August 20, 2016

Per Miami Herald's Barry Jackson: star Miami WR Stacy Coley investigated in car-rental case

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Following is what our Barry Jackson just reported on Miami football star receiver Stacy Coley, who has not been made available to talk to us all fall camp:

"2 pm Saturday: UM's investigation into players who might have used cars from a South Beach luxury car rental agency, in exchange for future promises, has expanded and now includes UM receiver Stacy Coley, according to a source with direct knowledge. As we have previously reported, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Jermaine Grace also are being investigated by UM for using cars from South Beach Exotic Rentals. UM, not the NCAA, is handling the investigation. UM has declined to say if any of the players will be suspended. Some UM players are expecting short suspensions for the players, but it remains unclear if that will happen. UM is still in the process of determing what, if any, discipline will be doled out."

As Canes fans know, Stacy Coley is without question one of the major talents on this offense, and without him the offense will be diminished. That's not to say he's getting suspended. I don't know right now. But it doesn't seem promising if indeed he is involved in this situation.

Coley, who has had an excellent fall camp, according to UM coach Mark Richt, chose to return to Miami for his senior season instead of entering the NFL Draft, giving the Hurricanes a major boost. The 6-1, 195-pound senior from Pompano Beach (Northeast High) played in 11 games last season. He had 47 catches for 689 yards and four touchdowns. He has 1,464 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in his career.

In this past Wednesday night's scrimmage, Coley had five catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Hard to replace that type of talent.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

Miami scrimmage: Kaaya (4 TDs, 395 yds); Willis (5 tackles, 2 sacks); Coley (5 catches for 125, 2 TD) shine

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 Mark Richt promised -- and delivered.

The Miami coach said after Wednesday night's scrimmage that he didn't immediately have stats and he would give them to us at another time.

Today was that day.

Here are some of the highlights:

OFFENSE

PASSING: Kaaya, 21 of 34 for 395 yards, 4 TDs and one interception.

Backups: Malik Rosier was 3 of 7 for 19 yards and 1 TD; Vincent Testaverde was 4 of 8 for 42 yards; Evan Shirreffs was 2 of 3 for 4 yards; Jack Allison was 0 of 6 with interception.

 RUSHING: Mark Walton, 8 for 39 (4.9 average); Joe Yearby, 2 for 20 (10 average); Gus Edwards. 15 for 57 (3.8); Travis Homer, 6 for 50 (8.3). Rosier, 2 rushes for 22 yards; Testaverde, 1 for 6. Shirreffs, 3 for 22. 

RECEIVING: Stacy Coley, 5 catches for 125 yards, 2 TD; Braxton Berrios, 3 for 87 and TD called back; Dayall Harris, 5 for 79, 2 TD (1 called back); Sam Bruce, 2 for 18; Darrell Langham, 2 for 17. 

DEFENSE

TACKLES: Gerald Willis, 5; Jermaine Grace, 5; Michael Jackson, 5; R.J. McIntosh, 4; Romeo Finley, 4; Shaq Quarterman, 3; Jaquan Johnson, 3;  Al-Quadin Muhammad: 2.

SACKS: Willis, 2; Grace, Demetrius Jackson and Quan Johnson: 1 apiece.

BREAKUPS: Adrian Colbert and Malek Young led the team with two apiece.

On defense, second-team tackle Gerald Willis, a Florida transfer who is eligible to play this season and was going against the first teamers (and second-teamers when he subbed in with the first team in passing situations, per CanesInsight) during the scrimmage, was a definite standout.

On offense, the Brad Kaaya connection with Coley, Berrios and Harris is key this season. Canes fans should be meditating to a "Stay-Healthy-Brad" mantra repeatedly this season.  

*** RB Trayone Gray, who tore his ACL last week, will undergo surgery on his knee Monday.

***WR Ahmmon Richards, the talented freshman who has turf toe, was out of practice to take care of a personal issue and will be back Monday, Richt said.

*** Weak-side linebacker Michael Pinckney (hamstring) was working out on the sideline "but is not quite ready'' yet, Richt said. "If he was a true freshman without spring ball, I doubt we'd be thinking a whole lot about trying to get him ready. But he showed enough in the spring that we think he can play at this level. He's a pretty sharp kid. We just have to get him healthy.''

*** Safeties coach Ephraim Banda named three safeties who are working in nickel and dime packages: Rayshawn Jenkins, Jaquan Johnson and Jamal Carter. Cornerback Corn Elder also works nickel.

*** Elder said returners for punts and/or kicks include himself, Coley, Malcolm Lewis, Berrios, Bruce and Richards. "We're just working on catching punts and catching kicks,'' Elder said. 

*** The Canes have off Sunday. Saturday was considered the last day of preseason camp, as school begins Monday and next week the Hurricane first-teamers will start working against the scout team. 

    SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 19, 2016

Canes backup QB battle down to Rosier, Testaverde; notes on the OL, freshman Dionte 'Jingle Joints' Mullins

And then there were two.

Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt announced Friday the backup quarterback job will be won either by redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier, Brad Kaaya's backup last season, or redshirt sophomore Vincent Testaverde, a walk-on and transfer from Texas Tech.

Redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, who had been taking second team snaps for most of camp, did not make the cut. Kaaya later revealed Shirreffs has been dealing with an injury on his throwing hand since the start of camp. Meanwhile, several players said it's expected highly-touted freshman Jack Allison will redshirt this coming season.

Richt plans to spend the final two weeks leading up to the team's Sept. 3 season opener letting Rosier and Testaverde split all of the second team reps. He said the battle to get into the final two was "a very tight race."

"The rest of the guys, I want them to keep competing," Richt said of his quarterbacks. "They're still in a lot of drill work...if somebody struggles in that two unit match, it might be someone [else] bumps in there. It's not 100-percent solid that one of those two will be the No. 2, but they're in the driver's seat right now. They'll get all the reps with the number twos.

"There were times when I would have said Evan [Shirreffs] is in that bunch. There were times where I would have said Jack [Allison] is in that two-man deal. It took a long time to get to this point. No one really was so consistent that I was like, 'This is a slam dunk.' All these guys, even the top two, they've not done everything like we want it done on a consistent basis. But they've shown flashes, and they're a little more solid, maybe, in their accuracy or the decision-making process. But, even today, a bad decision here and there that we just can't have. Now you're in that position, what are you going to do with it? You're getting the reps, what are you going to do with it? That's part of the exercise. Once a guy feels like it's down to two, what happens to him? Does he continue to focus and get better, or does he spit the bit?"

Richt remained consistent in saying Rosier has to do a better job of making the smart play and not trying to be a hero.

"I think Malik has a tendency to want to do something heroic," Richt said. "I keep telling him I don't need a hero, I need someone to run the system. I need someone to do what they're supposed to do on a down-by-down basis. There's two things that I'm teaching them - if there's a bad play, don't turn it into a catastrophe. In other words, sometimes we call a route and it's a one-high beater route, and we guess wrong. It ends up being two deep - well don't throw it into coverage. Throw the ball away. Or it's perfect coverage, but the guard gets beat by the three-technique [defensive tackle] and he's up in your face. Well, you might have to throw it away if you have time, or take a sack and protect the ball. Don't throw it under duress up in the air and let the ball get batted around and picked. Don't turn a bad play into a catastrophe. The other thing is, like I said before, most great plays are just a normal play that they do at an extraordinary time. Just be consistent in your reads, be consistent in your accuracy, be consistent in getting us in the right place, be consistent in declaring who the mike linebacker is and our run and passing game schemes to let everyone know who to block. Those are the things they have to do."

> Meanwhile, freshman receiver Dionte Mullins, cleared by the NCAA and UM on Thursday, practiced with his new teammates for the first time. Kaaya intimated Richt is a big fan of Mullins saying his coach refers to the freshman as "jingle joints."

"One play. He ran a little stop route. The ball was a little high, he snatched it, tucked it and turned up field, nice and smooth," Richt said of Mullins. "Looks like a really smooth athlete."

> Richt said he feels comfortable with about "six to seven" of team's offensive linemen being able to handle all assignments.

Who is in that group? We believe left tackle Trevor Darling, left guard Kc McDermott, center Nick Linder, right guard Danny Isidora, right tackle Sunny Odogwu and backup interior linemen Alex Gall and tackle Tyree St. Louis.

