4 Miami football players named top 100 nationally, two of ACC's top 3

Four Miami football players are represented on the CBS Sports "College Football Top 100 Players of 2024."
Oct 28, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal takes on the
Oct 28, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal takes on the / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Cam Ward, defensive lineman Rueben Bain, wide receiver Xavier Restrepo and offensive lineman Francis Mauigoa have been named by CBS Sports and former NFL OL Blake Brockermeyer to their "College Football Top 100 Players of 2024: SEC crowds top 10, Colorado star at No. 1 in spring rankings."

The Miami football program was 12th in the 247Sports 2023 College Football Team Talent Composite rankings. With the addition of Ward, eight other transfers and more expected this spring, Miami should be improved in the 2024 College Football Team Talent Composite Rankings.

As the headline suggests, six of the top 10 players nationally are in the SEC. Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter is the highest-ranked player in the ACC at 24. Ward is the highest-ranked ACC offensive player at 30. Bain is the second-highest-ranked ACC defender at 33.

Miami has significantly improved its top-end talent under Mario Cristobal. The Hurricanes need to continue building more depth throughout the roster. Miami has more than a quarter of the 14 ACC players in the top 100. Former Miami DL Elijah Roberts, now at SMU, is 88th on the list.

"30. Miami QB Cameron Ward
Ward is an intriguing prospect that will have a chance to shine on a bigger platform. And for Miami, it's another chance to really get right at the quarterback spot after the D'Eriq King and Tyler Van Dyke eras fizzled out. Ward flourished in Wazzu's spread as a dual-threat throwing for over 3,700 yards and 25 touchdown passes while running for another eight touchdowns. Ward needs to protect the football better but will have the best supporting cast around him he's had in his career. "

Blake Brockermeyer, CBS Sports

Ward completed 65.5 percent of his pass attempts for 6,968 yards, 48 touchdowns and 16 interceptions with 202 rushing yards and another 13 scores during his two seasons at Washington State. After averaging 311.1 passing yards per game in 2023, Ward is the leading returning passer in college football entering 2024.

"33. Miami DL Rueben Bain Jr.
Hurricane Bain lived up to the hype we saw last spring and had a fantastic freshman campaign. Bain had 12.5 TFLs, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and was one of the most productive freshmen in the country. Bain is a powerful rusher that rarely wins on his first move but plays with a relentless effort. "

Blake Brockermeyer, CBS Sports

Bain had a breakout freshman season that culminated by being named the 2023 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, third-team All-ACC, Third Team and being named Freshman All-American. Bain had a breakout freshman season despite not starting until the third game in 2023. Expect Bain to improve his numbers in 2024.

"62. Miami WR Xavier Restrepo
Restrepo is a dependable and reliable slot receiver who owns the intermediate part of the field and is a hands catcher. Restrepo lacks game-breaking speed but seems to always be open and can make plays with the ball in his hands. He'll be a favorite target of new Miami quarterback Cameron Ward."

Blake Brockermeyer, CBS Sports

Restrepo set the Miami single-season record with 85 receptions and had the sixth-highest total with 1,092 receiving yards and added six TDs in 2023. Restrepo needs 51 receptions and 829 receiving yards to set the Miami career records. Mike Harley had 182 career receptions and Santana Moss had 2,546 receiving yards.

"98. Miami OT Francis Mauigoa
It's always tough to throw a true freshman tackle out to the wolves, but the benefits and reps will pay off this season. Mauigoa has some technical issues to clean up but showed he can hold up as a right tackle. He's a powerful blocker when he gets his paws on you and a bright future in Year 2. The No. 6-ranked recruit in the 2023 class is easily on his way to meeting the hype. "

Blake Brockermeyer, CBS Sports

Mauigoa started all 13 games at right tackle for Miami in 2023, earning Honorable Mention All-ACC and being named a Freshman All-American. Mauigoa is one of three returning starters for Miami on the OL with left tackle Jalen Rivers and right guard Anez Cooper. After missing the spring with an injury, Mauigoa will be ready for the season.

ESPN names Cam Ward as 2024 transfer with most to prove. ESPN names Cam Ward as 2024 transfer with most to prove. dark. Next

Four players ranked in the top 100 with Ward and Bain being ranked second and third in the ACC is an excellent foundation for Mario Cristobal to continue building the Miami roster. Miami has at least two more seasons with Bain and Mauigoa. Ward, Bain, Restrepo and Mauigoa will be leaders and key players for Miami in 2024.