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Rambo, Williams outline spring contributions thus far

Rambo, Williams outline spring contributions thus far

Stefan Adams
Miami Hurricanes WR Charleston Rambo is experiencing his first spring at UM after transferring in from Oklahoma over the offseason, and he had a big second scrimmage over the weekend when he racked up 7 catches for 107 yards and a TD.

“It was about being on point with my quarterbacks, working different routes after practice, after workouts to get us better, on the same page,” Rambo said of his scrimmage performance. “Being in the scrimmage, on the same page, making all the catches, seven targets, seven catches. Making every uncatchable ball catchable, trying to get better.”

After spending his first three seasons of play at Oklahoma, Rambo admits he is still getting comfortable in OC Rhett Lashlee’s system, as well as trying to adjust to the different style of DB play at UM.

“Coming here, being here, it’s a lot different,” Rambo said. “I see a lot more man than zone. Coming here, being competitive, going against DB’s that come with that edge, I have to come with that edge… Seeing Tyrique (Stevenson) and DJ Ivey every day, they’re both 6’0”, 6’1”, both long and strong. I work different releases on both of them, get better, compete with both of them. That’s what we do every day. We’re getting each other better.”

The WR group was a sore spot for the offense overall last season; Rambo was brought in to help change that, and he sees the unit as showing improvement throughout the spring thus far.

“When I got here, there were a lot of things in the receiver room we didn’t do that we’re doing now,” Rambo said. “We had two scrimmages, got better in both of them. Just being around the guys every day, we’re feeding off each other.”

The Canes are sporting a young group of quarterbacks under center this spring, but Rambo feels they’ve worked well with the receivers and within the offense as a whole.

“With the quarterbacks we have right now, we’re making plays, the outside receivers,” Rambo said. “We have some guys here that are going to make plays, and I know guys will make plays from the backfield and on the outside.”

While Rambo works to get acclimated to Miami’s offense and QB’s, he has yet to go through full practices with the Canes’ starting QB in D’Eriq King, who is out this spring recovering from a knee injury. Still, Rambo has high expectations for King’s return.

"He’s a good quarterback, can put the ball there... just waiting for him to get through the rehab process," Rambo said of King. “He almost reminds me of Jalen Hurts."

In addition to his receiver duties, Rambo has also been taking reps at punt returner on special teams, an area where UM struggled in 2020.

“Catch the ball, make a play,” Rambo said of his mentality on punt return. “They’re looking for someone to go back there and make plays.”


**Last season, S Avantae Williams missed his entire freshman year at UM while recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in high school, but the highly-touted recruit stayed ready in waiting for his moment, and Williams was able to return to the field this spring to start making a case for playing time in 2021.

“It hurt to not be out here with the guys, but I had hard work in the offseason, so I was ready when my name was called,” Williams said. “I was in the weight room a lot, putting on weight, watching a lot of film, was able to do some drills, that’s about it.”

The Canes have a veteran contingent of players on the back end with safeties Bubba Bolden, Amari Carter, and Gurvan Hall all returning, but Williams still hopes to carve out a role in the rotation and add depth to the unit.

"I'm thankful they came back, and James (Williams) coming in, we'll help him fit in the defense so we can be more deep in the back end, all make an impact,” Williams said. “Basically, I’ve been just switching from both free and strong safety.”

While many of the Hurricanes’ DB’s are still getting know new DB coach Travaris Robinson, Williams is an exception in that he built a strong relationship with Robinson when Robinson tried to recruit him to South Carolina two years ago.

“I met him at South Carolina, have a great relationship with him,” Williams said of Robinson. “One of the best coaches I’ve ever had.”

With Williams praising Robinson for his teaching abilities, he also mentioned Chief of Staff Ed Reed as someone that has been giving him pointers as well.

“He is giving us ways to learn the defense better, play faster,” Williams said of Reed.

Ultimately, Williams is just excited to be back on the field this spring and playing the game he loves as he looks to fulfill the promise he showed coming out of DeLand in the class of 2020.

“I just love the game - anytime I can I watch film, ask extra questions, I will. I just love being physical and running around,” Williams said. “My goal is just grinding, being more fluent in the back end, getting a lot of playing time and being fast and helping on special teams.”
 

Comments (15)

Another offseason, another me thinking we baack. We got a Rambo and a Blade(s). X on the Flagg. Ride your Couch not your Steed.
 
Many people have long derided the defense in the Big 12. Is Rambo's statement about seeing mostly zone defense a source of their problem in light of the offenses they play or is it a simple necessity with the offenses they play?
 
Many people have long derided the defense in the Big 12. Is Rambo's statement about seeing mostly zone defense a source of their problem in light of the offenses they play or is it a simple necessity with the offenses they play?
The problem that the Big 12 had was teams were playing Air Raid football and just winging the football all over the place at a time, when defenses simply werent there to defend it.

Past few years, things have changed because teams are playing different schemes and tried multiple things to slow stuff down. Iowa State started it by playing 3-3-5 and over time developed whats now called "Air Raid Killer". Newest trend is that teams play 3-high defense, which is something that could translate into the NFL soon. Auburn had success running a 3-1-7 scheme vs LSU two years ago.

Reason why Big 12 plays more zone than man is simply them not having the players to play man coverage. Air Raid also has so many simple designs to shred man coverage, you are at a disadvantage every time you play it.
 
