Miami football: ESPN long term projection of UM good omen for future

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

After previously projecting the long term power rankings on offense, defense and quarterback, ESPN posted their overall team Football Power Index earlier this month. The Miami football program’s long term outlook under Manny Diaz is healthy.

When ESPN projected the long term future of the offense for Miami football in May Canes Warning examined what went into the mothership’s forecasting. The skill positions with the Hurricanes have a good long term future on offense. The Miami defense is led by the future of their defensive line.

Beyond 2019, ends Greg Rousseau and Jahfari Harvey and tackle Nesta Silvera give Miami’s defense a good base to build on for the future. A good young corps in the secondary will ensure that Miami’s backend is taken care of for the next two to three seasons.

The offense has tight ends Brevin Jordan and Mike Mallory, running backs Cam Harris, Lorenzo Lingard and Asa Martin and a stable of wide receivers for at least the next two seasons. New offensive coordinator Dan Enos should mold the Miami offense into a more productive unit than the last few seasons.

ESPN has a disparity between the Miami offense, defense and quarterbacks. Not surprisingly, they are much more confident in the future of the defense for the Miami football team than the outlook at QB and the offense overall. The keys to the success on offense will be the play at QB and on the offensive line.

The Hurricanes defensive line and secondary will be the strengths after the 2019 season. This fall the all senior linebacker corps of Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud plus their classmate Romeo Finley at striker will be the biggest influence on the Hurricanes defense.

Manny Diaz’s ascension to head coach from defensive coordinator is one reason that ESPN ranks Miami in the top 20 long term. Diaz fired former head coach Mark Richt’s entire offensive staff and most of his recruiting staff. Diaz’s new hires bode well for the future of Miami football.

"“18. Miami HurricanesFuture QB ranking: 24Future offense ranking: 25Future defense ranking: 13Scouting the Hurricanes: Miami surged to No. 13 in the 2018 team rankings after winning its first ACC Coastal Division title and reaching the Orange Bowl. A 7-6 season and coach Mark Richt’s surprising exit usually would damage the team’s outlook.But the school’s wise hire of Manny Diaz and a personnel picture that still looks promising keep the Hurricanes from a major drop. Diaz already had Miami’s defense on track…Though the unit loses significant players up front and at safety, notable returners include junior end Jonathan Garvin, junior cornerback Trajan Bandy, and senior linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney.Add younger players including tackle Nesta Silvera and future recruits — Miami’s 2020 class currently ranks No. 6 — and the Canes should consistently have one of the ACC’s best defenses.The bigger question is at quarterback, a spot that new coordinator Dan Enos will oversee. N’Kosi Perry and Ohio State transfer Tate Martell both have multiple years of eligibility left but also plenty to prove.Miami has good skill-position depth, as junior wideout Jeff Thomas stayed with the team and Buffalo wideout K.J. Osborn transferred in, but a very young line remains an area of concern.”"

The offensive line for the Miami football team could hold the key to success for 2019 and beyond. Four-star offensive linemen have not lived up to their potential. Center Corey Gaynor is the only offensive lineman entering 2019 nearly assured of what position he will be starting at this season.

Rising sophomore Delone Scaife and rising junior Navaughn Donaldson seem to be safe as starters on the offensive line. Nearly nine weeks before Miami takes the field against Florida in Orlando it’s not known what positions they will start at. Scaife is likely to start at left tackle and Donaldson at left guard.

Donaldson was a freshman All-American at right guard in 2017 and spent most of last season there after an abandoned attempt to play right tackle. Scaife ascended to right tackle after Donaldson was moved back to guard. With the left side of the offensive line moved on from 2018, Scaife and Donaldson are the best options there.

Next. ESPN ranks Miami offense one of 25 best in FBS. dark

The uncertainty of the play at QB is also a concern for the future of the Miami offense. Martell, Perry and Jarren Williams are all extremely talented but have yet to show they can carry or even manage a Power Five offense. Their success with an offensive line that protects them will go a long way towards the future of Miami football.