How Miami football moves on from Jeremiah Payton and Cameron Williams

Apr 20, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program is moving on from wide receiver Jeremiah Payton and defensive end Cameron Williams according to multiple reports. Payton is taking a leave of absence for personal reasons according to Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz. Williams did not meet academic standards per Diaz.

Payton was impressive at times with the scout team in the past few seasons, but only had six receptions for 58 yards. Last season, Payton had five receptions for 35 yards. In two seasons, Williams has eight tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup. All but one tackle came last season.

Diaz left the possibility for Payton to return to the Miami football team in the future. Miami also lost defensive tackle Jalar Holley earlier during the summer. Diaz reported that the entry into the transfer portal by Holley was precipitated by his failure to live up to the same unspecified academic standards.

Payton was one of a group of WRs on the Miami Hurricanes roster expected to challenge for snaps behind Mike Harley and Charleston Rambo who are expected to be the primary wideouts in 2021. Williams was competing to become a significant part of the rotation at DE as Miami seeks a new group of edge rushers in 2021.


was an elite signee for Miami in 2018. Payton was the 54th ranked player, 10th ranked WR and ninth in Florida in 2018. Diaz provided the information about Holley, Payton and Williams during his meeting with reporters following the first practice of training camp on Friday. Payton could eventually return.

"“We’re kind of supporting him through that..Don’t know what that means for him in his future, but right now, wherever he’s at, football is not something that he can devote himself to, so we’re going to give him space to kind of be in that area.”"

The Miami football program is allowing Payton to take of himself and get in a space for him to be ready to play again if he chooses. Without Payton, Miami has several young WRs with an increased chance for playing time. Second-year WR Xavier Restrepo was expected to earn significant playing before Payton stepped away.

Michael Redding III, Keyshawn Smith and Daz Worsham all signed with Restrepo in 2020 and will have varying levels of participation for the Miami football team in 2020. Miami returns 2020 starters Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins who will be challenged in 2021. The Hurricanes also signed four WRs in the Class of 2021.

dark. Next. Miami offense should benefit from continuity

Miami has less depth at DE to absorb the loss of Williams. De Andre Johnson and Zach McCloud are the projected starters for Miami at DE. Chantz Williams and Jahfari Harvey are the main backups with swing defensive lineman Elijah Roberts potentially part of the rotation. Miami signed two DEs in the Class of 2021.