Miami football first-team depth chart no surprises for UAB

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 9: (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /
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Rebuilding most of the special teams for the Miami football program was a focus during the 2020 offseason. Adding graduate transfer kicker Jose Borregales from FIU is a huge upgrade for Miami.

The Hurricanes also had to rebuild their return game with none of the returning players having much experience returning kicks.

Lou Hedley steadied the putting for Miami in 2020. Hedley was 26th in FBS In 2019 averaging 43.88 yards per punt. Hedley was graded as the 36th best punter in FBS in 2019 according to Pro Football Focus. Hedley excelled at hang-time as the Hurricanes finished 28th nationally allowing 5.5 yards per punt return.

Junior Mark Pope will hope to pick up where graduate transfer K.J. Osborn left off returning punts in 2019. Miami was 10th nationally returning punts in 2019 averaging 14.24 yards per return. The Hurricanes were one of only three teams in the top 10 without a punt return for a TD. Pope has game-breaking potential.

Miami was mediocre in kickoff returns in 2019. Miami finished 68th averaging 20.44 yards per KOR without a TD. Getting better returns on kickoffs will help the Miami offense to have shorter drives. The Hurricanes quartet of Pope, Cam’Ron Harris, Jaylan Knighton, and Mike Harley provide multiple options returning kicks.

"Miami special teams depth chart KICKOFFS/FIELD GOALS 30 Jose Borregales (5-10, 205, R-Sr.) 45 Camden Price (6-1, 175, R-So.) PUNTER 94 Lou Hedley (6-4, 220, R-Jr.) 87 Matias Gasc (5-10, 180, R-Sr.) LONG SNAPPER 58 Clay James (5-9, 196, R-So.) 49 Mason Napper (6-2, 225, R-Fr.) HOLDER 94 Lou Hedley (6-4, 230, R-So.) 87 Matias Gasc (5-10, 180, R-Sr.) PUNT RETURNER 6 Mark Pope (6-0, 172, Jr.) 26 Gurvan Hall, Jr. (6-0, 194, Jr.) 7 Xavier Restrepo (5-10, 196, Fr.) KICK RETURNER 6 Mark Pope (6-0, 172, Jr.) 23 Cam’Ron Harris (5-10, 210,Jr.) 3 Mike Harley (5-10, 180, Sr.) 4 Jaylan Knighton (5-10, 190, Fr.)"

The competition for positions and showcasing skillsets in training camp and scrimmages is over. After an extremely long offseason, the Miami football team finally gets a chance to compete against another team with the season kickoff against UAB on Thursday. The Blazers travel to Hard Rock Stadium 1-0.

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UAB defeated Central Arkansas 45-35 in a game that was not nearly as close as the score indicated according to Miami football head coach Manny Diaz. The Blazers turned it over three times which was also a problem in 2020. The turnover chain should make a few appearances on Thursday night.