There was big news today at Canes practice -- big as in 6-8 and 345 pounds.
Offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson walked off the practice field into the areas where reporters gather to wait for interviews. He dropped his yellow jersey (designated for injured players) and shoulder pads onto the ground and put that large body into an even larger tub of ice water.
Henderson had back surgery Aug. 8 and back then, the prognosis was not great. Some, including insiders among the UM staff, believed he might miss the entire season. But Wednesday he worked out on a limited basis, and Canes fans should be rejoicing. The UM O-line has already gotten better after some switches for Ohio State, and if Henderson should actually get back into the lineup this season, just think how much more dominant it could be.
"He worked out today with full gear on,'' UM coach Al Golden said of Henderson Wednesday. "I know he was excited. "He's in the ice. Takes the whole tub. We'll see how he reacts tomorrow and go from there.''
When asked the difference between "working out" and practicing, Golden said, "Practicing is a different animal. The fact that he lost so much weight is really going to help him with his conditioning.
"He'll be able to do even more and more and more Friday and more Saturday and we'll just keep going. We expect him back next week.''
Henderson was slated to play left tackle before this season, but Golden said Tuesday that where Henderson ends up on the line depends on the progression of the other linemen. Brandon Washington moved from right to left tackle for Ohio State.
As for quarterback Jacory Harris, the man this O-line aims to protect, he spoke to the media Wednesday. And, as usual, the "i" word came up. Harris threw two interceptions against Ohio State on Saturday, and explained he is blocking out public criticism.
"I really don't care about what's thought about outside as long as within this program they still believe in me, still trust in me. I know that decisions could have been made different. I'm not really worried about it. People say whatever they want to say."
Is it tougher to block out mistakes because they're talked about so much?
"Not at all. [I'm] still the same person. I know that those are things that can be corrected. If I just do what I'm told then they won't be there.''
Harris was pleased with how he managed the game and that the team obviously came out with a victory. "That's all that matters at the end of the day.''
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN