The Miami Hurricanes’ coaching staff enjoyed a facelift during the offseason, and the hiring of offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has provided an entirely new lens when projecting Miami’s success in 2022 and beyond. One of the brightest young minds in the game, a former Alabama assistant, and now, quarterback Tyler Van Dyke’s right-hand man, Gattis’ addition alongside newly minted Head Coach Mario Cristobal has provided a breath of fresh air in South Beach.
Under now SMU head coach Rhett Lashlee last fall, Van Dyke thrived. In 10 starts, he threw for nearly 3,000 yards through the air and 25 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions. Lashlee’s RPO-centric offense allowed the first-year starter in Van Dyke to become immediately comfortable under fire. However, with Gattis’ handprint firmly on the offense now, the Hurricanes will look to become a more well-rounded attack to not only keep teams honest but to relieve the pressure on his young quarterback’s shoulders to play hero ball each and every week.
“You’ll notice a difference,” Van Dyke said of the offense under Josh Gattis. “We don’t run as many RPOs [run/pass options] as we used to. A lot more pass concepts, more run schemes that we didn’t necessarily have last year… we have a lot of playmakers. You get the ball to them in space and they make something happen. As long as the line gives me some time and we get the playmakers the ball, it’s going to be a good season.”
Although the departures of Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley will hurt on the outside, Van Dyke wasn’t the only freshman to enjoy success in 2021. Wideouts Xavier Restrepo and Key’Shawn Smith both return for Gattis’ unit, and each should earn a healthy amount of targets with the aforementioned duo of Rambo and Harley off to the NFL. Alongside the two underclassmen, Clemson transfer Frank Ladson Jr. looks set to play the isolated ‘X’ and former Ole Miss ball-carrier Henry Parrish Jr. looks in line to bolster the ground game after the Rebels earned all-world running back Zach Evans’ (TCU) commitment in the transfer portal.
Last year, Miami’s offense ranked 97th in rushing yards per game (totaling 127.6 yards per outing) compared to Michigan’s 214.3 yards on the ground per game (15th). Gattis’ influx of wide-zone principles and a deep rotation of backs could present a case of pick your poison for opposing defenses. Stack the box and Van Dyke will shred the secondary. Take beef away from the trenches to counter the aerial barrage and the legs of Parrish Jr. coupled with Jaylan Knighton add an entirely new dynamic to the Miami offense that was non-existent under Manny Diaz.
Behind the arm of the reigning ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year in Van Dyke, Miami has all the talent to be successful. With a new, resounding voice to rally around under Gattis—whose philosophy and blend of scheme in cahoots with Cristobal could return the Hurricanes back to double-digit wins for the first time since 2015—year two under center for Miami’s signal-caller could see him blossom into one of the country’s elite in just a matter of time.
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