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Figueroa leads at left tackle; Futch backing up Spence; more news & notes from UM media day

CORAL GABLES -- University of Miami coach Al Golden said Friday that the team's depth chart would probably be released to the media next Tuesday -- after the Hurricanes exchange it with Maryland.

But based on some conversations with players and coaches at UM's media day Saturday here are a few tidbits of news in the fight for position battles that we learned:

Joel Figueroa > Sixth-year senior Joel Figueroa (6-6, 315) appears to have either won or be in the lead for for the starting left tackle job. Freshman Malcolm Bunche (6-7, 328) was expected to win the job coming into camp with sophomore All-American Seantrel Henderson out with a back injury.

But Figueroa, who has 15 starts in his career (13 at guard), has apparently been very impressive according to teammates. Junior Brandon Washington, who was moved to right tackle after Henderson's injury, said he's seen a different level of play from Figueroa, who has lost nearly 15 pounds since having surgery.

"I see this guy down the field full speed every play," Washington said. "Then he comes back to the huddle every play 'Oh man, oh man.' I'm like 'Fig, calm down. You got a missing disc in your lower back bro. You made your block, fine, but don't sprint down the field.' I told him, 'Dog you got other reps to do.' 
"The way he's competing for the starting job, I've never seen him perform like that the whole time I've been here."

Figueroa started two games last season -- Ohio State and Pittsburgh -- at right tackle and clearly looked overmatched and slow. But not now according to teammates.

"The coaches believe in him," Washington said. "Last season early in the season he didn't have too many good games at right tackle. I know they saw that film. For them to come back and say you're going to be our blind side tackle, that's a lot of expectations. But he's showing fight every practice."

The other starting jobs on UM's offensive line that appear to have be won

- At left guard senior Harland Gunn (6-2, 310) is ahead of redshirt sophomore Jared Wheeler (6-5, 315)
- At center senior Tyler Horn (6-4, 305) is ahead of redshirt freshman Shane McDermott (6-4, 290)
- At right guard Brandon Linder (6-6, 310) is ahead of redshirt freshman Jonathan Feliciano
- Redshirt sophomore Jermaine Johnson is running behind Washington at right tackle. Junior Ben Jones (6-5, 310) is rotating at both tackle spots as a reserve.

Jordan Futch > With defensive captain and leader Sean Spence's future in question (he needs to be reinstated by the NCAA), we learned Saturday senior Jordan Futch will be the man who first steps in and tries to fill his shoes.

Futch, beaten out by sophomore Jimmy Gaines in the middle linebacker competition, has been moved to the weakside spot behind Spence. Futch (6-3, 235) said he and Gaines (6-3, 220) would call the plays at linebacker if Spence is out.

"He's doing a great job," Spence said of Futch. "He's already been physical, but he's picking up the mental part of the game. He's doing a better job being vocal, making a lot of plays out there."

Gaines is currently being backed up by true freshman Gionni Paul (6-0, 230) and Kelvin Cain (6-3, 230) at middle linebacker. Senior Ramon Buchanan (6-1, 222) will be the starter on the strong side. His backups are junior C.J. Holton (6-1, 230) and true freshman Eddie Johnson (6-1, 230). Freshman Denzel Perryman (6-0, 217) was wearing a protective boot on his right foot this week in practice. He's currently behind Futch at weakside linebacker.


> Spence on his mental approach on the season with the NCAA investigation that is ongoing at UM: "Same way that I've been preparing. Nothing has changed. I'm still going out and practicing hard, helping guys out, giving it all I got.

"When I'm on the football field I'm at peace. That's where I find my peace of mind."

> Washington on what it's been like facing true freshman defensive end Anthony Chickillo (6-4, 248) in camp: "When he first got in, I was kind of like 'Why did you put a true freshman up against me? I'm a junior. I thought that was a slap in the face. But after the first two practices, that kid brung it. 

"He's physical. He knew what he was doing. He knew the playbook like the back of his hand. He ain't no freshman."

Washington said he tries to make Chickillo believe that he isn't a freshman. 

"He's my locker mate -- I'm number 72 and he's 71. So he asks me questions all the time and I say 'Chick, stop being a freshman,'" Washington said. "I told him that because of his play on the field. He ain't no freshman. I remember they told me the same when I was a freshman. I didn't even get to do some of the things that freshmen did. He shouldn't either."

