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Stock up, Stock down - 2021 Spring Game

Stock up, Stock down - 2021 Spring Game

Geo305
QB

Stock up:

Jake Garcia obviously had a great day, the hype is real and we saw some things that wouldn’t be expected of a kid who should be in high school right now. It’s still very early and while a lot of promise, there is some things I’d like to see in a live game setting, with the bullets actually flying.

Tyler Van Dyke can make all the throws and he had a solid day even though they cut his snaps at a point. He really should have had 2 TD's on the day.

*You keep both of those guys battling all the way up until the 2022 season no matter what. It will make them both better. To name one over the other as the future is a bit premature, but I really liked the confidence from Garcia and limited reps and time he’s had so far.

I don’t think Miami can go wrong with either of those two with life after D'Eriq King past this season. King is obviously the guy this season, but it’s comforting knowing a legitimate QB room is being built in the Gables for the first time in a while.


Neutral:

I wouldn’t want to say stock down as it is what I expected and been told. Peyton Matocha is what he is and wouldn’t expect him to jump past Garcia or TVD in a race for QB2. I would entertain the idea of a position switch at some point as he is plenty athletic enough. TE?


RB

Stock up:

I would put Don Chaney in here if he played today but by all accounts he is the guy in the room before going down and was separating from the other two. Jaylan Knighton definitely stock up after today, bit of a slow start to spring for him but has picked it up where he left off before his injury last season to close spring.


Neutral:

Cam Harris, we know he is talented, but he’s had moments where he’s faded too. He had a great scrimmage #2 with the offense. I am a Cam fan don’t get me wrong, but it is hard to ignore the noise Chaney was making this spring. Probably is the opening day starter with Chaney going down until fall and pass protection duties but how long he holds on to it is the question. He will still get plenty of touches this season regardless and produce.

*Bit of a note on this: the run game wasn’t featured too much today and that was by design for the spring game. It was a small sample. Knighton's TD run was very impressive.

*Curious to see what type of role Thad Franklin or Cody Brown can carve out within the offense as a potential goal line back when they arrive.


WR

Stock up:

Charleston Rambo looks healthy, focused, dominant and what Miami needed - the 2019 version of Rambo, the one making big plays against Bama. He’s going to have a big season barring any injuries.

Keyshawn Smith was a steal out of Cali and it was well-noted. He was turning heads all of spring before a slight nick and is now healthy, showing the reason as to why he should be starting. I would not be shocked if he becomes the guy by seasons end in the WR room moving into the next season.

It’s hard not to get flashbacks to the upperclassmen version of Braxton Berrios at Miami when the light turned on for Braxton with Restrepo now, but let’s not get confused. Restrepo is bigger than Berrios and is like a running back through traffic and in the open field. Very solid spring for him through and through and he has made a strong case to be a fixture in the WR rotation with starter quality reps this season. The TD brought flashbacks to Berrios senior year. Restrepo is developing at a faster rate.

Big shoutout to the walk-on receiver Dante Johnson. Had a very solid day and definitely looked the part to play. Big and strong with good hands. Not sure where he will fall in the pecking order later on, but today did show him and some other walk-ons are of good quality in the program moving forward.

Daz Worsham made some catches today against the second and third team defense - been a bit quiet from his end but nice to see production as he is still young. Has put on considerable weight since HS. Maybe not a contributor this year but definitely stock up.


Neutral:


Mike Harley. Maybe he should have been stock up, but he is doing what should be expected of him, and consistently, after his breakout last season. It’s great to see a guy who had some rough outings early on in his time here become a very solid and dependable starting WR for the offense.

Mike Redding. This guy will be a testament to what Likens can mold with coaching and development. Absolute monster tester and passes the eye test but very raw. Would have liked to see him get more opportunities today but got nicked up on a jump ball. This is someone who may be a year or two away before we see what he could be capable of.

Mark Pope. Yes the beating of a dead horse. To put him in stock down wouldn’t be fair as he was productive today in the end. Pope creates separation and gets open but struggles still with body catching in year 4. He has struggles with catches in traffic and fighting for the ball and tends to lose focus. The clock is very much ticking, and while he did have a very productive day, the stats do not tell the whole story and he was very up and down. Is he someone you can rely on in a big game or important down or play? History has shown "No" at Miami. Very inconsistent and not something you really want to have at the WR position, a position that demands consistency. There have been other WR's in similar shoe during their time at Miami like Harley and Hankerson where the light turned on for them. Is it going to happen for Mark Pope? If it does, win for Miami and win for him. If it doesn’t, win for Miami and lose for him as there are young WR's making plays consistently and knocking on the door already for more playing time, with more hungry freshmen arriving in the summer at WR. It’s do or die time for Mark Pope this offseason between post spring and fall. Consistency is key.


