June 09, 2016

UM coach Mark Richt speaks about $1 million donation, RB Mark Walton's status


University of Miami football coach Mark Richt just spoke to a group of reporters at the intramural fields on campus, where UM is hosting the first annual Mark Richt Football Camp through Sunday.

Our Peter Ariz was on the scene, reporting about the camp and Richt.

Here's the key news before we add quotes from Richt:

*** Running back Mark Walton, who was suspended indefinitely after being arrested for DUI in April, is, said Richt, "still on the team, working out, and going to school."  Richt said if there's any more news to report regarding Walton, he'll let us know.

   Please note that Walton has still not gone to court yet, and still could be suspended for the opener or beyond, but nothing has been announced about any punishment.

*** Richt also addressed his $1 million pledge toward construction of the indoor practice facility for football, though he didn't actually say "$1 million.'' When the Miami Herald asked about his "$1 million'' donation, however, Richt said it was important people knew that he was "all in'' on Miami and that it was important for people to know he is "not going anywhere.''

*** Richt also spoke about his 7-on-7 football camp, and about 7-on-7 satellite camps. 

    More to come.





June 08, 2016

Miami pitcher Frankie Bartow named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American


Miami Hurricanes right-handed pitcher Frankie Bartow, who came up big this season as the set-up man for UM career saves leader Bryan Garcia, was just named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.

Bartow, who is as smiley and good-natured as he is talented, has a team-high 39 appearances out of the bullpen in 2016. It should be noted that going into the postseason, Bartow's 36 appearances was ranked fourth nationally. He is 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA, his five wins being the most for any UM relief pitcher.

The Miami native has 27 strikeouts compared to eight walks. Bartow was one of 15 relief pitchers nationwide selected for the honor, and one of eight players from the ACC.

Bartow was the pitcher that made an outstanding defensive play on a hard-hit ball up the middle and fired to third base to prevent a would-be run in the Hurricanes' final regional victory -- then threw wild to first base on a failed pickoff attempt to bring home the tying run for Long Beach State. Hey, he's only a freshman. All in a good night's learning.

Bottom line: Bartow is really talented, and is expected to be looked at first to replace Garcia as the team's closer next season.

Bartow joins Michael Mediavilla (2015), Zack Collins (2014) and Bryan Garcia (2014) as current Hurricanes who were Louisville Slugger All-Americans.

For the full release from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, click HERE.


June 07, 2016

News: Boston College baseball at Miami super regional opens play 5 p.m. Friday


Just announced by the NCAA: The Miami Hurricanes will play Boston College in its NCAA super regional best-of-three game series from Friday through Sunday at Mark Light Field, with the opening game at 5 p.m. Friday on ESPNU. 

The Saturday and Sunday games are scheduled for noon, with Sunday's game only if necessary. Saturday's game will be on ESPNU and Sunday's game, if necessary, would be on ESPNU or ESPN2.

The third-ranked Canes (48-11), who won the Coral Gables Regional late Sunday, already knew they were to face fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member Boston College (34-20) in the super regional. But they were waiting to see if the next round would be Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

The winner of the eight super regionals around the country advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Boston College, the No. 3 seed in the Oxford, Mississippi regional this past weekend, will face Miami for the first time since March 2014, when UM swept the three-game series. Miami is 18-6 all-time against the Eagles.

Despite three super regional spots still to be determined, as games have stretched into Tuesday, the NCAA nonetheless made the schedule and host announcement on Tuesday morning.

For ticket information to the super regionals, go to hurricanesports.com.



June 02, 2016

Introducing the "Bat Flip Shake" at Miami's Mark Light Field


Leave it to Mark Light Shake to come up with an appropriate, and likely delicious, new conconction for the baseball postseason that begins with the Coral Gables Regional on Friday, when No. 2 seed FAU (38-17) meets No. 3 seed Long Beach State (36-20) at 1 p.m. and No. 3 national seed Miami (45-11) meets No. 4 seed Stetson (29-29).

The vanilla shake, shown in the picture above, is graced with a churro stick that looks a lot like the bat that UM third baseman Edgar Michelangeli held straight up in the air before he flipped it to run the bases as he watched his three-run homer sail over the left-field fence to put UM ahead for good last week against NC State in the ACC Tournament. I must admit, I became an instant Michelangeli fan watching the flip.

Here's the entertaining story our Jordan McPherson wrote about what I'm calling "The Bat Flip Heard 'Round the World.''

When I asked Michelangeli what life has been like since "The Bat Flip Heard 'Round the World,'' here's what he said:

"Obviously it's been fun. I've tried to keep it lighthearted and not really think about the home run because we still have games to play. I had fun the next day. All my teammates were joking about it. But it's time to move on and play regionals now.''

What were you thinking when you did that, Edgar?

"I don't think I was thinking much,'' he said with a grin.  "It was just reaction. I had high emotions. I was very excited. It just happened.''

We have a very strong feeling that a LOT of Bat Flip Shakes will be sold this weekend at The Light. 

You paying attention, Edgar?


While you're in the reading mood, please check out this story on long-time Hurricanes' assistants J.D. Arteaga and Gino DiMare, both former players and both top-notch coaches. Thanks to our Michael Stern, who has done a great job in his internship with us and is off to the Cape Cod League to do some broadcasting this summer. We'll miss him! Follow him @michaeljstern23



UM announced it will start left-handed junior Danny Garcia (9-3, 3.62 ERA), the usual Sunday afternoon starter during the regular season, against Stetson on Friday in its regional opener.

Stetson will start right-handed junior ace Mitchell Jordan (6-5, 4.07), who starred last summer in the Cape Cod League with an 8-1 record and 0.20 ERA as the Cape Cod Pitcher of the Year. 

