By David Udel.
So far this spring most of the talk has been about who is leading in the QB race. Well, not much has changed, but we are still hearing talk of the staff being impressed with Jarran Williams.
Coach Enos, however, continues to say no one has separated themselves at this point.
I did find it interesting that while Martell and Perry were working with the Wide Receivers today, Williams worked exclusively with the Running Backs and Tight Ends. I’m not gonna read tons into this, but that’s just another sign to me Williams is slightly in the lead.
But there are many observations so far this spring, both good and bad. Here are a few that has my attention.
1. Just how good freshman WR Jerimiah Payton really is. Peyton has really had a good spring and seems to have the best hands so far this spring. Talk is he just catches everything he gets his hands on. I said a few weeks ago that Payton has enough talent to get a lot of playing time this year, and so far he has done nothing to disprove that belief.
2. Cam’Ron Harris seems to be taking that next step to becoming a major player for the 2019 Hurricanes. Let’s face it, it’s hard to keep a Carol City dog out of the lineup. Harris has had a great spring and both him and DeeJay Dallas make up a very very physical backfield that can also block and be counted on to catch balls out of the backfield. Both are very versatile at all skills to be productive from any formation. This will give Miami a huge advantage in not tipping off the defense to what we are doing, due to who is on the field.
Still not a lot of talks oh how far Lorenzo Lingard’s knee is doing. Miami Spokesmen have just said he is right on schedule and will be ready for the season. Let’s all hope Lingard will be 100 percent and bring that big play capability that he is known for.
3. One Transfer that has come in and really becomes a Hurricane is WR K.J. Osborn. Osborn spent four seasons at Buffalo, serving as one of Bulls’ top playmakers in final two seasons. Osborn had 53 catches for 892 yards with seven touchdowns in 2018. Osborn also earned second-team All-MAC honors in the final year.
Osborn has come in and done exactly what coach Diaz hoped he would do, bring leadership to a very young WR room. The entire staff and team have gravitated to Osborn as a leader. So much so, the staff decided to room Osborn with Jeff Thomas. As we all know Thomas is our best playmaker on the team, but he has had off-field issues. Coach Diaz putting Osborn in with Thomas as his campus roommate was a great idea. Thomas has even said that he has an all-new focus on 2019 as a Hurricane, and having Osborn as my roommate will only help me focus on doing what is important to our success.
4. I’m still a little worried about Brevin Jordan’s knee injury which we still don’t hear a lot about. I’m thinking he will be ok for the opener against Florida.
This would explain why walk-on tight end Nicholas Ducheine, got plenty of work with the second-team offense this week. So we know Mallory and Irvin are getting the first team snaps, Ducheine has had a decent spring and is on the rise. Even though he has dropped a few balls in today’s practice.
5. Graduate Transfer Tommy Kennedy has not come in and secured the Left Tackle position like we hoped he would. Today Kennedy was on the second team taking snaps at Center. I’m sure this is not what coach Diaz had in mind for Kennedy at this point.
So let’s look at what we hoped we might see to start to take form at O-Line. I was hoping Kennedy would take over at LT with Sciafe beside him at LG. We hoped Corey Gaynor would take over at Center. We saw Donaldson at right guard and probably Zalontae Hillery or Jonh Cambell at RT.
Well, that has not gone as planned, and to be honest, today’s first-team line up is kind of a cluster. Coach Butch Barry has Zion Nelson at RT. Yes, the 240-pound kid that was supposed to be a two or three-year project. Coach Diaz and Enos have raved about how good a spring Nelson is having. But the kid is only 240 pounds and seems to be the talk of the O-Line. I don’t know about you, but that might be more concerning news than good news. Now I know it’s spring, and its a time to experiment, so I’m not putting much into it.
But today we had Zion Nelson at LT with Navaughn Donaldson at LG. The good news is Corey Gaynor is holding his own at Center and seems to be penciled into the position. D.J. Sciafe was at RT and Zalontae Hillery at RG. I have no idea why A Sciafe was on the Right side today, seeing as coach Barry had seemed to have penciled him in at LT.
Today’s second team O-Line was: LT Kai-Leon Herbert, LG Cleveland Reed, C Tommy Kennedy, RT John Campbell, RT George Brown. All of these kids have great talent, so it amazes me why Zion Nelson got the first team LT today. 240 pounds or not, the young man must be having one hell of a spring.
To be honest, I don’t think it means all that much, except coach Barry, still has a lot of work and decision making to do.