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40 posts from August 2013

August 31, 2013

Golden on Duke's injury, struggling passing game and more after season-opening win over FAU

Hurricanes coach Al Golden addressed the health of star running back Duke Johnson, receiver Rashawn Scott and the struggles of Miami's passing game in it's opener.

Here is a transcript of his press conference.

> On team’s overall performance... “I thought we played really hard. I thought Florida Atlantic played incredibly tough. They were very physical, well-coached. I thought their punter was amazing - I thought he changed the field for them all night. As I just said to our guys, give them a lot of credit. Any time you play one of these rival games in the state, that’s what you’re going to get. Give Florida Atlantic a lot of credit – they played hard and they made us earn it. We were overzealous a little bit with some penalties early in the game. We dropped some passes that we hadn’t been dropping. Our timing wasn’t where it needed to be in some instances, but I thought our guys played hard. We didn’t play smart all the time, weren’t as good as we needed to be on third down on offense, but I thought our defense played really, really hard, played physical, and ran to the ball well.”

On the performance of Duke Johnson... “I don’t know what his overall numbers were...I’m guessing 20 touches. That’s kind of what we need him to be, somewhere around there. I thought he did a good job with that. He’s healthy. He cut two guys down on the [Herb Waters run] where we scored. He’s a very unselfish player.”

On his assessment of the team’s passing game... “I didn’t think it was as sharp as we have been, for sure. We were really humming coming into this week in the pass game, and obviously it wasn’t where it needed to be. We need to go back to work. We’ll go back tomorrow, watch it, and we’ll get back on the passing game. We certainly didn’t do a good enough job on third down.”

On managing an excited team playing in its season opener... “All of those things you think about, we don’t think about until it’s the eventuality. We don’t talk about any of that, because all of these first games – they’re hard. We have idea what they were going to do. We saw three different quarterbacks. Opening games are hard – you have no track record to go by, really. I thought they were well-coached, tough as can be, physical. I thought they were excellent on special teams, and I thought their punter gave us a long field all night. As well as Pat [O’Donnell] was hitting the ball, this kid changed the field for them. That was the big difference in the game.”

On nerves affecting the passing game... “That’s something that’s disappointing to me. Monday and Tuesday, I thought we were really sharp in the passing game. It’s a shame. It is. We didn’t look like we had our timing, so we have to get back to work on that. Obviously that was reflective in our third downs – not where we need to be. We need to be on more third and shorts too, we weren’t in enough of them.”

On the play of his team’s pass rush... “We have more depth and we have more guys that can rush the passer now. Certainly Quan [Muhammad] made a difference, I thought [David] Gilbert made a difference. I thought we had more power inside, so I think that helped. We need to get takeaways, but we were physical, we were running to the ball. We made some errors, but I thought we played hard. I really did. We didn’t put the defense in good situations too often, and they battled their way out of it. We need to do a better job on offense on third down - that would really help us in time of possession and help our defense.”

On rotating young players in... “Those guys, there were a lot of freshmen that were redshirting that we were not going to play. Those guys that played, we made the decision in camp that they’re going to help us at some time this year and help us significantly. That’s why we played them. We have to get Stacy [Coley] to forget about this one. He had a tough first quarter – he just has to forget about it and move on. He’s very talented, he just needs to relax and let it come to him. He has worked really hard, but I think he was pressing a little bit. Obviously he and Stan [Dobard] and Gus [Edwards] and Artie [Burns] and Corn Elder and [Jermaine] Grace, and all those guys, they’re all in the mix. They’re all going to be helping us this year.”

On Rashawn Scott’s catch and injury... “It was a great catch. I don’t know what his status is - hopefully not too bad.”

On the performance of Eduardo Clements... "I’m happy for him. We had the first scrimmage, then the second scrimmage, now it’s the first game - these are all baselines, and he’s moving up every time. He’s in better condition. He’s feeling more confident and we’re feeling more confident that he’s ready to go. He has had a great attitude. I’m happy for him that he got going on that.”

On Duke Johnson being issued a concussion test... “That’s our protocol. We follow a strict protocol for anybody that we think is woozy or got their bell rung. We have a great concussion institution, and we have great sideline protocol with Vinny Scavo and Dr. Kaplan. We just do that to make sure that we’re protecting any kids that have any kind of head trauma.”

August 30, 2013

Gameday blog: FAU at Miami

The 2013 season is set to begin at 8 p.m. tonight against the visiting FAU Owls.

As per tradition, we will be hosting a live blog on CoverItLive here at Eye On The U. Tonight's game is being televised on ESPNU and broadcast on WQAM (560 AM), Radio Caracol (Spanish, 1260 AM), WVUM (90.5 FM) and XM 191 on Satellite Radio. 

The Hurricanes are favored to beat the Owls by 32 points according to the spread makers in Las Vegas. FAU is coming off a 3-9 season and is under second-year coach Carl Pelini. The Owls are expected to play a couple guys under center, but it's likely sophomore Jaquez Johnson (6-1, 225) who will start. He'll get some help from freshmen Greg Hankerson (6-0, 172) and DJ Juste (6-2, 180).