"I'm very privileged to get the rock tomorrow and just keep grinding,'' Garcia told reporters, including the Herald's McPherson, on Thursday. "Last year I pitched Game 4 and I got it done. This year, hopefully I get it done Game 1.''


Canes catcher Zack Collins was among 25 amateur baseball players selected as semifinalists for the 2016 Gold Spikes Award, USA Baseball announced Wednesday.

Collins lead the third-ranked Hurricanes in home runs (12), RBI (52), on-base percentage (.540), slugging percentage (.630) and leads the nation in walks with 66. His on-base percentage, the stat coach Jim Morris treasures, is second in the nation.

Collins became the first Miami player to earn back-to-back spots on the All-ACC first team since Jon Jay in 2005 and 2006.

To submit your vote for Zack, click here.


Hurricanes senior shortstop Brandon Lopez was named a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award that goes to the top shortstop in the nation. Lopez, known for his great fielding and this season for extraordinary hitting (he's batting .388 with 13 doubles and 41 RBI) has made only five errors in 131 attempts (.975) in 2016.

He has recorded career-bests with 73 hits, 43 runs scored, the 13 doubles, two home runs and the 41 RBI. He is slugging .489 and has an on-base percentage of .454.

He'll be one of several Hurricanes drafted next week.

Here's this to help you keep organized:



May 29, 2016

Incredibly impressive: Miami baseball extends NCAA postseason record to 44 years

FullSizeRender (98)

UM baseball fans: Tune in to ESPNU at noon to tomorrow to watch the field of 64 announced for the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament, which begins locally on Friday, June 3, at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables.

UM, which had the nation's No. 3 RPI as of Sunday, will learn tomorrow what it is seeded nationally for the tournament. The Canes will also learn the other three teams coming to Coral Gables next weekend, and who they would meet in a super regional (which also would be in Coral Gables) should they win their regional.

As I said below in my story, the 44 consecutive years of postseason berths by Miami baseball represents the longest active NCAA postseason streak for any collegiate sport.

That is incredibly impressive.

My story is below. I'll be at UM tomorrow for the NCAA announcement.


Time for a fresh coat of white paint to change “43” to “44” on the University of Miami dugout – as in “NCAA RECORD 44 STRAIGHT TOURNAMENTS.”

Though it was no surprise, on Sunday night the NCAA announced Alex Rodriguez Park’s Mark Light Field in Coral Gables as one 16 national sites to host an NCAA baseball regional next weekend in the first round of the Division I Baseball Tournament.

The 44 consecutive years of postseason berths by Miami baseball represents the longest active NCAA postseason streak for any collegiate sport.

Now, the only surprises will be what national seed the third-ranked Hurricanes (45-11, 21-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) will be deemed, the other three teams coming to Coral Gables and who the Canes might meet at Mark Light for the super regional should they win their regional.

The full field of 64 teams and the tournament’s national seeds will be announced live on ESPNU at noon Monday.

“It’s crazy,’’ UM coach Jim Morris said last Monday before leaving for the ACC Tournament, in which the Canes won their first two games but were eliminated by Florida State (No. 12 RPI) in the third. “There are so many in a row I hardly think about it anymore. I just don’t want to be the coach when it ends.

“Whenever it does end, it may never be matched again.’’

One team the Hurricanes will not meet in the regional or super regional is No. 4 Florida, which will host the first round in Gainesville and as of Sunday had the No. 1 RPI in the nation. Miami had the nation’s No. 3 RPI. The Canes lost two of three to Florida this season and were eliminated by the Gators in last year’s College World Series.

The FAU Owls (38-17) of Boca Raton, ranked as high as 13th by Baseball America, will not host because their stadium isn’t big enough to accommodate a regional. The Owls, who went 1-2 in the Conference USA tournament as the No. 1 seed, are not expected to come to Coral Gables. FAU last week was projected by Baseball America as the No. 1 seed in the Long Beach, California, regional and by D1 Baseball as the No. 1 seed in the Tempe, Arizona regional.

Last year, the Canes earned the No. 5 national seed of eight awarded, before going on to win the regional and super regional. They went 1-2 at the CWS in Omaha.

Miami won national titles in 1982, 1985, 1999 and 2001 – the latter two won by Morris, who has made it to Omaha in 12 of his 22 seasons in Coral Gables.

“Hosting is huge,’’ Morris said. “It’s something we work at all year and we talk about all year. It’s a nice feeling to put ourselves in this position because you earn that spot, and our guys certainly have done that this season.”

Outfielder Jacob Heyward said it was “great to be at home for the regional,’’ but added that he rarely thinks about the advantage of hosting.

“We just want to play,’’ Heyward said.

The College World Series begins June 18 and will end either June 28 or 29.


May 26, 2016

Mark Richt's $1 million pledge: when he revealed it and why facility is needed


If you're a UM fan, you've got to respect a coach (and a program's first-year coach, at that) for not just urging others to get on board by supporting the program above and beyond -- as in $$$$$$$ -- but doing it himself. Here's my story on when/where Mark Richt actually revealed his $1 million pledge toward the indoor practice facility project, and the bottom line of why the AD knows the facility is necessary -- with Richt comments from Pro Day added.


The University of Miami indoor football practice facility project just got a nice boost from the man closest to the Miami Hurricanes.

Nice, as in $1 million.

UM football coach Mark Richt told a group of about 50 “very supportive individuals’’ at a private dinner after UM’s #Building Champions Spring Tour in Chicago last Thursday that he was donating $1 million toward the facility, a source at the private dinner told the Miami Herald.

UM athletic director Blake James confirmed that Richt is giving a donation but wouldn’t divulge details.

“I know Mark is going to make a gift to the project,’’ James told the Herald on Wednesday. “When we finalize it we’ll make an announcement.”

The donation was first reported by Canesport.com.

