Miami football 2021 signee Khalil Brantley brings versatility

Sep 8, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Tight End U will continue to live on over the next few seasons. Will Mallory is entering his senior season but has two seasons of eligibility remaining due to the NCAA not counting the 2020 season because of COVID-19. Freshmen Elijah Arroyo and Khalil Brantley provide the Miami football program a pair of TEs in 2021.

The Miami football staff believes that Brantley is much better than his rankings of the 811th player overall, the 42nd ranked TE and 103rd in Florida in the Class of 2021. Brantley brings good size at 6’1.5 190 pounds and good speed with a 4.89 4o-yard dash time at TE. It might take him a year or two to break the rotation.

Mallory and Arroyo are expected to be the main TEs in the rotation in 2021. Larry Hodges and Dominic Mammerelli are behind them. Brantley should challenge Hodges and Mamerelli for snaps. Once Brantley becomes part of the rotation he will likely be used similarly to how former Miami TE Brevin Jordan was.

Head coach Manny Diaz was quoted earlier this week by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald comparing Brantley to a wide receiver. Jordan was adept at running post patterns and creating plays from short passes into longer gains. Brantley is expected to be a matchup problem who can line up throughout the formation.

"“You’re talking about a natural pass-catcher, a guy you can line up in multiple places and be a match-up problem for the defense…With his speed, similar to what you see with a wide receiver, he can take a five-yard play and turn it into an explosive touchdown. Great hands, great knack for getting open.A guy that has flexibility. You can line him up as an outside receiver. Has strong hands. In a spread offense, the creativity we’ve had using our tight ends and all the ways Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory have been able to terrorize defenses. We think with the addition of Kahlil it could be the same thing.”"

As a junior for Miami Northwestern in 2019, Brantley had 28 receptions for 626 yards and eight touchdowns. Brantley’s production showed the ability to make the big plays that Diaz mentions. In the Rhett Lashlee offense, Brantley can make an impact in the Miami football program beyond his rankings as a three-star signee.

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Miami will have to replace the 38 receptions for 576 yards and eight TDs that Jordan had in 2020. Mallory is expected to replace a lot of the production that Jordan had in 2020 with Arroyo as the second team TE. At TE U and with Lashlee as the offensive coordinator, Miami should continue to be strong at TE.