Canes Convos: UM kicks off fall camp

Canes Convos: UM kicks off fall camp

Stefan Adams
The #8 ranked Miami Hurricanes took to Greentree today for the first time in fall to begin preparations for the 2018 season, which opens with the LSU Tigers on Sept. 2.

With the beginning of every season comes the indoctrination of all the new players and even returning guys that now have bigger roles. With plenty of unfamiliar moving parts, Canes head coach Mark Richt says it’ll take a few practices before everyone is on the same page.

“Pretty typical Day One,” Richt said. “It was very evident who has been around this program a while and who is just showing up for the first time – just in knowing how to practice and knowing how to push, knowing how to do things right, knowing how to finish a drill, knowing the things that we teach on a daily basis that [are] very, very normal to the guys who have been around and new to the guys who are new. They have a long way to go, just to understand how we practice around here. It’s not because they’re not trying. They’re just learning.”

That’s not to say none of the new guys stood out, however. Richt had praise for a foursome of freshmen today, three of which came in during the summer.

“Some of the young guys [were] making a few plays here and there…I know Dee Wiggins had a really great contested catch in the end zone one time. [Marquez] Ezzard - once he learns what to do - I think is going to be a pretty good ballplayer. I really like the young [defensive backs] – you have [Al] Blades doing a good job. Cam [Davis], the tailback out of Carol City, did a nice job today. You can see his quickness and those types of things.”

After getting a few players banged up last season and in the spring, Richt reported the team is fully healthy heading into fall camp. Two veteran Canes in particular were a welcome sight to back on Greentree for Richt, who is heading into his third season at the helm of UM.

“It was good to see Ahmmon [Richards] back. D-Jack [Demetrius Jackson], even from the beginning of summer until the end of summer, with how he changed his body…you know, when you get injured, it’s hard to keep your body fat down,” Richt said on the locker room leaders. “It’s hard to stay in good shape. But then when [Jackson] got healthy again, he really trimmed down and had a wonderful summer. He did a good job.”


**Speaking of Ahmmon Richards, the rising junior receiver was the first receiver to run a route in single receiver drills this morning after he returned from knee surgery last fall.

“It felt great, I was a little emotional to be honest,” Richards said on his return. “I haven’t practiced in a long time, but it was nice to be able to put on some cleats and a practice jersey and get out there.”

It’s been a long road back to the field and Richards is still trying to get in football shape; he felt “a little gassed...a little fatigued” in his return to the practice field off knee surgery, but plans to do extra conditioning work this fall to get in game shape before the season.

To reach the heights of his outstanding freshman season, Richards knows getting on the same page as starting QB Malik Rosier is absolutely paramount. The pair have been working together over the off-season and Richards reports their connection is better than ever.

“Definitely better than last year, as far as timing-wise and where he would expect me to be on the field,” Richards said of his rapport with Rosier. “There’s little things that make a big difference.”


**LT Tyree St. Louis will enter the last season of his college career as a third year starter and is looked to as a leader on the line. However, he is playing a new positon this season, sliding over from right tackle to left tackle to protect Rosier’s blindside, where the other team’s best pass rusher usually attacks. No big deal though, says St. Louis.

“It’s pretty easy for me, because I’ve always been able to work at both sides,” St. Louis said. “Even when I played right tackle, I knew eventually – whether it would be here or maybe the next level – I would switch to left or right, either one. Switching back to left wouldn’t be a challenge for me.”

Part of St. Louis’ role as a leader is to mentor the new and young players. Sophomore Navaughn Donaldson is moving over from right guard to man St. Louis’ old tackle spot, and St. Louis has been giving Donaldson advice. He’s confident Donaldson will be ready to roll when Miami squares off against LSU.

“Navaughn’s coming along,” St. Louis said. “Moving from right guard to right tackle is definitely a big difference. He’s lost a lot of weight, got more flexible. He’ll be fine by the time the season comes around.”

St. Louis also had praise for grad transfer Venzell Boulware, who came in the summer from Tennessee.

“He's very eager, he came in with a purpose to try and play,” St. Louis said on Boulware. “It's very different coming from Tennessee, a different program, different system and a very different location. But he's doing very well with it.”