"I'd say [there are] six or seven that are ready in all areas," Richt said. "[That's] assignment and just the skill set to get the job done, and being able to do it on a consistent enough basis to have some peace.

"The linemen are like quarterbacks  -- certain guys will show flashes of doing it right, but if you do it right three times in a row and on the fourth time you whiff a guy, you're going to get somebody hurt - a back or a quarterback. I think guys are a lot closer to being ready than we were when we started in the spring, for sure. I'd say about six or seven. There's other guys that at least know what to do, and you can function like that. If a linemen knows what to do, and puts his hat in the right spot, and he fights like mad, even if he's not dominating, you can function and play."

St. Louis has been taking first team reps at right tackle and some at left tackle throughout at camp and Gall, a senior, can play all three interior spots.

"It’s a little bit different," St. Louis said of playing left tackle. "I haven’t even really touched that position since my senior year of high school, especially going against some of the competition out here. But it’s the best thing for me to be able to play both, especially in college.”

> Redshirt freshman Bar Milo, a four-star recruit from the same high school as Kaaya out in California, said he's been moved from tackle to left guard in the last week. He admitted Friday he's struggled in camp, but feels like the move might be for the best.

"Earlier in training camp, I was having a rough time," Milo said. "I was having mental issues. I went to Coach [Richt] and told him, and I can’t thank him enough for how patient he has been with me. I haven’t been playing how I wanted to this training camp, but I’m starting to get back into that fun, festive mood that I’m usually in when I get on the field, taking pride in the protection. If I’m one of those seven people, I’m glad he can trust me. I think I have a long way to go to where he can actually rely on me to put me in a game if someone goes down, but I’m excited to see what happens.”

August 18, 2016

Mark Richt on scrimmage: 'We got our money's worth as coaches'

 

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Mark Richt and a few players after Thursday's practice (plus a little video of Malcolm Lewis)

Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…

"Very short and sweet practice today, day after the scrimmage. Tomorrow we're going to have a full fundamental day again, so we wanted to give them a little bit of a break. We basically did most everything we normally do, we just kind of condensed the time of it. We also had some orientation meetings with a lot of our freshmen today, so that's why we're doing it in this certain window. We had Dr. [Julio] Frenk address us and Blake James, our Athletics Director, address us - the entire athletic community, I think that was at nine o'clock this morning. We started a little later because of that. It worked out - this is just what we needed."

On the message from President Frenk…

"Just how much he appreciates athletics as it relates to a university setting, and our responsibility to do things right - do things within the NCAA, ACC and university policy. Let's work together. We are a community, we are the U Family. That was mainly the message. He thanked everybody for our hard work, but also, 'help keep us accountable to doing things right.'"

On any takeaways from the team’s second scrimmage…

"I think we got our money's worth as coaches. It was a pretty long scrimmage. I thought the players just gave it up - you go back and watch the tape, there's very little...I just don't see much loafing around. Usually somebody is dogging it out there and you have to get on them, but that part has been probably the most pleasing thing of camp, is the effort of these guys every day. A lot of it is coaching and being on the same page, and sending the same message every day.  Don't one day say this is okay and the next day you decide that you're going to get mad at it. Just be consistent. But as far as the scrimmage overall, I would say by tomorrow we'll give you the stats as our staff put them together. It's late news, but it might be interesting for the fans."

On which players he has seen take on leadership roles defensively…

"[Rayshawn] Jenkins definitely. I like what Corn [Elder] is doing. I'm watching guys practice hard and take coaching. Sometimes, when everybody is going hard and everybody is doing their thing, there's not a whole lot of work to lead. Like I'm saying, I don't have to get everybody to go. I don't see anybody feel like he has to grab his teammate and get them to go. They're all doing it, and I think they enjoy that. I think they respect each other enough to do that. It's early, it's the first year, I don't know how many games we'll win, but we're working hard and I'm proud of it, in that area."

On the improvement of the defense from a tackling perspective…

"There's no question. Tackling in the box, most everybody can tackle in the box. It's when people get out in space when you miss tackles. That's mostly defensive backs - safeties, corners - offensively, the goal is to block everybody but a safety or a backside corner on a stretch play...if you do break it out, somebody has to defeat a block and go close that space and corral that guy and get him on the ground. Usually you can't do that by yourself. You do that because of team hustle and taking proper angles. Just the approach of the open-field tackles have made a huge difference."

On if he gained any clarity on the back-up quarterback role

"Yeah, but I haven't told those guys yet. By tomorrow, we'll know who's at least battling or still in the battle. I won't name a No. 2, but I'll narrow it down."

On if he sees Darrion Owens playing in the season opener, and Michael Pinckney’s injury…

"I hope so. I don't know what [Darrion] used to look like. But he looks, still, he doesn't look like he's flying around, 100 percent full speed every snap. Maybe just kind of getting to trust it again. I don't know. Pinckney, I would hope yes. He's just had a hamstring issue that’s been bothering him.''

Some Of Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz's impressions after scrimmage

***On DT Gerald Willis: “That evaluation is ongoing. He knows the things he has to continue to work on. Part of it is the ability to make a play, and there’s also the issue of not being where you’re supposed to be and giving up plays. Sometimes your playing time in a way is not dependent on how much good you can do, it’s dependent on how little bad you can do. He’s one of those guys that is certainly trying to focus in on, first, not burning the house down before we worry about how we attack the other people.’’

***On scrimmage sacks: “I think it was five.”

***On what it was like for his first-team D-line to go after backup quarterbacks who had shed their no-contact jerseys and were allowed to be hit: “I think they thought there would be [more sacks], but fear is a great motivating factor, so that ball came out sometimes differently than it did before.’’

***On Jamie Gordinier, who is playing first-team weak-side linebacker in place of the injured  Michael Pinckney (hamstring): “The biggest thing with Jamie…is his confidence in himself. When you’re a young guy and you’re trying to learn everything and be perfect, that’s really hard. So, what we’re trying to talk to him about is, ‘Trust yourself. Let the game come to you. And just let it go.’ I think he’s got a really bright future. I think he’s physically gifted but it’s just at-bats, that’s all it is, and persistence will turn him into a good player.’’

***On freshman cornerback Malek Young: “He’s fast, and fast players know they’re fast, so that affects their confidence in terms of how they cover; and…he’s tough. He’s a willing tackler, so the arrow is pointing up on Malek Young.’’

Head coach Mark Richt said he’ll name the top two contenders for the backup quarterback job on Friday…The Canes practiced for about an hour Thursday on the heels of the scrimmage…UM President Julio Frenk addressed the team and athletics personnel in the morning…Richt praised Elder and safety Rayshawn Jenkins for their leadership roles on defense…Weak-side linebacker Darrion Owens has not played in either of the scrimmages. “I don’t know what [Darrion] used to look like,’’ Richt said, “but he doesn’t look like he’s flying around, 100-percent full speed every snap.’’…Richt said he is hoping Pinckney will be well enough to play in the opener.

 

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Linebacker Darrion Owens

On missing time due to knee injury…

“I love the game. I want to be out there. I wish I could be out there with them, playing along with them. I’ve been playing this since I’ve been young. It is hard, just watching them going out there. But it’s better than sitting in the training room, wondering what they’re doing. It’s still a good feeling to be out here with them.”

On what he gains from watching from the sideline…

“When you’re watching, I think I can see how certain people deal with certain situations, and how some younger guys grow up and step up to adversity.”

On the team’s trio of freshmen linebackers – Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud…

“They don’t act like freshmen. All the freshmen linebackers, I have a good relationship with them and all of them carry themselves not like usual freshmen would. They work hard, they have a good head on their shoulders…they’re going to have a great future. I’m excited to see them play this year and from now on. They’re all going to be great.”

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Defensive Back Rayshawn Jenkins (above picture by SMD: Rayshawn with Jaquan Johnson)

On how the defense played in the second scrimmage…

“There were definitely some good plays, but then again, there were definitely bad plays. We still have room for improvement, but that’s what practice is for. We have jut about two weeks before the game, and we have to get some things fixed.”

On how the defense stands compared to this point in camps of the past few years…

“In my opinion, it’s definitely better than in recent years we’ve been here, but it’s still not where we want it to be. There’s some stuff, like I said, that we still need to clean up, and we’ll move from there.”

