Manny Diaz wants execution and competitiveness from Miami football team

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 26: Tommy Sweeney #89 of the Boston College Eagles is tackled by Shaquille Quarterman #55 of the Miami Hurricanes at Alumni Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 26: Tommy Sweeney #89 of the Boston College Eagles is tackled by Shaquille Quarterman #55 of the Miami Hurricanes at Alumni Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Miami football head coach Manny Diaz wants execution and competitiveness in Saturday’s scrimmage at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami. It’s the Hurricanes only South Florida scrimmage open to the media and public this spring.

The competitiveness has been there for most of the spring for the Miami football team. The execution has been spotty this spring but it’s not for lack of effort. Injuries, players that haven’t arrived on campus yet and players moving positions have made the Hurricanes a work in progress during spring football.

Several positions have had a significant amount of competition this spring. Quarterback, the offensive and defensive lines and the secondary all have campaigns going on for starting positions. Not all of the players expected to battle to be starters at some of those positions are enrolled at Miami yet.

The quarterback position has the three signal callers vying to be the starter in camp. Incoming freshman Peyton Matocha won’t arrive until the summer. He is likely to redshirt in 2019. Rising freshman Jarren Williams and rising redshirt sophomores Tate Martell and N’Kosi Perry are battling to be first on the depth chart.

The offensive line battle is primarily on the right side. Corey Gaynor will be out for Saturday’s scrimmage but will be the starting center in 2019. Navuaghn Donaldson is expected to be the snapper in his place but will start at left guard this fall after being the starter at right guard in 2017 and ’18.

Rising sophomore Delone Scaife has been playing guard this past week but is expected to be the left tackle when Miami begins the season against Florida in August. The battle at right guard will be between John Campbell, Kai-Leon Herbert, Zalon’tae Hillery, graduate transfer Tommy Kennedy and freshman Zion Nelson.

The battle at right tackle will be between will include all of the aforementioned linemen except Nelson. Campbell is the frontrunner to emerge as the starter. Manny Diaz was quoted on the official Miami Athletic Department website Hurricane Sports about his expectations for Saturday’s scrimmage.

"“There’s going to be two things – there’s going to be execution, and there’s going to be competitiveness…I’m much more concerned about the competitiveness. The execution will come…I want to see guys that can compete. The fans who come, they want to see guys that can compete.”"

The defense is more influx with the starters with injuries and summer arrivals holding back some of the competition this spring. The Hurricanes linebacker depth has been limited to three scholarship players that are not listed at striker. Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney are locked in at mike and sam.

Rising redshirt sophomore

Bradley Jennings

will back up Quarterman and Pinckney. Rising senior

Zach McCloud

is the starter at the striker position which is also weakside or will linebacker. The two biggest impact players arriving this summer are a pair of transfers.

Safety Bubba Bolden will have three years of eligibility after matriculating at Miami from USC. Graduate transfer defensive end Trevon Hill will arrive in Coral Gables from the Hurricanes biggest Coastal Divison rival Virginia Tech.

Next. Miami football offense still a work in progress this spring. dark

The other position battles to watch are at safety to see who starts next to Bolden who is a near definite starter and at defensive tackle next to rising senior returning starter Pat Bethel. Hill will be part of a deep rotation on the Miami football roster at defensive end. Rushing the passer will continue to be a strength in the Diaz defense.