High school coach gives feedback on how Canes are run. And Canes personnel and NFL notes

A six-pack of Miami Hurricanes notes on a Thursday, on the eve of the opener against Miami of Ohio at Hard Rock Stadium (7 p.m. Friday, ACC Network):

▪ It was interesting to hear feedback recently from an accomplished Broward County high-school head football coach who has interacted with this UM staff and has been around the Canes program for years. Here were a few of his observations, offered on condition that his name not be used:

1). “This is a much better staff than a year ago. There’s no question. Lance Guidry disguises his defenses and will get after people; they’re going to be much harder to defend than Kevin Steele’s defense. Guidry will let kids play to their strengths.

“Shannon Dawson is a big upgrade over Josh Gattis. And remember, Gattis coached the receivers too. Kevin Beard will get a lot more out of the receivers. Beard seems more involved in recruiting than Gattis was.”

2). “This staff is jelling better, everybody tells me. There were a lot of egos on the staff last year, and there was conflict with Gattis and some of the assistants. Players didn’t know whether to listen to Gattis or one of the other offensive assistants when they told them different things. This staff has better internal relationships, and that stuff helps. I think they have figured it out. Everyone seems on the same page, unlike last year.”

3). Among assistant coaches, “[offensive line coach] Alex Mirabal is their best recruiter. But [defensive line coach] Jason Taylor has a chance to reach that level. When Taylor comes to your school, he’s serious and professional and prepared. He looked like an NFL scout when I saw him interact with our kids. He writes down what our kids were saying. There’s no messing around with him. Everybody respects him.

“[The other defensive line coach], Joe Salave’a, is good at keeping kids if they’re in the building and planning to commit. He does a good job of putting an arm around guys and making them feel good about themselves.”

4). “I like how they’re doing evaluations now. You should have seen [general manager] Alonzo Highsmith at one of the 7 on 7s. He was locked in, very focused.”

5). “Everyone knows about Rueben Bain, but the other kid I love from this class is Mark Fletcher. He’s going to be what Thad Franklin and all of these other four-star backs were supposed to be.”

▪ On his weekly WQAM Tuesday night show, Cristobal said this week that his new coordinators installed “things that fit us schematically [better], things that fit us more [to] use our athleticism.”

What’s more, Dawson and Guidry have established records of success as play-callers.

“Shannon has spent time around really explosive offenses, coordinating some, being position coach at some,” Cristobal said. “He has taken the talent he has and put them to good use. He comes from the Air Raid tree but pounds the rock really well. [It’s an approach] our players have bought into. In practice, we’ve taken significant steps as a program.”

▪ As impressive as Nebraska transfer Ajay Allen and freshman Mark Fletcher have been, incumbent starter Henry Parrish has made a strong case for himself throughout camp.

“Henry has done a really good job,” running backs coach Tim Harris Jr. told WQAM’s Don Bailey Jr. “He’s slippery, can get the ball vertical in a hurry. For a guy not very big, Henry does a very good job” at pass protection.

Cristobal’s view of some of the other backs: “Ajay has come in, and was immediately felt as a person and player. I can’t say enough great things about him. And Don Chaney being healthy and coming back... and taking another step as a player. Mark Fletcher, what a great job he has done, a bigger body at 228 pounds.”

▪ Quick stuff: UM defensive line coach Taylor, during his WQAM chat with Joe Zagacki, said starting defensive linemen Akheem Mesidor and Branson Deen “beat me in the building at 5 a.m. every day.” ... Taylor said “if we don’t get a recruit, it won’t be because we got outworked.”...

Cristobal had his team watch video clips of how Miami of Ohio strips the ball from opponents: “They’ve caused monster turnovers in some big games because of that extra effort. It has led them to [being among the] top 10 turnover margin in the country.”.. Cristobal noted that UM has 41 new players this season.

▪ Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, to Zagacki, about how Dawson uses tempo: “When we huddle, we’re not going super fast. But when we go fast, we go fast. It keeps defenses on their toes. You can slow it down if you need to, go fast if you need to.”

Van Dyke, incidentally, said, he “definitely got a little leaner. I’ve got to be able to move a little better than last year. Quarterbacks have to be able to move around the pocket a little more and extend plays. I’ve got to do it a little more to get out of certain situations.”

▪ Canes NFL news: UM rookies to make NFL rosters: Will Mallory (Colts), Tyrique Stevenson (Bears), DJ Ivey (Bengals) and undrafted punter Lou Hedley (Saints).

Among Canes players, with varying levels of experience, who were cut this week: Robert Burns (Chicago), Mike Harley Jr. (Cleveland), Mitchell Agude (Dolphins), Quincy Roche (Pittsburgh), Sheldrick Redwine (Dallas) and Jarrid Williams (Minnesota).