If you’re one of the eagle-eyed viewers out there, you may have noticed the backs of Miami’s helmets look a little different this fall.
That’s because Mark Richt has a new system for honoring his players.
Players are awarded helmet stickers for on-field performance and academic prowess. The small decals are either orange or green and in the shape of a hurricane.
Miami calls them “Canes.” Richt said the system is “very similar” to what he did at Georgia, where his Bulldogs players were awarded “Bones.”
Richt explained to The Post how players earn Canes:
“Academics are green. Something good on the field is orange,” he said. “Offense, defense and special teams coaches make a criteria for why you would get one.
“Offensive line, it might be so many knockdowns, you get one. If you have a 100-yard rusher, everybody who was in the game, who was part of that, will get one. If a guy scores a touchdown, he’ll get one. Defense, you get a tackle for loss, you probably get one. Coaches will decide what deserves a ‘Cane.’”
Coaches also decide whether players keep them.
“You can lose them, too,” Richt said.
At Georgia, players earned white Bones for touchdowns, pancake blocks, etc. To earn a black Bone, the player must get an A or B on an assignment worth at least 10% of his grade in that class. Players could also earn them for community service or making the dean’s list. Richt worked with UGA’s academic advisors, as he will at Miami.
Cane-earners are praised during an “Honor Roll” segment of Sunday’s team meetings. The equipment staff affixes them to helmets before the following week’s game.
As shown in the photo above, leading rusher Mark Walton has earned more than his share. Others who had them during the FAU game include wide receiver Stacy Coley, who was praised for his downfield blocking against FAMU, and tight end David Njoku.