Martin is confident in his team’s depth and strength in other areas, especially with returning players such as sixth-year wide receiver Jack Sorenson who were granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA in the wake of last season’s pandemic restrictions.
“We got all of our specialists back,” he said. “I know we only played three games, but defensively, I think we’re going to be very strong. We have some high-end defensive ends, and our linebackers are really good. We have a very good nucleus on that side of the ball. Offensively, all of the backups are back. I think we’re going to be much better offensively. Every team has some extra players. Every team feels good about their team, which is normal.”
Despite the RedHawks’ experience, they were picked in a pre-season poll of MAC media to finish only third in the East Division.
“Polls are fun,” Martin said. “They’re exciting. I think there are 10 or 11 teams that can win it. Everybody knows how balanced the league is. You have to find a way to win the close games. The difference between finishing first or last could be 10 or 11 points. There are a bunch of teams on our side and on the other side (the MAC West Division) who will have to slug it out.”
The 6-foot, 195-pound Sorenson returns after hooking up with 6-foot, 205-pound sophomore quarterback Brett Gabbert for four touchdown passes in the season-ending win at Akron — the 700th overall win in program history. Sorenson, who has personally witnessed Miami’s turnaround from finishing 3-9 in 2015 to winning the 2019 MAC championship, relishes his shot at extending his journey and helping lead the RedHawks back to the top of the MAC.
“I think it means the world to me,” he said, “We didn’t get a shot last season. The team has a chance to show what we’re capable of. The coaches get another opportunity to show what they’re capable of. We get to show who we are and what Miami is and to show that this is our legacy.”
The RedHawks’ fall camp schedule, according to Miami media relations includes practices on these days: August 6-8; August 10-12; August 14-18; and August 20-22. All are scheduled to start at 8:50 a.m. except August 21 at 9:50 a.m. and August 22 at 8:35 a.m. and are open to the public.