Mario Cristobal wants line of scrimmage looking a certain way

Sep 3, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

When Mario Cristobal was hired by Miami as the head coach of the football program in December 2021 he stressed the importance of emphasizing a more physical team on the line of scrimmage. The signing of five-star offensive tackles Francis Mauigoa and Samson Okunlola plus third other offensive linemen is a huge step.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald quoted Mario Cristobal in a column on Monday with the head coach stating that the “line of scrimmage needs to look a certain way.” Mauigoa and Okunlola are the top two 2023 Miami signees and the first and third ranked OTs in the Hurricanes’ class.

Three star prospects Tommy Kinsler, Frankie Tinilau and Antonio Tripp are the other three offensive linemen Miami signed in the 2023 class. Miami has also added experienced OL Javion Cohen from Alabama as a transfer. Cohen is a projected starter and Mauigoa and Okunlola should compete to be starters.

Cristobal wants a team that is balanced and more run oriented. Miami finished 106th nationally averaging 112.7 rushing yards per game against Football Bowl Subdivision teams and were 107th averaging 3.35 yards per carry. If Miami is going to play the Cristobal preferred offense those numbers have to improve drastically.

"“The line of scrimmage has to look a certain way…You cannot compromise. If you don’t have them, it’s hard to make up for that in the weight room. Our strength coach is probably the most excited guy. We’re bringing in some real deal awesome elite athletes to work with.The line of scrimmage always needs a little more time to develop. That’s what January, February, March, April is for guys. You shouldn’t have to redshirt anymore. [Those winter/spring months] should be that redshirt space."

Parrish led Miami with 604 rushing yards and averaged 4.72 yards per carry. Parrish is the only primary rusher returning for Miami in 2023. Don Chaney Jr. and Tre’Vonte Citizen return after battling injuries throughout the 2022 season. Miami also signed four-star RBs Mark Fletcher and Chris Johnson in the 2023 class.

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Center Jakai Clark and guard Anez Cooper and Laurence Seymore are the only returning starters for Miami from the final game of the season versus Pittsburgh. Cristobal and OL coach Alex Mirabal cross trained the OL for Miami. Expect that to happen entering 2023 and for them to attempt to put the five best OL on the field.