Miami football: Canes' top transfer-portal needs
The transfer portal swings both ways.
That’s the message from Miami Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal, and he’s right.
In other words, Miami will look for immediate help with transfers. But the Canes are sure to also lose some talent to the portal, too.
Trying to guess who departs to another school or to try and get drafted by the NFL isn’t easy. But here’s our attempt at pinpointing Miami’s 5 biggest transfer-portal needs:
If Tyler Van Dyke is back and healthy, then this position is settled.
But the guess here is he announces for the NFL Draft. It’s possible Jake Garcia transfers, and Jacurri Brown has a lot of work to do to improve as a passer.
Bottom line: If there’s an experienced quarterback out there who can help Miami and is considering the Canes, the interest will be mutual.
2. Offensive line
Aside from the QB, the next biggest priority is to create a unit that can protect the quarterback and create running lanes. Miami should be looking for players with a nasty disposition on the field. Miami wants players who are tough, durable, athletic, explosive and smart enough to avoid penalties and figure out who to block, which is not always easy with defenses disguising their looks.
This is arguably the most important defensive position. If you are weak here, you will get exposed for touchdowns, and Miami appears likely to lose its top 3 cornerbacks.
Tyrique Stevenson seems primed for an attempt to make the NFL. DJ Ivey is done with college after 5 years and 47 games at Miami. And nickel corner Te’cory Couth is kind of iffy after 4 years at The U. Al Blades Jr. has entered the transfer portal after playing in 59 games over all or parts of 5 seasons, so Miami knows it at least will be down his spot on the roster.
Either way, help is needed.
4. Wide receiver
Miami is in solid shape in the slot, assuming Xavier Restrepo and Brashard Smith return. But, other than Colbie Young, the rest of the receivers on the outside failed to establish themselves. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see an exodus at this position. The list of players who are questionable to return include Frank Ladson Jr., Key’Shawn Smith, Romello Brinson, Jacolby George and Michael Redding III.
Those 5 receivers – all of them highly touted at some point – combined to grab 75 passes this season. In 2021, Charleston Rambo had 79 receptions on his own.
This was such a dismal season that the Canes will be looking for help everywhere. Most importantly, Miami needs mature athletes who play hard and well consistently.
In other words, the Canes need winners – no matter what position they play.