Miami Hurricanes TE Will Mallory 2022 return right decision

Nov 6, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes fourth-year junior tight end Will Mallory announced on Wednesday he will return for his final season in 2022. Mallory is taking advantage of the extra season granted to all NCAA athletes during the COVID year in 2020-21. Mallory has had an inconsistent 2021 season.

Mallory has 19 receptions for 214 yards and three TDs this season. After getting off to a slow start, Mallory has nine receptions for 139 yards and both of his TDs in the last two games. The career highs Mallory set in 2020 with 22 receptions for 329 yards. Mallory has a good chance of equaling his career-high of four TD receptions.

The departure of former Miami TE Brevin Jordan to the 2021 NFL Draft projected big things for Mallory in 2021. That has not happened. With Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback for Miami, Mallory is starting to somewhat reach those projections. Van Dyke teamed Mallory for game-clinching first down conversions the last two games.

With another year and more consistency, Mallory could have a chance to eclipse the career-high numbers that Jordan set in 2020 with 38 receptions for 576 yards and seven TDs. The decision by Mallory to return in 2022 means adds to the four TEs on the roster with remaining eligibility after the 2021 season.

True freshmen Elijah Arroyo and Khalil Brantley, second-year freshman Dominick Mammerelli and third-year, redshirt freshman Larry Hodges provide the Miami Hurricanes with a deep TE corps. It would not be surprising if Hodges or Mammerelli decided to transfer after this season to find more playing time elsewhere.

Arroyo has been the primary backup to Mallory this season. The first TD reception for Arroyo of his collegiate career came against Pittsburgh two games ago. Hodges has been the third-team TE for Miami this season. Brantley has a bright future as a receiving TE for Miami once Mallory moves on.

Mammerelli is more of a blocking TE. Mallory should continue to be part of a Miami offense that has developed a lot with young players. The Hurricanes are likely to lose running back Cam’Ron Harris after the season. Harris sustained a season-ending knee injury in the loss at North Carolina last month.

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Harris is a fourth-year junior with one more season of eligibility remaining. Miami will lose Mike Harley at wide receiver and Charleston Rambo will likely enter the NFL Draft with the success he has had this season.  Another year of development in the Miami offense will help Mallory significantly for the 2023 NFL Draft.