What advice will offensive coordinator Thomas Brown and wide receivers coach Ron Dugans give Dionte Mullins in the offseason?
“Just continue to be more consistent, learn the offense, master the offense, and try to be the same guy every day,” Brown said. “He’s got a bunch of ability and he can help us.”
Mullins, a four-star freshman receiver, hasn’t played since the opening weeks. Coaches commented privately that he needed to improve his conditioning, which was to be expected after arriving at UM in mid-August, and missing all of his high school senior year due to academic issues.
He’s had a hamstring injury of late, but has dressed and warmed up as a kick returner and receiver.
UM, which dismissed Sam Bruce, plans to sign multiple wide receivers, though Brown wouldn’t commit to a number. “We need help there,” he said.
* Brown on Lawrence Cager, a sophomore receiver whose size (6-5, 210) has been missed this year:
“I think he’s in a great space mentally,” said Brown, who tore his ACL as a Georgia running back. Cager tore his ACL in July. “He was progressing along and making a lot of positive plays for us. I’m looking for big things from him in the future.
* Malcolm Lewis, Brown said, “competes his butt off” and has earned the right to play more.
* On Trayone Gray, who will return from an ACL tear next year as a redshirt junior: “He’s going to come into a loaded backfield.” Brown said UM will sign two tailbacks (Robert Burns is one of them). “I’m going to give him the opportunity like I do everyone else,” Brown said.
How’s Gray doing mentally? “We have to stay on him from time to time,” Brown said. “But he’s good.”
* Brown said he plans to recruit a fullback, after losing Marquez Williams. Gage Batten, like Williams a senior, hasn’t played this year because of a foot injury.
* Freshman tight end Michael Irvin II has been on scout team, and played special teams. Jovani Haskins is redshirting. “I think they’ve got two great examples to learn from every day, two of the best I’ve been around,” Brown said of David Njoku and Chris Herndon.
* Brown admitted he’s kicking himself for not playing Gus Edwards more. “He’s been frustrated a bunch, and I get it,” he said. “In my opinion, I probably should have played him more. … He’s been consistent, worked his butt off.” Brown raised eyebrows by saying one of Edwards’ strengths is “running behind his pads” — something the last UM staff said Edwards didn’t do. “He needed to realize how big he is.”