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Diaz runs down team heading into spring ball

Diaz runs down team heading into spring ball

Stefan Adams
With the Miami Hurricanes set to begin spring practice on Monday, UM head coach Manny Diaz took questions in a media presser to break down the status of the team before drills kick off.

“A couple of weeks later than normally what we’d do this time of year,” Diaz said. “Part of that design is we wanted to have an uninterrupted seven week go in our weight room. We felt last year with the time off, lockdown, we didn’t feel our team hit the strength benchmarks we needed to. It’s been encouraging to see our guys get after it, the work David Feeley and his staff have done with players.”

Of the athletes that have made strides, Diaz said 30 players have made personal records in the weight room so far during offseason team workouts.

“It’s been fun to see the guys work and develop,” Diaz said. “We also hit the most champions we’ve ever had for our winter quarter - guys that don’t miss any obligation, every class, study hall, appointment, weight room session, great attitude in everything they do. The number of guys in that group is in double figures higher than the two previous winter quarters we’ve had in this program. A lot of guys doing the right thing in the program.

“Tyler Van Dyke is just a beast, the way he works, does everything right. Dom Mammarelli was really good in our offseason program, Zion Nelson continues to shine. It’s been good to have Navaughn Donaldson go through the entire offseason program. Jakai Clark lost some weight, is moving around really well. You can go on and on with the offensive line. I could go through the list, but we’re pleased as a coaching staff.”

In terms of the training room, Diaz said that both RB Jaylan Knighton and S Avantae Williams have been cleared and are full-go for this spring. CB Al Blades has also been cleared, but is still being held out as he works his way back into playing shape.

“He has been cleared but is working back toward fitness,” Diaz said of Blades. “We’re being very cautious with Al in terms of bringing him back, I don’t have a timetable.”

On the flip side, TE Will Mallory and DT Nesta Silvera will miss this spring after undergoing shoulder procedures, QB Jake Garcia will be limited early in the spring due to an injury suffered as a senior in his high school season, but can do 7-on-7’s, and QB D’Eriq King remains out recovering from the knee injury he suffered in UM’s bowl game to end the season.

“D’Eriq is in the training room with rehab, smashing every benchmark and goal they put in front of him to the point they almost have to slow him down. It’s fun to see him moving around,” Diaz said.

Safety Jalen Harrell will play cornerback this spring, per Diaz

“Let’s take a look, see what he can do out there,” Diaz said of Harrell.

Diaz was also asked about the depth at linebacker and if he has considered looking for a LB in the transfer portal.

“If we come out of spring and feel we don’t have it, that is an option,” Diaz said. “You have to be smart in how you use your numbers.”

The Hurricanes will need their young linebackers to really step up in 2021, and Diaz was asked his expectations for LB’s Tirek Austin-Cave and Avery Huff.

“This is a big spring for both. Those are guys that it hurts not to have spring football (last year),” Diaz said. “They simply have to learn what they’re doing out there, how to get lined up, what’s your gap responsibility.”

Talking about how he expects UM’s depth chart to look come the first day of camp, Diaz said there will be a ton of rotation with the ones.

“We don’t want a lot of guys to feel they’ve attained some sort of status at all, because that’s definitely not the case,” Diaz said.

Diaz also addressed talk of a potential Spring Game in terms dates and fan attendance.

“Those things are all being ironed out,” Diaz said. “I think fans are highly unlikely at this point. We’re scheduled for the 17th of April at Hard Rock Stadium, it’ll be great to be in the stadium, but I don’t foresee (fans).”

In recruiting, Diaz expressed that the staff wasn’t worried about having only one commitment in the 2022 class at this point and expects things to really take off once visits and camps are allowed in the summer.

“We’re not concerned at all about not having commitments… We’re preparing for the summer, want to have Paradise Camp,” Diaz said. “Some schools are trying to set dates without the knowledge of whether we’ll be in the dead period or not. Ideally if things go the way we want, we’ll have Paradise and you’ll see a lot of guys taking visits in the summer and a lot of commitments in the summer. Guys committed now, will they stick? It’s hard to say.”
 

Comments (11)

Read thread title and thought Manny was running some grueling Seal style training camp preparing team for Spring Ball
 
Read thread title and thought Manny was running some grueling Seal style training camp preparing team for Spring Ball
I thought Coach Diaz may have purchased some new track shoes
 
you could cut and paste last year's pre spring notes from Manny: interesting he mentioned that one of the reasons that Huff and Cave didn't play was gap assignment, actually didn't see any from the linebackers that did play
 
Off- season champs looking good.

Seriously.

Maybe it's the years just piling up, or the fact Miami has been irrelevant for the better part of two decades—but I've never been less interested in spring ball coach-speak than I am the past few years. Couldn't care less about Manny's blah-blah and assessments.

Just figure out how to win the Coastal and to not let North Carolina embarrass you next fall.

This guy is the king of just hammering you with stats, depth chart moves and other nonsense that doesn't amount to a hill of $hit, come fall.
 
Bad news about Garcia. Sounds like TVD will be given every chance in the world and he’s doing it right in the offseason anyway.
 
Seriously.

Maybe it's the years just piling up, or the fact Miami has been irrelevant for the better part of two decades—but I've never been less interested in spring ball coach-speak than I am the past few years. Couldn't care less about Manny's blah-blah and assessments.

Just figure out how to win the Coastal and to not let North Carolina embarrass you next fall.

This guy is the king of just hammering you with stats, depth chart moves and other nonsense that doesn't amount to a hill of $hit, come fall.

His loyal flag bearers love all of that. To them, Manny is out there putting in overtime to get his team to a Coastal competing level. Which means he is still miles away from the playoff scent.
 
This: “We also hit the most champions we’ve ever had for our winter quarter - guys that don’t miss any obligation, every class, study hall, appointment, weight room session, great attitude in everything they do. The number of guys in that group is in double figures higher than the two previous winter quarters we’ve had in this program."

I guess that's heading in the right direction, but I'm seriously shocked that expectations and accountability at a D-1 level are that laxed now. Classes are one thing, but: "appointment, weight room session"? You mean it happens frequently enough there is a need to identify guys not doing it as a positive move in the program - and we're bragging about the guys doing it right are in "double figures"? Where the Hell is Ed? That's acocountability plain and simple and it explains some of those give-up games over the last few years if it's a category that even warrants mention. I never heard a coach mention that before. I played in the NAIA, never missed a team appointment, function or obligation starting with Junior High, then again, we won conference championships.
 
Happy to hear all the players that got cleared. Definitely good news with Knighton and I'm sure Blades will get back in shape hella quick.
 

2022 Commits

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

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