Miami Hurricanes OL projections without Navaughn Donaldson

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 23 (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 23 (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes 2020 offensive line continues to evolve during the offseason with the announcement on Wednesday that Navaughn Donaldson will redshirt this fall.

The Miami Hurricanes offensive line had another sizeable shift on Wednesday when senior Navaughn Donaldson announced his plans to redshirt in 2020. Donaldson is recovering from a severe knee injury he suffered in the final regular-season game of 2019 that he is still recovering from.

Donaldson missed Miami’s December Independence Bowl loss to Louisiana Tech and the four spring practices the Hurricanes held in March. It has been widely speculated the Donaldson was going to miss the beginning of the 2020 season. Donaldson has the option of playing in four games in 2020 and maintaining his redshirt.

Miami can let Donaldson continue to rehabilitate his knee and keep the option of returning for four games towards the end of the 2020 season depending on how the Hurricanes are playing. Donaldson could also decide to take the entire 2020 season off to solely concentrate on working on getting healthy.

There is a multitude of options of the Miami offensive line with Donaldson choosing to sit out in 2020. Redshirt senior center Corey Gaynor seems to be the only Miami Hurricanes player locked into a position for 2020. Junior D.J. Scaife and Houston graduate transfer offensive lineman Jerrid Williams are likely starters.

Williams commited to Miami last month after announcing his intention to enter the transfer portal earlier this year. Williams and Miami quarterback D’Eriq King played together at Houston from 2016-’19. After projecting the offensive line with Williams’ addition last month it is time for another update.

Williams played in 28 games at Houston with 17 starts at right tackle and two at left. Miami will likely determine which offensive tackle position best suits Williams and go from there. Either Scaife or redshirt sophomore offensive tackle John Campbell will be the starter at the other tackle.

Scaife will almost certainly be a starter at either guard or tackle for Miami. That would leave one starting spot on the Miami Hurricanes offensive line with many candidates. Sophomores, Jakai Clark and Zion Nelson started 12 and 13 games for Miami at right guard last season an left tackle.

Neither Clark nor Nelson is guaranteed to start on the Miami OL in 2020, but both should be expected to be in the mix for playing time in the rotation. Other veterans to watch are junior guard Cleveland Reed, redshirt junior OL Kai-Leon Herbert, redshirt sophomore Adam ElGammal and redshirt freshman Ousmane Traore.

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Freshmen Jalen Rivers and Issiah Walker could also figure into the mix. Both enter college projected at OT but could play guard as freshmen. Walker would have to get a waiver after spending the spring semester at Florida. The Miami OL has to improve from 2019 but has depth to withstand the loss of Donaldson.