OwlAccess.com reported Thursday that five players will sit out today's game with suspensions: starting slot receiver Daniel McKinney, tight end Darion Howard, running back Damian Fortner, defensive tackle Lance Burlingame and long-snapper Stephen Curtis. The last four are not starters.

Here is the live blog. Remember to login and keep it clean please. I'm picking Miami to win handily by the way.


August 28, 2013

Former Hurricane hoops star Dequan Jones takes shot at NCAA after Manziel ruling

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel got a half's worth of a suspension handed down to him Wednesday, an agreement Texas A&M and the NCAA reached because the star quarterback violated NCAA bylaw by signing autographs.

Manziel will sit out the first half of the Aggies' opener against Rice Saturday, a mere slap on the wrist even though Manziel is accused of actually selling his signature to memorabilia dealers.

Not everyone seemed happy for Manziel -- including former Hurricanes basketball star Dequan Jones.

Jones was forced to sit out 11 games his senior year as part of the Nevin Shapiro booster investigation. Shapiro claimed that former UM assistant Jake Morton asked Shapiro for $10,000 to secure Jones, then a recruit. Jones was allowed to return to action after the NCAA couldn’t find evidence against him.

Jones, now in his second year with the Orlando Magic, took to Twitter to express his thoughts on how how quickly the Manziel mess was worked out.

Deon Bush's status remains up in the air before FAU opener

Although the Hurricanes didn't list any players beyond offensive linemen Hunter Wells (out for the season) and Danny Isidora (expected to miss at least six more weeks) on their latest injury report Wednesday, UM coach Al Golden said during his ACC Teleconference with reporters it remains up in the air if safety Deon Bush will play in Friday night's opener against FAU.

Bush had sports hernia surgery back in June and has been slowly working his way back onto the field.

"He's cleared to play so it's just a function of how comfortable he feels," Golden said.

"If he feels comfortable and he wants to move forward then we'll move forward with him. Deon's smart -- it's not going to be a function of him knowing the defense or anything like that. He's taken reps. It's going to be a comfort level with him. We'll just monitor his progress and see how it is."

With Florida around the corner, there is no need to rush Bush into this game. So I personally don't expect to see a lot of Deon if at all in this game. 

> In terms of the Hurricanes' scholarship numbers, Golden still wasn't ready to provide an answer Wednesday as to which walk-ons have now earned scholarships. He said Monday a couple had, but want to say exactly who because the paperwork hadn't been finished yet. At last check, the Hurricanes were at 76 scholarships.

> Golden reiterated Wednesday the team will increase the touches for running back Duke Johnson compared to last year. "He's significantly stronger than a year ago, more comfortable in the system having gone through it," Golden said. "He's a better pass protector, pass receiver."

> Although he's listed as a third team receiver Golden said Rashawn Scott has had his best practices of the fall over the last three or four days. "Hopefully he can carry the momentum into the games, play at the level we know he can play at," Golden said. "He has to continue to be consistent, improve, get out of his own way sometimes."

> In case you missed it in the video interview from Monday, defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio is moving up to the press box to call plays this season. He's been on the field the last two years.

"I'll have an opportunity to see the information quicker, see it better with my own eyes as opposed to relying on the information coming in and out," D'Onofrio said. "I had done that most of my career prior to being a coordinator the last eight years. There's a lot of people that are down, a lot of people that are up. This is something we decided to take a look at in the spring and liked it."

> Asked about Miami's 1983 national championship team on Wednesday (they're being honored before Friday's game), Golden said the reason he watched the title game against Nebraska back then was because his brother was actually a walk-on on the 1981 Hurricanes team. Golden said his brother left before the championship season though.

"When your big brother goes to Miami you become a Miami fan," Golden said. "We were following it at that time and certainly remember it like it was yesterday. It will be great to see a lot of those guys. Back then you used to tape the games on VHS, the VCR and keep them. That was one of the games we'd watch every now and again."

August 27, 2013

Video interviews with Morris, Walford, Feliciano, Jenkins, Perryman and O'Donnell

Here are video interviews from Tuesday with quarterback Stephen Morris, tight end Clive Walford, offensive lineman Jonathan Feliciano, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, linebacker Denzel Perryman and punter Pat O'Donnell.

> Morris talks about how different the offense will look this year with new coordinator James Coley, his goals for the season and how UM's young pass rushers did in camp.

Walford talks about when he's going to cut his hair, how he feels he did in fall camp and his expectations for the season.

Feliciano talks about being listed as the starter at right tackle, facing FAU, the rotation on the offensive line and the Canes' young pass rushers.

Jenkins talks about why the secondary will be better, preparing for FAU and how he feels about his own play entering the season.

Perryman talks about the possibility of facing a freshman quarterback Friday and his teammates heading into the season.

O'Donnell, a former standout at Cincinnati, talks about how many punts he expects to have versus FAU, his role on the team and more.