> Washington on the chemistry he's built with Brandon Linder on the right side of UM's offensive line: "No doubt in my mind I can trust him. I know I can go into that fourth quarter dead tired, unfocused and I can ask him what the call was and he'll tell me. Because he's done it in practice."

> Sophomore quarterback Stephen Morris on what he likes about new offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch's offense: "[The] ability to do whatever you want. Coaches give you a play and you have to maximize that play. You have to know the offense inside and out and just make sure you understand all the checks and reads."

> Defensive tackle Marcus Forston made a funny Saturday when he saw a reporter trip and stumble over some stairs (the reporter was OK). "First tackle by the turf monster," Forston shouted.

As one of the 12 players cited in the Yahoo! article for receiving impermissible gifts from former booster Nevin Shapiro, one might imagine it would be easy for Forston to get down. But he said that hasn't happened yet.

"When you have teammates like we have, 105 players with 105 different personalities there's never a down day in the locker room. It's always fun," Forston said. "Guys telling jokes, guys with great spirits, positive spirits. That's all you can have if you want to have a great team. That's what you need in a locker room.

"We had a good practice today man. Coach Golden said that was one of the best practices we've had since he's been here. I feel like me as a leader, I have to bring energy every day. I got guys looking at me, [can't have them saying] 'Marcus is having a down day.' There's a lot of young guys on that defensive line. Even if I'm having a bad day, I can't show it."


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Thanks for some depth chart related news Manny. One question. Wasn't CJ Holton moved to fullback? Thx!

I was buying some of the kool-aid--until this. Seriously, there was some hope that the dead weight would be sent on and some new blood would bring new life. Figs? Guy sucked last year. Futch? Major disappointment. Are these guys going to rock it senior year style like Hankerson, or be another Khalil Jones? Based on all the "this frosh is rockin' it, #1 on the depth chart" only to have the under-performing seniors like Cookie B get PT, I have to go with the latter. We will learn A LOT against MD.

Ponce, I hear what you are saying. I am as hopeful as I can be, without knowing who we are going to have on the field. However, I believe in Al Golden. He has managed to keep this team up, together and moving forward. I only hope we can keep Al past the end of the year...

I'm not getting my hope's up..I'm not getting my hope's up, I'm not getting my hopes up...

Me neither but you have to admire what Golden has done with this team mentally with all that is going on. That is the strength of this team..the staff. I am with ya on the staying past this season. The administration did him and this staff dirty by not telling them about all this but you see the man's character when dealt this can. True champion no matter the record this season. If we win 8-9 games this year he should be national coach of the year.

U cant underestimate good coaching in college. look at what harbaugh did at stanford, and nick saban at michigan state.

Miami was a horribly coached team the last few years and i wanted to keep giving randy time to develop but his time ran out he never got any better.

Wr coach alone seems to be a huge upgrade for us so glad the gators stole aubrey hill from us now he can help there wr's not develop.

In college good coaching breeds winning, pure and simple. In the pros talent wins in college a good coach can make up for lack of talent

Miami has the talent they just need the coaching.

Oh just to show what coachng can achieve despite never having a top 50 recruiting class mike riley wins at oregon state. Despite never have top 10 talent at virgina tech they have been the class of the acc with beamer, tom obrien has won at boston college and is building his kind of team at nc state, look what butch davis and mac brown did at north carolina a perinally loser with others coaching there. Coaching in college matters and i think golden is the best coach we have had since burch.

Why are people calling Jacory a "star" along with Spence? Even without Nevin, Stephen Morris is the right guy to start.

U know the routine, same ol story Cane Fan ... U wake Up, it's the same empty soon to be sanctioned feeling ...

I'm starting to feel sorry for them Arty, really I am, but they be sleepn in they beds now... and they smell of Nevin's dirty Cologne.

Mama Goldy is stocking up on boxes and duct tape in mass ... her Miami U housewife friends too ...


#16 Arthur ... # 16 bad boy

oh, and Ur L.T. is # 61

and the kids will emulate and take on the personality their coach and to this point that is what has been the strength in all this...our staff.

Posted by: Washington Cane | August 28, 2011 at 12:00 AM

No Sir Mr. Washinton. It is U that emuates typical Cane fan ... These so called kids that U speak of, that are Men, are conditioned to be so...

