With fall camp set to kickoff Tuesday, Aug. 5 it's time to start looking ahead to the season and what is in store for the Hurricanes in Al Golden's fourth season as head coach.
There are plenty of new faces on campus already, but here are the five most important newcomers you need to know about and follow.
1. Jake Heaps, QB, Sr., 6-1, 210, transfer from Kansas: Golden didn't take long to go in search of a quarterback with some experience as soon as Ryan Williams went down with a torn ACL in his right knee late in spring camp. Here's all you need to know about Heaps -- he has more starts (25), completions (491), attempts (896), yards (5,182), touchdown passes (32) and interceptions (27) in college than anybody else on UM's roster combined. And that includes Williams and Gray Crow, who was just moved to H-Back.
Heaps' experience gives him a leg up on the rest of the four-man field competing to start on Labor Day Night in Louisville. But how quickly he's able to pick up the offense will be pivotal of course. He's only been on campus since the end of June. But the good news is offensive coordinator James Coley has been able to visit with Heaps and his collection of freshmen quarterbacks two hours a week over the summer to break down film thanks to a new NCAA rule. So they aren't coming in completely raw.
Heaps, who also played at BYU before Kansas, said the Hurricanes offense was very similar to the schemes and concepts he used at both of his previous college stops. He fully believes he can have success being a simple distributor in the Hurricanes' offense. That might be all coaches need to see from Heaps to land the starting job over redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen and true freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier.
2 and 3. (tie) Calvin Heurtelou, DT, 6-3, 318, Jr., Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College and Michael Wyche, DT, 6-4, 330, Jr., East Los Angeles College: Miami's search for a dominant run stuffer has been ongoing for years now and both of these former JUCO standouts are expected to come in and contribute if not start.
Heurtelou has been here since the spring and was already considered a co-starter along with junior Earl Moore (6-1, 304). Heurtelou posted 59 tackles with four sacks and two fumble recovers last season. Wyche arrived this summer. At East L.A., he racked up 26 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss including one interception as a sophomore.
Outside of senior Olsen Pierre (6-5, 305), who started 12 games and racked up 33 tackles, a sack and two quarterback hurries in 2013, Miami doesn't have much in the way of experience at defensive tackle. Moore started two games out of necessity as a true freshman and was in mostly on special teams last season after UM was able to bring in some transfers. Junior Corey King (6-1, 302) was pretty much in the same situation last year after starting once in 2012. Junior Jelani Hamilton (6-5, 290) has moved over from end and is also in the mix.
4 and 5. (tie) Juwon Young, LB, 6-2, 240, Fr., Albany, Ga., and Darrion Owens, LB, 6-3, 217, Fr., Orange Leaf, Fla.
- With Alex Figueroa and JaWand Blue getting booted off the team after being charged with sexual battery earlier this month, the linebacker position has become an even bigger area of concern than it already was. The good news for Miami is Young and Owens were already on campus for spring football and have at least 15 practices under their belts.
Young, who chose UM over offers from North Carolina and Mississippi, had an interception in the spring game and is already listed as a backup to Denzel Perryman at middle linebacker. Owens, listed as the backup to Thurston Armbrister at outside linebacker, was a Semper Fidelis All-American and chose the Canes over Auburn and Georgia.
Still, Miami is one Perryman turned ankle away from being in DEFCON 5. There is no time for sophomore Jermaine Grace (6-1, 213) and junior Raphael Kirby (6-1, 238) to mess around. They have to be ready to go.
> Joe Yearby, RB, 5-9, 180, Miami Central: Golden moved Dallas Crawford to safety in part because of how much he believes in Yearby, who like Duke Johnson lit up Miami-Dade County in high school and is also coming off a serious injury.
With emerging sophomore Gus Edwards (6-2, 234) and sophomore bruiser Walter Tucker (6-0, 218) around Yearby won't be pressed into major duty right away. But Yearby is going to get work when Johnson needs a breather and Coley wants to keep the offense going with an elusive and explosive back.
-- MANNY NAVARRO