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Mark Richt hopeful about tight ends’ status for Pinstripe Bowl

It’s still a little too early to know for sure, but Mark Richt said he’s hopeful Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory will both be available for the Miami Hurricanes when they face the Wisconsin Badgers in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27. The coach wasn’t always quite some optimistic.

Richt spoke publicly Sunday for just the second time since Miami wrapped up the regular season, which meant he was finally able to give an update on his freshman tight ends. The diagnosis has been better than Richt originally feared when both went down in a win against the Virginia Tech Hokies last month.

“When the injuries first happened we were very fearful that they would be season-ending, but also maybe have to have some type of surgery,” Richt said on a teleconference following the Hurricanes’ bowl selection Sunday. “Grace of God, neither one of them had to have surgery and both have been rehabbing very well, and Vinny Scavo, our head athletic trainer, is optimistic that these guys will be able to play. I really haven’t checked on the progress in the last couple days, so I’m not 100 percent sure on that, but we’re still hopeful that those guys will play.”

Jordan is recovering from an ankle injury, while Mallory suffered an unspecified leg injury.

Without the two tight ends, Richt was forced to play more of a spread offense in the second half against Virginia Tech and the entirety of Miami’s win against the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Hurricanes already lost two other tight ends to season-ending injuries earlier in the year when Michael Irvin II and Brian Polendey both sustaineed knee injuries. Running back Trayone Gray, offensive lineman Zalon’tae Hillery and walk-on tight end Nicholas Ducheine have all been options at tight end with Miami shorthanded.

Richt is also hopeful most of his seniors will play in New York. In recent weeks, NFL prospects such as defensive lineman Gerald Williis, and defensive backs Michael Jackson, Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine have all been asked about whether they plan to play in a postseason game.

Richt didn’t elaborate much, but when asked whether he expected the seniors to play in the Bronx, he said, “I sure hope so.”

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