Good news: Curtis Porter (back) wearing black jersey at Tuesday morning practice

Hurricanes coach Al Golden put out a worry signal Monday during his press conference when he said starting senior defensive tackle Curtis Porter was dealing with back issues lately.

There might not be any reason to worry now.

Porter, who has missed more than a few games in his career with injuries, was wearing a black jersey (designated for starters) and looking healthy Tuesday morning during drills. The Hurricanes badly need Porter to be healthy. He makes a huge difference in the run defense when he's been in there. 

> The battle for the starting job at strong side linebacker appears to be sophomore Thurston Armbrister's to lose at this point. He was wearing a black jersey Tuesday morning. Freshman Alex Figueroa, listed as a co-starter at strong side linebacker, was wearing green.

> Junior Jonathan Feliciano continues to run with the first team at right tackle. Seantrel Henderson was sitting behind Feliciano in stretching exercises. 

> There were no players wearing yellow (non-contact) or red (out) jerseys. 

August 26, 2013

Miami Hurricanes Video: Golden, D'Onofrio, Coley, Kehoe, Green and McCord talk FAU, season opener on Monday

The Hurricanes are only a few days away from opening the season Friday night against FAU.

Here are some video clips from this morning's press conference with Coach Al Golden, defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, offensive coordinator James Coley, offensive line coach Art Kehoe, defensive end Shayon Green and linebacker Tyriq McCord.

August 25, 2013

UM coach Al Golden unveils yet another Hurricanes depth chart -- for opener Friday against FAU

Turns out the final CanesCamp depth chart distributed by Al Golden on Aug. 19 wasn't exactly final.

On Sunday night, Golden put out yet another depth chart -- this one supposedly for Friday's opener against FAU.

***The changes on offense:

* 6-5, 318-pound redshirt junior Jon Feliciano has won the starting right tackle position from Seantrel Henderson, who is now the backup.

* At left guard it's Malcolm Bunche ahead of Feliciano, with an "or'' between their names.

***The changes on defense:

* Anthony Chickillo has won a defensive end starting spot, as opposed to having an "or'' after his name.

* At outside linebacker, it's 6-3, 233-pound junior Thurston Armbrister "or'' Alex Figueroa, as opposed to the other way around.

* Raphael Kirby is the backup to Jimmy Gaines at middle linebacker.

* Tracy Howard has locked up the starting spot ahead of Antonio Crawford at cornerback.

* The starting safeties are Rayshawn Jenkins (he beat out A.J.Highsmith) and Kacy Rodgers II.

* Antonio Crawford is now the backup to Phillip Dorsett at punt returner. Crawford wasn't listed previously.

* Kick returner is still Dorsett, with Duke Johnson "or'' Artie Burns backing him.


(Click on depth chart below to enlarge)


August 24, 2013

Breaking down the Hurricanes roster by scholarships

With the NCAA expected to make its announcement regarding infractions in the near future (we have no idea exactly when) and a few former scholarship players leaving the program of late, I figured it might be a good time to go over exactly where the Hurricanes stand in term of scholarship numbers by position.

Unless something has changed since Monday (in terms of walk-ons and whom Al Golden has awarded a scholarship to) my estimation is the Hurricanes have 76 scholarship players, nine fewer than the 85 allowed.

> Offense: 36 scholarship players (5 QB, 6 RB, 7 WR, 5 TE, 13 OL); 9 walk-ons
> Defense: 38 scholarship players (16 DL, 9 LB, 13 DB); 8 walk-ons
> Special Teams: 2 scholarship players; 8 walk-ons
> Totals: 76 scholarships; 25 walk-ons

QUARTERBACK (5): Stephen Morris, Sr.; Ryan Williams, Jr.; Preston Dewey, R-Fr.; Gray Crow, R-Fr.; Kevin Olsen, Fr. Walk-on (2): Garrison Lassiter, Fr.; Michael Welch, Fr.

RUNNING BACK (6): Maurice Hagens, Sr.; Eduardo Clements, Sr.; Dallas Crawford, So.; Duke Johnson, So.; Walter Tucker, Fr.; Gus Edwards, Fr. Walk-ons (2): De'Andre Johnson, Jr.; Brandon Yosha, So.

RECEIVER (7): Allen Hurns, Sr.; Phillip Dorsett, Jr.; Rashawn Scott, Jr.; Malcolm Lewis, So.; Herb Waters, So.; D'Mauri Jones, R-Fr.; Stacy Coley, Fr. Walk-ons (5): Garrett Kidd, So.; Stephen Sweeney, So.; Malik Mayweather, Fr.; Greg Golden, Fr.; Josh Johnson, Fr.

TIGHT ENDS (5): Asante Cleveland, Sr.; Clive Walford, Jr.; Beau Sandland, Jr.; Jake O'Donnell, R-Fr.; Standish Dobard, Fr.

