University of Miami news from the first day of fall camp on Tuesday:
*** Coach Mark Richt said that true freshman running back Robert Burns, a spring early enrollee who injured his shoulder on the first day of contact in March and had subsequent surgery, likely will not be ready for the Sept. 2 opener against Bethune-Cookman. Burns did take part in some noncontact, ball-carrying drills wearing a non-contact green jersey, but to possibly jeopardize his health (example: inadvertent hit or being shoved into by accident) in that kind of situation is risky, Richt conceded. “I don’t think he’ll be ready for Game One,’’ Richt said. “I don’t think so. We’ll see. I don’t know how soon he’ll be able to get into a contact drill. We start putting pads on and thudding each other up, we either gotta put a green jersey on him and trust that our guys won’t thud him or just get him out of the drill. We’ve got to decide if they’re smart enough not to strike a guy in a green jersey.’’
***As Richt told us recently at the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C., receiver DeeJay Dallas will get some practice at running back, especially in light of Burns’ situation and there being very little depth at that position. “We’re going to make sure he knows enough about how to pass protect and how to run,’’ Mark Richt said. “We’re talking about DeeJay Dallas slipping in there a little bit at running back. He didn’t do it today but further along the line when we install he’ll do a little bit of that. But he made some great plays at wide receiver today.’’
*** Sophomore tight end Michael Irvin II left practice early, Richt said, because of what seems like some sort of physical ailment. Richt wouldn’t specify. Starter Chris Herndon and walk-on tight end Malik Curry played ahead of him in drills. “Irvin ended up not practicing the second half of practice,’’ the coach said. “We’ve got to make sure he’s 100-percent healthy...I’m not going to get into it. We’ll know more tomorrow. He may be practicing tomorrow. There’s just something we had a suspicion of that you just gotta keep him out of the drills. we just have to make sure he’s healthy before we get him out there full speed.’’
***On former Dillard High defensive lineman Jon Ford, who is not on the roster because he isn’t yet enrolled because of academic issues: “He’s still in the running,’’ Richt said. “It’s kind of what we said a year ago on [receiver Dionte] Mullins. We’re still hopeful that he ends up getting here. If he just makes it, qualifies, we’ll be very happy. We still have hopes that he will. We believe he will.’’
***Freshman linebacker Waynmon Steed out of Miami Central is not full go, Richt indicated. Richt said 6-6, 287-pound freshman offensive lineman Zalon’tae Hillery also is not full go.
From this morning after our viewing period, before we talked to Richt:
Good morning and welcome to 2017 University of Miami fall camp.
It’s already 85 degrees outside at Greentree Field, where the Hurricanes are in the middle of their first official fall practice of the new season.
Here’s what we saw (or didn’t see):
▪ The quarterbacks were in black jerseys, and the one you’re all wondering about, true freshman and new arrival N’Kosi Perry (No. 5), started out as the third quarterback in individual drills. However, later in our 25-minute viewing period, Perry was throwing to tight ends as the fourth quarterback in line.
▪ Malik Rosier, the redshirt junior with the most experience, was the first quarterback to go in all the drills we watched. Rosier was also the first quarterback for spring practice. The second quarterback was redshirt junior Evan Shirreffs. Behind Perry was true freshman Cade Weldon, an early enrollee who participated in the spring but was behind the others as he learned the offense. Behind Weldon was redshirt junior Vincent Testaverde.
▪ Later in the practice (as mentioned above) for one drill I watched it was Shirreffs, Rosier, Weldon and Perry.
▪ Robert Burns, the 5-11, 215-pound true freshman running back out of Gulliver Prep, was in a no-contact green jersey after offseason shoulder surgery. Burns injured his shoulder the first day of spring contact.
▪ The only player not on the roster, but expected to arrive, according to coach Mark Richt a couple of weeks ago, is defensive lineman Jon Ford out of Dillard High. Richt told us Ford had an academic issue and compared his situation to that of receiver Dionte Mullins, who arrived late last season.
▪ The offense, as usual, wore orange jerseys. The defense wore white.
▪ Evidence Njoku, the younger brother of former UM star tight end David, appears to be every bit of the 6-6 height that is listed on the roster. He wears No. 83. It was quite a contrast watching Njoku stand next to speedy receiver Jeff Thomas, who is listed as 5-10 (175 pounds) but definitely looks shorter.
▪ The running backs, as expected, were (in order of carries): Mark Walton, Travis Homer, Trayone Gray and walk-on Crispian Atkins.
▪ Lawrence Cager (No. 18) was back practicing after sitting out last season recuperating from major knee surgery. He wore a big brace.
▪ The offensive line, left to right: tackle Kc McDermott, guard Trevor Darling, center Tyler Gauthier, guard Navaughn Donaldson and tackle Tyree St. Louis. That’s the way it was at the end of spring practice.
More notes to come on Perry and company.