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Miami Hurricanes Football: Spring Practice day 1 Report & interviews

Several Canes players spoke after Tuesday’s practice. Hear what they had to say.

NCAA Football: Miami at Appalachian State Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes opened Spring Practice on Tuesday morning. Coach Mark Richt spoke after practice, and you can read his comments here:

Here is the Day 1 practice report, courtesy of UM Athletics:

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – It’s football season in Coral Gables.

The Miami Hurricanes hit the Greentree Practice Fields Tuesday for their first of 15 spring practices in preparation for the 2017 season.

Now in his second year at the helm, head coach Mark Richt said that, in comparison to last year’s first spring practice, Tuesday’s morning session was a breeze - in more ways than one.

“It was a beautiful day,” Richt said. “It started out a little bit cool and then it did get warm at the end…the weather really cooperated with us.”

Richt said the difference was evident in the practice habits developed by players now in their second year in his system.

“Like I told the team after practice, you can tell who the veterans are and you can tell who knows how to practice. You can tell the guys who are in shape and you can tell the guys who know what to do,” Richt said. “It’s very obvious who the mid-year guys are, as far as knowing how to practice and knowing what to do.”

Defensive lineman Kendrick Norton agreed with Richt’s assessment, and said the comfort level was evident in returning players.

“[Freshman] have guys in front of them to show them how to do it,” Norton said. “Last year nobody had that, because everybody was a freshman last spring.”

One of those mid-year players who impressed Norton Tuesday was Jonathan Garvin, a defensive lineman from Lake Worth, Fla.

“Garvin is doing very well. He’s coming on, he’s learning. But it’s only the first day,” Norton said.

Coach Richt also complimented freshman DeeJay Dallas, one of 10 mid-year enrollees taking the field for the first time.

“Deejay showed the ability to snatch the ball well, which is a great key – to be able to catch the ball well and not cradle it,” Richt said.

Senior tight end Christopher Herndon IV, expected to take on an even bigger role in the offense with the departure of All-ACC tight end Davis Njoku, reiterated that Tuesday marked a good start for the Hurricanes.

“First day was basically just getting back in the groove of things,” Herndon said. “Everybody is kind of fresh to the offense again, so we just took our time out there today, but we were still trying to make sure we were doing everything at a full-speed pace and just focusing on our plays.”

After leading Miami to its first bowl win since 2006 last December, Richt said spring practice is about improving as a team more so than focusing on individual position battles.

“I want everyone to compete,” he said. “I want everybody to prove that they should start or they should play, or that they deserve to be on the travel squad – whatever it is - so they’re at least proving that they’re bought into what we’re doing.

“I want guys to play hard, play fast and be physical, be disciplined – those are the main things. If you do that, you’re going to be pretty good.”

Only 165 days until September 2, when the Hurricanes return to Hard Rock Stadium for their season opener against Bethune-Cookman. But who’s counting?

As for some player interviews, here you go.

DT RJ McIntosh

DT Kendrick Norton

OL Kc McDermott

TE Christopher Herndon IV (transcript, no video)

On the first day of spring practice…

“First day was basically just getting back in the groove of things. Everybody is kind of fresh to the offense again, so we just took our time out there today, but we were still trying to make sure we were doing everything at a full speed pace and just focusing on our plays.”

On the quarterbacks…

“They did pretty good today. For a couple of the new guys they messed up a few times, but they didn’t get too down. They just had a next play mentality and came out and just kept pushing through each work out.”

On stepping up with David Njoku declaring for the NFL Draft

“I just have to step it up more and also help the young guys get acclimated, bring them along, too, because we will need more than one. It’s just going to be a lot of leadership on my half.”

Got the Herndon Video now:

And I’ll end with a nice day 1 video recap by Peter Ariz of

And a video podcast with notes by Matt Porter of The Palm Beach Post

AND a day 1 recap by Christy Cabrera-Chirinos of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel

AND a piece by Chris Perkins of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel about Miami’s QB battle

AND a day 1 overview by Susan Miller Degnan of The Miami Herald, with photo gallery by Herald Photographer Al Diaz

That’s it.

Comment away.

Go Canes