Miami football players who have chance with injured players out for spring

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

In addition to quarterback D’Eriq King; cornerback Al Blades Jr., defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera and tight end Will Mallory will miss spring football for the Miami football team. Blades is continuing to get healthy from myocarditis suffered as a side effect from contacting COVID last fall and Mallory and Silvera have shoulder injuries.

Those four being out for spring will provide other players with a chance to make an impression. It has been known since King tore his ACL in December that he would not be ready to compete until August at the earliest. The QB unit for the Miami football team behind King was uncertain after the end of the 2020 season.

N’Kosi Perry performed well against Oklahoma State in the Cheez-it Bowl in relief of King. With two seasons of eligibility remaining, it was not surprising when Perry decided to transfer during the offseason. Redshirt freshman Peyton Matocha, freshman Tyler Van Dyke and 2021 signee Jake Garcia are behind King.

Garcia, Matocha and Van Dyke will compete for snaps during 2021 spring practice. Matocha has two career completions in four attempts with two carries for five yards. Van Dyke had no completions in two attempts and one carry for a loss of seven yards in two appearances in 2020.

Garcia enters with high expectations. King is expected to be ready for the opener against Alabama. A strong showing from their QB unit this spring is important for Miami to establishing a backup behind King. Miami had a luxury with an experienced Perry behind King last season. That will not be the case in 2021.

Miami was thin at CB in 2020 with only five scholarship players. The Hurricanes should have eight in 2021. All five CBs return from 2020 with the addition of Georgia transfer Tyrique Stevenson and 2021 signee Malik Curtis to team up with freshman Jalen Harrell who is moving to CB after being a safety in 2020.

Stevenson is expected to be one starter at CB for Miami in 2021. Opposite Stevenson, Blades is expected to compete with 2020 starter D.J. Ivey. Te’Cory Couch is projected to be the slot CB for Miami in 2021. Curtis was not an early enrollee and will not participate in spring practice. Harrell has a critical spring in front of him.

The move to CB and with Curtis not being available, Harrell will have a chance to compete with freshmen Marcus Clarke and Isaiah Dunson to move up the depth chart. Blades, Couch, Ivey and Stevenson are expected to be the top four CBs for Miami this fall. Spring gives the other four a chance to show their skills.

Defensive tackle will be one of the deepest and most experienced positions on the Miami football roster in 2021. Silvera is a player with a high ceiling. Entering his fourth season with the Hurricanes, Silvera will compete with

Jon Ford


Jared Harrison-Hunte

to start at DT. A few players will complete for second-team snaps.

Jalar Holley, Jordan Miller, Elijah Roberts, and Quentin Williams will contend for their spots on the depth chart behind Ford, Harrison-Hunte and Silvera. For the spring, Ford and Harrison-Hunte will be Miller who has 23 career tackles, 3.5 tackle for loss and 0.5 sacks in two seasons with the Miami football program.

Holley in two seasons and Roberts and Williams in their one year had limited playing time in 2020. Five-star 2021 DT signee Leonard Taylor is likely to be a factor in the rotation in 2021. Taylor is not an early enrollee. If the top four DTs Miami rotation is Harrison-Hunte, Ford, Silvera and Taylor the Hurricanes will be tough inside in 2021.

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Mallory will clearly be the main tight end in 2021. Four-star freshman Elijah Arroyo who is an early enrollee will compete with Larry Hodges and Dominic Mammerelli for first-team snaps during the spring at TE. Arroyo is the most athletic of the three and most likely to earn snaps behind Mallory this fall.