University of Miami football coach Mark Richt praised a few newcomers at Greentree Field on Saturday after the first day of 2019 fall camp, but mostly he stressed that the intense heat and humidity made it difficult for everyone — and that the veterans were evident.
“It was really a great day in that you could feel the humidity, feel the heat,’’ Richt said. “A lot of guys that had great summers came through really well. A couple of guys struggled a little bit with cramping, which is understandable, as hot it is and was – a lot of running, a little bit of nervous energy. Pretty typical Day One.
“It was very evident who has been around this program a while and who is just showing up for the first time – just in knowing how to practice and knowing how to push, knowing how to do things right, knowing how to finish a drill, knowing the things that we teach on a daily basis that [are] very, very normal to the guys who have been around and new to the guys who are new. They have a long way to go, just to understand how we practice around here. It’s not because they’re not trying. They’re just learning.”
▪ On the freshmen “making a few plays here and there: Dee Wiggins had a really great contested catch in the end zone one time.” Receiver “[Marquez] Ezzard— once he learns what to do—I think is going to be a pretty good ballplayer. I really like the young [defensive backs] – you have [Al] Blades doing a good job. Cam [Davis], the tailback out of Carol City, did a nice job today. You can see his quickness.”
▪ On “the most disappointing part” of practice: “We know we have a good defense, and they’re going to have their times when they’re going to make their plays, but there’s times when [receivers] are open and we hit them in the hands and they couldn’t quite bring it in.
“Or there were times when they’d catch one and [the defense] would strip it out. We made a few plays here and there, which was good, but not enough. I think if everybody would have caught the ball better today, we’d have been in better shape.
“We’re going to be playing a lot of teams that play a lot of ‘man’ coverage. We play a lot of it, too. I always tell the guys, there’s a difference between a contested catch and just a dangerous throw. There’s going to be times when guys are covered very tightly, but we have to place it in the right spot.
“When it was drill work time, we did great. When we got in there with all 11 [players] running around, we didn’t do quite as good. I know we know what to do and how to do it, and have the ability to do it, we just have to do it in the scrimmage situations.”
▪ On being ranked No. 8 not getting to his players’ psyches: ““The sun takes care of that. The heat. The humidity. The tempo of our practice. The competition versus each other. It erases all of that. I told them, we can call [the polls] and just tell them to put them to the side until we earn it. We haven’t earned anything this year.”
▪ On the quarterback play Saturday, which had starter Malik Rosier leading the pack, followed by redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry, redshirt freshman Cade Weldon and true freshman Jarren Williams:
“It was a solid day – it was not a great day. I think they did OK.”