Miami Hurricanes hold 2017 football awards banquet

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02: Chad Thomas /
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CHARLOTTE, NC – DECEMBER 02: The Clemson Tigers and Miami Hurricanes participate in the coin toss to start the ACC Football Championship at Bank of America Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

"2017 Captains’ Awards – WR Braxton Berrios, DL Chad Thomas, K Michael Badgley, DB Jaquan Johnson Special Teams Most Valuable Player – K Michael Badgley Offensive Most Valuable Player – WR Braxton Berrios Defensive Most Valuable Player – DL RJ McIntosh Jack Harding Award (Most Valuable Player) – DB Jaquan Johnson"

The number of underclassmen and players that received awards who are returning for the 2018 season is encouraging. Berrios, Herndon and Mark Walton are definitely gone after the season. Cornerback Michael Jackson might consider turning pro. There has been a lot of speculation that Norton and McIntosh might turn pro as well.

Wide receiver Jeff Thomas is the player most likely to benefit the most next season from the targets that Berrios received this season. Even if Norton and/or McIntosh turn pro next season, Willis will receive plenty of snaps in 2018. The Hurricanes at least lose backup defensive tackle, Anthony Moten.

Miami also loses Harris and Thomas at defensive end. Joe Jackson should be ready to challenge for All-ACC and potentially All-American next season. Freshmen Jonathan Garvin and Junior Demetrius Jackson should rotate with Joe Jackson at defensive end.

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Despite the loses Miami will incur after this season the future is bright. The talent that returns for 2018 will be joined by a top-five recruiting class.