Barry Jackson

Here’s what an NFL executive says about UM’s talent. And UM-FSU bypassed for prime time

A six-pack of University of Miami Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday:

One NFL executive said this will be a weak group of Hurricanes draft prospects, even if defensive end Jon Garvin, running back DeeJay Dallas and cornerback Trajan Bandy bypass their senior years and turn pro.

That executive considers Dallas, who is a junior, to be the Canes’ best draft-eligible prospect and said he could be a fourth-rounder. Dallas must decide whether to turn pro after the season.

He said senior linebackers Shaq Quarterman and Mike Pinckney are late-round players, with speed the concern with Quarterman.

He said Garvin and Bandy would be third-day picks, with defensive end Trevon Hill also figuring in that range. And the executive said Jeff Thomas might go undrafted because of off-field issues, combined with decent-but-not-exceptional production this season.

As I noted on Twitter (@flasportsbuzz), I never thought I would see the day where an SMU-Memphis game was chosen over UM-FSU for ABC’s marquee prime time slot, as will be the case this weekend.

That’s a byproduct of the state of the UM and FSU programs, combined with the fact that SMU is 8-0 and Memphis is 7-1.

Lead announcing team Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call the SMU game, and Bob Wischusen and Dan Orlovsky will work the UM game.

UM-FSU routinely was played in the afternoon during the glory years for both programs, but that was long before ABC or CBS had a prime-time college football package that’s typically reserved for the most attractive games.

Defensive end Greg Rousseau is tied for 10th in the nation with eight sacks after three more on Saturday, and Diaz told WQAM: “Greg is really coming into his own. My favorite thing about the plays he made on Saturday were the relentless nature of his three sacks.

“Greg on all three plays had to disengage with his rusher, come off, [Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett] starts to scramble, he gets him on the ground.”

The snap counts at defensive end have changed considerably since the season started. Rousseau played 53 snaps against Pittsburgh, while Scott Patchan (who was the starter for the first month) logged just 19. Garvin played 49 and Hill 37.

Though receiver Brian Hightower told UM people he wanted to be closer to his family in California, some UM people believe he left primarily because he wants to play more.

UM has lost four players to transfer since late August, and UM wants that to change, though I’m not sure how that can happen.

As part of that goal, Diaz said in recruiting a focus is on “mental makeup.”

“There has to be some sort of bond,” Diaz told WQAM. “When you worry about yourself, you normally don’t make the plays you want to. Being a good teammate, doing the scheme, the plays come. You have to have guys feel that connection, that everybody needs everybody.”

One thing UM is convinced about: These freshmen defensive tackles — Jason Blissett, Jared Harrison-Hunte and Jalar Holley — are all going to be really good.

“All three are ultra-talented - they’re going to be huge,” defensive coordinator Blake Baker said. ”I think all three of those guys will have phenomenal careers here.”

Those three freshmen remain on track to redshirt, as you defensive end Jahfari Harvey, receiver Jeremiah Payton, tight end Larry Hodges, safety Keontra Smith and quarterback Peyton Matocha.

Quick stuff: UM loves how cornerback DJ Ivey rebounded from a tough game against Georgia Tech. He had two interceptions against Pittsburgh. “DJ, to see a kid that did not panic from all the negativity surrounding him outside these walls, bounced back, showed his maturation,” Baker said.

UM baseball coach Gino DiMare will be the guest speaker at the Miami Baseball Forum luncheon on Nov. 6 at Duffy’s Sports Grill (8575 S.W. 124th Ave.) For information about attending, contact Red Berry at berrys11@comcast.net or call Red Berry at (305) 321-2931. Former Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell will be the guest on Nov. 20.

We’ll miss former UM athletic director Sam Jankovich, a good man and one of the best sports administrators in our market’s history. Jankovich, who died this week at 84, shared his thoughts about how how coaching searches should be conducted in this 2015 interview, days before Mark Richt was hired.

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