The Hurricanes held their annual media day today and it was a huge success. We were able to have a free-for-all with Miami Hurricanes offensive and defensive players and assistant coaches. Here is what we learned.
Jarren Williams was named the starting quarterback and one of his top receivers Dee Wiggins made it clear what it was that he improved on most since his arrival in Coral Gables.
“Being a leader. That’s what the team needs, especially on offense.”
Offensive coordinator Dan Enos said that the decision became evident “over the last four or five days” during Tuesdays media session.
“He was having some moments at practice where you're like ‘who was that? Oh, that was Jarren’ you know, a few of those.
“The other guys did tremendous as well, but Jarren just kind of kept coming up. His name and what he was doing and I thought he did a nice job at the scrimmage.”
He also credited Williams’ ability to stay in the pocket and make plays on third down as another factor of their decision.
The most surprising and possibly the most comforting aspect of the quarterback decision was that Enos and Manny Diaz did not speak about their preferences until they sat down and made a decision — and it just so happened that they liked the same guy.
But Williams winning the job doesn't imply that he is anything close to a finished product as Enos made sure to point out.
“I think Jarren will continue to work, stay focused, stay hungry and I think we will see a guy that is going to continue to develop.”
One of the highlights of the day was Brevin Jordan telling the story of talking Jarren Williams out of transferring, then going to get pizza after. He and Brian Hightower were in the car and Brevin told him to “stay” and to “stick it out” and that “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.”
The decision to stay clearly worked out well for Williams as he is now the unquestioned leader of the Hurricanes offense as they get ready for August 24th when they face off with the Gators.
And Brevin’s position coach Stephen Field believes that Williams, along with Enos’ offense scheme and demanding coaching style has allowed the team to buy in.
“Coach Enos is an unbelievable coach, offensive coordinator, and super super smart and obviously the players know that. And they know that the scheme is putting them in positions to be successful and so they play hard for that and I think they all take tough coaching, but they play hard knowing there's going to success if they just follow his plan.”
When it comes to the offense line, it feels like they are really taking in Butch Barry’s coaching.
On the biggest difference in coaching style between Butch Barry and Stacy Searles, Kai-Leon Herbert said that it’s about “being more aggressive.”
“The way he taught is a lot different from what coach Barry is teaching us. I prefer what coach Barry is teaching us. It has honestly made me a better offensive lineman in the past few months that coach Barry has been here than in the last two years.
“I just got to keep working and keep competing and the best guy is going to get the job.”
He is in competition with redshirt freshman John Campbell for the right tackle spot.
“I feel like I'm doing pretty good. I come in with the mindset everyday to work. I know my spot is not guaranteed,” Campbell said on the job.
And the unit as a whole is coming together, not only on the football field, but on Sundays they have been spending time together to continue to grow their trust within one another and that relationship building has helped them grow on Greentree as well.
Campbell also spoke of the growing continuity between the unit.
“We’re coming together good. We have a lot of guys that can play a lot of positions and everybody is trying to solidify their spot and be the best they can at their spot.”
And if the offensive line is good, the running backs are going to benefit greatly. Deejay Dallas is the leader of the unit and chimed in on the Jarren Williams news.
“He balled this whole camp.”
Two other Hurricane running backs, Robert Burns and Lorenzo Lingard, are coming off of injuries and expect to help ease the work load of Dallas and Cam’Ron Harris. Here are the two today:
Robert Burns has been through as much as anybody at Miami pic.twitter.com/yMLlEpZm6E— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) August 13, 2019
Miami Hurricane RB Lorenzo Lingard talked with me today pic.twitter.com/X6Um8VxTY7— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) August 13, 2019
It feels like everybody is fully on board with Williams at quarterback. Jeff Thomas says he's “very accurate” and “throws the ball in stride.”
Dan Enos and Manny Diaz are building this offense for the long-term. Williams being a redshirt freshman creates the potential of him being a four-year starter here in Coral Gables, which allows him to grow as the team grows. I believe Jarren was the correct choice today and will be the correct choice for years to come.