Barry Jackson

A former Cane great will be on the opposite sideline this weekend. And he’s fine with it

Former American football coach and quarterback Ken Dorsey is the assistant FIU athletic director seen on the sidelines as FIU hosts the University of Massachusetts at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Dorsey played college football for the University of Miami, where he was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist.
Former American football coach and quarterback Ken Dorsey is the assistant FIU athletic director seen on the sidelines as FIU hosts the University of Massachusetts at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Dorsey played college football for the University of Miami, where he was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday:

There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM this century than Ken Dorsey, who was under center the last time Miami won a national title, in January 2002.

But Dorsey, now FIU’s assistant athletic director, will be on the opposing sideline when UM plays FIU at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.

So will there by mixed emotions for Dorsey, who was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 2013?

“No,” he said after attending a Miami Dolphins practice last month. “I love where I’m at and very fortunate to be where I’m at.”

Dorsey confirmed UM – which had no opening – never reached out to him after he was dismissed as the Carolina Panthers’ quarterbacks coach this past offseason. Dorsey instead joined FIU.

Dorsey said he’s not “closing any doors on coaching. I love coaching. The last few years, where I was at, were great. I love being on the field and game planning.

“But the administrative side has been great. FIU and coach [Butch] Davis and [athletic director] Pete Garcia actively reached out and wanted me to come there and that made the decision easy.”

NY155__HEISMAN_DORSEY.JPG.JPEG
Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey (11) fires a pass during the first half of their 41-16 win over Florida in Gainesville, Fla., in this Sept, 7, 2002 photo. SCOTT AUDETTE SCOTT AUDETTE

Mark Richt remains committed to his son Jon as UM’s QB coach, so there was no possibility of Dorsey being hired by UM this past offseason.

In his five seasons being coached by Dorsey, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had one exceptional year (35 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 99.4 rating in 2015) but struggled last season (22, 16, 80.7 rating).

There will other faces familiar to Canes fans on FIU’s sideline, starting with FIU and former UM coach Davis. Also on Davis’ staff: former UM receivers coach Aubrey Hill, former UM track star Tim Harris Jr., and former UM defensive end Kenny Holmes.

Mark Richt, speaking on Joe Rose’s WQAM show on Monday, gave scouting reports on his top two running backs.

He said DeeJay Dallas is “a real patient runner, kind of picks his spots, hits it when it’s supposed to be hit, finds a crease and goes. He’s finishing runs better. Last year he didn’t finish runs the way we wanted.”

He said Travis Homer “can burst, knock people back. He made some great runs where first down we blocked for two [and] he gets four. … It’s nice to be able to call plays when those types of things are happening. It starts with the line, but those backs have to finish the runs.”

Quick stuff: ESPN2 has decided to keep Andre Ware (and play-by-play man Kevin Brown) on Saturday’s UM-FIU game even though Ware angered some UM people and players by incorrectly accusing Jaquan Johnson of faking an injury in the Toledo game... Beyond leading UM in receptions (11) and receiving yards (304), Jeff Thomas ranks first in the nation in yards-per-reception at an absurd 27.6.... Richt, to WQAM on young tight ends Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory: “They are still learning, making mistakes here and there. But we’re so thankful we got them.”

If you missed it, UM got an oral commitment on Friday from Brooklyn (NY) Poly Prep three-star defensive end Jason Blissett, rated by Rivals as the No. 3 prospect in New York for 2019 and the No. 44 defensive end. He chose UM over Wake Forest, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas A&M and Minnesota.

UM has 17 oral commitments for 2019, and Rivals.com ranks the Hurricanes’ class 20th.

UM basketball people like what they have seen from Florida Gulf Coast transfer Zach Johnson, a 6-2 senior guard who “can shoot and has a toughness about it,” according to one Canes staffer.

Jim Larranaga and his staff have an interesting decision on the fifth starting spot alongside Dewan Huell, Chris Lykes, Anthony Lawrence and DJ Vasiljevic.

The options are starting Lawrence at small forward and Huell at power forward and starting Ebuka Izundu at center.

The other option: going smaller and starting Huell at center and Lawrence at power forward and starting another wing player (along with Lykes and Vasiljevic) from a group including transfers Johnson, Anthony Mack (the Wyoming transfer) or Miles Wilson (the Mt. Saint Mary’s transfer).

“Dewan can defend fives [centers],” the UM staffer said. “We have to be prepared to play both ways.”

This is my fourth post today. Please click here for my two Dolphins story and one Heat story today.

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