Coach Al Golden spoke today as part of the ACC spring football teleconference.
He was asked if there was any area he had concerns about during spring.
"No one would be satisfied with our wide receiver situation in the spring by numbers specifically,'' Golden replied. There have got to be some guys that come in and help us out there. You could say the same thing about corner. I’m not trying to diminish what the kids that were there did. It was just a huge task for minimal players, asking three or four wideouts to carry the load for a position group that should have 10 in it. The same thing at corner, asking three or four corners to really carry the weight of a positon that should have eight when you consider all the nickel we play these days. Those two positions are certainly positions there and the defensive end spot, where we’re going to have an infuse of talent and competition and hopefully it will improve our program."
I asked him about the next step for incoming recruits who haven't arrived.
"They’re allowed to have a conditioning book, a program to follow even though they’re not with us. some of them are working out with us already. we expect another probably six or so to be here for summer I [session] and then the remainder by June 27th. We’ll have everybody in place by July 1 and that will help us and help them with the transition. Clearly, we’re continuing to take to each and everyone of them and monitoring them and making sure they understand what they need to do and where their weight needs to be and those types of things so we’re in good shape when we begin."
Do you expect them to know stuff from the playbook? "We’re always trying to talk football with them,'' he replied, "but in terms of giving them playbooks and things it’s something we just don’t do. But certainly we talk football with them and make sure they understand the things they need to get done."
Aside: I'm pretty sure some of those guys (e.g. Tracy Howard) are already studying the playbook.
Golden was reminded that before spring practice he said certain players were going to get their big opportunities to get playing time before the talented freshman newcomers arrive. He was asked if some of the current players stepped up.
Golden: "I think some guys did. I think the reality of it is at some positions we were so light because we lost 30 players it’s easy to get lulled to sleep or become complacent. But the reality is you’re competing against a standard, not just whether or not you’re the next in line. You’re competing against a standard that we need to operate on and that we’ve become accustomed to here at Miami. So, just because your competition may not be in the room, just understand that he’s coming. I believe we did recruit well. I’m very pleased with the 10 that are here now and I’m going to be anxious to see the next wave that comes in. We’re trying to play and perform and play at a standard, not so much, ‘there’s no one else at my position right now and I’m the starter by default.’ That’s not how it works. Our job as coaches it to keep maneuvering players so that we get the best players on the field and we have depth at every position.''
Golden's picks for the two or three players that "really helped themselves, no question'' on offense durting spring are receiver Rashawn Scott, tight end Asante Cleveland and center Shane McDermott." He said on defense, the players who "jumped out" and "really helped themselves'' are defensive end Shayon Green, lineman/linebacker Kelvin Cain, linebacker Tyrone Cornileus and safeties Kacy Rodgers and A.J. Highsmith.
Golden didn't share any news about quarterback Stephen Morris, other than to say he was doing a lot of throwing. "I don't know exactly when he's going to get the absolute green light to do everything. But it's not going to be very long now because he's already pushing it.''
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN