University of Miami

Day Two UM camp update: receivers (Njoku), tight ends, Scott Patchan and Malek Young

Quarterbacks N’Kosi Perry (left) and Jarren Williams are shown at University of Miami 2018 fall camp in early August.
Quarterbacks N’Kosi Perry (left) and Jarren Williams are shown at University of Miami 2018 fall camp in early August.

Day Two of University of Miami football practice commenced before 9 a.m. Sunday, when some of you might have been asleep.

Not the Hurricanes. They were running, jumping, throwing and catching once again in 87-degree heat and high humidity, with the coaches still offering plenty of tough love with some positive reinforcement thrown in every now and then.

“Don’t stop, Brevin! Don’t stop!’’ receivers coach Ron Dugans shouted to elite former prep tight end Jordan during a pass-and-catch drill. Jordan, who recently arrived at UM and did not take part in spring ball.

“Don’t go uphill before you catch the ball!” Dugans said to freshman Evidence Njoku during another drill. At 6-6 and 225 pounds, Njoku is an enticing target. And those Njoku genes!

Head coach Mark Richt did a lot of scouting of the quarterbacks and receivers, loudly reminding that “everybody should be catching it and tucking it!

The coaches, as always, are mixing and matching offensive linemen to find that optimum combination — and doing that for many positions, actually. The youngest of the bunch who recently arrived, even if they were national stars on the high school level, are now on the back end of the depth chart. This coaches know what they’re doing.

The good news for the second day in a row is that we did not notice any injuries or sidelined players during our 25 minutes of media viewing, which begins well after practice starts.

More good news: The Canes are STACKED at wide receiver. My goodness. So many with such apparent talent, that coaches will have to devise a creative rotation that occasionally gets in those true freshmen who might not otherwise get quite as much playing time as some veterans. Remember, they have those four games they can play without it being counted against them as a redshirt year.

University of Miami co-offensive coordinator, Ron Dugans and offensive quality control analyst, David Cooney workout wide receivers at the team's second practice of the season at Greentree Fields in Coral Gables, Fla. on Sunday, August 5, 2018.

It does my heart good to see former UM cornerback Malek Young, who had to retire from football after sustaining a severe neck injury last season, out helping the defense. If you haven’t read my in-depth story on Malek’s life after football, please take a look. It will inspire you, hopefully, more than get you sad.

The quarterback rotation, like Saturday, was redshirt senior Malik Rosier, followed by redshirt freshmen N’Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon, true freshman Jarren Williams and walk-on freshman Ryan Rizk out of Delray Beach American Heritage. There were some misthrows, such as when Rosier’s pass hit the ground on a pass meant for tight end Brian Polendey, but hey, they’ve all had their ups and downs. It’s Day 2!

University of Miami defensive lineman Gerald Willis (9) speaks Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, after practice at Greentree Fields in Coral Gables.

The starting defensive linemen today: Jon Garvin and Joe Jackson at end and Gerald Willis and Pat Bethel at tackle.

Kudos to redshirt junior Scott Patchan, who has endured through multiple knee surgeries and has gotten noticeably bigger and stronger. Patchan, who played part of last season at tight end, practiced at second-team defensive end while we were watching. He is listed at 6-6 and 255 pounds.

The Golden Canes, who give very generously (the most generous donors) to UM football, were allowed to watch practice today after the media returned inside.

More to come later.

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