CHARLOTTE — If the hundreds of ACC football players, coaches, league officials and media members milling about the conference rooms and lobbies of the Westin Charlotte wasn’t enough proof that the season is nigh, here’s more:
A few notes about the 2017 edition of the Miami media guide:
— There is no quarterback. Appearing on the cover, from left to right: senior offensive lineman Kc McDermott, sophomore linebacker Shaq Quarterman, junior running back Mark Walton — front and center in the featured spot — senior tight end Chris Herndon and senior defensive end Chad Thomas.
— On the back: junior defensive tackles Kendrick Norton and RJ McIntosh, sophomore wide receiver Ahmmon Richards, junior safety Jaquan Johnson and senior wideout Braxton Berrios. Senior kicker Michael Badgley‘s face is visible (behind Berrios and Johnson) but not his No. 15. The players are seen on UM’s practice field, strutting through the smoke in a nod to the Hurricanes’ pregame tradition.
— The inside cover touts the nine Miami players who were selected in the NFL Draft last year, UM’s best crop since 2006. The table of contents page contains a nod to Miami’s 2016 AFCA Academic Achievement Award and No. 1 ranking in community service, per the NCAA.
— No new game times were announced on the schedule page. The only ones we know as of today: Bethune-Cookman (12:30 p.m. Sept. 2, RSN), at Arkansas State (3:30 p.m. Sept. 9, ESPNU), at Florida State (8 p.m. Sept. 16, ABC), at Duke (7 p.m. Sept. 29, ESPN) and Georgia Tech (8 p.m. Oct. 12, ESPN).
— The official capacity for a Miami game at Hard Rock Stadium is listed as 64,767. It has been reported elsewhere as 55,000 or 65,000.
— Average home attendance — UM reports this as “tickets sold,” not people in seats — last year was 58,572, for the first year of the Mark Richt era. It was the program’s highest figure since 2004 (59,134) and fifth-best all time, according to UM.
The five highest:
For context, the Orange Bowl seated 72,000-plus, and the former Dolphins Stadium could fit in the neighborhood of 76,000 before the 2015-17 renovations reduced it to its current capacity.
— Miami’s tackles for loss total (108) was the program’s sixth-most since 1990. The most since then: 130, in 1999.
The top 10, since 1990:
— New freshmen jersey numbers, heights and weights now officially listed by UM (these are players who arrived in July): defensive end DJ Johnson (No. 1, 6-5, 240), linebacker De’Andre Wilder (No. 11, 6-3, 202), punter Zach Feagles (No. 18, 6-2, 210) and receiver Evidence Njoku (No. 83, 6-6, 196). UM also lists defensive tackle Jon Ford (No. 96, 6-5, 275), though Ford was not expected to arrive until the Aug. 1 start of camp.
— Miami added several walk-ons this summer, including defensive back Colvin Alford (No. 37), fullback Michael Parrott (No. 41), defensive back Daniel Ferguson-McAllister (No. 46), kicker Turner Davidson (No. 47) and receiver Calvin Carrie (No. 48).
— Miami returns all of its nine assistant coaches and has two new faces on its support staff. Graduate assistant Michaellee Harris, a former Louisville receiver who played against the Hurricanes in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl, spent last year as an offensive analyst with Illinois. Quality control analyst David Cooney is the former offensive coordinator at Miami Southridge High, the 2016 Class 8A state champions. Both will work with Miami’s offense. A not-so-new face who officially joined the staff: special teams GA Danny Kalter, a 2017 UM grad. He was a student volunteer the last four years.