Miami Hurricanes lose six players to transfer portal, NFL Draft

Miami Hurricanes transfer portal

Photo by Edwin Garcia


Miami, Florida – A wild period of college football is underway as the Miami Hurricanes bid farewell to six players via the transfer portal and NFL Draft. Fifth-year defensive end Jahfari Harvey kicked off the flurry of activity at Coral Gables. With one more year of eligibility left, the edge rusher will start a new chapter elsewhere after starting five games for the Hurricanes this season. Donald Chaney, Jr. and Corey Flagg, Jr. are also joining him in search of new programs with Tyler Van Dyke’s departure representing the biggest move and a new era at quarterback. These weren’t the only names making waves.

Both James Williams and Kamren Kinchens have declared for the draft with the latter considered the number one safety on the board according to CBSSports and PFF. Harvey tallied 97 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one interception, and a forced fumble in his tenure with The U. Chaney overcame a lot of adversity in the form of injuries finishing his Canes career with 852 yards and six touchdowns. Flagg totaled 179 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, five and a half sacks, one pick, and one forced fumble in 41 career games for Miami. Williams completes three seasons with the team producing 162 tackles, two tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, 17 pass breakups, and four INTs. Kinchens caps off an impressive three-year stint also compiling 162 tackles, five tackles for loss, a sack, two forced fumbles, 26 pass breakups, and 11 interceptions.

Last but certainly not least, Van Dyke finishes his four-year run throwing for 7,469 yards including 54 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions in 27 starts (and 32 appearances) for the Hurricanes. In the words of Bob Dylan the times they are a-changin’.

Impressions

One by one Manny Diaz’s gets are cycled out of the roster. For those going to the draft, they’re ready to cash in. It varies for the others. This is all speculation but I imagine Harvey was not content with the way he was being utilized. A new system might prove a better fit. Chaney’s move caught me by surprise. I was expecting Henry Parrish, Jr. to declare he’s transferring. Heck, he still might. Freshmen Ajay Allen and Mark Fletcher represent the future making the running back corps a solid position for the next few years. This isn’t even throwing in the possibility of TreVonte’ Citizen getting healthy. Furthermore, add in the incoming recruits and you can see why Chaney figured it was best to depart.

Flagg is also surprising to me. However, in the era of NIL deals should I be? Should any of the fans? Think about it, in the span of an off-season a team’s roster could radically change. A strong argument can be made about committing NIL deals solely to the transfer portal. All that money and effort goes out the window on a recruit the moment he chooses to leave a couple of years later. So this leaves TVD. Given his struggles, coach Mario Cristobal is ready to move on. Either by recruitment or the portal, Van Dyke was not going to be QB1 next year. I want to see if he goes to SMU to rejoin head coach Rhett Lashlee who just signed an extension. Then we’ll see if it was him or the offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson’s system.

QB Watch

So who could Miami target for next season? There are four guys Cristobal should zero in on. Beginning with former Kansas State QB Will Howard, he’s a big name bringing experience and dual-threat capabilities. Howard threw for 2,643 passing yards complemented with 24 touchdowns. He rushed for 364 yards in addition to nine rushing TDs during the 2023 season. Howard’s four-year term culminated in 5,786 yards and 48 touchdowns. Auburn, Kentucky, Louisville, Missouri, and Washington are the destinations being thrown around per On3.

Another target is Mississippi State’s Will Rogers. Completing four seasons with the Bulldogs, this SEC gunslinger finishes the stint with 12,315 career passing yards and 94 TDs. That ranks second and fourth respectively in conference history. I’ll also add he threw 28 interceptions in 43 games. This will be a top target for a boatload of teams, however, that doesn’t mean Miami shouldn’t try bringing Rogers’ final year of eligibility to Coral Gables.

If coach Cristobal wants someone more long-term look no further than UConn QB Zion Turner. Reports show he intends to hit the transfer portal with three years of eligibility. He also has a connection to South Florida. The former three-star athlete was a starter at St. Thomas Aquinas going 37-2 and winning three consecutive state championships. A true freshman in 2022, Turner stepped in for starter Ta’Quan Roberson in week 1 after sustaining a season-ending injury. They finished 6-6 making a bowl appearance. Turner threw for 1,407 yards with nine TDs and 10 INTs. Roberson reclaimed the starting gig in ’23 once he was healthy.

Lastly, UM can always get Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa. Sound familiar? It’s Tua’s little brother. Per the Washington Post, he holds the Big 10 record for most all-time passing yards. Tagovailoa also holds the Maryland single-season and all-time school records for both completions and passing yards. In sum, we’ve got two big names, a local kid and Little Tua. This should be exciting.

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