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Al Golden discusses contract extension; Lamar Miller, Olivier Vernon deflect talk of future

SUN LIFE STADIUM -- Here is a transcript of Al Golden's post-game press conference with reporters after the Canes lost 24-17 and he signed an extension through the 2019 season.

> Did you discuss the extension with the team? "I didn’t because the team knows that I’ve never discussed anything but being here with them. They know that. The team understands that. I’ve said it to them a million times that I love it here. I said ‘please don’t listen to what anybody is saying on the outside.’ This is where I want to be; this is a destination job. I know they’re excited. I think it’s a mutual admiration and respect and I think they know what we have to get done this offseason."

> How important it is to get the contract extension sealed now? "It’s vital. I just want to thank President Shalala for her leadership and Shawn Eichorst for his leadership. And clearly, I’m just excited about the future. I’m ready to go on the road. I’ll be at the first kid’s house at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Again, we have a lot of work to do. We know where we are as a team. I wish we had won. I’m sure we all do, but we again are where we are right now, and we’re going to fight out of it. And I’m just glad I have the opportunity to be the guy to lead this program out of it."

> When did you tell the team about the extension? "There was nothing for me to really to say to them. It was about people speaking on the outside. I think our players always understood what we were going to do."

> How did extension evolve... "I don't think I want to discuss that. That's private. But clearly when everybody is on the same page and the direction you want to go with the program that's how it gets done."

> Does this end the speculation of you leaving? "It’s been a tough year, and I said all along I plan on being here. You guys asked the question the night I came and I still feel the same way. I think it’s a destination job and I think we’re going to have a great recruiting class. We started four seniors on offense and three on defense. A transition year; a lot of adversity. Again, we’re not making any excuses. We know what we need to fix and we’re going to start fixing it Monday morning, period."

> Penn State still needs a head coach... "Right now Penn State has a great coach. His name is Tom Bradley. He's passionate. He's a leader. He's been there forever. The kids are playing for him. And I'm happy for Tom. I'm excited to be a Miami Hurricane."

> What was your plan if not for this extension? "I was going to work. This has been setup for a week now. I'm going to be in at least one kids house on Sunday. I was going on the road. Once we found out the bowl wasn't an option. We set the schedule and I'm going to be working through the holiday."

> Why is it important for you to be here through 2019? "I wanted to make a long term commitment otherwise the speculation is going to continue. I don't want to be sitting here answering these questions. Hopefully, now, I'll outlast a lot of you guys."

> What is your impression of the season? "I think it's emblematic of our inconsistency to go to some games and have incredible discipline and protect the ball. There's too many variances or oscillations right now in our overall game for me to be pleased with it. I think we need to be physically tougher. We need to be mentally tougher. I think our competitiveness has come a long way. Obviously our penalties are down, our turnover ratio has improved. But not to the point where you can win, week in and week out. We knew what was coming in here. We're not consistent enough. We need a good offseason program, get resituated and get a class in here as well.

> Was senior Day too much to bear? "I don't want to make any excuses. They played better at the end of the day. They didn't turn the ball over. They won field position battle..."

> Who decided to make the announcement? "Leadership decided to make announcement during the game."

> What did you tell Jacory and the seniors? "I just told them they were Miami Hurricanes and we love them, appreciate the way they stuck together through adversity and how competitive they were all year. I wish it had ended better for our seniors.

> Have recruits asked if you are staying? "For players and recruits we've only said the same thing for weeks. Whether or not anybody wanted to listen to what we were saying. Our message never changed and now it officially is never going to change. If we talk to recruits today or tomorrow, it's going to be what were telling them.

> What is the focus now? "To get stronger. We need to get stronger than we are right now. We have to create depth in a lot of different spots. We have to go out and recruit and match kids to not only what we're doing, but want to compete and start. There were a lot of seniors that walked out there today. Fortunately, we're losing a great deal of seniors, but not a great deal of starters.


It's still unclear if Lamar Miller will be in the NFL or the Hurricanes backfield next season. But if Friday's performance was his last in a Hurricanes uniform, the redshirt sophomore tailback left quite an impression, finishing with 114 yards on 12 carries while moving into third place all-time in UM's single-season rushing list with 1,272 yards on 227 carries and nine touchdowns.

His 79-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was the longest play of the season for the Hurricanes and a career-best for himself. Miller began the day fifth in UM history, but passed Clinton Portis (1,200 yards, 2001) and Ottis Anderson (1,266 yards, 1978) on the list.

