August 05, 2016

Miami coach Mark Richt: Hurricanes "practiced like champions'' Friday


(above is CB Adrian Colbert)

Following are some Mark Richt quotes after he spoke following Friday's second day of Miami camp. 

Opening Statement…

“Much better day of everybody handling the tempo, handling the heat, handling everything that we’re asking them to do. I thought we practiced like champions today. We got to keep doing it, but it was a very good day in regards to that.”

*** On what it means to practice like a champion…

“Effort. Focus. Energy level. Just doing what you’re coached to do, down after down. It wasn’t perfect by any means. We had too many penalties today, we had some issues on assignments – you’ll always have that when you rep two [second-string] and three [third-string] teams. I know what it looks like to have the type of practice where you’re going to get better every day, and today was one of those. Yesterday was close, but today was.”

On the play of the team’s safeties through the first two days of camp…

“I like it – the veterans, especially. You can tell a big difference between the young guys and the old guys – just learning how to disguise coverage better. There’s a cat-and-mouse game every snap, with the quarterback trying to figure out what the coverage is. The more the safeties and secondary can disguise it, the tougher it is for the quarterback to be right. It makes him hold the ball longer. The veterans do a great job of that, and the young guys are still learning it. Overall, the safeties, especially the older guys, are doing a great job.”

On the timeline of naming a backup quarterback…

“I’m not making any promises, but it could be as early as the first scrimmage. I just want to have peace that I’m doing the right thing. Sooner or later, we have to get the reps for the number two guy. If I have to wait until even after the third scrimmage, which gives me still 10 practice days prior, I think we’ll still be okay.”

On the status of freshman linebacker Michael Pinckney, who was seen riding an exercise bike…

“I think it’s a quad or hamstring. Something is bothering him a little bit. We don’t think it’s serious, but enough to where he wasn’t going full speed.”

On the status of junior linebacker Jermaine Grace, who was not seen at practice…

“Final day of exams. We had a few guys doing that today.”

On the idea of wanting his players to be bored with the playbook due to consistency and repetition…

“There’s still a lot to learn, a lot of variables. I want them to be bored in that it’s the same thing, it’s a consistent message. In this coverage you do this, in that coverage you do that. In this look, you run this way, in that look, you run that way. It never changes. In some ways, I want it to be boring in that they know it so well, that when the heat comes, they’ll be able to function well and not panic.”

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN (thanks to Cam Ghorbi from UM sports information)


Miami Hurricanes media viewing over with one major player missing (likely in class)


Day Two of media viewing for the Miami Hurricanes is over. Starting strong-side linebacker Jermaine Grace was not there for our 17 minutes of viewing. However, today is the last day of classes for the final summer session, and good chance Jermaine was in class or doing something academic related, as Canes Insight writer (and Miami Herald correspondent) Peter Ariz noted, per source.

Here are some pictures I took during our viewing.

Be back later.

Say hi to Kc McDermott:


Say hi to Sunny Odogwu


Here are your top two running backs in chronological order (No. 1 Mark Walton and No. 2 Joe Yearby)

Walton and yearby8-5-16


More of your running backs


Be back later with post-practice report


August 04, 2016

Miami QB Brad Kaaya waiting for a backup to assert himself and take the job



So, Day One is over, and Day Two is nearly upon us.

The one thing that stuck out to me after practice was the talk of the backup quarterbacks -- or lack thereof of one that has earned that important job. And I'd say the backup to Brad Kaaya is very important. Just ask Malik Rosier, who came to the rescue big-time against Duke, but apparently has not yet done enough to win the job.


Here's what Brad Kaaya had to say today about his backups, which was a real eye-opener:

"I've seen them put the effort in. I think it's just time for someone to take that next step and step up. We still don't know who the backup is. This is a group that really needs to step their game up. I'm not calling them out or anything, but someone needs to be real assertive and step up from those four guys."
Coach Mark Richt said the three backups behind Brad alternate, but in a good portion of the practice we saw today, redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs was the No. 2 guy, followed by redshirt sophomore Vincent Testaverde and redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier.
Here's what Mark Richt said about the backups: "They’re familiar with what we’re doing. They know how to run our offense. They know who to point out as a Mike linebacker with some identification that they’re in charge of. We have combo plays at the line where they have to run this play or that play. And they’re knowing when to check, which is good. Everybody threw the ball pretty good today. It was a pretty good day, really."

Running back Joe Yearby on his goal this season:

"My goal is just be a team player, come out and compete, go out and have a good season.  I’ll be truly blessed if I get yards but I’m just trying to help my team win the Coastal and ACC championship and if the individual goals come out to that I’ll be truly blessed. It’s a faster tempo. More conditioning. More in shape."

Safety Rayshawn Jenkins on the difference in the practice: 

"It’s fun. It’s just fun, competitive. You want to see that out of your football team. If you don’t something is wrong. It’s the first day of training camp. You want to see guys running around and being very energetic. When asked if he had new hope, he said, "Most Definitely. I feel like Coach Richt not only brought good coaches in, he brought good men in. All of them are leaders in some aspect."





Miami Hurricanes football commences for preseason camp: some notes


It's on: 2016 University of Miami preseason football camp has begun. The guys were running hard and running all the time – during drills, after drills, before drills. Running. This team is high-tempo.

