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Diaz talks Jordan, preparations for FIU, and roster numbers

Diaz talks Jordan, preparations for FIU, and roster numbers

Stefan Adams
Following Wednesday’s practice, Miami head coach Manny Diaz updated the status of TE Brevin Jordan and touched on multiple other topics ahead of UM’s intra-city matchup vs. FIU on Saturday.

“Brevin is still a game time decision,” Diaz said. “We’ll see, certainly better than he was a week ago. Just have to see what role he’d play on Saturday.”

The team has spent part of the bye been watching tape of the Panthers’ offense, which is spear-headed by QB James Morgan, who is getting NFL buzz, and a running game averaging 179.7 ypg (46th nationally).

“They have a strong-armed quarterback in Morgan, bunch of South Florida kids so you know they’ll have skill,” Diaz said of FIU. “We have a lot of respect for their running back, and then their offensive line, two years in a row now very efficient. They don’t give up a lot of tackles for losses, they don’t give up a lot of sacks. They have a little bit of a unique blocking scheme - they stay attached at the line of scrimmage and they clutch you as you come. It’s very hard for us to simulate in practice.”

Defensively, Florida International’s biggest strength is their pass defense, and the Panthers are allowing just 180.3 ypg through the air (13th nationally). Both teams are coming off a bye week, so Diaz is anticipating some trick-plays from the upset-minded FIU.

“They’re a four-down team, they’re going to challenge you with man coverage, will play with one safety deep, two safeties deep, they will do both,” Diaz said. “And then obviously we’re aware in this game emotions will be running high and we expect their best effort. So, they have our full attention. They’ve practiced two weeks for us, so we expect to see a few wrinkles.”

Since the game will be played at the Marlins Park baseball stadium, the site of the old Orange Bowl, Diaz says his team will go through a walk-through on field this Friday to get a better feel for the grounds they’ll be playing on. Diaz also mentioned that the roof will be open during the game.

“We’ll have a chance to get over there and throw the ball around, get a view of the sightlines and what it looks like in there,” Diaz said. “The number one thing is player safety, and we shouldn’t do anything to put player safety in jeopardy. I’m confident in that they’ve played games there before and have the appropriate measures for the players to play... I think it will be fun, I think it’ll be an exciting environment to play in.”

QB Jarren Williams is coming off a 6 TD game vs. Louisville in Miami’s last game and OC Dan Enos gave him praise earlier in the week, but also cited some areas of improvement that could take Williams’ game to the next level.

“It still comes down to his decision-making, footwork, his lower body mechanics when throwing the football,” Diaz said of Williams. “The guy is still young. The more times you see all these pass concepts, the more times you see the reads of what’s going on downfield - there’s still a couple shots we could’ve had downfield in the Louisville game that we didn’t get… We had to deal with some adversity, but how do you deal with success? We kind of went through that as a team and Jarren individually. So that’s what I’m looking forward to, as he continues to evolve and being able to handle the position and being the University of Miami quarterback.”

Talking recruiting and roster depth, Diaz told the media that UM is set on brining in at least 25 signees in the 2020 class, and didn’t rule out possibly ending up with a number in the 26-27 range.

“The minimum for sure will be 25, and then we’ll go from there. And that doesn’t mean they will all be in December,” Diaz said. “We’re hoping they change the rule in terms of how many initials you’re able to bring in. That may have an effect.”

Does he think Miami will finally hit the 85 scholarship maximum on the roster that has been elusive for UM in recent years?

“You’d like to, that seems like a difficult number now,” Diaz said. “Until we make some adjustments on the initials, it’s going to be hard to get to 85. We’re going to get to whatever number we’re allowed to and try to get as close as we can. Certainly, we have a lot of young guys on the team, we can continue to develop that nucleus and add a really good recruiting class behind it.”

Last season, Diaz supplemented the recruiting class by dipping into the transfer portal to ensure they spread more of their scholarships out and got the roster older.

“By class, that’s why it was so important to go to the transfer portal because we had to get older,” Diaz said. “We could not replace all of our empty seats, in essence, with youth because then we’d have such a small recruiting class now. We had seven returning seniors at the turn of the year. Whether it’s Ahmmon Richards, who would have been a senior this year, or Malek Young – to be able to replace those guys with older guys, that’s what KJ Osborn turned into, Trevon Hill turned into, that helped us balance our numbers.”
 

