2019 Spring Preview: RB

2019 Spring Preview: RB

Stefan Adams
Additions: Asa Martin (Auburn transfer)

Departures: Travis Homer (NFL Draft), Trayone Gray (Graduation), Crispian Atkins (Graduation)

In 2018, the Hurricanes finished 45th in the country at 191.5 rushing yards per game. The bulk of that came from Travis Homer, who had a second straight 900+ yard season on his way to declaring early for the NFL Draft. 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.

The runner most obviously in line to replace Homer as UM’s lead back is last season’s #2, DeeJay Dallas. 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). This spring will be Dallas’ opportunity to show the staff he can handle a heavier workload and prove his fumble issues are behind him. 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.

Sophomore Cam Davis looked destined to redshirt last season, but seized his chance after Lorenzo Lingard went down for the season and Homer missed some time with a calf injury. Davis showed exciting burst and blended that with tough inside running, proving he had plenty of potential. Davis 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 in the best position to benefit if Miami decides to leave Dallas in more of a flex-type role.

Even though Dallas and Davis represent a more than solid top 2, arguably the most talented runner on the roster won’t suit up for full contact this spring. 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, but is expected to be full-go for fall camp. Minor issues in Lingard’s game like pass protection and running too stiff and upright held him back a bit in 2018, and it’s disappointing we won’t be able to see 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%.

Even with Lingard out last season, sophomore Robert Burns was unable to carve out much of a role, and was passed up on the depth chart by Davis. Burns was only able to muster 2 carries for 10 yards in 2018 and is in danger of becoming transfer fodder. On the bright side, he stayed healthy for the first time in an entire season dating back the past 4 years to high school, so Burns will look to build on that and become UM’s #3 back this spring. To challenge him for that role, Miami brought in Auburn transfer Asa Martin, who had 13 carries for 57 yards as a freshman for the Tigers in 2018. While it’s likely Martin will not be able to play in 2019 (barring getting an unexpected transfer waiver), the sophomore is a former top recruit that’s a well-built power back at 5’11” 210 pounds, and UM will look to see what he can bring to the rotation this spring.

Redshirt freshman Realus George is next up to replace the departed Trayone Gray at fullback and it could be tough to fill Gray’s shoes, as he proved extremely effective at picking up short yardage situations in Mark Richt’s offense. It remains to be seen just how much a fullback will be needed in Enos’ system, but George certainly has the ability to be an asset in goal-line opportunities when he’s called upon.

Bottom Line

All in all, there is talent from top to bottom in the running back crew, but there will still be questions to be answered this spring and beyond. Can UM find a reliable primary back and are depth concerns warranted? If Lingard struggles in his recovery and Martin is ruled ineligible, UM will have only 3 scholarship backs, including Burns who has proved nothing at this level. How the reps get split up this spring will go a long way to determine if Dallas and Davis will be in a timeshare to start the season or if one primary back is emerging.
 

Comments (66)

Personally I’m not entirely sold on Dallas being the lead back for us this year.

81869

He was basically non existent beyond the first 5 games of the season outside of the duke game and didn’t look good in the rest of the games with a horrific ypc from games 6-13(8 games).

Interested in seeing how all this transpires but I hope Dallas has indeed dropped some weight and does well in the spring. I’m also eyeing cam Davis having a big spring personally. I dont Expect lingard to do much beyond light drills this spring to ease him back in
 
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Personally I’m not sold on Dallas being the lead back for us this year.

View attachment 81869
He was basically non existent beyond the first 5 games of the season outside of the duke game and didn’t look good in the rest of the games with a horrific ypc from games 6-13(8 games).

Interested in seeing how all this transpires but I hope Dallas has indeed dropped some weight and does well in the spring. I’m also eyeing cam Davis having a big spring personally. I dont Expect lingard to do much beyond light drills this spring to ease him back in
Agreed, not sold either. He's a talented kid that feels like a change of pace back and one we should throw to a lot out of backfield instead of as feature. Which overall is still very valuable.
 
Personally I’m not sold on Dallas being the lead back for us this year.

View attachment 81869
He was basically non existent beyond the first 5 games of the season outside of the duke game and didn’t look good in the rest of the games with a horrific ypc from games 6-13(8 games).

Interested in seeing how all this transpires but I hope Dallas has indeed dropped some weight and does well in the spring. I’m also eyeing cam Davis having a big spring personally. I dont Expect lingard to do much beyond light drills this spring to ease him back in


Think it had way more to do with our horrible playcalling and line last year. Homers game log was just as unimpressive. Everyone on offense should have a clean slate. I don't think it matters anyways who starts week1 i like our top 3 alot and they'll all get burn.



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2520182018-09-27Miami (FL)North CarolinaW14886.300000001010.00.000
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2920182018-11-03Miami (FL)DukeL181337.410000000000.00.000
3020182018-11-10Miami (FL)@Georgia TechL11302.713268.700000110.00.000
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3220182018-11-24Miami (FL)PittsburghW816821.0111111.000000000.00.000
3320182018-12-27Miami (FL)NWisconsin*L10161.603144.700003030.00.000
 
Hoping for much needed OL improvement. Our cupboard is nice and full at RB as it should be. 🙏 Lo will me 💯 by August. Also hoping Grandpa Realus helps us when his opportunities arise.
 
Think it had way more to do with our horrible playcalling and line last year. Homers game log was just as unimpressive. Everyone on offense should have a clean slate. I don't think it matters anyways who starts week1 i like our top 3 alot and they'll all get burn.



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2220182018-09-08Miami (FL)Savannah StateW13705.40177.000000000.00.000
2320182018-09-15Miami (FL)@ToledoW16623.900000000000.00.000
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2920182018-11-03Miami (FL)DukeL181337.410000000000.00.000
3020182018-11-10Miami (FL)@Georgia TechL11302.713268.700000110.00.000
3120182018-11-17Miami (FL)@Virginia TechW12695.8022110.500000000.00.000
3220182018-11-24Miami (FL)PittsburghW816821.0111111.000000000.00.000
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Not nearly imo, homer had 4 games over 5.8 ypc the last 8 games including 3 over 7.4 ypc.

Dallas only had one game over 5.0 ypc in the last 8 games
 
I definitely love the concept of deejay being used more in packages split out in the slot. He has great patience, vision as a runner, but Cam and Lingard have that game breaking ability. I just wanna see Enos get all 3 involved consistently in as creative a way as possible. I can envision plays with Lo, Cam split in the backfield with deejay at the slot and a TE bunched close to him with an outside receiver, or even both brevin and mallory with all the 3 rb's on the field simultaneously. Exciting possibilities await.
 
I definitely love the concept of deejay being used more in packages split out in the slot. He has great patience, vision as a runner, but Cam and Lingard have that game breaking ability. I just wanna see Enos get all 3 involved consistently in as creative a way as possible. I can envision plays with Lo, Cam split in the backfield with deejay at the slot and a TE bunched close to him with an outside receiver, or even both brevin and mallory with all the 3 rb's on the field simultaneously. Exciting possibilities await.
I think They will, enos had another back with Collins who had 1000 plus rushing yards too in one of those seasons I believe.
 
I don’t see how we are “ scary” thin with Dallas, Cam, Lo, Burns, possibly Asa and Atkins. I’ve seen a lot worse.. we honestly don’t know if anyone isn’t a lead back in the HS offense we ran last year.. our RB is plenty fine for 2019..
 
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2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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