Notes from the first hour we watched. We still haven't talked to Mark Richt yet.

*** Quarterback Brad Kaaya was waaay down the field all day, some of it working with true freshman Jack Allison. Redshirt freshman Evan Shirreffs worked as the No. 2 guy in much of the hour we watched, with Vincent Testaverde and Malik Rosier behind him.

*** Saw the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver and Miami great Michael Irvin’s son – tight end Michael Irvin II -- looking mighty good with an extremely impressive, one-handed grab as he was falling to the ground. And guess what happened then? One of UM’s assistants yelled that the route he ran was [expletive]. He was being covered by strong-side linebacker Jermaine Grace. Irvin looks strong.

***Saw freshman receiver Sam Bruce playing in the slot. Saw fellow fellow freshman Ahmmon Richards lining up at the same time as transfer Dayall Harris. Saw senior Malcolm Lewis on the field making plays with junior Braxton Berrios.

*** It was good to see linebacker Darrion Owens back after tearing the ACL of his right knee at FAU in the second week of the 2015 season. He is a much-needed addition to that position group. In 2014, Owens played in 12 games, with no starts, and tallied 23 tackles and a pass breakup. He is from the same high school as first-team middle linebacker Shaquille Quarterman, who has done everything right since he arrived at UM in the spring.

*** Junior linebacker Juwon Young, listed as 6-2 and 248 pounds in the media guide, is no longer on the Roster. Young was behind freshman Michael Pinckney at weak-side. I hear he’s back in his home state of Georgia. He’s not expected back at Miami, as he was suspended indefinitely surrounding the rental-car situation in which other Canes, including defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad and strong-side starting linebacker Jermaine Grace, are allegedly involved. Young, like Muhammad and Grace, was a substantial talent. He finished 2015 with 47 tackles in 10 games, with four starts, adding three tackles for loss and an interception.

*** Kicker Diego Marquez is a new name on the roster, and he wears No. 98. He is a 6-1, 200-pound redshirt freshman from Loma Linda, Calif.

*** On the sidelines still recuperating from earlier injuries were defensive end Scott Patchan and fullback Gage Batten.

*** And the guy who made all of us do double-takes and elicited “oohs” and “ahhs” was new fullback Marquez Williams. He’s listed as 6-1, 280 and he can motor. He caught one from Shirreffs and zoomed down the field like a locomotive run wild.




Miami to launch first Virtual Reality Channel for Hurricanes fans


The University of Miami keeps expanding its brand in cool, technologically savvy ways. 

EON Sports VR, "the world's leading virtual reality and fan experience company,'' according to its just released email, has announced a partnership with the University of Miami "to create the first virtual reality (VR) channel for fans.

Date of the intended launch: early October, when, according to EON  Sports, "Immersive 360-degree content will bring fans closer to their favorite team and players than ever before."

The partnership will enable the Hurricanes to be "the first college team to provide fans with an all-access virtual reality pass to experience intercollegiate athletics up close and personal,'' the release said.

Content from men's and women's programs will be available.

Canes fans can access the VR channel by purchasing a "UM-branded VR headset.'' Cost: $29.95.

EON Sports said that examples of what fans will have access to include scrimmages, practice footage, huddles and interviews that will be streamed to the channel. 

“We’re incredibly excited to be working with EON Sports to put this virtual reality channel together. At the University of Miami, we strive to be on the cutting edge of digital, video, social, and web technologies and EON and their team have helped immensely in that endeavor," said Jason Layton, Miami Senior Associate Athletic Director for Communications and Sales. "After an investment in broadcast and video production, we wanted to expand into other ventures, including 360º video and we’re able to do that with this immersive product. As we look forward to an October launch, we’re excited to show off what our team has been working on in conjunction with EON Sports.”

Get your credit cards ready. 






August 03, 2016

Quarterback Kevin Olsen gets another go-around -- just not at Miami


And I just read yet another story about Kevin Olsen, the former Miami Hurricanes quarterback and younger brother of former UM tight-end great Greg Olsen -- a compelling piece by Charlotte Observer writer David Scott.

Olsen's latest saga includes some of his history with Miami, as we, too, have chronicled over his career.

Here's one of them. 

Here's another.

Kevin was always very kind to us, really nice, and he has obviously struggled mightily.

Here's hoping that this stop is his last, and that it's successful and he comes out on top.




August 02, 2016

Sold out in 60 minutes, Miami football tickets prove hot draw at Appalachian State

Sold out in 60 minutes.
It took one hour for football fans to gobble up the tickets for the Sept. 17 Miami at Appalachian State game, App State announced Tuesday.
The game, in scenic Boone, N.C. -- a popular tourist site -- marks the first time the Mountaineers have hosted an opponent from one of the power five conferences. The former FCS school is now among the big boys in the FBS.
Appalachian State finished 11-1 (7-2 Sun Belt) in 2015, and won three consecutive FCS national titles from 2005 through 2007, beating Michigan in one of the biggest upsets in college football history to start the 2007 season.
And in case you didn't know, Mark Richt told reporters at the ACC Football Kickoff that his sister Michelle "got her degree'' at Appalachian State. "She was a volleyball player,'' he said, adding that O-line coach Stacy Searels "coached there years ago.
"Great program. A team that's used to winning. It's going to be a battle royale I can promise, going into their house. It's a great team. Well coached. I have seen their tape. I've looked at the first three, first four opponents. It's going to be a battle.''
Kidd Brewer Stadium is at an elevation of 3,280 feet, and seats just over 24,000.
As of Tuesday night, there were general admission tickets available for as low as $113 on -- and a couple of tickets going for just under $1,000.
The Hurricanes, who open fall practice Thursday, host App State on Sept. 11, 2021.