James wouldn’t give a timetable for breaking ground or announcing a major leadership donation by someone who would get his or her name on the building.

“There’s a lot of energy and excitement about the project,’’ James said, “but until we do get the gift there isn’t anything to announce. We don’t put timetables on gifts.’’

When Richt mentioned the donation at the dinner, the guests were apparently thrilled.

“You can imagine the reaction,’’ the source said. “Everyone was extremely impressed. Everyone clapped. People hollered. It was impressive.’’

The source said Richt “spoke to the dinner crowd about his commitment to the program, about his commitment to those young men and the major needs of the program, including the indoor facility.’’

The #BuildingChampions Spring Tour, separate from the dinner, was at the Knickerbocker Hotel.

Richt, in his first year at Miami, makes more than $4 million, though UM is a private school and does not disclose his contract details.

Multiple sources familiar with the indoor facility plans previously told the Herald that coaches have been informing prospective recruits about the facility and that renderings of the project, which has yet to break ground and even officially be announced by UM, have been made available to current players by Richt.

The indoor practice facility, which James told the Herald has “been No.<TH>1 on my list for a year and a half,’’ will be large enough to enclose a regulation-size football field.

It will include a weight room and coaches’ offices and is expected to extend from the current weight room housed in the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence near the outdoor practice fields. Initial costs will be between $20 and $30 million.

UM is the only Atlantic Coast Conference school without an indoor facility and one of the only major programs in the country not to have one.

James told the Herald last month that the biggest safety concern is lightning, which often strikes repeatedly in Miami’s tropical climate, wreaking havoc on practice.

Every time UM’s lightning alarm goes off, the players are required to go inside for at least 30 minutes.

 “It’s not temperatures that we’re looking to get out of,’’ James said. “And obviously you have to play in the rain. For us, it’s getting out of the lightning.”


Speaking of rain, the many Hurricanes who performed in front of NFL representatives on UM Pro Day -- its combine at Greentree Field -- were undoubtedly hampered by torrential rain that day. They kept performing because they had no choice, but an indoor facility would have been a blessing at that point.

"It was sad, really,'' Richt, who attended the UM combine, told reporters the next day. "It was sad that it was a downpour at the moment they needed to be able to show what they could do.

"They fought through the adversity, and I think the pro scouts appreciated and saw that. I did like how they handled adversity. That's part of the evaluation process. [But] not to have a place where they could have the type of day that they've been working so hard for, for so long -- not only from the end of the season to now, but really their whole life they're waiting for that opportunity -- was just tough on them.''




May 23, 2016

Miami offensive lineman Tyler Grimsley to transfer


The Hurricanes announced Monday night that redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Tyler Grimsley will transfer to another football program.

"Tyler has decided to transfer away from our football program in the hopes of gaining more playing time,'' coach Mark Richt said in a prepared statement. "I certainly respect his decision and I wish him nothing but the best in his future college football career.''

Grimsley is from Green Cove Springs, Florida, where he played at Clay High School. He redshirted in 2014 and served on the scout team in 2015. He is listed as 6-3 and 300 pounds.



Dejan "DJ" Vasiljevic on his first week at UM

Incoming freshman guard Dejan "DJ" Vasiljevic arrived at UM for Summer School from his native Australia last week.

Asked his first impressions, this was his response: "At the moment the whole experience appears surreal – so many things have happened over the past few days that I feel as if I am still on the plane and everything is flying by. Seems like I am getting over the jet lag and feel refreshed. I have managed to finalize my enrollment, start classes and obtain the medical clearance so basically it has been full on several days. Between classes, assignments and workouts there has not been much time for anything else. I did get a chance to meet several football recruits and share experience with them, went to a baseball game which reminded me why I chose an indoor sport – it was too hot outside, at least for me, so I think those players deserve lots of praises for their commitment. Literally everyone has been so supportive and encouraging helping me with the transition. I am really excited to be part of this program."

-- Michelle Kaufman.

Miami Hurricanes freshman 2nd overall, competing Monday for NCAA golf title


University of Miami freshman Dewi Weber, who shot a career-low 66 on Saturday and took the overall lead at the 2016 NCAA Women's Golf Championship in Eugene Oregon, shot 74 on Sunday and is tied for second place individually with Alabama's Cheyenne Knight.

Weber, of The Netherlands, is one of nine individuals outside of the 15 qualifying teams -- UM's team finished 21st -- to earn a spot in Monday's final round of stroke play at the Eugene Country Club.

The last Miami player to earn a national individual title in golf was Penny Hammel in 1983.

 Weber's 66 on Saturday was one stroke shy of tying the NCAA championship and Miami records for the lowest score in one round.

Hurricanes coach Patti Rizzo said on Saturday that she "couldn't keep my phone out of my pocket because every time I looked at the scores Dewi made another birdie, then she made an eagle, so she was really hot out there today.''

Weber is shooting a 7-under-par 209 through three rounds. She is six strokes behind Duke's Virginia Elna Carta, who shot a third-round 66 Sunday.

Through three rounds, Weber has 14 birdies and one eagle at the par-72, 6,331-yard course. On Sunday, she posted bogeys on three of the first five holes before rallying on the back nine with birdies on 10, 11 and 17.




May 21, 2016

Coveted football recruit DeeJay Dallas chooses the Miami Hurricanes


The Miami Hurricanes and Mark Richt have landed one of their top targets in the 2017 recruiting class. Four-star athlete DeeJay Dallas from Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Ga. announced Saturday afternoon during a radio show that he will become a Hurricane.

"For the next four years I plan on attending the University of Miami,'' he said. "I chose Miami because I really like the environment down there [and] I really like the coaching staff...''

The 5-10, 190-pound Dallas chose Miami over Alabama, Michigan, Georgia Tech, and Oregon.

