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Big blog: Canes break camp for spring break -- QB Kevin Olsen excels, DL David Perry leaves team

The Hurricanes had their last practice Thursday morning before spring break, and UM Coach Al Golden sent them home for a week to see their families, catch up on some rest, hopefully stay connected to their football playbooks, do some moderate weight-lifting and conditioning and get ready for more when they return next weekend.

The assistant coaches will be off, too. "I'll move ahead and try to get everything organized and do some catch-up. But we'll try to get the coaches a break here while the players have a break. I think we're in good shape in terms of having the practices ready for the following week.''

Practice, open to the public, resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 18. Some of the players, by the way, are staying back at UM and continuing to work out -- such as the track athlets.

"It was spirited,'' Golden said. "We got a lot done. A lot of heavy install in the beginning but now they have a chance to digest it over the next nine or 10 days and we'll pick it back up on Monday, March 17 and March 18th will be our next practice.

"It's just the philosophy of it,'' Golden said of why he always starts practice the week before spring break. "Longer duration. If you can get four installs in before spring break, now you've increased the amount of time they're thinking about football."

"I want them to enjoy their time off, relax, make sure we don't get too tight -- stretch, lift a little bit.. really enjoy their time off with their family and friends.''

Some notes from Thursday:

*Defensive end David Perry, a 6-7, 280-pound senior out of University School by way of Portmore, Jamaica, quit the team and is not expected back. David really hadn't been doing anything lately but standing around in practice. "David Perry is excused right now and we'll go from there,'' Golden said.

Perry played in one game (Savannah State) in 2013 and had two tackles. He played in nine games mostly on special teams in 2012, with no stats. He moved from tight end to DL in the spring of '12. He played in five games on special teams in 2011 as a redhsirt freshman.

He was a first-team All-Broward by the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald. 

* Redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen had a good day today. He looks more fluid and comfortable out there, and he hit receiver Rashawn Scott on several passes today -- short and long, while rolling out and from the pocket. I'm still thinking Rashawn Scott is going to have a good season, but I say that every year. I just think he's really talented, but seems to eventually make wrong choices (not to mention the unfortunate injury early last season.)

* Golden: "Rashawn is in a good place. We're going to keep pushing him. He's got another step to go in his game. We missed Rashawn last year, we missed him. He's a physical presence. Right now he's really worked hard and he's more mature. We've got to make consistency his friend right now.''

* Golden on Olsen: "Kevin is getting better. Kevin is playing with a lot more confidence right now. I think he's seeing it better. He's playing faster. He's playing football, he's not going by rote memory. I like what we see from him right now.''

* Golden on Ryan Williams: "Ryan is doing good. Ryan is distributing the ball really good for us right now. Like I've said to you guys before, he's really smart. He gets the ball to the guys in a position where they can catch and run, especially on the incuts and shallows. A lot of run after catch with Ryan and his length really allows him to see the incuts really well. So, again, he's doing a good job and he's continuing to lead. I think he understands what he needs to do from a leadership standpoint.''  

* Sophomore linebacker Alex Figueroa is a beast out there. He plays hard and he plays intense and sometimes angry. It admittedly drives him nuts not being able to really go full force with hitting his teammates at practice. 

"That's one of the things I'm glad you guys can see now,'' Golden said. "It's not just me saying, 'That's what a black shirt looks like.' You can see. There's a difference in his effort and some others'. You hope that you can get two-deep on defense that gives that kind of effort. He, Denzel, Tracy, Jamal Carter, those guys all are playing at a high level like that.''

Golden made an interesting point about how not being able to fully tackle makes the players actually have to exhibit better form. "Really by not going to the ground we're emphasizing the technique -- having a good base, being square, having your eyes up. If we just said 'tackle them to the ground' it almost lets them off the hook a little bit. They can go grab the guy. When you're thudding you really have to be in good position, youve got to get in front, you've got to square him up and hold him up."  

*Besides Fig, the other defensive players out there today with the coveted black jerseys: cornerback Tracy Howard, defensive tackle Ufomba Kamalu, safety Jamal Carter, linebacker Raphael Kirby, linebacker Denzel Perryman, safety Deon Bush, tackle Olsen Pierre, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad.