On if he has seen the defense get beat on big plays…

“Not at all. It’s just little stuff – techniques, guys are getting accustomed to this new defense. Just a lot of technique errors, footwork…we’ll get it down.”

On where he sees the strengths and weaknesses of the defense…

“Definitely tackling. We tackle really well. And competing, just as an overall group. Like I said, technique – there’s not very much we need to improve on, in my opinion.  Just bringing those younger guys along, because we’re going to need them at some point down the road.”

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Linebacker Jamie Gordinier

On the aggressiveness of the defense…

“We just put in that new third down ‘prowler’ package. It’s exciting to get to the quarterback. It’s a lot of fun. We have guys lining up in all different sorts of places and once the ball is snapped, it’s just kind of letting loose and playing backyard football.”

On the challenges of camp…

“The coaches are setting a really high standard for us. We were doing some extra stuff after practice for things we didn’t do right in the scrimmage. Everyone is kind of sore and tired, but that shouldn’t stop us right now.”

On learning the new defensive scheme…

“It wasn’t very difficult picking this defense up. He made it simple for that reason, so we could pick it up a lot easier.”

 On his mentality as he’s worked with the first team…

“My mentality is to give it my all. If I mess up on one play, I need to know that I need to attack the next rep and not think about what I just did wrong.”

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 17, 2016

Scrimmage report: Mark Richt has backup QBs shed no-contact jerseys to see how they perform under duress

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 The University of Miami had its second scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday night, but this time coach Mark Richt didn’t share the statistics that would have perhaps provided a  hint as to who, for instance, might be the backup quarterback to Brad Kaaya come the Sept. 3 opener against FAMU.

     The backup quarterback field will be narrowed to two contenders in the next couple of days, the coach said.

      This time around Richt left those backups for the ravenous first-team defensive linemen, exchanging the no-contact black jerseys the quarterbacks normally wear for the regular, full-contact orange ones that the rest of the offense wears.

     The coach did not say if, or how many times, the backups got sacked.

     “They were live,’’ Richt said of the backups, who include redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier, redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, true freshman Jack Allison and redshirt sophomore Vincent Testaverde. “Just wanted to see if they could make a play with their feet, or if they got hit, can they get back up and go play another snap? I got to see a little bit of that.

    “I will have within a day or two either a No. 2 or a Co-No. 2. I’m narrowing it down to two. I want to watch the tape and be sure. But I’m pretty sure I’ve got it narrowed down to two. Whether one is ahead of the other right now I don’t know. I may just split time with the twos for the rest of the way until we make a decision probably a week from now.

   “We’re getting closer.’’

    The scrimmage was delayed more than nine hours after lightning delays caused the Hurricanes to exit Greentree Field and head back into their building.

    “A lot of guys were laying it on the line today and tonight,’’ Richt said. “We had to wait all day for it. Thankfully we had no school so we could get the work in.’’

    Richt said starting quarterback Brad Kaaya, whose No. 1 offense played against the No. 2 defense, “played great” despite throwing an interception. He got sacked once, the coach said.

    “He had one play he turned into a catastrophe, which is not excusable,’’ Richt said. “Other than that, he played great…. I’m guessing Kaaya hit 80-percent of his passes. That’s my best guess.’’   

     Others whom Richt lauded were receivers Braxton Berrios and Stacy Coley and running backs Mark Walton and Gus Edwards. He said the latter two “made some really outstanding runs’’ and Coley “played great.’’

    “He’s been practicing very well,’’ Richt said of Coley. “He’s in better shape than he was in the spring, like most of them, and he’s had very little issues with injury…

      “The No. 1 unit for both sides really had their way, I would say. Offensive ones did great. Defensive ones did great. So that’s what you hope this time of year.’’

     Others praised by the coach: receiver Dayall Harris and tight end Chris Herndon. “Herndon made a nice catch and physically caught a ball short of the first down and kind of manhandled a defender to get [it],’’ Richt said, adding that receiver Darrell Langham also “made a nice play on the goal line with really tight coverage.’’

    Among the freshmen who played well, Richt said, were running back Travis Homer. “Travis has shown me that he is tough and smart – I think he’ll be a really good special teamer… We have three [tailbacks] ahead of him right now, but he has proven to be a guy that I think we’ll be able to count on this year. …We’re not going to be afraid to put him into a game.’’

    Fellow freshman standouts included cornerback Malek Young and linebacker Shaq Quarterman. Freshman linebacker Michael Pinckney (hamstring) did not participate.

    UM’s next scrimmage will be Aug. 24, when the format will have the No. 1 offense and defense playing “on the same team,’’ Richt said, in preparation for FAMU.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 16, 2016

Trayone "Choc'' Gray sustains serious knee injury and is out for season

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Trayone Gray, a popular 6-2, 225-pound Hurricanes reserve running back who goes by the nickname "Choc,'' has sustained a serious knee injury and is out for the season, a source confirmed on Tuesday night.

 Gray's injury, first reported by the Palm Beach Post, will result in his redshirting in 2016 and returning next season as a redshirt junior.

  Gray, who was a quarterback at Carol City High, ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries last year as the No. 3 back behind Joseph Yearby and Mark Walton. He had 24 yards and a touchdown on six carries his freshman season in 2014.

  Last year, Gus Edwards, now the No. 3 tailback, missed the season with a foot injury. With Edwards back and freshman Travis Homer in the mix, Gray had moved down the depth chart recently.

   In 2015 I asked Gray where he got his nickname.

   "Choc came from my mama,'' he said. "When I was a baby I didn’t really want no bottle or nothing. I just ate a lot of chocolate. No bottle. So she just named me chocolate. I just ate chocolate candy. I [didn't] like milk."

   Fans showed Gray plenty of love on Twitter after the news came out, and he clearly appreciated it.

   "Thanks for all the prayers I appreciate it everyone God bless,'' Gray posted on Twitter.

 

    His running backs coach, Thomas Brown, tweeted, "Praying for a speedy recovery for my man @Godschild_choc.''

 Praying for a speedy recovery for my man @Godschild__choc

   Gray wrote this back: "I'll b back soon coach thanks for making me realize it's bigger then just a ball n a field love u coach TB''

  I'll b back soon coach thanks for making me realize it's bigger then just a ball n a field love u coach TB https://t.co/3ohzjtScSY

   Coach Mark Richt, who will address reporters Wednesday after UM's second scrimmage of preseason camp, commented Saturday after practice how well the Hurricanes had been doing injury-wise.

   “I don’t want to be bragging about anything because then things happen sometimes, but it’s been good overall, I think. There’s been nothing catastrophic, nothing season-ending.”

   Receiver Lawrence Cager tore his ACL just before camp began.

   Trayone is a good man and we all hope he comes back stronger than ever.

    SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

Another talented Miami WR injured, and Mark Richt wants No. 2 QB to emerge in scrimmage

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Rain, rain went away…And unfortunately, so has another UM receiver, in a matter of speaking -- temporarily, that is.

Freshman talent Ahmmon Richards, who had been wowing his coaches and teammates as the probable starter at X-receiver, has turf toe, Richt said. Richards is limited in practice and because of the injury, has dropped down to second team for now. Taking his spot: Dayall Harris, who already was doing well.

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(Remember that Lawrence Cager -- ACL tear --already put the Canes down a man at a position in which they were lacking depth from the start)

   “He hasn't been full speed,’’ Richt said of Richards. “He looked really, really good, and then I think it was a turf toe-type deal that he was kind of fighting through. He's really not what he was. Dayall [Harris] is ahead of everybody. [Darrell] Langham and Ahmmon, I would say, are probably battling for the next spot right now. If Ahmmon gets healthy, that may change. But we were teaching [Malcolm] Lewis a little bit of 'X' just in case...you just never know what can happen with an injury. We had one more guy learning X that we thought could play, and that was Malcolm.

*** Senior Malcolm Lewis is still doing very well, according to the coach, and will get substantial playing time this season. We talked to Malcolm and he is feeling healthy and invigorated and ready to make his senior season count.

*** Dayall Harris, who told us on Tuesday that he pronounces his first name “dayELL,’’ said he has never been on a team with as much talent as the University of Miami’s. Remember, he first played at Ole Miss of the SEC. Score one for the ACC.

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*** A funny moment in practice was when Richt said slot receiver Sam Bruce, a freshman, ran the wrong route – and then got thrown the football anyway and scored a touchdown.