Dallas said he wanted to remain relatively close to home in Georgia -- but not too close. 

Dallas, a former Georgia commit after forging a relationship with former Bulldogs coach Richt, is the 12th-ranked athlete and 222nd-ranked overall player in the country according to 247sports. At Glynn Academy, Dallas plays both sides of the football, including quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback and safety. He is the 15th commitment for Miami’s 2017 class, but only the third from out of state.

Dallas will graduate high school in December and plans on enrolling at Miami in January 2017.

Although Dallas said Miami coaches made it clear to him that they plan on using him in a multitude of ways, it appears that he will make his most immediate impact as a receiver. Since taking over the job, Mark Richt has mentioned the need for speed at the wide receiver position – Dallas fits the bill.

“They’ve mentioned a whole bunch of stuff like me starting with the receivers and making my presence felt there and then also playing some defensive back too, while being a return man,” Dallas told the Miami Herald last week. “That’s one of my goals, to be a triple-threat prospect and Coach Richt is fine with that as long as I come in and produce.”

Glynn Academy Coach Rocky Hidalgo recognizes that Dallas’ electric ability is what caught college recruiters’ attention, but he appreciates Dallas for his other qualities on the field.

“For as much as he brings to the field as a player, his most valuable asset is that he is an incredible leader,” Hidalgo said Friday. “He is enthusiastic and infectious as a leader and his teammates just want to catch on to that and go with it.”

Like the coaches at Miami, Hidalgo envisions Dallas as the type of rare talent who can go both ways at the college level.

“He is such an incredible asset in the secondary, but he’s also a guy that I think can play 15-20 snaps on offense and also in the return game. He is such a team guy that he will do whatever his team needs him to do,” Hidalgo said.

His relationship with Richt seems to have separated the Canes from the pack, according to Hidalgo.

“I’ve had a couple of my kids play for Coach Richt and he is the type of guy that you want your son to play for,” said Hidalgo. “He takes care of his players and their parents. His relationship with DeeJay has been tremendously important during his recruitment.”

“He’s a good role model because he cares about his players after football. He cares about them as a person and speaks about his players as his own children, so that is what draws me to Coach Richt,” Dallas added.


May 19, 2016

Mark Walton pleads not guilty through his attorney in DUI case


New information: Mark Walton is being represented by the attorney (Joey McCall of Farrell & Patel in Coral Gables) who represented Florida State running back Dalvin Cook when he was acquitted last year. Here is the link to that story: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/college/florida-state-rb-dalvin-cook-not-guilty-punching-woman-article-1.2336112


Just confirmed through the Miami Herald's David Ovalle that University of Miami running back Mark Walton, through his attorney, pleaded not guilty in Miami-Dade this morning to a DUI charge and Driving while license suspended/with knowledge charge.

 There are no other cases involving Walton,19,in the Miami-Dade court system, I was told by the State Attorney's Office, and records show it is a first offense.

  Last season, Walton played in all 13 games and rushed for 461 yards and scored nine touchdowns on 130 carries. He also caught 22 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown. He ended the season second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards.

   Here is the original story on Walton's arrest.

   The suspicion of Walton impersonating a police officer appears to not be valid because nearly a month has gone by without any other charges being filed. 

   Walton is now suspended from the football team indefinitely. As for when and if he'll be reinstated to the team, we'll find out sooner or later. Walton had a good spring and was the first-team tailback in the spring game, and according to coach Mark Richt, was leading at the position. Richt made clear that he will rotate more than one back during the season.

   Richt is a man who wants to see his players learn and grow from their experiences/choices -- good and bad -- and become better men because of them, unless the bad choices happen too often.

      Will let you know if there's any more news on this.




FAU at Miami football game on Sept. 10 will be aired at 6 p.m. by ESPN3... and also...


  1. FAU at UM game set for 6 p.m. on Sept. 10th and will be aired by ESPN3
  2. FAMU at UM opener also set for 6 p.m. on Sept. 3rd and will be aired by ESPN3
  3. Thursday-night ESPN game at Virginia Tech will begin at 7 p.m. 

Primetime for the 12th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship; Boston College Hosts Georgia Tech in Dublin Ireland; Florida State Battles Ole Miss on Labor Day Monday Night

GREENSBORO, N.C. — An eighth straight appearance in prime time for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, a minimum of 21 national exposures on ESPN platforms  in the first three weeks of the season, headline the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference early season TV football schedule announced Thursday by the ACC.

The schedule includes all of the ACC’s games for the first three weeks of the season, with the exception of road non-conference games which are controlled by the host team or its conference. Also included are four Thursday night contests which will be nationally televised by ESPN and five nationally-televised Friday games.

Once again the conference will have a syndicated package on the ACC Network which will air in more than 100 markets and a package on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN) that will be in an average 71 million homes.

However, with ESPN3 carrying both packages outside of its syndicated footprints, every ACC-controlled football game this year will once again be a national exposure.

The 2016 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, which will be played for the seventh consecutive year in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, is scheduled for the first Saturday in December (Dec. 3) and will have a nationally televised kickoff time of either 7:45 p.m. (on ESPN) or 8 p.m. ET (on ABC). The Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship has been televised in primetime since 2009.

From Dublin, Ireland, where Boston College and Georgia Tech meet at Aviva Stadium in the 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic (7:30 a.m., ESPN2), to Eugene, Oregon, where Virginia will meet the Oregon Ducks on the second week of the season (Sept. 10), ACC teams will be playing games 4,740 miles apart in the first three weeks of the season. The game in Dublin will be the first football game between ACC opponents of the year and will mark the first time a conference game has been played in Ireland.

 As usual, the ACC will be competing in blockbuster matchups with three games featuring ACC-SEC teams on the opening weekend of the season, beginning with North Carolina facing Georgia in the Annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome which will be nationally televised by ESPN (5:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 3.