OFFENSIVE LINE (13): Jared Wheeler, Sr.; Brandon Linder, Sr.; Seantrel Henderson, Sr.; Jon Feliciano, Jr.; Malcolm Bunche, Jr.; Shane McDermott, Jr.; Hunter Wells, So.; Ereck Flowers, So.; Danny Isidora, R-Fr.; Taylor Gadbois, R-Fr.; Alex Gall, Fr.; Sunny Odogwu, Fr.; Hunter Knighton, Fr.

DEFENSIVE LINE (16): Curtis Porter, Sr.; Kelvin Cain, Sr.; Justin Renfrow, Sr.; David Gilbert, Sr.; Shayon Green, Sr.; Luther Robinson, Sr.; Anthony Chickillo, Jr.; David Perry, Jr.; Olsen Pierre, Jr.; Ufomba Kamalu, Jr.; Jelani Hamilton, So.; Corey King, So.; Earl Moore, So.; Dwayne Hoilett, R-Fr.; Al-Quadin Muhammad, Fr.; Naim Mustafaa, Fr. Walk-on (1): Anthony Naser, Jr.

LINEBACKER (9): Jimmy Gaines, Sr.; Tyrone Cornileus, Sr.; Denzel Perryman, Jr.; Thurston Armbrister, So.; Raphael Kirby, So.; Tyriq McCord, So.; JaWand Blue, R-Fr.; Alex Figueroa, Fr.; Jermaine Grace, Fr. Walk-ons (2): Akil Craig, Sr.; Jared Goldenberg, Fr.

DEFENSIVE BACK (13): A.J. Highsmith, Sr.; Kacy Rodgers, Sr.; Ladarius Gunter, Jr.; Tracy Howard, So.; Rayshawn Jenkins, So.; Antonio Crawford, So.; Deon Bush, So.; Nate Dortch, R-Fr.; Larry Hope, R-Fr.; Artie Burns, Fr.; Jamal Carter, Fr.; Ray Lewis III, Fr.; Corn Elder, Fr. Walk-ons (6): Hugo Delapenha Jr., Sr.; Alex Irastorza, Sr.; Nantambu-Akil Fentress, Jr.; Jordan Tolson, Jr.; Andrew McClelland, Fr.; Wyatt Chickillo, Fr.

KICKERS/PUNTERS (2): Matt Goudis, So.; Pat O'Donnell, Sr. Walk-on (4): Josh Bacon, Fr.; Austin Barnard, Fr.; Ricky Carroll, R-Jr.; Grant Coffman, Fr.

LONG-SNAPPERS - Walk-ons (4): Sean McNally, Sr.; Paul Kelly, Sr.; Ronald Regula, Jr.; Frank Gabriel, So.

Receiver Jontavious Carter latest to leave Hurricanes

The exodus of seldom used players at the University of Miami continued Saturday morning when it was learned receiver Jontavious Carter was no longer with the program.

A three-star recruit out of Crisp County, Ga., the 6-2, 230-pound redshirt freshman wasn't listed among the six receivers on the Hurricanes' most recent depth chart at the conclusion of fall camp. He was even behind new arrival Stacy Coley.

The Hurricanes, who have seven scholarship receivers on the roster (Coley, Phillip Dorsett, Allen Hurns, D'Mauri Jones, Malcolm Lewis, Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters), have lost four players to departures in the past two weeks. The others: redshirt freshman running back Danny Dillard, senior defensive end Dyron Dye (the last link to the NCAA investigation), and redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Jalen Grimble (Oregon State).

Of the 14 players who have left the team since the end of last season, a dozen were recruited by coach Al Golden’s staff including seven from the 2012 recruiting class.

UM closed training camp a day early this week and coach Al Golden hasn't been made available to the media since Monday.

August 22, 2013

UM season-ticket sales surge -- yes, Gators helped for sure. But winning is potion that will help most

In my MiamiHerald.com story today -- click here -- I wrote how UM's season-ticket sales have gone from 22,800 in 2012 to nearly the 30,000 expected to be sold by the Gators game Sept. 7.

It's "the largest year-to-year record growth we have on record,'' according to Miami associate athletic director for communications and marketing Chris Freet.

UM Athletic Director Blake James told me he realizes some of that surge has to do with the Gators game during a season when UM travels to FSU.

However, we all know how empty Sun Life Stadium was much, if not most, of the time last season. It had to be embarrassing for the program.

Bottom line is if the Hurricanes win, fans will begin to fill more seats. I'm curious to see, however, how many folks show up to the 8 p.m. opener against FAU Aug. 30th, a week from Friday. UM said it's too early to give an estimate, which tells me there are a LOT more tickets to be sold. If I'm wrong about the LOT more, somebody let me know.

If you're a fan, Friday night opener sounds fun to me. You get the whole weekend to recover and chill.

Anyone out there besides season-ticket holders going to the opener? And if you are a season-ticket holder, did Florida game have anything to do with your purchase?

Have a great weekend. I'm headed out of state to my nephew's wedding this weekend. Hello, NCAA? Anyone home?


August 20, 2013

UM Hurricanes running back Danny Dillard no longer on team. Confirmed.

