Talking with Miami Central Head Coach Roland Smith

Talking with Miami Central Head Coach Roland Smith

Tito Benach
Q: Coach, talk about your team. You guys are coming off of a state championship and the big concern from everyone is that you guys lost Dalvin Cook and Joseph Yearby, but the team doesn’t seem concerned about that whatsoever and the focus really seems to be on the defense this year, can you talk about that?

A: “Yes, we’re very excited about our upcoming season. High school football you have graduations and we are proud of what Joe (Yearby) and Dalvin (Cook) did for this program and they were two of the best programs to ever come out of Miami Central, but we’re also excited about our upcoming running backs that we have that’s going to run the ball for us this year and do some good things for us and a lot of people will know about them when this season is over with. We’re also excited about our special defensive core that we have coming back because we were pretty young on the defensive side of the ball last year and the offense had more experience, but this year it is vice versa with the defensive guys having more experience and the challenge to try and stop teams from scoring so we can give the ball back to our offense so we can score.”

Q: Guys like Calvin Brewton, Fermin Silva and Donovan Thompson (2016) ,all these guys are exceptional defensive players and look like the leaders for this years defense.

A: “When you talk about those three guys that you mentioned not only are they great football players, but they are great student athletes and great kids. They are genuine good kids, they go to school every day, they’re in the class room, working in the weight room and on the football field. I mean when you have kids like that you look forward to getting up every morning and going to work and thats what we try to pattern our program after for three to four years.”

Q: Focusing on a guy like Fermin SIlva, scouts are really obsessed with his versatility. He can put his hand on the ground or stand up and rush the passer from the edge. He’s been working very hard to improve his game, especially in the coverage area.

A: “We’re very excited about Fermin (Silva). We are going to put him in some situations because I know a lot of scouts have some concerns with that. We’re going to stand him up a lot and put him in situations were he can drop into coverage and a lot of people know what he can do with his hand in the ground and rushing the passer, but he’s the type of guy that can be considered a ‘tweener’, as in he might be a defensive end or linebacker. We want to help him out this year and let colleges see his versatility and see the things he can do standing up. We’re very excited about him in this program, he’s a kid that is a 5 year kid because he’s been working out with us since he came over from his 8th grade year so I love to have that kid with me working every day, not only because he’s a tremendous football player, but a tremendous person.

Q: Talk about linebacker Donovan Thompson, you made the comparison to Sean Spence with him. What improvements has he made and what are your thoughts on him?

A: “He’s not only a good football player, a good student with a three point something GPA, great kid, but on the football field he is a student of the game and thats how Sean (Spence) was. Not only was he physically fit to run sideline to sideline and bring down ball carriers, but he also helps put the defense in the right position when we make our calls. He’s an excellent football players and he reminds me of Sean (Spence) because he was like that when he played for me at Miami Northwestern. He was the quarterback of defense and I think Donovan (Thompson) is the quarterback of our defense.”

Q: Talk about your offense, with the exception of a guy like Da’Vante Phillips who are some offensive players that people in Dade county should know about?

A: “If they don’t know about him, they’re going to know about him real soon. His name is Anthony Jones, he’s a kid that didn’t get a chance to play for us last year, but he’s Dalvin Cook’s cousin and he’s a kid that’s very explosive. You’re going to see him all over the field, you’re going to see him at wide receiver for sure, but you may seem him in the backfield, you may see him as a quarterback in the wildcat like we did with Joseph Yearby and you may even see him on defense. He’s a guy that’s very explosive and we’re excited about, he will be wearing number four. Lenwood Joyner is a kid that reminds us of Tavius Brown, he’s a speedy player that signed with Ohio University this past season. We’re very excited about Lenwood Joyner, he’s a fast player who wears number 19 who looks undersized, but plays big.”

Q: Your offense this past year was diverse in many ways that featured a wildcat formation with Dalvin Cook and Joe Yearby and even a triple option at one point, what’s the plan for the offense this year and should we expect any more tricks?

A: “ It’s a system, we’ve been running this system since we were at Miami Northwestern when we had Jacory Harris and if you check the Miami Herald, you can see this offense was number one in the county since 2005 until we got to Miami Central and we got coach (Telly) Lockette to come over and coach Snipes who also came over. Those guys were with me at Miami Northwestern and did a tremendous job with the offense and we brought the same offense over to Miami Central and it’s been working so we’re not going to change much.”

Q: Miami picked up two of your former players in Joseph Yearby and Trevor Darling, what are the Hurricanes getting in those two guys?

A: “They’re getting hard working kids that are going to do well in the school, they’re kids that they’re not going to be worried about what they’re doing on campus. They’re excellent football players and great young men, those guys are winner and they don’t know anything else but to win and they’re used to working. Those are the types of players you need to bring Miami back to the success they had when they were playing there.”

Q: Miami has made some big hires from South Florida with guys like Kevin Beard, Jorge Baez and a close friend of yours in Ice Harris, do you think those moves will help them lock down more talent from the local area?

A: “Well it shouldn’t hurt, any time you get local guys that can recruit the area it shouldn’t hurt. They know the community and work around these young men year in and year out so it should help, but it shouldn’t hurt. I’m excited about a good friend of mine in coach (ice) Harris who got the job. I’m very excited for him because he was my offensive coordinator with me at Miami Northwestern and he’s a dear friend of mine and he called me to tell me when he got the job,he woke me up to tell me so i might have been the first person he told about it (laughs). I’m excited for him to get his dream job to coach at the collegiate level; a lot of us coaches work real hard to try and do the best we can at the high school level and everybody’s aim is to one day get to the collegiate level.”

Comments (14)

Roland Smith will give us who we want. I like Thompson the lb, and the big safety #35 I think last name Cook
Shout to cane fam Roland Smith doin work with Central

He wasnt lying about Jones, we got to know him real quick
He fed the read option all day and they couldn't stop it. Pulled the trigger on the counter on 3rd down with 10 minutes to go which was real nice. I was puzzled by the Single route to Phillips on 3rd and 10 within the 15. Seems like they could have at least pulled something else out of the bag O tricks. Overall, no bad at all. Would have been a blowout @ 75 degrees.
Cook and Thompson are studs.

Jones and Ced Miller looked nice. Both seniors I believe. They could possibly blow up this year.

Brewton looked good. Nothing crazy,but he played good.

Phillips had some not so great moments but looked nice out there. FSU or not. He is a stud, don't care what anyone says.
Would love to see him on UM's staff at one point. This guy can coach and like Ice is very well respected in the SoFL community. Hopefully he has his college degree or is close to getting one.
Would love to see him on UM's staff at one point. This guy can coach and like Ice is very well respected in the SoFL community. Hopefully he has his college degree or is close to getting one.
He might have already, had his career not been derailed for awhile because of that scandal at MNW.
Would love to see him on UM's staff at one point. This guy can coach and like Ice is very well respected in the SoFL community. Hopefully he has his college degree or is close to getting one.
He might have already, had his career not been derailed for awhile because of that scandal at MNW.

Didn't he graduate from UM?

Played at UM from 1987 to 1990. I actually wrote a story on him( a 2-parter) for Canestime. I'd link it here, but I just found out its part of their premium content.