Know your foe: Miami’s depth chart

We’re just a few days away from the renewal of a rivalry. Florida and Miami may not play every year anymore — and this may be the last time they play for a while — but that doesn’t change the bitter relationship between the fan bases.

In an effort to bring you inside the Hurricane locker room, we teamed up with this week to let you know everything you wanted to know about the Gators’ opponent. Brandon Odi of Cane Insider knows the Canes like we here at Gator Country know the Gators. He certainly is better equipped to break down Miami’s depth chart than we are and that’s just what he did for us here.


17        Stephen Morris

11        Ryan Williams

Stephen Morris is the leader of this Hurricane offense and as captain, has waited patiently for this to become “his” team. He played as a true freshman when Jacory Harris went down and then again as a sophomore during the NCAA suspensions Harris’ endured. Last year, Morris took over as the full-time starter. At 6’2”, 210 pounds, Morris is in the best physical shape of his life.  His strengths are his live arm and his poise.

While Morris struggles with accuracy, he excels at taking few sacks and throwing very few interceptions (only seven last year during the entire season where he started every game).

Offensive Line

Left Tackle

74        Ereck Flowers

79        Malcolm Bunche

Left Guard

79        Malcolm Bunche

70        Jon Feliciano


62        Shane McDermott

75        Jared Wheeler

Right Guard

65        Brandon Linder

75        Jared Wheeler

Right Tackle

70        Jon Feliciano

77        Seantrel Henderson

The offensive line for Miami is supposed to be one of the offense’s strengths. It’s a completely veteran unit composed primarily of juniors and seniors and the lone sophomore, Ereck Flowers, played in all 12 games at right tackle in 2012, starting four. Flowers is from the same high school as Duke Johnson, the two went to two Florida state championships during their prep career and won one.

This year Flowers moves to the left tackle spot where he’s being groomed for greatness. He’s interchangeable with Malcolm Bunche who was a full time starter at left tackle last year, but who slides on or off the line depending on whether or not Seantrel Henderson is in the rotation.

Miami believes in playing seven to eight guys on the offensive line and will rotate guys in during the game. The two things that typically don’t change is the center, Shane McDermott and the right guard, Brandon Linder who was last week’s ACC Offensive Lineman of the week.

This unit struggles in run blocking, mostly in short yardage situations but is very adept at pass blocking.

Tight End

46        Clive Walford

82        Asante Cleveland

85        Beau Sandland

Clive Walford is the main attraction at tight end and he was the only recipient of a touchdown pass from Morris in the opener. He’s a big target at 6’4”, 259 lbs and as a redshirt junior, he’s in his third year on the field. He looks faster and stronger that he ever has and his approach to the game has improved in each season under Al Golden.

Asante Cleveland is an oft praised summer and spring workout warrior who never has shown up on the field with any real production. While Walford has 46 career receptions for nearly 700 yards and 6 touchdowns, Cleveland has 11 receptions for only 128 yards as a senior. Junior college transfer Beau Sandland offers great size at 6’6”, 255 lbs but likely won’t be a factor in the passing game.

Running back

08        Duke Johnson

25        Dallas Crawford OR

23        Eduardo Clements

07        Gus Edwards

Duke Johnson is the main attraction in the Hurricane offense. He rushed for a career high 186 yards on 19 carries against FAU and probably would have gone for more had he not sat out the entire fourth quarter after an apparent slight injury to the head while blocking on a reverse. He’s dynamic, shifty and very fast. Johnson was a prep All-American and didn’t disappoint in 2012 as a true freshman at Miami, earning All-American honors at kick returner and rushing for 947 yards behind a senior taken in the fourth round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Behind Johnson there are two developing threats in Dallas Crawford and Eduardo Clements. Crawford is the former high school teammate of Clemson’s Sammy Watkins who played QB as a prep. Having converted to running back, he’s finally in the shape he needs to be physically to contribute. He had a modest game against FAU last week but Clements was more impressive gaining first downs on tough, short yard runs while spelling Johnson. Edwards is a true freshman who played late in the opener but we don’t expect him to play versus Florida.


