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'Canes Camp Day 4: Notes/Quotes

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Courtesy UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Hurricanes defense won a second straight session of #CanesCamp, but head coach Mark Richt saw a much more even battle Sunday morning on the Greentree Practice Fields.

"Another nice, smoky, hot, humid day in south Florida. It was awesome. Today, like I told the team after practice, we're doing the right things,” Richt said. “We're practicing with the right kind of effort and attitude. I thought the offense competed better today. If you would have kept score, like we did, the defense would have had the upper hand in the scoring, but a lot closer competition today, a lot more fight from the offense.”

Three young wide receivers have helped make an impact in the early going of fall camp – redshirt sophomore Dayall Harris and true freshmen Sam Bruce and Ahmmon Richards.

“I wouldn't say in the whole receiver group no one had speed [in spring practice], but as a group, we didn't have that much speed,” Richt said. “Now we have more guys that can run and really be competitive, and test our defensive backs. We're doing a lot better.

In Richards, wide receivers coach Ron Dugans sees a young player with significant potential.

"He has a good skillset. He can run - that's one thing that he can do,” Dugans said. “He's a shifty kid, a great kid that has good ball skills. I think he's going to be a really good player for us.”

Though the newcomers have made an impact, Richt said not to forget about Malcolm Lewis, a leader in the group.

“Malcolm has really practiced well in the spring and the fall,” Richt said. “I think he's a very good player, and I think he is a guy we're going to have to count on this year, and I think he'll do well for us. He's a senior in there as well. I think he leads by example."

Another newcomer – fullback Marquez Williams, who arrived from Mars Hill University in North Carolina – has been a key contributor in Miami’s ‘21’ package, Richt said.

“The package that we run, he’s picking it up pretty well,” Richt said. “But it's kind of what he has done his entire career…they did a good job coaching him at Mars Hill."

Williams has enjoyed the move to Coral Gables.

"The transition has been great,” he said. “The coaches, players, everyone at Miami has made this transition [great]. This is where I thought I would be. This is like a second home."



Read on for post-practice commentary from student-athletes & staff after Day 4 of #CanesCamp:


Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement...

"Another nice, smoky, hot, humid day in south Florida. It was awesome. Today, like I told the team after practice, we're doing the right things. We're practicing with the right kind of effort and attitude. I thought the offense competed better today. If you would have kept score, like we did, the defense would have had the upper hand in the scoring, but a lot closer competition today, a lot more fight from the offense.

“Before the last break I was really encouraged, because guys were really just fighting the heat and playing hard as heck, physical - all the things you want. Then at the end, it tapered just a tad. I might have given them too many breaks, I probably should have just kept going. But I wanted to keep them hydrated and keep them safe. Considering this smoking hot heat and humidity, I think we might have had one guy have an I.V. for dehydration on the whole team. That's a pretty good indication of how hard they worked this summer and what a good job our strength & conditioning coaches and nutritionist did. My hats off to them."

On the collective speed of the receiver group, which was mentioned during the spring….

"We have good game competitive speed now, especially for our number two unit on defense. We had a few guys - I wouldn't say in the whole receiver group no one had speed - but as a group, we didn't have that much speed. Now we have more guys that can run and really be competitive, and test our defensive backs. We're doing a lot better. Hopefully we'll continue to recruit well and get more guys. We don't have enough still, but we have more than we had."

On the leadership within the receiver group…

"I'd have you ask Coach Dugans, he's in there every day. I don't really know for sure. One kid, Malcolm Lewis, is kind of under the radar to me a little bit. He has really practiced well in the spring and the fall. I think he's a very good player, and I think he is a guy we're going to have to count on this year, and I think he'll do well for us. He's a senior in there as well. I think he leads by example."

On what he has seen in the play of wide receiver Stacy Coley…

"Him, and everyone else, just pushing a little bit harder and longer than maybe they're used to. This is a team thing, not a Stacy thing in particular, but a lot of times you're running a deep ball and in the end, the defensive back and the receiver go to the ground because the ball was short or somehow they get tangled up. Now, guys are starting to pop up off the ground and hustle back and run the next play, instead of laying there and assessing whether they're too tired or something hurts. Just get up and come back to the huddle and play another down. We're doing a lot better in that area as a team."

On fullback Marquez Williams, and his ability to pick up the offense…

"First of all, it's not going to be super complicated for him. He is in our '21' package, which is two receivers, a tight end and two backs - a true fullback and a true tailback. We'll run other personnel groups that don't even have a fullback in the game. The package that we run – ’21 - he is picking it up pretty good. But it's kind of what he has done his entire career at Mars Hill. They did a good job coaching him at Mars Hill."

On how the staff identified Marquez Williams, who transferred from Mars Hill…

"I think it was my son Jon's relationship to Mars Hill - that's where he went to college. He knows all the coaches there. I don't know if Marquez was there right when Jon was ready to leave, because he was a four-year guy. I'm not even sure he was there all four years. But somehow there is a connection there, and, believe it or not, he was also at a local high school in Athens. That's where he is from. I don't even remember him in high school, but I sure remember him when I watched his film from the Mars Hill days."

On if Marquez Williams is actually capable of cleaning 381 pounds in the weight room…

"If it's on video - that's one thing about [strength coach] Gus [Felder]. A lot of times strength numbers can get exaggerated and all that. Gus, he videos everything we do. If somebody says he didn't get that quite big of a clean or a squat or whatever it is, he videos every one of them. If anybody wants to say, ‘Oh, that isn’t real,’ just look at the tape. It's on the video, it's hard to fake it."

