Miami Hurricanes AD expects football future roster management issues

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes football program could have roster management issues in the future because of the extra year of eligibility granted to 2020 fall sports athletes according to Athletic Director Blake James.

The extra year of eligibility granted to all 2020 fall sports athletes could create roster management issues for the Miami Hurricanes football program according to athletic director Blake James. James spoke to the Miami football announcing team Joe Zagazki and Don Bailey Jr. on WQAM Friday morning

Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald transcribed extensive parts of the interview. James went into detail that the seniors who return to the Miami Hurricanes football program will not count against the scholarship limit of 85. In 2021 through potentially 2024 is when Miami might have issues with roster management.

Miami has a small senior class with only nine players. Several Miami Hurricanes football players will have decisions to make about whether or not to return for 2021. The player on almost everyone’s mind is quarterback D’Eriq King. The entire outlook for Miami in 2021 will change if King decides to return.

King will be hindered in the draft process by his height around 5’9. King could decide to return to Miami for his second season which would be sixth in college. King entered Houston in 2016 and redshirted in 2019 before transferring to Miami. It seems more likely currently that King would leave for the NFL Draft.

"“The seniors that decide to come back won’t count against that 85 number. So, look at the most obvious one. If D’Eriq King were to decide that it’s the right decision for him to come to the University of Miami for the 2021 football season, his one scholarship doesn’t count against our number.Some of it will be taken care of from that perspective — that you have the seniors that don’t count against your number…I don’t think it will be as big of an issue as you illustrated, although I do think there could be some roster management issues…The first year probably won’t be as difficult…Years 2, 3 and 4 will be more difficult because at that point you do count all those numbers and as you said you’re getting a do-over this year so this freshman class basically will double in size when we sign those 25 guys either here in December or at the signing date in February.I do know we’ll get to 25 we’re bringing in now, whether all of them will be through signing and some of them through transfers, I think that’s still to be seen. There will be some management challenges but probably not to the level that there potentially could be.Because of natural decisions that are made and the NCAA giving us the ability for kids in their fourth or fifth year to not count against their numbers.”"

If King does leave for the NFL Miami seems likely to look for a QB in the transfer portal again. Freshman Tyler Van Dyke probably needs another year to mature beyond this season. Miami also has redshirt junior N’Kosi Perry and redshirt freshman Peyton Matocha on the roster at QB.

The other prominent scholarship seniors with decisions about returning for the 2021 season include offensive tackle Jarrid Williams, wide receiver Mike Harley, defensive tackle Jon Ford, linebacker Zach McCloud and safety Amari Carter. They all face different situations and draft projections.

Williams is in his sixth season in college after transferring from Houston following King. McCloud redshirted in 2019 with diminishing playing time and to provide Miami some experience at linebacker this season. Harley, Ford and Carter are all fourth-year seniors whose draft status is not secure.

McCloud is the most likely to be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. With an uneven 2020 season, McCloud has potentially played himself out of the draft and into being an undrafted free agent. If McCloud returns in 2021 and has a redemptive season, he could play himself into a high third-day draft pick.

Whether or not McCloud wants to return for a sixth season of college football will be a difficult decision. Williams faces a similar decision and would have a nearly unprecedented seventh season on a college football roster. Williams received two medical redshirt seasons at Houston. Carter, Harley and Ford traditional decisions.

Next. ACC has options after Wake Forest cancels vs. Miami December 5. dark

Harley has improved significantly this season to become the go-to receiver for King since Brevin Jordan missed three games earlier in the year.  Another season in college of being a productive receive can only help Harley’s draft status. Carter and Ford are borderline NFL Draft picks who would need huge 2021s to move up