He would have had 63 more yards Saturday if not for a holding penalty on Harland Gunn early in the fourth quarter. Still, he'll be listed third in UM's record book behind Willis McGahee (1,753 yards on 282 attempts in 2002) and Edgerrin James (1,416 yards on 224 attempts in 1998).

ESPN's Todd McShay lists Miller as the 14th-best prospect in next April's NFL Draft and the second-best draft eligible running back behind Alabama's Trent Richardson. Miller said earlier this week he would only declare for the draft if he knew he was going to be a first round pick.

That apparently hasn't changed even with Friday's news that coach Al Golden's contract has been extended through the 2019 season. Miller said he still plans to sit down with his parents and Golden and make the best decision once he hears back from the NFL.

"Now that the season is over I just have to get stronger, faster, finish with my school work," Miller said.

As for why he would come back, Miller said: "I always wanted to win a national championship and ACC championship. That was my main goal, just to get a ring. I'd still like to do that."


Junior Olivier Vernon, rated the 26th best draft eligible defensive end by NFLDraftScout.com, was non-committal when asked about his return next season.

"I'm not really trying to think about that," Vernon said when asked if he'll consider going to the NFL or returning to UM. "I'm just trying to move forward at the end of the day. I'm just going to have to talk to my parents and see what happens."

Vernon missed six games because he was suspended by the NCAA for taking impermissible gifts from former booster Nevin Shapiro.


The Hurricanes honored 25 seniors Friday at Sun Life Stadium. They came out of the smoke and met family members, with Golden hugging each player and greeting their families.

> The Class of 2011: wide receiver Travis Benjamin, receiver Ben Bruneau, receiver LaRon Byrd, fullback John Calhoun, cornerback Lee Chambers, tackle Joel Figueroa, tight end Chase Ford, linebacker Jordan Futch, cornerback Nate Gholston, linebacker Sean Goldstein, guard Harland Gunn, quarterback Jacory Harris, center Tyler Horn, long snapper Chris Ivory, linebacker Miles Levine, linebacker Erik Lichter, defensive back JoJo Nicolas, defensive tackle Micanor Regis, linebacker/defensive end Marcus Robinson, defensive end Andrew Smith, linebacker Sean Spence, running back David Thompson, quarterback Spencer Whipple, cornerback Mike Williams.

> Tight end Blake Ayles, who retired from football prior to the 2011 season due to a career-ending injury, was also recognized.

> Calhoun made his first career start Saturday and caught his first pass of the season, a four-yard grab.

> Byrd scored UM's first touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Harris. It was his first touchdown since Oct. 23, 2010 against North Carolina.

Asked about the 29-22 record the seniors compiled at UM and why they didn't win an ACC championship or a bowl game in their time, Horn said: "At some point you have to get the job done. I know it's hard to just say go do it. But at some point, you have to go do it. You have to make the play, make the catch, make the stop, make the block. While we did not do that all the time I felt we laid a good foundation of what the leadership of the team needs to be. Hopefully, guys like Ray-Ray [Armstrong], VT [Vaughn Telemaque], [Brandon] Linder coming back, B-Wash [Brandon Washington], it's going to be their team now. They just need to keep on building the house so to speak. Eventually it's all going to come together."


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Wow, I have never seen so much support for a coach that finishes a season 6-6. Then to compare his side line demeanor with a predecessor coach a the "U" really makes me wonder. Shannon's sideline demeanor is quite remeniscent of several head coaches head coachs in the college and pro's that patrol the sideline with their arms folded and laid back demeanor. Belechick, Dungy, Jason Garret and Bobby Bowden in his prime. I didn't see those guys working refs during the course of a game or show much emotion on the sidelines, but were sucessful. But we have jackasses on the blog that want to judge a coach's performance on the appearance of working refs during the course of a game is really stretching. I get it that Shannon was not a sucessful coach at the U, but the explanations and comments on this board really makes me wonder if there is a hidden agenda. I like Golden, but I am not sold on him getting us back to the pinnacle based on a 6-6 season. I hate hearing the excuses that we didn't have depth or it wasn't his recruits. IMO a good coach knows how to win with anyone's talent.

No coach has ever gone through what Golden has faced from day 1. So he gets a 2-3 year pass. He also inherited a bunch of lazy entitled no football IQ, soft, weak a55 players: harris, Forston, benjamin, Vernon, and yes, even Spence.

Good bye Jacorry and the rest of you losers. Never return. We'lll see Jacorry at Walmart or something as branch manager.

Because he is no NFLer. I dont even think spence is an NFLer. Maybe at safet but linebacker? Please dont make me laugh

Please Cane fan, tell me all about how Duh U was in every game, never gave up, lost 6 games by 32 total points and if it weren't for 8-10 plays U would have gone Undefeated and played LSU for the National Championship...

