What will Miami need in the transfer portal? Where the Canes' roster stands (2024)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami will host its spring game on campus Saturday, and as soon as it ends coach Mario Cristobal and his staff will go right back into recruiting and roster management mode.

After hosting hundreds of visitors this spring, Miami has close to three dozen official visits lined up beginning in late May. Since signing a top-five recruiting class last cycle, Miami has received pledges from five blue-chippers among six commitments in its 2025 recruiting class (ranked 17th in the 247Sports Composite). More could follow before the official visit season kicks off this summer.


That’s the long play.

The short play: finding immediate help when the spring transfer portal window opens Tuesday.

Miami is expected to look at what’s available at running back, receiver, edge rusher, linebacker and defensive back. Cristobal also has to be ready to fill any new holes if there are surprise departures.

Here’s a look at Miami’s roster by position with 2025 commitments, recruiting targets and an overall outlook.


Roster (5): Cameron Ward (Gr.), Reese Poffenbarger (R-Jr.), Jacurri Brown (R-So.), Emory Williams (So.), Judd Anderson (Fr.)

2025 commitments: Luke Nickel (four-star, No. 291)

Miami is counting on a strong season from Ward in Shannon Dawson’s second season to impress prospective recruits and transfers down the road. In the meantime, it looks like the 2025 starting job will be a battle between Poffenbarger and Williams. Nickel, an August 2023 commitment out of Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton High, is all but locked in as the expected 2025 signee.

Running back

Roster (6): Ajay Allen (R-So.), TreVonte’ Citizen (R-So.), Mark Fletcher Jr. (So.), Chris Johnson (R-Fr.), Chris Wheatley-Humphrey (Fr.), Jordan Lyle (Fr.)

2025 commitments: Girard Pringle (four-star, No. 233)

2025 targets: Alvin Henderson (four-star, No. 94), Ousmane Kromah (four-star, No. 72), Byron Louis (four-star, No. 203), Shekai Mills-Knight (Unranked)

With 2022 and 2023 leading rusher Henry Parrish Jr. in the portal, it’s expected Miami will be active in finding another capable No. 1 running back to pair with Fletcher as he returns this summer from a foot injury sustained in the Pinstripe Bowl. Allen and Johnson are speedy, complimentary backs, and Citizen still needs to prove he’s fully recovered from a major knee injury. Lyle, whom Miami swiped from Ohio State late in last year’s recruiting cycle, could potentially be the Hurricanes’ lead back down the road.

What will Miami need in the transfer portal? Where the Canes' roster stands (3)

Mark Fletcher was second on the team with 514 rushing yards. (Vincent Carchietta / USA Today)


Roster (10): Xavier Restrepo (R-Sr.), Jacolby George (Sr.), Michael Redding III (R-Jr.), Shemar Kirk (R-Jr.), Isaiah Horton (R-So), Nathaniel Joseph (So.), Robby Washington (R-Fr.), Joshisa Trader (Fr.), Ny Carr (Fr.), Chance Robinson (Fr.)

2025 commitments: Waden Charles (four-star, No. 295)

2025 targets: Jaime Ffrench (five-star, No. 17), Dallas Wilson (five-star, No. 23), Vernell Brown III (four-star, No. 85), Cortez Mills (four-star, No. 97), Joshua Moore (four-star, No. 389), Tyler Williams (three-star, No. 537)

Trader and Carr showed this spring they’re well positioned to move into starting spots once Restrepo and George are gone after this coming season, with Horton on the bubble to prove he can be a dependable, big outside receiver. Landing two to three elite receivers this cycle, though, is a priority for depth going into 2025. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see Miami add a high-end portal addition this spring if one becomes available.

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Tight end

Roster (5): Cam McCormick (Gr.), Elijah Arroyo (R-Jr.), Riley Williams (So.), Jackson Carver (R-Fr.), Elija Lofton (Fr.)

2025 commitments: Luka Gilbert (four-star, No. 254)

2025 targets: Brock Schott (four-star, No. 225)

If Arroyo has the kind of bounceback season some expect him to have and Miami’s tight ends improve, the Hurricanes will be in the market to add a quality tight end through the portal and potentially as many as two freshmen this recruiting cycle. Throw in the fact that Lofton, a breakout star in practice, could move to running back or be utilized in ways that lead him out of the tight room, and this is an important season on the trail.

Offensive line

Roster (17): Zach Carpenter (Gr.), Luis Cristobal Jr. (R-Sr.), Logan Sagapolu (R-Sr.), Jalen Rivers (R-Jr.), Jonathan Denis (R-Jr.), Ryan Rodriguez (R-Jr.), Anez Cooper (Jr.), Markel Bell (Jr.), Matthew McCoy (R-So.), Francis Mauigoa (So.), Samson Okunlola (R-Fr.), Antonio Tripp Jr. (R-Fr.), Tommy Kinsler IV (R-Fr.), Frankie Tinilau (R-Fr.), Deryc Plazz (Fr.), Nino Francavilla (Fr.), Juan Minaya (Fr.)

2025 commitments: Lamar Williams (three-star, No. 507)

2025 targets: Solomon Thomas (five-star, No. 14), Jaelyne Matthews (four-star No. 108), Cortez Smith (four-star, No. 113), Ziyare Addison (four-star, No. 213), Isaac Sowells Jr. (three-star, No. 744), Gabe Smith (three-star, No. 875), Demetri Manning (three-star, No. 905)


We still don’t know who all five starters will be this fall, but this is a position of strength for Miami. There’s a chance the Hurricanes could be in position to replace three starting offensive linemen after the 2024 season with Carpenter out of eligibility and Rivers and Cooper draft-eligible. But Cristobal and position coach Alex Mirabal have recruited the position well and will likely have a few scholarships to offer after some departures of linemen buried on the depth chart.

