Freshmen hit Miami Hurricanes 2021 offense


The Miami Hurricanes offensive in 2021 was largely led by freshmen approved players. Miami entered the 2021 season in 14th place, led by 19 recurring starters. Quarterback D’Eriq King led an offense with 10 returning starters. Miami only lost the tight end Brevin Jordan, who was drafted in the fifth round by the Houston Texans.

During the season, the Miami Hurricanes lost King and other starters, offensive lineman Jalen Rivers and running back to Cam’Ron Harris, who was injured at the end of the season. Backup RB Don Chaney Jr. suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in the second week end of his season. Chaney would likely have started with Harris losing for the season as well.

With King in his sixth year, the Miami Hurricanes had to turn to Tyler Van Dyke, who was in his sophomore season but still a freshman. Harris was in its fourth season. Chaney and Rivers were both freshmen in their sophomore season. Van Dyke had a breakout season replacing King as a starter.

Van Dyke had completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. After Chaney and Harris lost for the season, Jaylan Knighton, who was a 2020 signatory, took on the role of primary ball carrier for Miami for most of the 2021 season.

Knighton has 561 rushing yards with eight TDs and 20 receptions for 280 yards and three TDs. Three times that season, Knighton had over 160 yards from scrimmage. Having missed the first four games, Knighton has been stellar this season. Knighton was one of the most explosive players in the ACC with three plays over 40 yards.

Mike Harley and Charleston Rambo shared their Miami experience on the wide receiver. Behind them were Romello Brinson and Jacolby George in their freshman year. Xavier Restrepo, Brashard Smith and Keyshawn Smith. Keyshawn Smith has 26 receptions for 332 yards and three TDs as starters alongside Harley and Rambo.

Restrepo has 24 receptions for 373 yards and two TDs. Brinson, George and Brashard Smith showed potential throughout the season. Brashard Smith has had 15 receptions for 199 yards and two TDs this season. George had three receptions for 80 yards in the regular season finale at the Duke.

Freshman RB Thad Franklin showed up at the end of the season after getting early game time against Central Connecticut State. Franklin’s tough running style helped Miami complete the Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech games. Franklin finished the season with 23 carries for 172 yards and two TDs.

Tight End Elijah Arroyo is another 2021 newbie to watch for the future. The autograph sessions in Miami in 2020 and 2021 were filled with offensive talent. The future for the Miami offensive is bright until at least the 2023 season. Whoever hires Miami as the new offensive coordinator will have a huge impact.


About Mike Crayton

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