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18 posts from July 2014

July 31, 2014

Life, death and passages... Baby Cane comes into the world and former future-walk-on Cane departs it

Roman Louis Williams

Our most heartfelt congratulations go to Hurricanes quarterback Ryan Williams and his wife Deanna, who celebrated the arrival of a beautiful baby boy late Tuesday night -- Roman Louis Williams, a 9-pound whopper who at this point looks more like an angel than a future quarterback (or future whatever).

 I texted with Deanna and talked to Ryan's mother Jayne Williams -- that would be Grandma Jayne to little Roman -- today. They said Roman was 21 inches long, to Ryan's 22 inches at birth.

 And if you think 9 pounds is huge (it is), Ryan Williams was 11 pounds 1 ounce at birth -- "and he was born two weeks early,'' Jayne said.

"He is a cutie, he really is,'' said Ryan's mom of Roman. "Ryan seems like a natural with the baby. Once he knew Roman was fine, he said, 'I have to get back to my wife in the recovery room. He slept at the hospital the past two nights. But today he was back at Miami working out and doing therapy.''

Deanna, who will be released from Baptist Hospital tomorrow, said of Roman: "He's perfect, and Ryan helps out so much I love it. And he barely cries -- just when he's hungry.''

Give it time, Mom. :)

Jayne Williams said Ryan will likely be a player-coach the first several days of practice. She said he's waiting for a custom knee brace to arrive. He still has goals of returning relatively early in the season.

"Anything less than getting back this season is unacceptable to him,'' Jayne Williams said.

************************************************************************ 

 On a tragic note, our deepest condolences to the family of former University of Pennsylvania linebacker Joey Grosso, a two-time Ivy League champion who was set to begin UM law school and walk on to the Hurricanes' football team for his final year of NCAA eligibility.

  A day after Roman came into the world, Grosso -- only 22 -- left it after diving for lobster off Pompano Beach on Wednesday and becoming the first South Florida fatality of the 2014 statewide lobster mini-season.

 Chris Yandle, UM's assistant athletic director for communications, said Grosso "was added to the 105-man roster on Tuesday'' but hadn't been assigned a jersey number yet.

  Joseph-Grosso Grosso, a high school All-State linebacker at Pope John Paul II in Boca Raton, was from Lighthouse Point in Broward County. He reportedly returned to a dive charterboat after lobster hunting and decided to go back into the water alone. Grosso's stepfather Phil Franchina told WSVN-Fox7 that Joey ran out of air. He was found unconscious on the surface at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

  I just got off the phone with Joey's first cousin, Michael Becker.

   “This has been one of the most tragic 24 hours that anyone in our family has ever experienced,’’ said  Becker, Grosso’s first cousin. “He was a diehard UM fan – our whole family is. He didn’t even care about playing; he just wanted to say he was a Miami Hurricane. It meant the world to him.’’

   “The entire Penn football family is saddened by the tragic news of Joe’s passing,” Penn football coach Al Bagnoli said in a statement printed in the Daily Pennsylvanian. “Joe was a terrific young man, an accomplished student and an outstanding player. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family during this very difficult period.”

  From Grosso's Penn Bio: Career Accolades -- Two-time Ivy League champion (2010, 2012) ... Finished with 43 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and an interception in 31 career games ... Played in every game over his final three seasons.

2013: Played in all 10 games ... Finished with 22 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and an inteception ... Had at least one tackle in nine games ... Had multiple tackles in each of the last four games ... Season-high six tackles at Villanova (Sept. 28) ... Had an interception at Brown (Nov. 2) ... Four tackles apiece at Harvard (Nov. 16) and versus Cornell (Nov. 23). 

    Grosso graduated from Penn in May with a major in politics, philosophy and economics, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian. 
  *****************************************************************

  Chris yandle And I'd like to close by saying farewell for now to Chris Yandle, whose last day at UM is today and who has taken a job as Georgia Tech's Assistant Athletic Director for Communications & Public Relations.

  "It's bittersweet,'' Chris told me this morning. "I came here two years ago for a great opportunity and met a lot of wonderful people. I didn't expect to leave so soon, but I'm grateful for everybody at Miami who gave me the opportunity. My family and I are excited about what the future holds in Atlanta."

