University of Miami

UM’s Richt on QB contact: ‘I don’t ever want a guy getting hurt.’

University of Miami quarterback Malik Rosier passes during a drill at the first day of spring practice on March 21, 2017.
University of Miami quarterback Malik Rosier passes during a drill at the first day of spring practice on March 21, 2017. Al Diaz

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt didn’t say Tuesday whether he’ll allow his defense in the Hurricanes’ second spring scrimmage on Saturday to again tackle the quarterbacks.

But he acknowledged that allowing it to happen last Saturday in the first scrimmage was beneficial for the program.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Allison injured his shoulder when he was sacked last Saturday, and did not practice Tuesday, though he was out at practice observing after the media viewing. A source told the Miami Herald on Tuesday afternoon that in addition to the shoulder injury, Allison sustained a concussion on the play.

“Let’s make everything clear – I don’t ever want a guy getting hurt,’’ Richt told reporters after practice. “But a cornerback can get hurt. A tackle can get hurt. A running back can get hurt. A receiver can get hurt. Everybody can get hurt. My goal is not for anybody to get hurt. My goal is to learn as much as I can about these guys, who are competing for the most important job on the team. The way we were going, I wasn’t getting a lot of clarity.

“If the quarterback can prove that he has mobility, he can stand in there and throw a strike when people are bearing down on him here and there, that’s part of football. If you’re a pocket passer, you’re going to get hit when you’re in the pocket. If you run, you might get hit. It’s part of football.

Mark Richt with some more thoughts on first spring football scrimmage of 2017.

“How do guys react to that? Protection’s not good. Protection’s not good again. On the next play, protection is perfect – am I going to scramble around like a mad man, because I’m afraid my protection won’t be good the next time? There are so many things you can learn about a guy.

“If you wait until Game 1 and you base your decision on everything but true reality in football, you might be making the wrong decision. Then the guy’s in there, and you realize, ‘He can’t really handle it, when the bullets are flying.’

“…I certainly don’t want anybody getting hurt, but I felt it was the best shot for me to learn some of the things I need to learn about these kids.”

Saturday’s scrimmage again is closed to the general public and media, though friends and family members of the players, plus former players and recruits and high school coaches will be there.

Richt said Tuesday that Allison’s shoulder injury was a bruise – “Some people call it a bruise, some people call it a strain. There’s different ways to term it. When the shoulder separates, it comes apart. It did not come apart. It’s just bruised, and it’s sore.”

Two sources close to the program confirmed again Tuesday that the injury was diagnosed as an AC sprain, sometimes referred to as a first-degree (minor) separation. One of the sources said Allison was also diagnosed with a concussion, but didn’t indicate the severity.

Richt said Allison is “day-by-day’’ and is “doing [vertical movements with his arm] he couldn’t do the day before. Things are moving in a good direction as far as that’s concerned.’’

▪ Richt said he didn’t know for sure, but that he believes running back Robert Burns (shoulder) “will be back in plenty of time for the season.’’ He added that if UM absolutely had to, it would convert DeeJay Dallas from receiver to running back, but he doesn’t expect that will happen, given that he expects Burns and Trayone Gray (knee) to return to action. He also still hopes to get a graduate transfer tailback.