National writer names Miami football playoff potential surprise team

Brad Crawford of 247Sports included the Miami football team among his "Final Four 2024: Projecting college football's last teams standing next season, potential surprises."

Oct 7, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal walks on the
Oct 7, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal walks on the / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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The Miami football team should have a roster to challenge for a 2024 playoff berth. Miami returns six players on offense and five on defense who started the final regular season game at Boston College. The 247 Sports 2023 College Football Team Talent Composite had Miami 12th in its rankings.

Miami signed the seventh best 2023 class and their 2024 class was fourth nationally. Mario Cristobal has followed through on his promise to upgrade the roster. Miami has to deliver on the field in 2024 after a 12-13 record in two seasons under Cristobal. The 2024 season is a crucial one in the Cristobal era.

Five players return on offense and six on defense who started the final game at Boston College in November. Second leading rusher Mark Fletcher, leading receivers Xavier Restrepo and Jacolby George, guard Anez Cooper and tackles Francis Mauigoa and Jalen Rivers return for Miami on offense.

Crawford named Miami one of multiple teams who could break into the "Final Four 2024: Projecting college football's last teams standing next season, potential surprises." Crawford summarized why Miami could be a team to watch entering the 2024 season.

"The Hurricanes upgraded at quarterback with one of the top signal callers in the portal after convincing Cam Ward that another year in college was a better career investment than testing his luck in the 2024 NFL Draft. Miami's offensive line should be strong and the Hurricanes welcome back several impactful starters defensively. What's most to like about the Hurricanes is the schedule — if Miami gets past Florida on the road in the opener, there's a good chance Mario Cristobal's team is 4-0 going to Virginia Tech. If that's the case, they get ranked and the hype commences."

Brad Crawford, 247Sports

Ward is the most experienced among the top 2024 transfer QBs. The return of Cooper, Mauigoa and Rivers with Indiana transfer center Zach Carpenter provides Miami with a solid foundation on the OL. Miami returns ACC Rookie Defensive Player of the Year Rueben Bain and middle linebacker Francisco Mauigoa on defense.

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After Florida, Miami hosts Florida A&M and Ball State before traveling to South Florida ahead of opening ACC play versus Virginia Tech. Miami doesn't play Clemson in 2024. Other than games at Louisville and versus Florida State, Miami is projected to have a very favorable schedule in 2024.