33        Maurice Hagens

44        Walter Tucker

Miami doesn’t use a lot of fullback runs but Hagens is an important part of the overall run game. He’s smart, physical and fast. He was a high school tailback out of the Tampa area.  He’s got great hands also, so he’s a threat in the passing game, particularly on third down. Walter Tucker is a true freshman moved from linebacker over to fullback after the departure of running back Danny Dillard in fall camp. He’s not expected to play unless there’s an injury to Hagens.


01        Allen Hurns

03        Stacy Coley

80        Rashawn Scott

Allen Hurns is Stephen Morris’ safety blanket. He’s not particularly fast but runs very good routes and is a major threat in the run game as a blocker. Coley, a true freshman, is a burner but dropped two sure touchdowns in the openers. He could shake it off against Florida and surprise. Scott is out 4-6 weeks with collarbone injury, though the University says it’s his “shoulder.”

SLOT Receiver

06          Herb Waters

03          Stacy Coley

Herb Waters is an emerging star that could become a household name with a big game against the Gators. He took a reverse 63 yards for a score against FAU. He also had his biggest games at the end of last year (a four catch, 130 yard effort vs. USF stands out). He’s fast, big (6’2”, 193 lbs) and smart.


04          Phillip Dorsett

06          Herb Waters

08          Malcolm Lewis

Dorsett is an absolute burner who has to be accounted for on every play. He runs high 4.2’s in the 40-yard dash and can also throw the ball, as he was a prep and youth quarterback. Last year, he struggled with some very disappointing drops at key moments but has game breaking potential. Like Waters, he’s very fast and can run after the catch. Lewis is returning from an ACL tear last year that sidelined him after the Georgia Tech game. The fact that he’s back on the field is a small miracle based on his injury.

Defensive End

71        Anthony Chickillo

90        Ufomba Kamalu

Chickillo is a versatile end who can rush the passer and also play the run. He’s a better pass rush guy but uses his intelligence against the run to fill his assignments, allowing others to make plays. He led the team in sacks the past two years as a true freshman and sophomore. This year, he could improve because he’s playing fewer minutes because of depth. Last season, he played the most snaps on defense behind current St. Louis Ram, Brandon McGee. Kamalu, the junior college transfer, adds depth and is too new to access based on one game.

Defensive Tackle

96        Curtis Porter

78        Justin Renfrow

17        Tyriq McCord

Porter is perhaps the most talented defensive lineman when healthy. At 6’2”, 325 lbs, he’s also the biggest. He’s had injury problems in each of his first three years at Miami. So far, he appears healthy for the first time and poses the biggest threat to the Gators running attack. Renfrow, a fifth year player from Virginia, was rarely used and likely will add depth.  He had one stop against FAU. Keep an eye out for McCord on third down and long.

Defensive Tackle

91        Olsen Pierre

93        Luther Robinson

Olsen Pierre is consistently praised with how well he does in practice and games. He had three stops against FAU and is the silent leader of the defensive tackle unit, more so by example. Luther Robinson is a talent who is also in the best shape of his life, passing the conditioning test at Miami for the first time in his career as a redshirt senior.


Defensive End

51        Shayon Green

11        David Gilbert

98        Al-Quadin Muhammad

Green, along with the quarterback Morris, are the captains for Miami. He led the team in tackles last season and has overcome injuries in the past to establish himself as a leader of the defense. He has a nose for the ball. Gilbert offers depth as a fifth year player from Wisconsin but the rising star is true freshman Quan Muhammad. He’s a rush end with great speed and who also plays special teams on kickoffs. He’s a potential game changer, especially for a QB who has fumble issues.

Outside Linebacker

34        Thurston Armbrister OR

36        Alex Figueroa

Armbrister is a very physical player who is long and rangy and while he’s starting, there’s a chance that Figueroa may play more down the line. He’s a 6’3”, 235 lb true freshman who absolutely murdered the spring practice period. These two offer similar things on the outside.

