« Bridgewater latest to 'de-commit' since firing | Main | UM officially announces Golden as new coach »

Wow! New era at UM

Good morning, everyone.

Wow, you can already feel the difference at UM football practice.

It was wonderful being out there at practice this morning on Greentree Field. Beautiful day. Nobody seemed paranoid, and we were allowed to watch at least 30 minutes. Of course, depending on who gets the head coaching job, that could change. We shall see.

Freshman RT Seantrel Henderson not only no longer is wearing a boot on his left foot, he looks as lean and mean as a 6-8, 355-pound young man can look. That is the weight it says for Henderson on the roster. He might have lost weight since then. You should have seen Seantrel sprinting during running drills. He looked great.

A.J. Highsmith is no longer wearing orange. The former quarterback, a sophomore, now wears a white jersey and has officially been converted to a defensive back -- he said he's trying cornerback. But those things sometimes change. I'm happy for A.J. At least he gets to use this year as a redshirt year, and he'll have three more years of eligibility to develop into his new role. He has sacrificed a lot for this team, working very hard to learn the offense without ever really getting a chance to run it. I do think he's a team guy first. And he's smart, with obvious athletic talent. I hope he does well.

Players looked very spirited today, led by another spirited person: interim coach Jeff Stoutland, a great guy and really fine coach.

One super play today, which drew "oohs" and "ahhs" from spectators: Receiver Travis Benjamin leaped sky-high over Brandon Harris for a gorgeous catch in the end zone. If only he can do the same in the Sun Bowl...

Also: linebacker Jordan Futch is wearing an orange jersey now, as he has requested to play tight end. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple said he deserves to be given a chance, and will play that position in the bowl game.

Bye. Have a nice Saturday.