Lorenzo Lingard listed as top three breakout candidate for the Miami Hurricanes

TALLAHASSEE OCTOBER 7: Running back Mark Walton
TALLAHASSEE OCTOBER 7: Running back Mark Walton /
2 of 3

The compliments didn’t stop with coach Brown, starting quarterback Malik Rosier said:

"“Lorenzo definitely stands out….the big thing with him is he’s a rookie. You can tell he’s fast, he’s explosive, and once he figures out what he’s doing on every play, he’s going to be a freak.”"

Even former Hurricanes running back and current Cincinnati Bengals rookie Mark Walton commented saying:

"“He’s still new to the offense, but once he gets a hang of everything, he’s going to be a very special talent. He does a great job with his cutbacks, finding open lanes. He’s got some vision. He was hitting the hole very well.”"

Related Story: Miami Hurricanes Travis Homer one of ACC's best big play RBs

Despite having elite physical gifts and impressing at times, it was clear that Lingard lacked experience. Regarding the running back competition towards the end of spring practice, coach Brown said:

"“Lorenzo is obviously very talented, has all the gifts to be an every down tailback. He’s trying to learn what we do. He’s the only new buy I have in my room, so I know it’s frustrating for him that everyone else knows what to do, how to do it, and he’s like ‘Coach is on me every single day.’ He’s doing well, getting better. I ‘m in his ear every single snap to just relax and play confident like he did his whole life, let his talent shine and make the most of his opportunities. He has all the physical gifts in the world to be successful. Just trying to learn how to operate in the offense when it comes to our footwork, our techniques, our coaching points. Pass protection is the hardest part about learning tailback.”"

Related Story: Miami FB finalist for five-star 2020 running back Kendall Milton

Lingard ended spring practice rushing for 12 yards on six attempts in the spring game.

miami hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes 2017 Rushing Attack

The Miami Hurricanes were not an elite rushing team last year. Rushing struggles coupled with thin depth at running back should grant Lingard opportunities to carry the ball.

Nationally, the Hurricanes finished the 2017 season ranked 71st in the FBS in rushing. Miami totaled 2,090 rushing yards, averaging 160.8 yards per game and five yards per rush.

In the ACC, Miami ranked ninth out of 14 teams in rushing. The Hurricanes also had trouble gaining first downs on the ground. Miami’s 106 rushing first down’s ranked 12th in the ACC.

The Miami Hurricanes were in the bottom half in rushing touchdowns and struggled tremendously with a time of possession. Miami’s 19 rushing touchdown’s tied for ninth in the ACC. The Hurricanes average of 26:30 in time of possession was last in the ACC.