Miami Hurricanes large receiver Michael Redding III (83) on a one handed catch throughout apply drills at Greentree Practice Field on the University of Miami in Coral Gables on Friday, August 5, 2022.
Miami Hurricanes soccer coach Mario Cristobal was conscious, perhaps even on campus, by 4 a.m. Friday.
“#CanesAreBackToWork#Greentree,’’ Cristobal tweeted at 4:15, about five hours before he jogged with his orange (offense)-and-white (defense)-clad Hurricanes onto Greentree Field, the same field on which he sweat as an offensive lineman who won national championships in 1989 and ‘91.
The journey toward what he hopes will be a similar path began at 9 a.m., as Cristobal and his new, heralded staff opened fall camp in Miami’s usual 90-degree heat and ultra-high humidity.
“Day One, we’ve worked hard, and a lot of stuff showed,’’ Cristobal, garbed in a black “U’’ T-shirt over a long-sleeved black shirt, told reporters afterward. “Some guys are more ahead than others, but the competition is making everybody better. Our pace of practice Day One was solid but it will increase. Our tempo, by the way we do things, will get better. We’re demanding it.”
There had been some drops, there have been some throws that soared — presumably from nerves or rustiness on Day One.
“I’m not so concerned that the plays are perfect,’’ Cristobal said, when asked what he expected their first day. “But the way we do things has got to be at a high level. Running off the field has to be full throttle. How you finish a play has to be full throttle. If there’s a walk-through there shouldn’t be a ball on the ground. You saw it happen earlier and we had to blow it up and start all over again.
“So, the way we do things as opposed to the result of that particular period or play is what’s really important.”
Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke conceded “there’s going to be some rust, some good times, bad times. I feel like it was a decent day, a lot of stuff still to improve on, especially on our side of the ball. I thought the defense had a good day today.”
Van Dyke is backed up by redshirt freshman Jake Garcia, who was injured most of final season however has returned for his second fall wanting sharp. Third-team quarterback Jacurri Brown, a freshman who participated in spring ball, struggled a bit Friday with some hovering throws.
“Jacurri is going to be a good player,’’ Van Dyke said. “He has to throw the ball and not think about it and just let it rip. I had those struggles when I came in a little bit, even sometimes last year in the beginning of the year. It’s just being poised and not thinking about it and letting the ball rip.’’
As for UM’s receivers, Van Dyke said, “We gotta push ‘em,” figuring out that UM’s two most efficient ones in Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley are battling for NFL spots. “We gotta find who those guys are gonna be. There are plenty of guys that will be able to do it, we just don’t know who it’s going to be yet…. We have plenty of guys who are capable of it — Key’Shawn [Smith], Mello [Romello Brinson], Frank [Ladson], Mike Redding out there, Colbie [Young] coming in [from Lackawanna College].
Van Dyke on 6-5, 215-pound Lackawanna [Junior] College transfer Colbie Young, listed as a second-year sophomore: “Colbie is a big, freak athlete, has great ball skills for a big guy like that. He can move, too. I’m excited to see what he can do.’’
Van Dyke on 6-3, 175-pound freshman Isaiah Horton, out of Murfreesboro, Tennessee: “He’s good. He’s going to have a lot of potential. He still has a lot of stuff to work on. A bunch of guys have the capabilities of doing it. It’s all about knowing your responsibilities, knowing the plays, knowing where to line up, too. It’s not just about, ‘He’s a 6-3, 200-[pound], 4.4 freak.’’’
UM’s first game is at 3:30 p.m. at home against Bethune-Cookman, and Van Dyke knows it’s sooner than it seems.
“I mean 29 days is only four weeks. It’s pretty close. It’s moving fast.’’
Defensive end Jahfari Harvey, one of UM’s speedsters, said the line, in particular a number of vaunted transfers, impressed.
“All them boys look good, man,’’ Harvey said of the linemen, such as 6-4, 245-pound end Mitchell Agude, a sixth-year redshirt senior from UCLA. “You can tell they pay attention in meeting rooms. There’s some stuff to clean up, but everybody was playing as hard as they could.’’
Indeed, Van Dyke said the defense, with a bunch of new players, had a different look. “They ran some blitzes and it looks a lot different — disguising. It’s good for me and all the other quarterbacks to recognize what they’re trying to do for practice against other opponents we’re going to play later.’’
The injured return
The players that did not start spring because they were hurt or rehabbing were all accounted for. They include receiver Romello Brinson; offensive lineman John Campbell, who for is taking over for Zion Nelson at left tackle as Nelson rehabs from minor knee surgery; running back Don Chaney Jr, who had major knee surgery and looked good Friday (Cristobal said it was “great” seeing Chaney run “full speed” Friday); punter Lou Hedley; defensive finish Jabari Ishmael; freshman defensive finish Nyjalik Kelly (at 6-4, 240 he seems sturdy and spectacular); security Kam Kinchens; tailback Jaylan Knighton (He acquired the first-team carries); offensive lineman Jalen Rivers off main knee surgical procedure; cornerback Khamauri Rogers; linebacker Chase Smith; cornerback Tyrique Stevenson (anticipated to be a starter); and security Keshawn Washington.
Defensive finish Elijah Roberts, who missed lots of spring with a shoulder harm, was additionally again.
“Solid Day One,’’ Cristobal stated. “Looking ahead to cleansing up this movie and attending to conferences.’’
Miami Herald sports activities author Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes soccer beat author since 2000, the season earlier than the Canes gained all of it. She has gained a number of APSE nationwide writing awards and has coated every part from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to main marathons to the Olympics.
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