With real, live college football games taking place later this month, it is not usually a hot time of year to think about the transfer market. However, Miami head coach Mark Richt announced on Monday that his team’s starting center, Nick Linder, would be leaving the program to pursue a graduate transfer.
Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the Sun Sentinel brings word from Richt on the move.
“Nick is going to sit out this season, he’s going to go home, I think and train for one semester and then he’s going to transfer somewhere else. He’s a graduate transfer … He’s going to graduate, he’s going to work out, from what he told me, and then he’s going to go somewhere else to finish his career.”
“When guys leave, it just puts pressure on the rest of the team. He’s a really good player and he knows what he’s doing and certainly, I’m disappointed. I’d rather him be here than not be here.”
This is certainly a blow to Miami’s offensive line depth, if only because Linder provided quite a bit of stability on the interior. He started nine games in 2016 before suffering an injury but all signs pointed to a healthy return and Richt’s statements are clearly from a coach that was not terribly pleased with the final result.
In Linder’s absence, Miami will turn to some combination of Corey Gaynor and Hayden Mahoney at the center position. It is certainly possible that the Hurricanes will be able to cover up the absence of Linder but, at the very least, the position becomes a spot of uncertainty as the season approaches.