Barry Jackson

UM offensive coordinator assesses young talent

Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt speaks with quarterback Brad Kaaya (15) on the sidelines in the third quarter as the University of Miami hosts Pittsburgh at Hard Rock Stadium on Sat., Nov. 5, 2016.
Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt speaks with quarterback Brad Kaaya (15) on the sidelines in the third quarter as the University of Miami hosts Pittsburgh at Hard Rock Stadium on Sat., Nov. 5, 2016. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Some Tuesday UM football nuggets:

• Whereas Ahmmon Richards has made a huge impact as a freshman, another highly touted freshman receiver - Dionte Mullins - has played sparingly.

Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said Mullins needs “to be more consistent, master the offense, be the same guy every day.”

• UM also is counting on big things next season from receiver Lawrence Cager, who missed this season with a torn ACL. “He’s in a great space mentally,” Brown said.

• Brown said Malcolm Lewis’ playing time has increased because “he competes his butt off. He has earned the right to play more.”

• Brown said UM plans to sign two top backs in this recruiting class. Asked if injured Trayone Gray will be in the mix, Brown noted he will “come into a loaded backfield.”

• Brown, on freshman tight ends Michael Irvin Jr. and Jovani Haskins: “I’ve seen a lot more from Irvin because he’s been with us more on the scout team and Jovani has been kind of more with the defenders. Both have the ability to be big, physical guys. They don’t always play like it. They have the size to be physical.”

• Mark Richt on FIU hiring Butch Davis, who was a finalist for the UM job: “I think Butch is a great coach period. I think he’s a great person. It’s a home run for FIU. He’s going to be excited about the challenge and the opportunity there. We’ll have to get ready when the time comes. I don’t know him well. Have a lot of respect for him as a coach and a person.”

• With regard to the possibility of Brad Kaaya turning pro, Richt said he wouldn’t broach that issue with Kaaya until after the regular season but before the bowl game.

He said for all his underclassmen, “we try to get our guys as much real information from scouts, GMs, NFL people. I’ve got a guy that helps our guys understand the reality of the draft…. Most of the guys can improve their status by staying.”

• Richt says his team is respected by opponents, but not feared. So what’s needed to be feared? More elite skill position players? More dominant lines?

“I know when I see film I have a certain feeling in my gut,” Richt said. “I think you’ve got to win on a consistent basis and play dominating football and we’re not there yet. We’re playing very competitive football and people respect what they see on tape but I don’t think we’re shaking them up.”

• Richt said there “was a 15 minute barrage” when coordinator Manny Diaz was angry with his defense Tuesday. Richt wasn’t sure why.

• Saturday’s game in Raleigh should be a much stiffer challenge than this past weekend’s win in Virginia.

NC State allows only 99 yards per game rushing, so “it will be a huge challenge for our guys to run the ball well against this group,” Richt said. “Their two inside guys are over 300 pounds. Linebacking corps is a veteran group.”

For a six-pack of Tuesday Dolphins nuggets, including what TV analysts have to say about the Dolphins and some interesting Adam Gase comments, please click here. Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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