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Takeaways: Key Insights from the Miami Hurricanes’ First Fall Football Practice

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Mario Cristobal | Photo Credit: University of Miami Athletics

As the Miami Hurricanes football team begins their fall practice, the excitement is palpable with the start of the season just 31 days away. Under the leadership of head coach Mario Cristobal, the team is looking to make a strong comeback and compete at the highest level in college football. The first practice provided some early insights into the team’s progress, including the introduction of new jersey numbers and a few notable player performances.

One of the highlights of the first practice was the unveiling of the new jersey numbers for several players. Fans and analysts took notice of the new numbers and associated them with the respective players who are eager to make an impact on the field. Some of the standout new jersey numbers spotted in Fall Camp were:

  • #3 Jacolby George
  • #6 Damari Brown
  • #8 Joshua Horton
  • #15 Tyler Harrell
  • #16 Robert Stafford
  • #21 Kaleb Spencer
  • #22 Mark Fletcher Jr.
  • #22 Jaden Davis
  • #23 KJ Cloyd
  • #24 Christopher Johnson Jr.
  • #25 Ja’Dais Richard
  • #28 Ajay Allen
  • #29 Demetrius Freeney
  • #32 Raul “Popo” Aguirre Jr.
  • #33 Marcellius Pulliam
  • #52 Luis Cristobal Jr.
  • #62 Tommy Kinsler
  • #83 Shemar Kirk
  • #93 Anthony Campbell

One notable presence at the practice was former LSU National Championship head coach Ed Orgeron. His involvement could be a significant development for the Miami Hurricanes, as his experience and expertise can contribute to the team’s growth and success.

On the offensive side, Oregon transfer TE Cam McCormick stood out as he worked with the first-team at tight end. This could be attributed to Elijah Arroyo coming back from an injury and wearing a brace on his left knee, making McCormick a valuable option.

Zion Nelson, an important piece of the offensive line at left tackle, was spotted going through stretches and warm-ups during the first practice of the fall, but he was not a full participant in practice.

The first team offensive line during the first practice consisted of the following players:

  • Jalen Rivers: Left Tackle
  • Javion Cohen: Left Guard
  • Matt Lee: Center
  • Anez Cooper: Right Guard
  • Francis Mauigoa: Right Tackle

The running back order in drills included Henry Parrish Jr., Don Chaney Jr., Mark Fletcher Jr., Ajay Allen, and Christopher Johnson Jr. Unfortunately, TreVonte’ Citizen was held out for precautionary reasons as he continues to recover from a lower extremity injury from the 2022 season.

In the quarterback department, Tyler Van Dyke is the starting quarterback as expected, in addition to Jacurri Brown as his backup for the first practice of fall. Freshman quarterback Emory Williams impressed onlookers with his big arm and accuracy during the early portion of practice in drills.

In terms of wide receivers, new coach Kevin Beard was seen working with various groups.

During the wide receiver drills, the first group included Colbie Young, Jacolby George, Xavier Restrepo, and Isaiah Horton. Following this group, Tyler Harrell, Michael Redding III, Brashard Smith, and Nathaniel “Ray Ray” Joseph Jr. were seen working with the second-string. Lastly, the third-string unit comprised Frank Ladson, Shemar Kirk, and Robby Washington.

Players like Jacolby George, Tyler Harrell, Nathaniel “Ray Ray” Joseph Jr., and Isaiah Horton garnered attention for their physical improvements, speed and ball skills on the field. The team’s receiving corps seems to be shaping up well for the season.

Switching focus to the defensive side of the ball, the first-team defensive line featured Akheem Mesidor and Nyjalik Kelly on the edges, with Leonard Taylor III and Branson Deen on the interior at defensive tackle. This lineup could provide a formidable defense for the Miami Hurricanes.

The linebacking corps showcased Wesley Bissainthe, Francisco Mauigoa, and Keontra Smith with the first team. Meanwhile, the second team featured KJ Cloyd, Corey Flagg Jr., and Bobby Washington Jr. Notably, Malik Bryant received reps with the second team at middle linebacker and demonstrated impressive play in run defense.

The first-team defensive backfield included Kamren Kinchens and James Williams at safety, with Davonte Brown and Te’Cory Couch on the outside at cornerback and Jaden Davis at nickel. Couch’s physical development in the weight room did not go unnoticed, potentially bolstering the defense’s capabilities.

The second-team defensive backfield featured Damari Brown and Daryl Porter Jr. on the outside at cornerback, while Ja’Dais Richard assumed the nickel position. At safety, Jaden Harris and Brian Balom provided depth and added competition to the defensive back unit.

Ja’Dais Richard, who played at the nickel position, stood out with an impressive pass breakup and interception during 3v3 passing drills. His ability to disrupt passing lanes and make impactful plays could make him a valuable asset for the Miami Hurricanes defense in the upcoming season.

All in all, the first practice of the fall for the Miami Hurricanes Football team provided a glimpse of the talent and potential that lies within the roster, with many practices ahead of them before the onset of the college football season.

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