I like the addition of a skilled pass "catcher" that has played for a big time program and in big games. I also like the defensive staff is playing Avante Wms. at SS and FS, since our secondary are poor tacklers and are not instinctual. I hope when James Williams arrives they use him in multiple roles, FS, SS, Striker, Middle and Edge Blitzer. Chase Smith and James Williams would give us one helluva LB'er combination in situations. I hope Manny doesn't rely solely on his knowledge and uses input from coaches and staff analysts (Ed Reed and the Older Guy?).
 
I forgot to mention Kam Kinchens as a willing tackler and instinctual Safety. So far IMO none of Bolden, Carter or Hall have consistently demonstrated both skills.
 
I forgot to mention Kam Kinchens as a willing tackler and instinctual Safety. So far IMO none of Bolden, Carter or Hall have consistently demonstrated both skills.
Those dudes are lacking hard. I thought Gurvan Hall was the truth and he's pedestrian as hell. Bolden makes some flashy plays and does the whole "hoorah" shtick but he was also average at times.
 
I like the addition of a skilled pass "catcher" that has played for a big time program and in big games. I also like the defensive staff is playing Avante Wms. at SS and FS, since our secondary are poor tacklers and are not instinctual. I hope when James Williams arrives they use him in multiple roles, FS, SS, Striker, Middle and Edge Blitzer. Chase Smith and James Williams would give us one helluva LB'er combination in situations. I hope Manny doesn't rely solely on his knowledge and uses input from coaches and staff analysts (Ed Reed and the Older Guy?).
Good post. I believe the older guy you are referring to is Bob Shoop. The infusion of more legit talent, depth and the competition that results from it put together with the arrival of experienced technical coaches like TRob, Simpson and Shoop should have a tremendous impact on our defense. I'm very excited to have defensive coaches who are proven developers of talent. Regarding Shoop specifically, I'm very much looking forward to seeing the type of effect his presence will have on our defense in terms of scheming for different offenses as well as the tweeks and refinements he is likely to be responsible for. Diaz didn't bring in Shoop to be his stooge or puppet.

At the risk of sounding positively Pollyanna-esque, this is something else that has me intrigued from the get go. To me, the very act of bringing in someone like a Bob Shoop as an analyst tells me that Diaz is open minded about having another set of eyes change and tweek a few things in the system in order to maximize it's effectiveness moving forward. In other words, let's dissect this thing and figure out where the weaknesses and vulnerabilities are then find the best solutions based on our personnel. Emphasize strengths and mitigate weaknesses and do it on a week to week basis depending on what type of offense we face. We haven't had that in a very long time. I may be setting myself up for a disappointment but that's a risk I'm willing to take.
 
I like the addition of a skilled pass "catcher" that has played for a big time program and in big games. I also like the defensive staff is playing Avante Wms. at SS and FS, since our secondary are poor tacklers and are not instinctual. I hope when James Williams arrives they use him in multiple roles, FS, SS, Striker, Middle and Edge Blitzer. Chase Smith and James Williams would give us one helluva LB'er combination in situations. I hope Manny doesn't rely solely on his knowledge and uses input from coaches and staff analysts (Ed Reed and the Older Guy?).
Regarding James Williams, the kid's tape practically screams positional versatility. This is not the type of player that you throw a positional label on and leave it at that. I always go back to something one of my old coaches used to say again and again. "Think players not positions" was one of his mottos. Like many here have said, the true value of having a player like JW is the ability it gives you to move him all over the field depending on the situation.

Chase Smith has similar characteristics in terms of being versatile and you bring up a great point when you say that we could have something very special with JW and CS on the field together. Now expand your thinking a little and envision guys like Chase Smith, James Williams, Avantae Williams and Keontra Smith on the field together and the schematic possibilities become practically boundless. Then add freak talents like Leonard Taylor at 3 tech to go with Elijah Roberts, Chanz Williams, Jafari Harvey etc. Then you have your rock solid high football IQ guys like Corey Flagg and Kam Kinchens to go along with all the legit CBs that TRob is going to land and we have the makings of a vintage UM defense.
 
Regarding James Williams, the kid's tape practically screams positional versatility. This is not the type of player that you throw a positional label on and leave it at that. I always go back to something one of my old coaches used to say again and again. "Think players not positions" was one of his mottos. Like many here have said, the true value of having a player like JW is the ability it gives you to move him all over the field depending on the situation.

Chase Smith has similar characteristics in terms of being versatile and you bring up a great point when you say that we could have something very special with JW and CS on the field together. Now expand your thinking a little and envision guys like Chase Smith, James Williams, Avantae Williams and Keontra Smith on the field together and the schematic possibilities become practically boundless. Then add freak talents like Leonard Taylor at 3 tech to go with Elijah Roberts, Chanz Williams, Jafari Harvey etc. Then you have your rock solid high football IQ guys like Corey Flagg and Kam Kinchens to go along with all the legit CBs that TRob is going to land and we have the makings of a vintage UM defense.
I'm right there with you Bro! We have a lot of talent and "versatility" in talent and combinations on the backend. The DL isn't as big (heavy) as I would prefer, but some are Ford, Nesta and Miller and others very athletic- Roberts, Blissett and Lenny Taylor. Taylor will probably be 295-300+ next year. Hoping Allen Haye becomes a trench bully after redshirting/training 6'2 310lbs.
 
Another offseason, another me thinking we baack. We got a Rambo and a Blade(s). X on the Flagg. Ride your Couch not your Steed.
X on the Flagg (flex). I love the reference and the lyric.
 

2022 Commits

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

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