Miami football players grasping importance of offseason workouts

18 Sep 1999: Edward Reed #20 of the Miami Hurricanes carries the ball during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hurricanes 27-23.
18 Sep 1999: Edward Reed #20 of the Miami Hurricanes carries the ball during the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hurricanes 27-23. /

The history of the Miami football program has been in the hard work that the team puts in during the offseason. Alums have stressed that the culture installed on the practice fields, in the weight room and conditioning is the biggest reason for greatness.

Miami football legends like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis have frequently spoken about the importance of tradition and hard work that was shown to them by the stars that mentored them. Work on the Greentree practice fields and in the weight room has led to greatness more than anything else for the Hurricanes.

New Miami Hurricanes strength and conditioning coordinator David Feeley has made more of an impact in the five months since Manny Diaz was essentially promoted to replace Mark Richt as head coach than any other of Diaz’s hires. Feeley came to Miami from Temple to replace Gus Felder.

Diaz has repeatedly stated at various points of the offseason he has never seen more players in the weight room during his three years on the Miami Hurricanes football staff. Several Miami football players spoke to the Sun Sentinel’s Christy Chirinos about the hard work they are putting in during the offseason.

The disappointment of 2018 should serve as a motivating tool for the Hurricanes in 2019. The precipitous fall to 7-6 and out of the top 25 after the 35-3 Pinstripe Bowl loss to Wisconsin was a shocking way to end the season. Miami began 2018 ranked eighth in the country. Will Mallory spoke about the hard work this offseason.

"“The running we’ve been doing is pretty intense…I knew this was going to happen, actually, when Ed Reed spoke at the Alumni Dinner and was talking about how many [110-yard sprints] they were running back when they won a championship.I was sitting at the same table as Coach Feeley and he kind of lit up when [Reed] said that. I was like, ‘Man, I know exactly what we’re going to have going on.’”"

After some time off following the conclusion of spring practice about six weeks ago, Diaz was impressed by the dedication of the Miami football players Memorial Day weekend. Feeley has pushed the Hurricanes players hard. Rising redshirt freshman John Campbell spoke about Feeley during an appearance this week.

"“Coach Feeley? Coach Feeley’s a gangster. He’s really a gangster. He’s got a lot of stuff he’s cooking up for us every day…We really have to be motivated and have our bodies hydrated. We have to drink water or it’s going to show out there.From going on the 110s to being in the sand pit or lifting weights, we always have to be prepared for Coach Feeley. It feels a lot different [from last year]. It feels like a new building. Everybody’s new, everybody’s fresh, new faces, new people. It’s just great to be here.”"

Campbell’s comments are the epitome of what Diaz wanted to create with “The New Miami.” Diaz has created a new culture and made even the returnees on the Miami football roster feel like they transferred to a new school. That feeling has permeated throughout the Miami football program in multiple ways.

Miami defensive end Jonathan Garvin is poised to be one of the Hurricanes biggest stars in 2019. He led all Miami defensive linemen with 60 tackles in 2018 and is the Hurricanes top returnee with 17 tackles for loss and five sacks. Garvin reiterated Mallory and Campbell’s comments.

"“We’ll do different things that are strenuous and difficult. They’re not unreasonable, though, so we’re able to do it. It’s just hard running. I can’t tell you exactly, but, just hard running.We do some distance, we run some 110s and whatnot, but, the thing about it is it’s more about the players and the players’ perspective. We’re not going to allow each other to fail or allow each other to be average. That’s part of what pushes the intensity so high. There’s a new standard from the players.”"

Next. National focus on Miami defense too much on what was lost. dark

Garvin’s comments show his complete understanding of the culture of the past in the Miami football program and what Diaz is building for the future. Diaz has stated the importance of the players pushing each other and getting inspiration from the alumni. If the Hurricanes can continue to do that their path towards greatness is assured.