Manny Diaz calls 2021 early enrollee TE Elijah Arroyo exciting prospect

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 09: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Tight end Elijah Arroyo has a chance to earn significant playing time as a freshman after the departure of junior Brevin Jordan for the 2021 NFL Draft. Arroyo is the latest signee for Miami at TE who can thrive on offense in multiple positions. Head coach Manny Diaz calls Arroyo an exciting prospect.

Junior Will Mallory will be the starter for Miami at TE in 2021. Mallory has shown improvement every year with career highs of 22 receptions for 329 yards and four touchdowns in 2020. Arroyo and Mallory have the potential to provide matchup problems for opponents in 2021. Arroyo will lineup in multiple places.

Arroyo was a dominant receiver the last two seasons for Independence High School in Frisco, Texas. Arroyo had 79 receptions for 1,338 receiving yards and 18 TDs in 23 games in 2019 and 2020. In 10 games in 2020, Arroyo recorded 31 receptions for 690 yards and 13 TDs. Arroyo can make an impact as a freshman.

Arroyo will compete with redshirt sophomore Larry Hodges and freshman Dominick Mammerelli for playing time. Neither Hodges nor Mammerelli made an impact in 2020. Arroyo should be expected to pass both of them on the depth chart as early as in spring practice. Diaz was quoted by Inside the U discussing Arroyo.

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"“Elijah Arroyo, tight end from Texas and this is a really, really exciting prospect. A great story of a young man who actually lived in South Florida when he was around kindergarten-age, moved out to Texas, and now has a chance to come back to the 305 and play for the Hurricanes.You want to talk about a special making plays down the field. He lines up as an X-receiver, shakes a defensive back, and then a one-handed catch over the head in the corner of the end zone.It felt like every week this year (2020) he was making play after play, multiple-touchdown games throughout the year, can make tough catches over the middle and then can stretch a defense over the top and then the run after catch. Can make the catch, turn 10-yard plays into long touchdowns.His ability to be another creative for (offensive coordinator) coach (Rhett) Lashlee to play in the box at tight end, but also can be a wide receiver that our quarterbacks can get down the field. It just gives you so many options what you can do as an offensive play-caller.Excited to get him in our program, excited about the kind of guy he is, and I think he can be a great addition to our offense.”"

With Lashlee running the Miami offense, Arroyo will be utilized to his best abilities. As Manny Diaz said, expect Arroyo to be lined up at both TE and WR. Jordan most often lined up in the slot last season, followed by TE and in the backfield. Mallory had a near balance between lining up at TE and in the slot followed by the backfield.

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Lashlee showed in his first season as the Miami defensive coordinator he wants to run a diverse offense with multiple formations and players frequently lining up in different places to keep the opponent deciphering what the Hurricanes will do. The likely combination of Arroyo and Mallory will allow Lashlee to continue that trend.