Miami football third nationally in freshmen snaps

Oct 28, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team finished third nationally behind Clemson and South Carolina with 2,710 snaps played by its freshmen in 2023. Miami and Virginia were the only teams who had a player on offense and defense named to the “The 247Sports True Freshman All-American Team: College football’s best first-year players in 2023.” 

Left tackle Francis Mauogoa played 800 snaps as a freshman in 2023. That was the highest snap count among the top 100 ranked players by 247 Sports. Rueben Bain was second among the top 100 2023 defensive signees and first among defensive linemen with 571 snaps this season.

Bain, punter Dylan Joyce and Mauigoa were all named to the 247 Sports true freshman All-American team. Mark Fletcher was third with 249 snaps among running backs in the top 100 in the class. Bain, Fletcher, Joyce and Mauigoa were all critical contributors to the 2023 Miami football team.

Bain had a breakout freshman season with 37 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup. Appalachian State linebacker Nate Johnson and Bain were the only freshmen to finish in the top 100 nationally in sacks. Bain was second in the ACC among freshmen in TFLs.

Joyce earned All-ACC honorable mention in 2023. Joyce averaged 43.5 yards per punt and had 37.5 percent inside the 20. Succeeding All-American Lou Hedley, Joyce averaged 43.5 yards per punt, had 37.5 percent of his punts land inside the 20 and only 25 percent returned. Miami is set at punter for a few years.

Fletcher is second on Miami with 512 rushing yards and five touchdowns and added seven receptions for 62 yards. With Don Chaney Jr. in the transfer portal, Fletcher will likely enter the 2024 season as the starting RB over Ajay Allen and Henry Parrish who has led Miami in rushing in the last two seasons.

Mauigoa was the only player in the top 100 of the 2023 class to play at least 800 snaps. David Lake of Inside the U reported that Pro Football Focus graded Mauigoa as Miami’s best run blocker at 71.8. Mauigoa improved throughout the season as a pass blocker finishing with a 62.9 grade.

Next. 3 Miami players named true freshmen All-American. dark

Mario Cristobal and his staff have shown confidence in their freshmen in two years at Miami. With the potential of signing a top-five class in 2024, expect to see several freshmen contribute next season. Defensive tackle Justin Scott, edge rusher Marquise Lightfoot and safety Zaquan Patterson are played to watch.