North Carolina, the 2015 ACC Coastal Division champion, is one of five ACC teams ranked in ESPN.com’s most recent “Way-Too-Early Top 25”. The Tar Heels are ranked 19th, while Georgia is ranked 13th.

ACC teams in the Way Too Early Top 25 are led by Clemson, ranked second, and Florida State, ranked fourth, but also include UNC, Louisville (24th) and Miami (25th).        

Later on Sept. 3, the second-ranked Tigers travel to face Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., in a game which will be nationally televised over ESPN beginning at 9 p.m.

Florida State then makes its seventh appearance on the Labor Day Monday Night Game, hosting 14th-ranked Ole Miss in the Camping World Kickoff Game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Sept. 5 in a game nationally televised by ESPN (8 p.m.). The Seminoles have split their previous six Labor Day Monday encounters, defeating Pitt, 41-13, in their last appearance in 2013.  The game marks the 12th time an ACC team or teams have appeared on ESPN’s Labor Day platform in the last 13 years.

Pitt renews its longtime rivalry with Penn State in the second week of the season when the Panthers host the Nittany Lions at Heinz Field for the first time on Sept. 10 (noon, ABC or ESPN). The two instate rivals are meeting for the first time since 2000, and the 15-year gap is the longest interruption in a 96-game rivalry which dates back to 1893. 

There are five SEC-ACC matchups in the season’s first three weeks, including Tennessee facing Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 10 (game time and network are to be announced shortly) and Georgia Tech hosting Vanderbilt at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta on Sept. 17th (ACC Network, 12:30 p.m.).

Game times were announced for four of five nationally televised Thursday night games on ESPN, including Clemson at Georgia Tech (Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.), Miami at Virginia Tech (Oct. 20, 7 p.m.), Virginia Tech at Pitt (Oct. 27, 7 p.m.), and North Carolina at Duke (Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.). The Nov. 17 Louisville at Houston game will be announced at a later date by the American Athletic Conference.

The five national exposures on Friday include Louisville at Syracuse on Sept. 9 (ESPN2, 8 p.m.), Clemson at Boston College on Oct. 7 (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.), Duke at Louisville on Oct. 14 (ESPN, 7 p.m.), Boston College at Florida State on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.), and NC State at North Carolina on Thanksgiving Friday, Nov. 25 (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2; Noon or 3:30 p.m.). 

A total of 12 games will also be available nationally on ESPN3 beginning with Tulane at Wake Forest (7 p.m.) and William & Mary at NC State (7:30 p.m.) on Thursday, Sept. 1,  and continuing with Colgate at Syracuse (Sept. 2, 7 p.m.); Villanova at Pitt (Sept. 3, 1:30 p.m.); Richmond at Virginia (Sept. 3, 3:30 p.m.); North Carolina Central at Duke (Sept. 3, 6 p.m.) and Florida A&M at Miami (Sept. 3, 6 p.m.). 

The ACC’s ESPN3 schedule also includes Mercer at Georgia Tech (Sept. 10, 3 p.m.); Florida Atlantic at Miami (Sept. 10, 6 p.m.); South Florida at Syracuse (Sept. 17, 3:30 p.m.); Old Dominion at NC State (Sept. 17, 6 p.m.); and Delaware at Wake Forest (Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m.).

The ACC will again have two syndicated packages produced by the ACC Network this fall: The ACC Network and the Regional Sports Networks (RSN).

The ACC Network will be syndicated in over 100 markets nationally and more than 90 million TV households with three games in the first three weeks, each with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff: Liberty at Virginia Tech (Sept. 3); Troy at Clemson (Sept.  10); and Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech (Sept.  17). 

In addition, ACC Network games are also available digitally on ESPN3 (outside of the ACC footprint), on theACC.com and on the ACC App for IPhones, IPads and Droid mobile devices. 

Once again, the ACC will also feature a weekly football game which will air each week on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN) of Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Florida or Sun Sports, Comcast Sports Net Mid-Atlantic, New England Sports Network (NESN), the YES Network or MSG Network in New York and Root Sports in Pennsylvania, in addition to several other RSNs nationally reaching 71 million homes on average. 

The RSN package will have four games in the first three weeks of the season including a doubleheader on Sept. 17 with Clemson hosting South Carolina State (Noon) and North Carolina hosting James Madison (3:30 p.m.). The RSN package opens with a prime-time exposure on Thursday with Louisville hosting Charlotte on Sept. 1 (7 p.m.), while Florida State hosts Charleston Southern on Sept. 10 (12:30 p.m.).


May 16, 2016

First crop of (mostly) Baby Canes arrive on campus for Summer A Session, with more joining them for second session


Your 2016 Miami Hurricanes continue to take shape. The university has now confirmed that 12 football players, including Ahmmon Richards, shown above, have arrived on campus and officially registered for Summer Session A classes:

They are walk-on running back Crispian Atkins (Plant City Durant High, Class of '15), redshirt junior walk-on receiver Malik Mayweather, safety Adrian Colbert (Texas graduate transfer), wide receiver Dayall Harris, walk-on punter Jack Spicer, safety Romeo Finley, running back Travis Homer, tight end Michael Irvin II, offensive lineman Tre Johnsonreceiver Ahmmon Richards -- and just confirmed a few minutes ago: defensive end Joseph Jackson of Gulliver Prep.

Mayweather, already 21, is a redshirt junior who led Olive Branch High School to the 2011 Class 6A Mississippi state title, according to a UM biography on him as a true freshman in 2013. The bio said he "recorded 781 yards and five touchdowns on 41 catches" his senior season. He also was listed as playing in a scrimmage in August 2014.