AP ranks Miami Hurricanes football 13th all-time college program



Bravo to lucky (well, maybe not lucky, just downright dominant) No. 13 Miami, ranked the 13th all-time college football program by the Associated Press "in the first-ever all-time rankings tabulated by the organization from more than 1,100 weekly polls over the past 80 years."

This is very cool, and very impressive.

According to the AP, "the ranking was based on total poll appearances, number of times ranked No. 1 and AP national championships."

"College football is rich with history, and the AP poll is a unique measure of how the sport has changed through time," said Noreen Gillespie, deputy sports editor. "The all-time list lets fans interact with that history, and debate how the nation’s top programs fared over time."

To view The Associated Press' all-time rankings, click HERE.

Following is part of the release sent out by UM:

Starting Aug. 15, AP will release a series of eight stories focused on trends and top teams during each decade of the AP poll, including the University of Miami's domination in the 1980s. The historical poll data also will be used in coverage of the upcoming season to provide a perspective unique to AP.

Now known as The AP Top 25, the poll originated with 20 teams, then was reduced to 10 teams from 1961 to 1967 before expanding back to 20. The poll then grew to 25 teams starting with the 1989 season.

The 2016 preseason AP Top 25 will be released on Aug. 21.

The Associated Press began its college football poll on Oct. 19, 1936, It is now the longest-running poll of those that award national titles at the end of the season. A panel of 61 sports writers and broadcasters from around the country votes on the poll weekly. All of the voters have an extensive background in covering college football.


July 28, 2016

College Football Playoff announces news re future semis and New Year's Eve


Here is the news that affects our Orange Bowl games and I'm sure is making everyone happy: 


IRVING, Texas – Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff (CFP), today announced a shift in scheduling to the semifinal games in years 5, 6, 11 and 12 of the rotation.

With this adjustment, all semifinals games will be played on Saturdays or holidays.

“We had healthy discussions with a lot of people who love college football and we concluded that making these changes would be the right thing to do for our fans.” said Hancock.

“We tried to do something special with New Year’s Eve, even when it fell on a weekday. But after studying this to see if it worked, we think we can do better.  These adjustments will allow more people to experience the games they enjoy so much.  For these four years, our previous call is reversed.”

Hancock pointed out that the semifinals do remain on one weekday New Year’s Eve—Friday, December 31, 2021—which will be the federally observed New Year’s holiday.

Here are the dates of the future semifinals (asterisks indicate years when the schedule has been changed):

2016-17 Saturday, December 31 Fiesta and Peach
2017-18 Monday, January 1 Rose and Sugar
*2018-19 Saturday, December 29 Cotton and Orange

*2019-20 Saturday, December 28 Fiesta and Peach

2020-21 Friday, January 1 Rose and Sugar

2021-22 Friday, December 31 Orange and Bowl TBD

2022-23 Saturday, December 31 Bowls TBD

2023-24 Monday, January 1 Rose and Sugar

*2024-25 Saturday, December 28 Orange and Bowl TBD

*2025-26 Saturday, December 27 Bowls TBD

As noted above, the semifinals will be played in the Orange, Rose and Sugar Bowls at least through 2025-26.  The CFP expects to determine the other semifinals sites for the 2021-22 season and thereafter some time in 2018.   


July 27, 2016

Miami punter Justin Vogel lone Hurricane on All-ACC preseason football team


Did you expect anything different? I guess I didn't, though I did vote for some Hurricanes to grace the 2016 All-ACC Preseason Football Team. Only one Miami Hurricane was chosen by the media as a member of the 2016 All-ACC Preseason Football Team -- just announced Wednesday morning.

That Hurricane: punter Justin Vogel, an exceptional athlete for sure.

 Brad Kaaya wasn't even the second quarterback chosen last week in a vote of 191 media voters credentialed for last week's ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte.

No Stacy Coley. No Al-Quadin Muhammad. No David Njoku (I know he's young, but it is "preseason'' and it is just your educated guess). No Michael Badgley (but he WAS second behind Clemson's Greg Huegel.) No Jermaine Grace. 

More fuel for the Hurricanes, if they even look at this stuff.

