Unfamiliar faces to see playing time

The Miami Hurricanes lost 18 lettermen from the 2001 national championship, including 12 starters from that bunch. If Larry Coker’s team wants to have a chance at repeating the feat, then he will need help from several of the new faces.

41 freshmen don the Hurricanes’ uniform this season, some who look to make an immediate impact similar to Frank Gore’s last season. Head coach Larry Coker has named first-year players to the fullback and left cornerback positions, respectively. Several other Miami freshmen should see a lot of plays with the second-team unit, while some look to make their initial impact on special teams

The secondary could be where Hurricane fans have the most trouble recognizing some of the new numbers. Two of those freshmen are in the mix for serious playing time in the defensive backfield. Coaches project Kelly Jennings, a redshirt freshman from Live Oak, Florida, to start at one cornerback position, while another redshirt freshman, Marcus Maxey, looks to get a lot of work at strong safety.

The linebacking core spotlights some fresh blood as well. Many people tout 6-4, 225 Leon Williams as the next great middle linebacker in the University of Miami program. Williams begins this year behind Jonathan Vilma at that spot. Redshirt freshman Rocky McIntosh may also get a lot of time at the strong side, as he begins the year as the second-teamer at that spot.

The defensive line remains intact from last season, as 11 lettermen return to the front. However, look for undersized, yet hard-working Thomas Carroll to lead the crop of freshman pushing for playing time on the front four.

On the other side of the ball, the Hurricanes lost all but four of their starters from 2001, so there is a gaping hole for newcomers to try to close off this season. Several freshmen will be