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Dallas cuts weight, Patchan focused on starting opener

Dallas cuts weight, Patchan focused on starting opener

Stefan Adams
You could say junior RB DeeJay Dallas has had an unconventional offseason for the typical college athlete. In addition to balancing workouts and summer classes, Dallas has also been taking care of his newborn son who was born last month – DeeJay Jr.

"It's a blessing. It's kind of in the back of your mind, you know you’ve got someone depending on you. I've been going hard since January 2017, so I’m just continuing to be the same dude,” Dallas said. “I just look at everything and just try to be optimistic about everything. Like I said before, just knowing that he's depending on me, I have to go that extra mile. Stuff that I wasn't doing before, I’ll do now. Just helping out. Just [being] that dude, a little bit.”

While Dallas has mainly been running with the first team so far in fall camp, sophomore RB Cam Harris is pushing hard from behind to take some of Dallas’ first team reps.

"Like I always say, competition builds character. Just all around, we have competition,” Dallas said. “That's what we've been lacking for a long time. I feel like the young guys in our room are ready to play and they can play. They have ability. We push each other. Then out here, it's hot, a lot of adversity on the practice field just being in south Florida. We just have to keep pushing each other and keep being great every day. I just think this year will be one to remember."

With sophomore RB Lorenzo Lingard limited in practice as he returns from a knee injury, sophomore RB Robert Burns has been making use of the extra reps in the #3 RB role.

“Rob is a big dude, people don’t know - Rob is like 230, running a 4.4,” Dallas said. “Rob is big, downhill, shifty - that man is shifty. He can play, he can go.”

Overall, Dallas sees the RB group at Miami as one of the offense’s biggest assets heading into 2019.

“It’s one of the strengths on our offense right now just from experience - the guys that have played in a season, in a game, that experience will help our offense down the road in a positive way.”

Redshirt freshman fullback Realus George took a year to get in shape for the college level, but now Dallas feels George is ready to contribute in the backfield this season, whether that’s as a blocker or a short yardage ballcarrier.

“He got to his goal weight, he’s always been a downhill, physical fullback,” Dallas said. “He’s more mature now.”

Not to be outdone, Dallas has also hit his goal weight this offseason, taking his body fat percentage down from 17% to 9.7%.

“I’m back to my freshman weight, 213,” Dallas said. “I’m back to being who I was before. I didn’t feel like I lost a step, but felt I was behind a little bit.”


**For his final season at Miami, senior DE Scott Patchan switched numbers over the offseason to honor his father, who wore the same digits at Miami as an offensive lineman in the mid-80’s.

"Yeah, my dad wore 71 when he played here and won two championships. Everyone talks about the standards here at Miami and for me, who can set a better standard for me?,” Patchan said. “I know obviously he played offensive line and I play defensive line, but to come in with that same mentality every day, that he paved the way and a lot of other greats up here paved the way, too. It's our turn to keep working hard and make things happen here at Miami.

"For me, it was obviously a very personal decision but I felt like there was no better way to honor my dad. It was kind of sitting on my heart for a while and I wanted to honor him the best I could because he's done so much for me, and my mom as well. There wasn't a number I could wear for her, but I love her and I think she loves it too. That's kind of what made me do it."

Going through spring and now through the first week of fall camp, Patchan has held down a starting job at DE across from Jon Garvin. As a junior in 2018, Patchan got his first serious playing time at Miami, recording 29 tackles, 2.5 TFL, and 1 sack off the bench.

"I kind of set very lofty goals for myself. I look at it like I really haven't done anything here at Miami,” Patchan said. “I touched on that a little bit in the spring. I set really lofty goals for myself and keep them personal, between me and my dad. I'm looking to go out each and every day and try and dominate every day to keep it simple. That's where my mindset's at."

While Patchan is currently on track to make his first career start at UM, it’s certainly no guarantee, as the competition has been fierce at defensive end. In particular, UM brought in Virginia Tech grad transfer Trevon Hill over the summer and he has been pushing Patchan from the second team.

"He's a great athlete, knows how to rush the passer," Patchan said.

Patchan requested a shot at the Big Cane Drill today, and he won his rep against redshirt freshman OL John Campbell.

"I wanted to set a tone for practice," Patchan said. "We're Miami Hurricanes, we're going to play aggressive, and I wanted to be aggressive on the first play of Big Cane. That was my mindset."

Patchan has mainly been going up against sophomore OL Kai-Leon Herbert everyday in practice. Herbert hasn’t gotten any real playing time in his Miami career as of yet, but Patchan has seen him making improvements behind closed doors.

“He’s definitely making strides as a run blocker and pass protection too,” Patchan said. “He’s learning some tricks, I’ll leave it at that.”


**With the Canes in the midst of choosing a new starting QB for their opener next month, junior WR Mike Harley has been catching passes every day from each of the QB’s in the competition.

“Every quarterback we have is standing out. The biggest area that I have seen so far where they improved, is they are all consistent,” Harley said. “They are being the leaders that coach [Dan] Enos is teaching them to be. They’re demanding everything. They make plays and are just putting the ball on the money, so it is up to the receivers and running backs to make plays.

"If I was a coach, I'd probably wait to make that decision until August 23rd at midnight. I really can't tell. I don't know who is throwing the ball to me. They are all the same. They are all generals and they are all leaders. They are ready to roll."

What does he see from the offense in comparison to the spring?

“Way better than the spring. Just the mental errors, the little stuff and capitalizing on that…we took a big leap from spring,” Harley said. “So, I think we are ready. We just have to take it day by day, on our own, learning our playbook, take what’s in the meeting room to the field and we will be alright.”

Harley says he sees the biggest difference in general is the work that the players are putting in on their own.

“When we had the dead period without coaches, it was all out there our own – seven-on-seven, film study,” Harley said. “Separate with the receivers, separate with the quarterbacks together. That is what really made it click. The first five days have been going smooth. We’re not perfect, but it is just way better than the spring. I feel like we all held ourselves accountable and we just keep it rolling.”

Sophomore WR’s Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope have been some of the standouts in camp so far; Wiggins is running with the first team and Pope was the first receiver in with Jeff Thomas out today.

“They are stepping up,” Harley said. “They matured in the summer. I see improvement from those guys, I’m learning from them as well. They are really stepping up, doing their job.”

The wide receivers as a whole had issues with drops last season, something WR coach Taylor Stubblefield has really drilled both in spring and fall.

“Coach, he tells us to be ourselves but it’s really up to us,” Harley said. “It’s just effort. Last year is last year.”


**Senior striker linebacker Romeo Finley was a big part of Miami’s defense in 2018, helping the Canes improve to the best 3rd down defense in the country with his great coverage skills.

“We’re just building on what we did last year,” Finley said.

Finley’s backup at striker last season, junior Derrick Smith, made the transition back to safety over the offseason. Although he got hurt early in spring and didn’t get to show much, Smith has been an early standout so far in fall camp. Smith has made an impression on Finley, who sees him as having made the biggest jump on the defense.

"He's looking really good. Right now, to me, he's the most improved,” Finley said. “He's had a turnover every practice and I told him, since he didn't get one yesterday, I told him to get two today and he got three. He just keeps getting better."

Finley is also high on a few the freshmen that have come in during the summer as well.

“Our freshmen are looking good, TC [Te'Cory Couch] and Christian Williams,” Finley said. “They're trying to earn their respect in the locker room. Our three defensive linemen are looking really good. We're putting everything together and everybody can help out, and that's what we want."

Finley noted that the team has been preparing for the opener against the Gators by watching UF’s final game of 2018 against Michigan.
 

Comments (33)

Finley says they're watching film of Florida's bowl game versus Michigan. After re-watching it myself, I have to say Michigan's skill players aren't anywhere close to ours in the speed department.
I think they should be watching the miss st tape...they had a good defense last year similar to ours
 
Hope Scott gets his first start 8/24 and destroys the gator to make up for his turncoat brother
 
WRs are dropping everything in clips I’ve seen.

Get the tennis ball machine and fire 2 at a time. It’s the single best drill a WR can do for their hands.

Build up their hand eye.
 
Dallas got fat and lost some burst and explosiveness. He will be a much better weapon now that he’s no longer a plus-sized model.

I said this last season and the CIS imbeciles lost their minds. Glad Dallas and the staff realized this.
 
I won't get my hopes up until I see production, but for now...

“Rob is a big dude, people don’t know - Rob is like 230, running a 4.4,” Dallas said. “Rob is big, downhill, shifty - that man is shifty. He can play, he can go.”

Batboner.gif
 
I'm drinking the Kool-Aid.

Been a Patchan fan from day one. First, he stayed home. Second, he was unstoppable in that win over FSU. Then he flips to TE to support the team. And did you see the pics of him in the weight room with Feeley? Kid is an O&G OG.

And Dallas has orange friggin blood. Just like Chickillo with Golden, Dallas did everything Brown and Felder asked of him. And he paid the price with more limited mobility. Now that he has a real coaching staff, I predict a huge year for the new papa, and unfortunately an early departure for the NFL.

Finley and D Smith are Manny kids. Finley poised for a breakout year at striker. I remember how much Diaz just glowed about Smith when he committed late in the cycle. I was worried at the time he would be a step too slow for safety. But he's a ball hawk and heat seeking missile. So I have no doubt he'll be bringing the pain.

Harley's going to struggle to get reps. He's a great kid. But so much talent. Thomas, Osborn, Pope, Hightower, Payton. There isn't a WR corp in the country I would trade for those guys.
 
Man Listen,

Deejay dropping the weight is major. It’s like when Duke Gained weight.

Some guys can put on weight but some guys need to just stay where they are.

185-200lb backs have done well through college football history. Every kid doesn’t need to be 225-235.

Good for Deejay getting back to 213!
 
Dallas got fat and lost some burst and explosiveness. He will be a much better weapon now that he’s no longer a plus-sized model.

I said this last season and the CIS imbeciles lost their minds. Glad Dallas and the staff realized this.
Comp can change the way you view things! Cam is the biggest reason he had to set his mind right. Cam is a serious threat to his playing time. So, DJ have no choice but to get it right.
 
I'm drinking the Kool-Aid.

Been a Patchan fan from day one. First, he stayed home. Second, he was unstoppable in that win over FSU. Then he flips to TE to support the team. And did you see the pics of him in the weight room with Feeley? Kid is an O&G OG.

And Dallas has orange friggin blood. Just like Chickillo with Golden, Dallas did everything Brown and Felder asked of him. And he paid the price with more limited mobility. Now that he has a real coaching staff, I predict a huge year for the new papa, and unfortunately an early departure for the NFL.

Finley and D Smith are Manny kids. Finley poised for a breakout year at striker. I remember how much Diaz just glowed about Smith when he committed late in the cycle. I was worried at the time he would be a step too slow for safety. But he's a ball hawk and heat seeking missile. So I have no doubt he'll be bringing the pain.

Harley's going to struggle to get reps. He's a great kid. But so much talent. Thomas, Osborn, Pope, Hightower, Payton. There isn't a WR corp in the country I would trade for those guys.
"There isn't a WR corp in the country I would trade for those guys." No way this is true lmao. If you would seriously take ours over Bama I just don't know what to say
 
"There isn't a WR corp in the country I would trade for those guys." No way this is true lmao. If you would seriously take ours over Bama I just don't know what to say
You can add Clemson to that list as well
 
So it's confirmed? DJ's baby momma is Dugans' daughter? :)

Looking forward to seeing DSmith out there busting heads. Kind of surprised he didn't stay at striker considering he's 220.
 
Really hope that we get to see what Burns can do this season.

He's a load when he's healthy.
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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