Defensive line

Roster (19): C.J. Clark (Gr.), Marley Cook (Gr.), Elijah Alston (Gr.), Jared Harrison-Hunte (Gr.), Thomas Gore (Gr.), Anthony Campbell (Gr.), Akheem Mesidor (R-Sr.), Ahmad Moten (R-So.), Rueben Bain Jr. (So.), Jayden Wayne (So.), Josh Horton (R-Fr.), Armondo Blount (Fr.), Marquise Lightfoot (Fr.), Cole McConathy (Fr.), Justin Scott (Fr.), Booker Pickett (Fr.), Artavius Jones (Fr.), Elias Rudolph (Fr.), Daylen Russell (Fr.)

2025 targets: Elijah Griffin (five-star, No. 4), Elyiss Williams (four-star, No. 20), Nathaniel Marshall (four-star, No. 33), Iose Epenesa (four-star, No. 34), Zion Grady (four-star, No. 47), Myron Charles (four-star, No. 128), Mariyon Dye (four-star, No. 187), Hayden Lowe (four-star, No. 209), Randy Adirika (four-star, No. 360), Jarquez Carter (four-star, No. 385), Herbert Scroggins (three-star, No. 399), Derry Norris (three-star, No. 563), Floyd Boucard (three-star, No. 574)

There’s a reason Cristobal signed seven defensive linemen in the 2024 cycle. With seven veteran rotation players entering their final college seasons, Miami will have a lot of young players coming off a redshirt season heading into 2025 along with potential a mix of veteran portal additions and the team’s best defensive player in Bain. Even before Nyjalik Kelly announced Tuesday he was entering the portal, Miami was looking for more veteran help on the edge. USC transfer Romello Height reportedly visited Miami last weekend and appears in-line to replace Kelly as a rotational edge rusher.

1⃣ week until the @CanesFootball Spring Game 🙌

Catch all the action at 4 p.m. on ACC Network Extra! pic.twitter.com/moGz15lViz

— Miami Hurricanes (@MiamiHurricanes) April 6, 2024


Roster (10): Francisco Mauigoa (Sr.), Wesley Bissainthe (Jr.), Chase Smith (R-So.), Popo Aguirre (R-Fr.), Bobby Washington Jr. (R-Fr.), Malik Bryant (R-Fr.), Marcellius Pulliam (R-Fr.), Kaleb Spencer (R-Fr.), Adarius Hayes (Fr.), Cam Pruitt (Fr.)

2025 commitments: Elijah Melendez (four-star, No. 138)

2025 targets: Zayden Walker (five-star, No. 9), Eric Winters (four-star, No. 80), Jadon Perlotte (four-star, No. 82), Gavin Nix (four-star, No. 134), Ezekiel Marcelin (three-star, No. 443)


Mauigoa missed the spring recovering from shoulder surgery, which allowed Aguirre and other freshman linebackers to get plenty of reps as they prepare to take over in 2025. It’s quite likely Miami will kick the tires on portal targets to add a quality veteran rotational piece if one becomes available to add experienced depth behind starters Mauigoa and Bissainthe.

Defensive backs

Roster (14): Mishael Powell (Gr.), Daryl Porter Jr. (R-Sr.), Brian Balom (R-Jr.), Jadais Richard (Jr.), Jaden Harris (R-So.), Markeith Williams (R-So.), Savion Riley (R-So.), Damari Brown (So.), Robert Stafford (R-Fr.), Zaquan Patterson (Fr.), Isaiah Thomas (Fr.), Dylan Day (Fr.), Ryan Mack (Fr.), OJ Frederique Jr. (Fr.).

2025 targets: DJ Pickett (five-star, No. 8), Anquon Fegans (four-star, No. 36), Jamboree Antoine (four-star, No. 57), Hylton Stubbs (four-star, No. 60), Jontae Gilbert (four-star, No. 84), Dallas Golden (four-star, No. 93), Adonis Currie (four-star, No. 119), Ben Hanks Jr. (four-star., No. 139), Trystan Haynes (four-star, No. 151), Chris Ewald (four-star, No. 159), Amari Wallace (four-star, No. 220), Bryce Fitzgerald (four-star, No. 223), Mason Alexander (four-star, No. 325), Carson Lawrence (three-star, No. 469), Aidan Anding (three-star, No. 812)

Powell, Porter and Brown are expected to be among the five starters in the secondary, but we still aren’t sure who among Richard, Harris, Riley and Patterson will line up alongside them. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Miami added an experienced starter in the secondary familiar to cornerbacks coach Chevis Jackson or coordinator Lance Guidry. Dyoni Hill, a nine-game starter at corner for Jackson last season at Marshall, announced he was entering the portal Tuesday. As for Miami’s long-term outlook, the Hurricanes could certainly use some high-end signees in their 2025 recruiting class.

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Special teams

Roster (3): Andy Borregales (Sr.), Dylan Joyce (So.), Abram Murray (Fr.)

Outlook: The Hurricanes signed their replacement for Borregales, a Lou Groza award candidate, in the 2024 cycle, and welcomed Joyce to the team last season. Borregales was 22 of 26 on field goal attempts as a junior and named first-team All-ACC. Joyce earned All-ACC honorable mention, finishing third in the league in net average (41.9).

(Top photo: Doug Murray / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

What will Miami need in the transfer portal? Where the Canes' roster stands (2024)
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