"Yo... U want this $ "kid" ?" ... and then the hand extends for sumthing that will cost U, Ur on the field freedom.

These young Men knew exactly what they were doing at a cost... Now they'll pay the price. And so will the program for years ... U Canes really have no idea how the NCAA is about to cripple U do U ?

It's what U do best ... deny

And Al will just shake his head, until of course, he gets that call from Happy Valley in a few months...

Sit hand out Harris for the year. As far as you negative trolls, get a life.
Keep Golden
Fire shalalalala NOW

Ponce: Your negative attitude is what we don't need on this forum...you need to pack up your RVTrailer and head up to gayville with Soldy...

I met golden at canesfest and he didn't seem bothered. He used to put pictures of past Canes up on Temple's walls as motivational tools. I Don't believe he is going anywhere. He had a 300 page book when he applied for this job , do you actually think he didn't know about nevin? Our second stringers are better than Temples starters and he came closer to beating OSU than Randy did. We already have some players cleared and likley will have a few more by the time we kickoff. And for all the posers , Other coaches are in line for the PSU job. He may get it in 5 years , but he is here for a while.


Thanks for some great football news. It is a welcome relief.

Mainecane, nice examples of teams with underwhelming talent and strong coaching that perform well. We have a lot of talent, even with guys suspended. I believe, as do other posters, that we have an exceptional coach and staff. UM should do whatever possible to keep Coach Golden.

The key will be passionate play, TEAM and protecting the football. The better the ball control, the less heat on the D.

While I was hoping that Jacory would have a transcendent year, I agree that Morris has more upside. He has a better arm and is a threat to run. I just hope he stays healthy, and that Ryan Williams is cleared to play.

Go Canes! Smack Maryland down. Show your intensity and dominate! Shut up the non-believers!

need 26 and 7 to play every game if the Canes are going to win. Can win with Futch Morris and streeter.

Ijs. Absplutely wrong.

Hey shalalalala if it's so painful resign now. It was on your watch and you should have known. Can give you 50,000 reasons why.

First of all, we were there last year. One bad
Special Team play, one bad defensive play and many bad offensive plays but I liked the team.
This year-Yes offense will shine--I see a much better OB play. Second, defense will be very good but we will give up points and last I see a much better Special Team play. Heck how many TD's did the S/T give up? and the break downs by the D was terrible. I WILL BE THE FIRST TO STAND UP. IF WE GET THE RIGHT PLAYERS BACK, WE WILL WIN THE ACC. THIS TEAM IS RIPE AND READY

Absplutely wrong.

Posted by: ltcdolphin | August 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Hey English major--or minor in your case, and I do mean teensy-weensy minor--it's spelled
a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y, o-o-o-o-k-a-a-a-y.

L-T-C, The "How So" Man
L-T-C, The "How So" Man
L-T-C, The "How So" Man
"HOW SO"!!!!!

Was not talking to you little dweb. Perhaps you should grow up and say something logical. 7-6=1 for iq check. You maybe hoh or nothing but a herald troll.

Perhaps you should grow up and say something logical.

Posted by: ltcdolphin | August 28, 2011 at 02:32 PM

I did say something logical.
You absolutely and illogically spelled ABSOLUTELY WROOOOOOONG!,
how's that for logical for you smart guy.
Do us all a favor and stop butchering the English language,
use spell check ya' bum.
So sorry Mr. "How So" Man.
Buh-bye Mr. "How So" Man, buh bye.


So which are on your last two posts. We know you got the point, so instead of talking intelligently you rant on something insignificant. Typical herald troll to try and drive up the hit count.

October 23 Gators take over Sun Life.

That is the biggest crock of sheet. Take over sunlife? LOL. To celebrate what? their 3rd National championship in 133 years? To celebrate 34 arrests?You know many of those convicts will be there. Will they have ankle bracelets on? Or will their POs allow then the permit?

That 'celebration" explains why the Dolphins are shhet. And will always be sheet:

First, this
Second, they have few if any canes players in their roster.

They will never learn. New england is going to bust them up and so will Houston.

Good luck with Pouncey and whomever else.

