Lorenzo Lingard shines in Miami Hurricanes track debut

Running back Lorenzo Lingard is one of the top hurdlers and sprinters in the Southeast U.S. (247Sports)

Running back Lorenzo Lingard is one of the top hurdlers and sprinters in the Southeast U.S. (247Sports)

[Mark Richt, Miami agree to contract extension]

Miami sees Lorenzo Lingard becoming one of the ACC’s top running backs.

For now, he’s running track.

The five-star true freshman made his college debut at the National Relay Championships last weekend, hosted by the University of Arkansas, and it went well.

Lingard stepped in and ran the anchor leg of Miami’s 4×100 relay team, along with sophomore McKinly Brown, junior Myles Valentine and junior Isaiah Taylor. The Hurricanes finished eighth of nine teams, but Lingard helped them to a season-best finish of 40.44 seconds.

Miami’s plan for Lingard, according to a school spokesman, is to run the 110-meter hurdles for the rest of the spring.

Lingard, who would be competing against high-schoolers this spring if he didn’t enroll early at Miami, was a high school junior when he ran his personal best of 13.94 seconds in the 110 hurdles. That would place him among this season’s national collegiate leaders.

Lingard, 6-feet and 195 pounds, could in time become a 215-pound tailback with breakaway speed. Rated No. 2 among running backs in the recruiting class of 2018, he spent the spring as No. 3 on Miami’s depth chart behind junior-to-be Travis Homer (5-11, 200) and sophomore DeeJay Dallas (5-10, 220).

Lingard is expected to make his home track debut next Thursday through Saturday, when Miami hosts the ACC Championships. The NCAA East Preliminary is May 24-26 in Tampa. The NCAA Championships are June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.

UM’s Greentree (football) and Cobb (track and soccer) fields are adjacent, and plenty of athletes have bounced between the two. According to UM, 14 track school records are held by football players. Names in the record book include Randal Hill, Bennie Blades, Horace Copeland, Ed Reed, Santana Moss and Vince Wilfork. The most recent two-sport star was cornerback Artie Burns, who broke a 38-year-old American junior record in the 60-meter hurdles in 2014. He is preparing for his third season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Burns’ brother, Thomas, was last year’s national leader in the 300 meter hurdles (35.25) and is second this year (36.56). He has committed to run track at Miami.