Canes Convos: Thomas starts fast, St. Louis sees O-Line coming together

Canes Convos: Thomas starts fast, St. Louis sees O-Line coming together

Stefan Adams
Through 3 games in 2018, sophomore WR Jeff Thomas has almost surpassed his receiving totals from his first season at UM.

“I am really happy with how the season has gone so far,” Thomas said. “But me, with having a good year, I have just been in the weight room. I’m attacking that more than I did last year, and this is what happens this year. I am more comfortable now. I know what to do in my routes and my playbook.”

Among Thomas’ 11 catches for 304 and 2 TD’s have been some serious circus catches and Thomas credits a technique taught to him by former Miami WR Philip Dorsett for helping him see the ball better.

“I just practice the over ball, throwing it over my head,” Thomas said. “I have been practicing that a lot with a tennis ball. So, that came in good for me in that last game.”

Thomas has also been very active on special teams for the Canes this season, returning both punts and kickoffs.

“I like punt returning more than kickoff returning,” Thomas said. “It gives me more space. The defense will be all over the field, it gives me options to go left or right.”


**After a rough start against LSU in week 1, UM’s offensive line has rebounded nicely the past 2 games, and senior LT Tyree St. Louis mainly attributes that to becoming more comfortable with many of the new pieces that have come into play on the O-Line in 2018.

“The main thing with that game is that it was our third game together,” St. Louis said on Toledo. “We’re a new O-line and a new unit. I’m not giving that as an excuse, but the offensive line is a big group and we have to learn how to play together and with each other, so I think by that third game, we got more cohesive.”

St. Louis made the switch from right tackle to left tackle over the off-season and feels the transition has gone smoothly so far.

“I feel the same,” St. Louis said. “I’m still an offensive lineman, just I’m on a different side with different footwork skills now but it’s all the same to me. I picked up on it very fast, and I was a left tackle in high school, so coming back to my true position isn’t hard for me.”

On FIU: “They are definitely an up-and-coming team,” St. Louis said. “They have a great coach, great staff, we are not going to underestimate them. A lot of people don’t give them credit, but they are definitely going to come and fight with everything they have.”


**Junior WR Lawrence Cager has not been surprised at Jeff Thomas’ fast start.

“Well, we all knew he could do it. It is just a matter of his opportunities,” Cager said on Thomas. “You are only going to play so much when Braxton [Berrios] is in front of you. So once he got his opportunity, he seized the moment. That is all Coach [Todd] Hartley says. ‘Seize the moment when your opportunity comes.’ He always preaches that, every day, and that is what he has been doing. We all saw it coming.

“He fires us up, but sometimes I’m hard on him. Like against Savannah State, he got ran down and you’re not supposed to get ran down when you’re that fast. Some of the plays he makes, in practice they’re routine plays [for him]. So we get fired up, but you guys have never seen them before so you might get very fired up. A lot of the spectacular plays he makes on the field are routine plays that he makes in practice.”

Despite an early injury to Ahmmon Richards, the receiving corps as a whole has played well over the first three contests and Cager elaborated on how they’ve taken a high level of play from camp to gameday.

“I think we stayed the same since we got to camp,” Cager said on his position group. “We came out of camp with a ‘dominate’ mentality. I think that we have been doing that. We have been getting opportunities to show that we probably are the best receiving corps in the country.”

The Canes lost sophomore tight end Brian Polendey for the season to a knee injury yesterday, but Cager doesn’t seem to be worried. Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory have exceeded expectations as true freshmen and Cager sees them only getting better from here with the added opportunities.

“It is going to put more on the freshman tight ends. And it is good for them,” Cager said. “They need more. They need to learn more. Getting more reps for them, helps them learn more, faster. It also helps the young guys get in for the receivers, because it creates rotation for guys who play certain spots now. So it is good for the whole offense.

“From camp, to these games, it has been immense growth. Brevin and Will, they look like two-year, three-year players already. Just with their understanding of the offense. How they move with the offense; certain routes… They will kill it. They have got big shoes to fill, you know, with Chris [Herndon] and David [Njoku] as the two tight ends in front of them. But I think they can do it.”

On playing a Group of 5 team like FIU: “I mean, we come with the same mentality for every opponent,” Cager said. “Whether it is Alabama, whether it is Oregon, whether it is Savannah State or FIU. We come out looking to dominate, and that is what we are going to try and do.”


**Junior guard Hayden Mahoney
has been consistently praised by the coaches as the highest graded lineman on the team through three weeks of play. FIU’s defensive line has been getting some hype this week and Mahoney recognizes the challenge.

“Very good players, we watched film on them,” Mahoney said on FIU’s DT’s. “Very quick, very strong, but that is how we approach every game. Every defensive line in college football is big and strong, and that’s what we got to do, come out fast and play.”

FIU is coming off a program high 63 point output last week. Could UM’s matchup this week with the Panthers turn into a shootout?

“I think it could,” Mahoney said. “Their offense is very good; we respect every team we play. They are a good football team, they put up points but I believe in our defense. Our defense is one of the best in the country and they are going to shut them down. I believe it.”

On what Brian Polendey’s season ending injury means for the offense: “It’s a hit,” Mahoney said. “Brian is a great player, Michael Irvin II is a great player, but it’s just ‘next man up’ mentality. We believe in Brevin [Jordan] and [Will] Mallory, that they are going to push through everything, know their assignment and just come out and play hard.”
 

Comments (58)

We'll see about the improvement from the O-line. The beloved Davis is going to force Rosie to go Air mail. Ouch.
 
Never overlook a Butch Davis coached team as he will surely out coach MR this week. While FIU may not have the same quality of players as the U, be assured early in the game they will give us a test. I believe later in the game quality depth will be UMs strength and will seal a hard fought 14 point victory. As for covering the spread I would be very surprised against Butch.
 
Never overlook a Butch Davis coached team as he will surely out coach MR this week. While FIU may not have the same quality of players as the U, be assured early in the game they will give us a test. I believe later in the game quality depth will be UMs strength and will seal a hard fought 14 point victory. As for covering the spread I would be very surprised against Butch.

Davis has never been known as a great game day coach. He is not going to out chess Richt.
 
Last edited:
Lmao at anyone who thinks butch Davis is a game day wizard! Dude was awful and was the definition of needing a clear talent difference to be effective over his opponents
 
Richt needs to target the TE's often Saturday and the rest of the season. Popping the TE's over the middle will keep the LB's off the LOS and enable the OL to focus on the FIU DL.
 
Well Richt is still light years better than Butch. Butch was a terrible game day coach. He was however possibly the best ever when it came to identifying and developing talent.

Mark richt is not light years better than anyone at anything.

What are Mark richt best wins? I guarantee you that Butch has better wins.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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