Yesterday it was Dyron Dye.

Now it's Danny Dillard.

UM confirmed this morning that 6-2, 210-pound running back Danny Dillard, a redshirt freshman from Bradenton and graduate of Venice High, is no longer on the team.

On Monday, when UM was practicing on Mark Light Field (baseball field), my colleague from CanesInsider, Brandon Odoi, noticed that freshman linebacker (and track speedster) Walter Tucker -- listed in the UM media almanac as 6-0 and 205 pounds and on the depth chart as 6-0 and 226 -- was practicing as a running back. He is now listed as a fullback behind starter Maurice Hagens.

According to his UM bio, Dillard was a three-star recruit with rivals.com and scout.com, the No. 35 running back prospect according to rivals and No. 62 according to scout. He finished his junior season at Venice High with 1,300 yards and 25 touchdowns.


August 19, 2013

Miami Hurricanes release final depth chart of fall camp -- then close camp a day early

UM released its final fall camp depth chart late Monday night -- then abruptly announced that fall camp had ended, a day earlier than originally planned.

There will be no media access until Monday, four days before the opener against FAU.

UM coach Al Golden made it clear Monday morning that the depth chart could change before kickoff.

The newest depth-chart changes have freshman receiver Stacy Coley now backing up wideout Allen Hurns and backing up slot receiver Herb Waters.

Anthony Chickillo is back as a co-starter with Shayon Green at defensive end, with Green listed on the other side as well.

Newcomer Justin Renfrow is now the backup to D-tackle Curtis Porter, with David Gilbert the backup to D-end Green. Junior college transfer Ufomba Kamalu is the third-team D-end behind Chickillo/Green.

Alex Figueroa is now listed ahead of Thurston Armbrister at outside linebacker, with an "or'' between their names.

At cornerback, Tracy Howard is ahead of Antonio Crawford, with an "or'' between their names; and on the other side, Ladarius Gunter is the starter, with "Nate Dortch or Artie Burns'' behind him.

Kacy Rodgers and AJ Highsmith are the starting safeties, with Deon Bush behind Rodgers and Rayshawn Jenkins behind Highsmith.

Offensively, it's "Dallas Crawford or Eduardo Clements'' behind Duke Johnson at tailback.

And Clive Walford has overtaken Asante Cleveland as the top tight end. 

Freshman Walter Tucker has moved from linebacker to backup fullback -- presumably because redshirt freshman RB Danny Dillard is no longer on the roster and has left the team, as confirmed Tuesday morning by UM.


Dyron Dye -- last current link to NCAA case -- has been dismissed from the Miami Hurricanes football team

Sad story.

Late this afternoon, UM defensive end Dyron Dye was told by his lawyer that he has been kicked off the football team.

Dye was the lone current Hurricanes player still connected to Miami's NCAA investigation. He was previously suspended for four games in 2011 and had to repay $738 in benefits given to him by former booster Nevin Shapiro during the recruiting process. 

The NCAA interviewed Dye three times because it believed an affidavit signed by Dye that supported former UM receivers coach Aubrey Hill, contradicted statements made in at least one of his previous interviews. 

Dye and attorney Darren Heitner of Wolfe Law Miami wanted a ruling or clarification from the NCAA on his eligibility, and the governing body of college athletics never gave it to him. Miami apparently found it too risky to keep him on the roster.

Sadly, Dye had a physical Monday, and told Heitner he passed the physical and was just waiting to be cleared from UM to practice and play. He has been recovering from surgery to repair his Achilles' tendon.

 Here's UM's prepared statement:

"The University of Miami has informed football player Dyron Dye that he will no longer be a member of the Miami football program. Given the totality of the circumstances and unresolved issues regarding the NCAA investigation, the University has decided to move ahead.''

Heitner said he was the one to first inform Dye of the news.

"He had to find out from me,'' Heitner said. "They didn't even tell him.

"The action they took today basically ties our hands. It was a shock. He was not expecting that. All of us had the idea he would be ruled ineligible, but we didn't think the university that spent so much time recruiting him, the university he provided his services for and played any position for, that he dedicated his collegiate career to, would basically say, 'No thanks. We don't want you anymore.'''

Dye, who would have begun his fifth-year senior season, is still being provided financial aid to complete his schooling toward a master's degree. He already earned his bachelor's degree, and could still choose to transfer and attempt to play his final season somewhere else without sitting out a year.

UM coach Al Golden on Monday declined to comment on Dye's status, other than to say he was a defensive end. Coaches asked him to switch positions from tight end to D-end in the spring.

 The 6-5, 261-pound Dye, from Sanford, Fla., played in all 12 games last season, with eight starts at tight end. He caught four passes for 48 yards, which ended up being the only four catches of his career.




Monday Canes Camp Update: Gus Edwards, depth chart, no red (other than QBs) or yellow jerseys

With only Tuesday left of fall camp, the time is narrowing for players to win starting spots.

But there's still time, Golden said Monday, when his players moved to Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park (that's the baseball field) to practice while the turf at Greentree gets repaired. 