Colbert was a four-star recruit out of Mineral Wells High in Texas. He committed to former Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz -- now the Miami Hurricanes' defensive coordinator -- as part of the 2012 signing class.

Colbert redshirted his first season and got most of his playing time in 2013 and '14. He played in all 13 games both of those seasons, making four starts at safety as a sophomore and playing mostly on special teams as a redshirt freshman. According to the Texas statistics, he played in 12 games last season but did not register any numbers.

He had 26 total tackles for his career and an interception in his first career start against North Texas.

Harris, from Jackson, Mississippi, played this past season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi, where he was named Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College first-team All-State. Rated three stars by Rivals.com, Harris has three years of eligibility remaining and will be eligible to play immediately for the Hurricanes.

Harris was a three-star receiver out of Callaway High in Jackson. At Copiah-Lincoln, he caught 45 passes for 546 yards and three touchdowns last season, according to the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Jack Spicer is a Florida transfer who redshirted last season and is out of Estero High, where he also was a talented tight end.

Cesar Castillo is sophomore who was already enrolled at UM and will be listed as fullback.

Here's info and videos of Joseph Jackson (and Dionte Mullins and Cedric Wright, who also signed in February but aren't on campus yet): http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/high-school/prep-miami-dade/article58189508.html

 The Others:

Ahmmon Richards WR
6-1 181 Wellington, Fla.
High School: Wellington

Bio Highlights

Competed in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl…Rated as the 148th-ranked player in the nation, 28th-best receiver and 23rd in-state prospect, according to the 247Sports composite ratings…Registered 1,278 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 73 catches last season, and finished with 2,722 yards, 39 touchdowns and 144 grabs in a three-year stretch...Chose Miami over offers from Auburn, Tennessee and Alabama.

Wide receivers coach Ron Dugans on Richards: “He has a very good skill set. He’s a big target and good ball skills. He’s going to be a red zone threat. He’s a kid that can change direction and is a dynamic player. He’s a baller.”


Tre Johnson OL

6-7 297 Orlando, Fla.
High School: First Academy

Rated as a consensus three-star prospect by ESPN, 247sports and Rivals…

Bio Highlights

Rated as the 148th–best player in the state of Florida by the 247sports composite… Recorded over 60 career total tackles and over 40 career solo tackles in just 16 career varsity games… Picked Miami over scholarship offers from Louisville, Cincinnati and USF.

Offensive line coach Stacy Searels on Johnson: “Tre is a kid that we think has tremendous athletic ability, he certainly has the size to be an elite offensive tackle. He’s a basketball player so he can move his feet. He has size, range, athleticism and I really like this kid a lot.”


Romeo Finley DB
6-1 200 Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
High School: Niceville

Four-star safety prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports…

Bio Highlights

Three-star prospect by Scout…Ranked as the No. 12 safety by ESPN and the No. 244 overall prospect on ESPN300…Rated as the No. 15 safety and the No. 315 prospect regardless of position by 247Sports…Rated as the third-best safety in the state of Florida and the No. 28 safety nationwide by Scout…Totaled 60 tackles, six PBUs and one interception in his final season at Niceville…Had 60 tackles, 10 PBUs, one interception and two forced fumbles junior year…Chose Miami over Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Safeties coach Ephraim Banda on Finley: “What I love about Romeo is his aggressiveness. One of the biggest things we are looking for in evaluating young men is their ability to seek contact and he does that on every play.”


Michael Irvin II TE
6-3 237 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
High School: St. Thomas Aquinas

Rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN, 247sports and Rivals…

Bio Highlights

Helped guide St. Thomas Aquinas to its second straight 2015 FHSAA 7A Championship…Caught three passes in the state championship game against Viera…Transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas in 2015 after he recorded over 1,200 yards receiving at Prestonwood Christian High School (Texas)…Tied a Texas single game record for receptions as he hauled in 21 catches against IMG Academy in 2014…Chose Miami over scholarship offers from Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina State.

Special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Todd Hartley on Irvin II.: “Michael is mature beyond his years. He’s extremely intelligent and I’m very impressed with him. He’s a very gifted pass catcher. I know he is going to come in here and work hard, so that he can come in and contribute as a freshman.”


Travis Homer RB
5-11 180 West Palm Beach, Fla.
High School: Oxbridge Academy

Rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN and 247sports...

Bio Highlights

Ranked No. 175 in the ESPN Top 300 ratings…Received a three-star ranking from Rivals…Totaled 1,315 yards rushing and 13 total touchdowns as a senior…Rushed for 215 yards and one touchdown in a 32-24 win over Chaminade-Madonna in the FHSAA Regional Semifinal game…Finished his prep career by surpassing 3,200 total rushing yards, 41 rushing touchdowns and 50 total rushing touchdowns…Helped Oxbridge Academy to the FHSAA Regional Finals…Chose Miami over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Florida State.

Offensive coordinator and running backs coach Thomas Brown on Homer: “We’re very excited to have Travis Homer join the Hurricanes. He’s a great player and a great person, who fits our environment in every aspect. He’s a home run hitting tailback and I know he is ready to get going.”

*************************************** Travis-Homer

Keep in mind that UM already has the five early enrollees -- quarterback Jack Allison, linebackers Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman, and defensive end Randy Bethel -- who practiced this spring. They also are expected to get several other signees for Summer Session B, including receiver Sam Bruce.


May 13, 2016

Hurricanes' sidewinder Cooper Hammond out for up to a year; Freshman gets first start tonight

FullSizeRender (99)

 If you want to catch a formidable team in the midst of an excellent season, get out to Mark Light Field tonight for the 7 p.m. opener against Pittsburgh (25-20, 10-13 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the final, regular-season weekend home series for the University of Miami's fourth-ranked baseball Hurricanes (37-9, 16-6).

