Barry Jackson

UM seeks receivers following dismissal of Sam Bruce; Dolphins, Heat nuggets

Video: St. Thomas Aquinas star Sam Bruce chooses UM

St. Thomas Aquinas star receiver Sam Bruce capped a long recruiting odyssey by signing with the Miami Hurricanes on National Signing Day at the school Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. Video by Justin Azpiazu
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St. Thomas Aquinas star receiver Sam Bruce capped a long recruiting odyssey by signing with the Miami Hurricanes on National Signing Day at the school Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. Video by Justin Azpiazu

Some UM, Dolphins and Heat nuggets on a Thursday afternoon:

• With Sam Bruce gone, UM wants to add one or two more receivers beyond three-star prospects Kevaughn Dingle and Evidence Njoku in this 2017 class. Cornerback commitment Deejay Dallas also can play there if UM chooses.

UM is targeting two elite receivers (Deerfield Beach High/Alabama oral commitment Jerry Jeudy and Louisiana’s DeVonta Smith) plus Georgia-based receiver Jeremiah Holloman.

Ahmmon Richards is already playing a big role. What about freshman Dionte Mullins, who hasn’t caught a pass?

“The kid is getting better; we had a practice and I was like wow,” receivers coach Ron Dugans said. “It’s starting to slow down for him. [But] he gets tired really quick because he hasn’t been here [before August].”

• There were consequences for UM’s shoddy offensive line play last week: KC McDermott said linemen were forced to pull sleds on Sunday. This group must play better than it did against FSU, especially Nick Linder, McDermott and Trevor Darling. And Tyree St. Louis must prove he’s a competent right tackle in Sonny Odogwu’s absence.

• Mark Richt likes to have former players from different era give speeches to the team the night before a game. He said Joaquin Gonzalez will be the fourth this week, following Ray Bellamy, Gary Dunn and Gino Torretta.

• Yes, there have been a bunch of times where it was unavoidable for Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill to avoid being sacked. But couldn’t he have stepped up in the pocket to avoid sacks a few times?

“You’ve got to be able to step up,” Adam Gase said. “You might have to step up and find lanes between the guards and tackles. There might have been a couple times where he could have stepped up. It’s been a little bit on everybody.”

Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said Tannehill was to blame for the interception that was wrested from DeVante Parker against Tennessee:

“Get the ball in front of him or somehow rip that thing out of the DBs (hands).' But I didn't think that DeVante could save the thing. The receivers coach did. I didn't. That's really hard because you don't have any strength when you're running that fast and you're trying to catch a ball from behind.

“(The defender) is catching it in front of him and you're catching it behind, it's hard to wrestle that one out. That's tough. We've got to throw that ball out in front of him. Ryan (Tannehill) knows that; we all know that. And we didn't (do it)."

• Has special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi ever coached a player like Jakeem Grant?

“When I first got here, Teddy Ginn won a game for us against the Jets with two kick returns in one game. Teddy might be the fastest goal line-to-goal line guy that we've had since I've been here in terms of 100 meter open up and run. But ironically enough, Jakeem is not that far behind him in terms of just straight-ahead speed. Now, Jakeem is more shifty and maybe has some more lateral quickness. A guy like Devon Bess was really lateral quick, but he didn't have the home run speed. So, we've had some guys that have had the different skill sets, but Jakeem kind of has that entire package."

• Christensen described rookie Kenyan Drake’s play “as a little bit of a mixed bag. His good is really good, and then his rookie stuff is really rookie ... rookie-ish - if that's a word. We're not discouraged. We're looking for consistency from him, because he's a good player.”

• Mature beyond his years, the Heat’s Justise Winslow has sought input from several elite coaches this summer.

His Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski, “talked to me about mentally where I need to get to become a guy a team can build around. And Coach K is really big on amnesia. If a good or bad play happens, forget about it. If something is said about you, forget about it. Just have a short memory and move on.”

Winslow met with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich during Olympic training and picked his brain “on some leadership qualities that he uses to figure out which I want to use. He’s the top coach in the NBA.”

• There’s a lot of Big Three talk in Cleveland and Chicago this week, with Dwyane Wade revealing Thursday that he and LeBron James were interested in joining the Bulls in 2010, but couldn’t because the Bulls couldn’t trade Luol Deng to afford Chris Bosh.

“My eyes were here, LeBron's eyes were here," Wade said of Chicago. "Miami put a monkey wrench in the plan when they could fit all 3 of us."

For lots of Dolphins defensive personnel news today, including some eye-opening quotes from coordinator Vance Joseph, please click here. And please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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