Here it is, plus the detailed voting below:

2016 All-ACC Preseason Football Team


WR – Artavis Scott, Jr., Clemson

WR – Isaiah Ford, Jr., Virginia Tech

WR – Travis Rudolph, Jr. Florida State

TE – Jordan Leggett, Sr., Clemson

OT – Roderick Johnson, Jr., Florida State

OT – Mitch Hyatt, So., Clemson

OG – Dorian Johnson, Sr., Pitt

OG – Tyrone Crowder, Jr., Clemson

C – Jay Guillermo, r-Sr., Clemson

QB – Deshaun Watson, Jr., Clemson

RB – Dalvin Cook, Jr., Florida State

RB – Elijah Hood, Jr., North Carolina


DE – DeMarcus Walker, Sr., Florida State

DE – Ejuan Price, r-Sr., Pitt

DT – Carlos Watkins, r-Sr., Clemson

DT – DeAngelo Brown, Sr., Louisville

LB – Ben Boulware, Sr., Clemson

LB – Keith Kelsey, Sr., Louisville

LB – Devonte Fields, Sr., Louisville

CB – Cordrea Tankersley, Sr., Clemson

CB – Des Lawrence, Sr., North Carolina

S – Derwin James, So., Florida State

S – Quin Blanding, Jr., Virginia

Special Teams

PK – Greg Huegel, r-So., Clemson

P – Justin Vogel, Sr., Miami

SP – Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina

2016 All-ACC Preseason Team Voting



Deshaun Watson, Clemson 188; Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina 1; Brad Kaaya, Miami 1; Lamar Jackson, Louisville 1.

Running Back

Dalvin Cook, Florida State 184; Elijah Hood, North Carolina 97; Wayne Gallman, Clemson 70; Matthew Dayes, NC State 8; Taquan Mizzell, Virginia 7; Travon McMillian, Virginia Tech 4; Qadree Ollison, Pitt 3; Joe Yearby, Miami 3; Jon Hilliman, Boston College 3; Mark Walton, Miami 1; Marcus Marshall, Georgia Tech 1; Brandon Ratcliff, Louisville 1.

Wide Receiver

Artavis Scott, Clemson 112; Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech 112; Travis Rudolph, Florida State 94; Mike Williams, Clemson 80; Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 42; Mack Hollins, North Carolina 27; James Quick, Louisville 23; Stacy Coley, Miami 23; Kermit Whitefield, Florida State 15; Jamari Staples, Louisville 13; Bug Howard, North Carolina 11; Jesus Wilson, Florida State 6; Bra’Lon Cherry, NC State 5; Tabari Hines, Wake Forest 3; Anthony Nash, Duke 2; Cam Phillips, Virginia Tech 2; Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia 1; Steve Ishmael, Syracuse 1; T.J. Rahming, Duke 1.

Tight End

Jordan Leggett, Clemson 89; Jaylen Samuels, NC State 41; Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech 34; Cam Serigne, Wake Forest 7; Ryan Izzo, Florida State 6; David Njoku, Miami 4; Cole Hikutini, Louisville 4; Brandon Fritts, North Carolina 3; Daniel Helm, Duke 2; Scott Orndoff, Pitt 1.

Offensive Tackle

Roderick Johnson, Florida State 153; Mitch Hyatt, Clemson 82; Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt 70; Jon Heck, North Carolina 39; Trevor Darling, Miami 13; Casey Blaser, Duke 8; Eric Smith, Virginia 5; Jonathan McLaughlin, Virginia Tech 4; Geron Christian, Louisville 3; Yosuah Nijman, Virginia Tech 2; Bentley Spain, North Carolina 1; Gabe Brandner, Duke 1; Justin Herron, Wake Forest 1.

Offensive Guard

Dorian Johnson, Pitt 107; Tyrone Crowder, Clemson 82; Caleb Peterson, North Carolina 77; Kareem Are, Florida State 32; Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech 13; Danny Isidora, Miami 13; Tony Adams, NC State 12; Wilson Bell, Florida State 12; Tanner Stone, Duke 11; KC McDermott, Miami 11; Augie Conte, Virginia Tech 8; Omari Palmer, Syracuse 4.


Jay Guillermo, Clemson 124; Lucas Crowley, North Carolina 13; Jackson Matteo, Virginia 11; Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech 10; Nick Linder, Miami 8; Alec Eberle, Florida State 8; Alex Officer, Pitt 5; Joe Sceflo, NC State 4; Jason Emerich, Syracuse 3; Jon Baker, Boston College 3; Eric Gallo, Virginia Tech 2.

Defensive End

DeMarcus Walker, Florida State 142; Ejuan Price, Pitt 102; Josh Sweat, Florida State 33; Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech 23; Al-Quadin Muhammad, Miami 16; Harold Landry, Boston College 15; Bradley Chubb, NC State 12; KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech 10; Mikey Bart, North Carolina 8; Kevin Kavalec, Boston College 6; Andrew Brown, Virginia 5; Dajaun Drennon, North Carolina 5; Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest 5.

Defensive Tackle

Carlos Watkins, Clemson 132; DeAngelo Brown, Louisville 56; Derrick Nnadi, Florida State 48; Christian Wilkins, Clemson 41; Nazair Jones, North Carolina 31; Patrick Gamble, Georgia Tech 21; Demarcus Christmas, Florida State 15; Josh Banks, Wake Forest 8; Woody Baron, Virginia Tech 7; B.J. Hill, NC State 5; Mike Ramsay, Duke 5; Truman Gutapfel, Boston College 5; A.J. Wolf, Duke 4; Donte Wilkins, Virginia 4.



