Miami coach Mario Cristobal shares take on team progress with Rueben Bain back off injury, says Poffenbarger and Williams "on heels" of Ward

On3 Staff04/04/24


Miami Hurricanes Coach Mario Cristobal After April 4 Spring Practice

The Miami Hurricanes wrapped up spring practice No. 11 today with a scrimmage set for Saturday, and after today’s work, coach Mario Cristobal shared his thoughts on the team’s progress.

“A lot of guys are starting to understand better what the standard is, are holding each other more accountable,” Cristobal said. “It’s very competitive in most areas.”

Cristobal said moving forward that he’s “looking forward to watching these guys compete more and more. That’s what it is all about.”

“There is no holding back, no one is being coddled,” he said. “We have to practice, get better.”

Injuries are a big side story this spring with several missing. Previously reported players missing spring: RB Mark Fletcher, LB Francisco Mauigoa, DE Nyjalik Kelly, RB Ajay Allen, OL Zion Nelson, OL Frankie Tinilau, DL Akheem Mesidor, CB Damari Brown, DL Armondo Blount, S Brian Balom and OL Francis Mauigoa.

Some good news: DE Rueben Bain returned to practice today full go off a minor injury. And there have been no new injuries.

“We feel good about our health through spring and entering (the last week),” Cristobal said.

Asked about the progress of RB TreVonte’ Citizen off a major knee injury, Cristobal said “TreVonte’ has improved steadily and we’re going to look for more improvement out of him.”


A big fan focus, of course, is on the quarterback position. Aside from highly touted Washington State transfer QB Cam Ward the coach praised the progress of the rest of the room.

“Emory (Williams) and Reese (Poffenbarger) have really done a good job of staying on those heels of Cam,” Cristobal said. “Cam has taken the one reps and he deserves it, has earned that. Both Emory and Reese are kind of right after that. Then you see a lot of really good things from Jacurri (Brown) and Judd Anderson in the limited reps he gets. You see a guy that is also going to be a really good player down the line.”

Cristobal also said of Ward that “he’s tough and smart and really hungry. Those things for a quarterback are critical. He really knows football, understands football and sees the field extremely well.”

Cristobal also said Ward can improvise and extend plays.

“He understands pressures and how it’s being blocked and where to go with the football, then the ball placement, accuracy,” Cristobal said. “And the drive to go in there after practice and spend more time every single day getting better. A very driven human being that’s very talented.”

A couple of Ward’s targets are returning starters – Xavier Restrepo and Jacolby George. But young WRs are stepping up as well.

“Ray Ray (Joseph) has added 15, 18 pounds of muscle,” Cristobal said. “When we say second year guy – you see the natural progression of a guy that has worked really hard and has talent, that wants to win and be a great player. Has a super future. … Robby (Washington) has been nicked up, when he’s been in there he can show he can help this team win, a really good football player.

“JoJo (Trader, a freshman) – he’s played at a high level and it shows. He’s going to make his freshman mistakes but that natural talent is very easy to see. He’s gained some weight, has gotten bigger, stronger. I think you can expect a really, really good freshman player that is going to contribute a lot and is giving everybody a run for their money. All those guys are. … Ny Carr (a freshman), man, he’s taken so many reps. His GPS numbers are through the roof. He’s a naturally explosive guy and has made a lot of plays – contested catches, sometimes run buy guys and sometimes find soft spots in zone coverage and has evolved. He has taken that next step as a player to learn how to beat certain coverages. Couldn’t be more excited about those guys.”

The tight ends room is also standing out with Elijah Arroyo back off injury and freshman Elija Lofton standing out.

“What you see is a group being pushed hard,” Cristobal said. “Those guys are excited knowing their roles, production and impact is going to continue to get bigger and bigger.”

*WR Mike Redding is being tapped for induction into the Iron Arrow Honor Society.

“High academic guy, accountable, responsible, team guy,” Cristobal said. “Tremendous young man.”

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