Cristobal names Miami standouts, together with names not mentioned in awhile. Offense lagging


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Miami Hurricanes broad receiver Brashard Smith (12) is congratulated by Hurricanes offensive lineman DJ Scaife Jr. (51) after scoring a landing in opposition to Virginia Tech Hokies throughout the second quarter of their ACC soccer sport at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, November 20, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

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After not specifying gamers in his post-scrimmage movies the previous two weekends, University of Miami coach Mario Cristobal on Monday gave a extra substantial style of who has impressed him in fall camp.

As anticipated, the coach, in a 15-minute phase with Joe Rose and Zach Krantz on WQAM, first praised the protection, which has apparently dominated each closed scrimmages.

He stated the defensive position and secondary “have been the most competitve’’ and named some veterans who haven’t gotten a lot of attention lately, singling out fifth-year redshirt junior cornerback Al Blades as playing “really, really well” and complimenting cornerbacks fourth-year junior Te’Cory Couch and fiifth-year redshirt junior DJ Ivey, amongst others.

“DJ Ivey, I can’t speak highly enough of,’’ said Cristobal of Ivy, who played in all 12 games but started only four last season, finishing with 25 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack and one pass breakup.

Blades, who has had two difficult years with COVID-related issues followed by groin problems and sports hernia surgery, played in only three games last year (four tackles — one solo), all three early in the season.

Couch played in 11 games last year and finished with 36 tackles, 1 1/2 tackles for loss and a team-leading five pass breakups.

Cristobal also lauded sophomore Malik Curtis as someone who has “popped out’’ and said Tyrique Stevenson has also had “a great camp.”

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Miami Hurricanes cornerback Tyrique Stevenson (2) tackles Virginia Cavaliers broad receiver Keytaon Thompson (99) throughout the first quarter of their ACC soccer sport at Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday, September 30, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. David Santiago [email protected]

As for already vaunted safeties James Williams, Avantae Williams and Kam Kinchens, Cristobal stated coaches “consider those guys co-starters…. They’ve got to duke it out each and every week and keep a lot of pressure on each other to see who performs best.’’

He spoke about the new-and-improved defensive line with plenty of gifted transfer portal players. The names he mentioned included transfer tackle Jacob Lichtenstein and Antonio Moultrie, and said redshirt freshman Allan Haye Jr. has made “tremendous progress.’’

He also mentioned true freshmen edge rushers Nyjalik Kelly and Cyrus Moss, as well as redshirt freshman Thomas Davis, and said defensive ends Elijah Roberts and Jabari Ishmael are “all-of-a-sudden” wholesome once more.

The “line of scrimmage is different’’ Cristobal said. “Close your eyes [and] you can hear how different it is. It lends to us being more physical.’’

Receivers

The offense did not get as many shoutouts, and the quarterbacks again were not specifically mentioned. But the coach did name two receivers as standing out and another who has flashed.

The receivers have dropped their share of what should have been receptions in fall camp and during both scrimmages, and Cristobal said they need to keep improving and get more consistent.

Slot receiver Xavier Restrepo continues to be “the most consistent’’ among the wideouts and the player who makes the most big plays. Cristobal also praised 5-10, 196-pound Brashard Smith, a sophomore out of Miami Palmetto. “He’s a compact build but explosive and fast and quick and can make people miss,’’ said Cristobal of Smith, who last year had 14 catches for 199 yards and two touchdowns.

Cristobal said Key’Shawn Smith, UM’s top returning wideout with 405 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2021, has “had his moments’’ — not necessarily a resounding vote of confidence.

Offensive line

Cristobal said the offensive line has “done really well” beneath the steering of coach Alex Mirabal. “We’ve been very multiple. We’ve done it all in camp. The menu offensively has been pretty vast.’’

When asked about 6-5, 330-pound third-year sophomore left guard Jalen Rivers, Cristobal said he was a “rare” expertise. “He’s an elite human being, an elite competitor, an elite athlete and a jumbo athlete at that… He runs like an enormous ability man. He’s light-footed however he’s heavy handed, does that make sense? He can slug it out with you, man.

“He can slide his ft, he can anchor down and redirect man. Tremendous recoverability. Let’s say he occurs to take a poor angle or somebody was in a position to get to an edge earlier than he bought there, this man can substitute the hand, flip his hips, get better and nonetheless discover a solution to win the block. Man, he’s simply a number of worth.’’

Running backs

With tailbacks TreVonte’ Citizen and Don Chaney Jr. injured (Citizen anticipated out long-term), Cristobal stated it has “pressured some guys to step up and ensure now we have emergency plans with different gamers on the roster.’’ He didn’t title anybody, however third-year sophomore Jaylan Knighton, Ole Miss switch Henry Parrish and sophomore Thaddius Franklin are the three veterans carrying the load.

The Hurricanes, who had been off Monday on the primary day of lessons, return to full-padded follow periods Tuesday and Wednesday at Greentree Field.

This story was initially printed August 22, 2022 12:39 PM.

Miami Herald sports activities author Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes soccer beat author since 2000, the season earlier than the Canes gained all of it. She has gained a number of APSE nationwide writing awards and has lined the whole lot from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to main marathons to the Olympics.





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