Chris Collins/Dawg Post

Mark Richt: Day 1 of Fall Camp

Read on to see everything head coach Mark Richt was saying following the first day of fall camp at the University of Miami on Thursday.

Head Coach Mark Richt

On the optimism on the first day of camp…
“I’m optimistic about these young men. Everybody held up pretty good. There’s a few guys who cramped up a little bit – here we are in South Florida in the middle of the day. It’s pretty typical. I wake up every morning thinking about how we can do everything excellent as a coaching staff. That’s kind of where I’m at right now.”

On if the coaches were able to accomplish what they wanted on the first day given the heat…
“Oh yeah. We had great tempo. It got a couple guys, but again, that’s because we’re going high tempo, it’s because we’re making them sprint everywhere they go. We’re making them finish at the end of every rack of plays…through the hoops on the sideline. Like I said, we condition during practice, so it’s not easy. The great majority of them came out just fine. We’ll find out in a half an hour, too. Some guys, in a half-hour, begin to cramp or whatever. We just had a couple guys. It wasn’t an epidemic at all, but a couple of guys cramped out a lot.”

On the status of seniors Al-Quadin Muhammad and Jermaine Grace…
“I’ll tell you if there’s anything worth talking about with them, other than they’re just on the team and practicing right now.”

On what he has seen from freshman wide receivers Ahmmon Richards and Sam Bruce…
“Ahmmon is a little further ahead because he has been here a little longer. He’s doing a really good job of knowing what to do. Sam is a little bit behind, because he hasn’t been here as long. We’re really trying to get him to learn a couple spots – flanker and the “Y” slot. He has a little more to learn and less time to learn it. I think they have some great quickness and speed. Ball skills they’re still learning, but they caught the ball well today.”

On what his message to the team was on the first day of camp…
“We’re just trying to get better every day. We’re trying to get to the point where we’ll play hard, we’ll play physical, we’ll play disciplined, we’ll play with unity, we’ll play together, and we’re going to be a team that will compete.”

On if he sees junior quarterback Brad Kaaya embracing the role of leading the team’s offense…
“He has always embraced that role, since I’ve been here. He is the leader of the offense and the leader of the team. That’s undisputed. It couldn’t be in better hands than his.”

On the plans for freshman quarterback Jack Allison, who was throwing with quarterback Brad Kaaya…
“We don’t have any thoughts of redshirting [him] at this point. We rotate every day. Brad is always with the ones [first string], and the next guys rotate with the twos [second string]. When you talk about them throwing together, it was probably during our one-on-one time with receivers against defensive backs. What will happen is the next time we do one-on-ones with the defensive backs, Brad and whoever he is locked up with will be with the tight ends and running backs. It’s a rotation. It just started that way today.”

On what he has seen from the backup quarterbacks…
“I think they’re familiar with what we’re doing. I think they know how to run our offense. They know who to point out as the mike linebacker with some identification they’re in charge of. We have combo plays at the line where they have to run this play or that play, and I think they know when to check, which is good. Everybody threw the ball pretty good today. It was a pretty good day, really.”

On his trio of freshman linebackers: Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman…
“I see them as veterans, really. Two of them [Pinckney and Quarterman] are lining up with the first team, and McCloud is getting a lot of reps...he’ll be fighting for a starting job too. They’re really more veterans. They went through spring ball, which is huge. Really, they’ve had as much experience in this defensive scheme as anybody else on this team, because we were brand new in the spring. It was a big advantage to be a midyear enrollee this particular year.”

On the plans for linebacker Darrion Owens, who missed most of 2015 due to injury…
“Just work him in at one of the inside linebacker spots. Just see how he holds up. Hopefully he’ll be able to practice every single day, but it’s hard to come off an injury and be in that kind of condition and not fatigue in the area you were injured. Usually every once in a while there’s a practice or part of practice that you step out of, but so far he has done well.”

On the energy on the first day of practice… 
“It’s very competitive. Guys are revved up. Coaches are coaching, getting on them. Pushing everybody. This is not an easy practice schedule. It is up-tempo. We are hustling. We are doing all kinds of special teams work full speed. It’s a grueling practice, quite frankly, in this type of temperature, but that’s why we need to get tough mentally and be in the kind of conditioning to finish games.”

On fullback Marquez Williams, who transferred from Mars Hill…
“He moves well. He’s about a 280-pounder – six-foot, 280. He’s very physical. If you look up the definition of fullback in the Webster’s [dictionary], you’d probably have a picture of that guy. He has the body type you’d love to have to do it, and the athleticism.”

On what he expects from junior running back Gus Edwards, who missed 2015 due to injury…
“Gus right now has to prove he is in good enough condition to play more than a play or two here and there, but he’s learning what to do. He came off an injury in the spring, which we know. He’s in much better condition now than he was in the spring. We’ll just watch him. Right now, he’s getting reps – I don’t know if he’s with the ones now, but he’s definitely getting reps with the twos. He might get some reps with the ones. As productive as he is how much he’ll play and how much he’ll get the ball.”

On if there was any significance to his first fall practice at Miami…
“I didn’t think of it that way. We’ve been here eight months, been to a lot of practices already. We worked with them all summer. This is the third time we’ve installed the offense, so it didn’t feel brand new, but certainly it’s the first time for it. I love being here, I can tell you that.”


Canes Time Top Stories