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Miami Hurricanes Football: Spring Practice Day 6 recap & transcripts

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Another day of practice is in the books. Here’s the recap.

Miami’s starting RB Mark Walton looks to take a leap in his junior year.
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The Miami Hurricanes continued Spring Practice on Saturday morning. It was the Canes’ 6th practice of the Spring. After practice, Head Coach Mark Richt addressed the assembled media. Here’s the transcript:

Here is the daily practice report from UM Athletics:

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The calendar flipped to the first of April on Saturday morning, but there was no fooling around on the Greentree Practice Fields.

The Miami Hurricanes battled each other, and battled the heat, for two hours before wrapping up their sixth spirited practice session of the spring.

“Hot, but you know we’re having a good time, especially on the defensive side,” sophomore defensive lineman Joe Jackson said. “We’re just coming out to compete every day. We got a lot of new people, a lot of new talent, so it makes it harder to see who’s going to start, who’s not going to start.”

As expected, Miami’s defense has been flying to the ball throughout the spring, but the offense is holding its own, as well.

“It’s been going well,” senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios said. “There’s a great competition at QB right now, which makes everything a lot better, I think, but from day one to day six there’s a tremendous improvement coming from all phases of the offense.”

The Hurricanes lost four of their top six reception leaders to either graduation or the draft, which gives players like Berrios and sophomore Dionte Mullins a chance to showcase their skills in the spring. Head coach Mark Richt has been impressed with what he’s seen from Mullins thus far.

“Today in particular and it was a very hot day by the way,” Richt said. “I saw him push past the first rep of the drill, and having juice, and the second rep not so much and third rep he looked tired. I know that [wide receivers] coach [Ron] Dugans has been onto him about that. And we have all been talking to everybody about that.

“You have to be able to play the second, the third play, a fourth play if it’s a four-play rack. And I saw him really pushing and actually trying to enjoy the day. I love energy and I love enthusiasm too, and he had both today.”

Mullins is making the most of his opportunities, but also looking to improve.

“I feel like I’ve improved on my route running, but I still keep working on my eye coordination,” he said. “It’s pretty good, but I’m still working on it. I’m not trying to be average.”

The Hurricanes hosted a high school coaches clinic after practice. More than 100 attendees enjoyed lunch with the players and coaches, followed by a presentation from Practice Like Pros and chalk talk sessions with Miami’s coaching staff.

“We want the high school coaches to come and watch our practices as close as they want to get,” Richt said. “It is a good day for them and we are thankful we had a good turnout.”

Practice Like Pros, founded by former network sports producer and New Orleans Saints executive Terry O’Neil, is a group that advocates safer ways to practice high school football. For more information visit www.practicelikepros.com.

Transcripts

With the video crew getting the weekend off (I think), here are the transcripts from player interviews post-practice.

Braxton Berrios, Sr., Wide Receiver

On what he’s seen from the offense…

“It’s been going well. There’s a great competition at QB right now, which makes everything a lot better, I think, but from day one to day six there’s a tremendous improvement coming from all phases of the offense.”

On what he’s seen from the growth of Dionte Mullins…

“He’s a lot more comfortable and the other thing is that he has to be. He’s getting thrown into that role and we think he’s ready for it and as long as he does, too, then everything will be good. But he’s grown mentally so much and overall maturity wise from last year is a complete difference. Plus he understands that we’re going to need him and we’re going to need to be able to count on him.”

Dionte Mullins, So., Wide Receiver

On how it feels to be a part of the offense this year…

“It feels great. I haven’t been out here in a while, but I’ve been training, so I’m back in the mood with the team and we’re good now, so I can’t wait.

On how he feels about his improvement as a player…

“I feel like I’ve improved on my route running, but I still keep working on my eye coordination. It’s pretty good, but I’m still working on it. I’m not trying to be average.”

On how comfortable he feels about the playbook…

“I feel pretty good. I feel like I’m going to get better at it. Being in the meeting room with [wide receivers] coach [ Ron] Dugans, sometimes with Ahmmon Richards and Dayall Harris. Every day we go over film, so I feel pretty good right now.”

Demetrius Jackson, R-Jr., Defensive Lineman

On his thoughts on practice so far…

“Just grinding out. Not looking to check in and check out, working to get better and have a better year than last year.”

On Pat Bethel’s progression at the DT spot…

“Great. He was playing defensive end about a year ago, now he’s about 270-275. He’s easy to teach, so he’s coming on quick. Coach doesn’t have to repeat himself. Coach say one thing once to him and he gets it. He’s strong on the inside, so I see him like a Michael Bennett-type of guy at end and defensive tackle.”

On Jonathan Garvin…

“He’s like a Joe Jackson. All the people coming in to the right system, the right coaching staff, the right defensive coaches. They’re not trying to take anything away from his game. So I see flashes of Joe and I think he’s going to be real good.”

Joe Jackson, So., Defensive Lineman

On how the spring is…

“Hot, but you know we’re having a good time, especially on the defensive side. We’re just coming out to compete every day. We got a lot of new people, a lot of new talent, so it makes it harder to see who’s going to start, who’s not going to start. So it’s been good so far to me”

On what’s difference between last year’s spring to this year…

“Practice wise it’s easier, but nothing’s different. We still got the same mentality and that’s to be better than any other team and to make myself better.”

On how practice is much easier with most of the front seven coming back…

“It’s easier because everybody knows the calls, everybody’s in sync, we all communicate great and it’s going to be good. We’re missing a few pieces, but once the fall comes we’re going to be great.”

On Jonathan Garvin

“I think Jon is a little like me. Jon’s aggressive. He’s hungry. He’s strong, too. He’s fast off the ball and with coach Kool’s help, he’s going to be a good defensive end.”

Extras

Here’s a daily update by Susan Miller Degnan of The Miami Herald

A daily update by Matt Porter of The Palm Beach Post

A daily update by Christy Cabrera-Chirinos of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel

That’s it for today. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Go Canes