 * Update on OL Hunter Knighton: "He's doing well and they're just being prudent with him. That's all I can say about that. We're excited how he's doing.''

 * Golden said 6-1, 304-pound Earl Moore and 6-5, 285-pound Jelani Hamilton have jumped out early in spring practice among the defensive tackles. "It's time. It's time for those guys. They're not young anymore even though they're at the end of their sophomore years." 

 * Golden on freshman middle linebacker Juwon Young, a hefty 6-2, 240-pounds: "So, he's got to spend more time studying football, which is not uncommon in his situation. Physical, can run, can strike, just gotta keep studying it so he can play faster. Probably not trusting his key enough right now, so he's peeking and then reacting as opposed to just trusting his key and going. That's indicative of a lot of young guys. They play plays instead of reading keys. But big man at 240 as a freshman, with the ability to run.''

 *Golden said he's "excited about offensive guard Danny Isidora and tackle Taylor Gadbois. Danny is a guy that played a lot for us and Taylor is as gifted as any of our offensive lineman. I think the only one that's more gifted is probably Ereck Flowers.Taylor, in terms of an athlete, we will mention him in the same type of athleticism. but he's in the 320s now and he's close to 6-7. He's punching probably better than anybody on the o-line right now. For Taylor, it's time. He's patient. He's worked hard, got strong. Weve got to keep working on his conditioning but I'm really excited about Taylor Gadbois and where he's got to go.''

*Golden said guard Jon Feliciano is more vocal than Ereck Flowers.. he's looking for Flowers to be more of a leader. "Ereck is a little bit more like E.F. Hutton. He doesn't say much, than he does and it's like 'Whoaaa.' OK, we're not doing something right.

"So we've got to just try to get Ereck a little bit more out of his comfort zone and communicate. Jon has always been that way. 'Taylor is working on [being a leader], so I'm excited about that.'' 

* Receiver Braxton Berrios (ACL surgery), his right knee in a brace, is going to be [back] closer to June than August, according to Golden. "Slot receiver, Z receiver, kick return, punt return, special teams. That's all he was. He did all those things. He played wildcat, too. We expect him to be able to do all those things.''

*Reserve offensive tackle Sunny Odogwu had his best day today, Golden said. "He's starting to play stronger. Obviously he's a big kid -- he's talented, he's gifted. He's got to continue to lead. He's just got to keep going.''

*D-Tackle Olsen Pierre gingerly walked off Greentree Field and into the buildling Thursday, escorted by trainer Vinny Scavo.

* Speaking of Scavo, the head UM trainer, a big congratulations are in order. He was celebrated at the end of practice and tapped into the Iron Arrow Society -- the highest honor frrom UM.

And guess who else was tapped into Iron Arrow on Thursday? Pitcher Javi Salas, who pitched a perfect game on Tuesday. 

Both are really nice people.

Here's the UM release on that:

Miami Hurricanes senior pitcher Javi Salasand head athletic trainer Vinny Scavo were among those Thursday tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society.

Iron Arrow Honor Society, founded in 1926 in conjunction with the University’s opening, is the highest honor attained at the University of Miami. Based on Seminole Indian tradition, Iron Arrow recognizes those individuals in the University of Miami community who exemplify the five qualities of Iron Arrow: Love of Alma Mater, Character, Leadership, Scholarship, and Humility.

The honor capped off an amazing week for Salas, who tossed a perfect game Tuesday night in Miami’s 17-0 win over Villanova. It was the second perfect game in program history and only the 23rd in modern NCAA Division I history (since 1957).

Salas is 1-1 with a 1.59 earned run average in 17.0 innings this season. A 38th-round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, he owns a 12-11 career record on the mound for the Hurricanes.

Scavo is only the Hurricanes’ third head athletic trainer to be tapped into Iron Arrow, following Dave Wike and Walt Pomerko. Scavo was surprised by former Miami Hurricanes player Shayon Green after football practice.