He said that after Tuesday there's "another 10 day of preparation where a lot of those jobs are going to will be determined."

The players will have off Wednesday and then begin working on the FAU opener.

Golden said there’s a depth chart we’ll break camp with and then probably 50 percent of jobs “will be settled in those next six or seven practices.’’

The last depth chart was released Aug. 9.

When asked if there were any jobs solidifed, Golden didn't give specific names.

"There are a lot on the defensive line right now, a lot in the secondary, a lot at wideout.

"I’m concerned about our depth at wideout,'' he continued. "We’re not deep in terms of our scholarship numbers. If we get nicked up like we have been in the last couple days, I’m worried there.''

   He mentioned the tight ends as a position still battling to find the starter.  

Golden said receiver Allen Hurns "has been nicked up,'' Malcolm Lewis (foot) "is fighting back'' and Rashawn Scott (he mentioned foot previously) has been in and out.

All three of those players practiced Monday, and no one was wearing a yellow (limited) or red jersey, signifying no contact. Quarterbacks always wear a red jersey, however, to remind players they can't be touched. 

*** Freshman running back Gus Edwards, who has sat out the past several days dealing with an NCAA Eligibility Center issue, "will be ready to go tomorrow,'' Golden said, confirming a previous CaneSport report. 

*** Regarding Friday night's scrimmage, Golden chose not to be specific, calling it "a good run."

   "Guys played hard,'' the coach said. "We had a lot of guys making effort plays. They took it seriously. We really conducted it like a game. We slowed it down'' -- with TV timeouts and a halftime. It's a mature team and I've been saying it all along, so hopefully they can keep their focus."

*** The Canes have have been punished with some running before practice lately: "If you didn't give the type of effort that's the standard on offense and defense here -- certainly the standard of the Shayon Greens and the Jimmy Gaineses and the Jon Felicianos, you're going to run,'' Golden said. "Period. You can run during the game and give 100 percent or you can have loaf plays and run on your time. that's the standard the guys want and we're going to hold them to it."

*** Golden was asked about the status of Dyron Dye, still waiting for indication from the NCAA if he can play or not in relation to the NCAA case with Miami. Dye, who has been rehabbing from Achilles' tendon surgery, told his lawyer he was getting a physical today to see if he could be cleared to practice. He hasn't practiced with the team this fall.

"I don't have an update,'' Golden said. "I wish I did." Golden did say he hoped he was getting the physical and that he would still be a defensive end -- "like Shayon Green's position.''

*** Finally, sophomore safety Deon Bush (hernia surgery) is out of a non-contact jersey and in a regular green one.

"I think he progressed well,'' Golden said. "I'm excited for him. Hopefully today he is a step [closer] and he'll keep making progress in that arena. A lot of it is confidence and understanding he's not going to be 100 percent anytime soon, but the only way to get there is to make increments every day."






August 18, 2013

Stacy Coley continues to light it up in practice, catching three TDs from Stephen Morris on Sunday

   We don't see much of practice, and Sunday we saw barely anything, but it's quite obvious by talking to Hurricanes players and coaches that freshman wide receiver Stacy Coley has had an excellent camp.

I'm sure coaches don't want to heap too much praise on him, but he keeps delivering, according to fellow Canes.

UM reported in its Friday scrimmage recap (the scrimmage was closed to most of the public and media) that the 6-1, 180-pound Coley, a four-star player out of Oakland Park Northeast High, caught two touchdowns from backup quarterback Ryan Williams.

Williams told us Sunday that one of the scrimmage TDs was "30 or 40 yards'' and the other was 10 yards.

"It's just good that he's finally picking up the offense and knowing where he's supposed to be and not having to rely on the quarterback to tell him what he has every play,'' Williams said. "He's been studying so hard that he can go out there and play as fast as he can and just make plays.''

On Sunday, UM reported that Coley caught three touchdowns from Stephen Morris.

"On the third touchdown, freshman linebacker Alex Figueroa tipped Morris' pass, but Coley caught the deflection in stride for the score,'' the UM report stated.

It will be interesting to see if Coley's practice success translates to the field. I remember covering Sam Shields his freshman camp, and he was equally impressive. But he struggled and dropped passes when the season came around.

 *** Ryan Williams is always so serious speaking to the media, but Sunday he made us laugh. When asked if he knows any players from FAU and if he liked opening against a local team, Williams said, "It's good. We had that rivalry a couple years ago that didn't end very well in that game. I mean, er... FIU. But FAU... same thing. Close enough.

    "Just a local team. We need our bragging rights. We play a lot of in-state teams and I guess we're going to try to win them all.''

*** Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said UM made "significant improvement'' during Friday's scrimmage in tackling, finishing -- "how hard and how physical we play'' and improved on run defense, red zone and on third down.




August 17, 2013

AP Poll: Miami is four spots out of Top 25 -- win against No. 10 Gators would give Canes big boost

The AP Poll for 2013 was just released, and as expected, Miami was not among the Top 25 teams.

