About 5 minutes after the Associated Press launched its AP preseason Top 25 ballot on Monday, Miami Hurricanes slot receiver Xavier Restrepo — who “unquestionably” additionally occurs to be UM’s prime wideout in fall camp, in keeping with coach Mario Cristobal — was requested his response to the rating.
“The AP Poll has you guys ranked 16th,’’ Restrepo was told. “You’re also picked to win the Coastal Division [of the Atlantic Coast Conference]. Is it warranted?”
Restrepo: “Just ready for the first week — Bethune-Cookman.”
No doubt Cristobal could be happy at his response.
Then Restrepo was informed that Cristobal mentioned he “did well” within the first scrimmage final Saturday.
“I just did what I’m supposed to do,’’ Restrepo said. “Coach called the right plays. Just executed at that point.”
Restrepo, a third-year sophomore out of Deerfield Beach High, completed final season with 373 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 24 catches, the second-most productive returning receiver after Key’Shawn Smith’s 405 yards and three touchdowns on 33 catches.
The receivers, who’ve been inconsistent at occasions throughout follow, are nonetheless a piece in progress, Cristobal indicated this week. Restrepo mentioned it’s “a big emphasis right now in the receiving room — catching balls. So we’re just going to stay on our guys to keep catching — even myself. Just stay consistent with the catching.’’
Restrepo said as a leader, he takes “100 percent ownership” of all the pieces the wideouts do. “Whether it’s third team, fourth team, first team, second team, it’s on me,’’ he said. “Every drop out there y’all see is on me.
“It’s all about practice habits. how you practice is how you’re going to play.”
As for that No. 16 rating, nationwide school soccer author Brett McMurphy of Action Network went a lot stronger on the Canes. McMurphy ranked the Canes No. 4 on his AP poll, behind Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia. Just beneath Miami on McMurphy’s poll: No. 5 Texas A&M, which meets UM in College Station at 9 p.m. Sept. 17.
Here’s what McMurphy informed WQAM host Joe Rose on Tuesday:
“There are charts out there that document how everybody votes. I’m sure I had Miami higher than anybody else.
“Here’s the predicament for me and for every other voter: The top three are pretty obvious — Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia. It doesn’t mean that’s how it’s going to end up at the end of the season. But going into the season as far as the power ratings, however you want to look at it, those are the top three. When you get to No. 4, there are probably half a dozen teams or more that you could put into that No. 4 spot — obviously Clemson [No. 4 in poll] got a lot of love.
“I just think that Miami with [Tyler] Van Dyke coming back at quarterback and with Cristobal coming in, there’s going to be a drastic change in just the attitude and makeup of the team and the program from people I’ve talked to… Look, I think it boils down to if they’re going to be a contender to win the ACC and be in the College Football Playoff, they obviously have to win at A&M. That doesn’t impact them in ACC play. And then they [play] Clemson and Pitt in the regular season. I think they’re on that caliber. Can they win those games? Were going to find out.
“For me, I think the ACC is wide open. You can make an argument for Clemson, Pitt, North Carolina State. I would have no issues with any of those guys. I just think Miami with the difference in attitude — Mario got rid of the turnover chain. I think he wants more of a businesslike attitude. Miami is going to be a lot tougher. He said he’s really excited about the offensive line — he should be, he’s a former offensive line coach. Everything is lined up for MIami to break through.”
▪ The Hurricanes had a closed fall camp follow session Tuesday and once more are scheduled for a closed session Wednesday.
Miami Herald sports activities author Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes soccer beat author since 2000, the season earlier than the Canes gained all of it. She has gained a number of APSE nationwide writing awards and has coated all the pieces from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to main marathons to the Olympics.