Happy Monday, which means it’s time to dive deep into the pool of my bizarro mind and see what orange and green-hued things are floating around in there....
- Sunday’s scrimmage was apparently a success on both sides of the ball. If you haven’t read it, go read Stephen C. Cheatham’s scrimmage recap. Thank me later. If you want game stats, etc., go there. From what was reported here and elsewhere, D’Eriq King looked like his old, elusive self again. A concern of some earlier this year was how ready he’d be week 1 against a defense as fast and athletic as Alabama’s, in addition to concerns about how much fall camp he’d be able to participate in. Welp, that question has been answered in the most positive of ways for UM fans. It looks like King (at least based on the way things have gone so far) will be 100% and ready to go in Atlanta on September 4. Giggity.
- There are three areas on this team that worry the heck out of me: linebacker, offensive line, and wide receiver. For the first time in seemingly ages (at least since Ahmmon Richards in 2016), it seems the Canes have some guys ready to contribute from day 1. That certainly includes veteran transfer Charleston Rambo, with whom King is begging to get more and more comfortable. The two connected on a dazzling one-handed TD grab in the scrimmage. Right now, you’d have to think Rambo is locking down one of the WR spots.
- The other spots are certainly going to be interesting. If you believe the reports, you’d have to think that Keyshawn Smith is playing himself into position to claim the other outside spot. That said, the freshman have REALLY shown up to camp, with Brashard Smith, Romello Brinson, and Jacolby George alternating making plays. Watching them compete is like a whack-a-mole. One pops up, then another rises, then another. One thing I know: this competition is better than maybe any at the position since Miami was actually good, so this group could become a great group, and quickly. Iron-sharpens-iron, and such.
- So yeah, Keontre Smith killed it on Sunday at WLB. Hey man, whatever it takes to get some dudes in the middle of our defense. That’s unequivocally the weakest part of this team with seemingly the fewest answers. Hopefully Smith is becoming one of said answers.
- Andy Borregales seems as automatic as his brother, nailing all six of his kicks, including two field goals, in the scrimmage. He’s had a strong camp and starting to show why he was the #1 rated kicker in America.
- And speaking of that name, y’all, I covered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for three seasons at One Buc Place. I saw kicks fly all over the yard. Since the Bucs parted ways with Matt Bryant before the 2009 season, the Bucs’ kicking woes have become a thing of legend. Or infamy. Whichever. In any event, it wasn’t until Ryan Succop came to Tampa last season and shored up the kicking spot, making 28 of 31 field goals (amazing) and 52 of 57 extra points (not quite as amazing). But when the money was on the table in the playoffs, he rolled sevens. He went 13/13 on field goals and 21/22 on extra points in the playoffs and was a substantial reason why the Bucs hoisted their second Lombardi Trophy.
THAT ALL BEING SAID, I can’t remember a kicker, much less a young kicker, have as solid a camp as Jose Borregales is having in Tampa. His practice results from today are as follows:
That’s as good as it gets, y’all. I think he’s kicking so well, he’s probably kicking himself off of the Bucs’ practice squad (on which he would almost surely be included) and onto another team’s roster as a starter. The Bucs gave Succop a 3-year, $12 million deal, so it’s hard to see them moving on, especially since Succop hasn’t tanked this camp. I’m sure the Bucs will hope Borregales clears waivers and stays on their practice squad, but man, he’s doing Yeoman’s work out there. Keep it up, Jose.