3 Miami football positions that will be a battle during spring practice

The departures of over a half dozen starters from the 2023 Miami football team will create competition at several positions during spring practice.

Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Isaiah Horton (16) runs
Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Isaiah Horton (16) runs / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Miami football team projects to have 14 players who started in the Pinstripe Bowl loss to Rutgers to maintain their positions entering spring practice. A few of those players will compete for first-team snaps this spring and other positions will be wide open in March.

Two positions to keep an eye on this spring will be left guard and outside wide receiver. Miami could look to add experienced transfers at those positions. With the potential to add transfers at LG and WR in the April 16-30 transfer portal window, Miami could look differently in August at those positions than in March.

Javion Cohen entering the NFL Draft early has created a wide open competition for left guard this spring. Luis Cristobal was a surprise starter at LG for Miami versus Rutgers. It would be shocking for Cristobal to be the starting LG for Miami entering the 2024 season at any point.

Left guard

The projected favorites entering spring practice to earn first-team snaps at left guard are redshirt sophomore Matthew McCoy and redshirt freshman Tommy Kinsler. The other four positions on the Miami offensive line appear set heading into spring practice. Miami returns three starting OL and added Indiana center Zach Carpenter.

Miami returns starting right guard Anez Cooper, left tackle Jalen Rivers and 2023 Freshman All-American right tackle Francis Mauigoa. Mario Cristobal and OL coach Alex Mirabal could shuffle things up front. Mirabal cross-trains all his OL. Miami could search to get the best OL on the field regardless of position.

Five-star 2023 offensive tackle Samson Okunlola, who missed most of his freshman season with an injury, could start. Mirabal would have the option of moving Mauigoa or Rivers inside. Rivers was previously a starting guard for Miami. One longshot to watch is freshman OL Antonio Tripp.

Wide Receiver

Horton enters spring practice projected to receive first-team snaps with returning starters Jacolby George and Xavier Restrepo. The loss of Colbie Young to Georgia has created an opening for a first-team WR. Horton had 13 receptions for 168 yards and a touchdown in 2023.

Miami could add an experienced WR during the April transfer portal window. At 6'4 and 205 pounds, Horton provides Miami with excellent size at WR that the Hurricanes lost with Young transferring. Expect one of the freshman WRs of Ny Carr, Chance Robinson and Joshisa Trader to emerge during the 2024 season.

Safety

The addition of Mishael Powell, Savion Riley and Isaiah Taylor at safety adds critical depth for Miami after losing starters Kamren Kinchens and James Williams a year early to the 2024 NFL Draft. Miami should be set at safety for 2024. Powell and Riley enter spring practice as the favorites to earn first-team snaps at safety.

Summary

Next. Cam Ward transfer QB with something to prove in spring practice. Cam Ward transfer QB with something to prove in spring practice. dark

Miami filled holes on the roster through the transfer portal in the last two offseasons. Most of the first-team positions entering spring practice appear to be solidified. Miami faces a critical offseason after Mario Cristobal led the Hurricanes to a 12-13 record in his first two seasons. Development is crucial this spring.