MOBILE, Ala. -- Miami Hurricanes football may not be the powerful force it once was, but you couldn't tell by watching Senior Bowl practices at Ladd Peebles Stadium on Wednesday.
Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett and tight end Clive Walford were the stars of South practices. This makes it two days in a row where Dorsett has looked good in the competitive practice environment.
"We're competitive. We compete at everything," Dorsett said. "That's something we do every day and can't turn that notch off."
In front of Jacksonville Jaguars tight ends coach Ron Middleton, Walford was making catch after catch. Dig route. Catch. Out route. Catch. Flat route. Catch. Every time Walford would pull in the ball, Middleton would scream in delight. It's fair enough to assume he'll have a sore throat tonight.
Walford was getting open using his frame to create space and a nice head fake to lose a defender. Walford is really competing this week and has been willing to go up and after difficult catches. He's showing why he should be in the discussion to be the first tight end drafted along with Maxx Williams of Minnesota.
Dorsett said that coaches at Miami worked with Walford to get him to avoid low tacklers and also become a more all-around tight end. They also wanted him to practice hard every day, something that paid off for the 6'4 tight end.
"Clive is a competitor. His last year at Miami, he grinded every day and got better every day," Dorsett said. "There was a lot of things the coaches challenged him on and he answered them every day."
"In our seven-on-seven session, he did a nice job. When your number is called, you have to answer it, especially in a situation like this," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said. "He's really competed well, I think."
In Mobile, Ala., Dorsett is competing just as much. He's having the type of week that will push him up in the draft. Exactly how high we'll see, but he has been dynamic. Dorsett's best asset is his speed, and he knows it. He said the fastest 40-yard dash time he's run was 4.21 seconds.
"Obviously I'm a downfield threat, but I want to show teams I'm a lot more than that," Dorsett said.
He said that this week he needs to work on getting in and out of his cuts on comeback routes where he immediately breaks off his speed and turns around to catch a football right in his face.
"He's bright eyed, enthusiastic and he loves football," Bradley said about Dorsett. "One of the traits he brings is being on special teams."
What Bradley is seeing, a lot of NFL teams are as well. Dorsett said several have talked to him about being a return man immediately when he gets into the NFL.
After practices Dorsett said he met Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey, checked him out on his football intelligence on a white board and was asked general questions. Dorsett also mentioned he's met with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles. It's good to keep in mind, though, that most of these players will meet with every team at some point throughout the draft process.
For now, though, those teams have to like what they're seeing from the two Hurricanes players.