It’s a slow week in ‘Canes athletics. Spring football isn’t quite here, the baseball team has weekend-only series and the men’s basketball team... wait... does Miami still have one after this season?
So let’s tackle some topics out there in short form. The head shake worth mat drills, some eye popping baseball stats from Mark Light, and a dual-sport star of an iconic SEC QB signing with The U.
“Mat Drill” videos
Rise & grind. We have another opportunity to get better pic.twitter.com/6PF0I5V7qq— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) March 3, 2021
Oh boy, it’s #MatDrillSZN around college football. With winter workouts pushing their way into spring football the over-produced, over-hyped, under-informative hype videos are out in full force. I’ve already seen two from Miami (here’s part one, part 2 is above), one from Georgia Tech, a longer edition from Clemson, one from Mississippi State and one from Alabama.
Back to work.#4thQuarter #BamaFactor pic.twitter.com/GwjmgymFgZ— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) February 23, 2021
There are major differences between most of the videos and the Alabama video. Alabama is missing the “grass drills” or “mat drills.” The Tide also has the only video of anyone doing a bound. While Alabama still has the hype quality of cheesy rap beats there’s less fluff and production and you can actually see how they’re teaching movement patterns.
Some ugly- The player above looks like he’s in absolute agony. I’ve actually never seen someone run that way regarding his arms and hands. It looks like he’s pulling a level on an 18-wheeler heading south to the land of the under developed four-stars called the Carol Soffer IPF. Of course he’s staring down at his feet because that’s where football is played, at your toes. Remember when you played soccer as a five year old and they coached you not to look down at your feet?
Programs love the old school “mat drills” where you’re diving and sliding. Miami and Tech had their obligatory baseball slides in for their #MatDrillSZN videos.
My questions are: What is the purpose? Are you testing your S&C program to see if it has created power outputs and speed numbers necessary for the sport? Are you peaking for spring football or said mat drills? Are you seeing whether you have recruited or developed that elusive ‘Mental Toughness’ properly?
Of course, Miami isn’t the only program with guys looking #GrindSZN’d to death. This Yellow Jacket isn’t even using his arms to run. Even Raquel Welch would be ashamed... although she had more fight versus Elaine than The U had against Javonte Williams.
It’s cute stuff for the cameras- all the sweating, pouring water on your head like Reno Raines, and crawling around and jumping over bags. but what’s it worth? If every program puts out the same hype video do you really think recruits care? Recruits care about themselves. Do Mat Drills prove anything at all to the coaches? Absolutely not.
If D’Eriq King lost mat drills would be still be the starting QB? When Zach McCloud wins them is he all of a sudden a good linebacker? If Jeff Sims fails at the seat and roll is he still GT’s starting QB? Probably so.
I think the most we’re getting from the Mat Drills videos is the acknowledgment that the ACC Coastal S&C coaches are sharing around Scott Cochran’s 4th quarter drills from 5 years ago while Alabama has moved on to Dr. Rhea and Coach Ballou doing bigger and better things.
‘Canes baseball stats
Gino DiMare’s Hurricanes baseball squad is sitting at 3-3 after a series win against the Florida Gators was followed by a series loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Miami has struggled at times at the plate, but also has been hurt by some of their relievers and a very hittable starting pitcher.
Yohandy Morales currently leads the ‘Canes in hits with 10. The freshman infielder from Braddock High School is hitting .370 with a home run and six RBI’s heading into the weekend series against the NC State Wolfpack. Morales is followed at the plate by the Del Castillo brothers. Christian is currently hitting .333 while the highly regarded Adrian is hitting .320. Neither brother has logged a HR yet this season but they have driven in a combined 13 runs.
After Morales and the Del Castillos it’s a massive drop off. Power hitting first baseman Alex Toral has only three hits over six games for a .214 average. His power has completely fallen off on the box scores with zero home runs in ‘21. Toral has also struggled at first, and on the base paths.
On the mound Miami has had phenomenal performances and complete duds. Daniel Federman has struggled as the Friday night starter. While he has a great 14:1 K:BB ratio he’s allowed four doubles, three home runs and nine earned runs in 10.1 innings. His ERA is a 7.84 right now through two starts.
Alejandro Rosario, on the other hand, has been fantastic. Rosario has a 1.64 ERA over 11 IP, and an 11:3 K:BB ratio. His WHIP is 1.09 through two starts. Victor Mederos has been consistent for JD Arteaga’s pitching staff. In two starts he has 10 K’s and only one walk. His ERA is a 4.35 through 10.1 innings.
The bullpen has also been inconsistent. Relief pitcher Carson Palmquist has been lights out allowing zero runs over five IP in three appearances. Anthony Arguelles has struggled while Ben Wagner and Jake Garland have been good but not great.
The young Morales leads the ‘Canes in errors with three, while Toral and Anthony Vilar are tied for second with two a piece. Toral has truly struggled so far in the ‘21 season.
Dual-sport star signs
The Miami Hurricanes football and baseball teams have picked up a major commitment from four-star, dual-threat and dual-sport athlete Kaden Martin. Martin, a quarterback from Knoxville (TN) Catholic, is a six-foot-two, 210 pound QB that’s ranked the 7th best dual-threat passer in the ‘22 class.
BREAKING: 4 Dual-Threat QB Kaden Martin has just Committed to Miami!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) March 3, 2021
The 6’2 210 QB from Knoxville,TN chose the Canes over Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Oregon, & others
The #7 Dual-Threat QB in the Nation will also play baseball at Miami (ranked as the #1 Baseball Player in TN) pic.twitter.com/NKsJCRRAdK
While Martin is assuredly going to be on the baseball team, he’s also planning to play football. Martin is a highly regarded outfielder and pitcher. The son of Tennessee Volunteers legendary QB Tee Martin, expectations are high for the young man.
Read more about Mr. Martin from our own Cam Underwood here.
Lift of the week
That’s 325 for FRESHMAN CB Daelan Smith ☠️ pic.twitter.com/OW9Dc1CA13— Jeff Monken (@CoachJeffMonken) March 2, 2021
Lift of the week is going to this freshman from Army West Point. I this isn’t a beautiful clean I’m not sure what is. Compared to the many videos shared by S&C coaches with guys jumping their legs five feet out, or not being able to even shoot their elbows up, this is proof of proper technique and power being taught up at West Point.