Depth chart, observations as Miami Hurricanes return to field for 2018 spring practice

Miami’s indoor practice facility, scheduled for completion by August. (Matt Porter/The Palm Beach Post)

CORAL GABLES — Keep it here for updates from Miami’s first practice of the spring, held Tuesday morning on Greentree practice fields.  In case you missed it, here’s a detailed look at (many of) the things we’ll be watching.

What we saw during a 25-minute viewing period:

Quarterbacks 

Malik Rosier was the first man up in drills, followed by N’Kosi Perry, Cade Weldon and early enrollee Jarren Williams. During the open period, they handed off to running backs and threw to tight ends and receivers. Mark Richt, as usual, spent much of his time there.

Running backs 

The first three up were Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas and Lorenzo Lingard, the early enrollee freshman. Robert Burns and Trayone Gray were next.  The first-string fullback appears to be walk-on Michael Parrott, wearing No. 41. Signee Realus George arrives post-spring.

Wide receiver 

In drills, the veterans led. Dayall Harris, Lawrence  Cager and Darrell Langham — looking like he’s added some good weight — were first up. Those big-bodied upperclassmen are competing for essentially the same position, the ‘X’ receiver spot. Next up: Jeff Thomas, freshman Brian Hightower, Mike Harley and freshman Daquris Wiggins.

A relevant note: opening-day spring lineups, Richt has said, are based on players’ performance in mat drills.

Ahmmon Richards (knee surgery) and Evidence Njoku were not present for the early portion.

Braxton Berrios, training for the NFL and Miami’s March 28 pro day, was present at practice.

Tight end 

As expected: Michael Irvin and Brian Polendey were the first two up. Polendey, to this eye, looks like he had a better offseason (physically) than Irvin.

Offensive line

New lineup from last year. The first string:

Left tackle Tyree St. Louis, left guard Jahair Jones (a redshirt senior who hasn’t played much), center Tyler Gauthier, right guard Navaughn Donaldson and right tackle George Brown Jr. (now a redshirt junior).

The second unit was, left to right, Kai-Leon Herbert, freshman Delone Scaife, Corey Gaynor (who is expected to contend for the left guard spot, unless Jones surprises), Hayden Mahoney and Zalon’tae Hillery.

Defensive line 

No Demetrius Jackson, as expected.

Hard to tell who was working with whom, from the media’s far-away vantage point. But it’s clear tackles Gerald Willis and Jon Ford are first up in drills, and Joe Jackson and Jonathan Garvin are first-string ends. Tackle Pat Bethel, end Scott Patchan and freshman end Greg Rousseau were running with the second string (or are expected to be; remember, this is based off who lines up where in positional drills, and not actual viewing of 11-on-11 work).

One interesting change: redshirt senior linebacker Terry McCray was working with the defensive ends. Not sure if that’s a permanent change or not.

Linebackers

A new wrinkle: outside (Sam) linebackers are working seperately from the inside (Mike and Will) linebackers. New assistant Jonathan Patke trains the Sams. He had a pair of new charges: former safeties Derrick Smith and Romeo Finley. Patke’s first-stringer is Zach McCloud, followed in drills by De’Andre Wilder, Smith and Finley.

Mark Richt said after practice Smith and Finley would be Sams in Miami’s nickel defense, but not in the base 4-3.

The lead inside pair, coached by Manny Diaz, was Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney. Three players seemed to be vying for second-pair status: Mike Smith, Bradley Jennings and Waynmon Steed.

Cornerbacks 

Good to see Malek Young, whose career was cut short by a neck injury, standing next to assistant Mike Rumph.

Michael Jackson and Jhavonte Dean were the first pair up in drills, with Trajan Bandy and DJ Ivey next up. Gilbert Frierson and walk-on Tyler Murphy were next.

Safeties

Jaquan Johnson was not at practice during the media viewing period. The reason was not immediately clear. (Update: UM says it was a class conflict; Johnson participated in the second half of practice spoke to reporters as planned.)

Sheldrick Redwine and Amari Carter were the first pair. Gurvan Hall and Robert Knowles were next up.