You also will witness Coral Gables High graduate and right-handed freshman Andrew Cabezas, who is 2-1 and 4.84 ERA in 20 relief appearances (and shown above in photograph), make the first start of his young career.

Left-handed senior Thomas Woodrey (5-4, 5.46), who has struggled this season, was moved to the bullpen the last game on Tuesday against Bethune-Cookman. Woodrey pitched two-thirds of the ninth inning and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and a walk.

"We're just trying to change it up a little big,'' UM coach Jim Morris told our Michael Stern on Thursday during a media session. "We're going to put him back in the pen...If we can get his feet back on the ground and get his confidence going... Mentally, got to get him going.''

Morris also told reporters Thursday that right-handed, star sidewinder Cooper Hammond, who had served as a reliever until he was hurt March 8, had Tommy John surgery on Monday "and is out for probably nine to 12 months'' -- a huge blow for Miami. Hammond, a junior, has not redshirted and could redshirt and return the following year as a senior. 

 Cabezas, 19, has a great slider and a fastball that tops out in the low 90s. He was drafted by Cleveland last year in the 34th round, but chose to come to college in his home town. Teams are hitting .242 against him.

"I just want to be here to contribute as best I can, since I'm a freshman,'' Cabezas told the Miami Herald just before opening day. "Honestly, I'm the first person in my family going to college. It was very important to get my education and keep playing baseball.

  "I think we can be pretty good. Of course we have to be mellow-headed and focus game by game."

 Cabezas, who openly displays his feistiness on the mound, transferred from Mater Academy to Coral Gables his junior year of high school. He played the early part of his high school career as a teammate of UM junior Willie Abreu

  Morris said Woodrey always could return to the starting lineup, depending on what happens in the next couple of weeks. Cabezas sometimes has to settle down a bit and get into a rhythm before he does his stuff.

"If we get four or five [innings] I'll be very happy with the first time out in that role,'' Morris said of Cabezas. "He throws a lot of pitches. He may get three innings. He's probably going to throw 60 or 70 pitches that first time and get us wherever we can go.''

 And don't count out mid-week starter Jesse Lepore as a prospective starter once the post-season begins. Lepore, 6-4 and 210 pounds, is a sophomore with a 7-0 record this season and stellar 2.15 ERA.

Here's our UM baseball story by Walter Villa that ran in today's paper.






May 12, 2016

Nice GPAs -- and nice Jesus Jeans Coach Richt


So, Hurricanes football coach Mark Richt boasted earlier today about the great GPAs his players produced this spring at the University of Miami.

 "Great news for our football student athletes,''Richt posted on Twitter. "44 had a spring GPA of 3.0 or better. We also posted an all time high team GPA. U Family!"

What Richt did not boast about were those Jesus Jeans that appeared to fit snugly on his then-22-year-old body in 1982. Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post, via Miami alum and FIU professor Michael Scott Sheerin, discovered a classic television commercial that Richt was filmed in briefly, and it's just too funny not to share. Some might say, "Oh, Lord!" But most everyone will laugh.



Here's the Post blog.



Notre Dame, Miami to tangle on Nov. 11, 2017 and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 29, 2016 for national broadcast


There will be a lot of TV tailgating going on in South Florida come Oct. 29th.

And even though it's still too early to program your DVR, it's never too early to get pumped for Miami at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame announced on Thursday its game times for the 2016 football season, and its 2017 schedule -- and the Hurricanes are part of both.

This season's Saturday, Oct. 29th game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be televised nationally by NBC.

In 2017, the Irish will come to Sun Life Stadium on Nov. 11.

In April, during the ACC spring football teleconference, I asked Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly about the upcoming game.

He spoke a while about the rivalry, then said, "When it's the U and Notre Dame, it will kind of take a life of its own from coast to coast.''

UM coach Mark Richt said he hadn't "even thought that far down the road yet. ...Hopefully we're healthy enough and executing well enough to make it a good ball game.''

Here's my game story from the last time the Irish and Canes met -- at Soldier Field in October 2012: Click here.





May 10, 2016

Prospective UM safety Ahman Ross decommits from Miami Hurricanes

Mark Richt or no Mark Richt, this will likely happen from time to time (or maybe even more) over the next several months: a decommitment.

On Tuesday night, it was Jacksonville-Bolles safety Ahman Ross who posted a "Recruiting Update,'' complete with praying hands, on Twitter:


May 09, 2016

Canyon Barry chooses UF over UM

By Michelle Kaufman


If only the University of Miami had a nuclear training reactor. Maybe then the Hurricanes basketball program could have signed College of Charleston transfer Canyon Barry, son of the former UM and NBA legend, Rick Barry.

Instead, the sharpshooter chose to pass up his father's alma mater and play his final year of college basketball at the University of Florida. Barry, the youngest of Rick's sons, is a two-time Academic All-American and graduating this summer with a degree in Physics. He plans to pursue a Master's Degree in nuclear engineering.

"These past few months have been pretty crazy since I made the decision to graduate and transfer," Barry said in a statement. "I have been contacted by numerous coaches from some of the top teams in the country.  I feel blessed and honored that they were interested in having me be a part of their programs...Ultimately, however, after much prayerful consideration, I have made my decision to attend the University of Florida next season and play for Coach Mike White as a Florida Gator.

"The University of Florida is a great fit for me for several reasons.  First, they have an exceptional Nuclear Engineering program and actually have one of the only nuclear training reactors in the southeast.  Secondly, I really like Coach White, his integrity, his honesty with me, and his style of play.  He and I both feel that I can make an immediate contribution... I met the players on my official visit and felt right at home in Gainesville. Lastly, I have family on both my mom and dad’s sides who live in Florida. My grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my cousins will all be able to see me play and cheer on our team."

Barry averaged 19.7 points per game his junior season, but was limited to 13 games because of a shoulder injury.


