The University of Miami did not release a new depth chart following its first football scrimmage of the spring on Saturday, but its safe to say whoever failed to perform to the level expected of them brought their A-games on Tuesday.
Hurricanes coach Al Golden called Tuesday's practice: "the best since I've been a Miami Hurricane coach."
Why so good? According to Golden the team's most talented players didn't play their best Saturday and a lot of them came out with "pride because they didn't live up to their own expectations or they felt a little heat from somebody."
"There were a lot of guys in that scrimmage the other day that either weren't happy with their performance or got a sniff of it or two and are now running with the [first team]. I think the whole competition level rose today and guys responded," Golden said. "It had all the elements of a great practice. It had very few mental errors and had a great approach from the get-go. They started fast and competed. I had to keep looking at my watch because it was moving so fast. We got a lot done."
> Despite acknowledging that a leg injury to Dyron Dye on Saturday is "significant," Golden wasn't ready to release any more news on the fifth-year senior defensive end on Tuesday "until I hear from the medical people."
"It's terribly disappointing. It was basically a non-contact [injury] if you will, just running," Golden said. "We're all praying for him. Hopefully we'll have some good news here."
While Dye's injury doesn't appear to be good, Golden said every other player dinged up on Saturday was back at practice Tuesday. One guy who isn't practicing, but showing positive signs coming off injury is sophomore receiver Malcolm Lewis.
"I don't know if you were at the scrimmage the other day but he was out pregame running routes, which I didn't okay and was surprised as anybody to see it," Golden said. "But if he's out there it's because the trainers said it was okay for him to do it. I was just shocked to go out there and see him coming out of a break.
"That's amazing. That is an amazing feat, really a medical miracle that he's able to do that. We'll be careful with him until June, keep his weight down and then condition him on the bike and get him stronger. We're really excited for him to have a full recovery."
> With the number of scholarship running backs a bit low, Golden said the focus this spring has been to get sophomore Duke Johnson to learn to carry the load "and teaching him to be a 20-carry guy" while also being careful with his reps.
In the meantime, Golden said: "The guy that is probably having the best spring right now is Dallas Crawford. We don't have a final word yet on Eduardo [Clements] so we don't know where he's at. But certainly Dallas stepping up and [redshirt freshman] Danny Dillard stepping up has helped a lot. We have Gus [Edwards] coming in. I think we'll be okay."
Golden said UM plans on recruiting two to three running backs in its next signing class.
> Golden said redshirt freshman receiver Jontavious Carter (6-2, 208) had too many plays on Saturday where he didn't finish.
"He's got to learn to play big," Golden said. "He's not Phillip. He's not Malcolm. He's got to learn to play big. Big receivers catch slants. Big receivers show up in the red zone. Big receivers are blocking and cracking and distorting safeties and outworking people. Once he understands that and does it everyday then he can be fine."
> Golden once again had high praise for freshman linebacker Alex Figueroa (I'll have a story on him in Wednesday's paper) and kicker Matt Goudis, who booted a 49-yard field goal Saturday. A scout on hand Tuesday told me he thinks Figueroa is a future NFL linebacker.
> Despite tallying a handful of sacks Saturday, defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said a big reason for the success was having three guys out on the offensive line.
"I think we're getting better there, but that scrimmage shouldn't be the one indicator we're improving," D'Onofrio said. "I think the guys we've recruited -- [Al-Quadin] Muhammad and [Ufomba] Kamalu are going to make a big impact with the group."
> UM's receivers had about eight to 10 drops on Saturday and both Phillip Dorsett and Allen Hurns said that needs to improve.
"Every third down we've got to make the catch," Hurns said.
Said Dorsett: "We got to get better, show more effort."
> Hurns absolutely crushed safety Deon Bush during 7-on-7 work Tuesday.
"I wasn't supposed to do it. I was just caught up in the moment," he said afterward. "I have to apologize because that's not what we're supposed to do as teammates."
Hurns, who has taken a lot of big hits in his career, said it felt good though to dish out a little punishment. And Bush didn't seem to mind.
"It's all part of the game. It's nothing personal," Bush said. "It's a good sign to see that [from Hurns]. That's good that all the receivers they're really trying to get control of the blocking and stuff like that."