Miami football adding Jaylan Knighton on KOR adds explosiveness

Louisville Vs Miami 2020
Louisville Vs Miami 2020 /

Naming Jaylan Knighton as the top kick returner for the Miami football team could be a boost that the Hurricanes need on special teams.

Freshman running back Jaylan Knighton who has been one of the most explosive Miami football players this season is listed as the top kick returner on the Hurricanes depth chart for the game Friday night at North Carolina State. Knighton has one kick return this season for 16 yards. Miami is 65th in KOR average at 19.57.

Miami is 95th averaging 22.8 kickoff return yards per game. Special teams coach Jonathan Patke appeared on Hurricane Hotline last week on WQAM to discuss his unit and stated putting Knighton on kickoff returns is being done because Miami is missing explosive returns on special teams.

Knighton had two kickoff returns for 44 yards and two punts for 34 yards at Deerfield Beach High School. Knighton’s former Deerfield Beach and Miami classmate, Xavier Restrepo is listed as the primary Miami punt returner on the depth chart for NC State. Miami doesn’t have a kickoff return touchdown since the Miracle in Durham.

Knighton has four runs this season of 10 or more yards and one of 20 or more. As a received, Knighton has three catches that went for 15 or more yards and one of 25 or more. The one long reception was a memorably 75-yard TD catch against Louisville. The same explosiveness on kickoff returns would be a huge boost to the offense.

"“We really want Jaylon Knighton back there…Obviously, he muffed the one, his first live kick. No panic from us. We trust him. We know how electric he is. That’s the guy we want. But we know Mark Pope can do it. Mike Harley calms down Jaylon back there, making sure he fields it cleanly.One thing we’re missing on the return units is that explosive return.”"

Pope and Gurvan Hall are listed as the backups to Restrepo on punt returns. Harley, Cam’Ron Harris and Pope are listed behind Knighton on kickoff returns. Pope is an explosive player but has had lost two fumbles/muffs on punt returns this season. Special teams turnovers can completely deflate a team.

Next. Jaylan Knighton can add explosiveness on KOR. dark

Pope is averaging 22.2 yards per kickoff return but has just 46 yards on seven punt returns. Hall has one kickoff return for 10 yards and Restrepo two punt returns for just eight yards. Knighton becoming the lead kickoff returner for Miami is the right move and hopefully will improve field position for the Miami football team.