Boy is some one dreaming about the 23rd, or what a stretch. Pouncy should be okay but the 3rd strong if he makes it qb from Denver will mot NE a factor.


obviously the full team is needed. As far as the bare minimum needed_ Even the Spence is the best player on the team, Defensively we can work with a 4th year Junior LB in Futch. Having A.J. HigH a first year safety and the other noName safety with a weak corner group and this defense is in trouble.
With an intact O-Line, the running Backs, and hypothetically no Harris, Aldarious, or Benjamin i am still encouraged with what the offense will be able to do.

Ps. For the ninnies that worry about spell check there are two on the last post.

The offense is okay, especially with hand out Harris. Some of the freshmen can run better routes than Benjamin did last year.
Now the defense can be fine without those two. Anyone that sniffed shapiros jock strap should be on the bench. That includes little donna the president.

Fire shalalala NOW

Meant WITHOUT hand out harris

ltc, we need to apply pressure with our d-line, and with cookies speed, we can blitz. We have speed all over zone blitz the ish, out of all teams!

Even the Spence is the best player on the team, Defensively we can work with a 4th year Junior LB in Futch. Having A.J. HigH a first year safety and the other noName safety with a weak corner group and this defense is in trouble.

Posted by: IJS | August 28, 2011 at 05:11 PM

With the exception of Spence, this statement is logical!


Now the defense can be fine without those two.

Posted by: ltcdolphin | August 28, 2011 at 05:18 PM

NO EXCEPTIONS! This is the most illogical statement in the history of the blogosphere. Absolutely illogical, pathetic if you ask me.

"Without those two"? "How so"?


Have the Miami Dolphins officially lost their Minds??? These cellar dwellers have decided to celebrate the Gators football team during the Denver Broncos visit to Sun Life Stadium...you know, the Miami Hurricanes home stadium.

Their reasoning you ask? Here's the answer: To recognize Tim Tebow who is a second year player and the 4th string QB for the Broncos and Mike Pouncey the rookie center for the Dolphins, who was annihilated last night by the Bucs defensive line (not trying to take a cheap shot at Tebow who I like or Pouncey, just pointing out the idiocy of this insulting move).

Is it any wonder that the Dolphins have become one of the worst teams in the NFL when making these types of clueless decisions? Could this confederacy of dunces have done anything more insulting to the Miami Hurricanes? I think not, although one of their geniuses is probably circling a date to celebrate the Florida State football team.

-1 IQ perhaps you need TP learn to read and the use of the word can. And since you are/were part of that string, perhaps you should take your brown eye andbutt out.

And PS if that is the reason for the 23rd that is sad and a strike against Ross. Even -1 will say yes to that even as immature as he/she is as a herald troll.

The Scene;

UF Gator football player following friends. Friends involved in motorcycle accident ahead. Gator football player comes to scene & takes the college girls credit card out of her purse that was clinging to life on the side of road.
Gator player leaves scene & goes shopping with stolen girls credit card as she passes away!!

Canes just went on a boat & tittie bar kid

UF is all scumbags

I say use Figs as an alternate, but he should not be starting. Gaines and Paul are ready. Why not play Futch strictly special teems or TE.

Finally! A journalist who gets it and isn't interested in playing into the false narrative that the UM kids are bad human beings.

Dave Hyde

Sun Sentinel Columnist

August 28, 2011

CORAL GABLES — At what point does someone in a position of authority at the NCAA or the University of Miami stand up and say something rational like players shouldn't take the brunt of a predator booster's actions?

Maybe they'll say it Monday, when most of the eight ineligible Miami football players get reinstated. Probably Tuesday at the latest.

Because in the end, this chapter should go down as a convicted Ponzi schemer's final Ponzi scheme, this one where Nevin Shapiro got righteous media and emotional college fans to invest deeply in what was salacious hoo-ha more than felonious substance.

This isn't to defend Miami. Its adults invested in the schemer, too. They have to explain why they let Shapiro run around the program for so long when football coach Randy Shannon labeled him a problem.

Some of them — yes, starting with you, departed Kirby Hocutt and silent Donna Shalala — need to explain why they didn't kick Shapiro out the door earlier.

So if the NCAA wants to take on the adults, if it wants to address the systemic root of the business, then by all means have at it. Suspend an athletic director rather than a quarterback. Make a president answer questions rather than a linebacker.

It's beyond silliness saying it's OK for school officials to act like prostitutes for a booster's money while jumping up and down over a booster's unsubstantiated allegation that players got prostitutes.

On Saturday, the Miami players sat on bleachers at the athletic center and took questions as part of media day for any left with questions.

ESPN didn't have any, canceling their visit to hit Baton Rouge, La., where LSU's star quarterback was facing legal issues.

Other national media who might have come were circling Tuscaloosa, Ala., where stories of an Alabama booster, dress suits and star running back Trent Richardson were being fit for headline size.

This is the state of college athletics, one scandal holding interest until a new one hits. So there sat Jacory Harris saying to a few writers the last couple of weeks haven't been much fun but suggesting it might all come out fine.

"I expect to play, yes,'' he said when asked about the Sept. 5 opener at Maryland. "We'll see."

"I feel like Jacory,'' receiver Travis Benjamin said. "I'm hopeful."

If most of these players are reinstated, the grand conclusion is one a lot of people won't like: The NCAA has found a predator booster in a lot of programs. The only difference in this case is the booster talked openly about it.

Shapiro talked and talked and talked to the point truth became inseparable from fiction. That's not going to satisfy people who feel they saw behind the curtain of a rogue Miami program that, honestly, isn't that rogue at all.

It's full of good people. It has a ridiculous amount of compliance. And it has some answering to do about Shapiro.

Miami shouldn't be given the death penalty, as Sports Illustrated argued again 15 years later. It's big-time college athletics that should be. It's a landscape where each week yields another program under fire.

The NCAA made a big step recently by suspending former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl from coaching for three years rather than suspending the Tennessee basketball program.

That's how it should be. That's taking on the adults, not the players.

Miami coach Al Golden hasn't coached a game at Miami and already finds himself standing in a mess.

"I was sad for the guys [over this investigation], because I think we all as individuals, we hope to grow and mature and learn from mistakes," he said. "These guys are no different. If what has been alleged, if there ends up being some truth to it and they do have to serve some penalties, it's three years ago.

"We have to go back three years. That's why I feel bad for them."

Did players make mistakes? Sure. But it's time the NCAA realized they shouldn't take the brunt of the scandal. Bring in the adults for their own media day.

PS. Agree. But what if they really broke the rules?? Are they to go unpunished?? The writer is correct, thete has to be as much accountability for administrators as well as players. Especially since Shalslalalala had 50,000 reason to be suspicious of Shapiro.

Fire shalalalal NOW

I just don't understand some of the comments here about Fig. The kid played through terrible pain because we needed him to do it since the backups were so young last year. He was not close to 100% given the extent of his back injury, and the coaches knew it then and they know it now. This kid is a true team player. Don't be surprised if you see a big difference in his play after having a vertebrae removed from his back. He could have just shut it down for the whole year last year but sucked it up until he couldn't go anymore just to try and help his team. Lay off! Under Coach G you can be sure he earned his spot big time.

Who is more responsible for Shapiro - Shalala or Jacory, Ray Ray and others. Those guys were 10 years old when this started?

Keep the heat on that woman every day.

Canesjunkie you see that smarmy letter so put out?? She needs to go NOW!!
The most recent kids are a long list and that is why our program will be hurt. But too many young men listened to shannon and stayed away. It was hand out Harris and his buds from nw that came with an entitlement attitude, and they took stuff they should not have. The Canes will rise from this!!!!

So shalala says " we will learn from our mistakes"
The only mistake is hiring shalala

An example of ow she is clueless about miami football:
Sunlife stadim is scheduled to host a "gator reunion" for the 2008 team

ARE YOU SERIOUS??.?.?.?.?.

Host a gator day in OUR stadium?

Or the game where miami plays??.?.?

Are these people losing their minds?

Fire shalala. With that photo of her and shittiro, it is inexcusable, it would be like obama taking a photo with qaddafi

Firing her would send a message to the ncaa that the school is cleaning house

? do U ?


I am really sick about reading what is going on Oct 23....REALLY???? You have to be F'N kidding me????? Obviously the person responsible should have their cell blown up continuously between now and then. Somebody pass the number out....

Chances are the bible-thumping ignoramus will be waived before then so not too worried.

Dope pig. Mirror mirror on the wall.

SunLife isn't our stadium. We play there, but it doesn't belong to us. Sorry guys.

yep, ltc, the truth hurts. You must be a bible-thumping ignoramus as well. Must suck to believe in the sky-fairy and talk to yourself.

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