Miami Hurricanes’ offense ‘could be really special’ if Brad Kaaya, David Njoku return

Miami hopes David Njoku (86) comes back for his redshirt junior year. (Getty Images)

Miami hopes David Njoku (86) comes back for his redshirt junior year. (Getty Images)

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Notes and quotes from a chat with offensive coordinator and running backs coach Thomas Brown: 

He hopes Brad Kaaya and David Njoku (and others) return. 

Could another year benefit Kaaya, a draft-eligible junior? “Absolutely,” Brown said. “I hope everybody returns. A couple guys have a chance to maybe dip out and leave. I think we have a chance to be really special if those guys return.”

His assessment of Njoku’s year? He’s “a mismatch,” who can play in line and out at wideout. “He’s big enough to overpower safeties and [defensive backs] and run past linebackers.” Brown said Njoku has improved his concentration, which has eliminated a rash of drops.

Brown said he hasn’t talked with either player about his draft status. A UM source said the program is prepared for the possibility Kaaya, Njoku, running back Joe Yearby and defensive end Chad Thomas will explore their draft status.

He named four players who should help next year. 

“I think Gus [Edwards] has come a long way,” Brown said. “I probably made the mistake of not playing him more early on, but we have a bunch of talented guys competing for spots. I think he’s come along strong … impressed when he’s had opportunities. The young cat, Travis Homer, is doing really well. He’s done an unbelievable job for us on special teams and has a shot to be successful for us in the future.

“We’ve got some young receivers — obviously Ahmmon Richards is what he is. His play speaks for itself. I think [DionteMullins did a really good job of coming along and learning the offense and he’ll be in a spot to help us down the road.”

Brown didn’t say he wants a dual-threat quarterback. 

Committed recruits N’Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon, can run. Current backup Malik Rosier can run. Kaaya and potential future starter Jack Allison aren’t known for their running ability.

Does Brown want a running quarterback? “Who knows. We will utilize the guys we have to the best of our ability and if they can help us win then we will get them on the field,” he said, diplomatically.

What does Allison need to work on?

“Continue to develop in our offense, continue to mature and learn from the guys that are around him,” he said. “When you have older guys in front of you like a Brad Kaaya to learn from, it’s a great tool for the young guy, especially at the quarterback spot. You get some mental reps so you make less mistakes when you get your opportunity.”

George Brown will be counted on. 

Asked if LSU transfer George Brown, a 6-foot-7, 285-pound offensive tackle who is sitting out this year, can be a high-impact player immediately, Thomas Brown was blunt.

“He’d better be,” he said. “We brought him in for a reason. Every guy we bring into that room better come in ready to compete and will have an opportunity, if you want it, to come take a spot.”

Miami will lose current starting center Alex Gall and mainstay Danny Isidora at right guard. It needs tackles badly.

“O-line wise, we’ve got to get some numbers in there, get some more bodies, get some more competition in there,” he said. “Receivers, we’ve got some very talented guys, but you can never have enough.”

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