Scrimmage Observations

Scrimmage Observations

- The big difference with Brad Kaaya is physical. He is leaner, quicker and more athletic in the pocket. He was on his game today, and landed beautiful downfield throws to Braxton Berrios and Herb Waters in between multiple defenders.

- All of the running backs had good days, but the star of the show was Trayone Gray. He had a gliding, 80-yard touchdown run that opened eyeballs. He also showed off his superior athleticism by reversing field on a long run. He has been the most spectacular back throughout camp.

- Waters, Berrios and Rashawn Scott all made big plays. Scott showed some of his run after the catch ability, as well.

- David Njoku has proven to be a redzone weapon flexed out wide, a la Jimmy Graham. He made a very athletic TD catch on a fade from Kaaya.

- With a couple exceptions, the offensive line did a decent job. Sonny Odogwu, Kc McDermott, Tyree St. Louis and Danny Isidora all saw reps at RT, with Darling, McDermott and St. Louis getting reps at LT.

- Kendrick Norton caught caught my eye early in camp and he continues to impress every practice. He gets off blocks much better than I expected, and he even showed athleticism in pursuit. He may not have gotten three sacks, but he was disrupting everything. Bottom-heavy, explosive, flexible, aware-- he's the best defensive tackle prospect UM has had in years.

- Rayshawn Jenkins is healthy and looks poised to start opposite Deon Bush. He jumped in front of a Vincent Testaverde pass and took it to the house.

- Evan Shireffs caught my eye with a TD drive. He is more athletic than people think at 6'6, and you can see his intelligence on the field. It will be interesting to watch his development.


Comments (223)

What did you see? 1-gap or two-gap?
Last edited:
Really hope Gray can carve out a role for himself this year because he brings a different skill set to our backfield than anyone else currently on the roster. And because of that NSD photo of him in tears about getting to come to Miami. Rooting for him.
As of now, what is your win prediction for the season?

We have a great quarterback and better talent on the defensive line. That should lead to improvement. But I can't say we'll actually be good based on what I've seen the past four years.

With 23 days left to kick off the season, the Miami Hurricanes had their first preseason scrimmage Thursday night on campus at Cobb Stadium.

The burning question: Who won?

“The defense won,” quarterback Brad Kaaya said, before immediately adding, “The offense won.

“It went back and forth. Both sides of the ball looked pretty good.”

Wearing their new Adidas practice uniforms — black for the defense and orange for the offense — the Canes, no matter how young, continued to make their push for substantial roles when Bethune-Cookman comes to Sun Life Stadium on Sept. 5.

Miami closed the scrimmage to the public and media, but coach Al Golden, defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio and several players were made available afterward.

Golden said no one was injured, and praised the players for being prepared enough to allow for a scrimmage this early in camp. Because of the Canes’ added depth as scholarship numbers improve, Golden said it was the first time he could play three units.

The coach said Kaaya was challenged by a defense that “came after him” and “gave him a lot of looks, a lot of different fronts, multiple coverages.

“I’m excited about Brad. We’ve got a long way to go though. We’ve got to clean up a lot of the bad balls,” he said.

There were at least two interceptions – one picked off by safety Rayshawn Jenkins, who has returned after missing 2014 because of back surgery; and the other by walk-on defensive back Josh Johnson.

Freshman nose tackle Kendrick Norton, the most talked about newcomer of early camp, forced a fumble Thursday.

“It was a really smart play,” said Golden. “He just tracked the ball from behind and ripped it out. Obviously he’s well coached to do that as young as he is, and the wherewithal to do that in your first scrimmage is a good sign.”

D’Onofrio said that Norton, listed as 6-3 and 310 pounds, has lost 15 pounds since he arrived at UM.

“He’s done an excellent job,” D’Onofrio said. “I’m very excited about Kendrick Norton.”

Offensively, Kaaya, who threw three touchdowns, said he hit receiver Rashawn Scott with a 60-yard post-route completion on fourth-and-1, tight end David Njoku with a fade pass, Braxton Berrios with multiple completions over the middle and Herb Waters with a touchdown.

Backup quarterback Malik Rosier and freshman Evan Shirreffs also threw touchdowns.

The defensive pressure was substantial according to multiple players, throwing off the offense at first.

“I don’t feel like we were in game mode in the beginning, but as the scrimmage went on we picked it up,” tight end Stan Dobard said. “We had a couple of holding calls but that’s something we can fix.”

Did Golden feel separation anywhere?

“No, it’s too early, because we mixed it up so much. We wanted to get a lot of looks.”

▪ All four runners — Gus Edwards, Joe Yearby, Trayone Gray and Mark Walton — rotated carries with the first and second teams. Golden said they each had good runs.

Read more here: First scrimmage goes off well for Miami Hurricanes | Miami Herald
Thanks D$. How did the LB & CB groups look?

LB looked a little thin, CB looked fine.

CB has been the top position group throughout camp IMO.

M.Jackson and Redwine better than advertised so far?

Yes, particularly Redwine. But it's mainly about the top three guys. Elder and Howard have been good, and Burns has been great.

How did yearby, Walton and coley look?

On defense Muhammad, Carter, Chad, Kirby?
I haven't heard anything about Juwon Young, anything going on there?
Dammit Danny...stop teasing us like this

I appreciate the positive updates, but all we're doing is falling for the same trap we've been falling for since '04

There's no doubt that this team is talented (just like last year) but the coaching is just not there, unfortunately.
Norton was an OG take and not a DT take for a number of schools. Credit to that kid so far
I appreciate the positive updates, but all we're doing is falling for the same trap we've been falling for since '04

There's no doubt that this team is talented (just like last year) but the coaching is just not there, unfortunately.

I'm not saying we'll be good. This scrimmage is Miami v. Miami. Somebody has to make plays.

But I do think we have talented players, just like we did last year.
How did yearby, Walton and coley look?

On defense Muhammad, Carter, Chad, Kirby?

Walton and Yearby looked solid. Coley didn't do much.

Muhammad had a couple hurries. Carter almost killed Berrios and made some nice tackles. Kirby forced a fumble on Gus but had a couple bad fits.