     "He’s still learning,’’ Richt said of Bruce. “Still learning what to do - that's part of his issue. Just not being certain of what to do. Like the last play of red zone, he ran the wrong route. True to form, we tend to throw it to the guy who runs the wrong route, for some reason around here. The worst part of it was he scored. Maybe we invented penicillin right there - he's learning what to do [laughter]. The ball-catching, I would say he has pretty good ball skills.

"He has great quickness and speed. He has not unbelievable speed, but he has very good game speed. He competes. that's one thing I like about him. He's a little like [Braxton] Berrios, in that, at the end of the practice, he still got a lot of juice. He still goes fast, and some guys kind of run out of gas on a day like this, but he tends to be in the kind of condition where he can keep going."

 *** In closing for now, Canes receiver signee Dionte Mullins, whom was previously expected to arrive at camp by today, was not at practice. Last we heard, Mullins, who showed up for practice on Saturday, had not been academically cleared to enroll and join the team. The Canes need him.

 ***Practice started later than usual today, and it was shorter than usual because there’s a scrimmage Wednesday morning and coach Mark Richt said he “didn’t want to wear them completely out’’ before the scrimmage – not to mention there was a lightning delay “for about 20 minutes,’’ Richt said.

About five minutes after the media got out to Greentree Field for our customary 15 minutes of viewing, it started pouring South Florida style.

*** Al-Quadin Muhammad and Jermaine Grace practiced.

*** Richt said what he’s looking for in tomorrow’s scrimmage is… "The biggest thing for me and Jon [Richt, quarterbacks coach] in our room is, ‘Who is going to be the No. 2 quarterback?’ We need to find that out. That's the biggest question for me right now."

*** Malik Rosier, last year’s No. 2 quarterback, said consistency is something that will be important for him tomorrow. He knows tomorrow is a big day. The other quarterback believed to be most in contention for the backup job, along with Rosier, is redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs. The two others: freshman Jack Allison and Vincent Testaverde.

*** Richt on the format of Wednesday’s scrimmage: "We're going to practice here, and have it similar to what we did last Wednesday [during the first scrimmage]. In other words, we'll have four drives with each unit - ones and twos - one is a minus-25 start [offense starts on 35-yard line], one is a minus-35 start, one is a 50-yard line start, one is a plus-40 start. We'll also sneak in a one-minute drill before the half. We'll also do our third and medium and third and long, which we did last time. We'll do a one-minute drill at the end of the game. We'll do an overtime, and we'll do two-point plays. We're adding basically some one-minute drills, overtime, instead of a plus-16 drive...kind of a red zone thing. We're going to practice an overtime session and we're going to practice two-point plays."

*** Richt on the offense having its best practice of camp Tuesday: "We placed the ball better, and guys made good catches for the most part. We had opportunities last time we were in the red zone. Last time we got together in the red zone, we had short yardage - which is third and two and third and one - and red zone. That means the offense should win that day, and we got beat. They stoned us, pretty much, in short yardage, or at least got a tie. You should win just about every one of those, with that kind of yardage. Then in the red zone, we didn't throw and catch at all. We pretty much called the same plays, we placed the ball better, the guys made catches, and it was just a better day because of that."

*** Among the guys on the exercise bikes today were K Mike Badgley, LS Jordan Butler, K Marco Baeza, P Jack Spicer (the special-teamers were just warming up); and FB Gage Batten (foot), DL Tyreic Martin (knee)

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 15, 2016

Richt: "The offense actually won the day today"

Through the first week-plus worth of camp it's often felt like the defense has been ahead of the offense.

That finally changed Monday.  

"The offense actually won the day today, which was great," said coach Mark Richt, who said the team went through a a lot fundamental work Monday after getting their first day off Sunday since camp began on Aug. 4. 

“It took the two [second string] offense to get three out of four on the very last drive against the No. 1 defense. That was huge for them. They haven't had a lot of success against the No. 1 defense. Much more competitive, really every day - the first couple of the days, the margin was pretty bad. But even when the defense has won the last day or two, it's been a tight, tight race. That's a good sign."

Still, Richt said, there were too many drops for Miami's receivers. He's also not getting the day-to-day consistency he wants.

"We're getting better," Richt said. "Even when you watch film, offensively, when you start out, you might have seven out of 11 [players] doing it right, and you get beat. When you get eight, nine, 10 out of 11 getting it right, you're getting closer but you still might end up losing that rep. When everybody starts doing it, that's when you start really clicking. I will say this, today, if we caught the ball when the ball was right in our hands - I'm talking about the tight end and wide receiver position - it would have been, not a landslide, but there would have been no drama at the end. We dropped too many balls today."

> No one has separated themselves yet in the kick or punt return game according to Richt. And that's apparently a good thing.

"I do think we have a good many guys that can be returners, we just have to decide," Richt said. "A lot of people want the most prolific return man, but I want the most dependable return man first. If he happens to be the most prolific, as a runner or a guy who can stick it in the end zone, great. But if he's great at that and doesn't field the ball well, or doesn’t secure the ball well, he won't be the guy. I want the most dependable guy. We're working so many guys, I don't even know what to tell you on that. The good news is, we have more than one or two or three guys that can do kick and punt return.

“Braxton [Berrios], Stacy [Coley], Malcolm [Lewis]...we're teaching Sam Bruce. Corn [Elder]. Then Mark Walton on kickoff return and Gus [Edwards] on kickoff return. I think Coley on kickoff return. Braxton and Corn...most of them double it up."

Richt said Edwards, a 6-1, 230-pound redshirt junior, is to serve as the "off-return man."

"But if the ball goes his way, he'll be returning it," Richt said.

> Richt continued to praise the play of the defense and the improved tackling he's seen since the spring.

"I just like the way the defense is playing, period," Richt said when asked about his defensive line. "I like how hard they're playing. I like the energy they're playing with. I definitely like what the front four is doing, but I like what all of them are doing. They've really impressed me. It's night and day on the effort level and the execution, especially open-field tackling - it's changed dramatically from the spring to the fall."

> Richt said redshirt sophomore cornerback Ryan Mayes is dealing with a left shoulder ailment. Mayes, competing for the No. 4 cornerback job, was on the stationary bike during the media portion of practice.

"Dinged it," Richt said. "I don't think it's any type of surgical deal. Just hurts right now."

Richt also said redshirt freshman safety Robert Knowles, who has been playing through a hand injury, will practice with a club on his hand.

> Richt said Wednesday's scrimmage -- the second of camp -- will continue to feature the first team offense and defense taking on the backups.

"In the spring we'll go ones versus ones," Richt said. "Part of it is, say you're in the season, and you're mostly scout-team work but will still do stuff against each other. Let's say we need Cover 2. We might ask Manny, 'With the twos, can you run some Cover 2 for the one offense?' Defense might need to see zone read. The scout team could do it okay, but you're No. 2 offense is going to give you a lot better look. The two offense and two defense tend to give a really good look. If there's something we do in our system, we'll call it that way, if that makes sense. That's a big part of it."

Observations, photos and video from Monday's Canes practice

We just got back inside from our 17-minute glimpse into Monday morning's practice.

Some quick notes: 

> The five guys on the stationary bike today (from left to right) were defensive lineman Scott Patchan (returning from knee surgery), linebacker Michael Pinckney (hamstring), fullback Gage Batten (returning from foot surgery), defensive lineman Tyreic Martin (recent knee injury) and cornerback Ryan Mayes (left arm).

Mayes, who was also on the bike Saturday, was not using his left arm while on the bike. His injury could become a big deal if serious. Mayes had an interception in Wednesday's scrimmage and is competing for the fourth cornerback spot.

> For the fourth consecutive day, the quarterback order behind Brad Kaaya was redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier, redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, freshman Jack Allison and redshirt sophomore Vincent Testaverde.

> Linebacker Jermaine Grace and defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, part of the rental car investigation, were at practice again and working with the first team units as usual. 

> The guy who pulled up lame at the end of those running back drills was fullback Marquez Williams. Not sure if he got hit in the man parts or if he actually hurt himself. I'm pretty sure he continued the workout though.

> With Pinckney on the bike, Jamie Gordinier was running with the first team at weakside linebacker. 

> FYI, it looks like most of us in the media will be writing about the defensive line today. Coach Craig Kuligowski and four of his players -- Chad Thomas, RJ McIntosh, Gerald Willis and Demetrius Jackson -- are being made available after practice ends.

