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Miami Hurricanes Scrimmage #1 Recap

DL shines. QBs split reps. And some returners step forward

NCAA Football: Florida State at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes held the first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday afternoon. The session, held at Christopher Columbus HS, was the first work outside for the team this spring.

The event was closed to the media. Miami Athletics has provided a recap of the event, which can be read below:

MIAMI – The Miami Hurricanes held their first spring scrimmage of the Manny Diaz Era Saturday afternoon, a two-hour session beginning in the late morning at Christopher Columbus High School.

”It was a typical first spring scrimmage. I told the team it reminded me a lot of 2016 when we had our first scrimmage,” Diaz said afterwards. “You have eight days of practice and you get there, on the ninth practice, and guys start doing different things that you don’t see [in practice].”

Overall, however, Diaz was pleased with the effort of his group, which concluded the third of five weeks of spring practice.

”I thought our guys played hard,” Diaz said. “Execution is a long way from where we wanted it. You could see, being outside and dealing with the heat for the first time, it took its toll. It takes a toll mentally. All of a sudden you’re playing probably took us to the second half where it became more competitive.’

Among Miami’s top performers offensively included running back Cam’ron Harris (five carries, 32 yards), running back DeeJay Dallas (38 rushing yards) and tight end Will Mallory (four receptions, 62 yards, two touchdowns).

All three of Miami’s quarterbacks took equal reps; redshirt sophomore N’Kosi Perry finished 5-for-7 for 126 yards with two touchdowns, redshirt sophomore Tate Martell finished 6-for-11 with one touchdown and redshirt freshman Jarren Williams ended the day with 53 passing yards.

Mallory and sophomore Brian Hightower (three catches, 22 yards) were targeted often, while sophomore Mark Pope had a 52-yard touchdown reception. Redshirt sophomore Evidence Njoku had a 51-yard catch.

”To me, the thing the offense did well was they responded in the second half,” Diaz said. “They scored some touchdowns late, which was good for those guys to see. They’ll see this film and they’ll realize that if we can get ourselves not to the point where we’re beat before the snap – which is to be expected during parts of the spring, it’s all new – we have a chance to be dangerous.”

Miami’s defense, ranked among the nation’s best in nearly every statistical category a season ago, was led by redshirt freshman Greg Rousseau (four sacks), sophomore Nesta Jade Silvera (six tackles, four tackles for loss) and true freshman Jahfari Harvey (five tackles, two sacks).

Junior Trajan Bandy had two PBUs, sophomore Gurvan Hall, Jr., had four tackles and sophomore Al Blades had two tackles and one PBU.

”You’re always concerned about the first time tackling,” Diaz said. “I thought, as the scrimmage went on, I thought our tackling was good. I didn’t see a lot of run after contact. For the most part, we did a good job of not giving up explosive plays. Then you saw some disruption that we define ourselves by, which you should have in spring practice, because a lot will be dependent on how our guys play up front.”

Diaz said Saturday was also a chance to watch his coaching staff on the sidelines for the first time in a live setting.

”My biggest joy of spring has watching our guys coach,” Diaz said. “The more I see them in action, the more I see them teach, the more I see how skilled they really are. Today is tough, because you have to cut the umbilical cord – you have to let them go out there and play. Sometimes, like I said, the first time in a scrimmage – especially when you’re installing a new system – there will be things that you’re horrified by when you watch the film, but that’s why it’s spring.”