UM right tackle Seantrel Henderson -- the 6-8, 360-pound monster on the field and thoroughly nice and low-keyed guy off it -- missed almost all the bowl practices in Coral Gables because of a wicked stomach virus that depleted him of fluids and had him quite sick.
He came back to practice the day before UM's final session back home, but missed the last one because he hadn't fully recuperated. Most of us were wondering when (and possibly if) he'd be back healthy enough for the bowl game.
But Seantrel is back, despite a snow storm in his home of Minneapolis that caused his plane reservations to be rebooked. I bumped into him last night in the El Paso Airport after he arrived. He seemed really happy to be here and said he was all better.
Hopefully, the time missed won't affect his stamina. But he has today and Tuesday to get into the grind, before tapering off Wednesday.
UM needs him for sure.
Addendum: Just watched the first part of practice and Seantrel was practicing at second team, with Jermaine Johnson at first team. Makes sense. Seantrel has been away from practice for a long time. Not sure what will happen in game. We'll talk to Jeff Stoutland in about an hour.
Also: Jacory Harris was taking the first-team snaps today in practice at a local high school in El Paso. Coach Stoutland informed a UM spokesman that he will not announce the starting quarterback today after practice. It seems that it will be Jacory, but we have not been told anything yet.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN