To say we are all looking extremely forward to the start of the new season is an understatement. New Coach, new staff and somewhat new stadium. However, I wanted to talk about some of the new faces we will see between the sidelines. Players I believe will make an impact on weather this team finished 6-6 or 9-3. Some may be new to college football and some have transferred from other programs. There also may be other options at these positions but this is who I am most curious to see this upcoming season.
Gerald Willis – A UF transfer who had an issue with his temper (love this kid already) will be seeing a good deal of time at defensive tackle this season. After sitting out a year in 2015 Willis is ready to go. Reportedly he has gained some weight and cut his body fat in half providing more quickness off the ball. This will play into coach Diaz’s scheme nicely. Although I do not believe he is a starter he will get more than his fair share of reps.
Marquez Williams – Talk about flying under the radar, this kid played division II last year at Mars Hill U in Chapel Hill last season. At 5-10 and 280 he is one of the leaders of all canes, regardless of position, in the weight room. He will be starting at full-back opening holes for a stable of running backs. Make no mistake about it, he will hurt people before the season is over. Unfortunately he only has one year of eligibility remaining so let’s hope he makes the best of it.
Zach McCloud, Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pickney – These three young men are all freshman linebackers. Given the lack of depth due to dismissals and poor recruiting over the past 4 years, this is a position, in my opinion, that new players will have to make the biggest impact in order for the 2016 team to be successful. The good news is that all three enrolled early and had the benefit of spring practice. This should make a big difference. At least I hope it does.
Dayall Harris – Dayall transferred in from playing Juco last year but prior to that he was enrolled at Ole Miss. Things didn’t quite work out as he had planned and he found himself in a little bit of hot water. Nothing serious like you would see at other SEC schools but enough to cause him to part ways with the program. If I were to have written this last week he may not have been on my list but given the recent receiving injuries I believe he is in a position to shine. Here’s hoping he makes the most out of this opportunity.
As many of you have seen over time, highly regarded recruits and transfers have come into the University of Miami. Some have gone on to reach Pro=Bowl status while others have not lived up to expectation. Make no mistake about it, this is the U and expectations will remain high.
I would like to hear who you are looking forward to seeing this year and who you believe will make an impact on this season.