As usual, the heat index peaked into the triple digits but football is back in the South Florida air as the University of Miami Hurricanes opened fall camp Tuesday.
The Canes, who repositioned their practice fields to accommodate the current construction of their new indoor practice facility, went through their first official practice for the 2017 season.
Miami will have a total of 29 practice sessions – according to head coach Mark Richt – leading up to its September 2nd season opener against Bethune Cookman at Hard Rock Stadium.
The first 35 minutes of the practice was open to the media as the team went through individual drills.
Here are some early takes:
All eyes were on freshman quarterback N’Kosi Perry. Perry sported a black No. 5 jersey and was routinely towards the back of the line during quarterback drills.
Perry is listed at 6-foot-4, 184 pounds on the team’s roster. While he did not appear to be that heavy upon seeing him live on Tuesday, he has gained a significant amount of weight since graduating from Ocala Vanguard High.
The quarterback that was in the No. 1 position in line was redshirt junior Malik Rosier. Rosier ended the spring as a “co-No. 1” with redshirt sophomore Evan Sherriffs, took the No. 1 reps during the media viewing period.
Freshman running back Robert Burns wore a green “no contact” jersey but did participate in drills Tuesday. Burns, who was an early enrollee, injured his shoulder during the early portion of the Canes’ spring practice and his status for the season is still unclear.
Sophomore tight end Michael Irvin II appeared to be lethargic in between drills – sometimes behind or crouching down. It could be heard during the media viewing period of either a teammate or coach encouraging Irvin: “get up, Mike” or “come on, Mike”.
The running backs group seems to have its hierarchy set – Mark Walton was the No. 1 back during drills followed by sophomore Travis Homer then Trayone “Choc” Gray was No. 3. It’s almost a year since Gray tore his ACL during fall practice and had to miss all of the 2016 season. He’s wearing a brace and sources have confirmed that his rehab has gone well up to this point.
Whether it was by wide receivers coach Ron Dugans‘ design or by a natural bond, freshman receivers Jeff Thomas and Michael Harley were paired up during drills. Both are speedy receivers that will be competing for playing time this season.