Stock down:

Dee Wiggins, see Mark Pope. Wiggins has not developed at Miami like I had expected him to. He showed some flashes his first two years here with big splash plays and I accounted the inconsistencies with drops due to being young at the time and needing to develop more physically. It is year 4 and it hasn’t changed. I would have liked to see at this point Wiggins using his size and frame to his advantage against corners of smaller stature. It’s frustrating as he too creates separation and it must be frustrating for the staff, but there comes a certain point where if guys can’t be relied on, and other younger guys can and are able to complete the play, your snaps are going to diminish. He and Pope are one in the same in that this is do or die now for their careers at Miami. The question of will the light turn on for either of them is a big one. It’s not a question of talent but more so the consistency and catching the ball with both of them. The difference between Pope and Wiggins today. Pope was productive despite some agonizing mistakes. Wiggins production was off of a play at the end of the game against walk-on DB's.

*Competition is only going to get more fierce at this position with the arrival of Brashard Smith, Romello Brinson and Jacolby George. I have confidence in Brashard Smith possibly being a strong contender for early playing time for this season with his skill set and size.

*The return of Jeremiah Payton in fall will be interesting. He was out this spring. He has been noted as showing flashes before but had some inconsistency with focus last year in practice, though he was very talented coming into Miami. While his situation is not the same as Pope or Wiggins. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the competition in fall and where he lands on the depth chart pecking order before the season. He has an opportunity to make his case. Could be boom or bust. This fall is very important to his future at Miami.


TE

Neutral:

Cant put anything here as Miami has been mauled with injuries. Prediction? Will Mallory is going to be that guy this year and I’m very confident on that. Dominic Mammarelli will see a lot of time when blocking is needed. Curious to see where Elijah Arroyo is in fall. Hopefully Larry Hodges gets everything together for fall as he can contribute. I wouldn’t expect Kahlil Brantley to make a splash upon arrival but solid addition to the room.


OL

Stock up

I will give a stock up here to the starting O-Line. Miami is and will be better up front this year. A lot of that will have to do with upgrading at guard. If I am a betting man, Miami's best 5 from left to right is 60-64-65-55-51. While I would have liked to see more in the run game today, the spring game was designed for the quarterbacks to play out today it seems.


Stock down:

As for the stock down I would give, I do not think Miami is 9 or 10 man deep quality yet on OL as Diaz has relayed to the media. With some time maybe. John Campbell, Jakai Clark and Jarrid Williams are good depth, but Miami should have more and I think two of those are not at their best position. I’m positive they will have Clark and Jarrid continue to push and compete with Jalen Rivers and DJ Scaife going into fall. Development of a guy like Issiah Walker will be important moving forward as he should be a tackle. I like Clark more at center and Campbell more at guard. We will see where Cleveland Reed is in Fall.

*There was positive rave reviews on Michael McLaughlin earlier in spring but he will have to continue to get bigger. I could see someone like one of Laurence Seymore or Ryan Rodriguez possibly making a splash as depth on the interior in the two deep when they arrive.


DE

Stock up:

Deandre Johnson and Jahfari Harvey are our best ends right now. Will one of them or both become dominant by the season? We shall see. Still early.


Neutral:

Chantz Williams, Cam Williams, Zach McCloud

I know Chantz was getting a lot of rave reviews during spring as someone emerging. Was a bit quiet during the spring game but that is not an end-all indicator of what can happen. I wouldn’t put Cam as stock down but he was quiet. Same for McCloud. Could see them maybe trying to add one more guy in the portal at the position with experience.

*Thomas Davis can definitely get after the QB but will have to get bigger.

*Jabari Ishmael arrives in fall and will have to develop and get bigger as well.


DT

Stock up:

Jon Ford, Elijah Roberts, Jalar Holley

Big stock up for Ford. He has made big strides this spring. This bodes very well for Miami. Elijah Roberts actually had two sacks today. He still has to get bigger but I expect him to see play time this year in rotation. Holley had a sack on the day and was active. Looks a bit smaller now and I know that had to do with him getting sick last year.


Neutral:

Jordan Miller, Jared Harrison-Hunte

A bit quiet for the both of them during the game but nothing negative either. I expect Miller to be heavily involved this year in rotation. JH-H I expect to show us even more of the flashes and big plays he showed us all last year, again this season heavy in starter rotation snaps.

*This group is very promising and hard not to get excited about. Nesta returns in the fall and is very important to the group. Leonard Taylor arrives and I expect him to make a quality freshman splash along the entire DL, receiving snaps at DE too moving around. Allan Haye arrives as well to continue building quality depth in the DT room.


