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Matt Bosher misses the "family'' (with Warren Sapp sighting and uniform news)

Happy Friday, I hope.

I spoke with new Atlanta Falcon and recently departed UM kicker Matt Bosher by phone this week.

After a long day at training camp, he told me he was relaxing watching some television -- after playing video games.

No way getting around the fact that Matt, who was drafted in the sixth round, will be severely missed.

Matt did it all for the Hurricanes -- place-kicking, kicking off and punting. He told me he is competing to punt for the Falcons and possibly will do kickoffs. The Falcons are the ideal team for a kicker, because they play indoors. Also, Matt said his family can easily hop on a plane or even drive from Jupiter in Palm Beach County to Atlanta.

The Falcons' practice facility is outdoors in Flowery Branch, Ga., about an hour north of Atlanta.

Dalton Botts, who is expected to replace Matt as the punter, was wearing the coveted black jersey at Hurricanes practice Friday. Botts, a 6-3, 198-pound sophomore, is from Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., about 45 minutes west of Bakersfield, he said.

"I haven't seen him kick, but I've heard good things about him,'' said Bosher, who worked out at UM during the summer at times when Botts was there.

"I met him in the weight room [in July],'' Botts said of Bosher. "He seemed real cool."

Bosher said he enjoys being a Falcon, and that there are "a great group of guys -- great special teams coach and a lot of solid veterans helping me. I have a veteran longsnapper (Joe Zelenki) and kicker (Matt Bryant). They've all been big helps.''

He said camp is going well, but that there was a learning curve for him regarding the new system and its terminology. Bosher is smart, so I doubt there will be any problems in that area.

Bosher said playing at UM "was a dream come true'' and that "everybody there was my family.

"Of course I miss it. Miami became my home. Leaving was tough, but it's a new chapter in my life. That's where I'll always have roots and come back to.''

Bosher said his message to the competing kickers would be: "Just keep working hard, stay confident in what you do and do it to the best of your ability. Always know you have an important job. Don't let the typical  kicker comments detract from what you're trying to do. It's an important role and if you treat it that way you can make an impact in just about every game.''

I asked Bosh about Jake Wieclaw, who has only kicked off once in one game. He's a fourth-year junior and fighting for the starting kicking spot. "That's just how it goes,'' Bosher said. "I had the opportunity to play, but Jake was a great guy, a great kicker. He's still a really good kicker and I'm sure he'll be able to prove that. He's a hard worker and he's confident, and that's good. When it's time to prove himself, he will. Jake is one of the more athletic specialists.''

WARREN SAPP SIGHTING

Former Hurricanes great Warren Sapp showed up at practice this morning a few minutes after the Canes got out there. He said he had never met coach Al Golden. Sapp previously dissed Golden publicly because he said the coach snubbed him when Sapp waited to meet him months ago, and also sent out mean-spirited tweets about UM's hiring of Golden in December.

  A few moments after Sapp walked onto the field, Golden saw Sapp and the two bear-hugged with gusto.  Lots of energy in that Canes lovefest moment. I guess Sapp is now a fan.

Sapp sparked the Hurricanes with a pep talk before the heart of the practice session got underway.

UNI NEWS

UM recently noted that the Canes would only have two uniforms this season: orange jerseys and white pants for home games, and all-white for road games.

Turns out that the road uniforms now will be white jerseys and orange pants.

When Golden was asked about the back-to-basic uniforms with no other options, as originally relayed, he was surprised (especially about the all-white uni, it seems).

"I don't think we're a [Nike Pro] combat team this year, so that's out. But in terms of the other colors, I haven't even talked to [equipment manager] Bobby [Revilla] or the AD about it. I do have something to do with it. But I didn't know we were going to be all white and what's the other?  We'll get that tied down for you.''

  UM later made the update, and did note, when I called and asked, that other color combinations could be used periodically.

 So for those who love those weird combos or the out-there looks, there's still hope. However, if the Canes keep winning, I'm betting they'll keep it simple.

TIDBITS

LT Seantrel Henderson is out-and-about already after back surgery on Aug. 8. Guard Brandon Linder said Henderson spent Thursday with the players and attended position meetings. Henderson is not back at practice and will be out indefinitely.

WR LaRon Byrd and CB Brandon McGee wore yellow non-contact jerseys Friday. McGee was limping but Byrd seemed OK.

Golden said there's no update on the statuses of RB Kevin Grooms, LB Antonio Kinard and DT Corey King. They are still waiting for clearance from the NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly called the NCAA Clearinghouse).

  --SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

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