Barry Jackson

UM’s Richt previously told Rosier: “You won’t play for me”; UM notes

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (12) runs for a fourth quarter touchdown as they play the Toledo Rockets at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, September 23, 2017.
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (12) runs for a fourth quarter touchdown as they play the Toledo Rockets at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, September 23, 2017. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday night:

• Mark Richt offered great insight into starting quarterback Malik Rosier on WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline on Monday night, telling Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey Jr. that there were moments where he told Rosier, in the past, that he wouldn’t get on the field for Richt.

“When Brad Kaaya was here, it’s pretty much understood that Kaaya was the man,” Richt said. “I think everybody knew that. And when you’re second team sometimes it’s hard to continue to compete and it’s hard to have that focus. ‘It’s not my time.’ He had a little bit of that mentality, which is kind of normal. It’s abnormal to compete like a mad man the entire time. I think that hurt him in his preparation year one.

“When Kaaya left, he had a better understanding of what my son Jon and I want. He rose to that level of concentration, of focus, of being good with your footwork, being good with your reads and progressions, being disciplined in how you play the game and not just making up your own stuff. If something goes bad, don’t turn a bad play into a catastrophe. And he took all that to heart. It was a big difference from what he was doing to what he became.

“There were moments where I told him, ‘You won’t play for me.’

“But he, to his credit, has done a great job of turning that around and changing my mind because I was like, ‘I doubt this guy can play’ because of those types of things. But he really turned it around. He’s not perfect by any means but he’s really done a great job.”

Richt said “the guys are understanding that Malik really does know what he’s doing, he’s got the ability to do it and it’s time to trust him.”

Richt said “people that have been around him in the program in the past, they actually said, when he knew he was the guy, even in the Duke game two years ago, he was a different guy. Malik is a fun-loving guy. He’s a social guy.

“I think he likes to be liked, like everybody else. But when you’re the quarterback, sometimes you have to just worry about doing your job and doing it the right way and giving some tough love if you need to, to a lineman or receiver or whoever once in a while. He really has proved he can lock in and focus when it’s time to.”

• Defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski told Zagacki and Bailey that freshman defensive end Jonathan Garvin, who got second team snaps Saturday against Toledo, “has been a very, very pleasant surprise. Very coachable kid, very talented kid. He's smart and hard working. I was really pleased with the way he played. He rotated in the second team spot, behind Joe Jackson.”

Kuligowski said defensive tackle Jon Ford (who arrived in mid August) and defensive end D.J. Johnson (who arrived in June) “weren’t afforded the time [early arrival] Jonathan Garvin had in spring ball and here all summer. It’s taken them a little longer to pick up stuff. They both have unbelievable [ability]. Both are tough kids and hard working kids.”

• Anthony Moten, who made a key third down stop just before UM began its 28-0 run in the second half against Toledo, played his best game on Saturday, Kuligowski said. “He has what it takes to be a very good player,” Kuligowski said.

• Kuligowski also told WQAM that Richard McIntosh Jr. played very well Saturday - “was great to see him flying around and using his athletic ability the way he can” - and Trent Harris, who had two sacks in the game, “is a great pass rusher.”

• Offensive line coach Stacy Searels noted that Duke, which plays UM at 7 p.m. Friday on ESPN, ranks tied for fourth in the nation in sacks (15) and top five in run defense.

Duke (4-0) is allowing only 65.3 yards per game on the ground, No. 2 in the nation behind Minnesota.

“They do a lot of movement up front that can cause you to fall off a block,” Searels said. “We've got to be extremely disciplined thi week.”

Duke has beaten North Carolina Central, Northwestern, Baylor and at North Carolina.

• Richt loves what he has seen from Travis Homer.

“Travis has been showing us - running the ball, physical, good pass protector, has good hands,” Richt said.

Plus, Richt said he remains UM’s top player on coverage teams on special teams.

Here’s my post from earlier Monday with some interesting Dolphins metrics, plus a Lawrence Timmons update... Here’s most everything Erik Spoelstra had to say in his Monday morning press conference on the eve of the start of Heat training camp... And here’s some eye-opening stuff from Justise Winslow at Heat media day on Monday.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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