Entering their third year in the process, the Miami Hurricanes are still evolving as a football team under Mark Richt.
Adaptability has been key over the past two seasons as Richt blends players he’s recruited who he knows fit his long-term vision with holdovers from the previous staff. Eventually, the expectation is that you’ll see an offense that mirrored what Richt had at Georgia and news that the Hurricanes are talking plenty of I-formation this spring shouldn’t surprise.
Richt certainly hasn’t put together the roster of his dreams yet, but he added some incredible talent by signing the No. 8 recruiting class in the country in February and things are trending in the right direction as a whole. However, at running back, Richt has to love what he already has.
The Hurricanes feel like they have a number of strong options with leading rusher Travis Homer returning and versatile playmaker Deejay Dallas back. Add 5-star Lorenzo Lingard to the mix and Miami has at least three solid options.
Surprisingly, it’s actually still a rather unconventional backfield for Richt. Throughout his time at Georgia, Richt routinely incorporated elements of both speed and power in his running game.
Homer, Dallas and Lingard are all speed all the time. And while it’s difficult to say whether this signals a shifting sense of what’s important or if it’s simply the byproduct of not having found the power they’re looking for, it could open up some new opportunities for them offensively.
It’s a look that fits the style of Miami as a whole and could ultimately pay dividends. And the Hurricanes can still get some of what they’re looking for in terms of power by beefing up their personnel packages with additions of a pair of 4-star tight ends (Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory) and the No. 2 fullback in the Class of 2018 (Realus George).
Even more interesting, Lingard and Dallas are exceptional receivers and that opens up the possibility of matching them up with linebackers and using them to outflank opposing defenses.
Speed is essential for every college football team, but it’s been a particular calling card of the Hurricanes and South Florida produces elite athleticism in a way matched nowhere else across the country. So it makes sense that this is the type of back Richt and the Hurricanes pursue more often than not.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t see them looking to find the next Nick Chubb, but these are the backs who should be plentiful to Richt.
How ultimately he chooses to use them will probably tell us more about the long-term plans, but the potential for it to lead to an adapted version of the offense Richt was so successful with at Georgia should excite. So with Miami opening spring practice in less than a week, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how they divvy up the workload and how they possibly incorporate multiple backs at once.
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