Former Miami football player Bryan Pata was murdered in a shooting back in 2006, and it took police 15 years to make an arrest in the previously unsolved case.
Rashaun Jones, a former defensive back who was teammates with Pata at Miami, was arrested by Miami-Dade police on Thursday and charged with the murder of Pata, according to The Miami Herald. The 35-year-old had long been considered a suspect in the case, as he had once gotten into a physical altercation with Pata and dated Pata’s girlfriend.
Pata was shot in the back of the head outside his apartment complex near the Miami campus on Nov. 7, 2006. He had practiced with the Hurricanes earlier that day. There were no direct witnesses to the shooting.
Pata, a former defensive end, was a rising star before he was murdered. He was expected to be drafted early in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Miami quarterback D’Eriq King was helped to the locker room after he suffered a leg injury during his team’s loss to Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl on Tuesday, and unfortunately the injury was serious.
Miami announced on Thursday that King tore his ACL and will undergo surgery. The good news is the school said King is expected to be recovered in time for fall training camp.
A transfer from Houston, King was 10/13 for 113 yards and a touchdown pass in the game. He recently announced he will return to Miami next season, and it sounds like he should be ready by the time the season kicks off.
Miami is 8-2 this season, which is the program’s best winning percentage since 2003. A lot of that is due to the strong play from King.
The Houston transfer has gone 200/315 (63.5 percent) for 2,570 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions in his first season with Miami. He has also rushed for 520 and four touchdowns.
King is eligible to play next season because the NCAA said fall athletes would not have their seasons count against them for eligibility due to COVID-19. 2021 will mark King’s sixth season playing football in a college program.
There is a very good reason why the Miami Hurricanes slipped to a 6-7 record this season and suffered an embarrassing bowl loss.
A report from The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson published on Sunday detailed significant issues within Miami’s culture, including allegations that the Hurricanes had immaturity issues. The immaturity issues included players supposedly being more focused on partying than playing, with some breaking curfew before the 14-0 bowl loss to Louisiana Tech.
Jackson’s report says players took advantage of Miami’s drug policy, which does not call for suspensions for first violations.
Freshman quarterback Jarren Williams was one of the players accused of immaturity. He was said to have even skipped a practice. Williams’ immaturity is reportedly one of the reasons the program wouldn’t mind if he transferred.
Miami took several steps backwards in Manny Diaz’s first season. The coach is reportedly considering a harsher discipline policy moving forward.
The Miami Hurricanes indicated they had plans to make big offensive changes going into 2020, and they have done so with an offensive coordinator hire.
The Hurricanes are set to hire Rhett Lashlee as their new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported on Friday. Lashlee served in the same capacity at SMU this season.
Lashlee has been at SMU for two seasons. This season, the Mustangs were ranked No. 7 in scoring offense (41.8 PPG) and No. 9 in total offense (489.8 YPG).
Prior to SMU, Lashlee served as an offensive coordinator for seven seasons, including stints with UConn, Auburn, Arkansas State and Samford. He has coached under Gus Malzahn at both Auburn and Arkansas State.
SMU runs an Air Raid pass-heavy offense. Miami head coach Manny Diaz has said he wants to improve the team’s offense and is doing so, transitioning from Dan Enos to Lashlee on offense.
The Miami Hurricanes are looking to make changes to their football program, and they could turn to a name from the past in hopes of a boost.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported on Monday that Miami has strong interest in hiring Highsmith for a chief of staff type of role.
… I have bit more news, this time on UM front: Alonzo Highsmith joining UM in chief of staff role, running football, has emerged as real possibility, per sources. No deal at this time but UM strongly looking at this now.
Jackson later said Highsmith spoke with Miami athletic director Blake James about a high-level football administrative job. Miami intends to interview other candidates and is prioritizing its search for a new offensive coordinator first.
Update on Highsmith/UM, per 2 UM sources: Highsmith and Blake James spoke today about a high-level football administrative job. UM expressed interest. But UM conveyed tonight it wants to look at other candidates, too, and will be in touch down road, and priority now is hiring OC
Highsmith is a player from Miami’s glory days. He played for the Hurricanes from 1983-1986 and later became the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Highsmith is now the VP of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns and has worked in NFL front offices since 2012. He previously worked for the Packers.
The Miami Hurricanes suffered an embarrassing loss on Thursday, falling 14-0 to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl. The Canes made it clear they did not want to be there, which was confirmed by quarterback Jarren Williams.
Williams told Don Bailey Jr. on WQAM: “We were going through the motions.”
A true freshman, Williams went 9/20 for 94 yards and an interception before being benched in the fourth quarter. N’Kosi Perry and even Tate Martell saw action at quarterback after Williams.
Jackson further reported that Miami would not mind if Williams looked to transfer.
Williams won the job as a true freshman but had several lackluster games. He finished with 19 touchdown passes and seven interceptions on the season. He was recruited by previous Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt.
Despite the terrible season, Miami’s athletic director is standing behind coach Manny Diaz.
Enos, 51, is in his first year as offensive coordinator at Miami. He came to Miami from Alabama, where he served as a quarterbacks coach for the Crimson Tide in 2018. He was the head coach at Central Michigan from 2010-2014.
Florida International University shocked the nation with an improbable upset win over their crosstown rivals, and linebacker Sage Lewis was enjoying it.
After FIU pulled off the 30-24 stunner on Saturday over the heavily-favored University of Miami, Lewis poured salt on the wound with some quality shade.
“We wasn’t even calling them the University of Miami during the week,” said Lewis, per The Athletic’s Manny Navarro. “We were calling them the University of Coral Gables. We’re the true Miami school. We have more students internationally. We did it for the university and really for the world.”
The senior Lewis had one of three interceptions for the Panthers in the game, which marked Miami’s first loss to a non-Power Five team in nearly a decade.
Miami fans won’t like hearing this. After all, Al Golden had a winning record in all but one season and it wasn’t enough to keep his job. Diaz has to turn things around faster than that to avoid the same sort of backlash. It’s even more true when you remember that the Hurricanes won ten games under Mark Richt and seemed to be on the rise again just two years ago.