Something to Prove, Part 1: Offense

Something to Prove, Part 1: Offense

Paul Austria
Hey guys, sorry for the long layoff from the site, I had to take some time off to handle personal matters. This will Part 1 of a two-part series, where I am going to talk about players that have something to prove this season. The list stems more from players who have an opportunity this season to overcome any doubts from media and fans alike and show what they are capable of when health and/or trust are no longer a concern. Starting this off with the offensive side of the ball:

QB Malik Rosier

Rosier was Miami’s primary starter at quarterback last season and finished with 26 touchdowns to go along with 14 interceptions and he played an integral part in the team making the ACC Championship game. He carries an 11-3 record as a starter and with coach Mark Richt placing a large premium on experience, he should be getting the keys again. However, he was notorious for having slow, rough starts to most of the games last season, where he’d take time to establish his rhythm and led to him thriving mostly in the second half. The doubters started to creep up a bit towards the end of last season, and now with fans knowing that N’Kosi Perry is waiting in the wings and Jarren Williams looking a lot better than expected for a true freshman, it’s all on Rosier to prove that he can be the kind of quarterback that Miami needs to earn a spot in the BCS playoff.

RB Trayone Gray

Gray just walked across the graduation stage and is now entering his final season of eligibility with the Canes. Playing time has been sparse for the running back in his Canes career and he has spent a lot of time buried on the depth chart. After Gray taking a medical redshirt in 2016, Gray seemed to be in a good position to snag the backup running back spot in 2017 behind Mark Walton but coaches favored Travis Homer. There’s no doubt he has big-play ability, as he’s shown that in his high school tape when he played at Carol City High. Due to his size at 236 lbs., coaches were starting to experiment Gray along with fellow RB Robert Burns at fullback in spring practice, but soon, that manchild Realus George will make his way to campus and Richt’s plan is to make him the starting fullback this season With the arrivals of freshman running backs Lorenzo Lingard and Cam Davis this season, not to mention Deejay Dallas also being utilized a lot more in the running back, opportunities for Gray will run low.

WR Ahmmon Richards

Yes, Richards seems like one of the last players you’d expect to see on this list, especially knowing what he did during his freshman season. He broke the UM freshman record for receiving yards in a season (935) and gained nationwide attention. However, his sophomore season was plagued by injuries to his hamstring, Achilles’ tendon, ankle, and meniscus, which the latter happened to be season-ending. There is a strong possibility that Richards decides to enter the 2019 NFL Draft should he have a great season, as there is potential for him to be a first-round pick. Hopefully his injuries are a thing of the past as Coach Richt has reiterated that he should be 100% healthy by the time fall camp comes around.

WR Lawrence Cager

The first three years of Cager’s career with Miami have been infused with injuries up until this past season, where he saw action in ten games with five starts and recording 161 yards on 12 catches. He showed flashes of what he can do with all of his 6’5” frame, which when utilized correctly, can prove to be a matchup nightmare for any defense, especially with teams already having to worry about Ahmmon Richards on the other side. With a full spring camp and having him as healthy as ever, coaches hope he plays a bigger role in supporting Malik Rosier this season and showing his full capabilities. The urgency for Cager to step up is now a lot higher, especially considering that the competition in the wide receiver room this fall is insane.

Any Tight End not named Brevin Jordan or Will Mallory

For the entirety of spring, the Canes have ran with only two scholarship tight ends on the roster: Michael Irvin Jr. and Brian Polendey. Both are upperclassmen but despite that, overall tight end performance has been very underwhelming in spring practice, to put it in a nice way. Irvin and Polendey have not done a consistent job of making catches and neither have yet given a reason to even slightly forget the name Brevin Jordan. The red carpet will be laid out for Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory as all eyes will be on the incoming freshmen once fall camp commences.

Everyone on the Offensive Line

So offensive line coach Stacy Searels has one of the most important tasks on the team, which is to configure and find the best combination of starting offensive linemen. Not only is this important to find out who are the best players and who fits better where, but this is very crucial to the success of the offense. The spring game/scrimmages were a testament to that, as every quarterback was pressured often. I’ll even say this with no disrespect, but even the reserve defensive linemen were applying pressure with ease. The Canes were able to get three days of practice after the spring game, and this included a chance for a revamped O-Line unit to get acclimated with each other. This unit included from left-to-right; Tyree St. Louis, Jahair Jones, Tyler Gauthier, Hayden Mahoney, and Navaughn Donaldson. This even goes without saying, but if the offensive line can find their groove, this opens up more opportunities for Malik Rosier to find open receivers and create plays with his feet, as well opportunities for Travis Homer to gain extra yards that can make a huge difference.

Comments (22)

I'd remove AR82 (nothing to prove, IMO) and add Mike Harley. A lot of posters think Harley will be passed over by Pope or another of the new guys. Great downfield blocker that didn't get a lot of looks in the passing game. I thought he looked solid when he was in, and I hope he continues to improve.