LB

Stock up:

Keontra Smith, Waynmon Steed


I love the move of Keontra to LB and it will pay off in my opinion. Steed looks the healthiest I’ve seen him during his time at Miami with a history of injuries dating back to high school. There was a few plays that stood out with him if you rewatch the game. That is a positive sign, as he was a natural linebacker dating back to Miami Central and a very productive one. Some athletes can come back from injuries and still be productive, we shall see.


Neutral:

Corey Flagg, Avery Huff, Tirek Austin-Cave, Deshawn Troutman

While it was quiet for Flagg and Huff, nothing I can say negative either. Flagg is in much better shape now. If the season were to start today, Flagg is the starting MLB and Huff would be heavily involved with the competition going on at WLB. The season doesn’t start today and there will be competition up to the opener at the LB spots. TAC and Troutman looked good but small sample size. TAC is very fast for a LB but I have heard he will have to continue to develop similar to how Huff had to. Troutman has to get bigger. I think by next year TAC will make some noise.


Stock down:

Brandon Jennings

It is becoming very clear that Jennings playing time is about to take a massive hit at Miami. It doesn’t seem as if he has improved since last season either. The coaches want more speed and athleticism at the position. If he sticks around, as sometimes upperclassmen who lose jobs or playing time end up leaving, I could see him carving out a role on special teams unit as a headhunter.

*Two things I want to point out. It wasn’t enough to get a full gauge on what’s going on at LB but Keontra did make a nice splash today early on on a run that could have went to the house. Those are plays needed to be made at the position. LB is a position that’s going to have competition going on at both spots all through fall. I expect a completely healthy Sam Brooks to make a stamp at the LB position in fall with his athleticism and size as he was out all spring. If I’m betting, the guys you see this year on the field at LB are Brooks, Steed, Keontra, Huff and Flagg. The likelihood they try to get a guy through the portal for more experience in the group is high but I don’t think they will settle for just a depth guy either. They will want someone who has really produced at a high level, I doubt they would settle. LB is wide open at this point.

*Tyler Johnson arrives in fall. I don’t expect him to make an immediate freshman splash as he played more pass rusher in HS, he will need some time.


Striker

Stock up:

Chase Smith

This guy is going to be special and I see them having a hard time keeping him off the field as the season progresses along.


Neutral:

Amari Carter

Didn’t see anything that made me say "Wow" with Carter at striker but nothing that made me facepalm with mistakes like in the past. This is good and I expect him to do well at his new position. Would like to see him on special teams as well.


Stock down:

Gilbert Frierson

I hate to do this as he was arguably one of our top 3 players on the defense last season and had a good season at the position. I’ve known him personally too in past during his recruitment to Miami so it feels personal. I expect this to be a stock up by the time fall and the season rolls around. I don’t think the guy has forgot how well he played last year at all. Yes, not a good look that he didn’t have his best spring and not in best shape either coming into it. This happens sometimes with players and they do bounce back. It’s not uncommon or unheard of. Knowing him, I expect him to bounce back especially with the competition he sees at Striker. He starts at striker when the season opens in my opinion and replicates last year performance if I had to place a bet knowing him.


CB

Stock up:

Tyrique Stevenson, DJ Ivey, Isaiah Dunson

Tyrique is CB1, that is not a debate. DJ Ivey looks improved this off-season. Do I think he’s going to become a superstar? No, but I think he will become solid and what we expected from him coming in to Miami and a lot more consistent. Dunson has made some strides and flashed a bit during the spring game.


Stock down:

Jalen Harrell

Not that he was bad or terrible but I feel his natural position would be striker. I believe he was moved to corner out of necessity for depth this spring and I would like to see him moved to striker at some point.

*Getting Al Blades, Te'Cory Couch and Marcus Clarke back in fall is very good for this group. If I were to bet on how the position shakes out, it's Tyrique and a committee opposite of him between Blades, Ivey and Couch, along with Couch as your nickel corner. Clarke and Dunson round out your depth.

*Malik Curtis arrives in fall and he is very new to the position. I wouldn’t expect to see him play outside of maybe mop up duty at CB, but if for some reason they can’t figure out kick or punt returners between all the options they have now, you let him get a crack at it if it can’t be figured out.


S

Stock up:

Gurvan Hall, Avantae Williams, Kamren Kinchens, Keshawn Washington

Everyone in the safety room that played in the game. Stock up and clearly a stock up. This has been mentioned a bit but the safety play has been commented as being very good this spring.

