Miami faced North Carolina short-handed on Saturday, with key offensive lineman Zion Nelson and backup tight end Elijah Arroyo sitting out the Hurricanes’ game against the Tar Heels.
Nelson had offseason knee surgery that sidelined him for Miami’s season-opener. The fourth-year junior played in the Hurricanes’ second and third games of the season but sat out UM’s loss to Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 24 after suffering what coach Mario Cristobal described a “setback.”
Arroyo, the second-string tight end, was “banged-up,” Cristobal said Monday. Arroyo has five catches for 66 yards this season.
However, the Hurricanes did return several key players who left their last game with injuries: running backs Jaylan Knighton and Henry Parrish Jr. were dressed to play, as were cornerbacks Tyrique Stevenson and and Daryl Porter Jr.
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Laurance Seymore and freshman defensive lineman Cyrus Moss were also in street clothes on the sideline on Saturday.
Two offensive linemen injured on successive plays
Hurricanes center Jakai Clark left the Hurricanes’ game against UNC in the second quarter.
Miami’s fourth-year junior went to the ground with an injury on a goal-line run. He went straight to the locker room and did not return in the first half.
On the next play, sixth-year redshirt senior Justice Oluwaseun suffered an injury and also went directly to the locker room. Oluwaseun, UM’s starting right guard, did not return in the first half.
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Busy recruiting weekend
The Hurricanes hosted several high school prospects and many members of the 2023 class at Saturday’s game.
Miami commit and four-star defensive lineman Jayden Wayne announced before the game that he would attend the Hurricanes’ ACC opener, as did three-star offensive lineman Antonio Tripp Jr.
Other members of the 2023 class in Miami Gardens for the game included five-star offensive lineman Francis Mauigoa, four-star tight end Riley Williams, four-star wide receiver Nathaniel Joseph, three-star offensive lineman Frankie Tinilau, three-star quarterback Emory Williams and three-star offensive lineman Tommy Kinsler, according to 247Sports.
Many uncommitted prospects also announced their plans to attend the game, including four-star 2024 edge rushers Booker Pickett and Ernest Willor Jr., five-star 2024 cornerback Desmond Ricks, five-star defensive lineman Justin Scott, three-star 2024 wide receiver Brandon Winton Jr., four-star 2025 cornerbacks Chris Ewald Jr., 2025 cornerback Ben Hanks Jr. and 2025 tight end JT Taggart — the son of FAU coach Willie Taggart.
Several of the attendees made the trip from Bradenton powerhouse IMG Academy, including Mauigoa, Williams, Wayne, Tripp, Ricks, Willor and Winton.
Five-star wide receiver Hykeem Williams, from Stranahan High in Fort Lauderdale, also attended the game, according to 247Sports. Williams, a frequent attendee at Miami games last season, committed to Florida State last month.
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