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Rousseau meets Calais Campbell, Silvera responds to Chatfield

Rousseau meets Calais Campbell, Silvera responds to Chatfield

Stefan Adams
After Tuesday’s practice, redshirt freshman DE Gregory Rousseau got to meet one of his idols in former Hurricane Calais Campbell. An even bigger honor? Having a 4-time Pro Bowler compare his game to yours.

“He said I remind him of him, because he’s so big and tall. I try to be like him,” Rousseau said of Campbell. “He gave me some tips, was saying, `Keep working, work hard, keep pushing.’ He’s a cool guy.”

Rousseau has been a star this spring, picking up right where he left off last year before an ankle injury derailed his freshman campaign. However, Rousseau feels like he is back to full strength now after a long rehab effort.

“I’m used to putting a lot of pressure on my ankle,” Rousseau said. “It was tough. I accepted I got hurt, have to come back stronger.”

He certainly seemed healthy on Saturday: Rousseau racked up 4 sacks in UM’s first scrimmage.

“I think I did pretty well, always know there’s room for improvement, things I can do better,” he said.

On the other hand, the offense really struggled in the scrimmage but Rousseau says he’s still optimistic for the group.

“They’re working hard, learning a new scheme and it’s a lot on their plate,” Rousseau said. “Everyone on the offense is like a freshman because you have to learn what to do. But they’re going to be great.”

**Sophomore DT Nesta Silvera is no stranger to trash talk. Earlier this week, good friend and former high school teammate Andrew Chatfield, a linebacker for the Florida Gators, said he wasn’t concerned about playing the Hurricanes on opening weekend this year because he feels the Gators have been more battle-tested with their SEC schedule. As evidence, he pointed to UM’s one matchup against an SEC opponent in 2018, a game which the Canes lost 33-17 to LSU.

Silvera’s response?

“August 24th,” Silvera said. “That’s just it, all I can say on that.”

On the field, Silvera worked with the first string today with Jon Ford out. In 2019, the defensive tackles as a unit are trying to replace the lofty production of Gerald Willis and Silvera knows they have their work cut out for them.

“He was definitely a mentor, but I’m trying to make my own way,” Silvera said of Willis.

Silvera is known for showing his passion and energy on the field, but the coaches have hinted he may need to reign that in to limit personal fouls.

“I don’t really think it’s a temper, I just play with an edge,” Silvera said. “If you look at all the great ones here - Wilfork, Sapp, Cortez, all of them played with an edge. That’s what I play with.”

**Moving to a new position always brings adjustment challenges, and that is something redshirt freshman Gilbert Frierson is working through right now after moving to striker linebacker this spring. One of his goals has been to gain more weight, and Frierson is now up to 198 pounds. UM will reevaluate if he needs to bulk up further after spring.

“They want to see how I move now at the weight I have for spring,” Frierson said. “After spring, we’ll talk, work that out.”

As for how the change is playing out on the field, Frierson feels he is starting to get comfortable at striker and he jumped at the opportunity when the coaches asked him about potentially moving.

“I have a lot to improve on, but so far so good,” Frierson said. “I felt it was a great opportunity. A new start. I redshirted my freshman year, so a new start, a new position, learn some new things.”

The defense played well in the first scrimmage over the weekend, and Frierson is excited to build on that in scrimmage number 2, which will be open to the public and held this Saturday at Traz Powell Stadium.

“It’s exciting, it’s in our hometown, not so far, a lot of people are going to make it out,” Frierson said. “It excites us being in front of our fans so they can get the first look at our new team.”

As the cousin of Hurricanes legend Frank Gore, Frierson came to Miami with some expectations, but Gore helps him to stay grounded.

“He stays on me, checks on me every now and then,” Frierson said of Gore. “We talk often, kind of daily.”

**After redshirting last fall, sophomore LB BJ Jennings is preparing for a large role in Miami’s defense in 2019.

“I took it as me learning the playbook, getting a better understanding of the game and just coming back ready for this season,” Jennings said. “It’s been a big sense of urgency. I’m learning two positions now, Mike and WILL. I’m just trying to come in every day and get better.”

