Here's a quick preview of what could be in store next Wednesday, National Signing Day.
> NOTE: I wore the old Cubs jersey in honor of the late great Ernie Banks.
This wasn't a good day for anyone involved with the Miami Hurricanes -- and for anyone with a heart.
First, the news about former UM safety JoJo Nicolas getting into a horrific car accident on the MacArthur Causeway.
Then, the news about current UM offensive lineman Hunter Knighton being sent to the hospital after a workout at UM. Last I heard he was not conscious, but that was several hours ago.
UM sent out a release that certainly seems hopeful for Hunter. I don't have any more details on Hunter, other than what I wrote in the story. Most of us don't know him because he didn't play this season after shoulder surgery. He will be a redshirt freshman.
Athletics Department Statement on Redshirt Freshman Hunter Knighton:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Hunter Knighton and his family at this time, though we are encouraged by the prognosis. We look forward to his return to normal activities as soon as his health permits.
"Out of respect for the privacy of those involved, UM will have no further comment at this time."
As for JoJo, police had said, in so many words, that it didn't look promising.
I always liked JoJo when he played safety at UM. He was quiet and understated, but very thoughtful and polite and a nice person. We all felt horrible when his baby son, who was born four months prematurely, passed away as an infant. He was very gracious in talking to us about it, and how his heart ached.
If anyone out there believes in the power of prayer, it wouldn't hurt to start doing it now.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN
Apparently, the Hurricanes weren't done on National Signing Day.
The LA Times reported that defensive lineman Joe Brown of Paramount, Calif., has signed with the Miami Hurricanes (Class of 2014).
UM confirmed the news on Tuesday.
Brown told Rivals.com he will be converted to an offensive lineman.
I was told by UM insider that Brown was the young man seen walking with offensive line coach Art Kehoe and receivers coach Brennan Carroll to meet up with some players who at the time were in their informal offseason practice Friday night. The coaches were going to hand him off to the players, who were going to show him some campus facilities after they finished practicing.
On the Paramount High website, Brown is listed as a 6-5, 330-pounder who played nose guard, defensive end and defensive tackle. His team played in the San Gabriel Valley League and went 7-4 this past season. He had 82 tackles -- 61 of them solo, according to the school website.
Brown was a San Gabriel Valley two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
He also reportedly was offered a scholarship by University of Texas El Paso.
Brown had academic problems and "had to make up a lot of classes the past two years, going to summer school and adult school," according to The Times, which attributed that to Paramount athletic director Alex Acosta. Brown also reportedly improved his SAT score along with his grades.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN