Center Matt Lee and middle linebacker Francisco Mauigoa were named to "The 2023 All-Transfer Team: College football's most impactful Year 1 transfers" by 247 Sports on Wednesday. Lee and Mauigoa became leaders and vital players for Miami during the 2023 season. Miami improved significantly defensively and offensively in 2023.
Miami was mentioned by Robbie Weinstein of 247 Sports as one of the programs to make headlines in the 2023 transfer portal with Colorado, Florida State and Oregon. Lee and Mauigoa were difference-makers for Miami in 2023. Improving the offensive line was critical for Mario Cristobal entering his second season.
Lee led a Miami offensive line that was instrumental in the Hurricanes improving from 3.74 yards per carry in 2022 to 5.20 in 2023, reduced sacks allowed from 36 to 14 and tackles for loss from 70 to 59. Miami improved from 23.6 points per game to 32.1 and from 367.4 total yards per game to 441.2 in 2023.
Mauigoa provided Miami with much-needed athleticism and size at MLB in 2023. Entering the Pinstripe Bowl Mauigoa is second on the Hurricanes with 70 tackles, is first on Miami with 17 tackles for loss and tied with Rueben Bain for the team lead with 7.5 sacks. Mauigoa should finish the the 2023 season as Miami's leading tackler.
"CENTER: MATT LEE, MIAMI- Robbie Weinstein-247 Sports
Miami center Matt Lee
Stats: 12 games started, 99.5% pass-block efficiency
Transferred from: UCF
Miami came into this season attempting to revamp its offensive line. While the Hurricanes experienced some ups and downs at the tackle spots, Lee posted a rock-solid season at center and earned Second-Team All-ACC honors as a result.
Lee isn't the biggest lineman at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, but he used that lower weight to his advantage from a technique perspective — he committed just one penalty in 792 snaps and did not allow a single sack. LB: FRANCISCO MAUIGOA, MIAMI
Miami linebacker Francisco Mauigoa
Stats: 70 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 7 1/2 sacks, 1 INT, 2 pass break-ups, 2 forced fumbles
Transferred from: Washington State
Five-star offensive tackle Francis Mauigoa may have arrived at Miami with more fanfare than his older brother, but Francisco had a huge season for himself. Just look at those numbers.
PFF did not particularly care for Mauigoa's coverage this season, but he was still all over the field. The Hurricanes ranked 37th in yards per play allowed this year, way up from 103rd in 2022."
Lee and Mauigoa being named transfer All-Americans came after edge rusher Rueben Bain,punter Dylan Joyce and right tackle Francis Mauigoa were named true freshmen All-Americans by 247 Sports on Monday. Four of the five players recognized nationally this week are returning for Miami in 2024.
It is still early in the process for the 2024 transfer portal. Miami could have its first committed transfers later this week. Former Indiana center Zach Carpenter is visiting Miami on Friday and will make a decison on Sunday. Transfer quarterbacks Will Howard and Cam Ward visited Miami on Monday and Tuesday.
Ward is reportedly the preferred QB for Miami. There has been some speculation that Miami could have a QB by the end of the week. If Ward commits elsewhere, expect Miami to pivot to Howard who is more of a dual-threat QB than Howard. Expect Miami to be a major player at QB in the transfer portal.