Ben Boulware, Clemson 149; Keith Kelsey, Louisville 99; Devonte Fields, Louisville 96; Micah Kiser, Virginia 84; Matt Milano, Boston College 49; Ro’Derrick Hoskins, Florida State 20; Zaire Franklin, Syracuse 13; Marquel Lee, Wake Forest 11; Connor Strachan, Boston College 9; P.J. Davis, Georgia Tech 9; Jermaine Grace, Miami 8; Matt Galambos, Pitt 7; Ben Humphreys, Duke 7; Mike Caprara, Pitt 5; Andrew Motuapuaka, Virginia Tech 3; Airius Moore, NC State 3; Brant Mitchell, Georgia Tech 1.


Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson 115; Des Lawrence, North Carolina 62; Marquez White, Florida State 54; DeVon Edwards, Duke 43; M.J. Stewart, North Carolina 33; Shaq Wiggins, Louisville 20; Corn Elder, Miami 19; Brad Watson, Wake Forest 10; Tim Harris, Virginia 7; Breon Borders, Duke 6; Jack Tocho, NC State 5; Avonte Maddox, Pitt 4; Sheldrick Redwine, Miami 4.


Derwin James, Florida State 112; Quin Blanding, Virginia 107; Jordan Whitehead, Pitt 51; Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville 37; Rayshawn Jenkins, Miami 18; Chuck Clark, Virginia Tech 11; Donnie Miles, North Carolina 10; John Johnson, Boston College 9; Trey Marshall, Florida State 8; Josh Jones, NC State 6; Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest 5; Deondre Singleton, Duke 4; A.J. Gray, Georgia Tech 2; Antwan Cody, Syracuse 2.


Greg Huegel, Clemson 63; Michael Badgley, Miami 41; Nick Weiler, North Carolina 39; Harrison Butker, Georgia Tech 16; Chris Blewitt, Pitt 12; Joey Slye, Virginia Tech 11; Mike Weaver, Wake Forest 7; Cole Murphy, Syracuse 2.


Justin Vogel, Miami 100; Nicholas Conte, Virginia 60; A.J. Cole III, NC State 20; Ryan Winslow, Pitt 11.


Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 112; DeVon Edwards, Duke 40; Kermit Whitfield, Florida State 16; Corn Elder, Miami 8; Brisly Estime, Syracuse 6; T.J. Logan, North Carolina 4; Nyheim Hines, NC State 3; Michael Walker, Boston College 1; Olamide Zaccheaus, Virginia 1.


July 26, 2016

Mark Richt to ESPN: 'I'm not putting a lid on what can happen this year.'


Miami football coach Mark Richt, during a full day scheduled in Bristol, Connecticut for ESPN's Car Wash, spoke with Mike & Mike (photo above tweeted by UM) in the morning. Here are most of the highlights:

You were there when all the legendary quarterbacks were there, who was best one of those?

 When Jim [Kelly] and I were seniors you’ll have that first scrimmage of year. You get your ones and twos to scrimmage and then you get your three unit in there. You let your freshman quarterbacks take a drive, right? Vinny [Testaverde] might have been first and he was like bang-bang-bang – like 6 for 6, touchdown. Then Bernie [Kosar] goes in there. Bang-bang-bang-bang, 6 for 6 touchdown. Jim and I looked at each other, like, ‘It’s a good thing we’re getting out of here because those guys are going to take over.’

"Jim Kelly was one of the most fierce competitors and I hate it because he’s the guy who beat me out and lived my life so to speak when I had my dreams of playing at Miami. But he was phenomenal."

How much of it was that you got to go to your alma mater? 

"It was big, but when you coach, coaching is tough enough. If you don’t have a chance to win then it’s just not very much fun at all. I wanted to go a place where you can win… Miami can win for sure… To add to it, it was my alma mater and the timing of it was perfect…"

You look back on your experiences. What will you do differently if anything. What will you have learned from Georgia that you will do different here?

"Not a lot different. I think I was the fourth winningest coach in America when I left there. We did some good things. But I truly cherish every moment I was at Georgia. Fifteen years at a place like that – it was a wonderful experience.”

A lot of it is what have you done for me lately…To you, what’s the expectation of getting your team up where everybody talks about them like they’re talking about.. like it used to be in the day?

" …The big thing is recruiting. We’ve got very fertile recruiting ground in the Miami area, the tri-county area of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County. Miami also traditionally has gotten great players from all over the nation and we’ll continue to do that. Do that, just put in a good, solid fundamental scheme and get after people, just don’t self destruct. Let’s see how great Miami can be if we just take care of business.’’

On the current discussion about the possibility of the elimination of the kickoff in college football, because there is a disproportionate amount of injury on that play vs. others:

" I’ll be honest with you. I’m OK without a kickoff… I’ll say this: For the first 15 years or so of my career, I’m an offensive coordinator. I’m up in the box. I see the game from the box. I’m getting ready to call plays, things of that nature.  I go down the next 15 years on the sideline and you sit there and you witness what happens on a kickoff. It’s a violent play and guys are running full speed and you’ve got a bunch of guys that are young and strong and brave and no one is backing down. So, yeah, I think that’s a play I could live without. A lot of people probably are going crazy right now about it, but when you see it up close it makes sense to me."

We are seeing so many changes in the game in the interest of player safety. Where would you put a line between how much you’re willing to change the game of football in the interest of safety and where you get to the point where you say, ‘Look, at the end of the day, this is the game and we’re going to either play it or not?’ How much has the game changed in the interest of keeping players safer?