August 13, 2016

Miami Hurricanes' Saturday post-practice football report

Quan

JUST TALKED TO MARK RICHT AFTER SATURDAY HURRICANES PRACTICE:

Mark richt 8-13-16**Freshman DL Tyreic Martin's knee was bandaged and Mark Richt said after practice that he has a knee injury. "A knee,'' Richt said. "Non-surgical injury that will keep him out a little bit.''

*** Saturday was "more of a teaching day.''

*** On giving players off the second session of a two-a-day Friday afternoon: 

"To be honest with you, two things - obviously it is smoking hot out here and they've been working in the heat,'' Richt said. "But they've been working well in the heat. Usually by that time, it's Practice 11 or 12 - usually by Practice 10, there's at least one dud in there....just not giving effort, not giving us all they have. I just didn't see that yet. I thought they were working hard, I thought you could see they were fatigued. You want them to fight through fatigue, but you also want to be wise with soft tissue injuries and things of that nature. It looked like a good time to give them a little bit of a break."

*** On percentage of offense that has been installed:

  "At this point, 95 percent of installation is in. There will be a reduction when we get to game-planning. I say reduction of total [plays] - we're not going to put in every single play that we ran in the game plan. We'll pick and choose the things we like the best. And there may be a few plays that are specific for an opponent that might be added to it. Overall, let's just say hypothetically there's 100 plays that we've installed, we might have 50 going into a game, 50 of the 100 we've been working all along. And then maybe a couple here and there that are new because of what we see on tape."

*** On how the number of injuries compares with Richt's training camps in the past:

 "It has been very, very good to this point. Very few. We had one I.V. on a player and one I.V. on a coach - I won't say which coach [laughs]. I don't want to be bragging about anything because then things happen sometimes, but it's been good overall, I think. There's been nothing catastrophic, nothing season-ending. That's been good."

 ***On status of UM signee Dionte Mullins, a wide receiver who was on the sideline watching practice Saturday but still isn't enrolled:

"We're still very encouraged about his arrival. We think that's going to happen. We're anticipating that." (Please note that Dionte, when asked today if he would be at Canes practice Monday, told the Miami Herald -- "I haven't heard yet.''  See below)

On if he expects any late additions to the roster via transfer:

"If something popped up, possibly. But right now, there's nothing I would say is pending. Every once in a while, it's like, 'Hey, so and so, he's leaving, look at his tape, find out what kind of kid he is and see if he can fit.' There are still things stirring around the nation. There are some guys that are declaring, 'Hey, I'm a graduate transfer now and finally got a release.' I'd say don't hold your breath on that end, but don't be shocked if it does happen."

On his thoughts on the SEC transfer rule, (re Alabama transfer Maurice Smith being given permission to transfer to Alabama, though Richt wasn't asked about Smith specifically)….

"I didn't even listen. I guess you have to have a waiver in order to make that kind of transfer, is all I know. I kind of stayed out of that. I've unconditionally released any guy that ever wanted to leave, because I think life's too short. I would call the commissioner and say, 'The kid wants to go. Wherever he wants to go, let him go.' I think we had two kids go to Alabama, at least one went to Auburn, maybe two. But I don't put any limitations."

SEE YOU AT CANESFEST!

  ORIGINAL POST AFTER OUR 15 MINUTES OF SATURDAY VIEWING:

*** DE Al-Quadin Muhammad and LB Jermaine Grace practiced

*** Among those exercising on the bikes were CB Ryan Mayes, FB Gage Batten (foot), LB Michael Pinckney (hamstring), S Robert Knowles (right hand/finger), TE Stan Dobard (ankle). Some, such as Pinckney, might have just warmed up and then joined practice.

*** For the third consecutive day, the quarterback order behind Brad Kaaya: redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier, redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, freshman Jack Allison and redshirt sophomore Vincent Testaverde.

Dionte mullins 8-13-16

***Canes signee Dionte Mullins, a much-needed wide receiver, was on the sideline in street clothes. He still has not enrolled or joined the team. Mullins, who was finishing up his summer academics this week, told me he hasn’t heard yet, regarding whether or not he’ll be able to soon join the team.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 12, 2016

Day 10 in the books at Canes football camp: quarterbacks, receivers, injuries, Jadyn...

The Hurricanes finished Day No. 10 of preseason camp on Friday at Greentree Field.

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Some notes:

*** Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and linebacker Jermaine Grace both were at practice. 

*** Behind Brad Kaaya at quarterback during our 15 minutes of media viewing were redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier, followed by redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, true freshman Jack Allison and redshirt freshman Vincent Testaverde

  Mark Richt said he still hasn't decided on a backup.

"That’s kind of where it’s at,'' said Richt's son, Jon, the quarterbacks coach. "All those guys are competing. They’re working hard. They’re trying to get better every day. But right now there’s no clear No. 2 or No. 3."

    Here's Jon's assessment of last year's backup Malik Rosier: "Some of it is him getting used to our system. It's a completely different feel, a completely different way to go. But he's doing a good job right now of coming up. He's got to be more consistent. That's our big thing with him. He's got to come in play in and play out. We're putting a lot on our quarterbacks and they've got to know what they're supposed to do and what not to do.'' 

*** Mark Richt on the team's first-year receivers: "Dayall [Harris] is farther ahead. Ahmmon [Richards] is in pretty decent shape, and there's [Sam] Bruce, by virtue of the fact that he got here later than everybody else... We have some first-year tight ends, too, that have a ways to go, just learning what to do. There's so much to master as a tight end in this system. They're struggling a little bit mentally. When you're not sure, it's hard to be physical. The young guys in general are struggling, but Dayall and Ahmmon are a little bit further ahead at receiver.''

***On the absence of tight end Stan Dobard, S Robert Knowles and FB Gage Batten from practice: "Stan had an ankle thing. I think Stan's was an ankle. Knowles, it could have been a hand. He had something to do with his finger -- it got jacked up a little bit. [Batten's surgery] went well, but it will be a little while before he can practice.''

*** Running back great Edgerrin James attended practice Friday. James' nephew Jeff James is a freshman safety out of Orlando Olympia High...By the way, Richt said there will not be just one featured back this season.

*** CanesFest is from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the BankUnited Center. Football players and coaches will sign autographs from 5:30 to 6:30 in the multipurpose room. A voucher is required for autographs, and will be distributed beginning at 4:30 on a first-come, first-served basis.

   Jon, Jadyn and Seantrel Henderson

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Miami Hurricanes quarterbacks coach Jon Richt, if you didn't know by now, is the son of head coach Mark Richt, who told us in the spring that "I think most people are calling him Coach Jon. It's CMR on my underwear and CJR on his."

Jon Richt spoke to reporters Friday about his quarterbacks, his dad and his daughter, 2-year-old Jadyn, who is progressing in her battle with Crohn's Disease. (Here's my story I posted Friday afternoon)

According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Crohn's Disease belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.

 The young Richt, 26, is as pleasant and upbeat as they come, and it's nice to see him and CMR and their families together again.

"It was great to know that he had the faith in me at such an early age to get the job done,'' Jon said of his dad. "His trust means a lot to me.''

Jon, on whether he knew that he wanted to be a quarterbacks coach:

"At first, yes. I thought I was going to do that. once I got older -- I actually got married as a sophomore in college -- I kind of got the picture that once I got older, I wasn't going to be around as much [if I were a coach], so I tried to do something else first and that lasted about five months. I was in the mortgage business for about five months and then very soon after that I was back on the field coaching and working with some guys from the NFL Combine -- so it wasn't long.

"I knew what I wanted to do. I love it. The hours don't matter when you are doing something that you love to do, so that's what it is all about.''

Jon acknowledged that little Jadyn has helped rejuvenate her grandfather, who was fired from Georgia late last year after one of the most illustrious coaching tenures in the nation.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

 

Muhammad's back, QB order, quick (very) hits Friday from Miami football camp

Quanmuhammaddl8-12-16

Our 15 minutes of media viewing just ended Friday at the University of Miami:

*** The most noteworthy news: defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (Jersey No. 8 above) was back practicing. 

*** Still here: linebacker Jermaine Grace.

JermaineGrace8-12-16

*** The backup quarterback order after Brad Kaaya for at least the past couple days: redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier, redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs, true freshman Jack Allison and Vincent Testaverde.

*** Sophomore tailback Mark Walton and junior Joe Yearby traded reps as the No. 1 tailback.

IMG_2622

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 11, 2016

Miami Herald update on Al-Quadin Muhammad, Jermaine Grace, Dionte Mullins

    Quanmuhammadblond8-6-16

   Al-Quadin Muhammad missed Thursday's preseason football practice (Day No. 8, session No. 9), and from what I heard, he was supposed to be there.

    The Miami Herald caught up with athletic director Blake James a few minutes ago.

    When asked if Muhammad (and/or linebacker Jermaine Grace -- please see original post below) was at a disciplinary hearing today or has a university-related disciplinary hearing pending regarding the rental-car case being investigated, James said, "No. There was no disciplinary hearing and there is no disciplinary hearing pending.''

    I learned from someone else that Muhammad and Grace, as is protocol in this type of situation, met with compliance Wednesday night and are expected to do so again in the near future. 

    I confirmed that Grace also missed a portion of practice today, just not the portion reporters get to see.

    Coach Mark Richt said re Muhammad: "He had some personal things to work on today. I plan on him being in practice tomorrow. Like I told you,'' he added politely, "when there's something to report I'll report it to you.''

   Are we at least getting closer? Richt was asked. "I think so, yeah.''

  *** Good news regarding Dionte Mullins, the young receiver out of Gulliver Prep who still has yet to report to camp, Richt said, "He's still working. He's not out of it. We plan on him being here.''

   ORIGINAL PRE-PRACTICE POST FROM EARLY THIS MORNING RE MUHAMMAD IS BELOW:

We will hopefully be back to you very soon with an update, but first-team redshirt junior defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad was not at University of Miami football practice Thursday during the 15 minutes of viewing time the media gets.

   First-team strong-side linebacker Jermaine Grace, a senior, was out there (*Note: I confirmed Palm Beach Post report that Grace was pulled out at a point during practice).

   That might not be significant, or it might be significant, which we’ll hopefully find out when UM coach Mark Richt speaks at the end of practice. But at the very least it raises at least a red flag, as Muhammad is one of the players – and Grace – who is being investigated for allegedly being involved in a situation that focuses on whether players received discounted (heavily discounted?) luxury rental cars by a South Beach rental company.

   Both Grace and Muhammad competed in Wednesday’s first fall scrimmage, with Muhammad registering two sacks and Grace registering three tackles.

   Muhammad was suspended in 2014 by the university in a situation involving a fight with a former roommate – he could not even take classes – so he missed that season completely. He also was suspended the first game of 2015 for violating team rules.

   He is 6-4, 250 pounds of fury that resulted in his finishing third on the team last season with 54 tackles and a team-leading five sacks and 8 1/2 tackles for loss.

   Grace led the Hurricanes with 79 tackles last season and had six tackles for loss and two sacks. He’s undersized for sure, but he is extremely fast, talented – and the only linebacker out there with experience.

   Internet chat rooms are running wild with speculation that Grace, for one, will be kicked off the team – or suspended for multiple games. Pretty much the same is being discussed on the Muhammad landscape.

   Other practice notes: In one-on-one drills, Malik Rosier was the backup quarterback Thursday. Behind him was Evan Shirreffs, Jack Allison and Vincent Testaverde.

   ***Also, freshman safety Cedric Wright out of Gulliver Prep arrived at his first practice this morning. As for Gulliver teammate Dionte Mullins, a talented receiver that the Canes surely could use, he still hasn’t enrolled. Miami had expected him to arrive this Monday, Aug. 15. I was told his summer academic work was to be completed any day, but that he still has to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center, formerly known as the Clearinghouse.  

     SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

Miami DE Al-Quadin Muhammad not at practice, safety Cedric Wright arrives

FullSizeRender (57)
  

We will hopefully be back to you very soon with an update, but first-team redshirt junior defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad was not at University of Miami football practice Thursday during the 15 minutes of viewing time the media gets.

   First-team strong-side linebacker Jermaine Grace, a senior, was out there.

   That might not be significant, or it might be significant, which we’ll hopefully find out when UM coach Mark Richt speaks at the end of practice. But at the very least it raises at least a red flag, as Muhammad is one of the players – and Grace – who is being investigated for allegedly being involved in a situation that focuses on whether players received discounted (heavily discounted?) luxury rental cars by a South Beach rental company.

   Both Grace and Muhammad competed in Wednesday’s first fall scrimmage, with Muhammad registering two sacks and Grace registering three tackles.

   Muhammad was suspended in 2014 by the university in a situation involving a fight with a former roommate – he could not even take classes – so he missed that season completely. He also was suspended the first game of 2015 for violating team rules.

   He is 6-4, 250 pounds of fury that resulted in his finishing third on the team last season with 54 tackles and a team-leading five sacks and 8 1/2 tackles for loss.

   Grace led the Hurricanes with 79 tackles last season and had six tackles for loss and two sacks. He’s undersized for sure, but he is extremely fast, talented – and the only linebacker out there with experience.

   Internet chat rooms are running wild with speculation that Grace, for one, will be kicked off the team – or suspended for multiple games. Pretty much the same is being discussed on the Muhammad landscape.

   Other practice notes: In one-on-one drills, Malik Rosier was the backup quarterback Thursday. Behind him was Evan Shirreffs, Jack Allison and Vincent Testaverde.

   ***Also, freshman safety Cedric Wright out of Gulliver Prep arrived at his first practice this morning. As for Gulliver teammate Dionte Mullins, a talented receiver that the Canes surely could use, he still hasn’t enrolled. Miami had expected him to arrive this Monday, Aug. 15. I was told his summer academic work was to be completed any day, but that he still has to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center, formerly known as the Clearinghouse.  

    SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 10, 2016

Kaaya shines, defense creates nine sacks, pick six in Canes first scrimmage

I'll return with quotes and details from today's closed scrimmage, but here are the stats provided by coach Mark Richt from Wednesday's first scrimmage of the fall:

SOME DETAILS

> Richt said he had the first team offense face the second team defense and the first team defense go up against the second team offense. 

> The defense created nine sacks, one interception return for a touchdown and two forced fumbles.

But as far as the pressure was concerned Richt said: "Again it's hard to call it a sack when we're actually not sacking the quarterback. When we think we have him dead to rights we let the official call it a sack."

> Redshirt sophomore Ryan Mayes picked off quarterback Brad Kaaya and returned it for a touchdown. Richt, though, took the blame saying he asks Kaaya to make throws anyway.

> Kaaya threw his touchdown pass to Braxton Berrios on what Richt described as a deep go route.

> Sophomore safety Jaquan Johnson forced two fumbles with big hits. 

SCRIMMAGE STATS

Passing
Brad Kaaya 16 of 19, 258 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Vinny Testaverde 3-3, 62 yards
Evan Shirreffs 3-5, 16
Malik Rosier 2-5, 1

Rushing
Mark Walton 7-29, 1 TD
Gus Edwards 7-13
Crispian Atkins 4-20
Joe Yearby 4-25
Travis Homer 7-22
Trayone Gray 2-6

Receiving
Braxton Berrios 3-75, 1 TD
Stacy Coley 3-35
Dayall Harris 2-80
Chris Herndon 2-24
Marquez Williams 2-16
Wyatt Chickillo 2-10
Sam Bruce 2-7
Malcolm Lewis 1-12

Defense
Trent Harris 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and two sacks for minus 15 yards
Romeo Finley 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and one sack
Jaquan Johnson 4 tackles, 2 forced fumbles
Robert Knowles 4 tackles
Jermaine Grace 3 tackles
Jamie Gordinier 3 tackles
Zach McCloud 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and a fumble recovery
R.J. McIntosh 3 tackles
Mike Smith 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Michael Pinckney 3 tackles
Teddy Stavetski 3 tackles
Charles Perry 3 tackles
Al-Quadin Muhammad 2 sacks for minus 16 yards
Chad Thomas 3 tackles, 2 sacks for minus 7 yards
Rayshawn Jenkins 2 tackles, 1 pass breakup
Charles Perry 2 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
Corn Elder 2 tackles
Kendrick Norton 2 tackles
Gerald Willis 2 tackles
Malek Young 2 tackles
Terry McCray 2 tackles
Demetrius Jackson 1 tackle, 1 pass breakup and a fumble recovery
Ryan Mayes 1 tackle, 1 PBU and 1 interception for a TD
Shaquille Quarterman 1 tackle
Jared Hardie 1 tackle
Jamal Carter 1 tackle
Terrance Henley 1 tackle
Eddie Dunn 1 tackle

