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4:30 p.m. update: Golden discusses UM's recruiting class; NFL TV news, Heat, Fins

Highlights from Al Golden’s just-completed National Signing Day news conference this afternoon:

### His overall view of this class: “I’m excited about what we did. The guys who said [they] were coming came. We have a lot of guys that everybody wanted. We took a run at a couple of other guys. Last year, I had a ceiling. I was against the cap. I didn’t have any wiggle room [with scholarships]. Not having the NCAA to deal with.. felt good.”

### On the front seven additions: “They’ll make an impact. Really excited about them from an explosiveness, size, maturity [standpoint] --– when you look at Michael Wyche and Calvin Heurteleu. Chad Thomas, a elite player, excellent explosiveness, pass rusher. Brings speed on the edge. On the other side, Demetrius Jackson, Trent Harris, to go along with Quan Muhammad and Tyriq McCord.

"Inside is where we’ve made the most gains. AJ Moten, a premier player in the country. I saw him last week --– he’s a shade under 300 pounds. Three nose tackles we’ve brought in, two junior college players  [who are] more mature physically and mentally. Heurteleu, at 322 pounds, will give us size and strength [that] we need. Wyche, we think will do an incredible job for us. He will make an impact on the field and in the locker-room. And Courtel Jenkins we’re excited about.”

### He said he's "excited" that UM is adding linebackers with good size. "Juwon Young is on campus at 240 pounds. Darrion Owens is 6-2, 6-3, 230-pound range. Terry McCray, a sought-after player. Michael Smith. Trent Harris and Demetrius are swing guys --- they can play SAM or the rush in our system.”

### Golden said Trayone Gray can "play wide receiver or running back, in addition to what he did at quarterback. I fell in love with him after about 10 minutes" at one of UM's camps.

### Golden said David Njoku “won’t be a tight end per se” but can play receiver and H-back and could eventually play more tight end. “He’s a big athlete, ex-wide receiver. We’ll see where he goes with his body. He’s 6-4, 218. He’s a guy we can move around and put him in space.”

### He said quarterback “Brad Kaaya has always been a winner, but now he’s a champion. He’s coming out of this year with a lot of confidence. USC, UCLA [went] after him; we’re thankful to him for his loyalty. 6-4, big arm. Very bright. He’s a leader. He visited us 11 months ago, and you could tell just how bright he is. He came to our camp, did a great job there."

Quarterback “Malik Rosier will be playing baseball for Jim Morris, in addition to playing football. Heck of an athlete. Big hands, strong arm, excellent mobility. He can throw the ball in the pocket really well but he also gives you an extra element of being able to escape and make plays with his feet.”

### He said offensive tackles Trevor Darling and KC McDermott “are exactly what we thought they were. They are two young men who will be able to help us right away. Smart and tough, get after it every day. We may need to get another offensive lineman in this group because I’m worried about the numbers. Not worried about the quality. Nick Linder will play center for us.”

### Golden said “we needed to get two safeties and we did. Kiy Hester played multiple positions in high school, can strike, has explosiveness, has good ball skills. Marques Gayot is physical. Both these kids are big. Ryan Mayes can play corner or safety. We’ll start him out at corner.”

### Golden said Chad Thomas, UM’s only five-star addition, “at such a young age is very mature, is inquisitive. He’s a young man who had everybody in the country offer him but decided to come down here to our camp to get better. You don’t always see that. We will add some strength, some weight [to him]. He’s explosive and a thinker. If you ask him his three best pass rush moves, he would demonstrate them for you.”

### Golden said he decided not to add a second running back besides Joseph Yearby. “Joe is not 6-foot, but Joe runs hard. He’s a strong runner. Duke Johnson is 202 pounds. We’re trying to get him to 205, 206. Joe is following Duke’s footsteps. We have Dallas Crawford and Gus Edwards. The depth there looks a lot better. I don’t think we’ll go after a big back. I would rather save that for next year and get two running backs. We really like a lot of the running backs in next year’s class.”

### He said South Dade receiver Tyre Brady “was under the radar. Maybe some other guys were ranked higher. But we were like, ‘6-3, can run like that, athletic.’”

### He said “we’re at our max” with scholarships but “may be able to add one or two.”

### He said Christopher Herndon “is an H back, similar to Clive Walford except he will come in a little bigger than Clive. We’re excited about him. We were really close to taking another tight end. Clive kind of bailed us out [by returning for his senior season in 2014]. Next year, we need to get a tight end, a Y and an H.”

### On his team: “We have a lot of playmakers. I’m excited our skill level and production is coming back. You look at the guys with sacks, caused fumbles, interceptions. That’s a lot of production coming back.”

### Golden said: “I realized I didn’t have to spend three-quarters of the time explaining the NCAA thing" to recruits this year. "That really felt good. I could talk about our classroom size, the type of curriculums we have, the campus itself, our football program, our tradition. Eighty-five, 90 percent of this class was done by the middle of October, when this [NCAA sanctions announcement] came out…. We’re not where we want to be, but the questions now are about the campus, about the education, about things you would think young people would want to know.”

### Golden said injured Duke Johnson and Yearby are "definitely out” for spring ball. So is receiver Braxton Berrios, an early enrollee recovering from an ACL tear…. Golden said receiver Rashawn Scott, who was suspended for the bowl game, is having a great offseason.

### Please see the last post for major NFL TV news from this afternoon; highlights from David Beckham's news conference today; plus, if you haven't read it, the Wednesday buzz column with five analysts breaking down this UM class, as well as Heat and Dolphins news.

### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz


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Barry -

What does Golden mean by this - "I was against the cap. I didn’t have any wiggle room [with scholarships]."



Georgia Cane

Good move not putting Valentine on your cover page. He doesn't deserve it

Georgia Cane

Oh! I like the class overall. We're starting to get some players Golden doesn't have develop as much. Add to that the existing players and soon Golden and staff will have "No Excuses".


Agree Georgia Cane. He will be a bench warmer at LSU.


Marco, we have to stay 3 scholies under the 85 limit due to the 9 ncaa schollie redutions because of sanctions. So we probably only had 1-2 slots left(decommited players, maybe 3) So he couldnt push hard for other players in case valentine and harris and 1 more decided to come to the U, then we would have been over schollie limits. I think thats what he meant/

So now we can always add 2-3 late signees, or another juco kid or keep em open and have a bigger class next year. 30 kids or so. NICE HAUL
11 ESPN 300 Players
2 JUCO 100 DT's 13 of the 26 considered the best of the best and the other 13 all three star or higher and all Highly regarded.

Even Courtel Jenkins, which no one talks about, #2 DT in Jersey now and #14 overall regardless of positon. Hester was a top 5 player in Jersey ,adn NkDJOU kid was a top player In Jersey in rivals final rankings.

#1 Qb from California and top 5 overall in the country, we added another Duke Johnson RB in Yearby. Added espn 300 WR's Langham and Berrios, and Tyree Brady.

GREAT D LINE==7 highly regarded d lineman



Barry, Re: your previous post. Did any non networks bid on NFL Thursday night games, like apple. I would love the NFL and the other leagues to forgo networks/cable providers and either deal directly with the customer or sign a deal with a medium like Apple TV. Thanks again


Ok.... Signing day has come and gone. Did Golden do enough to beat Duke??????


Come on Rolando. Duke won 10 games this yr and was beating the crap out of Texas AM in the Bowl Game until Johhny footballs late rally and double OT game. 10 win team with the FSU and Texas AM games........


That's what I'm saying. Duke is the team to beat in our division
Did golden get enough to do it

Barry Jackson

Marco: Golden meant UM operated under a self-imposed scholarship limit last year. He was speaking about last year. But Dom also correctly explained the limitations this year.

Barry Jackson

Brett: Interesting idea, but the NFL did not invite anyone to bid except CBS, Fox, ABC/ESPN, NBC and Turner. The thinking was to get a major over-the-air network platform not only to collect a new substantial rights fee but also to raise NFL Network's exposure through the CBS simulcast and through the promotion of NFL Net's exclusive second-half-of-the-season package.


Thanks Dom and Barry.

I think last year's self-imposed limit may have being a mistake.


Good Job Golden!


I must say that Coach Golden did do a good Job. He got a lot of talent from south florida. I hate we didn't get Nigel Bethel but it is what it is. I having been bashing his D cord the past two years, but I have faith that the defense will be better next year.


Thank you people!!! have faith, he atleast earned, the benefit of the doubt, just for navigating us through that ncaa thing!!!


Great class and a nice job by the U-Staff recruiting despite some late defections. Can't fault kids for going where their hearts take them. I wish them the best.

There are rampant rumors out there that BTW Coach Tim "Ice" Harris may join the UM staff in one capacity or another. I believe they've been denied by Ice, but I'd love to see him on U-Staff. Let Tim Jr. take over BTW.

Ice Harris is a proven coach, mentor-positive role model, and could certainly help the Canes navigate S.FL recruiting in a big way. Are you hearing anything with any merit regarding this situation Barry?

Manny Navarro


Ice told me flatly the only way he would return to a college is if he's involved in coaching. He doesn't want to be an office, behind the scenes guy.


Any news on any possible late signings ? What happened with drew Harris the Rb any Info on him?


Valentine who? Outasite Outamind. The fans want to watch So.Fl kids who want to play at home. Time to worry only about the fine young men who are enrolled at the U.

Congrats Coach Golden and the staff. Good Job.


Golden is now in "Year One," after being behind the Iron NCAA Curtain the past three years. He can now fully implement the plan he brought to the U when he was hired. He is now on the clock, yes this is the end of year three but not under the usual circumstances to say the least. Anyone who does not take the NCAA mess he inherited into account has their head buried in the sand. It is interesting to note that many experts in the field have much praise for the job he has done up to now. I guess they didn't consult all the experts on Canesport, Insight et al before they made their prognosis public, lol!

Canesport in particular is not a Cane site that supports the U in my opinion. They have gone beyond offering critical opinion and honest evaluation to being petty and vicious, Insight too! Happens on the Herald too. Not all of them but the mob mentality has often taken over on those sites in my opinion, Fermin is Not an expert and can't even get his reporting correct before he embarrasses himself in print! It is my opinion that he allows it and I suspect something happened between him and the U and the staff because it wasn't always that way. some kind of falling out! JMO

Support Golden and the U 1000% (see Chad Thomas)


Make a note....just some of the schools and coaches that Golden beat out for most of his 2014 class. Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, LSU, UCLA, USC, Clemson, Alabama just to name a few. Yes he lost some to those same schools but the same can be said for schools and coaches all over the country. It is the way the game is played and Golden, Caroll, Coley, Kehoe and the staff do it very well!

And if you want to call me a slurper go ahead,I got my Slupee today already, cherry btw at 7-11 on Sunrise!


Manny, Thanks Manny for the reply and I agree. Ice has proven his coaching ability, so why not find him a position when one opens up?

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