Defensive tackle Gerald Willis, who sat out last season after transferring from Florida, will have to wait before making his Miami debut.
Willis will be suspended one game for violating team rules, a source with knowledge of the matter told The Post. It is unclear what he did to be suspended.
Miami opens its season Sept. 3 against Florida A&M.
The team split into a first unit and a scout team on Tuesday, its first practice in preparation for FAMU. Willis was in a scout-team jersey.
When camp opened Aug. 4, Willis was eager for his fresh start. A blue-chip recruit who had a rocky freshman season in Gainesville, he said he hoped to “prove to everybody I’m still here, that I can do what I know I can do.”
It has yet to be determined if wide receiver Stacy Coley, linebacker Jermaine Grace, both seniors, and redshirt sophomore defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad will be suspended to start the year. All three are being investigated by the school for potentially dealing with a luxury rental car agency. Linebacker Juwon Young was suspended indefinitely and left the team over the matter.
There’s a chance true freshman wide receiver Sam Bruce could be suspended by Richt for a matter dating back to high school, in which a photo surfaced of him holding a gun. It’s unclear if Richt will see fit to suspend him.
Bruce was not at practice on Tuesday. Richt said he was dealing with an allergic reaction, but was OK.
Willis, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound redshirt sophomore, had five tackles and two sacks in Miami’s most recent scrimmage, last Wednesday.
When a reporter mentioned it was curious that Willis was in a scout team jersey despite performing so well, coach Mark Richt made it sound as if Willis was on scout team to give the Hurricanes’ first-string offensive line a greater challenge in practices this week.
“One of our issues is just numbers,” Richt said. “We just don’t have any [defensive] linemen, so we have to rotate guys around to make it work.”
Asked after practice if Willis, who is expected to be a part of a five-man rotation at defensive tackle, is still in that mix, Richt said, “I hope so. He’s still battling.”
Miami’s lineup, he said, is “not etched in stone. If somebody spits the bit or is not a guy I feel we can trust, we may roll somebody else into that spot. We’re still competing, but we’re getting close.”
As a true freshman at Florida in 2014, Willis played in eight games and recorded 14 tackles. He was also responsible for a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.