Jennings was expected to be part of Miami’s LB rotation in 2018 and saw early reps in the LSU opener. However, he busted a run fit that led to a long LSU touchdown run, which opened the floodgates for an eventual runaway victory for the Tigers.

“It was a blitz call,” Jennings said. “They checked away from it so the formation got messed up and it was a bust. Everybody could have made the play, but it fell on me and I took it on the chin. It was okay.”

After that, Jennings’ playing time dwindled, until the coaches told him after the third game that he was going to redshirt.

“It was hard because everyone wants to play,” Jennings said. “But I understood what was going on, how everything works, how the coaches are coaching. It just made me better because I got to watch how everything was supposed to be run.”

In his time off, Jennings worked on improving his body, and lowered his weight from 240 pounds to 230, while trimming his body fat from 14% to 12%.

“I got stronger and faster,” Jennings said. “Everything is better, all the coaches say I came back better.”

The defense was mostly dominant in Miami’s first spring scrimmage over the weekend, and Jennings is expecting a similar performance in the second scrimmage this weekend.

“It’s going to be the same standard every time we go on the field,” Jennings said. “We treat the scrimmage like a game.”

Jennings admits that the offense is spending too much time reacting on the field and that the defense has had the advantage because of it. However, there’s a few offensive players that have caught his eye and made a jump from 2018.

“They’re learning a new playbook, so they’re moving a little bit slower,” Jennings said of the offense. “But they’re going to catch up and everything is going to be good. Cam (Harris) improved from last year, his vision is way better than it was last year. Mike Irvin is doing better, Will Mallory is doing well. And everybody else is doing well, competing and learning the playbook.”

Comments (18)

I really hope all the other Gators have the same mentality as Chatfield. There's kind of an irony to that trash talk because a lot of our guys were trash talking LSU before we got our asses kicked against them. I've never understood why UF fans have this perceived superiority against us, being that they've only beaten us once since 1985, but I'm hoping they'll be disappointed again. In 2013, they thought they were going to come into that game and manhandle us but ended up losing to Al ****ing Golden. Like this year's game, they also had a top ten team that had overperformed the year before.
Does Chatfield know that Florida has a losing record against the supposedly lowly ACC since 1998 (11-14). If your going to trash talk at least have the facts correct.
Facts don't matter when people feel superior or privileged in any aspect. They buy into that country conference crap that they are better players because the play in that conference.
I hope Gregory does better as a Cane than Campbell. I love Canes having great nfl careers but I never felt Campbell lived up to his potential here. My hope is for Gregory to remind us of the Mad Stork— greatness at Miami and NFL.
Chatfield isn’t playing with a chip on his shoulder

His shoulders are potato chips

Chatfield most probably isn't even playing at all.

Doubt he touches the field on 8/24 .......except for pregame exercises and going in and out of the tunnel
This is eerily similar to 2013 where they came off a huge year and we came in with low expectations after a 7-5 start. They were talking a lot of **** then too and didn’t work out well. Florida is baby brother. I’ve seen us lose to them once in my existence. We don’t lose to Florida so I’m expecting another win. Sorry, Andy
Frierson is going to be a good one.
Silvera needs to step up and show, not just rely on super talent.
Jennings needs to show up. Use that red shirt period knowledge , and create an impact.

The Canes have to utilize these players in all parts of our game.

It is show the Coaches time.
This is eerily similar to 2013 where they came off a huge year and we came in with low expectations after a 7-5 start. They were talking a lot of **** then too and didn’t work out well. Florida is baby brother. I’ve seen us lose to them once in my existence. We don’t lose to Florida so I’m expecting another win. Sorry, Andy
Yep, only difference is Miami is much more talented than we were in 2013 imo outside of the oline.
Does Chatfield know that UFail has exactly 1 (one) win against Miami in his entire lifetime?


Chatfield grew up using the fingers / toes counting method so after he reached age 20 during his Jr. year in H.S. he's lost count of how old he really is.

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