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Miami’s Offense Gets an Injection of Speed This Offseason

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Photo courtesy @Rayraythaboy

Through high school recruiting and the transfer portal, the Miami Hurricanes offense has gotten a much-needed injection of speed this offseason. One of the major issues that Mario Cristobal pointed out when he got to Miami last year was the lack of speed and explosive players on the offensive side of the ball. That issue became apparent when watching Miami’s offense in the 2022 season as the Canes ranked 114th out of 131 FBS teams in plays of 20 yards of more. The offensive system,coupled with a team that was sorely missing playmakers, lead to an offense that struggled to put up points and had fans frustrated all year. A fast paced and exciting offense under new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, along with the influx of playmakers, will be a welcome site for Canes’ fans.

Starting at the high school recruiting level, Miami made it a priority to bring in more speed in its 2023 recruiting class. The Canes signed two four-star wide receivers in Nathaniel “Ray Ray” Joseph and Robby Washington that may be faster and more dynamic than any weapons Miami had last year. Ray RayJoseph is one of the most explosive playmakers to come out of South Florida over the past few years. He made plays at wide receiver, running back, quarterback and on special teams for Miami Edison high school and lit up the 7v7 circuit with his speed as a member of the South Florida Express. Much like Ray Ray Joseph, Robby Washington made plays all over the field for Palmetto high school and at the 7v7 level for the Miami Immortals. With both coming in as early enrollees, both are expected to make an impact and be involved on offense and special teams early on. 

Likely the fastest addition to the Canes’ this offseason will enroll in the summer as Dillard running back Christopher Johnson gets to campus. Johnson won both the 100m and 200m in the most recent event as he put down an impressive time of 10.4 in the 100m. Johnson is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball and is a weapon in the passing game out of the backfield. The speedy Dillard running back will bring an explosive dynamic that the Canes running back room has been missing over the past few years.

In addition to the speed added in Miami’s 2023 high school recruiting class, the Canes staff has added plenty of playmakers through the portal as well. Former Alabama and Louisville wide receiver Tyler Harrell was one of the fastest players in the transfer portal this year. Harrell is coming off a foot injury, but when healthy, is a player that can take the top off the defense at any time. In his last full season with the Cardinals, Harrell averaged over 29 yards per reception on his 18 catches and sixof them resulted in touchdowns. The most recent speedy addition to a Canes’ offense that was desperately needed is Junior College transfer Shemar Kirk. Kirk had over 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns in his two all-conference seasons at Reedley College. Kirk’s incredible speed and balance makes him a huge threat with the ball in his hands. Look for the Canes to get the ball to Kirk in the screen game and in creative ways to let him showcase his ability to outrun defenses and allude tacklers. 

The combination of system and lack of explosive players caused the 2022 Miami offense to be anemic. Miami fans and coaches alike hope that the new offense and playmakers will transform the Canes scoring ability and create a more exciting product. The 2023 Miami offense will have more speed and explosiveness than the Canes have had in quite some time.

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