ESPN Miami football outlook inside Way Too Early Top 25

ESPN elevated the Miami football program inside their top Top 25 after most of the players who entered the transfer portal chose new destinations
Nov 17, 2023; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) takes
Nov 17, 2023; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) takes / James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The additions of several transfers in December and January elevated the Miami football program to 24th in the ESPN Way Too Early Top 25 in mid-February. ESPN elevated Miami because of the talent acquisition the Hurricanes have accumulated in the 2024 transfer portal.

ESPN Senior Writer Mark Schlachbach specifically mentioned quarterback Cameron Ward, safety Mishael Powell and defensive lineman Elijah Alston and Marley Cook as nice additions for the Hurricanes. Miami has added nine transfers to its 2024 roster. Several will be key players in 2024.

Ward is the key. The 2024 Miami football projections increased significantly with the addition of Ward. Ward has the best odds to win the Heisman Trophy among any ACC player. Miami is now the third favorite in the ACC behind Clemson and Florida State. Miami does not play Clemson and hosts Florida State in 2024.

Ward will receive snaps from new Miami center Zach Carpenter. Carpenter was a critical and underrated addition from Indiana. Miami needed Carpenter to replace All-ACC center Matt Lee who decided to enter the NFL Draft. Carpenter, Ward and backup QB Reese Poffenbarger are the only transfer additions for Miami on offense.

"24. Miami Hurricanes
Previous ranking: Not ranked
2023 record: 7-6, 3-5 ACC
Winter update: Against better judgment, I'll take a flier on the Hurricanes, who enjoyed a two-win improvement in coach Mario Cristobal's second season at his alma mater. Last season, the Hurricanes -- including the coaching staff -- continued to make too many mistakes, but there's no question they've been piling up talent. Miami hopes former Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward is a big upgrade. He threw for 6,966 yards with 61 total touchdowns in two seasons with the Cougars. Safety Mishael Powell (Washington) and defensive linemen Elijah Alston (Marshall) and Marley Cook (Middle Tennessee) were nice pickups on defense. The Hurricanes signed the No. 6 recruiting class, according to ESPN Recruiting, and loaded up at linebacker and on the defensive line."

Mark Schlabach ESPN Senior Writer

The other transfers Miami added are defensive lineman C.J. Clark and safeties Savion Riley and Isaiah Taylor. Clark and Riley project to be starters in 2024 with Powell. Alston and Cook add depth to the DL. Poffenbarger will compete with returnees Jacurri Brown and Emory Williams for second-team QB snaps.

Next. Where does Miami rank in Way too Early 2024 Top 25s?. Where does Miami rank in Way too Early 2024 Top 25s?. dark

Miami should surge into the top 10 of the 2024 247Sports Team Talent Composite Rankings. The Hurricanes were 12th last year. Cristobal and his staff have excelled in recruiting and the transfer portal. In the third season under Cristobal, Miami has to start producing on the field.