Miami Hurricanes Spring Game Shows Quarterback Talent, Needs For The Transfer Portal

There's optimisim and opportunity for Miami's 2024 season
Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal on the field before
Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal on the field before / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Miami welcomed fans to Cobb Stadium for their annual spring game on Saturday, as the Hurricane faithful got a taste of what is to come in 2024 and beyond. 

Of course, all eyes were on Miami’s flashy new quarterback. Who else impressed and where might Miami look to add talent come the spring transfer window next week? 

Cam Ward Looked Every Bit Of The Heisman Candidate He’s Been Advertised 

What we’ve seen at practices makes this performance not much of a shock, but Cam Ward got settled and quickly started becoming a playmaker. Per the broadcast, Ward finished 19/24 passing for 324 yards and three touchdowns.

One of only 14 quarterbacks to throw for over 3,500 yards last season, Ward looks to have even better receiving talent than he did this past season. With Miami seemingly in the rumor mill for several transfer portal targets, Ward expressed that he’ll be involving himself in the recruiting process to bring players to Coral Gables. 

Isaiah Horton Could Very Well Be The Team’s Second Best Receiver 

This is absolutely not a shot at Jacolby George, who played sparingly today due to being limited, but the connection between Ward and Isaiah Horton appears to be a dangerous one. Horton, who was the heir apparent to Colbie Young after his departure, has stepped up and appears to be working hard every day to be a better receiver. 

After the game, Ward let the media know that Horton is consistently one of the first players at the practice facility. Horton also informed the media that he and Ward are practicing nearly every day, no matter where the location is. While it will be tough for Horton to take over George who had an All-ACC season, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. 

Expect Miami To Use the Transfer Portal To Find A Running Back 

One of the biggest storylines from the spring has been Miami utilizing freshman tight end Elija Lofton is working at running back. With an unorthodox size for a tight end, Lofton’s switch to the backfield provides Miami with the versatility to use him as a pass-catching threat from there as well. 

However, with the departure of Henry Parrish Jr., Miami will definitely have running back in mind when they head into the start of the portal this week. All eyes will be on Oregon State running back Damien Martinez who is set to enter the transfer portal and has links to a potential move to Coral Gables. Martinez, who finished with over 1300 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns last season, would give Miami a strong 1-2 punch, alongside Mark Fletcher, Jr., for this upcoming season. 

Offensive And Defensive Lines Will Only Get Better Come Fall 

Whether it just be overall development or players just getting healthy, the line of scrimmage for Miami will only improve come the start of fall camp. Miami has been without star right tackle Francis Mauigoa for all of spring, as his return will only further improve an already strong offensive line. With Samson Okunlola looking to be the option at guard for Miami opposite of Anez Cooper, more familiarity at the position over this summer will only help improve the line again. 

Defensively, Miami’s interior linemen are still just getting situated after transferring over from their respective programs, as more competition will arrive on campus when Justin Scott and Artavius Jones enroll come the end of the academic year. In terms of the edge defenders, freshman early enrollee Marquise Lightfoot had himself a day with a fumble recovery and a sack. Coach Mario Cristobal expressed praise for Lightfoot’s performance but mentioned he needs to continue to bulk up. Lightfoot came to Miami weighing 207 pounds and looks to reach 230.

At the end of the day, college football seasons can’t be determined by what is seen in the spring. However, a few right moves could lead to the Canes finding themselves in Charlotte at the end of the season for a chance to capture their first-ever ACC Title since switching over to the conference in 2004.


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Brian Smith

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.