RICHT TRANSCRIPTION

On who stood out in the first scrimmage of #CanesCamp…

“We went ones [first string] versus twos [second string]. Our one offense, when it was all said and done, had a pretty good day. But we had a pick-6, and we had a fumble that could have got us beat. You take the turnovers out, it’s a pretty good day. But you can’t take the turnovers out, unfortunately. Had a couple of dropped balls. [Brad] Kaaya was 16 of 19 – we threw and caught the ball well. I think at least one was a drop, maybe two. The other one was a pick-6. That’s on me, really more than. him, to be honest with you. He was throwing a route on rhythm, and I told those guys to throw it no matter what. In practice, we’re not going to lose a game on it. So really, he did exactly what I asked him to do. It turned into a pick-6, so that was on me. Brad was very sharp. The other quarterbacks, I’ve kind of got to watch it. Obviously there were some statistics…but that doesn’t always tell the story, because we grade accuracy over the completion percentage and the decisions that these guys make.

“A few runs spit, not a lot. I thought defensively we played the run pretty darn good. The number one defense would have had as many sacks as we recorded – I think they would have had every one of those. They were really coming off the edge and creating issues for that number two [offensive] line.”

“One of the blessings is that nobody got banged up. Somebody might have got banged up, but nobody got hurt to the point where they had to come off the field for any reason, which was a huge blessing. That’s kind of what I’ll say as far as my observation. The farther away we were, we didn’t really drive the ball well…it’s kind of what tends to happen in the game. On the drives that started on the 50 or 40 [-yard line], the offense did extremely well. On the drives that started on the other side of the 50, we couldn’t execute well enough to go down the field – whether it was a turnover, or missed assignment, or whatever it may be. We did do some situations – third-and-medium and third-and-long. The ones on each side of the ball won the drill, in my opinion – one offense did well, the one defense did well. We let the threes [third string] rep. We let the threes get reps, and there’s just too many guys have no earthly idea what to do on just Day 1 plays. That’s what happens. It’s the first scrimmage of your life in college, you get a little nervous, you just forget everything. You can’t even get lined up. We had some of that going on with the young guys. It was kind of a cluster offensively with the threes, but they have to go through it.”

On if he saw any issues with penalties in the first scrimmage…

“We had a few penalties, but I didn’t think it was a massive amount. We had ACC officials. I told them to call it like they call it in a game. We had a holding on a screen play that you should never have. I’m trying to think of any defensive penalties – we didn’t really keep track of that. I don’t really remember any defensive penalties. We didn’t have any alignment issues, or any of that pre-snap stuff. We might have had another holding or something along the way…not a lot of penalties.”


On if he was encouraged overall with the performance of the team…

“Yeah. The other thing too, is you set up a scrimmage kind of the same you would have done it for years and it took ‘X’ amount of time. This scrimmage ended fast. It wasn’t because we went less plays, it was because we went less time between plays, and with tempo. Back in the old days, you’d call a play and get in the huddle, call a play and get in the huddle, call a play…that whole thing, I don’t know if it doubled it in time, but it must have been close. When you go no-huddle, even the scrimmages go faster.”


On if there were any players that took ownership of the moment…

“I’ve just been really pleased with Brad [Kaaya]. Brad has been very, very solid. Today, he was just locked in, taking care of business. [David] Njoku – we had a third-and-nine or third-and-ten – caught the ball short of the sticks by two or three yards, and guys were ‘bb’ing’ him, and he kept his balance and kept his feet and made a nice run. Same thing with Yearby – Yearby had a play where he probably got hit two yards short of the sticks but he just battled and fought to get that first down on those third-down situations. The edge pressure all day was more than what we could really handle – on that number two [offensive] line, for sure.”


On if any quarterbacks separated themselves as the No. 2 option…

“It sure was [even] going into this thing. I think the pack of twos were locked in pretty good. It’s been frustrating to figure out who that guy is. I talked to them last night about it, that there’s a possibility after this scrimmage that we might start repping one guy with the twos and one guy with the threes, and getting that guy ready. I don’t know if we’ll do that or not. After I look at the tape I’ll decide, and I know you all will be asking me that. Right now I don’t know for sure. But I also said, if someone gets named the number two tomorrow, if you’re three or four, don’t cry. You’ll still get reps, and it could change. It really, truly, could change. I don’t see anybody coming out of the crowd. I see a cluster of people – good thing, bad things, and there are some redeeming qualities in every one of them. They’re all doing some very nice things. But they are also doing some things that give me pause as to naming them the No. 2 quarterback.”

On the status of freshman linebacker Michael Pinckney…

“Pinckney got reps. He practiced. He’s been hobbling around with some kind of soft tissue issue. He went today. I’ll see how well he moved. We did every test you could to maybe give him peace that he’s okay, and he went. That was good. It’s hard. I think he’s a guy that has never been hurt. You don’t really know what a pulled muscle is. Is it truly a pull? Or is it just a cramp? What happens sometimes, when you get a cramp and it tightens up your hamstring, you say, ‘Oh, I pulled it.’ Sometimes it’s just constricted, it’s a cramp, and you don’t really understand the difference. From what [head athletic trainer] Vinny [Scavo] is saying and the doctors are saying, he has tremendous strength in that area, and they don’t see any weakness at all. We think he’s okay.”

August 09, 2016

First-team Miami linebacker Michael Pinckney gets hamstring checked at hospital

Michael pinckney

Michael Pinckney, UM's freshman first-team weak-side linebacker out of Jacksonville Raines High, went to the hospital Tuesday to get his ailing hamstring examined, a source close to the situation told the Miami Herald.

The source said before Pinckney was examined that UM expected Pinckney to be OK and to finish preseason camp. The doctor's visit was for "precautionary reasons,'' the source said, and the freshman returned for the second practice session, closed to the media, Tuesday afternoon. As with the morning session, he rode an exercise bike.  

No word on his injury status.

Tuesday was Miami's first two-a-day during preseason camp.

Pinckney is one of UM's gifted freshman backers that arrived at school early in January and include first-team middle linebacker Shaq Quarterman and strong-side linebacker Zach McCloud.

Coach Mark Richt, who had a previous engagement and was unable to speak with reporters after practice Tuesday, told us Friday that Pinckney had a quad/hamstring injury and indicated he didn't think it was serious.

Pinckney, 6-1 and 220 pounds, was a consensus three-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals, 247 Sports and Scout. 247Sports had him as the 19th-best inside linebacker in the nation. He chose UM over offers from Arkansas, Florida, Louisville, LSU, Nebraska and South Carolina, among others, according to UM.

At Raines, Pinckney had 85 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, eight sacks and one interception last season.

 Here's what UM defensive coordinator Manny Diaz told the Herald about Pinckney before preseason camp began:

“We really like what Pinckney did this spring. He’s a guy that embraces the mentality of playing downhill and [of] fast, aggressive linebackers. Will (weak-side) linebacker is an important spot in our defense so we’ll let Darrion Owens and Pinckney battle it out during fall camp.”

Note that the 6-3, 245-pound Owens, a redshirt sophomore out of Orange Park Oakleaf High, sustained a season-ending knee injury the second week of the 2015 season and is back practicing for the first time in camp.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

August 08, 2016

Columbus four-star cornerback Trajan Bandy becomes third Canes 2017 commitment in 24 hour span

The Hurricanes on Monday afternoon picked up their third commitment in a 24-hour span when four-star Miami Columbus cornerback Trajan Bandy became the latest player to join the University of Miami's 2017 recruiting class.

Bandy (5-9 1/2, 180) is rated the 29th best corner in the country according to 247Sports.com and had offers from Clemson, Oklahoma and South Carolina among others. He was previously committed to Oklahoma.

"Coach [Mark] Richt and [cornerbacks] Coach [Mike] Rumph, they were genuine from Day 1," Bandy said. "They recruited me throughout the process. They kept in contact with me when I was committed to OU. They stayed in contact with me every single day. Just going out there and speaking with Coach Richt, he doesn't pressure you at all. When I was uncommitted and undecided he took his time with me and I really like that about him. He just wanted me to fall in love with the school and get back on campus and get the feeling again of being home. I feel like [Sunday] was the time to do it. I did it last night and I called him up and let him know what I was going to do. I'm excited to get out there and show them what I'm going to do."

