Just got back from the first day of practice at The U and had a few quick tidbits I wanted to pass along.
The biggest news coming out of camp today is that freshman receiver Leonard Hankerson has still not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse to play. The St. Thomas Aquinas standout was in shorts and a t-shirt Saturday morning and watched his teammates sweat, puke and gag for air in the hot early morning sun at Greentree Practice Field.
Coach Randy Shannon said Hankerson, who attended summer school, could be cleared to play soon. Aside from Jermaine McKenzie, Hankerson has really been the only other new receiver to get rave reviews during 7-on-7 drills this summer. McKenzie, who was involved in that scary car accident and will be wearing a brace until mid-October, was out at practice with quarterback Robert Marve. They were playing catch. Beat writer Susan Miller Degnan said she spotted Marve doing one-handed push-ups.
Other quick notes: Kirby Freeman and Kyle Wright looked OK throwing the football Saturday during 7-on-7 drills. Their receivers had a few drops -- Lance Leggett had several. Speaking of Leggett, he was wearing a huge brace on his right knee. He told Susan its because his knee is still pretty torn up, but that he will not have surgery... For those of you interested in early signs regarding the quarterback situation, Freeman took the first snap and handed the ball off to freshman Graig Cooper... In puke news, left tackle Jason Fox and backup right tackle Chris Rutledge were among the few players barfing during Saturday's workouts. Shannon said it was a good sign on a three to four lineman were unable to keep up with their teammates during the team's final springs... As for Shannon, he spent most of his time working with the special teams Saturday and even threw balls to prospective punt returners. I saw Bruce Johnson, freshman Demarcus Van Dyke, Ryan Hill, Cooper, Doug Wiggins, Kayne Farquharson, Sam Shields, Shawnbrey McNeal, Darnell Jenkins and Chavez Grant all handling punts. Shannon said he wants to spend most of his time working with the special teams because that's what he enjoys.
All in all, it was a good turn out for the first open practice of the weekend. President Donna Shalala was out there and so were about 300 fans, who lined the sidelines and watched practice.
I'll be back later to fill you in on what else happened. But here's an early update from Canes camp.