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Cristobal, Van Dyke, Kinchens, and Lee Address the Media at the ACC Kickoff

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Kamren Kinchens | Photo Credit: University of Miami Athletics

The Miami Hurricanes are poised for a season of redemption and resurgence under the guidance of Head Coach Mario Cristobal. At the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina, Coach Cristobal, along with standout players Tyler Van Dyke, Kamren Kinchens, and Matt Lee, shared insights on their preparations for the 2023 college football season. With a top-10 ranked recruiting class and a revamped roster, the team is set to make a strong statement in the coming season.

“Nothing is going to stop it from achieving national prominence again.” – Mario Cristobal

Coach Mario Cristobal is at the forefront of Miami’s resurgence, his vision and leadership steering the team towards recapturing greatness. Addressing the media, he emphasized the importance of hard work and accountability. “We just want to get to work,” he stated, setting the tone for the season ahead. The top-10 ranked 2023 recruiting class excites the team’s prospects, with players like Samson Okunlola, Francis Mauigoa, Rueben Bain, Mark Fletcher Jr., and Nathaniel “Ray Ray” Joseph expected to make an immediate impact.

Miami’s Path to Prominence:

Coach Cristobal’s unwavering belief in Miami’s resurgence is evident. “Nothing is going to stop it from achieving national prominence again,” he asserted. The team’s trajectory is on the right track, fueled by momentum and a relentless work ethic. The changes in the ACC structure and the expansion of the playoff format to 12 teams present a golden opportunity for Miami to make a significant impact in college football going forward.

Offensive Line and Quarterback Expectations:

The offensive line underwent significant improvements with additions like Matt Lee, Javion Cohen, the record-breaking Francis Mauigoa, and Samson Okunlola. Tyler Van Dyke, the Hurricanes’ talented quarterback, expressed confidence in the revamped offensive line, acknowledging the need for an explosive offense. “We expect to be a much more explosive offense,” Coach Cristobal stated, highlighting the team’s commitment to providing the right support for their quarterback.

Impactful Freshmen and Rising Stars:

The 2023 recruiting class has created a buzz, with Kamren Kinchens expressing excitement about the potential impact of players like Rueben Bain, Mark Fletcher Jr., Christopher Johnson Jr., and Nathaniel “Ray Ray” Joseph. With fierce competition for positions on the field, the team’s performance is set to soar. Kinchens himself, an All-American, believes teammate James Williams has the potential to earn All-American honors this year, further showcasing Miami’s newfound depth of talent.

The Impact of New Coordinators:

Miami’s revamped coaching staff has played a crucial role in the team’s preparation. Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson’s approach has earned praise from quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. “I love his offense,” Van Dyke said, highlighting the freedom and explosiveness it offers. On the defensive side, Lance Guidry’s aggressive and disruptive approach is set to elevate the Hurricanes’ defense.

Matt Lee: A Center to Rely On:

Coach Cristobal took a moment during the press conference to praise Matt Lee, an essential part of the team’s offensive line. “Matt Lee is everything you want in a center,” he stated. Lee’s leadership and skill on the field are vital in solidifying the offensive line, giving Tyler Van Dyke the protection he needs to lead the Hurricanes’ offense.

Kamren Kinchens on his All-American Banner:

Kamren Kinchens, an All-American safety, had an unexpected perspective on his All-American banner displayed inside the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility. “It means nothing; we were 5-7, so we didn’t go too far. So I’d rather it be another banner going up for the national championship,” he remarked. Kinchens’ unwavering determination to achieve greatness reflects the team’s focus on redemption and excellence this upcoming season.

Tyler Van Dyke Discussing Returning Team Leaders Like Kamren Kinchens, Xavier Restrepo, and James Williams:

As a star quarterback, Tyler Van Dyke values the leadership and camaraderie within the team. During the press conference, he acknowledged the impact of leaders like Kamren Kinchens, Xavier Restrepo, and James Williams from the 2022 season, expressing admiration for their work ethic and dedication. The leadership within the team plays a pivotal role in motivating the players and fostering a new culture in Miami under Mario Cristobal.

The Journey to Redemption:

The Miami Hurricanes are on a path to redemption and resurgence, driven by Coach Cristobal’s vision and the dedication of players like Tyler Van Dyke, Kamren Kinchens, and Matt Lee. Van Dyke’s loyalty to the program and the praise for his teammates exemplify the camaraderie and culture within the team. As the fall camp approaches, Miami stands ready to leave their mark on the 2023 college football season.

Highlights from the Press Conference:

– “Some of those guys are monsters,” praised Tyler Van Dyke, referring to Samson Okunlola and Francis Mauigoa, who are massive offensive linemen capable of contributing immediately.

– “He’s going to be an impact player for us this year.” – Coach Cristobal, expressing high praise for freshman Rueben Bain.

– “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s an All-American this year.” – Kamren Kinchens on teammate James Williams.

– “I think Jacolby George is going to be big time for us.” – Tyler Van Dyke expressing confidence in one of his wide receivers.

– “We expect to be a much more explosive offense.” – Coach Cristobal, emphasizing the team’s commitment to offensive improvement.

– “He’s a Miami guy through and through.” – Coach Cristobal on Tyler Van Dyke’s loyalty to the program.

– “It’s unique right? It’s different. Super high-energy, it’s hot as can be, it’s a relentless work ethic approach, and he (Van Dyke) is one of those guys, so it fits well and we’re ready to roll with him.” – Coach Cristobal on Tyler Van Dyke’s commitment to Miami.

– “One of the guys that we’re recruiting mentioned it yesterday; it’s all coming together. When you start saying names like Kam Kinchens, and James Williams, who were there already with Leonard Taylor, then all of sudden Wesley Bissainthe comes on board, and Nyjalik Kelly and Rueben Bain, and Mark Fletcher, and Damari Brown.” – Coach Cristobal on the progress of Miami’s recruiting classes.

– “Last year was a significant step in that direction, not indicative in the record because the record has nothing to do with the rebuild in the early part. Of course, you want to be better. You don’t make excuses for it. You don’t try to deny it. It wasn’t good, but you also realize that what you have to do here is very different than some of our other spots, and stops, some of the other places that have new hires.” – Coach Cristobal on Miami’s progress after a 5-7 season in 2022.


As the Miami Hurricanes Football fall camp opens on August 1st, the team is filled with anticipation and determination. Coach Mario Cristobal’s leadership and vision, coupled with standout leaders like Tyler Van Dyke, Kamren Kinchens, and Matt Lee, promise an exciting and promising season ahead. With a top-10 ranked recruiting class and an improved roster, Miami has their sights set on redemption, and eager as ever to reclaim its place among college football’s elite going forward.

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