OXFORD, Ohio – Fall camp has officially started for the Miami football program, and senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix is already becoming a leader in his first season on campus.
In observing Hendrix taking command of the huddle to run first-year head coach Chuck Martin’s offense, the sense of excitement that has swept over the RedHawks is becoming more tangible both in and out of the program.
“It felt great getting back out with the guys in the first day of camp,” Hendrix said. “We’ve been working out over the summer on our own, but it felt good to pick up the intensity going full out with the defensive players as well.”
Hendrix comes to Miami after spending four years at Notre Dame, a program that won 37 games and played for a national championship. After amassing 589 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in his time as the Fighting Irish backup, he earned his bachelor’s degree in science pre-professional studies.
With one year of eligibility left, Hendrix seized the opportunity to follow Martin, who spent the last two years as Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach, to Miami to help the RedHawks start their climb back atop the Mid-American Conference. In just one day of camp, there is an optimism surrounding the program as it puts a tough 2013 season further into its rear view mirror.
“We are so much further along today than we were during the spring,” said Hendrix. “In spring ball, we couldn’t function and we didn’t know the offense very well. Now, we know what we’re doing and we can teach the younger players the right way to do it. Day one was a great start, but hopefully we make even bigger strides going into our first game against Marshall (Aug. 30).”
Hendrix is one of three Notre Dame players that are helping the rest of the roster ease the transition to Martin in his first year on the sideline, joining roommates Alex Welch and Lo Wood. While his experience in Martin’s offense is a big help to bringing the roster up to speed on the field, it’s his time with Martin as a person that may prove the most valuable to the RedHawks.
“I think my experience around Coach Martin at Notre Dame helps,” Hendrix said. “The team can ask what he means when he says something at practice. I know when he yells at a player, it’s because he knows how good that player can be. I’ve tried to help bring us along and get everyone on the same page.”
While Hendrix’ skill level has caught the attention of his coaches and teammates, his ability to quickly fit in has him looked at as a leader in a few short months with the team. At the end of the day, he’s here to work and leave the RedHawks in better shape than when he arrived.
“I’m a Cincinnati guy and I know a lot of the players from around the Midwest,” Hendrix said. “There’s not a bad guy on the team. I love being around them and I think they feel the same about me. I came in with my head down ready to get to work, which I think they appreciated.”