A six-pack of Hurricanes, Dolphins and Heat/LeBron on a Saturday:
• When I asked Mark Richt today about what I would consider the biggest concern on the roster (cornerback), it surprisingly led to Richt disclosing another personnel issue that worries him: the lack of high-end speed at receiver.
“We need to recruit wide receivers with flat-out speed,” he said. “We need more guys who can flat out go.”
Richt said the lack of speed is making it difficult to test his young corners in practice, that they're sitting on routes because "they're not afraid of anyone running by them." He said the three incoming freshmen receivers (Ahmmon Richards, Sam Bruce and Dionte Mullins) will help.
• As for the cornerback situation, Corn Elder is the only returnee with substantial experience, as many of you know. And among the four young scholarship cornerbacks already on campus, it’s no surprise that Sheldrick Redwine has been the most impressive.
“Sheldrick Redwine has done a good job stepping it up,” cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph said, when asked which of the young corners has impressed him. “We’re all young except for Corn Elder. Sheldrick shows some play-making ability. Just focusing in with a sense of urgency. He’s been doing well.”
Rumph said he rotated his six corners in the first week of spring practice. But in three practices this week, Elder and Redwine worked with the starters, Michael Jackson and Ryan Mayes with the twos, and Terrence Henley and walk-on Tyler Murphy with the threes.
“Every now and then, those two and three reps will change depending on their productivity throughout the week,” Rumph said.
Jackson could emerge as the No. 3 corner.
“Mike is doing well,” Rumph said. “Just working on continuing being confident in the technique. Sometime, he might not be confident, sometime he might be confident. Just try to have him be more consistent when he gets his opportunities.”
Of UM’s four incoming freshmen defensive backs, Malek Young is the only cornerback. “I’m very excited about him,” Rumph said. “He’ll take us to seven corners.”
UM added Adrian Colbert (a safety transfer from the University of Texas) and is open to adding a cornerback transfer, but there’s nothing imminent on that front.
Rumph said there have not been safeties cross-training at corner.
“Not yet, but I would love to have Jaquan Johnson over there at corner because he is just so athletic. But for now, he’s just learning the defense. I think I’m going to work some of the safeties and some corners with some press work, but other than that, we’re just going to stay corner/safety as of now.”
Overall, Rumph said "I feel a lot better" about his group after two weeks of practice "because they’re open to the teaching. We’ve got a plan where these kids can play fast, don’t have to do a tremendous amount of thinking and can just fly to the ball."
• Quick stuff: Asked who has stood out so far, Richt mentioned one name: defensive end Al Quadin Muhammad. “AQM plays so hard every down,” Richt said…
Trent Harris said he has been moved from a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker position under Mark D’Onofrio to a pure defensive end position under Manny Diaz. He said he’s more comfortable at defensive end…
With Sonny Odogwu limited in spring ball because of injury, four-star sophomore Tyree St. Louis said he has been the first-team right tackle throughout spring ball.
• The Dolphins are carefully studying several potential cornerbacks in the mix at No. 13, including UF’s Vernon Hargreaves, Ohio State’s Eli Apple and Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander.
But we’ve found a wide range of opinion about those three, especially the last two. One example: While Todd McShay has Hargreaves going ninth, he has Apple lasting all the way to the 25th pick and Alexander not going until the 38th pick.
By contrast, draftnik Tony Pauline said Apple and Alexander are both worthy of consideration at No. 13.
So there are definitely mixed opinions.
By the way, McShay has Houston cornerback William Jackson as the fourth cornerback off the board, going 28th --- behind FSU safety/corner Jalen Ramsey (third), Hargreaves and Apple.
• Adam Gase expects defensive end to be one of the most competitive positions in training camp, with Mario Williams, Cam Wake and Andre Branch assured of jobs and Chris McCain, Damontre Moore, Terrence Fede, CFL project Cleyon Laing and maybe Dion Jordan and others competing for roster spots. You would think Jordan would stick if he’s reinstated, but he has to prove himself.
“I keep looking at it and saying, man, ‘A good player is probably going to get cut somewhere,’" Gase said. "We have some good depth. I’m excited to see how this thing plays out. If we are healthy coming out of camp, that front is going to be tough.”
• Last Saturday, LeBron James was chatting and laughing with Dwyane Wade at halftime of Miami’s 122-101 win, and that didn’t sit well with Cavs coach Tyronn Lue.
According to Joe Vardon (the “LeBron” beat writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer --- yes there is such a job), Lue told James his interactions with Wade sent the wrong message to his teammates.
"I just told him we can't have that, being down like we were and him being the leader," Lue said. "Just me being a competitor, I didn't like it. We had a long talk about it. It was good. He understood, he apologized, and he's been great."
According to Vardon, that wasn’t the only incident that concerned Cavs officials.
He reports Cavs GM David Griffin talked to James after James told Bleacher Report that he wanted to play with Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul on the same team for a "year or two" at some point in his career. The comments were made in early February but printed this past week.
Asked by Cleveland reporters about that comment, James conceded: "I don't know how realistic it could be. It would definitely be cool if it happened, but we don't know how realistic it could be to have us four."
Please see the last post for news on another historic achievement by Hassan Whiteside.... And please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz