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Aldarius Johnson focused, ready to 'put all negative stuff to side'

CORAL GABLES -- Maybe success came too quickly for him as a freshman. Or maybe, he just lost his focus after injuries slowed him down and others passed him on the depth chart.

Aldarius Johnson Whatever the case is, Aldarius Johnson knows his time to shine has to be now.

The 6-4, 205-pound receiver, who led UM in receiving as a freshman in 2008 (31 catches, 332 yards and 3 TDs) before putting together two lackluster seasons in a row (31 catches, 433 yards, 1 TD in 2009 and 2010 combined), won't need Al Golden or receivers coach George McDonald to motivate him his senior season.

The future of his children -- 3-year old son Aldarius Jr. and 2-year old daughter Aldaria -- has given him a new perspective, and plenty of motivation to make a new name for himself in 2011.

"I sat back this summer thinking 'Do I want to let my kids down?'," Johnson said Monday before UM's third practice of the fall.

"I come out [to practice] and that's all I think about. How am I going to [help] my kids live better when they get older? They help me through the day when I'm hurting, tired, frustrated. So, I just come out and do what I got to do. It ain't for me. It's for my team, my family and most of all my kids."

If Johnson wants a future in professional football, he's going to have to turn things around quickly. Wednesday, Johnson admitted that over the last two seasons he took plays off and didn't show the type of burst he needed to when the ball was snapped to keep defenses from knowing when the offense was going to run or pass the ball. Asked why he took plays off, Johnson couldn't really explain himself.

"I was really more concerned about this and that when I should be concerned about what I'm here for and what I came to do," Johnson said. "I thought this was cake. But it hit me, there ain't nothing easy in life. I have to wake up and get focused on what I came here to do."

Putting himself back in a position to make an impact at UM won't be easy. Not only are Travis Benjamin and LaRon Byrd ahead of Johnson on the depth chart, sophomore Allen Hurns and freshman Phillip Dorsett have been making plenty of waves. Johnson also has former Miami Northwestern teammate Tommy Streeter to contend with.

Johnson said he started putting in extra work toward beating his competition, heading to the beach on Monday and Wednesday mornings (before team workouts and 7-on-7 work) to practice running his routes in the sand "so I can come off my breaks hard and come off my routes hard." To keep his mind focused, he would bring his mom along too.

"I just heard Andre Johnson and the guys talking [during a workout this summer] saying how they were going to go to the beach and work out," Johnson said. "So I just grabbed my mom and went to the beach. She sat right there through my workouts. That was really great."

McDonald said Wednesday that in his eyes there are three receivers on the team he believes who can be "go-to-guys." Asked who they were, McDonald didn't provide any hints. But at least he appears to be willing to give Johnson a chance.

“Obviously, early in his career he had a lot of catches," McDonald said. "We’re just focused on getting him back to that solid play where he’s making contributions to the team and being a reliable receiver for us."

MORE PRACTICE NOTES...

> Safety Ray Ray Armstrong says coaches have said, "You have to be tough in order to play on this defense." How tough? Well, you better not make it on the "soft tape."

The soft tape is a video of highlights -- or lowlights -- of players shying away from contact or not jumping in on a tackle.

"I don't think anybody wants to be put on a soft tape," Armstrong said. "It's like a highlight tape of people if you're shying away from contact or you're not coming in there to fit in, get in on a tackle."

Asked if he'd every been put on the "soft tape," Johnson gave a reporter what could best be described as a funny look.

> UM coach Al Golden said the reason he moved junior Jeremy Lewis (19th-best rated defensive tackle in the country in 2008 according to Rivals) to offensive guard is because his "best chance to play right now is at guard."

"We have depth issues there that are more glaring than what we have at tackle," Golden said. "Clearly Darius [Smith] and Olsen [Pierre] have fortified our depth there, and [Marcus] Forston being back before we thought he would has helped that situation."

> While UM coaches are happy Smith, nicknamed "The Plug" by teammates, dropped from 361 to 343 pounds, he is still currently practicing with the third team. He said he's lined up behind Micanor Regis (1st team) and Porter (2nd team). At the other defensive tackle spot, it's Marcus Forston, followed by Pierre, and Luther Robinson.

