‘It’s a lot different this year’: Hurricanes leaders speak about new opportunities in 2022

The Miami Hurricanes football team held its annual media day on the school’s campus in Coral Gables.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes football team held its annual media day on the school’s campus in Coral Gables.

Several players and head coach Mario Cristobal spoke about the upcoming season.

Cristobal said the past six or seven months have been about the team bonding, building and maintaining that bond, and making sure everyone is on the same page in terms of is expected from them.

“There’s just no fluff to what we do,” Cristobal said, adding that he feels there is a mutual understating regarding the work that needs to be done. “You can’t skip the painful steps.”

Mario Cristobal (WPLG)

Cristobal is just one of the reasons there is so much excitement surrounding the Hurricanes.

Another reason is sophomore quarterback and 2021 ACC Rookie of the Year Tyler Van Dyke.

After taking over for injured QB D’Eriq King, Van Dyke racked up 2,931 yards and 25 touchdowns despite starting only nine games. He also completed 62.3 percent of his passes and threw just six interceptions.

“Our goal is to win the ACC championship. That’s where it starts,” he said.

Van Dyke discussed his desire to be more of a leader, something that comes easier knowing from day one that he’s the starting quarterback.

“It’s a lot different this year,” he said. “A lot of guys look up to me.”

He also said he’s not the kind of leader who yells a lot to get his point across, “unless someone really pisses me off.”

One change that Van Duke spoke about was Cristobal not allowing players to have cell phones during meetings.

He said it’s about limiting distractions, something that may have been an issue in the past.

The changes are being received well among the players.

“Everyone is not only buying in, but everyone is spending that extra time together,” said fifth-year redshirt junior Al Blades Jr.

Blades called Cristobal a “workaholic” and said players can’t help but try and emulate their coach’s work ethic.

True to form, Cristobal couldn’t help but show his excitement for the start of training camp.

“This is my favorite time of the year,” he said. “We have work to do. We have an incredible opportunity.”

About the Authors:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.

Will Manso came back home to South Florida when he joined Local 10 in March of 1999. During his time here, Will has kept busy by working in sports, news and he's even dabbled in entertainment. He is now Local 10's sports director and also enjoys the chance to serve as host for special shows on Local 10.