However, the Canes did earn 85 points, good for what would be No. 29 in the poll. Ahead of them by one point, No. 28 Virginia Tech.

Miami finished 27th in the Coaches' Poll that was previously released.

UM gets a chance to knock off the No. 10 Florida Gators at Sun Life Stadium on Sept. 7 in the second game of the season, which would put the Canes among at least the Top 25.

Then, on Nov. 2, Miami faces FSU, which is No. 11 now but who knows by then?

Other UM opponents receiving points were Georgia Tech (6, for 38th place) and North Carolina (3 for 41st place).

From the AP's stats maven Tim Reynolds: "Fun fact that many will steal as if they looked it up: 1983 Canes didn't get a single vote in the first 4 polls, and still won it all."

From ESPN stats: No team in the BCS era (since 1997) has won the BCS title without being ranked in preseason AP poll. Lowest ranked? No. 22 Auburn in 2010.

The Canes have a favorable schedule this season. That Florida game will tell us a lot, though it is still really early. 


August 16, 2013

Freshman Stacy Coley catches two touchdown passes in Hurricanes final scrimmage of fall camp

Stephen Morris and Ryan Williams each threw two touchdown passes, and kicker Matt Goudis was a perfect 2-for-2 on field goals during the Hurricanes' second and final fall scrimmage Friday night.

Freshman receiver Stacy Coley caught both of Williams' TD passes. Morris' TDs went for over 50 yards.

UM played under the lights at Cobb Stadium and the scrimmage lasted nearly two hours.

The first half of the scrimmage featured the first-team offense vs. the first-team defense. After a brief halftime, the second-team offense squared off against the second-team defense.

Prior to the game, the Hurricanes presented Jack Jablonski with a jersey. Jablonski was a Minnesota prep hockey standout who was paralyzed after being checked into the boards during a tournament in December 2011.

BankUnited #CanesFest13 will be held Saturday from 4-7 p.m. at the BankUnited Center.

Members of the football, basketball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and swimming & diving programs will be in attendance. Admission and parking is free to the public.


This was an edited version of the release UM's Sports Information staff sent out tonight...

Hurricanes DL Dyron Dye lawyer to NCAA: Hurry up! Dye getting physical Monday, wants eligibility ruling



      The NCAA is taking its time in more than one way.

      University of Miami defensive lineman Dyron Dye, the lone current Hurricanes player still connected to Miami’s NCAA investigation, wants a ruling or clarification -- anything but silence --  from the NCAA on his eligibility.

    Dye, who has been recuperating from an Achilles injury since March, told his attorney, Darren Heitner of Wolfe Law Miami, that he is going to be examined by a doctor on Monday to determine if he is ready to begin training with the team.

    But first he needs the NCAA to let him know if he is eligible to participate this season, which would be his last in college football.

     The NCAA interviewed Dye three times because it believed an affidavit signed by Dye that supports ex-UM receivers coach Aubrey Hill -- now the head coach at Miami Carol City High -- contradicted statements made in at least one of Dye's former interviews.

     Now Dye and Heitner are "waiting for clarity and guidance from the NCAA" as to whether he will be hit with an unethical conduct charge. But Heitner said they haven't heard anything since the third interview.

    UM hasn't had to make any rulings on Dye's playing status because he has been injured since March. But now it appears he could be cleared medically. The usual procedure is that the school is the first entity to suspend a player, then leaves it up to the NCAA, as it did with the previous players involved in the case, to decide on the player's eligibility.

   UM coach Al Golden on Aug. 10 wouldn’t elaborate on Dye’s status, other than to say, “He’s on the injured reserve for us’’ and to add that “he’s still rehabbing’’ and “doesn’t count against the 105’’ on the roster.

   Dye has not been on the practice field during fall camp. 

    "Dyron is one of the strongest, most focused players I have ever seen,’’ Heitner said Friday morning in an email to the Miami Herald. “Many questioned Dyron's ability to be physically able to participate for the Miami Hurricanes in 2013 after he suffered an achilles injury during the team's first spring scrimmage in March.

    “I spoke with Dyron yesterday and he told me that he believes he is fully healed and will be going in for a physical examination on Monday with the expectation that he will be cleared to play effective immediately.  My only concern is that Dyron is given the opportunity to participate on the University of Miami football team when he is medically cleared.  The NCAA needs to make a determination regarding his eligibility to participate in the upcoming season.  Any further delay on the NCAA's part will cause irreparable damage to my client."

    In June, Dye filed an incident report to the Coral Gables Police Department in which he alleged being “coerced’’ by former NCAA investigator Rich Johanningmeier to provide answers that would aid the NCAA’s attempts to confirm incriminating information in its investigation of the UM athletic department and rogue booster Nevin Shapiro.

   Nothing ever resulted from the report.

    Dye, who would begin his fifth-year senior season, was interviewed by the NCAA twice on the same day in August 2011. In the incident report, Heitner said that “prior to the start of the second interview, Mr. Johanningmeier coerced Mr. Dye into providing favorable answers for his investigation.’’