"I think it has changed a good bit. ...We’re teaching the rugby tackling they do at the Seattle Seahawks. We've bought into taking the helmet out of the tackle.. Manny Diaz, our defensive coordinator, is a believer of it. He’s been doing it for a few years now as a coach. And we think that’s a smart way to play football and we think it’s an effective way to play football."

Regarding communication, in the NFL they use the headsets until 15 seconds in the play clock. In the CFL, they changed to it until now they can talk all the way to the snap and past the snap:

Richt on headsets: "As a QB I would hate that."

And as a coordinator?  "I would love it for the first 15 seconds or whatever it is -- call the play and shut it off. But if you’re a quarterback and if you have a coach that’s in your head the whole time trying to tell you what to do as the play is being run you would be crazy. But the ability to get the play in quickly and for that matter a defensive coach could get his play in quickly, I’d be all for that."

Looking ahead, what will you say will constitute a successful first year for you? What do you want to be able to say at the end of this season looking back and say, ‘This was a successful first year for me at the U?’

"I’m not going to put any limits on what we can do. I believe we can win the Coastal and play for the championship and get to that game and anything can happen. Obviously if you win that one, hopefully we’re in the four-team playoff. I’m not going to put a lid on what can happen this year.’’


Whirr, whirrr, fresh and ready: Miami football coach Mark Richt goes through ESPN Car Wash


Good Tuesday.

Get out your phones, apps and other nifty technology. University of Miami football coach Mark Richt is spending Tuesday in Bristol, Connecticut, on the ESPN campus for its annual "Car Wash.''

You can catch the Hurricanes coach in several ways during the day. He starts off on the Mike and Mike radio show at 8:55 a.m and next will be interviewed live at 9:20 am on SportsCenter.

Also on Richt's schedule:

College Football Live (1:10 p.m.)

Paul Finebaum Show (1:35 p.m.)

Other scheduled appearances, per UM:

12 p.m. Russillo and Kanell

12:20 p.m. Freddie Coleman Radio

12:30 p.m. ESPNU

2 p.m. Highly Questionable

2:15 p.m. Stephen A. Smith Radio Show

2:55 p.m. Jorge and Izzy




July 25, 2016

Miami Hurricanes picked to finish second behind North Carolina in Coastal

  0177 UM vs FAU 091215

 I picked the Miami Hurricanes to win the Coastal Division this year in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

   But, hey, you know what they say about No.2.

   The ACC just released the results of its ACC Football Kickoff Preseason Poll.

   Miami (50 first-place votes), 1,108 total points, was picked in a poll of 191 media members to finish second this season in the Coastal, behind North Carolina (121 first-place votes, 1,238 points).

   After that in the Coastal: Pitt (14, 859), Virginia Tech (3, 697), Duke (2, 597), Georgia Tech (1, 588) and Virginia (261 points).

   The Atlantic Division's poll results: Clemson (148 first-place votes, 1,293 total points), Florida State (42, 1,176), Louisville (1, 961), NC State (704), Boston College (441), Syracuse (426) and Wake Forest (347).

   Also in the voting, Clemson junior quarterback Deshaun Watson overwhelmingly was the choice to repeat as ACC Player of the Year. The Clemson Tigers were predicted to win the ACC title on 144 ballots, followed by FSU with 39 votes and UNC with seven. One voter picked Louisville.

   UM quarterback Brad Kaaya tied with Louisville QB Lamar Jackson for fourth with two votes apiece. FSU running back Dalvin Cook finished second behind Watson with 18 votes. UNC running back Elijah Hood finished third with four votes. And Duke cornerback DeVon Edwards got one vote.

  These polls mean nothing, but they're fun. And maybe they'll be a tiny bit of motivation for the guys who didn't get the respect they might have deserved.


July 21, 2016

Miami Hurricanes AD, basketball coach, thrilled with launching of ACC Network


The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the launching of a new ACC Network with ESPN on Thursday morning during ACC commissioner John Swofford’s opening news conference.

   The network’s “monumental agreement,’’ Swofford said, will be, according to the ESPN/ACC release, “a comprehensive linear and digital network,’’ the news release said. “The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036.’’

   The network will air “450 exclusive live events, including 40 regular-season football games, more than 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, more than 200 other regular-season contests and tournament games from across the conference’s 27 sponsored sports.’’

   For basketball fans, the conference will move to 20 men’s ACC basketball games in 2019.

   Each of the 14 ACC programs and Notre Dame had representatives on stage during the address. UM women’s basketball coach Katie Meier joined football coach Mark Richt as UM’s reps.

   For Meier, the new network will bring much more exposure to her women's team, as most of the major men's games already were televised.

   "It’s stunning to me,’’ Meier said of how far women’s basketball has come and how it will be embraced by the network. “I can’t believe I’ve been such a part of such a rise in the sport. I’m humbled by it.”

   Meier said she’s “really proud’’ of the ACC. I love the other women’s basketball coaches in this conference… it motivates me. This moment is huge.’’

   "For Miami in particular, Meier said the network marks “another huge basic foundation principle that I need for this program to go where I wanted to go. We do want to compete in the Final Four. The national exposure with recruiting is going to be enormous for us.

