After an offseason sparked by an alteration in leadership and an abundance of coaching changes, Miami football’s spring practices are finally here.
Practice started at 9:45 a.m. and lasted for over two hours, followed by a media availability with Miami head coach Mario Cristobal, fifth-year linebacker Gilbert Frierson, fourth-year defensive end Jahfari Harvey, second-year quarterback Jake Garcia and third-year quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.
Here are some takeaways and highlights from UM’s first day of spring practice…
1. Multiple Hurricanes listed at different positions
Both Frierson and sophomore Chase Smith, who were both listed as strikers on last season’s 2021-22 football roster, were logged as linebackers on Miami’s 2022 spring roster. While the responsibilities of a striker are similar to those of a linebacker, both players will be playing a position that is different from the one for which they were recruited.
Smith, who played as a wide receiver, linebacker and safety at the high school level, was recruited as an athlete, while Frierson was brought in and initially fit in as a cornerback.
2. Safety James Williams made his presence felt
Williams, who appeared in nine games for the Hurricanes last season as a freshman, recorded an interception in the media-viewing portion of practice.
The rising sophomore had 31 tackles, two interceptions and two passes defended last year for the Canes.
3. Quarterback Jacurri Brown was impressive
The rising 6-foot-4 freshman signal-caller showed off his arm talent in Miami’s first spring football practice, slinging crisp passes around the field during the media-viewing portions on Greentree Practice Fields.
Brown, who was ranked as the 254th best player nationally and the 17th best field general in the country in the class of 2022 according to 247Sports Composite, was the only quarterback signee in Miami’s most recent recruiting class.
4. Players rave about Miami head coach Mario Cristobal and strength and conditioning coordinator Aaron Feld
Without question, the last weeks of winter could not have ended soon enough for players to get to work with the new leaders of UM football.
“He tries to better us men [both] on the field and off the field,” Frierson said. “He’s a player’s coach.”
“He’s an energetic person,” Van Dyke said. “I’m glad he’s here.”
“We’re glad he’s here,” Van Dyke said. “He has an impact on the field and in the weight room.”
“He’s making us work,” Harvey said. “We had a great offseason. I see an improvement in all of the guys.”
5. Wide receiver Xavier Restrepo’s route-running was noticeably exceptional
Restrepo was one of the more impressive wide receivers during position drills, as he was sharply and efficiently breaking off his route stems throughout.
The rising third-year sophomore recorded 373 receiving yards and two touchdowns last season for the Hurricanes.