A few UM signing day postscripts:
### Al Golden said UM “absolutely get crushed by opponents” – some of whom warned players not to go to UM because of impending NCAA sanctions. “At times, it entered the world of vicious,” he said. “They saw a soft spot and went after it. A lot of times you give them enough rope to hang themselves.”
### Golden is optimistic that UM’s punishment will not be too harsh because the Hurricanes had eight players suspended last season and self imposed a bowl ban. He said the NCAA seems more inclined “to go after the perpetrators” and that no coaches and few players remain who were linked to the Nevin Shapiro scandal. He said players “understood we’re not responsible for it but we’re responsible enough to fix it.” “I don’t know why we need an inferiority complex,” Golden said. “We've got to start thinking like we're the University of Miami again. Time to stop having an inferiority complex. We will tough to beat down here. We should be… Are we not supposed to beat Alabama, Florida, Florida State down here?”
### He said he started feeling good about his chances of luring top cornerback Tracy Howard after visiting his home. Howard has a good chance to start next season, perhaps opposite Brandon McGee. "He's very instinctive, studies the game," defensive backs coach Paul Williams said. "When you add the speed, the athletic ability, you've got something really special.''
### He’s not sure if quarterback David Thompson will decide to play pro baseball instead, but said he has spoken to coach Jim Morris and would be allowed to play college baseball if he plays college football. He said he signed three quarterbacks because he believes he needs "to have five on campus." UM has four now (including early enrollees Preston Dewesy and Gray Crow), and the fifth (Thompson) arrives this summer.
### Golden loves the speed and tenacity of defensive ends Jake O’Donnell and Dwyane Hoilett, who were uncovered at one of the Golden’s UM camps last year. Homestead receiver Herb Waters also was uncovered at a camp.
### Golden said of 6-5, 310 pound defensive tackle Jacoby Briscoe: “We need that size, bulk inside.” Late addition Dequan Ivery “is very flexible and powerful. I kept challenging the staff to find me another nose guard.”
### He said former NFL coach Steve Mariucci was among those impressed by receiver Angelo Jean-Louis at the Under Armour practices.
### Golden, on linebacker Gabe Perry: “I couldn’t justify going to other states with that kid down the road. He ran a 10.9 in the 100 meters at 212 pounds.”
### He said receiver Robert Lockhart “has excellent hands and brings us length.” Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch called him "a stud - an unbelievable explosive player.''
### Returning defensive back Dallas Crawford is moving to running back. “He was a wildcat quarterback in high school,” Golden said, noting he can be moved back to the secondary if needed.
### He said defensive back Rashawn Jenkins also can play on offense and that cornerback Vernon Davis is a great kick and punt returner.
### He said 50 of the team’s 80 players will be in their first or second year.
### He said UM “made a lot of progress in Tampa. Talent in the state is unbelievable.”
### Golden introduced UM president Donna Shalala as "Mariano Rivera... the closer" because of the job she does selling the university to recruits.
FOR MORE ANALYSIS OF THIS CLASS, SEE OUR LAST POST.
As we reported in this space yesterday, the Heat wants to sign veteran 7-1 center Joel Przybilla and is awaiting a decision. He likely will choose between the Heat, Bulls and possibly one other team in the next few days.
The Heat also has an offer out to Kenyon Martin, who is being pursued by the Clippers, San Antonio, Atlanta and New York.
Martin can join a team when his contractual obligation to a Chinese basketball team ends, in mid-February or soon after. He isn't playing for the Chinese team, but his contract stipulates that he cannot return to the NBA until that team's season ends.