Canes Convos: Richards on winning TD catch, Redwine readies for LSU

Canes Convos: Richards on winning TD catch, Redwine readies for LSU

Stefan Adams
Junior receiver Ahmmon Richards caught the winning touchdown in Wednesday’s scrimmage and elaborated on how that went down.

“It was good,” Richards said. “It was like two minutes left and we were losing. We just drove down the field and coaches made some really good play calls and we just executed as an offense. It turned out good. We had the little touchdown at the end.”

Richards has been starting the entire fall at outside receiver along with Lawrence Cager and talked about the progression he’s seen from the 6’5” redshirt junior.

“I’ve seen a lot of growth from him,” Richards said on Cager. “It started in the summer. We were doing like 7-on-7 stuff and he was just making plays. He just looked like his normal self. I just feel happy for him. He’s being more like a leader of the receiver group. He’s talking more and just doing all the little things and just trying to help us be great.”

After spending this fall returning to form off knee surgery, does Richards look at things differently now that he’s been away from the game with injury?

“One hundred percent,” Richards said. “I’m just so grateful to be out here, to be able to run around and get tackled and just all the little things, be tired from practice. I just missed all that because when I was hurt, I couldn’t do anything. I was just sitting on the couch, couldn’t walk or anything. So, I’m just happy to be back out here.”

With another year under his belt learning the game, fully healthy, and more experience at QB than last season, Richards feels ready to deliver a monster season and bases that on his improvements on the mental side of the game.

“I’ve just learned a lot more about the game than I thought I knew,” Richards said. “I mean, I thought I knew a lot, but I just learned so much more this offseason. Just, when I was hurt, being able to just sit back and just reflect and think about things that I could do better or that I did bad [helped me]. Just little things I did. I just feel like that’s just going to help me so much more this upcoming season.”

**As a senior starter on the last line of defense, safety Sheldrick Redwine has been someone the younger players have looked up to this season. His and the rest of the senior class’ ability to lead gives Redwine plenty of confidence going into the LSU opener.

“We’ve got a senior-led group, we’ve got linebackers that have been here for three years [and we’ve got] a lot of the team with game experience,” Redwine said. “So, having that, it gives me a good feeling about how everybody is prepared and how everybody is ready to [go].”

Redwine was one defender that had a standout performance in Wednesday’s scrimmage; the first team defense gave up only 3 points overall and Redwine even had an interception for good measure.

“It [went] good,” Redwine said on the scrimmage. “We’re just making sure everything—pregame, substitution packages, everything is going right. That’s mostly what the last scrimmage was for.”

The Canes open the season against #25 LSU in one of the largest and most state-of-the-art stadiums in the world, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Playing in that environment for the first time can be jarring, especially for a true freshmen coming from high school.

“You’ve just got to get the jitters out early,” Redwine said. “For the freshmen, first game, it’s a big difference going from high school into Dallas Cowboys’ stadium. You’re going to look up and it’s a crowd full of people. You’re not used to that. So, just to get the jitters out early and just relax and just play football.

“I feel everybody is going through it. I went through it. People here who’ve played every snap since they got here have been through it. Everybody goes through it. It’s just something you’ve just got to get over… [My first game], it was a big difference, just coming from high school. Seeing the crowd, it gave me a little anxiety, but going down on kickoff, the first hit, that’s what really settled me in.”

**Last season, sophomore DE Jonathan Garvin was mostly known as just a pass-rusher off the bench, but as a projected full-time starter this season, Garvin will have to prove he can stop the run more often than not. Since the addition of new D-Line coach Jess Simpson, Garvin said his run-stopping abilities have only increased.

“Well, with Coach Simpson, it’s made it better,” Garvin said on his ability to stop the run. “With consistent practices, it’s gotten much better. [Simpson] works us drill by drill, explaining it. Showing us ‘teach tape’ from other colleges [as well as] other NFL teams, and showing us how to properly do things.”

It’s not just Simpson that has helped Garvin take that next step, though. The sophomore defensive end also credits the veterans on the team in assisting his improvement from last season.

“Especially Joe [Jackson] because he’s in my [position] room, [as well as] DJack [Demetrius Jackson],” Garvin said. “Well, you know, Chad [Thomas] and them are gone. Even Jaquan [Johnson and Sheldrick] Redwine. People outside of my room have helped me as far as discipline, as far as in the weight room, as far as out here running. When we’re conditioning, doing everything, making sure we’re studying the playbook, especially the linebackers, making sure we know everything, basically pressing us to make sure we know our stuff.”

Ahead of doing battle against #25 LSU, Garvin said he sees the defense being able to replace what they lost from last season and pick things up right where they left off.

“I think we’ve been doing well,” Garvin said. “I think, basically, the mark the guys recently who left and who left the year before, the mark that they left has been a lasting impression. So, it’s our job just to uphold it and then we’ll do whatever we need to do, but it’s been going fine. We have the leaders. We have everything we need to do [that], the playmakers and everything.”

Why does the rest of the team call him “Spider”?

“It’s something they came up [with] when I first got here because of the way I bend the corner and the way I can just get up and crawl on my hands and pick myself up,” Garvin said.

**Redshirt junior receiver Lawrence Cager has been working with the first team at X receiver all through fall camp. In his fourth year in the program, the time is now for Cager to truly breakout.

“I can’t play around [any] more,” Cager said. “I’ve been here for too long. Just, being a vet, the young are expecting more out of me. The coaches are expecting more out of me. I had to really get down on my leadership and just attack.”

Junior receiver Lawrence Cager has seen the offense really come together and take that next step in the past few weeks as UM readies for LSU.

“We’re making strides from the start of camp,” Cager said on the offense as a unit. “You see how we’re progressing each day. We’re not getting worse, we’re getting better each day and being more consistent as a whole unit. So, I think we’re ready to show the world what we’ve got.”

Comments (13)

I'm looking forward to Joe Jack performing at an elite level and Garvin playing even better than Jackson. Gonna be fun to watch.
Great write-up as usual. Content is consistently insightful and “non-fluff”. Better than reading articles from major newspapers.
This team is ready for Clemson and Sheldrick Redwine might be an all American candidate by the end of the season.
Cager gonna be problem for opposing CBs. Dude is a grown *** man ready to eat!
Dj Johnson knew he would never pass Garvin. Kid ain't dumb.
Something about Cager reminds me of that breakout junior season Tommy Streeter had. Wouldn’t surprise me if he is our breakout/most improved player this year.