Please, I'm begging U. I could really Use the comic relief.

oh yeah ... U went 14-22 verses "decent" competition the last 4 years... De Ja vU U all over again ... But Goldie's gotz dis riiieet ?

God U ClUcks are fUnny ... Blind, but fUnny.


I still can't get that picture of the # 40 white boy stiff arming the lil # 3 Predator head all the way down the sideline ... Bwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh !!!

We're lucky to have Golden. Those of you who say otherwise are clueless! We will win a national title with him. It's all about recruiting. But let's all be honest. It's not easy getting recruits to come to Miami to play in front of 7 thousand fans when they could go anywhere else and play in front of a lot more. Crap the Gophers are pulling in 40.000 a game. We are making it tough on recruiting- Kids want to play in front of big crowds.

Well goodbye to the Seniors of them all I think only Speance, Horn, Figs and JoJo didn't dissappoint. Glad to see J-12 leaving and he showed us why we should be glad to see him go. As for Goldens extgension I think he is the right man for this job. I can see the culture changing and I think that next years team will be scary good especially if he can reain in Ray Ray though I think that's unlikely. If he can't the Ray Ray should go and this recruiting class need to fill needs not necessarily have a bunch of 4 and 5 stars.

Overall I would grade this season as a B- given everything that has gone on.

Now sarts the recruiting. Let's see what the Tie has up his sleeve.

Okay, Jacory went out on a bad note, but this game was useless anyway, and the players played as such! Taking the bowl game away took the little effort they had out of the team. The leadership should have waited before making it public.

With 5mins left in the game I looked to my friend and said that these will be the last 5 mins that any Cane fan will have to tolerate jacory harris ever again. I liked his style of play during his sophomore season and watched him throw his junior season to the opposing team time and time again. Now in his final season he gets his act together to only show us the old jacory harris that we all know and remember in his final game. I blame this loss on jacory harris. Give the ball up 4 times and you will lose the game even to a lesser opponent. He made BC look good when they are not.

Good Bye

Jacory Harris - Don't care that you're a senior, you should have been pulled after the 2nd pick.

Lee Chambers - really, good bye, thanks for nothing.

Travis Benjamin - ????

Sean Spence - wish you were a junior. Good luck in the pros.

Jordan Futch - wish you were developed more during your time here. You worked hard for us. If you somehow pulled a med shirt out of your butt would be great because you're a 100mph player and I love that.

Blake Ayles - sorry about the way you had to end your football career. Wish you the best.

Tyler Horn - glad to see you leave.

Harland Gunn - later!

Chris Ivory - thanks for the long snaps.

Laron Byrd - man what happened with you??

Mike Williams - thanks for transferring, that's all I can say because it kept McGee off the field more.

Jojo Nicolas - Thanks for switching positions so many time for us. It helped.

Andrew Smith - take care.

Marcus Robinson - thanks

Micanor Regis - wish we had you for another year.

Joel Figueroa - you gave us 6 yrs of your life. That's a lot of abuse, and with a bad back. Take care man and good luck.

Chase Ford - thanks for the couple of catches.

If I missed anyone then I'm sorry but this was off of the top of my head. At least we have about 17 starters out of 22 coming back and a ton of guys that are hungry to play, not including the incoming recruits.

Golden is our man. He can correct the mess here. Give him till the end of next season to make any criticisms. By that point he'll have the majority of randy's guys gone and will have his guys with one year of his system under their belts and the guys that he's bringing in to work with. Next season is looking very bright for The U.

Sorry to see our seniors go out like this, but at the same time it's fitting because it's also how they came in, over hyped and under performing. That's coaching for you. Too bad that the Canes got their coach during their senior season instead of since the beginning. Imagine if he was the coach last year with these guys...

Go Canes!!!!!!

Canetillidie. Good post. Any idea why jokecorey was allowed to stay in?? Did he want noodle arm to be totally embarressed. Did not work.

if the UM wants to excel and present a team of men with character, toughness, and intelligence then L(east west) Miller and Ray(look how good I am) Armstrong should be given their release and let the UM move on. They are like a cancer which has ruined this team morale and desire to be tough when it counts

Putney Swope, before you accuse someone of having the brain of a "Nat"...
You just MIGHT want to learn how to spell it..."GNAT."

Columnists jobs, as opposed to just be a "reporter" is to have an opinion, and express it, whether popular or not.
It takes more guts to question UM decisions, play on the field, etc than to just be "fanboys."

I don't really feel your remarks hold water.
For instance, Susan posted at least 5 warm, human interest stories on on individual Canes, sometimes including family portraits. Always with a positive spin.

I realize we're all pretty bummed out by the BC game, and a 6-6 record, but the Herald didn't throw 4 int's Friday.

Two things will never change - Bush hasn't been President for three years and no college in the entire country rushed to hire Shannon. Unfortunately, any time an African American under performs, he can't be criticized or the "race card" comes flying out. I'm a Golden supporter because I think that he is an excellent coach who has a "plan" and that's exactly what the U needs.

He got the extension because people who know football know Coach Golden is a quality coach and leader. The seniors know it as well. If he wasn't as good as they say he wouldn't even be talked about for the Penn State job.

The thing that hurt this team this year??
1) Suspensions: At full strength several close games could have been very different.
2) Offensive line under performed. When they played well we won.
3) Defensive turnovers: Why does a talented team like Miami not force more fumbles and interceptions?? Its called pressure. If the D-line gets to and hits the QB the secondary should get the ball.
4) Tackling: Sometimes we looked good and sometimes very very bad. They should be at least Good.

5) No Tight End: Not sure where they went. This is a must have for any successful team! No one wins without one.

If Coach Golden improves or fixes these things The Canes will stomp the opposition.

Awesome post, where is the rss? I cant find it!

Jimmy Johnsonm was an unknown coach from an avg to losing program at OK state when he came to miami. so get off the bash golden stuff. Another top class coming in, and a ton of talent back next yr, and it can be agreat season

To Nevin Shapiro should watch his back, YOU'VE GOTTA' BE KIDDING..!!! You'll take COKER'S 9 wins, please..! He's one of the main reasons the program didn't win back to back nat'l titles and why it's struggling today. He was bad as Shannon in not evaluating or developing talent and didn't recruit the south florida area hard enough... Let's give Golden a chance to turn the program around...

Coach G thanks for putting a step back in our football program which was that we will play to the last whistle..Miami never gave up in winning or loosing...Your Contract extension is an affirmation that there are thousands of fans, alumni, students, and well wishers who are ALL aboard for your trip with the "U"..there are a few who criticze everything and we tolerate not so much..bottom line..your plan is in place, your recruting is set, the weight room is humming, new faces, new talent, and a long term commitment to our "U"..Congratulations and I know as an Alumni that loved every minute of my time at the "U"...you have my vote. I also feel a sense of gratitude to you for making a shift in our program towards accountability, process,and attitude to the "U" and the
competition, team and life commitments you have given to the players. Good luck in 2012..

Canetillidie. Good post. Any idea why jokecorey was allowed to stay in?? Did he want noodle arm to be totally embarressed. Did not work.

Posted by: ltcdolphin | November 26, 2011 at 09:14 PM


I have no answer as to why harris wasn't pulled after the 2nd pick, let alone allowed to finish the game. I don't care if he's a senior, we needed that win to propel ourselves into next season. Now the seniors walk away as they came in, over hyped and under performing like I mentioned earlier. I really have no answer to this question to be honest with you LTC. My friend with me at the game was complaining the same thing that this kid should have been pulled after the 2nd pick. Morris, I believe, would have won the game for us. He doesn't under throw the ball and has the strength to throw down field and hit travis in stride instead of travis slowing up for Harris's late/short passes.

Harris is a "second to late" QB. He showed us all the old jacory that we know and remember. Even though he has gone through 2 head coaches and a few offensive coordinators, he's still responsible for his own composure, not the coach. At that position you have to have the highest level of composure on the team to keep everything and everyone together. Players will always look to the QB and see how he's doing. If they see a QB that's confident, cool and collected, that emotion will fuel the team on the next play. They have to feed off of each other. Harris just doesn't have it. He should have gone to FAMU or BCC.

At least now we have Morris and Williams who'll battle it out during the spring. Gray Crow from Tampa is graduation early I hear and is hungry for the competition. He's a good size kid with plenty of strength. Real strong arm, gunslinger style.

GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!!! BUILD FOR 2012

good post NATE.

That last game was tough to watch. I think Morriss will bring a stronger arm and quicker decision making skills. Each time our defense went up against a lesser skill quarterback but one who could make quick decisions with the ball, we always lost or had a tough time winning. I just cant help but to wonder what our offense would like with a quick decision maker at quarterback. Sorry J12, you have the height, with decent arm strength, and I still believe a 4th-6th round draft pick, but you simply did not have the ability at this level to quickly read defenses and to quickly get the ball down the field.

miller will go to the NFL and excel. in 2 years al golden will have the canes on top of the ACC, in year 4 there will be on top of college football ......go canes.

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