Miami football moves into ESPN Way Too Early Top 25

The Miami football team moved into the ESPN Way Too Early Top 25 after previously being unranked by the mothership.

Nov 24, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal calls a
Nov 24, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal calls a / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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The Miami football team moved into the ESPN Way Too Early Top 25 Winter Rankings. Miami is ranked 24th after previously being unranked. The addition of several transfers for Miami since ESPN initially released its Way Too Early Top 25 vaulted the Hurricanes into the rankings. Miami has added nine transfers to its 2024 roster.

The initial Way Too Early Top 25s were released following the National Championship Game on January 8. Miami will start several transfers and potentially a freshman or two in 2024. Miami returns 14 starters. Defensive lineman Rueben Bain and wide receiver Xavier Restrepo lead the Hurricane returnees.

Bain was tied for fifth in the ACC with teammate Francisco Mauigoa with 7.5 sacks. The ACC named Bain the Conference Defensive Rookie of the Year. Restrepo set the Miami single-season record with 85 receptions and became the sixth Hurricanes with over 1,000 yards receiving in a single season with 1,092.

Miami also returns Jacolby George, who was third in the ACC with 864 receiving yards on 57 receptions and led the Hurricanes with eight touchdown catches. Miami returns three of its starting offensive linemen. Francis Mauigoa was a first-team freshman All-American. Anez Cooper and Jalen Rivers add experience.

"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.

"

ESPN Senior Writer Mark Schlabach

Alston, Cook, Powell and Ward were key transfer additions for Miami. Alston and Cook add depth to the DL. Powell and Vanderbilt transfer Savion Powell are the favorites to be the starting safeties. The addition of Ward has significantly changed the projections for the 2024 Miami football team.

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 should improve defensively and offensively in 2024. Ward should bring more consistency to quarterback this fall. George and Restrepo have another in the Shannon Dawson offense. Bain and Mauigoa have another in the Lance Guidry defense. Florida State and Louisville are the only teams on the Miami schedule ranked ahead of them in the ESPN FPI.