The Work - Canes Camp #1
The first 15 minutes of practice were open to media today and there was an interview session with Al Golden and players afterwards. Tomorrow’s entire practice is open to media. Here are some notes and quotes from day 1.
**Defensive backs Ryan Mayes (RS FR) and JaQuan Johnson (FR) were held out of some portions of practice today and wearing the red jerseys. Al Golden said they were dealing with “little things”, so it does not seem like there is anything to worry about there.
**When asked if he has to temper the expectations for Brad Kaaya coming off a big freshman campaign, Golden responded:
“I’m not worried about Brad. He’s too busy worrying about doing the things he’s supposed to be doing to listen to what’s going on outside. He’s the ultimate team player and hard worker.”
--Golden added that there is “no comparison” between last year and this year for Brad Kaaya.
“His confidence elevates the building. Not only his confidence, but the confidence that everybody has in him. No question marks, better control. You can’t even compare him physically with his body and quickness.”
--Sophomore RB Joseph Yearby missed some time with the team this summer and Golden tried to explain the situation as best he could:
“He missed the workouts with the team, but he didn't miss the voluntary workouts. He came back three days later and passed the conditioning test. He needed to take some time to deal with family things and personal things, so we gave him his space and he rewarded that trust incredibly.”
--Golden also noted the improvements that Kaaya has made with his body and conditioning.
**Although the Canes lost their top two receiving options from last season in Phillip Dorsett and Clive Walford, Coach Golden seems confident in the group.
“Brax looks great. He’s a year and a half removed from his injury and he’s leaner than he was a year ago. Herb (Waters) is as big as he’s been at about 197 pounds. Rashawn (Scott) is 205. Stacy (Coley) is in the 190s now. Those guys worked their tails off. Malcolm looks good too so we’ll see who steps up,” said Golden.
--Berrios added that he played last year weighing around 185 pounds, but he is at 180 now.
**Golden was asked about the two freshmen defensive backs out of Killian High School, JaQuan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine.
“They’re both different. JaQuan is a little more vocal and a leader. He got here a little earlier so he’s a bit ahead. Sheldrick really likes football and he studies. He’s really not making a lot of mental errors, so we just have to catch him up schematically,” said Golden.
**Brad Kaaya’s message to the team this morning?
“Don’t hold anything back. Now it’s time to let it all out,” said the sophomore QB.
--Kaaya on Rashawn Scott
“He’s a really physical receiver. We have him at Z right now matched up against the field corners. He’s a bigger receiver than most and still has the speed. I don’t think his injuries hampered him this summer.”
--Kaaya on Herb Waters
“Herb is a fast guy who can play the slot or out wide. He’s a guy we can mix in with different play calls.”
--Kaaya was asked about the loss of Dorsett and Walford, but he seems more focused on the current group.
“This is a dynamic group. I had a lot of receiving yards with these guys too. We’ll spread it out more and I feel like we can spread it evenly since these guys can get open on any play."
--The tight ends look to be a balanced group this year with the loss of Clive Walford to the NFL.
“They’re really working hard right now and pushing each other. They learned a lot from Clive. There is a lot of competition and Coach (Larry) Scott is pushing them hard and has them doing the right things in terms of run-blocking and pass-blocking and receiving the ball,” added Kaaya.
**Freshman DL Kendrick Norton was the first player other than quarterbacks and kickers out warming up. Coach Golden came up to him prior to practice and had a few words with him. Norton definitely looks like he has the size to make an impact this season. Impressive lower base, which is of course one of the most important traits for a defensive line.
**Senior safety Deon Bush has dealt with injuries dating back to his time in high school, but he says his body is ready.
“I feel better than I’ve felt my whole career. I’m 100%.”
--There has been talk that Bush could play some cornerback this season, something that he is open to.
“I’m really not sure what the plans are, but I am open to playing corner if they need me and I would be willing to do it,” said Bush.
--Bush is excited to play in the same defensive backfield as long time friend, freshman safety JaQuan Johnson.
“JaQuan Johnson is going to be a great player for us and I can’t wait to play with him this season.”
**Redshirt freshman OLB/DE Demetrius Jackson feels as though the last year did wonders for him.
“I was able to learn the fundamentals and learn the game. It slowed down for me and my football IQ went up.”
--Jackson says he is up to 245 and is able to “do the same things I did in high school” in reference to how he has adjusted to the weight
--Jackson did not hold back his confidence in the 2015 Miami defense, which has been a major weakness in Al Golden’s time in Coral Gables
“That D-Line is scary. Me, Quan, Chad, Trent can all make a big impact. I think it could be the top defense in the country this year.”
“We aren’t just out here practicing to be mediocre. We want to be great. It’s easier said than done, but we are going to show you," said Jackson.
**Redshirt senior Rashawn Scott feels like his support system helped get him through the past couple seasons.
“I have a lot of people on my back. My family, coaches, and friends never gave up on me so I got a lot of people behind me.”
--Scott did say he is not necessarily looking at this as a “contract year”
“I’m not looking at it just like that because then I’m putting that just on me. I can’t just think about myself as an individual because I don’t play like that. Everyone is going to have a good year. It’s going to be fun,” added Scott.
--Scott noted that he believes the playbook will be more open now that Kaaya has more experience.
**Braxton Berrios notes that the chemistry between Brad Kaaya and the receivers is much better this year since he was able to participate in spring practice as well as his second full summer.
--Berrios is a huge advocate of receivers coach Kevin Beard.
“I couldn’t point out just one thing. It’s amazing with the short amount of time he’s had with us what we’ve learned. Everything about being a receiver here since he played here. Getting off releases, running routes, and all the little things,” said Berrrios.
--The critics are not something that the team concerns themselves with, according to the sophomore receiver.
“We don't listen to it. We don’t worry about it. We are going to be good and we know that so that is all that matters to us. We can’t stop them from saying what they want.”
**Freshmen defensive backs Sheldrick Redwine and Michael Jackson fit in well physically. Miami has been trying to get bigger at the corner spot ever since Golden took over, and these two fit the bill.
**Note on Jay-nard Bostwick, who is transferring from Florida…Miami has spoken to him and there is interest, but this is not near a “done deal” yet as has been suggested elsewhere. The admissions process can be lengthy so just something to monitor. Bostwick would need to sit out a year if he came.
**There has been talk since spring camp that Mike Wyche was a different player, mostly due to his conditioning. He is now listed at 325 on the roster, which is a vast improvement from when he was weighing around 350 at this time last year.
**Kicker Mike Badgley was rocking a mullet out there. An interesting look indeed.
Canes running out on Day 1 - https://instagram.com/p/6Cw3sdyHIh/?taken-by=canes_in_sight
Running backs Joe Yearby, Gus Edwards, Colin Alford working through drills - https://instagram.com/p/6CxmyPyHJy/?taken-by=canes_in_sight
TE Chris Herndon - https://instagram.com/p/6Cx6txSHKS/?taken-by=canes_in_sight