Miami football freshmen standing out to Mario Cristobal

Mario Cristobal praised multiple freshmen in the Miami football program for their development during spring practice.

Chaminade-Madonna's Zaquan Patterson (12) walks off the field to meet with his team during a
Chaminade-Madonna's Zaquan Patterson (12) walks off the field to meet with his team during a / Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA

Mario Cristobal has shown in his first two seasons leading the Miami football program he is willing to play freshmen. Cristobal discussed the progress of four 2024 freshman during spring practice with reporters on Thursday. Expect several freshmen to make an impact during the 2024 season.

Cristobal acknowledged "There's a good amount of guys. I probably missed a few, but they'll
get sensitive, but I'll handle them later"
when singling out four freshmen and several veterans for their strong spring performances while speaking to the media after practice on Thursday.

Cristobal has been impressed with linebacker Cam Pruitt, safety Zaquan Patterson, tight end Elijah Lofton and wide receiver JoJo Trader for their performances this spring. Patterson, Pruitt and Trader are all competing at positions that should provide them with opportunities to start or at least earn significant snaps in 2024.

Lofton has to compete with Elijah Arroyo, Cam McCormick and Riley Williams at TE. There have been reports that Lofton has received snaps at running back this spring, with Miami severely shorthanded at the position. Following the transfer of leading rusher Henry Parrish, Miami is down to three scholarship RBs this spring.

"One thing we talked about today is playing time here, doesn't it doesn't discriminate. You know I think guys like Cam Pruitt have shown early that he's a very physically gifted guy that can flat out get after it, understands football, really well concepts. Zaquan Patterson really stands out as a young guy, that he just gets it. He's played for a long time at a high level, is doing really well. Elijah Lofton, just you know now he's a big guy, 250 plus pounds, fits right in...JoJo really stands out."

Mario Cristobal

Pruitt has been praised throughout spring practice. Pruitt was the second-ranked LB in the 2024 Miami class and the 402 overall prospect, 38th at the position nationally and 21st recruit in Alabama in the 2024 class per On3. Miami also signed Adarius Hayes at LB in the 2024 class.

Patterson has a chance to start in possibly the most wide-open position for Miami entering the 2024 season. With Kamren Kinchens and James Williams entering the 2024 NFL Draft, both safety positions are open for Miami. Patterson is primarily competing with transfers Mishael Powell, Savion Riley and Isaiah Taylor for snaps in 2024.

Trader is an immense talent and part of a deep WR group Miami signed in the 2024 class. Miami also signed Ny Carr and St. Thomas Aquinas star Chance Robinson who will enroll later this year. Trader has reportedly made several impressive receptions this spring. Trader should challenge junior Isaiah Horton for snaps in 2024.

Next. Zaquan Patterson named one of best pure football players in 2024 class. Zaquan Patterson named one of best pure football players in 2024 class. dark

Defensive lineman Rueben Bain was the 2023 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Bain and offensive lineman Francis Mauigoa were both named Freshman All-Americans and running back Mark Fletcher was Miami's second leading rusher in 2023. Expect several freshman to have impactful seasons for Miami in 2024.