   “…To be able to tell parents, ‘You won’t miss one game. You won’t miss one of your daughter’s game, and not because you have to huddle over a computer back in the corner somewhere. But you can literally turn on a 72 inch TV and see her in HD.'

   “That’s awesome for me. And that’s really going to help our program.’’

   UM athletic director Blake James told the Miami Herald on Wednesday night, when reports had already surfaced about the new ACC/ESPN network, that it would be a long-awaited advantage for all league members. UM already has made over a major commitment to broadcasting, having produced 114 events for ESPN3 this year.

    "This isn't as much about exposure for sports like football and men's basketball because they get great exposure,'' James said. "But when you look at the rest of our programs -- women's basketball, baseball, tennis, track, everything else, this is a real win for them.

   "We'll need to elevate a little bit in order to be able to broadcast linear, but for the most part we're ready to go on most of what we do. That was part of my idea behind this investment last year when we did this.

   "Between the staffing and equipment and everything, it will be over a $2 million investment we've made.''


July 19, 2016

Hey, look who just committed (familiar face) to Miami Hurricanes football


(photo above by

The Miami Hurricanes, a football program that espouses family in every way, had a little brother (well, not so little) pledging his allegiance to the Canes last night.

Wide receiver Evidence Njoku, Class of 2017, committed to his big brother's Miami Hurricanes on Monday night.

Big brother David is a UM tight end who can jump sky-high and has impressive hands. David, 6-4 and 245 pounds, is a redshirt sophomore who started four games in 2015 and played in all 13, with 21 catches for 362 yards and a touchdown. Even better: David's 17.2-yards-per-catch led the Hurricanes. Click here to read my profile feature on David, and how he missed his sister's wedding to play against Virginia.

Evidence was at Camp Paradise this past weekend. He's listed as 6-4 and 195 pounds.

The Njokus are from Cedar Grove, N.J. (shout out to fellow N.J. natives!)

Evidence is a three-star receiver ranked by 247Sports as the No. 80 wideout nationally and No. 12 prospect in New Jersey.

Incidentally, Evidence has transferred from Cedar Grove High to Wayne Hills High. Long-time Canes fans know that Wayne Hills High is where the Olsen brothers (Greg, Christian and former Hurricane Kevin) are from, and where their dad, Chris, coached for many years.


July 18, 2016

Michael Irvin: Miami Hurricanes back to having fun...'This is heaven'


Former Miami Hurricane great, Dallas Cowboy and St. Thomas Aquinas Raider Michael Irvin (picture above is his twitter photo) -- the Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver known as "The Playmaker' -- joined Marc Hochman, Channing Crowder and Zach Krantz to talk about this past weekend's Paradise Camp at UM and Canes football.

And, as usual, he was completely engaging.

Irvin, 50, was one of several former Canes megastars who were guest speakers or helped coach dozens of top-rated recruits on Saturday night. 

His son, Michael Irvin II, recently arrived at UM as a tight end out of St. Thomas (learn all about Michael II in my feature on him and Sam Bruce by clicking here)

Here are some excerpts I transcribed from this evening's interview on WQAM:

On Richt and the program in general: "Honestly, I love the direction we’re headed in. Let’s be real here… in those [glory] days we were an offensive minded football team. We have so many offensive gifts in and around our area of football. Having Mark Richt getting back to that, that offensive mind where we become quarterback U all over again, I just love it. I love being around him, I love the way he’s putting things together as far as really pointing towards let’s all come back to what we used to be...He's bringing back the essence of family and that's a great thing."

On it seeming like the UM players, the program, are having fun again: "You think you can win with three yards and a cloud of dust in Miami? Man, there’s too much going on in Miami for that. I'm talking about winning on the field, winning in the stands, winning with everybody and everywhere. It’s back to having fun."

On seeing his son on Greentree Field: "I can’t tell you what that meant for me... I’m looking over and I remember when I was 18, 19 years old on this field. Now he has my name on the back of his shirt over there coaching the tight ends and then he’d throw me the football and I was like, 'Oh my God. This is heaven.' I didn’t want to leave.'' 

On bringing the swag back in a changing world of football and beyond: "You can’t do what we used to do at UM but [you can] still have success. We don’t ever want to do anything to hurt our team, and certainly in the midst of trying to win a game and anything that reflects poorly on the families. [But] get this now: having fun winning -- ain’t nothing against the law with that. There's no rules against that.…If you take pride in how you play out here on this practice field, when you hit game day all of that will come through. One guy makes a play, you start that attitude, the stuff that’s contagious. There's nothing illegal with that...

"I tell them like Jimmy told us, 'Man do me this: You just win! We'll deal with what comes with it. You just win no matter what. Don’t worry about what everybody says. If we win we’ll deal with all that other stuff that comes with people talking about this, talking about it. Now, you don’t want to do anything that keeps putting your your team 15 yards back and giving you penalties, but if you win, all of that other stuff takes care of itself… Its too hard of a game not to have fun. That’s what separates the very, very good [from] the very, very great. You’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing.''

Regarding the "swag'' topic, Irvin indicated that today's players need "to be cognizant'' and sensitive about making sure they don't do some of the things that he and other former UM players might have done in the past.

