On Saturday, the Hurricanes brought football to Lockhart Stadium, home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers soccer team.
The annual spring game between the offense and defense showcased the returning talent that fans will see next season.
Fans dressed head to toe in Canes gear were also able to get autographs from alumni and current players.
Though the defense came out on top 54-47, the future of the team seems uncertain.
After losing many stars from the high-powered offense this year, fans are wondering what’s next for Hurricanes’ offense.
Maybe another young talent in Joseph Yearby will rise to take the place of Duke Johnson, or the shadow of Johnson in Gus Edwards can rise to finally take his place at the top of the running back totem pole.
“I think they all play a big role on keeping the backfield up. They have what it takes; I left everything I knew to them to help them become great,” NFL prospect Johnson said.
There could be a dark horse on the team.
Freshman recruit Mark Walton from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami could be that dark horse.
Another could be Jaquan Johnson, who played running back for a time at Killian High School and got 1,063 yards and 27 touchdowns in his first two years of football career.
But Johnson played safety as his dominant position, so one shouldn’t expect him to play much running back.
Trayone Gray is among the third running back in line from the returners, while Walter Tucker will be used mostly at fullback in the Power I formations.
“I think Gus and Joe are fighting, and obviously Trayone has got to keep battling while Walter will play one and fullback for us. And then Mark Walton come in. All that will be in place by the third week in May,” head coach Al Golden said.
It’s not only the loss of Duke Johnson but also the loss of Miami’s fastest player and one of the nation’s fastest players in Phillip Dorsett that has sent the wide receiving corps into a frenzy.
Stacy Coley had a season plagued with injury in 2014. Herb Waters and Rashawn Scott are coming back for their senior seasons, but freshman Braxton Berrios looks like the most intriguing and capable talent.
Berrios started more games as wide receiver than any other receiver other than Dorsett in 2014.
“We’re very deep at wide receiver, we’re very good, and it’s a void you can’t really necessarily fill,” he said. “You know we don’t have a 4.1 6-4 guy, but we have 4.3, 4.4 guys. We’re figuring it out and I think we’ll be fine.”
Another name in the mix who will be incoming freshmen Lawrence Cager from Baltimore. He was ranked the 43rd overall wide receiver in ESPN’s top 300.
The Hurricanes open the season at home against Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 5.