Mario Cristobal adapting to different ways of filling roster

Jul 25, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 25, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

Asked at ACC Kickoff how much he wants to rely on the transfer portal versus high school recruiting, Miami head coach Mario Cristobal stated that the ability to adapt and bring in talent in many different ways is important to securing the best roster. Miami like most teams in this era has balance.

Miami will have 15 new FBS transfers on the 2023 roster compared to the nine that were brought in last season. The Hurricanes signed 26 freshmen and junior college transfers in the 2023 class. That leaves about 44 returnees on the 2023 Miami roster that originally signed with the Hurricanes.

Only 23 players remain on the Miami roster that signed with the Hurricanes before Cristobal was hired in December 2021. Mario Cristobal has adapted quickly in improving the depth and talent on the Miami roster over the last two recruiting cycles. The 2023 class finished seventh in the 247 Sports composite rankings.

Miami will fill multiple starting spots in 2023 through the transfer portal and with incoming freshmen. Cristobal also stated the importance of completely developing a player. Culture has been at the forefront of everything Cristobal wants to accomplish at Miami. Cristobal emphasized the importance of culture with all his players.

"“We never really used the portal much, if at all, at the previous stop at Oregon, but the rules have changed. You have to adapt. There’s so many different ways to fill your roster now, right? There are players overseas. There’s some up in Canada. Junior college players, high school players, transfers.Sometimes guys in your athletics department that are playing other sports could make the jump and become good football players. We’re always looking for ways to make our roster as good as it can be. So I hate to put a cap on it, but the importance of high school recruiting is still going to be at the forefront.I mean, player development and that word “development” always has to be an important and a sacred word when it comes to football…sometimes you have opportunities…At the end of the day they all kind of meld together, but just different pathways have been used to get here.”"

Some of the transfers have quickly become leaders for Miami. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke who was one of the three players representing Miami at ACC Kickoff with Mario Cristobal praised center Matt Lee and defensive tackle Branson Deen for being leaders to the young guys on the team.

Cristobal also praised Lee who was in Charlotte as well as safety Kamren Kinchens. Lee will be the starting center for Miami. Deen is projected as a backup. All but one transfer that Miami has brought in for 2023 have multiple years of college experience. Freshman Francis Mauigoa is also projected as the starting left tackle.

Next. Cristobal likes roster blend of experience, freshmen and transfers. dark

Mauigoa’s brother Francisco transferred to Miami from Washington State and is the projected starting middle linebacker. Expect several other leaders to emerge from the transfers with multiple positions projected to be filled by players who came to Miami through the portal.