Bandy, who has a 3.0 GPA and scored an 18 on the ACT, said he's "100 percent committed to UM" and will not be taking any other recruiting visits. He said coaches are recruiting him as a corner and that he could play nickel corner and on the punt return and punt coverage teams. He expects to enroll in the summer. 

Bandy's high school teammate, four-star corner back Christopher Henderson (6-1, 175), is rated the 19th-best at his position according to 247Sports.com.

In addition to Bandy and Henderson, Miami also has a previous commitment from three-star St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Brian Edwards (6-1, 195), who is rated 55th best at his position. UM is expected to sign at least four cornerbacks. 

Cornerback is a huge position of need for the Hurricanes, who are transitioning from a read-and-react, funneling 3-4 zone defense under Mark D'Onofrio to a more aggressive, 4-3, man-to-man bump and run style under new coordinator Manny Diaz.

"Playing man coverage is something that we want to do more of," Diaz said Monday.

"We're recruiting to that idea -- guys with the speed and the instincts and the mindset to play press man out there. It's the first defense we called in the spring practice. It's the first defense we called in fall practice was bump-and-run man-to-man. We will play it. The issue is what's the proper mix of how much we're going to play."

Earlier Monday UM received a commitment from three-star defensive end Jonathan Garvin from Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, who was the defensive line MVP from The Opening at Miami. 

On Sunday, the team received a commitment from Jacksonville Sandalwood three-star outside linebacker Bradley Jennings Jr., a former FSU commitment and son of former FSU linebacker Bradley Jennings. 

Hurricanes land commitment from 3-star defensive end Jonathan Garvin

UM received its 19th oral commitment on Monday from Lake Worth three-star defensive Jonathan Garvin, a 6-4, 240-pound senior with offers from Mississippi State, Clemson and Florida State among others.

Garvin had 93 tackles, 36 tackles for loss, nine sacks and six forced fumbles as a junior and was the defensive line MVP of The Opening Event at Miami back in March.

Garvin joins four-star recruit D.J. Johnson of Sacramento, Calif. as UM's two defensive ned recruits in the class. UM's class is ranked 10th by 247Sports.com.

August 07, 2016

Miami WR Stacy Coley needs to step up, was told 'Look, you've got to lead'

Stacycoleyfsu

   The man that could help catapult Brad Kaaya to the next phase of an illustrious football career and the Canes to their finest season in years has not been made available to the media this preseason. And judging by what coaches said Sunday, senior receiver Stacy Coley is obviously being pushed to do more and be more of a leader.

   Coley, 6-1 and 195 pounds and out of Oakland Park Northeast High School, caught 47 passes for 689 yards and four touchdowns last season. He missed two games because of injury, and has had hamstring and nagging injury concerns throughout his career.

   He has 1,464 receiving yards in three seasons, with 11 touchdowns. If you recall, his freshman year in 2013 he was the only player in the FBS to record at least one touchdown via rushing, receiving, punt return and kick return.

   When asked about Coley in particular, head coach Mark Richt said, “Him, and everyone else, just pushing a little bit harder and longer than maybe they’re used to. This is a team thing, not a Stacy thing in particular, but a lot of times you’re running a deep ball and in the end, the defensive back and receiver go to the ground because the ball was short or somehow they get tangled up.

  “Now guys are starting to pop off the ground and hustle back and run the next play, instead of laying there and assessing whether they’re too tired or something hurts. Just get up and come back to the huddle and play another down. We’re doing a lot better in that area as a team.’’

   A few minutes later, receivers coach Ron Dugans said this about Coley:

   “Stacy, he’s been working. He’s trying to be more of a leader. I challenged him. ‘Look, you’ve got to lead. I’m the coach. I coach you guys, I get you guys motivated and everything but this is your segment group. What’s our identity?’

   “I want him to be one of the leaders in that room. He’s been coming out. He actually sprung a long run in the run game [Saturday] and then came back the next play and got put on his butt. And I was kind of excited about that. So, just let him know, that, ‘Hey, man, this is a physical ball game.’’’

   Coley is a great talent and if the Canes are to rise to another level this season, they need him to take the reins and show the younger guys how it’s done in every way.

   MALCOLM LEWIS DELIVERING

   One receiver both Richt and Dugans praised was fifth-year senior Malcolm Lewis, a super kid who hasn’t been the same since sustaining a severe ankle injury his freshman season at Georgia Tech.

    Malcolm has 439 receiving yards and two touchdowns the past three seasons, but Richt sounds like he'll get a lot more opportunities this year.

   “One kid, Malcolm Lewis, is kind of under the radar to me a little bit,’’ Richt said. “He has really practiced well in the spring and the fall. I think he’s a very good player, and I think He is a guy we’re going to have to count on this year, and I think he’ll do well for us.

  “…He leads by example.’’

   Added Dugans: “I challenged Malcolm. I just told him we expect bigger things out of him, being a veteran, being around for some years. He competes, he’s got good ball skills, the kid has got good speed, and he does some really good things. He’s caught the ball well for us this fall camp.

   “I’m excited about him. He’s done some things on the kickoff return team and I’m pleased with what he’s doing now.’’

  Dugans on freshman Ahmmon Richards: “He’s got a good skillset. He can run [laughs, as if that’s an understatement]. That’s one thing that he can do. He’s a shifty kid. Great kid that has good ball skills. I think he’ll be a really good player for us. Still young. Still has got to get some strength and conditioning… explosive and can catch.’’

  Dugans on Sam Bruce: He was one of the younger guys that came a little later in the summer, so he’s not as far along as some of the other young guys. He’s learning, throwing him in from time to time, he’s playing multiple positons. He’s a kid that can play inside or outside lane. I’m excited about the few things I saw him do this fall.

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

  

August 06, 2016

Miami football coach Mark Richt: snap-crackle-"pop"- and "Thud." Defense dominates.

 

Markricht8-6-16

Here's coach Mark Richt praising the defense Saturday after practice

"Great day as far as putting some shoulder pads on and being able to pop a little bit, and do what we call 'thud.' It's a tempo. You have 'live' - which is tackling, blocking below the waist. 'Thud' is a full-speed drill but there's no below-the-waist blocking or tackling to the ground. There's other times we're going to run by a guy and tag off. We were in 'thud' today. Some really good, nice contact plays.

“The defense definitely won the day. They looked like they were more excited about playing football today. It started well for them and it just kept going. Offensively, I will say, sometimes things go bad and they just turn to junk for the rest of the day. But they fought, they competed, started to execute a little bit better as we went. Overall the defense looked like a more physically tough team than the offense, as a whole. Nice, hot, smoky, muggy day.”

On which defensive players stood out Saturday...

"It was like a swarm. I couldn't even tell you who - a lot of them. The defensive backs played, I thought, exceptionally well, with the ball in the air. There were some outstanding balls in the air that were broken up, and some really good-looking picks. I couldn't even tell you who got them, because I'm going to the next play. I'm not looking at the [jersey] number to see who got it. Overall, I thought the defensive backs really had a nice day with the ball in the air, and competing physically too.”

On if he would like to see his defense always "win" practice...

"I would be sick if the offense won every day. You're going to be in trouble. Defense, they might win every day, but I like it when at least one side of the ball is tough, if at least one side of the ball is getting after it, sooner or later the other side of the ball is going to rise to that. I'm not saying the offense didn't compete. I'm just saying today, the defense got the best of it. They looked more tough, more physical. Part of it was how they swarmed the ball. It wasn't necessarily one individual play or one individual hit. The guys were really rallying to the ball and striking.

“I'll say this too - when you 'thud,' as soon as you 'thud' a guy, we call him down. We know in real games, guys actually break a tackle, guys get yards after contact. If the drill is to four yards, and if it goes to four yards the offense wins, and if it's under four yards the defense wins, if the 'thud' is at three and a half, we're saying it's down, so the defense would win. In a real game, if that back  finishes behind his pad and gets one yard after contact, the offense would probably win that drill. It's hard to keep score when you're in 'thud,' but it's still worth doing, because I want them competing every single drill.”

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN (and thank you again Cam Ghorbi)