I didn't know Choc graduated. I'm surprised he didn't transfer for more playing time elsewhere. Is that likely to happen over the summer?
A much shorter article would be writing about who doesn't need to prove anything. I'd add:
Homer- needs to prove he can be a consistent back. Seems he runs for 1 yard, loss of 3 yards, 1 yard gain, and breaks out for 30 yards.
Thomas- can he stop fumbling and be a solid 3rd down guy like BB8

Our offense was pretty anemic last year. Like, scoring 0 points against FSU in the first half, and a total of 3, yes 3 points against Clemson. Most of our offense came off of turnovers, an occasional Homer run, and BB8 making circus catches.
Eh, AR has nothing to prove. Mallory & Jordan have tons to prove they’re true freshman. Gray won’t have opportunity to prove anything. Agree on Cager, Rosier, & Oline.
Eh, AR has nothing to prove. Mallory & Jordan have tons to prove they’re true freshman. Gray won’t have opportunity to prove anything. Agree on Cager, Rosier, & Oline.

Yeah he does. He has to prove he is health and can stay healthy. He has to prove he can make all the catches. He dropped a lot of catchable balls. Finally, he has to prove he is the elite of the elite at WR. That he is the UNDISPUTED top WR on our team. We have some proven talent at WR and new but unproven (but possibly elite) talent. He doesn’t have to be worried about being passed over or falling down the depth chart but he has to prove that he is the undisputed “man” of our WR crew. He can’t live off of what everybody thought he was but what he is. Plain and simple.
I would have added Burns to the list; of all the back he probably has the most to prove. DeeJay is proven, Homer is a lock, Linguard, George and Cam were all handpicked by the Coaches. Burns is a RS freshman and needs to prove to the coaches he can before he gets left behind (because i doubt that group gets any worse in the next couple of years).
Also think Nkosi has ALOT more to prove than Rosier. Rosier has experience and is a senior; everyone knows his limitations. Hes essentially trent dilfer (when ravens won it), manage the game and dont make stupid mistakes. Nkosi is a RS freshman who was brought in to take the reins and a year later theres a stud (JW) on his heels and from all reports hes no where close to Rosier.
Everyone saying AR doesn’t need to prove he’s not an injury prone player to not only the team but the NFL

If he misses another game or two he’s gonna be labeled a liability and you can watch his draft stock fall because of that...

Can’t make the club or help the team here or in the NFL from the tub
1. OL- Hillery, Campbell and Hebert need to prove they can play RT! Scaife and Reed at LG.

2. RB- Burns now that he's healthy and Choc. I'm confident about Burns because he's thick, powerful and runs hard.

3. WR- Harley that he can catch consistently. Cager that he can play up to his size and Njoku that he is health and can use his length.
Lol this list is confusing. How can someone like Choc be on the same list as AR and Rosier? Yeah we all hate Rosier but he was 4th in QB rating in ACC last year, over 3K total offense, AR had a dominate Frosh year and was an impact player when he wasn’t hurt last year. Choc has done nothing in 3 years except hold the ball like a loaf of bread..
The list isn’t confusing because everyone listed has something to prove for various reasons. Choc has to prove he belonged here. That he has the skill to compete at this level. AR doesn’t have to prove he belongs here, he simply has to prove last your was an abberation (injuries, drops, etc).
this whole season comes down to Oline performance period.when was the last time we had an O.line who dominated the LOS against top 10 teams
Clemson, FSU for instance. no holes for RB's & no time for QB's makes it rough no matter how much O talent we have on roster
Choc has done nothing in 3 years except hold the ball like a loaf of bread..

In all fairness, he did try to hurdle a dude in a game last season (while holding the ball like a loaf of bread).
I agree AR still has something to prove here.

He’s done well in spurts but has had some drop issues to go along with multiple health situations.

Expect him to have a great season, unless we have a total collapse at the QB position.
Besides Malik Rosier and The Oline, I think Ahmmon Richards has the most to prove on offense. He is the one with the 1st round hype but has had issues with dropping balls. Our offense will look much better if he becomes that true #1 impact player at WR.
I’m really laughing my *** off that AR has something to prove. Every time he’s on the field he proves himself. Don’t let a half season of injuries fool you. He wasn’t even practicing during the week. He’s the last person that needs to “prove” himself. He’ll ball out regardless
I’m really laughing my *** off that AR has something to prove. Every time he’s on the field he proves himself. Don’t let a half season of injuries fool you. He wasn’t even practicing during the week. He’s the last person that needs to “prove” himself. He’ll ball out regardless
If he’s to live up to his 1st round talent , yes he does still have something to prove . As of now he’s not a 1st rounder
The whole offense has something to prove, from play calling down to every position. There wasnt a single guy on offense last year that played very well on a consistent basis. Rosier is Rosier, Homer disappeared at times, Richards was hurt, line couldn't block, Thomas and Harley struggled at times.

If AR returns to health and we see a much bigger role out of dj Dallas we will go from inept and unable to convert a third down to a top 35 offense.