Barry Jackson

UM sees potential for trickery with incoming jewel

Miami Hurricane's coach Thomas Brown speaks to journalists about how his team did on National Signing Day at the University of Miami's Schwartz Center in Coral Gables on Feb. 1, 2017.
Miami Hurricane's coach Thomas Brown speaks to journalists about how his team did on National Signing Day at the University of Miami's Schwartz Center in Coral Gables on Feb. 1, 2017. For the Miami Herald

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday:

▪ UM didn’t use many trick plays last season, but offensive coordinator Thomas Brown envisions freshman receiver DeeJay Dallas as a weapon in that regard.

Because he played quarterback in high school in Georgia, Dallas is equipped to line up as a wildcat quarterback at times, Brown believes. Dallas is one of 10 Class of 2017 early enrollees on UM’s campus.

“Being able to play quarterback in high school shows you can trust him,” Brown said. “He can make some throws at times.

“Obviously being able to line up at different spots [helps]: wildcat quarterback, running back, receiver, help us in special teams. He’s a very versatile player. He’s going to start out on offense and we are going to do our best to keep him there. Very excited about him.”

Dallas can also play safety, and cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph hopes to get him on his side of the ball someday.

Because of his versatility, Dallas compares himself with Green Bay receiver/multitalented weapon Randall Cobb.

▪ So what’s UM getting in Carol City’s Camron Davis, its new four-star Class of 2018 running back commitment?

Here is ESPN’s scouting report:

“STRENGTHS: Small in stature but explosive, sudden and quick through the hole. Has deceptive long speed but overall is quicker than fast. Built low to ground with good lateral jabs and cuts is very difficult to corral. Runs bigger than size.

“AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Size deficient, in need of growth spurt. Would benefit from running with more patience.

“BOTTOM LINE: Davis has the elusiveness and speed combo coaches look for in an all-purpose back. Once he adds more size, he has the potential to be a complete running back at the next level.”

Rivals rates Davis 11th among all running backs. UM’s other oral commitment at the position, Lorenzo Lingard, is rated third.

▪ As for three-star Carol City safety Randy Russell, who also committed Saturday, here’s what ESPN says about him:

“STRENGTHS: Has the speed and range to make plays all over the field. Diagnoses the play quickly and consistently puts himself in good position. Twitchy in transition and gets to top speed in an instant. Looks to punish ball carriers in run support and wraps effectively.

“AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Needs to add some bulk and functional strength. Lacks elite ball skills and body control.

“BOTTOM LINE: Russell has the size, speed and athleticism to excel in both man and zone at the next level. His best football is ahead of him and he should be a quality Power 5 defensive back.”

▪ So far there has been one position switch — Cory Giordano moving from fullback to offensive line. He redshirted as a walk-on last year.

Herald contributor Peter Ariz of caneinsight.com says Michael Jackson is expected to move from corner to safety.

If you missed it during the weekend, here’s a grad transfer cornerback that UM is chasing.

▪  More bad news for University of Charlotte and former UM quarterback Kevin Olsen, who has been charged with second-degree forcible rape and cyberstalking. Here are details.

▪ Four regular-season games left for UM hoops, including a huge one Monday night at Virginia, with both teams entering at 18-8 and 8-6.

UM, firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble, has a very difficult remaining schedule, with Duke on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Coral Gables, at Virginia Tech next Monday and at FSU on March 4.

The fact UM is even in the mix for the Tournament is a testament to this coaching staff, considering UM’s lack of depth, worsened by Ja’Quan Newton’s suspension that ends after the Virginia game.

It’s also a testament to steady Davon Reed, who has had a terrific season, averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and shooting 41.4 percent on threes.

“He should be first-team Academic All American,” Jim Larrañaga said. “He’s our leader on and off the court. He scores, he defends, he rebounds, he shares the ball. He’s a complete player.”

▪ Impressive freshman guard Bruce Brown was operating on less than half a tank last week because of illness, Larrañaga said, but he needs to be big tonight.

Center Rodney Miller has played the least of the four freshmen (just 48 minutes) but Larrañaga said: “When Kamari [Murphy] graduates and Dewan [Huell] can move to the four, you [will be able] to see what Rodney does,” Larrañaga said. “He scores in practice.”

For Dolphins news on Monday, including some eye-opening Jay Ajayi stuff and the latest from Branden Albert’s reps, please click here.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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