UM’s “Big Cane Drill” lets football players prove who is tough this spring practice
Day Three of University of Miami football practice media viewing Friday inside the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility got a little wild.
The full pads were on, and so was the fun.
First, the quarterbacks: Redshirt freshman Jarren Williams looked terrific again. His throws look so comfortable and easy and right on point. Of course, we’re not talking about defense here, but when it comes to form and release and the way the ball is delivered to the receiver, he looks very sharp. He threw one bomb to slot receiver Mike Harley Jr., that was as perfect a throw as you will ever see. It hit the fingertips of Harley, who was in a flat-out sprint and brought in the ball as he raced toward the end zone. We just haven’t seen him miss too much at all.
Redshirt sophomore N’Kosi Perry also has been throwing the ball well, with crisp slants to either side and nice line-drive completions. Perry’s deep balls have also for the most part been accurate and delivered with ease.
Martell, the redshirt sophomore transfer from Ohio State, looked anything but good today — especially in the early drills with receivers and nobody on defense. He was waaaay off target for many of the throws, often overthrowing his receivers by a mile. He appears tight. All I can say is it’s Day No. 3 of spring, and we don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes with coaches actually coaching and doling out instructions.
Offensive coordinator Dan Enos keeps changing the order of quarterbacks, and they’re all getting snaps with the first team at times.
The best part of media viewing was watching what is usually known as Oklahoma drills, which Miami calls “Big Cane” drills, on its lit-up jumbotron-type board in the practice facility. Offensive players (dressed in orange) and defensive players (in white) got rowdy and loud and gathered in the center of the field, mostly blocking our views as they went mano y mano — brute strength vs. brute strength — as rap music blared.
Every now and then the media got glimpses of the two competitors in Big Cane drills, especially when one side would win and their teammates celebrated big-time.
A few we noticed included 6-3, 245-pound tight end Brevin Jordan vs. 5-11, 220-pound linebacker Waynmon steed — Jordan won; 6-5, 310-pound offensive tackle John Campbell vs. defensive end 6-4, 250-pound Jon Garvin — Garvin won; 6-2, 235-pound defensive lineman Patrick Joyner vs. 6-7, 310-pound offensive lineman George Brown — Brown won.
But without a doubt, one of the loudest reactions came when quarterback Perry went into the middle against quarterback Williams. Though we couldn’t see the competition, we did see Williams clearly emerge victorious. Jordan leaped sky high and slapped Williams repeatedly on his helmet.
▪ Redshirt junior defensive lineman Tyreic Martin went down during a drill in which Martell was the quarterback. Medical staff checked his right knee and leg.
▪ Safety Robert Knowles, who was injured Wednesday, was not at practice.