University of Miami

Mark Richt update on UM quarterback race — word for word

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt speaks to reporters after practice on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 from the Donna E. Shalala Student Center.
University of Miami football coach Mark Richt speaks to reporters after practice on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 from the Donna E. Shalala Student Center. Susan Miller Degnan

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt was asked Saturday after practice to “weigh in where things stand’’ with the quarterback race, and if he’s happy with the situation overall.

“Well, what I’m happy with,’’ Richt replied, “is I think I got guys that either know what they’re doing or are catching on fast. I see plenty of arm strength. I see plenty of leadership, moxie, whatever you want a quarterback to have.

“Mistakes obviously are being made, but very few mistakes that are... There are more, maybe, mistakes in the run game maybe than there is a guy just... The mistake of guys throwing it up for grabs I’ve seen maybe once or twice out of all the balls. We’ve had some picks, but it hasn’t been a guy just throwing the ball into harms way.

“It’s been mostly defenders making good plays or maybe getting hit as you throw or a guy jumping a route, which happens from time to time. But I’ve been very pleased with their determination not to be reckless with the football. I know all four of the guys we’re giving reps to could run this system and run this team. That’s the good news. I just have got to figure out who.

“Just got to figure out who.”

The quarterbacks in the running: redshirt junior Malik Rosier, redshirt sophomore Evan Shirreffs and true freshmen Cade Weldon and N’Kosi Perry.

The Canes, ranked 18th by the coaches, open the season Sept. 2 against Bethune-Cookman.

***Richt, speaking after practice (the first one in full pads, but just “thudding,’’ no tackling to the ground) from the Donna E. Shalala Student Center on campus, said the Canes will scrimmage three times, and that the first two scrimmages will be live, but that he still does not know if he’ll let the quarterbacks be tackled. He said the third scrimmage will be “kind of a practice game, so to speak.’’ He said that third scrimmage they’ll “start practicing first, second, third down, the kicking team comes in, the other team comes in....kickoff, kickoff return, extra points, field goals, as it would happen in a game.’’

Richt said that sometimes he just uses the “thud’’ method — no tackling to the ground, but hitting — “if we’re settled on what’s going on.’’

***Richt was at the student center for his “U Network” alumni reunion event that drew about 130 former players and their families. The event had booths set up with various companies that give the UM football alums opportunities to seek employment or learn about certain job opportunities. The event also was an opportunity for the alums to reconnect with each other.

***Star receiver Ahmmon Richards, who hit his head after making a catch on Thursday and was held out of Friday’s practice for precautionary reasons, was back at practice Saturday morning at Greentree Field — UM’s fifth practice of fall camp. Richt said Friday that Richards was tested and does not have a concussion. (Please take our poll on if the QBs should be tackled in the first scrimmage next weekend).

***Tight end Michael Irvin II was not at practice for the second day in a row. Richt said Friday that Irvin has been dealing with dehydration. Irvin missed half of the first practice on Tuesday, came back Wednesday and Thursday, and has been absent during our media viewing since then.

*** Weak-side starting linebacker Michael Pinckney (hamstring) once again was on the sideline Saturday, stretching by himself and riding a conditioning bike using only his right foot to pedal. Richt said he did not practice.

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