Seldom-used tight end Jaleel Skinner tweeted his intent to leave the Miami football program and enter the transfer portal. After recording nine receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman in 2022, Skinner caught one pass for nine yards in 2023. Skinner was one of the first major Miami signees for Mario Cristobal.
Cristobal surprisingly flipped Skinner from Alabama in the 2022 Miami football class. Skinner was the 102nd-ranked prospect, third TE and 15th player in Florida out of IMG Academy in the 2022 class per the 247 Sports composite rankings. Skinner was impressive as a freshman backing up fifth-year senior Will Mallory.
Skinner earned playing time with then-sophomore Elijah Arroyo lost for the season with a knee injury. Oregon transfer Cam McCormick earned the vast majority of the playing time at TE for Miami this season. True freshman Riley Williams passed Skinner in the rotation. Arroyo missed most of the 2023 season.
Skinner is the seventh Miami player to enter the transfer portal. McCormick has the option of returning for his ninth season of college football in 2024. In addition to Arroyo and Williams, Miami is also expected to return 2023 freshman Jackson Carver at TE in 2024. Miami also has a commitment for 2024 from TE Elija Lofton.
Lofton is a four-star prospect in the 2024 class who the 247 Sports composite ranks as the 20th best TE. Lofton could compete for playing time as a freshman in 2024. New Miami offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson did not use the TEs often in 2023. Miami TEs had 17 receptions for 143 yards and one TD.
In addition to Alabama and Miami, Skinner took official visits to Florida, Florida State and Texas. Skinner is originally from South Carolina but finished high school at IMG Academy in Bradenton. Clemson and South Carolina received unofficial visits from Skinner and could be programs to watch for his next destination.