CFB expert expects Mark Fletcher and Nathaniel Joseph immediate impacts

Nov 26, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami 2023 signees running back Mark Fletcher and wide receiver Nathaniel Joseph were praised by 247 Sports Director Of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong as “Signees Will Make An Immediate Impact in Coral Gables” with five-star 2023 signee Samson Okunlola after they played in the All-American Game on Saturday.

Mark Fletcher and Nathaniel Joseph both scored touchdowns in the All-American Bowl as the East blew out the West 55-17. Fletcher beat Notre Dame linebacker signee Drayk Bowen on an 81-yard TD reception. Joseph reached the end zone on a direct snap in the Wildcat and opened the game with an eight-yard reception.

Fletcher was a huge signing for Miami after he was originally committed to Ohio State. Mario Cristobal wants to run a power spread. Fletcher is known as a tough inside runner, but showed his ability as a receiver on the long TD catch and run. Henry Parrish is the only experienced RB Miami has entering the 2023 season.

Parrish is expected to be the starter with touches behind him wide-open. Fletcher, fellow 2023 signee Chris Johnson, plus Don Chaney Jr. and Tre’Vonte Citizen returning from injuries in the mix. Chaney is the most experience of the returning RBs for Miami other than Parrish but missed most of the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Steve Wiltfong summary of Mark Fletcher

"“The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Fletcher is a definite stock-up prospect following a terrific senior season where he rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns and then came down to San Antonio and showed what a difference-maker he can be as a pass catcher.He made plays downfield, won 1-on-1 balls and in the game was able to get loose on a 89-yard reception where he out-raced the defense for a chunk of it after finding himself alone on a blown coverage.Paired up with Trevonte’ Citizen, Miami could boast two 220-pound plus backs that can play a rugged style between the tackles but have to be respected for what they can do on the edges and in the pass game.”"

Steve Wiltfong summary of Nathaniel Joseph

Joseph signs with Miami into a crowded slot receiver corps. Miami returns Xavier Restrepo and Brashard Smith as the starting slot receivers from 2022. Restrepo was slated to be the primary starter in 2022, but most about half the season due to injury. Joseph could be electric as a returner for Miami as a true freshman.

"“One of the first players to flash when practice began on Tuesday was Joseph, who I thought had a strong practice the next day as well. One of the top slot receivers in America, Joseph is quick, separates easily, catches the ball downfield and can also be utilized in the quick game and on jet sweeps and reverses with his ability to make guys miss and get upfield quickly."

Miami has excellent speed entering the 2023 season with Johnson, Joseph and Smith. It’s unlikely to see all three on the field at the same time. Miami could put Johnson in the backfield with Joseph or Smith in the slot to provide the Hurricanes with a pair of explosive threats that could stretch a defense.

Next. CFB expert expects Samson Okunlola immediate impact. dark

Fletcher and Johnson have been dubbed thunder and lightning. Miami needs more from its skill position players offensively in 2023. Cristobal and his staff showed a willingness to play true freshmen in 2022. If upperclassmen do not produce in 2023, expect Fletcher, Okunlola and Johnson to play significant snaps this fall.