Fall practice began Saturday at the University of Miami, and with it that brutal summer sun, humidity and chirping coaches —sometimes a bit loud— motivating, scolding and complimenting the Canes.
“We want to be great!” screamed wide receivers coach Ron Dugans, whose deep corps of pass-catchers are projected to be among the finest in the nation.
One of them, 6-6, 225-pound redshirt freshman Evidence Njoku, the younger brother of former star tight end, David, was scolded soon after the media walked out for its 25-minute viewing. Dugans yelled, basically, that Njoku needed to go full speed through the end of the drill.
Five-star receiver Mark Pope, a newcomer, looked considerably smaller than his roster listing of 6-1 and 180 pounds. But nobody is arguing his elite, five-star ranking by recruiting sites, at least not yet.
The quarterbacks who will be throwing to Pope and the others began their various drills —handing off to running backs, passing to tight ends, etc. -- with redshirt senior starter Malik Rosier at the front of the line.
After Rosier came redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry, redshirt freshman Cade Weldon and freshman Jarren Williams.
Williams was an early enrollee that did quite well during spring practice and will see playing time this season, given the new redshirt rule that allows freshmen to play up to four games without having to count the year against them.
And though some other expected young standouts have had lots of love nationally during their college decision-making processes, they took their turns during drills after the veterans, such as freshmen tight ends Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory who went after Michael Irvin II and Brian Polendey.
DeeJay Dallas was the backup running back to Travis Homer, with veteran Trayone Gray as the starting fullback Saturday.
Players were in shorts and jerseys with no pads. Defense wore white and offense wore orange.
The previously injured Hurricanes appeared to all be back, including linebacker Zach McCloud (wrist), defensive end Demetrius Jackson (knee) and receiver Ahmmon Richards (knee).
In the background towering above them all: the still-being-constructed Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility.
More to come after interviews.