Miami Hurricanes WR Brashard Smith could get snaps at RB

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The losses of Don Chaney Jr. and Tre’Vonte Citizen for an unspecified amount of time could propel new Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and running backs coach Kevin Smith to give wide receiver Brashard Smith snaps at the position. Miami is down to three scholarship RBs without Chaney and Citizen.

The injury to Chaney to less serious than Citizen who head coach Mario Cristobal stated last week suffered a significant injury. Following an injury to starting RB Mark Walton in 2017, the Miami offensive staff moved true freshman DeeJay Dallas to RB. Dallas eventually led Miami in rushing as a junior in 2018 before leaving for the NFL.

Smith is an explosive, versatile player who had to move from WR to being a run-oriented quarterback after an injury at the position for Palmetto in 2020. As a senior Smith had 20 carries for 122 yards and one touchdown. As a junior in 2019, Smith had 36 receptions for 628 yards and 13 TDs.

Miami finished the second half of the 2021 season with three healthy RBs. Jaylan Knighton assumed the majority of the carries in the second half of 2021 with 561 yards rushing on 3.9 yards per carry and eight TDs. Thad Franklin returns for his sophomore season after running for 172 yards and two TDs in 2021.

Franklin was the primary backup to Knighton in the final six games of 2021. Mississippi transfer Henry Parrish will play a major role with the Miami Hurricanes in 2022. Parrish had 553 yards rushing and three TDs for the Rebels last season. Smith had 14 receptions for 199 yards and two TDs and six carries for 23 yards in 2021.

Smith lined up twice at QB in 2021, 20 times in the backfield, on 24 snaps in the slot and four times out wide. Expect more of the same with Gattis succeeding Rhett Lashlee as the OC this season. Per 247 Sports, Smith recorded a sub 4.5 40-yard dash in high school. At 5’10, 194 pounds, Smith might be better suited to RB.

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Andrew Ivins of 247 Sports evaluated Smith as having creative instincts that make him difficult to tackle one-on-one. Ivins also liked the ability of Smith to break tackles. Gattis has been an OC that has adapted to his personnel throughout his short time in the position. Expect him to work with who is ever healthy for Miami in 2022,