It was already odd enough at the Miami Hurricanes were choosing to play their Spring football game in Orlando. Well, if a four-hour drive to the north in the middle of the state, instead of playing on campus or Hard Rock Stadium etc. raised an eyebrow, then, who “popped in” on his old team did a lot more than that.
That’s, because former coach Mark Richt made a surprise sudden appearance at Camping World Stadium.
It turns out that Richt was there, as part of being announced as a new analyst for the soon-to-debut ACC Television network that ESPN is putting together:
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) April 20, 2019
The network is obviously trying to gain credibility and traction with having “name” individuals talk about teams and the conference.
Bu,t it could not have been a more awkward deal to have Richt in the Press Box with the same Hurricanes media members that had been covering him and in some cases harpooning him, over the past three years.
And, this would include Richt’s handling of his quarterbacks with “yo-yo games” between senior Malik Rosier and redshirt freshman N’kosi Perry to the point that it almost became comical. Then, speaking of comedy, it was something out of a “Saturday Night Live” skit, when Richt asked a group of the media out loud “who do you all think should be the starting QB?”
Seriously. That happened.
Obviously, Miami still has Perry and also now, Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, who looked good at times in the Spring game Saturday.
But the larger question is: will the Cannes under new coach and last year’s defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, take big steps if not this year? And, soon to be back in National Championship contention this season or by next?
To be fair, Rich had them on the verge at the end of the 2017 season after Miami upset Virginia Tech and Notre Dame to rise to the top 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings in late November.
But, Miami fell apart with a losses to an awful Pittsburgh team in the regular season finale’. Then, Miami was stomped byy Clemson in the ACC title game and, eventually, beaten by Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl.
And that collapse carried over as a dark cloud into 2018 and as the Canes floundered and lost games, the outcry against the head coach intensified.
Eventually, it became obvious, the Richt was on shaky ground and when Diaz, left to take the Temple head coaching, many began to publicly wonder on the airwaves and the internet, if that was a final blow to recruiting and with the defense that would be fatal to Richt’s tenure.
Next came the Pinstripe Bowl in New York, and Miami was a mess from beginning to end a blowout loss, again to Wisconsin. And in short order Rick had “retired:” and Diaz was suddenly back, as Miami’s head coach.
Give Richt credit, he said the right things in the press box in his new analyst role about the Cane’s program improving for the future with Diaz now in charge.
And, anyone that has covered or been around Richt, knows that he’s as genuine and loving of his players staff and everyone with his programs, as any coach you will find.
Still, it was weird to have him back around Miami, so soon after the crazy events of last December. And to further know, know that he’ll be giving running commentary this fall on the ACC Network, as Miami succeeds or fails.
We got our first taste Saturday.
Not so fast on QB D’Eriq King coming to Hurricanes?
24 hours later it doesn’t look dead certain that Houston transfer quarterback D’Eriq King will end up at the University of Miami after all.
In fact, it may be several days before we know the coveted grad transfer QB decides to do.
This after a report Sunday out of Houston from Fox 26 Sports director Mark Berman ,who got comments from King about his short term plans and visits:
D’Eriq King (@DeriqKing_), who is transferring from @UHCougarFB, says he has yet to make a final decision on where he’s going: “I haven’t committed to anybody yet. I’m still looking at my options. I visited Miami. I liked it, but there are other options I’m still trying see to..” pic.twitter.com/E4kz2xypWR
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 19, 2020
It is interesting that King is considering Maryland in the mix in addition to powerhouse LSU and possibly trying to revitalize Miami.
As our Jamil King wrote on Sunday it looked like the Houston standout quarterback was “e-ticketed” for Coral Gables and to come as a package deal with newly hired offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Lashlee, who has previously been at Auburn and the SMU offensive coordinator the last couple of seasons, was hired two weeks ago to help jump start the Canes disastrous offense from the second half of last year.
Quarterback play plagued the Canes in 2019 with Jarren Williams showing flashes of great play followed by freshman mistakes and inconsistency. N’kosi Perry found his way into some games, but was also inconsistent in his own right. Miami suffered humiliating losses to FIU and at Duke to close the regular season.
Then, the Hurricanes were completely inept in the Independence Bowl, while being shut out 14-0. This, while rumors were swirling everywhere that coach Manny Diaz would be firing his first year offensive coordinator, Dan Enos. Enos, who had been the QB coach at Alabama, was fired the next day.
Back to King, if the Hurricanes are able to land him, they get a player who over his career at the University of Houston threw for 4,925 yards for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt and tossed 50 touchdowns with only ten interceptions.
King also completed almost 62% of his passes with the Cougars, adding another 28 touchdowns on the ground. He promises to bring some explosives, something the Canes desperately needed, if they can land him.
Hurricanes land Houston QB transfer King
Miami Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz found out very quickly that the life if a head coach isn’t an easy one. He saw his Miami Hurricane offense move nothing like a “Hurricane” at all.
Instead of fast and lethal, it was often slow and stagnant.
Thus, Diaz had to go in a different direction for his offense replacing his first-year offensive coordinator Dan Enos, and he made what looks to be like a strong hire in Rhett Lashlee, bringing his spread offense over from SMU.
Quarterback play plagued the Canes in 2019 with Jarren Williams showing flashes of great play followed by freshman mistakes and inconsistency. N’kosi Perry found his way into some games but was also inconsistent in his own right.\
With New OC Lashlee coming in, it was going to be interesting if either Williams or Perry could run the new system or if seldom used 2019 transfer Tate Martell may be the best fit?
All of those questions may be answered for us already with news coming out today on a new Miami quarterback entering the fold. Houston transfer D’Eriq King has decided to play for the Canes in 2020.
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) January 19, 2020
King is an immediate upgrade in the QB room for a few different reasons for the Hurricanes in 2020. First, over his career at the University of Houston (above), King has thrown for 4,925 yards for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt and tossed 50 touchdowns with only ten interceptions.
King also completed almost 62% of his passes with the Cougars, adding another 28 touchdowns on the ground. The young man can flat out play ball, something the Canes desperately needed.
King is also going to be a leader in the locker room and the quarterback room. He is an older guy and will be someone everyone can look up to and listen to another coach on the field. King also brings the most to this offense.
He has the ability to make deep throws to the far side or hit a man in stride. He also brings the running ability to the offense that opens up a Pandora’s box for Lashlee. He can use the QB designed run, an option here and there, and lots of RPOs.
The addition of King is certainly an exciting one, and once again, for the second offseason in a row, there is new optimism on the offense in Coral Gables.
The question is this time will the excitement last longer into the season, and will it produce?
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