A six-pack of UM notes on a Thursday:
▪ All of UM’s 2018 freshman class has now enrolled, with running back Camron Davis’ recent arrival for summer session two.
And Hurricanes director of player personnel Matt Doherty is particularly eager to see one of them when camp starts in August.
“Nesta Silvera,” he told WQAM’s Joe Rose Show earlier this summer. “Nesta Silvera is an animal. He is just a mean dude. I have never met a meaner high schooler in my life. I love that about him. No BS in his body. He just wants to kick somebody’s ass. That can get a little abrasive [but not on the field]. I can’t wait to see him in pads.”
Silvera, out of American Heritage in Plantation, had been committed to UM for many months but didn’t sign until early February — six weeks after most of UM’s class signed — and flirted with the Gators late in the process.
“It was all by design,” Doherty said of concern about Silvera wavering at the end. “He was doing it just to mess with us. He got us
a little bit nervous there.”
Doherty told Rose that “I don’t see a scenario in which a majority of the players we signed in December and February don’t get meaningful [playing time] ... immediately.”
▪ Expectations for UM 6-6 freshman defensive end Gregory Rousseau have been heightened after he produced nine sacks in three spring scrimmages, including the spring game.
But left tackle Tyree St. Louis cautioned that Rousseau didn’t go up against him in the spring and mostly was matched against younger offensive tackles.
“He’s very young, very raw, but so are the other guys [he faced in practice],” St. Louis said. “You can’t teach size. He’s tall and fast and really young. Once he learns how to use his body, he will be really great.”
▪ Doherty told Rose that the Dade/Broward contingent of 2019 recruits is “really, really good.”
He said the strength of the local class of recruits has changed during this cycle.
“Last year, it was very defensive back heavy,” he said. “This year, it’s d-line and linebackers and especially down here it’s very surprising. Kind of an anomaly to have so many great d-linemen in the tri-county area. We hit this cycle in just the right time. We’re going to replenish those positions. It’s good timing for us.”
If you missed this Wednesday, here’s my in-depth look at UM’s group of oral commitments for 2019 and the Canes’ remaining targets.
▪ Among the questions Mark Richt was asked during a question and answer session in one of his spring tour stops upstate: You have been telling us that UM has a chance to become a championship team. So when will Miami become an Alabama or Ohio State?
Richt answered that UM didn’t have enough championship players when he arrived but then listed a bunch of players on this roster who he believes are championship caliber — from Jaquan Johnson to Shaq Quarterman and several others.
He also noted the need for UM players to stay in school and bypass the NFL, though he always gives underclassmen an honest assessment of their pro chances.
He also said Malik Rosier is the starter for now (before the start of camp), and the belief inside the team is that Rosier is going to start, according to someone with direct knowledge.
▪ New UM baseball coach Gino DiMare faces immense challenges taking over for Jim Morris as baseball coach, particularly because UM’s high tuition costs make it difficult to lure some quality prospects who opt for cheaper schools instead.
“Private schools are screwed unless they have a big endowment like Virginia and Vanderbilt,” said longtime UM Board of Trustee member Paul DiMare, Gino’s father and a highly respected figure on campus.
“We don’t have a big endowment. A half scholarship to UM is $34,000 a year, and you have 11.7 scholarships in baseball to split among all the players. At UF and FSU, you pay $3000 or nothing [if you signed up for an in-state tuition program].
“It’s the biggest challenge we’re facing. It’s wrong. It’s not equal. This is a serious problem. Jim Morris has been at a terrible disadvantage because tuition keeps going up. Gino says they all want to come until you tell them the tuition. You have to sell them on the university and the baseball program and [the fact they would get] a good education.”
▪ A bunch of former Canes players are here in Las Vegas for Summer League: San Antonio’s Lonnie Walker (has had some good moments this week), Detroit’s Bruce Brown (rebounding well but has struggled with his shot early on), Phoenix’s Davon Reed (averaged 3.0 points in 21 games as a rookie), Dallas’ Manu Lecomte (finished his career at Baylor), Golden State’s Rion Brown (still trying to crack the NBA), Trey-McKinney Jones (playing with Walker for the Spurs) and Brooklyn’s Kamari Murphy.