The Miami Hurricanes will begin their spring practice on March 2, and there's a lot of excitement surrounding the program. Yes, the team finished at a disappointing 6-7 in 2019, but there have been a lot of changes since the end of the season.
Second-year head coach Manny Diaz will look to guide the Hurricanes to the top of the ACC Coastal Division in 2020. Before that, here are the top questions that will be asked this spring.
5 Storylines to Watch During Miami's Spring Practice
1. How will players fit into Rhett Lashlee's new system?
Miami will change its offensive system for the third time in three seasons, as Manny Diaz brought in Lashlee as the team's new offensive coordinator from SMU. Following their loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl, the team fired Dan Enos after just one season. Now, the Hurricanes will go to a more spread, up-tempo offense that Lashlee demonstrated at SMU.
In 2019, SMU finished the year ranked No. 9 in the country in total offense at 485.2 yards per game. In comparison, Miami ranked 98th in total offense at just 367.2 yards per game.
2. How will D'Eriq King look under center?
A graduate transfer from Houston, King is projected to be the Hurricanes starter at quarterback. After the inconsistencies at the position a year ago, King will likely be a significant upgrade over Jarren Williams and N'Kosi Perry, who both started at times last season.
Considering the success he had at Houston in 2018 when he threw for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns, King could potentially be one of the most significant additions to the Hurricanes roster. His 14 rushing touchdowns that season were second only to Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins.
3. Who will be the biggest breakout star in spring?
Despite their subpar record a year ago, the Hurricanes were able to recruit some top players to Coral Gables, including running back Don Chaney Jr., Keyshawn Smith, and Temple transfer defensive end Quincy Roche. Miami will also need to find replacements at linebacker and wide receiver, just to name a few.
4. The impact of Ed Reed as Chief of Staff
How will Reed and his new role as the Hurricanes Chief of Staff impact the players? What will be his responsibilities this spring? What will Reed's responsibilities be during the season and on game day? How involved will Reed be on a daily basis?
Although fans are happy to see Reed back on campus, will the current players, who never saw Reed play while he was at Miami, make a significant impact?
5. How will things be different for Diaz in Year 2?
Miami had high expectations as usual in 2019, only for the team to finish under .500. Now in just his second year, Diaz is already feeling the heat, and another six-win season could spell changes at Coral Gables.
Diaz had never been a head coach before last season, so there were bound to be growing pains. However, Hurricane fans are not known to show patience, so they will expect to be in the hunt for the ACC Coastal Division. The schedule is a bit more favorable, but North Carolina and Virginia Tech figure to also figure in the division race.
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.