Miami Hurricanes Complete Day 4 of Fall Camp, Coaches Emphasize Intensity

By  //  August 7, 2018

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Miami vs LSU on Sept. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX

ABOVE VIDEO: Thomas Brown – Post Practice Presser.

MIAMI, FLORIDA (HurricaneSports) – Head coach Mark Richt and his coaching staff have always emphasized the importance of intensity and competitiveness in every rep of every Miami Hurricanes football practice.

Monday was Day 3 of fall camp and the Hurricanes practiced in shells for the first time, giving the Canes an opportunity to add a little physicality to their intensity and competitiveness.

“Guys have waited since April to hit,” Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said.

“We looked eager. I’ll say, [for] both sides of the ball…our two days in helmets were highly competitive. Sometimes those can turn into glorified walk-throughs. Highly competitive and today was the same way. A lot of big hits and a lot of guys really playing with an edge about them, both sides of the ball, which is good. We’ve got a thing now – like we mentioned in the spring – this team has an edge about it. It’s been a little feisty out here, and as coaches, I think we think that’s a good thing.”

Diaz is excited to see the competitive edge players have shown early in camp and believes it comes from a desire to accomplish more. After a 10-win season, an ACC Coastal title and an appearance in the conference title game, the Hurricanes have had a taste of success and they are hungry for more of it.

“Probably wanting to take the next step,” Diaz said. “It’s really not about how last year ended, it was everything about last year. It’s about that level of consistent play and playing at a high level, week in and week out. I think everything is coming off of that.”

While the physicality is increased, the Canes are not in a full contact scenario. Instead, Miami’s players are using a technique that they call ‘thud’ that is intended to allow contact but tries to prevent a serious and unnecessary injury.

ABOVE VIDEO: Mike Harley – Post Practice Presser.

“With thudding right now we are not trying to hit below the waist, or tackle from behind,” defensive lineman Joe Jackson said. “We are trying to keep each other healthy. We don’t want to hurt our teammates. That would be bad for us, so right now we are just thudding.”

“Coach Richt is very big on safety,” Jackson said. “So even when we put full pads on, it’s just to get a feel of it. We’ll probably most likely still be ‘thudding.’ We might have a few live periods, but we really won’t get to really hit each other until the first scrimmage.”

One of the players most excited to be back on the field hitting someone is redshirt senior Demetrius Jackson. The defensive lineman had his 2017 season cut short due to a knee injury, but he is back competing and that is exactly how he likes it.

“It felt good, because it’s been like a span of 10 months since the last time I played ball,” Demetrius Jackson said. “It just felt good to be back out here. It’s a blessing to be back out here with the guys in my last go-round and give it everything I got.”

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