60 Days to Miami football: OT Zion Nelson could redshirt

ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 24: (L-R) Florida.(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 24: (L-R) Florida.(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Zion Nelson enters his second season in the Miami football program after starting all 13 games at left tackle as a true freshman in 2019.

Zion Nelson had an uneven season as a true freshman at left tackle for the Miami football team in 2019. Nelson started all 13 games but was wildly inconsistent beginning with the opening game of the season against Florida. Nelson allowed 12 sacks total in 2019, the worst among any Power Five offensive tackle.

That was nearly double the number of sacks allowed by Duke tackle Jacob Monk who allowed seven. Nelson is projected to be a backup in 2020. Houston graduate transfer Jarrid Williams will start at one tackle with junior D.J. Scaife or redshirt sophomore John Campbell the projected starter at the other tackle.

There has been speculation from multiple media outlets that cover the Miami football program that Nelson could take a redshirt season. Nelson had to put on nearly 35 pounds after entering Miami 6’5, 240 pounds. A redshirt season in 2020 would give Nelson a chance to continue to refine his body and technique.

Facing the elite Miami pass rush in practice every day would provide Nelson a chance to improve. Williams only has one season of eligibility with Miami. Nelson would return in 2021 with three seasons of eligibility remaining and a chance to regain his starting tackle position in 2021.

"Somehow, Miami’s OL group is legitimately deep now. DJ Scaife, Jakai Clark, Navaughn Donaldson, Zion Nelson, Jarrid Williams, Corey Gaynor and John Campbell all have started games, and Issiah Walker and Jalen Rivers are two of the best tackle prospects UM has landed in years.— David Wilson- Miami Herald"

A redshirt season for Nelson at this point is pure speculation. No one on the Miami coaching staff has hinted that Nelson taking a redshirt is a possibility. Linebacker Zach McCloud chose a redshirt season in 2019 when his snaps were diminished as the Hurricanes chose to utilize the striker position more often.

The offensive line was a weakness for the Miami football team in 2019. The lack of development from upperclassmen forced the Miami staff into starting Nelson as a true freshman who was graded as a three-star player coming out of high school. There is more depth and talent on the Miami offensive line in 2020.

Next. 62 Days to Miami football: Jarrid Williams steadies OL. dark

More help is coming as the Hurricanes have committed from talented 2021 recruits four-star offensive tackle Michael McLaughlin, four-star offensive guard Laurence Seymore and three-star center Ryan Rodriguez. The future for the Miami offensive line and Zion Nelson should be better than 2019.