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Following Wednesday’s practice, Miami head coach Manny Diaz updated the status of TE Brevin Jordan and touched on multiple other topics ahead of UM’s intra-city matchup vs. FIU on Saturday.

“Brevin is still a game time decision,” Diaz said. “We’ll see, certainly better than he was a week ago. Just have to see what role he’d play on Saturday.”

The team has spent part of the bye been watching tape of the Panthers’ offense, which is spear-headed by QB James Morgan, who is getting NFL buzz, and a running game averaging 179.7 ypg (46th nationally).

“They have a strong-armed quarterback in Morgan, bunch of South Florida kids so you know they’ll have skill,” Diaz said of FIU. “We have a lot of respect for their running back, and then their offensive line, two years in a row now very efficient. They don’t give up a lot of tackles for losses, they don’t give up a lot of sacks. They have a little bit of a unique blocking scheme - they stay attached at the line of scrimmage and they clutch you as you come. It’s very hard for us to simulate in practice.”

Defensively, Florida International’s biggest strength is their pass defense, and the Panthers are allowing just 180.3 ypg through the air (13th nationally). Both teams are coming off a bye week, so Diaz is anticipating some trick-plays from the upset-minded FIU.

“They’re a four-down team, they’re going to challenge you with man coverage, will play with one safety deep, two safeties deep, they will do both,” Diaz said. “And then obviously we’re aware in this game emotions will be running high and we expect their best effort. So, they have our full attention. They’ve practiced two weeks for us, so we expect to see a few wrinkles.”

Since the game will be played at the Marlins Park baseball stadium, the site of the old Orange Bowl, Diaz says his team will go through a walk-through on field this Friday to get a better feel for the grounds they’ll be playing on. Diaz also mentioned that the roof will be open during the game.

“We’ll have a chance to get over there and throw the ball around, get a view of the sightlines and what it looks like in there,” Diaz said. “The number one thing is player safety, and we shouldn’t do anything to put player safety in jeopardy. I’m confident in that they’ve played games there before and have the appropriate measures for the players to play... I think it will be fun, I think it’ll be an exciting environment to play in.”

QB Jarren Williams is coming off a 6 TD game vs. Louisville in Miami’s last game and OC Dan Enos gave him praise earlier in the week, but also cited some areas of improvement that could take Williams’ game to the next level.

“It still comes down to his decision-making, footwork, his lower body mechanics when throwing the football,” Diaz said of Williams. “The guy is still young. The more times you see all these pass concepts, the more times you see the reads of what’s going on downfield - there’s still a couple shots we could’ve had downfield in the Louisville game that we didn’t get… We had to deal with some adversity, but how do you deal with success? We kind of went through that as a team and Jarren individually. So that’s what I’m looking forward to, as he continues to evolve and being able to handle the position and being the University of Miami quarterback.”

Talking recruiting and roster depth, Diaz told the media that UM is set on brining in at least 25 signees in the 2020 class, and didn’t rule out possibly ending up with a number in the 26-27 range.

“The minimum for sure will be 25, and then we’ll go from there. And that doesn’t mean they will all be in December,” Diaz said. “We’re hoping they change the rule in terms of how many initials you’re able to bring in. That may have an effect.”

Does he think Miami will finally hit the 85 scholarship maximum on the roster that has been elusive for UM in recent years?

“You’d like to, that seems like a difficult number now,” Diaz said. “Until we make some adjustments on the initials, it’s going to be hard to get to 85. We’re going to get to whatever number we’re allowed to and try to get as close as we can. Certainly, we have a lot of young guys on the team, we can continue to develop that nucleus and add a really good recruiting class behind it.”

Last season, Diaz supplemented the recruiting class by dipping into the transfer portal to ensure they spread more of their scholarships out and got the roster older.

“By class, that’s why it was so important to go to the transfer portal because we had to get older,” Diaz said. “We could not replace all of our empty seats, in essence, with youth because then we’d have such a small recruiting class now. We had seven returning seniors at the turn of the year. Whether it’s Ahmmon Richards, who would have been a senior this year, or Malek Young – to be able to replace those guys with older guys, that’s what KJ Osborn turned into, Trevon Hill turned into, that helped us balance our numbers.”
Thank you again for the overall coverage Stefan!
 
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