Hurricanes players greet fans after spring game
A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday:
▪ You know when you will know the Hurricanes are really back? When these numbers are reversed:
Over the last five drafts, check out the number of first-round picks — particularly high picks — from the elite teams of college football:
Alabama has 11, including eight in the top 20.
Ohio State has 12, including four in the top 10.
Clemson has seven, including four in the top 12.
UM has four, all picked in the 20s (Artie Burns, Philip Dorsett, David Njoku) except Ereck Flowers (ninth in 2015).
The program that used to be known as “Quarterback U” hasn’t had one drafted before the sixth round in, shockingly, 27 years, since Craig Erickson was plucked in the fourth in 1992.
UM hasn’t had an offensive playmaker (running back, receiver, tight end) selected in the first half of the first round since Kellen Winslow Jr. went sixth in 2004.
But UM offensive coordinator Dan Enos believes his system is going to prepare players for the NFL.
“I believe the offense we run allows these guys a chance to develop and be really good here and give them a chance at the next level,” Enos said at a Pinecrest Tribune luncheon this week. “Our system is very much an NFL-style passing games and concepts. We have adjustable routes. We have very detailed [routes] on our shallow crosses. We have middle reads, fade reads, seam reads. We have a lot of things adjustable and things that take time.”
▪ One thing Enos has emphasized to his quarterbacks: Don’t be concerned with matching what the other guy just did.
“And I tell them, ‘You don’t get graded [by comparison],”” Enos told two reporters after the luncheon. “If the other guy just threw a post route for a touchdown, it’s not, ‘Let’s match him.’ If you throw a post route, it might get intercepted because it’s a different coverage.
“You just have to do whatever the play is you’re in and make the right decision. Don’t try to match the other guys. Don’t try to do something outside of your skill set. Don’t be Superman. Just do what the offense requires you to do. I think the guy that can do that consistently is going to be the guy [who gets the job] because he’s going to build trust with everybody.”
▪ Diaz wants to remain in touch with Mark Richt, and the fact Diaz fired Richt’s son — Jon — and every other offensive assistant apparently has not made it awkward.
“The one part that hasn’t changed is we’re really good friends,” Diaz said. “What an amazing thing for me to have someone like him with a wealth of experience who cares very deeply about the Hurricanes that I can call on at any time. He has given us a springboard to where this program needs to go in a lot of ways; we’re very indebted to him for that.”
▪ UM continues to pursue Las Vegas players, with five-star tight end Darnell Washington the latest. Washington has visited UM, Florida, Auburn and Alabama and told Rivals: “Miami is beautiful outside of football. Pretty much the message was they’d use me like every other tight end, flexing out. They have that new coach so I’m waiting to see how they develop and see how their season turns out.”
After landing Brevin Jordan from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, UM added two former Vegas high school players through the transfer market in Tate Martell and Bubba Bolden….
Georgia-based Class of 2021 pro-style quarterback Carlos Del Rio has UM among his half dozen contenders.
▪ Draft stuff: Arizona was the one NFL team that brought in both Gerald Willis and Joe Jackson on “30” predraft visits. Those two also visited other teams, with Dallas continuing to have interest in Willis… The Rams are intrigued by Sheldrick Redwine and brought him in for a visit…
Based on metrics, Pro Football Focus rates Redwine ahead of his high school and college teammate, Jaquan Johnson, among safeties and it wouldn’t be shocking if Redwine goes before Johnson. It was interesting that Johnson had only 12 passes thrown at him in coverage last season, per PFF, and nine were caught (for 55 yards) while two of the other three were incomplete. Redwine allowed 15 of 25 targets to be caught for 141 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions… Pittsburgh and Houston like Travis Homer and brought him in on “30” visits.
▪ With the addition of Harlond Beverly to a class including Isaiah Wong and Anthony Walker, UM’s 2019 basketball class is now rated 25th by 247sports.
Meanwhile, coach Jim Larranaga likes the addition of UF transfer Keith Stone, the forward who started 39 games for the Gators and is eligible immediately: “He is a dynamic forward with a soft shooting touch and a strong inside game.”
But because of his torn ACL in January, it’s questionable whether Stone will be ready for the start of the season.
UM now has three scholarships left; the Canes would be fine with using one on a transfer who must sit out a year.