A few days after their first scrimmage and 12 days into camp overall, things are really coming together for UM.
Will it lead to the successful season Miami fans are so desperately want?
Time will tell.
But based on everything we've seen and heard so far, here are some thoughts as the September 5th opener Vs Bethune Cookman creeps closer:
#1 DT/NT Kendrick Norton is going to be a factor this season.
This could be an incredibly pertinent development, as the Hurricanes defense has long lacked a force in the middle. Calvin Heurtelou, Michael Wyche, and Coutel Jenkins most likely starts the season ahead of Norton. But the imposing freshman reportedly had "multiple sacks" and a forced fumble in Miami's 1st scrimmage. If he can keep up that kind of production, it could be huge for Mark D'Onofrio's defense.
#2 David Njoku is no longer a LB.
Remember last summer when the 'Canes were trying him out at LB? After an impressive red zone TD in last week's scrimmage, neither do we.
#3 The top 3 wide outs right now are Stacy Coley, Rashawn Scott, and Herb Waters.
But everyone else is getting long looks. And this is a deep and talented group.
#4 The Offensive Line is doing well yet is anything but settled, and 10-12 players could see time but here is our projected starting line-up anyway:
LT Trevor Darling
LG Alex Gall
C Nick Linder
RG Danny Isiadora
RT Kc McDermott
#5 Brad Kaaya is the undisputed leader on the team.
Kaaya sends daily messages to each offensive group on the team.
Waters' favorite message from Brad: "We go through a lot of adversity, but it's the tough teams that stick together and come out on top."
Raphael Kirby would be next in line as the player commanding the most respect in the locker room.
#6 Overrated or not, the team is a lot closer as a unit than in past seasons.
UF transfer Gerald Willis comparing this squad to Florida:
"The difference is this team, I just feel like it's more like a family," Willis said. "This team I feel something special's going to happen. I wish I could be part of it this year, but I'll wait for my turn next year."
#7 Willis is going to be special next year.
Tweets like the one below have been commonplace from 'Canes Camp.
Gerald Willis just abused Nick Linder in a drill— Canes Warning (@CanesWarningFS) August 7, 2015
#8 Trayone Gray is going to have a couple of long TD runs this season.
Joe Yearby, Mark Walton, and Gus Edwards may get the bulk of the carries this season at tailback, but when Gray comes in with fresh legs, especially if/when facing a tired D, watch out. Gray reportedly broke a 70 yard TD in UM's first scrimmage.
#9 Malik Rosier is going to get some looks in the read option.
Rosier reportedly ran a 4.6 40 this off season, and is having a very strong camp by all indications.
#10 The 4th CB spot is still up for grabs, but I think freshman Sheldrick Redwine wins it.
Ryan Mayes has been banged up. And Redwine appears to be making the most of his reps.
Canes S Dallas Crawford on Sheldrick Redwine: "He just got here and he's hittin' every time he gets a chance. He's hitting everybody."— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) August 11, 2015
#11 Banged up defenders Al-Quadin Muhammad and Juwon Young are having quiet camps.
You can never blame a player for an injury, and it's still early, but the Hurricanes need both guys to get healthy and step up for the front 7 to reach it's full potential. Especially AQM.
#12 Al Golden and the staff as a whole feel a sense of urgency.
Of course, AG would never admit it. And to his credit he stresses his team ignore "outside noise." But the vibe around camp seems more intense. And of course at this stage of the game, it should.
Here's yesterday's practice report, courtesy 'Canes All Access:
Miami does not practice today, but for all the doings around the program keep an eye on the updates below:
Stay tuned for more Camp Updates right here on SOTU.