Manny Diaz praises Miami Hurricanes freshman RBs as explosive in scrimmage

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Miami Hurricanes freshmen running backs Don Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton were explosive in the first scrimmage of training camp ahead of the 2020 season according to head coach Manny Diaz.

The Miami Hurricanes have a bright future at running back with freshmen Don Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton. Chaney Jr. and Knighton showed explosiveness in the first scrimmage of training camp according to head coach Manny Diaz. Diaz issued about a four-minute statement on the sidelines following the scrimmage.

Most of the focus entering the scrimmage and the 2020 Miami Hurricanes season is on the offense, new coordinator Rhett Lashlee and quarterback D’Eriq King. Chaney and Knighton showed on Sunday night they are ready to come in and make an immediate impact. Both built on a great first week of training camp.

Diaz stated that Chaney carried the ball 11 times for 57 yards and a TD and seemed to run with toughness and determination. Knighton had 10 carries for 126 yards and a TD. Chaney and Knighton both have the ability to in Diaz’s words make things happen in the open field. Expect big runs from the freshmen in 2020.

Chaney and Knighton will be competing for carries this season with junior Cam Harris who is the projected first-team RB and redshirt junior Robert Burns who is expected to be more of a short-yardage back for the Hurricanes in 2020. Diaz summarized the first game setting for Chaney and Knighton.

"“They both had a great camp so it just it just made sense that they’d have a great night tonight.  Chaney 11 for 57 and a touchdown, Knighton 10 for 126 and a TD. Both guys explosive runs. Chaney with some good hard runs up some short yardage stuff.Both of them had the ability when they got out in the open field to make things happen .They both had a touchdown. So again they both had a great camp. It was great to see them get out here….Their first couple carries a little bit of okay, but once they got comfortable you could really see them, see their explosion."

Chaney and Knighton provide Miami with depth and additional skill sets at RB in 2020. Without them, the Hurricanes would be woefully thin at RB. Expect the four-star freshmen duo to make an impact for the Hurricanes this fall. Miami lost DeeJay Dallas to the NFL a year early and redshirt sophomore RB Lorenzo Lingard to transfer.

Next. Miami expects OL to solidify after first scrimmage. dark

Lingard is now at Florida. That leaves Miami with Harris, Chaney, Knighton and Burns. Many expect Knighton to be the third-down specialist for Miami. In the Lashlee offense, Knighton has the skills to thrive. Chaney gives Miami a bit more power and size at 5’10, 210 pounds, Knighton is 5’10 190 and provides more speed.