University of Miami

Mark Richt cuts UM practice short with lack of TEs and addresses LB Pinckney situation

University of Miami quarterback N’Kosi Perry throws to tight end Brian Polendey while head coach Mark Richt watches during the first day of fall training camp at the Greentree Practice Fields in Coral Gables on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Richt said on Thursday that the Canes need more tight ends.
University of Miami quarterback N’Kosi Perry throws to tight end Brian Polendey while head coach Mark Richt watches during the first day of fall training camp at the Greentree Practice Fields in Coral Gables on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Richt said on Thursday that the Canes need more tight ends. mocner@miamiherald.com

University of Miami coach Mark Richt addressed the media on Thursday for the first time since Sunday, cutting practice a bit short, he said, because there just aren’t enough tight ends to go around after junior Michael Irvin injured his knee and underwent surgery on Wednesday.

UM tight ends coach Todd Hartley said Wednesday that the Hurricanes have not moved any players over to tight end to make up for Irvin’s absence. Judging by past years, however, that could still happen.

Right now there are only three scholarship tight ends without Irvin: sophomore Brian Polendey and freshmen Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory.

Here’s what Richt said on the status of Irvin, and regarding linebacker Michael Pinckney, seen in a boot on his left foot Wednesday evening.

“Michael Irvin, first of all, had MCL surgery,’’ the coach said. “He had to get it cleaned up. They expect 100-percent recovery, it’s just going to take a bit. If he recovers quickly, he could actually play the last four games, or even one game at the end, if it came down to it, and not lose a redshirt.

University of Miami linebacker Michael Pinckney (54) speaks after practice at Greentree Fields in Coral Gables on Sunday, August 5, 2018.

“He’s going to end up being able to redshirt, no matter what. We would never play him if he’s not ready, but you never know how a guy feels by the end of the season. It’s even possible —I’m not saying it’s probable —but what’s certain is he’s going to be back 100 percent from that injury.”

“Michael Pinckney, he just tweaked his ankle. We put it in a boot just for compression and to not let it swell. We decided to keep him out today. No practice tomorrow. We hope he’ll scrimmage [Saturday].”

The first scrimmage— it will be situational— of fall camp is Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium. It is closed to the media and general public.

“This is the closest thing we have to a game,’’ Richt said Thursday. “We’re going to go ahead and do it at night. We’re actually going to have our pregame meal like we normally have for a game. We’re going to have our pregame warmup like we do for a game. We’re going to try and make it as much like a game as possible, the night before and even the day of. Just see who’s close enough to say he’s either on the plane, or he’s going to play, or he’s a starter.”

Richt gave an update on what he’s seen from redshirt freshman quarterback Cade Weldon.

“Cade has really had a very good camp,’’ the coach said. “Today, he did a couple of things that weren’t like him in regards to how he has been practicing the first four or five days. He has practiced really [well]. He’s beginning to look more like a mature guy who understands what it takes to prepare and do the things he has to do. And he has been very accurate. He has done a really good job. Today he had a couple of hiccups, but overall, he has really had a good camp.”

Canes defensive end Jonathan Garvin, a 6-4, 250-pound sophomore out Lake Worth High, was asked Thursday if there were “any way to get the turnover chain to another level.’’

Replied Garvin: “Get more turnovers. That’s all I can say.’’

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