MIAMI(CBSMiami) – University of Miami head football coach Mark Richt joined The Joe Rose Show on Wednesday to discuss the calm before the storm of fall camp.
The Hurricanes will open camp on August 1st from the Greentree Practice Fields in Coral Gables. While most players are already on campus for Summer classes, their access to coaches is limited before camp begins, per NCAA rules.
“We are allowed 8 hours a week of work,” said Richt.
For the next several weeks, the onus is on the players to run their own 7-on-7’s independently from the coaching staff. Richt notes that these workouts give the veteran players an important opportunity for mentorship.
“(Coaches) are allowed to basically install bits and pieces of our offense and then (players) can go out there on their own. The older guys teach the younger guys.”
Some of these ‘younger guys’ will be counted on to play major roles this season. With a thin receiving corps, true freshmen like Mike Harley, Jeff Thomas, and Evidence Njoku will have opportunities for significant playing time.
Preseason All-American Ahmmon Richards thrived last season as a true freshman. He led the Hurricanes with 934 receiving yards and scored three touchdowns. Richt knows the secret is out, and Richards will command the attention of every defense he faces.
“Ahmmon benefitted from single coverage last year,” noted Richt. “We need guys on the other side to step up so he can make plays.”
At the quarterback position, a pair true freshman – N’Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon – will compete.
Brad Kaaya’s early departure for the NFL left a vacuum for the starting quarterback spot. While sophomore Evan Shirreffs and junior Malik Rosier were considered the two frontrunners in spring, the battle is far from over.
“All of those guys will get the opportunity to compete,” Richt said. “They are all going to have that opportunity.”
While Weldon enrolled in time for spring practices, Perry didn’t. Fall camp will be Perry’s first chance to show coaches what he can do first hand.
The competition will begin in earnest on August 1st, and 560 WQAM will have full coverage.
Listen to the full interview of Mark Richt on The Joe Rose Show above.