all expect 6 starters deep at every position. RB room is fine

No he had surgery towards the end.
 
Yeah, I'm not too worried about our RB depth, either. I mean, you could say the same thing about every position. If our first 2 QBs are injured, or our first two OTs or DEs, or LB, or Safeties. I know RB is a more violent position than most, but half the problem this past decade is we often never gave our boys even a step of wiggle room to make a cut. That Duke injury against FSU still burns me up.

Net/net, We've got four thoroughbreds at the position, and I am looking for some great things from them. Can't underestimate their receiving ability. I hope this is a big element of a more dynamic offense.

4? I see 2 healthy. We don’t have 4 horses. We have 2 and 2 we don’t know when they will touch the field. It is a cause for concern.
 
4? I see 2 healthy. We don’t have 4 horses. We have 2 and 2 we don’t know when they will touch the field. It is a cause for concern.

I'm banking on the fact Manny hasn't made any push for a transfer for the 2020 season or a second HS senior for 2021 season (outside of Knighton which we most likely won't land) even after Martin pulled up and left. Would he be so sanguine about taking only Chaney if he didn't think the current 4 were going to be good to go?
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
CB
6'2"
180
Alabaster, AL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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