College

Miami Season Preview: Time for Tate

There are few programs in college football that can recruit as well as Miami. They have the luxury of being in one of the most talent rich states. A history of success at both the college and pro level and a talented young coach. It’s an equation that should result in near constant success. The reality has been different.

Up, down, down. Up, down, down, down. Up, down, down. Miami’s recent trajectory has been like an old Nintendo cheat code.

Bill Connelly SBNation

Miami’s new coach is former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Diaz’s defenses have been excellent for the past few seasons. Utilising the incredible athletes that the school is able to recruit to form a shut down, nasty defense that will give any team trouble. That defense lost a little bit of its swagger last season which Diaz will be desperate to regain.

Is Tathan the answer?

The highest profile move at Miami this off-season was the transfer of former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell. Martell was granted a waiver and gets to suit up week one. He will have to win the job during summer camp. Whoever wins the starting job will have an explosive receiving corps and a newly designed offensive line. This new offensive line will have to be ready to work in space, because if Martell gets the job he will want to work well in space.

In high school, Martell made big play after big play. He went 45-0 and won the Gatorade National Player of the Year Award in 2016. In limited action for Ohio State last year Martell was impressive. He flashed a strong arm and playmaking ability with his legs. The presence of a quarterback with playmaking potential in the offense has the potential to take this team to the next level.

Monsters On The Line

New defensive coordinator Blake Baker will continue to run the defense in the mould of new head coach Manny Diaz. When asked for his thoughts on the defensive this spring, Baker had the following comment.

“It’s about tackles for loss. It’s about takeaways. It’s about creating chaos and negative plays.”

Blake Baker, Miami Defensive Coordinator

Junior Jonathon Garvin will look to step up and lead the Miami defensive line. Garvin’s 17 tackles for loss last season showed his potential. Multiple players along the line made jumps last year. This unit has the potential to be match winning for this squad.

Star Seniors Need To Be Difference-makers

The biggest recruits of Diaz’s entire offseason were linebackers Quarterman and Pinckney, who decided to return for their senior year rather than enter the NFL Draft. Add in Zach McCloud and you have a unit that has the potential to be nation leading. This front seven will be the key to Miami’s season. Multiple players have the potential to be NFL Draft picks. The talent has an opportunity to make a big impact.

Records

Miami is very tough to predict this year, they have a tough opener against a rejuvenated Florida squad. After that the schedule opens up with multiple winnable games. Games against Virginia, Georgia Tech and Pitt will define the season.

Ceiling – 12-1 (Loss: ACC Title Game vs Clemson)

Floor – 8-4 (Losses: Florida, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Pitt)

Prediction – 10-3 (Losses: Florida, Pitt, ACC Title Game vs Clemson)

Image Athlon Sports

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