On if Marquez Williams is the strongest player on the team…

"You'd have to ask Gus. I would be shocked if anybody was stronger than him."

On what he did in the offseason to prepare for his return in play-calling responsibilities…

"Memorize. Just memorizing formations, protections, plays in general. Codenames, hand signals. I made flashcards. I made my wife give me flash cards, so I can remember all the code names and stuff. I wanted to be able to spit it out, and keep the tempo. If I'm asking the guys to have tempo, I better have tempo, and I better be right."


Wide Receivers Coach Ron Dugans

On the play of the team’s younger receivers – Dayall Harris, Ahmmon Richards and Sam Bruce…

"Talking about the young receivers, it's been a process. The guys have bought in. I'm really pleased with how they've come out and worked. Dayall Harris, Ahmmon Richads and Sam Bruce, they've been coming out and competing. We're trying to get them to play at a high level, and like I said before, it's going to be a process getting those guys there. We're taking it a day at a time, but it's been fun, seeing guys compete on the perimeter in the run game, in the pass game and in one-on-ones catching the football against the defensive backs. It has been really good. I think they bring something to the table. I think those guys can help us."

On the play of senior Malcolm Lewis…

"I challenged Malcolm. I told him we expect bigger things out of him - being a veteran, being around for some years, being around this university. I feel like he can bring something to the table for us. He competes, he has good ball skills. The kid has good speed. He does some really good things. He has caught the ball well for us this fall camp, and I'm excited about him. He has done some things on the kickoff return team. I'm pleased with what he's doing right now. The kid is out there competing. I'm excited about Malcolm."

On the play of freshman Ahmmon Richards...

"He has a good skillset. He can run. That's one thing that he can do. He's a shifty kid. A great kid that has good ball skills. I think he's going to be a really good player for us. He is still young, still has to get some strength and conditioning. But he brings a lot to the table for us, as far as stretching the football field. He's explosive when he catches the football."

On the play of senior Stacy Coley…

"Stacy has been working. He's trying to be more of a leader. I challenged him and said, 'Look, you have to lead. I'm the coach - yeah, I coach you guys, get you motivated and everything - but this is your segment. What's our identity?’ I want him to be one of the leaders in that room. He sprung a long run in the run game yesterday [with a block], then came back the next play and got put on his butt. I was kind of excited about that, just let him know that this is a physical ballgame. He has made some plays down the field for us. He's doing good. I'm pleased with him so far."


Wide Receiver Dayall Harris

On what he thinks he is capable of doing this season…

“I’m looking forward to coming in and doing pretty good. Right now, I am looking to get better in camp. I had an off day today.”

On what he brings to the wide receiver group…

“I bring more depth, because we need receivers. I’m just trying to play physical, go over the top of guys and be the player I am.”

On the biggest adjustment from junior college to Miami…

“The pace. Picking up the pace and going full speed every time and every rep. You have to get back in the groove of it.”

On what wide receivers coach Ron Dugans is emphasizing with him in camp…

“Finishing. On some runs, he will catch me loafing because I know it’s a run. I’ll come off and block, but then let go of the block. He just wants to see me finishing more.”


Fullback Marquez Williams

On the transition from Mars Hill to Miami…

"The transition has been great. The coaches, players, everyone at Miami has made this transition [great]. This is where I thought I would be. This is like a second home."

On how he ended up at Miami….

"I had just graduated, was graduating in May. I played with Jon [Richt] at Mars Hill. I reached out to him, and had an extra year of eligibility because I graduated in four years. It was actually the Thursday of the week I was graduating when Coach Richt called me. I had sent Jon my film, they evaluated it, and Coach Richt called me and told me that they'd like me to be a part of the Hurricanes. I took it."


On his reaction to receiving an offer to join Miami from Coach Richt…

"It was crazy. I grew up a Bulldogs fan. Coach Richt was the only coach at Georgia ever since I've been a fan. Getting that call from him, I had to ask him if it was really him because I was in such shock. He told me it was really him. After I got off the phone with him, I shed a tear. I called my mom and she was excited. My whole family was really excited. It was great."

On his work in the weight room…

"You have to start from somewhere. I had great coaches in high school, great coaches at Mars Hill and obviously great coaches here. Coach Gus [Felder] has been doing a tremendous job with us in the weight room, just every day coming out and trying to get better, trying to help our teammates get better. They push me just as much as I try to push them."


Defensive Back Jamal Carter

On what he sees from the defense…

“Everybody is learning, we’re all trying to learn the playbook, but it seems that everybody has it down pat. Everybody is moving, playing fast and we’re just having fun out there.”

On what he wanted to improve on for this season…

“My football instincts - playing the game fast and calm, just having fun out there.”

On the cornerback unit…

“They’re good, they seem like they’re having fun. They’re fast, they all can cover well, and they all come up to tackle.”


Linebacker Jamie Gordinier

On teammate Marquez Williams…

“He’s a great addition to this team. We needed a big physical fullback in this offense, so it’s been great so far.”

On his biggest difference from last season to this season…

“Obviously physical things, like putting on weight and getting stronger, faster. Also studying the game more, breaking things down and watching more film.”

On the team’s young linebackers…

“They look great. It’s really good competition having them out there, and everyone’s getting their chance.”