April 30, 2016

Chicago Bear Deon Bush: "I've been in Miami all my life. Now it's time to go to a new place."


After watching their teammate Artie Burns get picked 25th overall Thursday in the NFL Draft, then waiting fruitlessly Friday as the minutes melted away, the draft-eligible Miami Hurricanes had to be getting more jittery by the second on Saturday.

Then, finally, at about 1:25 p.m., Hurricanes safety Deon Bush got chosen 124th overall – the 26th pick in the fourth round – by the Chicago Bears.

All Bush wanted was an opportunity to show what he can do. Finally, the Miami Columbus High graduate has that chance.

I had a pleasant phone conversation with Deon this afternoon, and is he ever psyched.

"Chicago is a wonderful city with wonderful fans and a wonderful history,'' he told the Miami Herald. "I'm ready. I've been in Miami all my life. Now It's time to go to a new place. Everything is anew. Everything is beginning right now. I just want to make the best of it."

Bush told me he was nervous today because he "didn't know what was going to happen,'' but ultimately, as usual, he did a lot of praying and kept the faith.

He had been staying at a hotel the past few days, saw a navy blue T-shirt that the Bears gave him at the NFL Scouting Combine, slipped it on and went to his home where his family was waiting to watch the draft. "I just had a feeling about the Bears,'' he said. "I prayed and that's how it worked out. I talked on the phone to the GM, the defensive backs coach and the defensive coordinator, and it's a blessing, man. I'm so happy."

Bush also heard from former Hurricanes coach Al Golden, who is the current Detroit Lions tight ends coach, and former UM DB coach Paul Williams, now with Illinois.

Coach Golden told me how happy he was for me and how he was fired up,'' Bush said. 

"At the end of the day I had faith in God that everything was going to happen the way it was supposed to,'' he said. "I think I can help this team a lot. I'm going to work hard. I'm going to try to perfect my craft and become a better player. I'm going in there with a mindset that I'll keep my head down, keep chopping away and do whatever it takes to get to the Super Bowl.''

“Major blessings @deonbushlive2 congrats bro,’’ former Canes receiver Allen Hurns, who went undrafted in 2014 but became a star with the Jacksonville Jaguars, tweeted.

 And on and on.

The 6-0, 199-pound Bush had 50 tackles, a sack, two fumble recoveries, six pass breakups and an interception last season. 

“You look at his talent,’’ ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said after Bush was drafted. “It’s really evident on tape. He has size, athleticism. He's got the skillset to develop into an interchangeable starting safety if he's able to regain focus and if Chicago can bring out the most in him."

The Bears tweeted that among the things Bush said during a Saturday afternoon teleconference was, "I definitely want to embrace special teams. I played special teams my whole career.''

When the Miami Herald asked Bush on Friday what the team that drafted him would be getting, he said, “They’re going to get a hard worker man, someone who is going to go out there and lay it on the line, play hard football, make plays and amp people up and make the defense tougher.

“I bring a tough style.’’

Bush said playing in the NFL -- no matter where he plays -- would be “a dream come true.’’

“It doesn’t matter,’’ he said. “I love the game of football. I’ll go anywhere and be happy.’’

Bush will join former Hurricane stars Antrel Rolle, a fellow safety from Homestead (out of South Dade High) and punter Pat O’Donnell in Chicago.

 "Deon Bush is a Chicago Bear!! U Family!!" tweeted new UM coach Mark Richt.

And this, from O'Donnell: "Yes, Sir!!! Welcome to the squad @deonbushlive2. Expecting many of these plays like @#TheU #BearDown #NFLU. The tweet showed a picture of Bush sacking former Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

 Yes Sir!!! Welcome to the squad @deonbushlive2 Expecting many of these plays like @ #TheU #BearDown #NFLU pic.twitter.com/Hb2SCG3dWM

  The first two Hurricanes drafted, both of whom grew up in Miami, are going to the cold. But be assured that at this point, Artie Burns (Pittsburgh) and Bush couldn't be more ecstatic.

  You're gonna want to see these... #BearsDraft@deonbushlive2 📷's: https://t.co/7ZOTxL8jBk pic.twitter.com/qUQFmWaSzW



April 29, 2016

Hurricanes DE Al-Quadin Muhammad announces on Instagram that he had surgery

A picture tells a thousand words -- or at least a lot of them.

Miami defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, who had a strong spring showing and is expected to be a force on the D-line next season, posted a photograph of him on Instagram recently today lying in a hospital bed and wearing a surgical gown, cap, etc. His caption:

"Thank God surgery was a success minor set back I'm good though I'll be back in no time btw I'll be ready for the season #GodHasAPlan"

   A Miami spokesman said Friday night that Muhammad had "a minor procedure on his knee and is expected to return to football-related activities in two weeks.''    

When asked after the spring game on April 16 how pleased he was with his spring, and what he thinks he can achieve in UM's new, more aggressive defense implemented by defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, Muhammad's reply: "For the most part it felt good. It's a good feeling. It's going to help not only me, but everybody on the D-line grow. It's great.''

 Muhammad said "it's definitely a great feeling'' to now be a veteran leader setting the tone for the younger players, "but most importantly, it's easy to do when everyone is buying in. And that's what we have on our team. We have great guys and everybody is buying in. It's a great feeling but it's not a hard thing to do when a head coach tells some of the leaders, 'We need this and we need that done.'

    "It's easy to do when everybody is buying in. That's what we have going on, so it's an awesome feeling.''

    Muhammad, going into his redshirt junior year, is 6-4 and 250 pounds. In 2015, as an outside linebacker/rush end, he played in 12 games and finished third on the team with 54 tackles, leading the Canes in tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (5). He also had a forced fumble and pass breakup. 

    In the two spring scrimmages open to the public, Muhammad's stats included three sacks.