51 Days to Miami football: Versatile OL D.J. Scaife

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Junior D.J. Scaife has been the most versatile offensive lineman on the Miami football team in his first two seasons with the Hurricanes. Scaife has started at guard and tackle.

Junior D.J. Scaife is one of the most versatile offensive linemen for the Miami football team. Scaife has started 19 games at right tackle and one at right guard during his first two seasons with the Hurricanes. Scaife has been primarily at right tackle because of need. Scaife will enter his third season with Miami as a starter in 2020.

The addition of graduate transfer offensive tackle Jarrid Williams from Houston gives new Miami OL coach Garin Justice more flexibility than his predecessors had the last two seasons. Scaife or redshirt sophomore John Campbell will start as the tackle opposite Williams with the other slated for guard.

The decision by senior Navaughn Donaldson to redshirt in 2020 to rehabilitate from a severe knee injury suffered in the 2019 season finale against Duke opens up a spot on the offensive line. Scaife would a starter even with Donaldson back. The junior has been one of the Hurricanes’ best performers on the OL since 2018.

The versatility that Scaife brings to the Miami OL is a trait valued by most coaches and Justice appreciates his multi-dimensional skill set. Christopher Stock of Inside the U quoted Justice discussing the abilities Scaife provides Miami in April.

"“I think the issue people have with DJ is Scaife is such a very well-rounded offensive lineman physically as far as what he can do…He’s a guy who is long and athletic enough to play on the edge to play tackle, but he also has a strong enough base and is physical and strong enough to be an inside player.A guy like DJ is someone that you’d want to recruit because as an offensive line coach you’re trying to find the best five guys and fit them into the puzzle and put those best five guys on the field…We want to do everything we can with cross-training these guys and develop them where they can play multiple positions.A guy like DJ who has experience at both guard and tackle gives you some of that flexibility.”"

The ability for Scaife to play multiple positions on the OL will help him in the future as he prepares to play in the NFL. Scaife has the option of entering the 2021 NFL Draft but the likelihood is that he returns for his senior season. At 6’3 298 pounds, Scaife will likely be a guard as a professional.

Next. 52 Days to Miami football: Patrick Joyner and Cleveland Reed. dark

With Donaldson out in 2020, Scaife is the most experienced offensive linemen in the Miami program. The Hurricanes are much more experienced upfront in 2020 that they were in 2019 when true freshmen Zion Nelson and Jakai Clark combined to start all but one game. Scaife will help the Miami OL improve in 2020.