University of Miami

UM linemen: 'We ran out of gas,' lost focus, at season's end. They expect better 2018

Miami offensive players, including center Tyler Gauthier (74) and current left tackle Tyree St. Louis, watch as the Hurricanes face Clemson in the ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017.
Miami offensive players, including center Tyler Gauthier (74) and current left tackle Tyree St. Louis, watch as the Hurricanes face Clemson in the ACC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

If they had lined up on I-95, you might say they sputtered, then conked out about two-thirds toward their destination — three consecutive sad performances after a 10-0 start.

“Ran out of gas,’’ is how University of Miami senior offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis, who moved from right tackle in 2017 to left tackle this past spring to replace the departed Kc McDermott, put it Thursday at a Hurricanes community service event at The Barnyard youth recreation center in Coconut Grove. “Injuries, lack of focus…’’

The Canes ranked 75th nationally last season in sacks allowed (29). They were 54th of 129 ranked teams in passing offense (242 1/2 yards a game) and 71st in rushing offense (160.8-yard average).

Said new starting right guard Hayden Mahoney, a 6-5, 296-pound redshirt junior: “We just need to focus down the stretch.. I think that’s been a problem for a while—focus in every game on each task.’’

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Starting senior center Tyler Gauthier, recently named to the 2018 spring watch list for the Rimington Trophy that goes to the top center in college football, said Thursday that he thought the Canes “were ready to match’’ Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game and Wisconsin in the Capital One Orange Bowl.

“But they got the best of us those two days,’’ said the 6-5, 305-pound Gauthier. “They showed up and they played better.’’

Despite losing McDermott and left guard Trevor Darling, the Canes say they’re determined to take the next step if they’re to meet the Top-10 expectations put out by some preseason publications.

UM’s starting five as the Canes head into 2018: 6-5, 305-pound senior left tackle St. Louis, 6-4, 320-pound senior left guard Jahair Jones, Gauthier, Mahoney and 6-6, 350-pound sophomore Navaughn Donaldson at right tackle.

Watch UM freshman quarterback Jarren Williams play hoops with cornerback Gilbert Frierson at a community service event Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Their rotating backups: left tackle George Brown (6-7, 283), right tackle John Campbell (6-5, 295) and Kai-Leon Herbert (6-5, 285) playing both sides; and guards Delone Scaife (6-3, 315) and Zalon’tae Hillery (6-6, 287).

Three-star Miami Carol City cornerback Jarvis Brownlee, 6-0 and 168 pounds, committed to the Hurricanes class of 2019 on Thursday. His commitment moved UM to No. 5 in the 2019 team recruiting rankings, according to both 247Sports and rivals.com. UM has 14 commitments for that class.

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