‘Surly’ Miami OL coach Stacy Searels not naming starters yet


Stacy Searels gave an “are you kidding” look to a reporter who asked if he was happy to have last year’s starting center and right tackle back from injuries.

“We’re thin,” he said. “We’re thin right now. If you don’t have Nick Linder and Sunny Odogwu, you’re paper-thin.”

Despite that lack of depth, Miami’s offensive line coach said none of the returning linemen have locked in starting jobs. Not left tackle Trevor Darling, left guard Kc McDermott, right guard Danny Isidora, Linder or Odogwu.

Searels mentioned sophomores Tyler Gauthier, Tyree St. Louis and senior Alex Gall are working in with the first unit as he searches for a starting five. Gauthier and Gall can play either center or guard; St. Louis is battling Odogwu at right tackle.

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“I would say no one’s jobs are secure,” said Searels, who is in his 23rd year and formerly coached at Virginia Tech, Texas and Georgia. His surname is pronounced “surr-els,” which sounds like surly, which is precisely how he described his personality to a reporter on Saturday. One of his players described him as a “hat-thrower.”

He’ll be more grumpy than usual if his line doesn’t keep improving, but both he and coach Mark Richt are encouraged to this point.

“I think they’re in good condition,” Richt said after Saturday’s practice. “I think they’re going to be strong enough, athletic enough. I know they’re going to be well-coached. There will be snaps where we watch tape, and [we’ll say], ‘That’s exactly how it should be done.’ And it will be exciting.”

Linder said the struggles of last year, when Miami’s offensive line was one the country’s least-experienced and dealt with a host of injuries, has made them stronger.

“When you’re not seasoned, in your first year starting or whatever, you don’t really have that edge to you yet,” he said. “Once you finally get in there and you’re playing in front of 60-, 70-, 80,000 people … an emotional game, that’s when you really bond.”



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