CORAL GABLES — Wide receivers coach and National Recruiting Coordinator Brennan Carroll, in his fourth season at Miami, has a dozen reasons to be excited about the upcoming 2014 season. His collection of receivers would make any coach confident, no matter the challenges they face. Carroll is enthusiastic about his group, saying this is the healthiest, fastest, and most explosive they’ve been since his arrival in Miami.
“It’s also the deepest group we’ve had,” Carroll told CaneInsider. “The guys know the system already. There’s not a lot of installation going on right now, we’re working on the nuances of the game. The whole group knows what we’re doing and what we expect of them. I think we’re ready to come out of the gate firing. It’s been a welcome change.”
Senior wideout Phillip Dorsett had a fantastic sophomore season, catching 58 passes for 842 yards and four touchdowns, followed up by a junior campaign that was cut short five games due to a knee injury. Coach Carroll said Dorsett should have a major impact and be a preferred target as UM breaks in a new quarterback.
“Dorsett was knocked around a little last season. He tried to come back, but we couldn’t get him healthy enough in time. But he’s started this offseason phenomenally and he’s attacking it. He’s flying around, catching the ball consistently and making plays. It’s great to have him back.”
Carroll envisions a greater role for Malcolm Lewis, who is finally 100% healthy after difficult seasons dealing with injuries.
“He was back last year, but he didn’t get cleared until right at the beginning of camp, so his conditioning wasn’t quite there. Lewis was still recovering somewhat and trying to get stronger in camp which is really difficult to do. But this season, he’s in shape, trimmed up, and he’s bulked up some. We’re excited about what he can do.”
“It’s a great thing [to have quality depth]. There are packages for everyone, we’ll be getting a lot of guys catches,” Carroll pointed out. “Waters is extremely talented; is showing flashes. Coley is extremely fast and he flashes as well. The things he did last year, he’s doing the same things in camp.”
The Hurricanes brought in a trio of skilled receivers in the 2014 class. Carroll is pleased with the haul thus far.
“Darrell Langham is standing out. He’s enormous, is a strong, tall target for us. He came in a little bit late, but he’s battling to get the playbook down, get caught up, and get back in shape. Tyre Brady has been here since the summer and Braxton Berrios was here in January. They both have good knowledge of the system and what our standards are. They both compete like crazy and are positioned to play. There’s a lot of guys that could play for us and it’s great to have this much depth. We’ll be fresh, fast, and explosive.”
On the recruiting front, Carroll said despite the scholarship reductions, Miami wants to sign a full class again in 2015.
“We never really want to cap the number. We always want to sign a full class and not hold any scholarships in our back pocket.”
The Canes have offered almost 300 athletes in this recruiting cycle, with many of those offers being extended out-of-state. Carroll explained the reason for that strategy.
“If we offer more kids nationally, it’s really out of need. For example, if we need to sign three guys at a certain position, we may need to offer 30 players to get to three. It really depends on the position and our need to build our program, year-to-year.”
However, Carroll said UM will always take homegrown talent into the program if the prospects can help the Hurricanes current ascension on the college football landscape.
“That’s fair to say. We’re always going to take care of home base. We have to make sure that we evaluate the talent down here better than anyone else, so if what we have down here is good enough to keep home, it’s always easier to recruit a kid across the street rather than go get a kid out-of-state.”
— Michael Bradley