Smith, who played at as heavy as 375 pounds at Lackawanna Junior College, said UM coaches still want him to drop more weight. "I have to learn a lot from them, learn the plays, learn the system before I get my name in the mix, a starting role," Smith said.

> Marcus Robinson said "it's hard to tell" whether he's a linebacker or defensive end these days. Perhaps it's best to simply to refer to him as a hybrid pass rusher in both UM's 3-4 and 4-3 defense. When he lines up at linebacker, Robinson said, he's on the strong side.

"I love the new role, showing my versatility," Robinson said. "I understand the package I'm in right now - they keep it real basic for me. [But] there's a lot more studying than just knowing one position. I have to learn both end and linebacker, so it's a little tough right now."

> Golden said sophomore Brandon Linder is working at multiple positions, but is currently working in at center. "I'm not so sure he couldn't play right tackle for us, either," Golden said. "He's a bright, rugged kid. He's what we're looking for in the o-line. We need versatility right now. Although we're experienced on o-line. We don't have the layers we should have."

> Golden said he would like to have his two-deep set with at least 10 days to go in camp so that the top two players at each position could compete for the starting job over the final scrimmage and practices.

Comments

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The recurring theme? Versatility, ability to move to the position that you fit best, and that gets you the most playing time and makes the team better.

Clement
Robinson
Lewis
Linder

Each of them can be a starter at other schools, but need to move around to find room on this deep team. Like Gore behind Portis, and Reed behind Taylor, they have the chance to play because they stand out, but they also have great players ahead of them.

I hope that A. Johnson gets his degree because taking off two full years and then expecting to be a top receiver is just not going to happen. To much hungry new talent infront of him. Taking plays off? That is the type of attitude that has plagued the "U" for the last 4 to 5 seasons at many positions.

How can you take plays off when you havent accomplished anything at the U yet? A Johnson has Moss, Wayne, Johnson as receivers he can reach out too. This kid needs to learn what it takes to be at The U.

WHAT R TALKING BOUT KID REED BEHIND TAYLOR ED REED WAS THERE BEFORE SEAN T.... ED STARTED IN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WHEN SEAN WAS JUST A BACK UP FRESHMAN.... GET YA FACTS str8

I'm a little disappointed in Johnson. U make adjustments when U get to college. Even if you're not a student, there are adjustments. Give him another chance, but if he's not producing at WR, then maybe someplace else. Sheilds actually played a lot, even though he got switched.

U can put Streeter in the same boat as Johnson. They have not lived up to what they were at NW. I don't think the coaches can get Johnson to excel at another level. Maybe J12 can, considering what they did at NW. This ain't high school. U got to make adjustments. That said, I think Byrd, Benjamin and Thompkins might be it.

Anybody got word on when Corey King and Antonio Kinard will be cleared?

A JOHNSON I KNOW YOUR FAMILY MOM AND DAD U GOT IT IN U TO DO GREAT THINGS PUT YOUR HEART IN IT NONE OF THOSE GUYS IN FRONT OF U ARE A MORE COMPLETE REC THAN U ITS SHOW TIME OR LOADING TRUCKS THE TRUTH

Great to hear from you Manny! Good reporting.

Wonder why the gators wont play the U, look at this:
The Florida Times-Union, May 13, 1987, Section C, Page 1
With neither side willing to make concessions for the other, the universities of Florida and Miami reached an agreement yesterday that will postpone their football rivalry for four seasons after this years Sept. 5 meeting in the Orange Bowl.
An agreement between Florida Athletic Director Bill Arnsparger and Miami AD Sam Janovich calls for the teams to play at Florida field in 1992 and 1996 and at Miami in 1993 and 1997.

The schools had been negotiating for months, but failed to resolve the impasse they reached in trying to avoid a four-year layoff in the rivalry. Since the series began in 1938, the only year which Florida and Miami failed to play was 1943, when the Gators didn't field a team.

"We are pleased that the Miami-Florida series plans for the next decade have been resolved," Jankovich said. "I feel it is unfortunate that the young people who participated in this series will not be able to continue doing so on a regular basis, because I feel this had been an outstanding rivalry for both institutions and the entire state of Florida."

