Miami football third in 2022 ACC preseason power rankings

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 Miami football program is third in the 247 Sports “ACC football: Preseason 2022 power rankings.” Clemson is first in the ACC preseason power rankings and North Carolina State second. Most 2022 rankings have the same order and pick Miami to win the ACC Coastal Division in the final year of that format.

Miami plays at Clemson on November 19. Many projections have the Hurricanes game at the Tigers as a preview of the ACC Championship Game two weeks later. Clemson failed to win the ACC championship in 2021 for the first time since 2014. Miami reached its only ACC Championship Game in 2017.

Miami enters the season ranked 17th in the USA Today Coaches poll and 16th in the Associated Press top 25. Mario Cristobal helped upgrade the Miami football roster with the addition of 11 transfers, seven on defense and a top 20 recruiting class. Miami will have its first big test of 2022 at Texas A&M on September 17.

Four or five of the defensive transfers have a chance to start on defense. Cornerback Darryl Porter Jr. and linebacker Caleb Johnson will help stabilize positions that have had inconsistent production over the last few years. Sam Marsdale of 247 Sports summarized what to expect from Miami in 2022.

"3. MIAMI HURRICANES“Miami is set on offense with Tyler Van Dyke at quarterback. He has the upside to be a top-10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and has all the arm talent in the world. The defense has plenty of question marks, but the Hurricanes loaded up with one of the best defensive line transfer portal hauls from the 2022 cycle.The Hurricanes and new coach Mario Cristobal landed four defensive line transfers that hold at least a grade of 87 in 247Sports’ transfer portal rankings, highlighted by four-star West Virginia transfer Akheem Mesidor.UCLA transfer Mitchell Agude and UAB transfer Antonio Moultrie should provide immediate pass rush help after the Hurricanes lost Zach McCloud and Deandre Johnson.”"

Agude and Mesidor project as the starting edge rushers for Miami in 2022. Moultrie has been moved inside after primarily playing end at UAB. USC transfer Jacob Lichtenstein adds depth, experience and versatility to the defensive line. Darrell Jackson has been challenging for first-team defensive tackle in training camp.

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Van Dyke will be working with a mostly inexperienced receiving corps for Miami in 2022. Key’Shawn Smith is the only returning starting wide receiver. Xavier Restrepo takes over in the slot and could lead the Miami football team in receptions. Tight end Will Mallory should be a go-to receiver for Van Dyke.