"With all of these shootings,'' Irvin said, "I don’t want to see you go out there [with] blazing guns and shooting , without sensitivity of what’s going on. But football is an escape from a lot of the issues that we deal with everyday. And it also is our greatest truth of growth. We see these issues we have but that’s what makes a locker room so great. You’ve got all these different people from different backgrounds, different races, but we have one goal in mind: that’s being the best team.

"That’s what we need in this country, one goal in mind. Let’s be the best country and stop [being] divided with all this mess we’re going through."





Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt spreading good will to Broward youth football


The University of Miami football team just announced a "year-long partnership with the American Youth Football League (AYFL)'' for youth 13 and younger in Broward County.

And leave it to head coach Mark Richt to be right in the middle of it, spreading his community service and good will and ultimately leaving South Floridians, in turn, feeling good about Hurricanes football.

In UM's release, it said the partnership begins at 6:30 Monday at PAL Field in Plantation with the first of two coaches' clinics. Richt and other assistants will be there to instruct AYFL youth coaches.

"I couldn't be more excited about this partnership,'' Richt said in the release. "Through this partnership, we will be able to give kids and coaches the proper instruction they need to help advance their skills. This is a great opportunity to get out into the community and speak to some of our youth football programs in the AYFL. I'm looking forward to this clinic and to visiting other youth teams in parks throughout the tri-county area in the near future.''

The partnership, UM said, "will provide coaches of the AYFL with a customized concussion protocol in collaboration with UHealth Sports Medicine to assist coaches with overall safety.''

Members of the AYFL will attend the Canes' game against FAU on Sept. 10 as part of the partnership.


June 30, 2016

Zack Collins becomes first Hurricane to earn Johnny Bench award

Zack Collins was named as the recipient of the 2016 Johnny Bench Award honoring the nation’s top collegiate catcher Thursday at the 19th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet.

Collins, who was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in early June, is the first University of Miami representative to win the award, which was created in 2000.

Collins beat out finalists Logan Ice (Oregon State) and Keith Skinner (North Florida) for the honor.

The Pembroke Pines native, who earned first-team All-America honors from Baseball America, D1Baseball, NCBWA, Perfect Game and Rawlings, delivered another dominant season swinging the bat and behind the plate in 2016.

Collins batted .363 for the season, leading Miami with 16 home runs and 59 RBI to go along with a nation-leading total of 78 walks. He reached base at a .544 clip, the second-highest in the country, and recorded a team-high .668 slugging percentage.

A back-to-back All-ACC First-Team selection, Collins started 62 of a possible 64 games, including 59 starts behind the plate. He just four errors as a key member of a Miami defense that tied for first nationally with a .983 fielding percentage.

Collins, who signed a professional contract with the White Sox as the No. 10 overall pick last week, ended the season ranked third among active players in career home runs (42), third in career RBI (183) and first in career walks (177).

In Collins’ three seasons with the Hurricanes, Miami won two ACC regular season championships (2014, 2016) and three straight ACC Coastal Division titles (2014-16), and made two trips to the College World Series (2015, 2016).

June 28, 2016

UM coaches on Pat Summitt's death

By Michelle Kaufman

Like all college basketball fans, University of Miami coaches Katie Meier and Jim Larranaga were deeply saddened to wake up Tuesday to the news that legendary University of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt had died at age 64.

"I didn't know her personally. I viewed her and her career from afar," said Larranaga. "I thought of her as the Dr. James Naismith of women's college basketball. She put women's basketball on the map. She was the dominant coach for the first 20 years after Title IX."

Meier did know Summitt well, and had this to say:

"Pat Summitt was such an iconic figure in our sport. She just elevated every conversation, clinic or recruiting event. She always reminded the younger coaches to `act right' and to lead with strength and compassion. She inspired a generation of female competitors who will continue to give back."

Back in 2011, when the then-No. 7 Hurricanes played No. 3 Tennessee, Meier was asked about Summitt.

She said: "I could spend two hours on that. She is obviously the best at her profession. When Pat wins, women's basketball's happy. They (Summitt and her staff) have been so helpful. They're cheering for you, supporting you. If you want to come to a practice, they let you. They're all about women's basketball, especially Coach Summitt.

"I've been lucky enough to have exposure to them and how they operate. I hope everyone in our profession appreciates it. I have a ton of respect and owe a lot of my career to Tennessee, their generosity. If I needed an out of bounds play, I could call (then-assistant) Holly (Warwick) or Coach Summitt right now and they’d give me an out of bounds play to make me a better coach. That’s what they’re in it for, opportunity for young players, and coaches. I wish I’d see more of it in the sport. It is rare and a wonderful thing that they’ve been headliners this whole time for women’s basketball.’’

June 24, 2016

McClellan to Wizards, Rodriguez to Spurs

By Michelle Kaufman

Former University of Miami guard Sheldon McClellan confirmed Friday that he has a partial contract offer from the Washington Wizards that he will sign when he reports to camp on July 1.

McClellan, 6-6, was not selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday night, but had interest from several teams.

Hurricane teammate Angel Rodriguez also got good news on Friday. He was invited by the San Antonio Spurs to Summer League.

"All I need is an opportunity, I'll take care of the rest," Rodriguez said. "I'm always going to bet on myself, that's for sure!"

Tonye Jekiri was still weighing his options.