What kind of impact is new strength and conditioning coach David Feely going to have?
For great teams, you see pretty clearly who is the strongest and best conditioned. David Feely comes over from Temple after Manny Diaz snagged him up, and you already notice the change of energy that he brings to the Canes workouts. In his previous two coaching stints at Temple and South Carolina, both programs saw winning seasons and bowl appearances each year he was there. Looking at these videos and based on the players enthusiasm, you wouldn’t have though the last game they played in was one they lost 35-3.
Working? Oh, we've been working alright. pic.twitter.com/YOJ1ThwgvX— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) February 18, 2019
It is rumored that workouts and intensity were lacking inside the Miami program, and it showed in 2018. Too many times last year, the Hurricanes were out-conditioned in the fourth quarter, especially against Duke, Wisconsin and Boston College, resulting in losses. Even with individual units in terms of strength, like the offensive lineman, much too often was the sight that opposing DL were in the Miami backfield, pushing our Canes guards and tackles back.
Though they’re often underestimated in the impact that they bring, strength and conditioning coaches have long made a huge difference in certain programs. Nick Saban brought Scott Cochran over with him in 2007, and all that’s followed is six national championships.
What’s the difference between this offseason and last offseason?
Although there’s a high level of energy just like last off season, the difference between 2018 and 2019 is the feeling of redemption. Last year, we were coming off a 10-3 year, Orange Bowl birth and Coastal division champs, and we were expected to be in the top-10 pre-season, so there was more of a cockiness to the program.
Now, we have a new coach, but we’re still coming off a 7-6 season, and it’s still up in the air whether or not we’ll even be in the top-25 before the year begins. Plus, there’s just tons of questions marks surrounding the team, and it’s truly a “Miami vs the world” feeling.
Which incoming freshman will have the biggest impact in 2019?
I think Christian Williams, cornerback out of Daphne, Alabama, will have the biggest impact this upcoming season. One of the nations best cornerbacks in this years recruiting class, Miami was able to flip Williams from Alabama. The Canes will be without Michael Jackson, and UM is looking who will compliment Trajan Bandy at CB. Not sure if he’ll be starting against Florida on August 31st, but don’t surprised if Mike Rumph turns this kid into an immediate impact player as a freshman.
Out of the 2019 recruiting class, who is going to the “face” of the program?
My guess for the “face” of the 2019 class is Jahfari Harvey, defensive-end from Vero Beach and also one of the early-enrollees already in Coral Gables. There’s been much praise about this kid from the coaches so far, calling him the “steal” of the class. Also, I think Harvey is going to have an extra chip on his shoulder seeing how many people gave Khris Bogle so much attention.
Who’s going to breakout on the offensive line in 2019?
My breakout offensive lineman is Corey Gaynor at center. Replacing Tyler Gauthier at the position, Gaynor was able to show a lot of people in 2018 small glimpses of what he was capable of. Though he wasn’t a fixed-in starter on the line, many saw that this kid is just a mean son-of-a-gun, which I absolutely love on the OL.
Even with the rumors of Trevon Hill to Maryland, do you think his visit this weekend will secure the deal with him headed to Miami?
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I’ve been tracking Trevon’s decision very closely, and I thought it was already a done deal once he “announced” he was coming on National Signing Day. At this point, I have no idea what to think, though, I'd be very surprised if he switched to Maryland.
How often do you think about the Brevin Jordan touchdown against FSU?
At least seven times a day.
Who do you think is gong to start in the secondary this year?
Cornerbacks: Trajan Bandy/Al Blades Jr/Christian Williams
Safeties: Amari Carter/Gurvan Hall (not sure sure if Bubba Bolden can play in 2019)
Striker: Romeo Finley
Who will start at wide receivers and offensive line?
WR: Jeff Thomas, K.J. Osborn, Brian Hightower, Mark Pope
OL: Tommy Kennedy, Corey Gaynor, Navaughn Donaldson, DJ Scaife, Zach Dykstra
Is Jaelan Phillips still a real possibility to come to Miami?
Yeah I’d say so. Phillips posted something on his Instagram the night of National Signing Day, which looked like he was going to be making a decision soon, though nothing has come since then. I know schools like Texas, USC and Stanford are looking at him, but I'd still say Miami is the front-runner. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s waiting to see what the NCAA does regarding Tate Martell’s eligibility.