Roffers’ Rundown

As we enter the third week of Hurricanes’ camp, I wanted to look over the roster and offer thoughts and impressions of it. I also want to offer tidbits I’m hearing of the goings on around Greentree.

  1. Depth remains an issue

    – When Coach Cristobal took over the Miami Hurricanes’ program you knew there would be some time needed to get things in place needed for the new scheme he wanted to run, as well as correct some imbalances that had started to form with the roster numbers. Below is a look at the roster construction for Alabama, Georgia, Ohio St., Clemson, Notre Dame. Miami clearly not where the main three programs are at in regards to WR and LB, while they have invested heavily at DB. Now think about the fact Coach Cristobal has brought in four players along the DL, a CB, an ILB, two OL, a WR and RB as transfers. Adding two pass rushers after he got the job in freshmen recruits who expect to play this year as well. Depth in key spots was going to be a scary proposition and Coach Cristobal is playing catch-up with the elite programs.

  1. Alabama roster influence is shining through– Take a look at the roster measurements for the Alabama scholarship defensive line players: the lightest player along their front weighs 290 pounds, while they have eight players weighing between 290 and 304. Coach Cristobal brought in transfers Ahkeem Mesidor (291), Jacob Lichtenstein (up to 284), Darrell Jackson (up to 310), Antonio Moultrie, to go along with Leonard Taylor, Jared Harrison-Hunte, Allan Haye, Jordan Miller, Ahmad Moten as players fitting in that same archetype totaling eight- just like Bama. Look for Miami to continue recruiting for a NT type in the 350+ range to match what Bama always has up front for run situations. Alabama currently has two players listed at 350+ on scholarship.
Coach Cristobal addresses team on Greentree

2022 Spring Game – Coach Cristobal addresses team

  1. Anez Cooper is making noise- Cooper was a late addition to the 2022 recruiting class and looked to be someone to help fill that void I mentioned in #2 about needing a 350+ pound NT on the roster. Coach Cristobal mentioned in his Signing Day Recap that Anez wanted to play RG in college but that he could play situationally on defense. He has moved into the 2nd team RT position already and is impressing the coaching staff on Greentree. Bright future for “Big Bell.”
  1. Freshman class will play- In addition to Anez Cooper competing early, what I’m hearing is that many of these freshmen will be moving up the depth chart quickly based on how they’ve looked on Greentree. Jaleel Skinner at TE has already gained weight and is looking like he could play this year as a move TE. Coach Cristobal mentioned in his signing day recap that Skinner looks like how Miami should look and he has not disappointed to this point. Chris Graves, Jr. has been impressive at CB since he’s been able to practice on Greentree and had the tape in high school to show this is no fluke. At one point last year I stated I expected Graves to start as a freshman, but Tyrique Stevenson returning, Porter coming in via transfer, and Al Blades coming back from a neck injury have changed things a bit and should allow Graves’ time to get his feet wet on special teams. Wesley Bissainthe has occupied a spot in the two-deep since the moment he stepped foot on Greentree and looks like a building block at the OLB position. Jaden Harris is competing to be in the two-deep at nickel back.
  1. Age was added to the roster-

    Something I have always believed in regarding roster construction is the idea of having at least one “graybeard” at every position group. Coaches teach these players and help develop them on their journey, but there is nothing like an experienced peer to help teach small tricks and pass along learnings from their experiences at the position. Take a look at what Coach Cristobal has added to the rooms: WR has fourth-year Frank Ladson added to a room that was devoid of scholarship experience. In fact, Ladson is the only scholarship WR even going into a fourth college season. It’s no secret why the WR position is a question position for this roster.

  • On the OL, Miami has sixth-year Justice Oluwaseun, fifth-year DJ Scaife, fifth-year John Campbell all expected to be major contributors this season.
  • I’ve talked about the DL, but the experience added at this spot is clear. Sixth-year Antonio Moultrie, sixth-year Mitchell Aguade, sixth-year Jacob Lichtenstein added to a room that needed reinforcements in age, experience, and strength.
  • At LB, a room without a proven player adds sixth-year Caleb Johnson at ILB to go along with sixth-year returnee Waynmon Steed. It’s hard to believe, but they were in the same class as Shaquille Quarterman.
  • In the defensive backfield, Miami has fifth-year Gilbert Frierson and fifth-year Al Blades returning. Maybe this will be the year for fifth-year DJ Ivey to break through.
  • All told, Miami has six players expected to play big snaps as sixth-year seniors. Age and maturity were sorely needed for this roster and Coach Cristobal is making sure each room has it.
  1. Physical practices have returned to Greentree- I’m told there is a level of physicality at Miami practices that hasn’t been seen since Butch was in charge. The landscape has changed in football to where we no longer see tackling to the ground and two-a-days at almost every practice, but this staff is preaching being physical in everything they do. The results have been some injuries and nicks to players, but also a change in culture. Seeing players too sore to move off the locker room floor is just one of the indications that this staff seeks to make practices as difficult as the games once again.

Moving forward, follow this series for news and updates as I see them. The season is almost here!

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About the Author: Lance Roffers

Data science is all about asking interesting questions based on the data you have. Film study is all about understanding what actually happened on the field. Hopefully I can find the right balance between the two and bring you interesting insights that grow our knowledge of the game together.

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