MOBILE, Ala. -- It was no secret in South Florida that the Miami Hurricanes had talented football players.
Despite their 6-7 record, those who follow the program knew there were many high-caliber athletes on the team. Yet, something wasn’t right with the team, whether it was inconsistent coaching or overall team chemistry.
This week at the Senior Bowl, the Hurricanes' talent is shining through. Hurricanes receiver Phillip Dorsett, tight end Clive Walford, linebacker Denzel Perryman and cornerback Ladarius Gunter all had their "wow" moments in practices this week and are generating a buzz at the Senior Bowl.
Perryman and Gunter made plays defensively for the South team on Tuesday, while Dorsett and Walford were the stars of Wednesday’s practice with big receptions. After a disappointing year at Miami, the four are doing all they can to improve their draft stock.
So how do you explain Miami’s losing record in 2014? The program continues to have solid recruiting classes but is far removed from its glory days when the Hurricanes competed for and won national championships. Things bottomed out last season as Miami finished under .500 for the first time since 2007.
“A lot of things didn’t go our way last year. I can say that,” Dorsett said. “A lot of things went the wrong way. We just got to get guys to really buy in. It’s not on the coaches, it’s on the players. Coaches coach and players got to go out there and play. That’s all I can really say about it.”
Perryman, a team captain at the University of Miami, had the same sentiments.
“For me, I feel like just a lot of miscommunication and not executing the game plan,” Perryman said. “That’s where I feel we fell short, both on offense and defense.”
Multiple teams, including the Dolphins, have interviewed Hurricanes players this week to get to know them better. The Dolphins have specifically interviewed Dorsett and Perryman at the Senior Bowl. That’s not a surprise considering their need for a speedy receiver and a take-charge linebacker.
Overall, the Hurricanes are fitting in well with some of the college talent from around the country -- both on and off the field.
“[It's] pretty cool,” Walford said of Senior Bowl week. “Ifeel like I’m at home. Idon’t feel like I’m in Alabama at all.”