Miami football could use two-way players in 2020

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami football program could have to use players on offense and defense depending on how the roster evolves due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020 season.

In a zoom session with reporters on Tuesday, Miami football head coach Manny Diaz acknowledged that the Hurricanes and their ACC rivals might have to use players on offense and defense if a roster loses players to COVID-19 or injury throughout the season. The Hurricanes are prepared if that happens.

Diaz did not specify if any of the Hurricanes players have cross-trained on the other side of the ball or who might have been getting reps at other positions. Co-Defensive coordinator Ephraim Banda stated last month that Miami players on defense who are versatile will be more valuable to the Hurricanes in 2020.

Conversations about players playing offense and defense have been discussed in the ACC according to Diaz. Diaz states that there is not a specific number on the roster than teams will be able to play with. A lot will depend on the position and if a specific position is impacted more than another because of COVID-19.

It is tough to speculate which Miami players can play both offense and defense. Many did during high school. Freshmen, wide receiver Xavier Restrepo and cornerback Marcus Clarke were both standouts on offense and defense in high school and could be used to play both ways. Multiple players will practice on offense and defense.

"It’s something that has been discussed in [the Atlantic Coast Conference]. I don’t think there’s a broad, exact number because a lot of it has to do with what position. You could have 100 guys, but if none of the 100 play offensive line, for example, then it’s very difficult to play a game.We have discussed some of those measures of what they would be as a league. I know from our league, we are committed to play unless it just becomes to the point where you can’t.We’re all aware of that, and that’s why we’ve been telling our players, ‘This could be a year where a defensive player has to play offense and vice-versa’ — you know, a wideout has to play DB, someone has to play this position, that position, and you kind of have fun doing it.I think we’re all ready for that, and in the meantime just continue to do what we’re doing off the field to keep our testing going the way that it’s been going and limit the contact tracing.”"

The Miami football team has eight days before their season opener against UAB. The Blazers play their season opener on Thursday night against Central Arkansas. The Bears played their season opener on Saturday against Austin Peay. Those are all factors that play into the potential of spreading COVID-19.

Diaz and the Miami football staff have been one of the most diligent in college football in keeping their players safe from contacting COVID. Some of that will be out of the coaching staff’s hands. As the season progresses the Miami coaching staff is taking a proactive approach in case they lose players at certain positions.

Next. Miami 2020 best and worst case scenarios. dark

It will be an interesting situation to watch which players become the most versatile for the Miami football program. The 2020 college football season very likely could become one of attrition for the 76 FBS teams playing this fall. Having a versatile roster as Banda stated will be critical for a successful 2020.