Arnsparger wanted the next two meetings after this fall to take place in Gainesville in 1990 and 1992, but Jankovich would only agree to that if Florida played at Miami in 1989. Arnsparger was unwilling to play on the road in 1989 because it would disrupt Florida's current schedule pattern of having at least six home games.

Florida announced last fall it would cut back on its games with Miami because it had to increase its Southeastern Conference schedule from six games to seven games, starting in 1988. This year's game is under a single-game contract, and Arnsparger was looking to pair that contest up with a home game in 1990.

"I wanted something to complement the 1987 game before we get into the other format (four games in eight years)." Arnsparger said.

Jankovich was disappointed that the schools couldn't reach a better compromise.

"I think they're making a big mistake in, one, doing away with the series (on an annual basis) and, secondly, it's very, very unfortunate that we'll go four years without playing as it stands," he said.

Another reason behind the curtailment of the Miami-Florida series is the Gators' desire to get away from playing an entire regional schedule. With seven SEC games and Florida State already on the schedule, the Gators hope to lure a quality intersectional opponent for a home-and-home series during the 1988-91 seasons. Arnsparger has been talking with several schools outside the South about a home-and-home series, and Florida is expected to announce such an agreement before the 1987 season.

Florida's next meeting with the Hurricanes will be the 49th in their rivalry. The Gators lead the series 25-23.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Florida Times-Union, December 20, 1990, Section C, Page 1
The resumption of the college football series between Florida and Miami, a rivalry discontinued after the 1987 season, will not happen.
Florida officials said yesterday that the Gators will not play the Hurricanes in 1992 and 93, even though contracts have been signed for these years. Also, informal plans to resume the series annually in 1996 have been aborted as well. They said the decision was based on the Southeastern Conference's recent decision to have each school in the expanded 12-team league play eight SEC games instead of the current seven.

In a decision made Tuesday evening by the school's athletic board, Florida officials decided to exercise their escape option in the contracts for the games in 1992 and 93. The clause allows Florida to withdraw from the games by paying Maimi a cancellation fee of $75,000 for each game.

"Given all the circumstances, there was not another decision the board could come to," Florida senior associate athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "We had to do what's right for us. There is no question this is right. Miami did what they thought was right for them by joining the Big East. Now we're doing what is right for us."

Miami athletic director Sam Jankovich said yesterday he received hints of how Florida would play its hand in south Florida newspapers, but that he had not heard from Florida officials.

"I was shocked to learn through the paper about the Florida series," Jankovich said in a statement. "We had received no previous notice. As far as we're concerned, we have contracts and letter agreements to play Florida and we will do all we can to keep the series in place."

Foley said he tried to contact Miami officials yesterday morning, but was unable to do so. He said Athletic Director Bill Arnsparger was out of town but he was attempting to contact Jankovich.

Florida officials said that in order to meet financial obligations, the Gators must play six games every year at Florida Field, particularly since the stadium currently is being enlarged to 84,000 seats.

Also, officials want to continue to play Florida State annually on a home-and-home basis and play Georgia every year in Jacksonville.

Under that format, Florida will play four home SEC games every other year. In the odd-numbered years, when the Gators will play only three SEC home games, FSU will come to Gainesville. Each year, Florida will play two home games against teams that do not require return games.

This is the second time in four years Florida has made a decision to drop Miami. The first time, in 1986, Florida officials made the decision because the SEC schedule expanded from six to seven games and they wanted the opportunity to play some games in other parts of the country for recruiting purposes.

The teams played every year from 1944 to 1987.

Florida coach Steve Spurrier was responsible for the short-lived plans to resume the series. When he took the job last December, he said he believed the Gators and Hurricanes should play and that school officials were willing to go along. The 92 and 93 games already were planned, but school officials were willing to plan an annual series with Miami beginning in 1996.

That was until the SEC expanded its slate once again.

"Although I'm sorry it had to come to this, we need to do what is best for our total athletic program," Spurrier said. "And we must play eight SEC games, six games each year at home and the Georgia game in Jacksonville. We still want to play Miami and I hope we can work it out in a bowl game or a 12th game."

Miami coach Dennis Erickson said he was unhappy with the end of the series.

"I want to play Florida," Erickson said. "I'm very disappointed. I think something could be worked out if it wanted to be worked out."

One option was to move the Georgia-Florida game out of Jacksonville and play it on a home-and-home basis. If that had been done, Florida could have played Georgia at home on the years it went to Miami and vice versa. However, Florida officials, believing the annual game in the Gator Bowl was a tradition that should not be dropped, vetoed that option early.

That left only two options: cancel the series with Miami; or play only five home games every other year.

"We're expanding our stadium and we have a budget to do that based on six home games," Foley said.

^^^^^^^^^^Once a coward, always a coward. Its the swamp lizard way^^^^^^^^^^

Taking plays off? ARE YOU EFF...EN kidding me? I knew it! Kudos for aj being straight up honest. There were dozen others... Beginning with the 2004 peach bowl when it looked like randy shannons defensive crew plain ol gave up, bent over, and took it up they buootays! Then in the virginia game, the notre dame game, and plenty others. These clowns need to be weeded out. Aj will now reap the rewards for tjat northwsterm laziness... He may not smell the nkfl, like his buddies jacorry and streetr. I believe jacorry has taken of games as well!

Move the freshman up the depth chart now! Get rid of the dead weight including the plug if he dosnt lose weight! Get his fat a55 out of here!

And i tell you the article on why theturds dropped miami is awesome... Gator fans, its over. Admit it. Your weak a55 Ad was too scared of getting his a55 whooped year in year out. The excuse about the sec being so hard is lame. The 80s, 90s belonged in no uncertain terms to:

miami
Oklahoma
Nebraska
Fsu
Alabama

In that order beeotches

^^^^^^^^^^Once a coward, always a coward. Its the swamp lizard way^^^^^^^^^^

Posted by: 3G Cane

>>>>>>More like the Florida Geico Lizards
Signed: The program Killa

SEC is great top to bottom, let's see...Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Mississippi state, Mississippi..so far not one school with a national title in football in at least 50 years. Ok, Georgia, relevant when?? 1982?? Auburn, oh ok champions last year, but 60 years before that to any national championship, that one is arguable to. South Carolina, no relevance to modern era football scene. Tennessee, tee martin championship. So you have Alabama and Lsu, and florida basically?? SEC HYPE.

Your conference is no better than any other top to bottom, get over yourselves.

It's kind of sad seeing players realize they squandered their opportunities. I understand where they were coming from. Highschool champs, considered the #1 recruiting class. Going to your dream school staying among your close friends on the team and campus. They goofed around and didn't appreciate the gift they were given. No excuses but most kids in that circumstance would lose their way too. It's just sad to see such talent squandered and to see the players finally realizing it. I hope all their dreams are fulfilled but for those that slacked they will have to work twice as hard as everyone else to make it tothe next level both physically and mentally.

The schedule this year favors us. A lot of chaos in the ACC. Honestly we should be able to win every game with the exception of Florida state and maybe Ohio state. I still say a 9 win season and playing in the ACC champ game. You always have to account for the playbook adjustments by the players. I really hope this will be a 10 win season and it is possible. By the 5th game the players will have learned and adjusted to the playbook even we Winn all or all but one we will get to 10 wins. Look at the wins losses in the first 5 or 6 games after that with the exception of possibly Florida state we should win the rest. Can't wait for the season to start.

One last thing. If Miami wins against Maryland look for what the Maryland players say about us. If they say things like stronger, more physical, faster, etc than last years team then expect good things from the season.

I'm rooting for Aldarius and hope he has success but what he says in the article is very confusing to me.

He talks about wanting to be a provider for his 2 children but the article implies that he thinks he will only be a success for them if he makes it to the NFL. That is a really depressing message. He is one year away from completing a 4 year degree that could launch him to traditional success in business or whatever he's majoring in. 99.999% of us find occupational success through years of developing a career.

The article implies the idea that if he doesn't make an NFL roster he will consider himself a failure. That is ridiculous. He'll just be in the same boat as everyone else reading this blog. That is hard to sympathize with.

It is possible that Aldarius could find career success in professional sports but it is HIGHLY unlikely. If he really is worried about providing a stable future for his children he should switch his attention from football to a long term career path. He should be looking into doing interships at companies, either applying to graduate school or making contacts within whatever industry he is studying. He should be going to class and learning everything he can about entering the "real world."

The scholarship athletes at UM get more tutoring, mentorship and administrative attention than any of the "regular" students do. If he can't turn all of those resources and a $200K education into a career outside of football then not only will Aldarius be a failure but so will the school and athletic department administration.

BTW why is his mom encouraging him to pursue an unrealistic pipe-dream when he could be using that time and effort to build a real future for her grandchildren? Wow. I sound really negative. I don't mean to be. I really do wish him the best but it drives me crazy to see people squander resources that others would KILL for.

Go Canes. Sept 5th can't get here soon enough.

U felony 30 and more...Punched them right in the eye. Thanks , they needed that. As for football... Hope to see ya'll there at the OSU game . I believe every team is 0-0 when the season starts, And with Golden anything is possible.I don't think Golden is opening their eyes though. I they realize it now because that money isn't looking like a lock anymore. I believe that the younger guys see it also and they don't want to be left behind,And they do not want that to happen to them. Golden and Kehoe sure help though.

SFCane,
You are not being negative, you are telling the truth. Of course the NFL is his dream and his end game, but if he is a complete "student" athlete, then he will, as strange as it sounds, use his college degree as his back up plan and still be able to take care of himself and his chilldren and be able to do this in a comfortable manner.

Posted by: UFelony30and more | August 08, 2011 at 07:10 PM

U rUined it ...

0ye yahpan ... Japan ?

to sec lol,

actually the Gators also dominated in the '90's, that's when they played in two national titles and won in '96. They also won six SEC championships in the '90's.

Plus, you remember that Sugar Bowl beat down that SEC Alabama gave Miami? How about the LSU beat down in the Peach Bowl?

Cool down with the Miami-UF thing, they're not playing us anymore and that's that. But for anyone to argue that the SEC isn't a much tougher conference than say, the ACC, is either highly delusional or legally insane. Now that Miami and FSU are on the rise, maybe the ACC can begin to make a case for itself, but until then......

Can't wait for kickoff Sept. 5. Go 'Canes! Excited about the Golden Era!

How about the 2000 (1999 season) Sugar Bowl beatdown that the U put on the turds. Embarrassed Spurrier right out of college football.

What an apologist, Linksys. Do you remembered beat down West Virginia gave Georgia at home in the Peach? How about Utah's pasting of Alabama?

Or last year Colorado, with their worst team in years, pounding Georgia?

Give me a break. Pound that stupid Curse Pig Soldy till he's purple at Club Ramrod.

Not an apologist, just a realist. Sick of delusional 'Canes fans who don't show up to the stadium, but are the best fans on web sites. Go buy some tickets, go to the games, be a fan!!!

There are a bunch of examples every which way with teams beating each other, just pointing out that the SEC has been a pretty good league for a while now, and I wish Miami can bring that to the ACC.

Sick of 'Canes fans talking about Florida and saying other nonsensical things, makes me embarrassed to be a Miami fan. Move on, it'll be ok.

Take that!!

SEC has been the best conference the last 5 years, I don't think there's an argument there. I just don't like people who call themselves "SEC fans" and act like it always has and always will be the premiere conference. before this 5 year run they didnt have anyone in the top 5 in 05 and their undefeated champion was left out of the 04 title due to perceived toughness of schedule compared to a Big 12 and Pac 10 champ.

There happens to have been a great set of coaches in the SEC the past 5 years (As well as lucky Les)but these kinds of things come in waves if Jimbo and Golden pan out and maybe Clemson or UNC gets good coaches next fall it could swing this way. Or towards any other conference.

I CAN'T WAIT ANYMORE. I WANT MY SEASON TICKETS!!!!!!! I HAVEN'T BEEN THIS EXCITED IN YEARS SINCE WE PICKED UP THE NORTHWESTERN CREW. TRUE SOME OF THOSE GUYS HAVE FALLIN OFF THE MAP DUE TO LACK OF MOTIVATION BUT THINGS ARE OBVIOUSLY CHANGING ALL AROUND THANKS TO GOLDEN'S REGIME.

ALL HAIL THE U

ALL HAIL THE U

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WILL BE RIGHT AGAIN.

ALL HAIL THE U

What was the score @ halftime against Virginia in the last game at the O.B. ?

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