Miami's 'Spring Surprises' Are Now Players To Watch

Spring practice continues to be good for the Miami football program
Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Isaiah Horton (16) catches
Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Isaiah Horton (16) catches / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes have begun their final week of spring practices and a handful of pleasant surprises have emerged as key contributors. 

During their 7-6 campaign in 2023, Miami was inconsistent on offense and at times lacked the explosive plays necessary to close out tough games. Defensively, Miami was stout last season but will have to replace key contributors like safeties James Williams and Kam Kinchens, as well as defensive tackle Leonard Taylor. All three are preparing for the NFL Draft.

Here are five Hurricanes that are raising their stock heading into the annual spring game this Saturday, April 13th.

  1. Freshman tight end Elija Lofton is the player everyone is talking about for the past few weeks and for good reason. The former Las Vegas Bishop Gorman HS standout is earning consistent reps in practice across multiple positions. He not only lines up at tight end but has gotten work at wide receiver and significant reps at running back. Lofton looks natural in the backfield and could earn reps there in games this fall. At tight end, he has produced several one-handed catches and other highlight-worthy plays. 
  2. Linebacker Wesley Bissainthe, heading into his junior season, appears to be bringing his game to an even higher level. He’s added around 15 lbs of muscle to complement his natural range and quickness. Bissainthe has taken it upon himself to become more of a leader, especially since resident alpha Kiko Mauigua has been out this spring with injury. 
  3. Quarterback Emory Williams has been trending up throughout spring football. He got healthy just in time for spring but had to shake some rust off early after fracturing his non-throwing arm in November. Williams has provided steady competition for Reese Poffenbarger, as the two battle behind starter Cam Ward. 
  4. Third-year receiver Isaiah Horton can have a breakout season in 2024. He appears to be positioning himself to start in the spot vacated by Colbie Young, who transferred earlier this year to Georgia. Horton has been a steady performer in spring ball and looks to be building chemistry with Ward. 

Brian Smith


Fan Nation High school football recruiting analyst covering the state of Florida, as well as across the Southeastern United States and the state of Texas.