    The NCAA could decide to accuse Dye of an unethical conduct violation, which could result in him being ruled ineligible. Dye was already was suspended for four games in 2011 and had to repay $738 in benefits given to him by Shapiro during the recruiting process.

   Miami still hasn’t received its NCAA sanctions in the case, though the penalties could come any day. On Friday morning, UM athletic director Blake James said on WQAM 560 radio that he had “no idea’’ of what was to come.


August 15, 2013

Golden: "It's time to cut the cord,'' Edwards has NCAA Eligibility Center issue, Dewey will be on team -- and don't hit the quarterback.


   The second and final fall scrimmage takes place Friday night, after which Hurricanes coach Al Golden has indicated the final depth chart for the opener will be be decided. Friday's scrimmage, closed and under the lights at Cobb Stadium (adjacent to Greentree Field), will simulate a real game as much as possible -- Orange vs. White.

   "It's time to cut the cord with some of these guys,'' Golden said. "It can't be about yelling from the sideline. They're going to have crowd noise and music. They've got to learn to signal. They've got to be independent thinkers out there, work collectively in terms of safeties to corners, safeties to linebackers, linebackers to the front.

    "On offense, just getting the signal, playing fast and we'll see who can play.''

   Golden said there will be 40-50 plays with each group.

 ***   Golden stressed after the first scrimmage that tackling and completion percentage must improve. "We've got to get the tackling squared away -- fast, because that will rear its head in the opener. You don't want to be a day late on that. A bad tackling performance in an opener can destroy you.''

    Golden on his disappointment in the completion percentage: 

   "There's no excuse for the completion percentage to be the way it is. With the experience that we have, with the protection we're getting and the type of quarterback we have leading us, there's no excuse for that. So, that was disappointing. And we've got to get it fixed."

    Said quarterback Stephen Morris on Thursday: "I definitely think that's true. We definitely need to improve on completion percentage. The best way to do that is to take what the defense is giving you and not forcing anything." 

***    Morris included in his lists of "wants'' for Friday's scrimmage: "No stupid hits. No cheap shots." Overly eager freshman rush end Al-Quadin Muhammad got a bit too aggressive on a sack of Morris in Sunday's scrimmage. 

    Universal rule: You don't hit the quarterback if he's on your team.

    How hard did he hit Morris? "I was just stepping up in the pocket and trying to escape and he just caught me on my jersey and kind of pulled me down,'' Morris said. "Nothing big."

    It was to coaches. 

    "Did you explain to [Muhammad] you were on his team?'' a reporter jokingly asked.

    "I don't think I did,'' Morris said with a smile, insinuating that coaches took care of the situation.

*** Golden said he's "worried about everything right now. We have a long way to go between now and game week."

*** Golden said redshirt freshman quarterback Preston Dewey, who has not arrived at UM, "will be with us shortly and we're respecting his time and his privacy.'' 

    Last week, our Barry Jackson wrote in his Buzz Column: "We hear quarterback Preston Dewey, who hasn’t reported to the team, has a back injury that will sideline him indefinitely. It would be surprising if he ever takes a snap for UM.''

*** Freshman running back Gus Edwards, a 6-2, 225-pound bruiser from Staten Island, N.Y.,  has been missing from practice. "Gus has got to take care of a couple of Clearinghouse issues,'' Golden said. "There's nothing from an academic standoint that he's deficient in or anything like that. It's really just a Clearinghouse deal and as soon as he's cleared to go he's good to go. that should be any day now.''
    Edwards is still on UM's roster.

***  Another running back and new transfer, listed as 5-8, 198-pound junior DeAndre Johnson, has joined the Hurricanes roster from the University of Iowa. He is a Miamian and played with Stephen Morris at Monsignor Pace. In 2011 as a redshirt freshman at Iowa, Johnson ran for 79 yards on 18 carries in four games. He did not compete in 2012 and Golden said he believes he's eligible to play this season.

    "I like DeAndre,'' Golden said. "He's got a lot to learn in terms of how we do it here in the offense but he wants to be a great teammate, he wants to compete, he's trying to get into special teams. He's got the requisite speed, he's got a good build, 196 or 198 pounds. Guys like that are awessome to have on the team. They can always play a role for us."

***  Rashawn Scott wore a red, non-contact jersey Wednesday, but Golden didn't act like the injury was anything significant. "Maybe a foot,'' the coach said Thursday. "Unless it's really significant those guys have got to work it through with the trainers." 

    Scott walked by reporters, on his way to practice, without a red or yellow jersey, but it was unknown at that point if he would be limited for the session

*** The Canes practiced on the intramural field Thursday, when a light rain fell intermittently, with the early-morning start being delayed by about 20 minutes because of a lightning alarm. The media were not allowed to do any viewing of practice.

*** Greentree Field was torn up by Sunday's scrimmage and previous practices, and the divots were being filled in.

    "We're going to try to keep moving around,'' Golden said, not mentioning the field condition.