Miami football issue is development not lack of talent

Sep 18, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team ranks 13th on the 247 Sports 2021 team talent composite. Of the 2021 Miami opponents, Alabama is first, Michigan State 36th and Appalachian State 96th. Based on the talent composite Miami should have defeated Michigan State and Appalachian State should have been much easier than it was.

Miami has the talent to win between eight and 10 games per season. The problem has been systemic. Miami is not developing its players based on the talent on its roster. With 19 returning starters and the 13th most talented roster in college football, Miami should be performing at a much higher level.

Among the programs ranked ahead of Miami, fifth-ranked LSU, number 10 USC and 11 Texas have all struggled in recent seasons. LSU is two years removed from a national championship but fell to 5-5 last season. Miami, LSU, Texas and USC are among the greatest programs in college football history.

Miami has five-star freshmen defensive tackle Leonard Taylor and safety James Williams, 43 four-star players and 38 three-star players on its roster. Based on the talent the Miami football team has on its roster, the players are not developing or performing to their full potential. Miami has usually signed top 20 classes.

Miami signed the 11th ranked class in 2021, 17th in 2020 and 27th in 2019 which was Manny Diaz’s first class as head coach but more attributable to his predecessor and mentor Mark Richt. The 2018 Miami class was ranked eighth nationally. The 2018 Class never came close to living up to that ranking.

Entering what should be their fourth season, only 13 of the 23 2018 signees remain with Miami. Greg Rousseau who was a three-star signee in 2018 was a 2021 first-round NFL Draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. Brevin Jordan was a fifth-round pick of the Houston Texas in this year’s NFL Draft.

The other eight players Miami signed in 2018 have transferred to other programs. Consensus five-star running back Lorenzo Lingard who is now at Florida has 29 career carries for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Prior to a severe knee injury as a true freshman with Miami in 2018, Lingard had 17 carries for 136 yards and two TDs

Players have shown promise and then often regressed. Wide receiver Mark Pope was a borderline five-star signee in 2018 but has been beaten out by 2020 three-star signee Key’Shawn Smith in 2021. Dee Wiggins who signed with Pope in 2018 has also seen a significant reduction in playing time.

Next. Miami plummets in ESPN Football Power Index. dark

Miami had seven All-ACC players in 2020, four in 2019 and six in 2018. The talent Miami does not match the All-ACC performers. In 2020 kicker Jose Borregales and defensive end Jaelan Phillips and in 2019, DE Greg Rousseau earned All-American. The development of the Miami football players should start being questioning.