Four Days until Miami football: Jaylan Knighton and Keontra Smith

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 06: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Freshman running back Jaylan Knighton and sophomore striker Keontra Smith add depth to the Miami football team in 2020.

Depth will be critical throughout college football in 2020 and freshman running back Jaylan Knighton and sophomore striker Keontra Smith will be key reserves for the Miami football team this season. Knighton is expected to open the season as the second-team RB and Smith will backup Gilbert Frierson at Striker.

Knighton has been one of the most productive Miami players during the Hurricanes three scrimmages getting ready for the 2020 season. The freshman had grasped the Rhett Lashlee offense quickly and has shown elite ability as a runner and receiver. Knighton will backup junior Cam’Ron Harris.

Harris, Knighton and freshman Don Chaney Jr. have the potential to form what can be a vastly improved and productive Miami rushing offense. The Hurricanes were one of the worst rushing offenses in college football in 2019. Add QB D’Eriq King and Miami should be able to move the ball on the ground consistently.

Smith enters his second season in the Miami football program after playing in seven games in 2019, mostly on special teams. As a freshman, Smith contributed two tackles. Frierson had 15 tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception and three pass breakups as the second-team striker behind Romeo Finley in 2019.

Smith was moved from safety to striker ahead of spring practice in 2020. The Hurricanes only conducted four practices this spring. Smith has had a chance to learn what will be expected of him a striker this fall during training camp. Frierson has not officially been named the starter yet, but is the favorite to earn first-team.

Next. Jaylan Knighton true freshman All-American. dark

As Miami prepares in their last few days before beginning the season on Thursday night against UAB, Knighton and Smith are both expected to make an impact for the Miami football team in 2020. The uncertainty about who will be available from week to week makes depth critical for the Hurricanes this season.