Takeaways from the first day of spring football training in Miami

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After an offseason sparked by a change in leadership and an abundance of coaching changes, Miami football’s spring training is finally here.

Practice began at 9:45 a.m. and lasted over two hours, followed by a media briefing 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. Several hurricanes listed at different positions

Frierson and sophomore Chase Smith, who were both listed as forwards on last season’s 2021-22 football roster, were recorded as linebackers on Miami’s 2022 spring roster. Although the responsibilities of a forward are similar to those of a linebacker, both players will play in a different position than the one they were recruited for.

Smith, who played as a wide receiver, linebacker and safety in high school, was drafted as an athlete, while Frierson was drafted and first integrated as a cornerback.

2. Safety James Williams made his presence felt

Williams, who played nine games for the Hurricanes last season as a rookie, recorded one interception in the media 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 6-foot-4 freshman flagger showed off his arm skills during the first spring football training in Miami, throwing crisp passes around the field during media viewing parties at the Greentree practice field.

Brown, who was ranked 254and best national player and the 17and the nation’s top fielding general in the class of 2022 according to 247Sports Composite, was the only signing quarterback in Miami’s latest recruiting class.

4. Players rave about Miami head coach Mario Cristobal and strength and conditioning coordinator Aaron Feld

Without a doubt, the last weeks of winter could not have ended soon enough for the players to get down to business with the new leaders of UM football.

On Cristobal:

“He’s trying to improve us men [both] on 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.”

On Feld:

“We’re happy he’s here,” Van Dyke said. “He has an impact on the court and in the weight room.”

“He makes us work,” Harvey said. “We had a great off-season. I see improvement in all the guys.

5. Wide receiver Xavier Restrepo’s run was remarkably exceptional

Restrepo was one of the most impressive wide receivers on position drills, as he broke his road rods sharply and effectively throughout.

The rising third-year player recorded 373 receiving yards and two touchdowns last season for the Hurricanes.


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