Expect the depth chart for the Miami football team to evolve throughout the season. Entering the season opener on Friday night versus Miami (Ohio) leading returning rusher Henry Parrish, Nebraska transfer, redshirt freshman Ajay Allen and true freshman Mark Fletcher should be expected to be the top three running backs.
Parrish ran for 617 yards and four touchdowns in 2022, adding 17 receptions for 120 yards. In four games for Nebraska last season Allen ran for 190 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per carry with two TDs and one reception for nine yards. Allen will bring more explosiveness to the Miami running game in 2023.
Seven of Allen’s 33 carries in 2022 were for 10 or more yards and he had one of 20 plus yards. Parrish averaged 4.72 YPC on 128 attempts in 2022 with 15 carries of 10 or more yards and three of 20-plus yards. At 6’2 and 225 pounds, Fletcher provides the Miami football team with a sorely needed size at RB.
Mario Cristobal appeared on the Joe Rose Show on WQAM on Monday to discuss the beginning of the Miami football season. Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald transcribed part of the interview that included Cristobal discussing the RBs. Competition for carries for the Miami RBs should continue throughout the season.
"“We feel great about it to the point we’re letting them compete to see who actually gets the nod on Friday…From there you got to see and get a feel for who gets hot. All those guys have proven that they deserve an opportunity this week.It’s a matter of who runs the hardest, the best, who protects the football the best, who protects the quarterback the best and who does his assignments as it relates to the passing game and whatnot. We really like where that position is trending.When you have a position like that where they’ve all proven they can do it and the separation has been more of a daily thing as opposed to an overall camp thing, you have to. That way you allow guys the opportunity to earn more time or earn the initial nod. Not to mention if they get hot then you roll from there."
In three games versus Power Five programs in 2022, Miami (Ohio) allowed 294 yards rushing and 3.16 YPC. Based on their run defense versus Power Five programs in 2022, Miami faces a tough challenge establishing the run. If Miami gets ahead expect to see Don Chaney Jr. and true freshman Chris Johnson receiver carries.
There has been no indication that redshirt freshman Tre’Vonte Citizen is ready to play after suffering a season-ending knee injury during training camp in 2022. Miami has one of its deepest RB groups entering the 2023 season. Expect Miami to try and utilize the deep group more than establishing a true number-one RB.