He has been Miami’s head athletic trainer since 2011 and has extensive experience as an athletic trainer at the professional, college and high school levels. He previously served as Miami’s baseball athletic trainer from 1984-87, including Miami’s 1985 national championship season. From 2008-11, he was the Director of Sports Medicine Services at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.




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I expect an 8-5 record this season. But if we aren't playing in the ACC championship game in 2015, then I think Golden should be fired. This program can't be allowed to languish indefinitely!

How about some new material.
Big win last night for hoops. To make it to the second round of the ACC tournament is such a big deal for this program. Think we can go all the way?
Coach L is doing such a fine job. But The Great Golden is still my fav.

I don't know how we plan to run a 3-4 scheme with absolutely no talent at DT or NG. That's the most critical position in the 3-4.

No worries we have 17 TEs that we can convert to DT.
Just like we convert RBs to safety and WRs to corners.
That is why we recruit so many WRs and TEs.
Who needs an elite DT recruit. Look what we did with Sapp.

Golden is a joke assistant. He is not headcoach material. He will be gone after this upcoming season and its back to square zero. Its a shame Jed Fisch is not headcoach right now. Not looking forward to a 6-6 season, if lucky. We can keep blaming lack of depth year in and year out but va tech and duke didn't, that makes us look bad

A 6-6 season would be pretty terrible and would hasten Golden's exit. I expect 8 wins this season. The talent has been getting better, just not enough to take the program to the next level. And Golden hasn't proven to me that he can coach-up the talent he has recruited.

Olsen has not stepped up during the 4 practice sessions. If the primary receiver is not open, he is running for his life...reminds me of Morris. I will continue to make my point...we need a QB coach. Coley cannot handle both at the present time. Williams could not beat out Morris for a reason...not aggressive and does not demonstrate leadership. I still believe he can do a better job of delivering the ball to open receivers, but I am not sure his team sees him as the leader. Kaaya has that "IT" (presence and confidence) and everyone will see when he arrives.

Nevertheless, I believe Williams, Olsen, Grow, Kaaya, and Rosier could become excellent QB with proper coaching. Morris had a good arm, but happy feet. Morris was at the U for 4 years and no one corrected his poor positioning of his feet prior to throwing.

The move of Crawford to safety was best for the team. He is a sure tackler, reacts to the ball in the air, and plays with confidence. He played the position in high school too!

If Yearby is healthy, Crawford will not be missed. Yearby is a natural RB, good vision, and runs behind his pads. By the way, he is just like Duke...can take it to the house on any give play (run, draw, screen, or catching out of the back field).

The play of our QB and LBs will determine the success of the 2014 season. Williams, DZP, Tyriq, Fig, and Kirby are the keys. DC and OC must trust these guys by staying aggressive with their play calling. Please, take off the training wheels, and let these young men ride with trust in their abilities. Tracy and Artie are going to have all conference seasons, if we keep the pressure on the opponent's QB.





Nothing going on with the canes?
Really, nothing newsworthy?
Guess we need to start hyping up that upcomimg Spring game, do you think the canes will win it?
Is it too early to predict a Heisman for Williams?
Come on clowns surely there is something to get excited about, no?

I'm not convinced Duke and Yearby can stay healthy for a whole season. Gus is too one dimensional. Reminds me of Jarret Payton. Crawford provides toughness and some allusiveness. Should keep him at RB.

Kinetic Cane, Crawford is the same type of running back as Duke and Yearby. If Crawford is one of our best 22, then he needs to play. I am hoping that the coaches consider doing the same with all the linemen. Gus will play much better after spending a year adjusting to D1 speed and size.

I don't think Crawford will start at safety and therefore he's not one of top 22 players. Bush and Carter should start with Jenkins providing depth. Why waste a year re-learning the safety position when Crawford has a year at RB under his belt? Do we really think Yearby can contribute as a freshman at his size? I think depth at RB is a big issue.

Any chance the Canes can get rid of goldie and d'o
and pick up the winning coaches from Friday Night Tykes?

Golden's on the clock. Time to produce or move on.