Middle Linebacker

59        Jimmy Gaines

56        Raphael Kirby

94        Kelvin Cain

Jimmy Gaines is a leader and should make the majority of the tackles against the Gators other than fellow linebacker, Denzel Perryman. He’s backed up by Raphael Kirby who looked really good as a true freshman but has taken a step back and didn’t play as much as we expected against FAU. Kelvin Cain has been at defensive end, outside linebacker and now in the middle, so he’s got experience and versatility but isn’t prone to make many plays.

Outside Linebacker

52        Denzel Perryman

31        Tyrone Cornileus

Perryman is a guy who is immensely talented but who the coaching staff wants even more from. He dropped a sure pick-six against FAU on the game’s first defensive series and it’s that type of play that he has to make for Miami to have any chance to beat Florida.  Cornileus gets not headlines but he’s steady and tough as nails. He had five tackles and a PBU against FAU and thinks he belongs, so that usually ups his play.


3          Tracy Howard

21        Antonio Crawford

Gator fans should know Tracy Howard well as he nearly went to the University of Florida. He didn’t do much in his first year but this year he’s expected to play much better. You didn’t see much from him in game one and he and Crawford switch out a lot but Howard was on when it counted. They’re both physical and fast, Crawford’s probably been more productive at the position in their young careers thus far. FAU had no passing game, as they’re quarterbacks were green, so this should be these guys first real test.


22        Kacy Rodgers II

30        AJ Highsmith

02        Deon Bush

Deon Bush is the main attraction here but a groin injury may sideline him again for Saturday’s game. If he does play, he’ll be limited but he’s so fierce that if he’s on the field, he’ll likely be trying to give it everything he has. Rodgers played exceptionally well against FAU, notching a sack and four tackles. The senior looks poised to break out but is largely unproven, especially against the pass, haven given up big plays before. Highsmith, the former quarterback, has experience and played a starting role opposite of Bush for much of last season.


26        RayShawn Jenkins

28        Nantambu-Akil Fentress

If there was a position to test on the field for Florida early in Saturday’s game, this would be it. Without Bush on the field and having either Rodgers or Highsmith on the other side, this side is left with inexperience. Jenkins played a fair amount last year, especially late but is still relatively new to a full-time role. He does have ball skills and as a former wide receiver, can pick the ball off and make something happen with it. Fentress is a walk-on who will likely earn a scholarship soon. He’s predominantly a special teams ace.


37        LaDarius Gunter

35        Nate Dortch

01        Artie Burns

Gunter, the former junior college transfer, is in his second season at Miami and has become their staple at the cornerback position. He’s their most talented and physical corner. He rarely comes off the field. Behind him is Nate Dortch, a freshman with only an FAU game under his belt and who is small in size, only 5’11”, 173 lbs. Burns, the true freshman, is a burner and has good size at 6’0”, 190 lbs but is as unproven as Dortch.

Kick Off Returner

04          Phillip Dorsett

08          Duke Johnson OR

01          Artie Burns

Both Dorsett and Johnson are threats to take it the distance anytime they touch the ball. Johnson did so twice last year and had several near misses. Dorsett has done so in the past but isn’t as likely as Johnson. Burns likely won’t be back to return kicks as a true freshman in a game of this magnitude but if he is, he’ll be the up man in the two man formation. And if they kick to him, he’ll likely take a knee if the ball is anywhere near the endzone.

Punt Returner

04       Phillip Dorsett

21        Antonio Crawford

Dorsett has been the main guy but although he’s not listed, against FAU, Miami lined up Dallas Crawford the backup running back, on punts alongside Dorsett. Though he’s been there since a freshman, Dorsett rarely makes big plays in the punt return game. Crawford, though listed here, will likely not be given an opportunity and instead, freshman Stacy Coley could see some time if a spark is needed.


16        Matt Goudis

Goudis was 2-2 on field goals last week versus FAU and perfect on extra points.  He’s been steady in his first season of real action.


16        Pat O’Donnell

Pat O’Donnell has a huge leg and was a big weapon for Miami’s sputtering offense in the first half against FAU.  He had great distance, hang time and placement on his punts

Kick Off

16        Pat O’Donnell

O’Donnell has the big leg and had nothing but touchbacks against FAU.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC