« McDermott, Futch eager to push for starting jobs | Main | Aldarius Johnson focused, ready to 'put all negative stuff to side' »

Day 2: D-line dominant, "The Plug"(a Vince Wilfork throwback), Chickillo (he's a brute), Forston update & more Seantrel

     Day 2 of Hurricanes preseason football camp finished at Greentree Field on Sunday morning. Coach Al Golden makes players available before practice begins. Then we watch 15 minutes of practice and leave.

    It becomes increasingly apparent that almost everyone on this team is bigger and stronger. Defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Adewale Ojomo appear very intimidating (especially if you're a quarterback). They combined for 18 tackles for losses and 11 sacks for a loss of 85 yards last season. Expect more in 2011, as UM led the nation in tackles for loss in 2010 and finished ninth nationally in sacks.

"It is important [to be a leader in sacks and tackles for loss],'' Golden said, "but what we’re focusing on is eliminating the explosive plays. We gave up too many long runs and we can’t give up the big-chunk passes. We like to maintain the pressure on the football and pressure on the quarterback, but also couple that with eliminating some of the explosive plays that really hurt us last year.'' 

Ojomo told me he worked during the summer with Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who grew up in Miami. "He was teaching me a lot of things. Coach Swasey, he turned up the notch, a lot of extra running, a lot of extra lifting, so I think it's going to go well. I'm seeing changes in my body type and everything. My speed in the 40 (4.8), I'm hitting 225 (bench press) 25 times (in a row). I'm getting strong. Last year [my 40 time] was bad.''

    Here's Ojomo's description of fellow end Olivier Vernon: "He's an animal. He's a beast. If you've ever seen this guy take off his shirt... He's about 270 pounds. He's running like a 4.6 [40], he's doing like 395 pounds on the bench press. He has great fundamentals, great work ethic. He's going to have an amazing season."

    For the record, Ojomo (pronounced oh-JO-mo), a 6-4, 265-pound fifth-year senior out of Hialeah High, had 38 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks last season. He's the one who is very fiery and emotional on the field. He is the son of a former Nigerian professional soccer player and a Homestead-born certified public accountant. His cousin is former Dolphins linebacker Akin Ayodele, who was with the Buffalo Bills last season.

    As for Vernon, he's the quiet giant slayer. "I really don't like talking too much,'' Vernon said Sunday, laughing a bit while being interviewed. "I just like doing what I do and showing by my actions.''

    Vernon said the biggest difference from this last year's team to this year's early in camp was "the discipline and want-to. More of us want to get it done in practice. We know what we're doing now. We're in our playbooks every day, every night right before we go to sleep. The coaches influence us to study. They want us to succeed. When we get on the practice field it's like a game. We're ready.''

    Vernon's stats in 2010: 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and four quarterback hurries.

    Vernon's dad is a Miami Beach police officer.

    Micanor Regis, whom you might recall got an interception and turned it into an entertaining TD at Duke last season, also looks like a rock. Regis said he's down to 300 from 310 and down from "20 or 22 percent'' body fat to 18 percent now. "I gained a lot of muscle,'' Regis said. "I got thinner, man. Clothes are a little loose.''

    Regis also spoke about junior-college transfer Darius Smith, the defensive tackle who transferred from Lackawanna [Junior] College in Scranton, Pa. Smith is listed on the new roster as 6-2 and 360 pounds. He is from New Britain, Conn.

    "He brings depth,'' Regis said of Smith. "The defensive tackles, we get banged up, we get hurt, and you need a guy like that who will push you, make us not take days off. who's going to work,too, who's going to challenge you for your spot.''

    The UM linemen are calling Smith "The plug, because he plugs up the middle,'' Ojomo said. "Nothing can get through there. Is Smith the biggest guy you've seen out here? Ojomo was asked.

    "Yeah, I think so (laughing).''

    Can he move? "He can move pretty well. He's like a Vince Wilfork type of guy." (If only he plays like Wilfork, we'll all be calling Golden a genius)

    *Speaking of DTs, Golden said Marcus Forston, who is being integrated slowly into preseason camp, did much more on the first day than the coach expected.

    *"Forston was a pleasure yesterday to see because he’s ahead of schedule,'' Golden said. "He did just about everything yesterday so that was great. At some point we’ll sit him down and hold him out maybe on a double [session] or hold him out on some periods with contact. But clearly when he’s right he has a chance to be really good and a special one in this league.

    ''They all love (including the coaches) newcomer Anthony Chickillo, a defensive end who by all accounts is so beyond his years that he should get on the field this season. "Oh! He looks great for a freshman,'' Ojomo said. "When I came in I was 227. He's at 250. He's what he needs to be at this point.''

    A Golden quote from today, regarding which jobs are open on the team.

    * "I would say 90-percent of the jobs on the team are open,'' he began.

    So, whose job is not for sale?    

    "There are just a couple of guys who are exemplary in their preparation,'' Golden said. "Sean Spence is a guy who comes to mind who is just an incredible competitor. He doesn’t get enough credit for how smart a football player he is. And he’s in great condition. Clearly, he would have to screw that up to not retain his job.''

    * Olivier Vernon said Marcus Robinson, a former DE, is now playing linebacker. Robinson could play outside LB in a 3-4 scheme, and DE in the usual 4-3 scheme.

    *Offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson was back again on the practice field with his offensive line group Sunday, getting right in there as they were receiving instruction. He stood next to them, a little bit to the side, but listened to everything OL coach Art Kehoe was shouting (Art doesn't talk) and mimicking their actions. However, he did not practice, and is reportedly set to undergo back surgery tomorrow (Monday).

    This is what Golden had to say about Henderson, who lost at least 40 pounds in the offseason:

     "Seantrel has placed himself in position where if everything goes well with the surgery he’s not going to have to sit there and lose 40 pounds. He’s ready to go, and that’s a credit to him. I didn’t even recognize him the other day in the team meeting to be honest with you."

    Is the surgery tomorrow, Coach? "I’m not going to report on when a young man is having surgery but I’ll let you know post and what the prognosis is.






Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Less INT's and less offensive penalties is all we need. We have the athletes. Start counting a new home game winning streak come Sept. I'll be there(600 mile round trip)every game.How about a "no excuses " motto for the fans??? I know ya'll are out there.

thanks Susan. Good job!

It is apparent that the different sherriff in town is making believers out of this years Team. Back to Cane Ball. Stronger, faster and meaner, with heads in the play books each day. No one can come here without a great game plan and vision. I believe our road to not only ACC dominance, but even larger things are now possible. Does a coach and new staff make a difference? Look at what Fisher has done at FSU. Yea, I know, don't like em either, but we have the same, if not better athletes and just look at what the word is about FSU this year. Lets go Golden, lets go Canes!

Thanks for putting a smile on my face Susan !!!

Yeah I have seen the interviews on youtube all the players are in tip-top shape.One month I can't wait. Also I am gonna be at the Virginia Tech game which I think is the most key for the coastal division race. No offense Susan I enjoy reading the blog but do you ever find your questions ever upset or annoy the coaches? Just seeing some of there reactions makes me laugh.

this defense is gonna be nasty!!!

No offense MontanaCane but your face looks like a baboons butt.

It's time for everyone to get aboard the "U" train. Time to reak some havic.

ask Urself this ...

are U any better today than U were n '08 ... or Eight years ago ?

Ur in for such an awakining

'13 ?

Look at what Fisher has done at FSU. Yea, I know, don't like em either, but we have the same, if not better athletes and just look at what the word is about FSU this year.

Posted by: Cane4life


Maybe on offense, but on defense...not so much...

ask Urself this ...

are U any better today than U were n '08 ... or Eight years ago ?

Ur in for such an awakining

'13 ?

Posted by: Soldy... The Real One | August 07, 2011 at 09:06 PM

Florida better than they were 3 years ago??
Is FSU better than they were 11 years ago?
Is Auburn better than they were last year?

C'mon Soldy!...Ur stuff has been pretty funny...U can entertain us better than that!

Considering all the hours you've spent on this blog, there was bound to be an "off" night or two...

I am so excited for the season to start. Everything that I have been reading is very upbeat. Even the team can not wait for the season to start. That my "U" fans, is a good sign of of great things to come. "You gotta belive" should be this year's motto. Go Canes

Thanks, Susan - nice to see quotes that weren't available for all on the hurricanesports website (though you do make an appearance there). good read, keep asking the right questions.
The fact that Golden is satisfied with the teams conditioning - when at the end of spring practices he was still harping on them being out of shape - speaks volumes to the team's commitment to listen to him. the hunder is palpable in every word coming out of their mouths. we are going to steamroll the competition this year.

I have heard small and fast, now big and strong. Neither is as important as football talent. Not to beat a dead horse, but we let one with it go, you know who I mean. SJ.

we up here in northwest florida and i do mean a few are anxiosly awaiting the first game against maryland GOOOO CANES!!!!!

I love this culture that we live in where a disparaging comment leads with "no offense".

How about we strive for class and character on the blog this season.

NO OFFENSE but the Canes are gonna kick ass and take names this year...I believe coaching is gonna be the biggest factor, players have been and always will be there...Discipline+Intelligence+Toughness+Strength=SWAG

CaneRock, FSU 10-2 us 7-6 last year. Point is that Golden is having that same effect as Fisher. Thats the "who" I was referring to.

Great to hear that the DLine, an area of concern, is dominating. With our LBs already in great shape and only getting better under Golden, our safeties are gonna be bored. No deep throws when the QB can't even take a three step drop and the WRs have to curl in for quick throws.

And trying to run the ball when the backup NT is 360 pounds of immovable force? 1 yard gains will be a success for opponents.

Even Maryland fans are starting to notice the difference. When the game was announced, they thought they had an easy win coming at home to start the season. Now, they are starting to get nervous. They have good reason to be nervous. Or team is preparing much better than under Shannon, and that will make a BIG difference on the field.


is sneaky pete whispering sweet nothings in the sports editor's tin ear ...
day after day, splashing f-i-u-don't-matter on the front of the online edition ...
if you didn't know better ...
you would erroneously conclude that this good-for-nothing commuter school was on par with the well-established, well-esteemed, well-followed University of Miami ...
you know, the school you love to hate since 1926 ...
swim with the fishies ...
how low do you go to accommodate other small frys like barry, st thomas, florida memorial ... miami-dade
a notch below, the county community college enrolls 170,000 students ...
graduated 1.5M alumni ...
where's their beat? blog? propagandist?
lest you forget ...
minor-league college athletics with a make-believe fan base subsidized by the strong-arm of an unsuspecting student body warrants scant attention from major-league metropolitan newspaper ...
something's rotten at 1 herald plaza ...



the enormous University of Miami community should fight fire with fire by boycotting the f_ _ king faint-hearted herald for acceding to the outrageous demands of the 8th street extortionists ...


UM has had far superior teams, having won many national championships in football and baseball. That means that there is more to write about. Far more fans, moreover, go to Hurricane games. The followers of the Hurricane blog at MiamiHerald.com outnumber those following the Golden Panthers one by about 10-1, sports editor Jorge Rojas says.

There is, in other words, much more readership demand for coverage of the Hurricanes than of the Golden Panthers.
-- miami herald ombudsman 8/1/10

UM does and should get the greater share of sports coverage
-- miami herald ombudsman 8/8/10

this isn’t The Miami Herald’s fault. Until FIU starts to matter in a big way, in a way that UM matters, there will never be that same coverage, at least not in the sports page. ...

But until your everyday FIU student or alumni begins to care in a significant way and specifically until it affects The Miami Herald’s bottom line, they’ll continue to pay that other school more attention.
-- fiu student media 8/25/10

readership demand be damned ...


Forever Inferior to the U!

J.U.I.C.E = "Join Us In Creating Excitement!!" Let's Go Canes!!! Enthusiasm is contagious!!

isnt this a repeat of the hype from last year. how big and bad the d-line was. actions on the field will make believers of the fans. talk all you want, but prove it. i know coach is an incredible improvement from the last 7-8 years. but its been a long sad road for years and the herald cant win games. the talent has been here for years, the coaching has not. go canes

When is the NCAA going to make a ruling on Corey King and Antonio Kinard? I mean an established group of qualifiers like thew NCAA must have should be able to evaluate their eligibility in a few hours. I believe they try to stick it to THE U every chance they get! Just my opinion. It shouldn't take weeks. Its the kids they are hurting not the team. The team will move on just like they do when guys go pro or graduate. The process can't continue to take this long. These lids need to begin collegiate life.

I'm so excited for this season the U is back


Back to where ? 7-6 and a meaningless December Bowl game?

Yeah Ur right then.

nahh, CC. That would be the Gatr Trash. Back to its 100 years of mediocrity. Remember the Zooker?

This will be sooooooo much worse. Gatr Nation?


The comments to this entry are closed.