Miami Hurricanes Practice: Focus on Shuffling on Offensive Line, TE

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: Malcolm Lewis
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: Malcolm Lewis /

The offensive line is one of the focal points of the Miami Hurricanes this season. They struggled with injury and production some a season ago. Getting improvement up front will greatly help the success of the offense.

The Miami Hurricanes lost several offensive linemen from a season ago. Danny Isidora graduated and is now with the Minnesota Vikings, Sunny Odogwu moved onto UCLA as a Graduate Transfer. Nick Linder who was the starting center for most of 2016, is sitting out this season and likely to transfer for the 2018 season.

K.C. McDermott who projected as the starting left tackle sat out today with an unspecified injury. According to the Palm Beach Post, he was riding a stationary bike. Wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was continued to be out with a hamstring pull.

Head Coach Mark Richt said that they are hopeful he will return in time for the opener a week from Saturday against Bethune-Cookman. Today was the first practice since Saturday’s second scrimmage. McDermott’s status for the opener is also in question.

McDermott’s absence meant a shuffling around of the offensive line in Monday’s practice. Trevor Darling took McDermott’s place at left tackle. Freshman Corey Gaynor moved into Darling’s spot at left guard.

Gaynor is also listed as the backup at center behind starter Tyler Gauthier. Gaynor gives Offensive line coach Stacy Searles a lot of flexibility on the offensive line. His move to playing with the first team could be an indication the coaches consider him their best reserve at center or guard on the offensive line.

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  • Freshman Kai-Leon Herbert is highly regarded at tackle. He could be the top reserve outside on the offensive line. Herbert is highly regarded. He is at Miami after the Hurricanes were able to flip him from Michigan.

    Throughout camp one of the subplots has been the depth at tight end. Christopher Herndon IV is expected to have a big Senior year. He is the only experienced player that Miami has at the position.

    Herndon had 28 receptions for 334 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. That was as the secondary option at tight end behind David Njoku. Miami lost Njoku and 2016 leading receiver, Stacy Coley.

    Behind Herndon, the backups have been in flux. Sophomore walk-on Malik Curry was second on the chart last season.

    Sophomore Michael Irvin II was ahead of Curry on Monday. Irvin missed time suffering from dehydration problems early in camp. Freshman Brian Polendey continues to be the fourth string tight end.

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    The Hurricanes will continue to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. Their final scrimmage will be on Thursday. Miami will begin the season on September 2 at Hard Rock Stadium against Bethune-Cookman.