I can understand fans not happy with Crawford being moved, because of Duke's past injuries. Yearby is a 5-star running back, not a high school QB playing RB. Everyone keep talking about size, but no one is looking at abilities: experience, speed, and vision. Gus has the size and Crawford played well...but don't confuse Yearby's skill level with them. Crawford's big runs will be TDs for Yearby. Crawford is a better safety and will provide needed help on defense. Nevertheless, we can always move Crawford back.

Golden has everyone focuing on weight and height, and the U was built on speed. South Florida football is all about speed, heart, and power! Jimmy Johnson (Canes), Myers (Gators), Holts (Iris), Barry (Sooners), Butch (Canes), Erikson (Canes), Old Ball Coach (Gators) and Bobby (FSU) were about speed. Nebraska was all about size, then Tom Osborn came to Florida to get LBs, DBs, QBs, and WRs to compete with Oklahoma. USC finally realized, they went after Reggie Bush. Look at Oregon, Auburn, and Baylor...speed.

Please, don't get me wrong, but I like size too. Only size with speed or quickness. If Chic cannot get up field with his existing weight...what is the purpose of getting bigger, stronger, and powerful? Can he make plays at the size? DZP made some great hits in 2013, but he missed a lot of tackles, because of extra weight. I noticed VT put a CB at LB and Joyner play an outside LB position for FSU in the championship game. Both players were making plays at LB: 6'0 and 5'8", 185 pounds.

My point is that the U roster look good on paper with size: height, weight, and weight room numbers (U Tough). Do we really know what is the problem...Coaching (schemes), football preparation ( do you know your opponents?), and game day performances (do the players look like they have confidence in what is expected?)?

Billy Sanders hurt his ankle. He wasn't a Golden "casualty"

RichmondHeightscanes: Your are on point with the height, weight, power concept. For me, what difference does it make if players are bigger (height / weight) if they cannot get in position to make a tackle? What does it matter if they can push up Fort Knox if they cannot get to the ball? It's all a joke. Put players on the field with talent, coach em up, and turn them lose on the ball. This model that AG is putting in place isn't working for us and it did not work at UVA. Even when AG played at Penn State, they were always big and slow; that may have worked against teams like MI, OSU, Wis, MI St and other teams up north back in the 90s, but it will get you no-where fast in 2014 - even against teams up north. Look at Chic now, he is bigger, slower, and less athletic today and is nowhere near as agile and fast as his freshman year. DP, bigger too, but cannot get to the ball as well. We need help fast at the coaching positions; bigger isn't always better - no pond intended. FSU is the model for us going forward; fast, sleet, smart, and well coached.

I meant to say "Fleet" instead of "sleet". That is to say nimble or able to move fast.


Congrats to the 3 Florida teams that move on to postseason play.
Only the Mighty Florida Gators made it to the Dance.
FSU and FGCC made it to the NIT
Between those 2 tournaments that is a field of 100 teams.
Where does that leave your sorry Miami canes?
Not even a top 100 team.
How sorry is that?

March Madness, I will send out congrats to all the Florida teams who made the selection to continue playing in their respectful tournaments. I am very prouud of the U basketball team and coaching staff for being prepared and competing every game. The U did not have an elite basketball player on the roster, but played above average. As for Florida Gators with top-rated recruiting football classes over the past 6 years...how could you go 4-8? The same problem we are experiencing at the U over the past 6 years....COACHING.

Richmond I would agree with you if 4 - 8 seasons were the norm. However that was a historically bad season due in large part to a historically high number of injuries. On top of that playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation. The preceding season record was 11 - 2.
As far as coaching goes one team recognized its deficiencies at the offensive side of the ball and made multiple coaching changes there. The other team has had 3 years of terrible defensive performances in a row yet no coaching changes have been made.
Keeping it real, feel the Madness.

Bro the only round ball in Miami is dah Heat sucker.
I mean last year we got excited what not with them canez winning but now its back to normal. The Heat and no one else. We be football fanz U know it, nothing else bro. Problem is goldielocks and his boy don't got no coaching talent. We got run those suckers out of town homie for the U to be back.
im out

Posted by: go canez

Spoken like a typical cane cluck.
Too funny.

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