Which Miami football players can benefit from injured teammates this spring

Several Miami football players will have a chance to more higher up the depth chart during spring practice with several other Hurricanes out.

Dec 28, 2023; Bronx, NY, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai (5) carries the
Dec 28, 2023; Bronx, NY, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai (5) carries the / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Several key Miami football players are out this spring according to David Lake of Inside the U. At least three players recovering from postseason surgery are projected starters in 2024. Their absences this spring will provide multiple opportunities for Miami players to earn first-team snaps during spring practice.

In addition to the nine players out this spring, another seven did not participate in the first day of spring practice on Monday and are expected to return at some point per Lake. The defensive and offensive lines and running back are the biggest positions impacted by injured players out for the spring.

Running back is the position hardest hit by injuries this spring. The loss of Ajay Allen and Mark Fletcher leaves Henry Parrish as the only experienced RB for Miami this spring. Redshirt sophomore Tre'Vonte Citizen, redshirt freshman Chris Johnson and 2024 signee Chris Wheatley-Humphrey will have increased opportunities this spring.

Citizen has missed most of his first two collegiate seasons with an injury. Johnson had 11 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown with one reception for two yards as a freshman in 2023. Wheatley-Humphrey is the lower-ranked of two 2024 Miami RB signees. Jordan Lyle will arrive later this year.

"The following players are expected to be out this spring: RB Mark Fletcher, RB Ajay Allen, OL Francis Mauigoa, DE Nyjalik Kelly, LB Francisco Mauigoa, DL Armondo Blount, DB Isaiah Thomas, OL Zion Nelson, and OL Frankie Tinilau...The following players are expected to return at some point during spring football: DL Akheem Mesidor, DL Cole McConathy, CB Damari Brown, DB Brian Balom, TE Cam McCormick, OL Jonathan Denis, and DT Joshua Horton."

David Lake, Inside the U

Matthew McCoy was the first-team right tackle on Monday, with Mauigoa out this spring, as reported by Lake. Redshirt freshman Samson Okunlola, a five-star signee at offensive tackle in 2023, was the first-team right guard. Massize 6'8.5", 340-pound junior college signee Markel Bell was behind McCoy.

Expect Miami to rotate at left guard and right tackle throughout the spring. Jalen Rivers is back as the starting right tackle, Anez Cooper returns at right guard and Indiana transfer Zach Carpenter will be the starting center. Bell, McCoy and Okunlola appear to have the inside track for first-team snaps this spring.

Kelly and Mesidor missed most of the 2024 season. Marshall transfer Elijah Alston, sophomore Rueben Bain, Kelly and Mesidor project as the top four edge rushers for Miami in 2024. Anthony Campbell at 6'7 and sophomore Jayden Wayne should receive first-team snaps with Kelly and Mesidor out.

Francisco Mauigoa was the most productive Miami defensive player in 2023. Mauigoa led Miami in 2023 with 81 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits, tied for the team lead with Rueben Bain recording 7.5 sacks and added three pass breakups an interception and two forced fumbles.

Junior Wesley Bissainthe, a two-year starter was teamed with Raul Aguirre replacing Mauigoa at middle LB and Bobby Washington on the strong side. Chase Smith, Marcellius Pulliam and freshman Cameron Pruitt were on the two-deep. Noticeably missing is 2023 signee Malik Bryant.

Miami is thinned in the secondary with freshman Thomas, returning starter Brown and veteran Balom out. Darryl Porter Jr. and Jaidus Richard were the first-team CBs per Lake. Washington transfer Mishael Powell a projected starting safety was in the slot and Jaden Harris and Savion Riley were the safeties.

dark. Next. Miami football projected pre-spring offensive depth chart. Miami football projected pre-spring offensive depth chart

The defensive back to watch this spring is freshman Zaquan Patterson. Patterson has been praised for his maturity and skills. Markeith Williams and redshirt freshman Robert Stafford are other names to monitor this spring. Williams provides experience and Stafford has an opportunity to prove himself after not receiving playing time in 2023.