What to expect: OT's

Orlando Franklin

The Hurricanes are set to begin fall camp this week so lets take a closer look at what to expect from the 2010 Hurricanes. Our next look is at the offensive tackle position.

--Orlando Franklin, 6-6, 325, Senior

So far: After redshirting in 2006, Franklin emerged as a part-time starting guard in 2007 and has played in 38 straight games since then. He's had two solid seasons in a row. At the end of last season, he was moved to left tackle to play in place of injured Jason Fox. He held his own in those games and then had a solid spring there.

Outlook: He was probably Miami's second best lineman last season and that's probably why they moved him (not Figs) to left tackle when Fox went down. He's considered the leader of the group now. He plays the most important position and has the most experience of the starting five. He was OK during the last few games of 2009 but things won't be easy for him this season -- especially with the early season schedule the Canes have. He's likely going to be a guard at the NFL level but hopefully he's solid enough to keep the pressure of Jacory Harris this season.

2010 Prediction: He's been a solid guard for the past few seasons so expect him to be an above average-to-solid tackle this season. He'll likely be an improvement over Fox in the running game but likely won't be that caliber in pass protection.

--Joel Figueroa, 6-4, 335, Senior

So far: After redshirting in 2006, Figs played a limited role as a backup in 2007. He became the full-time starter at guard in 2008 and has been a two-year starter there. He struggled a lot in his first season but emerged as a solid player at guard last season. He sat out spring rehabbing an injury and while younger linemen filled in and received lots of reps. He was recently switched to right tackle, where he played in high school. He was lightly recruited out of North Miami High and wasn't offered by the Canes until late January of his senior year.

Outlook: His move to right tackle probably indicates two things: 1) the coaches wanted more experience there than what Johnson ( a RS-FR) was going to bring to the table and 2) they're happy with the progress of guards Harland Gunn and Brandon Washington. Figs played tackle in high school but his best position is guard and that's why he's been playing there the last few seasons. He'll play guard at the pro level, if he makes it that far. Size, strength, and O-Line starting experience are the positives. The biggest question mark will be whether he has the footwork and athleticism to handle the position.

2010 Prediction: He's been above average at guard and so expect the same at tackle. Still, Figs has to be considered an upgrade from Matt Pipho there last season.

--Benjamin Jones, 6-5, 310, Sophomore

So far: Not much. After redshirting in 2008, he played a limited backup role in four games last season. He's played both tackle spots before settling in as Franklin's backup at left tackle in the spring. He was a two-way lineman at Miami Northwestern High and signed with the Canes as a three-star recruit.

Outlook: He came here with a lot of size and athleticism but he was still very raw. He was able to get some reps last season and had a solid spring. He just needs to keep getting stronger. He's getting closer to really making a difference and is probably a year away.

2010 Prediction: He'll likely be a strong candidate to take over the left tackle position going into 2011 so look for him to play a key backup role this season while getting increased reps behind Franklin.

--Jermaine Johnson, 6-6, 310, RS Freshman

So far: Nothing. He redshirted last season after signing with the Canes out of Prep School. A basketball player growing up, Johnson decided to give football a try late in his prep career at St. Thomas Aquinas. He helped them win a state title. He signed with Auburn out of high school but didn't qualify and enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy, where Miami found him and signed him.

Outlook: He has an ideal combintion of size and athleticism and had a solid spring while getting reps at right tackle. Until the coaches moved Figs there this summer, Johnson was expected to open camp as the starter at RT. The talent isn't the issue. It's experience. He has none and that probably played a key role in that decision. He has a big upside and just needs to get his feet wet. He seems to have a bright future at Miami.

2010 Prediction: The coaches will likely work him in slowly this season but look for him to play a key backup role and likely be Miami's sixth best offensive lineman this fall.

--Cory White, 6-4, 270, RS Freshman

So far: Nothing. He redshirted last season after signing with the Canes as a lightly recruited player from the Jacksonville area. He was a tight end early in his prep career before playing tackle his senior season. He was considered one of the top linemen in Jacksonville his senior year.

Outlook: White was 230 pounds in the spring of his junior year of high school, when the Canes offered him. He got to close to 250 when he graduated. The height and athleticism were there but the question with him was how long would it take for him to add the necessary weight. He's now listed at 270 so he probably needs another year in the weight room and on the practice field before being able to really contribute.

2010 Prediction: With the exception of Barton (strong redshirt candidate) and Plein (limited upside), White will likely see the field the least out of the tackles. There's a decent chance he may not see the field at all this fall.

--Stephen Plein, 6-6, 260, RS Freshman

So far: Nothing. He redshirted last season after signing with the Canes as a lightly recruited tight end. He played the first part of his prep career in the state of Georgia before playing at Fort Myers High as a senior. He played tight end as a senior and had an OK senior season. He was offered following a strong performance at Miami's summer camp in the summer of 2008.

Outlook: He was one of the most lightly recruited players Miami has signed in recent years and still needs to continue adding strength. He's not as talented as the tackles Miami just signed and probably isn't as far along as White or Johnson (from his class). His upside seems limited compared to the others here.

2010 Prediction: He'll probably see the least amount of playing time out of the seven tackles expected to see the field this fall for the Hurricanes. There's a good chance he may not see the field at all.

--Seantrel Henderson, 6-8, 340, Freshman

So far: Nothing. He just committed to the Canes (after signing with USC before being released from his LOI there) and is expected to report later this week. He was the No. 1 overall prospect on Scout for the Class of 2010. He had an outstanding prep career in Minnesota and then dominated the competition at the U.S. Army All-American Game in January.

Outlook: He has big time upside. His size and athletic combo is outstanding. He's as talented as any lineman Miami has signed in several years and was definitely the most heavily recruited of all of the tackles on this year's roster. He's probably more likely to see playing time at right tackle early in his career. He's still very raw and hasn't played a lot of big time competition yet so he may need time to shed some weight, continue learning the position, and get adjusted to the speed of the college game.

2010 Prediction: For those reasons mentioned above, he's likely not going to be a major factor early but look for him to get increased playing time as the season goes along. He'll likely be groomed to play a huge role for the Canes in 2011.

--Jermaine Barton, 6-7, 275, Freshman

So far: Nothing. He just signed with the Canes and enrolled in the summer. He was a three-star caliber prospect coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas High. After growing up a basketball player, he decided to give football a try later in his prep career and emerged as a solid recruit for the Raiders.

Outlook: He has a lot of the tools you look for in an offensive tackle prospect -- good size, long arms, quick feet, and some good athleticism. He was well-coached in high school but comes to UM with limited experience and is still very raw. He'll need to bulk up, add more strength, and continue learning the position before he's ready to make any type of impact. The upside is nice, though.

2010 Prediction: Redshirt. He's probably the least likely of the eight tackles to play any this season for the reasons mentioned above.

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