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Reviewing Miami's Depth Chart: Offense

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Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

With the Miami Hurricanes’ spring game April 13, let’s take a quick look at the current status of their depth chart, starting with the offense. Miami has the rare luxury of virtually returning every starter on both sides of the ball from 2012, so most of the names will be familiar to Hurricane Nation. How much this group continues to develop will determine how far the Hurricanes go in 2013.

Quarterback

Stephen Morris (Senior)
Ryan Williams (Junior)
Gray Crow/Preston Dewey (Freshmen)

Morris wrestled the position away from incoming transfer Williams in the summer of 2012 and did nothing during the season to make the coaching staff doubt this decision. Morris had bouts of inaccuracy at times but took phenomenal care of the ball to the tune of seven interceptions in 412 attempts. The coaches thrust Williams into an unenviable situation as a freshman at Memphis, but he looked good in limited action for the Hurricanes while Morris was sidelined. The 6-foot-6 Crow has impressed during spring practices, so much so that head coach Al Golden has recently said he is competing with Williams for the backup job.

Running Back

Duke Johnson (Sophomore)
Dallas Crawford (Sophomore)
Danny Dillard (Freshman)
Maurice Hagens (Senior)

The running back corps is young, but extremely talented. Johnson took the ACC by storm as a true freshman, averaging an eye-popping 6.8 yards per carry in 2012. Now he must develop into a reliable feature back after a season high of just 16 carries last year. Eduardo Clements missed most of the 2012 season with a neck injury, and should serve as Johnson’s primary backup if he can return. Crawford is similar to Johnson in terms of size and running style and will get the opportunity to spell Johnson at points. Dillard redshirted last year and should get first crack at goal-line and short yardage situations. Hagens will be the starting fullback.

Wide Receivers

Phillip Dorsett (Junior)
Rashawn Scott (Junior)
Allen Hurns (Senior)
Herb Waters (Sophomore)

Arguably the team’s deepest position, Miami has playmakers up and down the depth chart at wide receiver. Don’t let Dorsett’s 5-foot-9, 185-pound frame fool you, he is an outstanding threat on all three levels of the field and could crack the 1,000-yard mark after catching 58 passes for 842 yards in 2012. Scott missed the final three games because of disciplinary issues, but still racked up more than 500 yards and could be primed for a big season should he stay focused and eliminate the occasional dropped pass. Hurns started the season as one of the major targets for Morris, but his production dropped off as the season went along. Waters is the wild card at the position and had 195 yards and two touchdowns in Miami’s final two games.

Tight Ends

Clive Walford (Junior)
Asante Cleveland (Senior)
Beau Sandland (Junior)

The Hurricanes appear to have talent at the tight end position, but there is room for improvement. Walford is a big-play threat, averaging 18 yards per catch last year, and has the flexibility to line up in the backfield or at wide receiver. Cleveland has not produced on the field in his time at Coral Gables, but should be more involved in the offense in 2013. Sandland is a 6-foot-6 JUCO transfer that has impressed in practice and might emerge as a goal-line target.

Offensive Tackle

Malcolm Bunche (RS Junior)
Seantrel Henderson (Senior)
Ereck Flowers (Sophomore)
Sunny Odogwu (Freshman)

The 6-foot-7, 325 pound Bunche established himself as a rock at left tackle, starting all 12 games as a sophomore and doing an excellent job in both run and pass block situations. Henderson has been given every opportunity to become the left tackle, and, whether it be injuries or off the field issues, has yet to live up to his high school reputation. That said, he has an opportunity finish off his rocky career at right tackle, and has the natural ability to do so. Flowers is a quality backup that broke into the starting lineup as a true freshman last season and played in each game. He could see time at guard if necessary.

Guard/Center

Jon Feliciano (Junior)
Brandon Linder (Senior)
Shane McDermott (Junior)
Jared Wheeler (Senior)

Like the tackles, the Hurricanes’ guards are well-sized as a group and all gained significant experience as underclassmen. Feliciano started all 12 games at left guard in 2012. Linder recently suffered a leg injury, but Golden said the setback was only minor and should not cause him to miss any playing time. He is the team’s best offensive lineman and will be starting at right guard in the fall. McDermott is in line to be the starting center, but is currently not practicing due to an injury. Wheeler has experience along most of the line and is more than capable enough to become a spot starter should the injury bug continue to hit this position group.