The Work - Canes Camp #4
**Day 4 of fall camp is complete. Al Golden was not available to media today due to his recruiting responsibilities with the day-long UDay recruiting event going on. Nonetheless, there was still some quotable material from speaking to players after the completion of practice. Note: Only the first 15 minutes of practice was open to the media.
**Rayshawn Jenkins has been an early bright spot for the Canes defense through the first few days of camp. Coach Golden has mentioned positive changes that Jenkins made in the offseason during his return from back injury.
“It was very hard as far as the consistency part to stay on top of it so that was my main focus. I didn’t want to have a setback. There are no problems right now and I feel really strong,” said Jenkins.
--Jenkins said the toughest thing he had to do during rehab was “planks”. Said his trainer had him doing a variation of different planks to improve his balance.
--The redshirt junior took last year as a positive experience.
“I had to look at it from a coaching perspective. I tried my best to be out there and coach, especially my young guys, but for the older guys too.”
--Sitting out a year helped Jenkins realize that the game of football is not just about the physical side. He explained the are of his game where he believes he most improved.
“Just development in my mental state in football. Last time I played, I was 19-years old and I was real immature and didn’t want to study. I wasn’t training like a pro. Now I take things serious and I’m a pro. I get here t 5:45 in the morning and stretch and roll out and do everything I need to do to be ready.”
--Much of the talk about the safety position early in camp has been about the health, depth, and experience of the current group.
“It can be really good. We push each other everyday. We get on each other. If we see each other slacking, we don’t ever let anything slide. We want to see the full potential out of each other so we can get that out on the field.”
--Jenkins has been impressed with freshman Jaquan Johnson, who enrolled early and participated during spring practice.
“He is going to be great mainly because he’s a hard worker and he doesn’t let anything get to him. For his age, he is very mature because he soaks in the knowledge from the older guys around him.”
**A not-very-talkative Mike Wyche addressed the media today, where he explained that he would not be answering questions about his weight this season when asked.
“I’m not really talking about the weight issues right now because I dealt with that all last year. I’m focused on winning the coastal and my team. I’m done with the weight issues and all that,” said Wyche.
--A reporter suggested to Wyche that he seemed to be more serious this year and Wyche responded, “you’d be serious too if it was your last year”.
**Nick Linder, a pleasant surprise as a freshman for the Canes last season, is expected to take a lareg role on this year’s offensive line unit, which loses three of its veteran starters from last season. Yesterday, Al Golden mentioned that although Linder is the team’s projected starter at center, he was still getting work at the guard spot; something that the St. Thomas Aquinas product is open to doing.
“Last year a lot of injuries happen and you have to move around and stuff like that so whatever gets me on the field, I’m more than willing to do. I’ll play guard, center, whatever,” explained Linder.
--Linder said that he sat down with team nutrionist Tony Musto when the season ended in an effort to help change his body. Linder added that he weighs about five pounds heavier than last season, but that his body fat dropped 4-5% to 27%.
**Sophomore linebacker Darrion Owens showed flashes of his ability last season. He brings a unique blend of size, speed, and length to his position and is looking to have a breakout season along with a number of edge rushers in a similar mold as him.
“I think the front seven will be a lot better because we’re a new team this year. We’ve all been working together and I just feel like the trust and accountability has changed, so a lot of people don’t want to let the guy to the left and right down,” he added.
--As far as what makes this current group of pass-rushers a threat?
“Everybody is fast, they’re strong, they’re long.”
--The return of Quan Muhammad is something that could give this unit a major boost, as Owens elaborated on.
“He works hard, he runs hard, and he pumps you up. It makes you want to work hard too so it’s nice to have him back….He came back like he never left.”
--Tyriq McCord was asked about Owens’ progress, to which he had positive comments.
“D.O. is another guy who I would say looks natural. I believe he played safety in high school a little bit, so he was natural at the position. I’m learning from him and we’re feeding off of each other because I’m playing across from him on third downs.”
**Senior linebacker/defensive end Tyriq McCord has been a leader on the Miami defense for some time now, but he said he feels even more comfortable in that role now. McCord gave his thoughts on some of the younger guys early in camp.
“Scott Patchan is getting better. Jamie (Gordinier) looks great. He looks very natural at the SAM position. I’m proud of D-Jax, hes stepping up and really doing great. He’s doing an awesome job and he’s coaching so that takes stress off of me…I’m just embracing the role of trying to lead guys and leave my mark.”
**McCord feels like the freshman all over the defense are already making strides.
“It falls on us because if they aren’t getting the coaching from us, we aren’t leading right so that’s our main job…They’re learning, really at every position. Redwine at DB, Norton is doing an amazing job, so all of them are doing great. They’re doing better than I was doing my freshman year to be completely honest with you.”
**Kc McDermott said that he has played “maybe three plays” at Right Tackle, but other than that he has been splitting reps with Trevor Darling at Left Tackle.
--The sophomore lineman explained that Brad Kaaya and his high football IQ have been a help to his position group.
“Brad is always helpful, whether it’s calling out different coverages, whether it’s calling out different blitzes. We watch film with the quarterbacks quite a bit nowadays and we talk to him and he gives us a lot of insight. He’ll say ‘hey if we’re in this play, I’d like for you to do this’ and it works.”
--McDermott said he believes watching film with the quarterbacks is a “new thing”, and added that it was something barely done last season. He said that it is a daily routine now to meet with the QB group and offensive coordinator James Coley.
--McDermott said that sitting out with injury helped him to learn technique from Ereck Flowers, Jon Feliciano, and his brother Shane.
**Some buzz from around camp:
--Stacy Coley, Braxton Berrios, and Rashawn Scott have separated themselves early in the receivers group. Braxton Berrios looks like a new player and could be more of a deep threat than people realize this season.
--Tyler Gauthier has a chance to be good. He has great strength and a tough attitude. Sunny Odogwu has made some improvements since spring. Ideally, he becomes the swing tackle.