UM introduces their 25th football coach, Manny Diaz
Some Canes notes on a Monday:
One takeaway from players at Manny Diaz’s initial team meeting Sunday night: This is going to be different from the Mark Richt regime, with less tolerance for missteps. And players will be more accountable for their teammates’ behavior than ever before.
Some of what we’re hearing, from close associates who were briefed by players after the Sunday evening session:
Diaz named a bunch of designated leaders — primarily respected upperclassmen — and those players will look after the players that they select to join them in their groups.
Players who commit violations — tardiness and far worse — will be subject to discipline, with pushing a weighted sled the most minor of the disciplinary consequences.
The appointed leaders are expected to carefully watch over those players on their “teams,” monitor their missteps, make sure they’re not slacking in their workouts or anything else and take ownership of their groups. Ultimately, the group leader will be held accountable if there are repeated missteps by somebody in their group.
Each leader and his group of players will be situated close to each other in the locker room and, ideally, work out together.
This all feeds into the belief, held by some coaches, that the best locker rooms are the ones where players police their teammates.
It was made clear to players in the meeting that nobody has won a starting job for next season. Everything will be a competition.
Another takeaway: These coaches are “very serious,” as one player conveyed. One UM person predicted there will be greater respect — or fear — of Diaz’s discipline than Richt’s.
Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, who visited UM on Sunday, is hardly the only quarterback the Canes are vigorously pursuing.
Coveted Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell plans to visit UM, according to multiple reports.
[UPDATE: Martell flew to Miami on Monday for a visit, according to 247sports.]
Martell reportedly visited West Virginia on Sunday. 247sports reports he will visit Louisville this week after visiting Miami and then will make a decision by next week.
UM badly wants Martell, a former four-star prospect and US Army All American who was 43-0 as starting quarterback at Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High, which is the alma mater of UM tight end Brevin Jordan and new UM addition Bubba Bolden, the former Southern California safety.
Martell threw for 7,507 yards and 113 touchdowns and nine interceptions in high school, while also rushing for 2,294 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Martell redshirted as a freshman and played in blowouts this past season, backing up Ohio State starter Dwayne Haskins, and finished 23 for 28 for 269 yards and a touchdown pass. He also ran for 128 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
After Ohio State’s 28-23 victory over Washington in the Rose Bowl, Martell said he had not transferred partly because of affection for his teammates. But now he’s pursuing that avenue after Ohio State lured highly regarded quarterback transfer Justin Fields from Georgia.
Whereas Hurts will be eligible to play in 2019, Martell — if he transfers — couldn’t play until 2020.
▪ Mississippi-based three-star quarterback John Rys Plumlee told Rivals’s Chad Simmons that he will visit Miami next weekend.
Plumlee is a Georgia nonbinding commitment but is reconsidering his options after learning Georgia will blue shirt him. USA Today explains blue shirting this way:
“Blue shirt rules allow for unrecruited players to be awarded a scholarship at the start of freshman practice. Like a red shirt, they will practice with the team but won’t be allowed to play for a year.”
Plumlee visited Mississippi State over the weekend and also will visit Mississippi and perhaps Duke and FSU.
“I will go to Miami this upcoming weekend, and I just want to see what it is like,” he told Simmons. “They really started contacting me right after I did not sign in the Early Signing Period. They have new coaches and I want to see what it is like. I know coach [Dan] Enos is there now and I just want to see what Miami has to offer….
“I am really just weighing all of my options right now. I have not thought about when I will make up my mind for sure on Georgia or things like that yet. I am just not thinking that far ahead. Right now, I am still committed to Georgia. I am just taking my visits and seeing how things go at other places. I would like to take all five official visits.”
Meanwhile, UM remains interested in four-star Class of 2020 Jacksonville-based quarterback prospect Carson Beck, rated by Rivals as the 12th-best quarterback in that class. He’s an Alabama commitment but developed a relationship with new UM offensive coordinator Dan Enos before Enos left his job as the Crimson Tide’s quarterback coach.
As for Hurts, he’s expected to choose among UM, Maryland and Oklahoma.