Gurvan looked good and the best I’ve seen him at Miami. The light may be coming on. I don’t think he’s going to turn into a bonafide superstar this season but I liked what I saw and think he could turn into an all-conference level safety if he trends the right way. This was a guy Nick Saban flew a helicopter in for, not everyone gets that treatment and remember who’s coaching him now. Avantae was all over the field. Yes the missed tackle by him and Amari that took Ivey out of the game and sprung Knighton to a TD was very glaring. Outside of that, he was all over the field. Whether he’s first in rotation or starting at some point, he will play a lot regardless. Kinchens looks good for a true freshman, him getting in for spring was great for his development. Great for his confidence moving forward grabbing a pick today. Washington surprised me. Watching him back in high school, he wasn’t really known for being that physical. He is now, not the first time he’s popped loose a fumble this spring either. I had some thoughts about him as a potential striker with his size at some point at Miami while he was recruited. There is a logjam and talent pool at safety now. Maybe not this year but maybe next spring, a potential move to striker could happen with natural attrition at that position. He should definitely be on special teams this year at minimum.

*Unfortunate we couldn’t see Bubba Bolden play today but if the group looked like that, I can imagine what he would have done as well. The level he was playing at early on last season was incredible before he had tailed off. I expect that again and more consistently between coaching and being more comfortable. Brian Balom will be nice to have back in fall and he had gained a lot of experience last season.

*Bubba, Hall and Avantae clearly are the main 3 fixtures. After that, it seems to be a big competition and anyone guess how it shakes out.

*Last but not least, James Williams arrives in the summer. It will be interesting to see where he falls between all the competition but let’s not deny his talent, size, and athleticism that are abnormal to the position. If he catches on quick, they will have a hard time not playing him in rotation at minimum.

*Miami has a great and complicated situation in the safety room. T-Rob must be smiling from ear to ear, Miami has real depth there.


K

Stock up:

Andres Borregales

Doesn’t look like Miami is going to miss a beat.


P

Neutral:

Lou Hedley

Hedley is Hedley, we know he’s good.


Returner

Stock up:

Why? One, hate to keep beating the dead horse, but Pope is off returns and rightfully so as it was a disaster last season there. There is way too many options to not find someone who has the juice at KR or PR or both.


Special Teams

*We’re just going to have to wait till the season to find out, but a way to have a better special teams unit is by having more quality depth. Miami is getting there slowly.


Overall

There is no reason why this team shouldn’t win at minimum 10 games during the regular season this year outside of catastrophic injuries. Anything less is a disappointment. COVID-19 was a blessing in disguise to getting the depth up to quality and retaining a year of eligibility for all who stayed. The additions of Rambo, Stevenson and Johnson were very important from the portal. If they land a bonafide proven LB in the portal, they are cooking with grease.
 

Comments (108)

OL and DB's looked much improved.
Garcia should be the STARTER! Don't give me that experience BS, he's the best and the best should start.
Keontra closed like a Miami LB. Flagg ok, but too slow to get wide. Chase Smith did flash and showed speed. Huff IDK? Gonna need Jim Wms to make an instant impact.
WR not enough impact speed IMO. Breshard Smith will have opportunity, especially if they do the right thing and play Garcia.
 
Only Loss should be Bama, and Maybe North Carolina , but they loss a lot of key players so we will seee
 
Would fat Gil Frierson benefit from moving to LB?

Would Smith and Frierson be the answer at LB?
 
OL and DB's looked much improved.
Garcia should be the STARTER! Don't give me that experience BS, he's the best and the best should start.
Keontra closed like a Miami LB. Flagg ok, but too slow to get wide. Chase Smith did flash and showed speed. Huff IDK? Gonna need Jim Wms to make an instant impact.
WR not enough impact speed IMO. Breshard Smith will have opportunity, especially if they do the right thing and play Garcia.
You know King is still on the team right?
 
Seniority rules though.
I said there had been favoritism to the older kids , especially in the we room , and I also said I expect it to change. If not there’d be problems. I’ve continually said I expect a big change in how snaps are handed out this year versus last. But if you want to mock that like it’s false that’s your right. Mocking it doesn’t make it wrong.
 
You know King is still on the team right?
Bro Garcia is a much better QB (potential) than King. King is an average passer and coming off an ACL injury which will limit his best attribute, running. The future is now! Clemson saw early on that Trevor Lawrence was their best QB and he was starting a couple games in. The team would be better for it.
 
Would fat Gil Frierson benefit from moving to LB?

Would Smith and Frierson be the answer at LB?
Actually he’s the one I’d been talking up as the perfect candidate since last year. Use him as a lb this season. But they went with Keontra.
 
I said there had been favoritism to the older kids , especially in the we room , and I also said I expect it to change. If not there’d be problems. I’ve continually said I expect a big change in how snaps are handed out this year versus last. But if you want to mock that like it’s false that’s your right. Mocking it doesn’t make it wrong.

I think there are far more examples of the opposite occurring for it to be the widespread conspiracy many around here make it out to be.
 

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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