A "Thriller" of a practice: UM Canes finally get to put on the pads and hit -- multiple injury updates.
Quick hits from Day 3 of University of Miami training camp (Please keep in mind that we talk to the players and coach before practice, not after):
*** The Hurricanes finally got to use their pads and do some hitting Monday, and in the time we got to observe them at the beggining of practice, they appeared to be having fun.
*** Injury wise, I saw defensive end Anthony Chickillo walking near the practice facility limping pretty heavily and wearing a boot. Coach Al Golden said he turned his ankle yesterday but didn't elaborate on the severity.
*** Also on the injury front, two-sport prep star Corn Elder, Mr. Tennessee Football as a running back, was in a red jersey for injured players who are not allowed to have contact -- seemingly hurting as he did stretching exercises next to safety Deon Bush.
Bush, who had hernia surgery in June, is getting closer to being fully integrated into practice. Not sure yet what's wrong with Elder, a cornerback and special-teamer. Elder is a two-time basketball state champion for Ensworth High in Nashville, and there's a good chance he could bounce over to Jim Larrañaga's basketball team for practice before this football season ends - especially if he redshirts, Golden said.
A few weeks ago at the ACC Football Kickoff, Golden told us: "[Jim] watched him practice this summer, and he's excited about him as a basketball player, which is great to hear."
*** Golden didn't elaborate on redshirt freshman guard Danny Isidora's foot injury, just saying he wants to wait until he sees a foot specialist. I learned from two sources yesterday that Isidora broke his foot and is supposed to have surgery before the weekend. Situations are always fluid, but we'll see what transpires with that. Golden has been pretty candid about injuries, but he's understandably very cautious and keeps it vague for what he calls privacy issues.
*** Freshman offensive tackle Sunny Odogwu (foot from before season) was back in limited-contact yellow. Golden expects him back fully Monday.
*** In positive injury news (if you call any injury news positive), Seantrel Henderson is already out of his "limited contact" yellow jersey after turning his ankle on Saturday. Golden was happy about that.
*** One of my favorites, running back Eduardo Clements, is so appreciative to have been cleared after sustaining a neck injury midway through the season.
*** Golden raved about 6-5, 220-pound punter Pat O'Donnell, who graduated from Cincinnati and can thus immediately play as UM's starting punter. Golden said he is the "most impressive'' player he's seen the first two days of practice. When I told Golden that O'Donnell looked like a beast, he responded: "He looks like a SAM linebacker.''
*** Quarterback Preston Dewey is still not at practice.
*** Michael Jackson's Thriller blasted from the loudspeakers at one point, making it a lively affair. Well, at least I liked that part!
*** Freshman walk-on QB Michael Welch, from Winnetka, Ill., was added to the roster and participated in his first camp Monday.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN