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Miami Hurricanes Open Spring Practice


Miami, FL— The University of Miami Hurricanes football team began spring practice yesterday in Coral Gables after a 9-4 initial campaign by head coach Mark Richt.  The team was poised to hit the field after a successful season and returns a lot of talent.  However, it will be looking to replace the most important position on the field, the quarterback.  Brad Kaaya, left Miami early to pursue the NFL.  He’ll likely be drafted on the second day of the draft. That leaves  Malik Rosier as the only quarterback on Miami’s roster that has taken a snap in college.

Tuesday, Miami made several players available to the media who are expected to be senior leaders and play big roles in 2017.  Chris Herndon, the TE with so much upside, will be a feature in the offense, especially with a new starting quarterback.  Lineman Kc McDermott brings back a ton of experience to the position and defensive lineman Kendrick Norton is another starter that will be asked to elevate his play this upcoming season.

Christopher Herndon IV, Sr., TE

On the first day of spring practice…

“First day was basically just getting back in the groove of things. Everybody is kind of fresh to the offense again, so we just took our time out there today, but we were still trying to make sure we were doing everything at a full speed pace and just focusing on our plays.”

On the quarterbacks…

“They did pretty good today. For a couple of the new guys they messed up a few times, but they didn’t get too down. They just had a next play mentality and came out and just kept pushing through each work out.”

On stepping up with David Njoku declaring for the NFL Draft…

“I just have to step it up more and also help the young guys get acclimated, bring them along, too, because we will need more than one. It’s just going to be a lot of leadership on my half.”

Kc McDermott, Sr., Offensive Line
On getting back on the football field for practice…
“Yeah, it has been a while, but as you guys know this isn’t the only time of year we are working. Obviously, we had a great winter workout session this year with the mat drills. Everyone has stepped up a little bit and everyone has taken a bigger role, trying to make this as much of a player run team as possible. We have been doing a great job of that as leaders and as teammates; everyone as a whole. We have been doing a great job this offseason taking care of our bodies and making sure that we are going to come out here and be successful this spring and obviously carry it towards the fall.”

On the expectations…
“Obviously you want to focus on one thing at a time. But as you all know, the general goal is always there, and the general goal is always a national championship. That is a standard that has been set here, and nothing below the standard is ever expected of us. We are always expected to exceed it and that is obviously something up there. But, again, we focus on one thing at a time. We make sure that we take care of spring ball first. Make sure everyone is on the same page, everyone is learning and bringing the young guys with them, all the early enrollees. But, in general, the national championship is always up there preceded by an ACC championship.”

On the quarterback situation…
“It’s a little different, just being that Brad [Kaaya] was such a good leader and always took charge of everything. But, honestly, I think it has helped other guys become better leaders, like myself. Also, [junior offensive lineman] Tyler Gauthier has been doing a good job, [senior wide receiver] Braxton Berrios has done a great job of stepping up and every single quarterback, every single one of these guys that are competing for this job, that know it is up for grabs have been doing their best on and off the field to be great leaders. That is something that is a big part of that job. They also have been doing a great job studying. They have been out here every Saturday with us making sure they are doing their stuff right. We are going to make sure we have a great quarterback this year, and it might be multiple.”

RJ McIntosh, Jr., Defensive Line
On the expectations for the defense moving forward…
“We had a pretty good year last year. The plan is to do better this year. To keep getting better each day and each practice. For me, I want to become a better leader so I can have a better year.”

On the quarterback situation…
“I am very excited. I don’t know who will become the guy, but I know everyone has a chance and everyone is good. I am ready to find out. I don’t know when we are going to find out, but I am ready to find out.”

Kendrick Norton, Jr., Defensive Line
On talk about being the best starting DT’s in the conference…
“We talk as a unit about being the best defense line, because we can’t do it without the guys on the outside, and the guys on the outside can’t do it without us, so we try to work together and focus on being the best unit in the ACC and then, eventually, the country.”

On the mood this spring compared to last…

“Everybody knows what they are doing now, so we can really focus on actually getting better and not just trying to get a hang of things. We can actually just focus on getting better this year.”

On how loaded the defensive line is…

“It’s pretty loaded. We have a lot of guys that were younger [last year]. Now we have a lot of older guys. We have a lot of juniors and seniors. We should be very good this year.”

 

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