**The Canes notoriously finished last season on a three game losing streak. It’s safe to say junior LB Shaquille Quarterman didn’t take it well.

“I’ve spent all offseason watching those three games (the losses),” Quarterman said. “I’ve watched the Clemson game at least 40 times.”

Quarterman has always been looked to as a leader on the field since starting at MIKE linebacker as a true freshman, but this season he is officially an upperclassman. The junior says he trimmed 12 pounds off his frame and is in the best shape of his life.

“They put the ‘veteran’ tab on me, but I feel great. I really do,” Quarterman said. “I’ve grown a lot since I was 255 [pounds] - chunky boy. I think it’s going great. Development is really going good right now. I’m 233 [pounds] right now – last year I played at 245…I had to [lose weight]. Be more precise, be able to run longer, be able to endure a whole game. It’s about full effort every play. If I can do that, I’ll be a bad boy.”


**Senior S Jaquan Johnson had a quite an off-season, garnering plenty of award attention and landing on the Walter Camp, Thorpe, and Bednarik Awards watch lists. However, he says it’s his fellow starting safety Sheldrick Redwine that people need to start paying attention to, as Redwine has made the biggest jump from last season.

“Redwine is definitely more comfortable, is moving around fluidly, is communicating, being a vocal leader,” Johnson said. “Every aspect of the game, he’s improved.”

Johnson brought the interview session to a close by talking about the new expectations upon UM as a top 10 team this season.

“We did a couple of things last year that we can be proud about, but now we’ve swept that under the rug and we’re looking forward to this year, doing bigger and better things,” Johnson said. “We want to establish ourselves as being the best defense in the nation and, if we get a chance, we’ll try to do that Sept. 2.”
 

Comments (25)

Shaq trimming down is huge. Sometimes it looked like he may have been carrying some extra weight last year. On some plays he seemed a step slow getting to the ball. Dropping that weight should help.

I’m Curious to really watch the OL, DL, DB, am backup LBs progression.

Want to hear about some of the other backers making progress and stepping up. Mainly to see where we are should we lose 2-3LBs to the draft after season.

Same thing with th safeties and DBs we have many names right now all over the team. Curious to see which guys start to elevate and separate their games.
 
Shaq trimming down is huge. Sometimes it looked like he may have been carrying some extra weight last year. On some plays he seemed a step slow getting to the ball. Dropping that weight should help.

I’m Curious to really watch the OL, DL, DB, am backup LBs progression.

Want to hear about some of the other backers making progress and stepping up. Mainly to see where we are should we lose 2-3LBs to the draft after season.

Same thing with th safeties and DBs we have many names right now all over the team. Curious to see which guys start to elevate and separate their games.

Motor, in terms of the LB's, I think the past two seasons there was a noticeable drop-off in athleticism/talent from the first unit to the back-up but with guys like Steed, Jennings, etc. I think that wont be as noticeable this season. Im excited to see some of the new depth at that position along with the infusion of long, twitchy athletes at defensive back
 
As George Allen said,'the future is NOW'

Yeah, Miami has some question marks(like any other squad) but there also a lot of pieces already there that we should all like

Lets not be afraid to have great expectations for this ballclub

We need to go for it all this season.
 
You have in my opinion 6 potential all-americans on D (won’t get 6 but any one can be) in Willis, Joe Jack, Shaq, Pinkney, JJ, & MJ...That’s pretty ridiculous. Pair that with our insane depth & talent on O. This is the year.
 
Great work Stefan!!

Richt already praising Ezzard and Blades is what I like to hear. I want everybody to know I’m on the Ezzard train early. He is a freak of nature... he’s going to look like Julio Jones out there wearing #11. And Blades jr is going to challenge Frierson, Ivey, and Dean for a spot.
 
You have in my opinion 6 potential all-americans on D (won’t get 6 but any one can be) in Willis, Joe Jack, Shaq, Pinkney, JJ, & MJ...That’s pretty ridiculous. Pair that with our insane depth & talent on O. This is the year.

It all depends on how well Rosier and the offensive line play. If they improve, we’re in playoff contention.
 

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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