   When I reminded Chris that UM has beaten Georgia Tech five times in a row (actually, he confirmed that for me) in football and asked him what he thinks about that now that he's on the other side, he said, "No comment. I'm still being paid by Miami until tomorrow.''

   Thanks for everything, Chris -- and see you on the dark side in October.

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN  

 

   

    

July 29, 2014

The Five: Most important newcomers on the Hurricanes' roster

With fall camp set to kickoff Tuesday, Aug. 5 it's time to start looking ahead to the season and what is in store for the Hurricanes in Al Golden's fourth season as head coach.

There are plenty of new faces on campus already, but here are the five most important newcomers you need to know about and follow. 

1. Jake Heaps, QB, Sr., 6-1, 210, transfer from Kansas: Golden didn't take long to go in search of a quarterback with some experience as soon as Ryan Williams went down with a torn ACL in his right knee late in spring camp. Here's all you need to know about Heaps -- he has more starts (25), completions (491), attempts (896), yards (5,182), touchdown passes (32) and interceptions (27) in college than anybody else on UM's roster combined. And that includes Williams and Gray Crow, who was just moved to H-Back. 

Heaps' experience gives him a leg up on the rest of the four-man field competing to start on Labor Day Night in Louisville. But how quickly he's able to pick up the offense will be pivotal of course. He's only been on campus since the end of June. But the good news is offensive coordinator James Coley has been able to visit with Heaps and his collection of freshmen quarterbacks two hours a week over the summer to break down film thanks to a new NCAA rule. So they aren't coming in completely raw. 

Heaps, who also played at BYU before Kansas, said the Hurricanes offense was very similar to the schemes and concepts he used at both of his previous college stops. He fully believes he can have success being a simple distributor in the Hurricanes' offense. That might be all coaches need to see from Heaps to land the starting job over redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen and true freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier.

2 and 3. (tie) Calvin Heurtelou, DT, 6-3, 318, Jr., Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College and Michael Wyche, DT, 6-4, 330, Jr., East Los Angeles College: Miami's search for a dominant run stuffer has been ongoing for years now and both of these former JUCO standouts are expected to come in and contribute if not start. 

Heurtelou has been here since the spring and was already considered a co-starter along with junior Earl Moore (6-1, 304). Heurtelou posted 59 tackles with four sacks and two fumble recovers last season. Wyche arrived this summer. At East L.A., he racked up 26 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss including one interception as a sophomore.

Outside of senior Olsen Pierre (6-5, 305), who started 12 games and racked up 33 tackles, a sack and two quarterback hurries in 2013, Miami doesn't have much in the way of experience at defensive tackle. Moore started two games out of necessity as a true freshman and was in mostly on special teams last season after UM was able to bring in some transfers. Junior Corey King (6-1, 302) was pretty much in the same situation last year after starting once in 2012. Junior Jelani Hamilton (6-5, 290) has moved over from end and is also in the mix.

4 and 5. (tie) Juwon Young, LB, 6-2, 240, Fr., Albany, Ga., and Darrion Owens, LB, 6-3, 217, Fr., Orange Leaf, Fla.

- With Alex Figueroa and JaWand Blue getting booted off the team after being charged with sexual battery earlier this month, the linebacker position has become an even bigger area of concern than it already was. The good news for Miami is Young and Owens were already on campus for spring football and have at least 15 practices under their belts. 

Young, who chose UM over offers from North Carolina and Mississippi, had an interception in the spring game and is already listed as a backup to Denzel Perryman at middle linebacker. Owens, listed as the backup to Thurston Armbrister at outside linebacker, was a Semper Fidelis All-American and chose the Canes over Auburn and Georgia. 

Still, Miami is one Perryman turned ankle away from being in DEFCON 5. There is no time for sophomore Jermaine Grace (6-1, 213) and junior Raphael Kirby (6-1, 238) to mess around. They have to be ready to go.

HONORABLE MENTION

> Joe Yearby, RB, 5-9, 180, Miami Central: Golden moved Dallas Crawford to safety in part because of how much he believes in Yearby, who like Duke Johnson lit up Miami-Dade County in high school and is also coming off a serious injury.

With emerging sophomore Gus Edwards (6-2, 234) and sophomore bruiser Walter Tucker (6-0, 218) around Yearby won't be pressed into major duty right away. But Yearby is going to get work when Johnson needs a breather and Coley wants to keep the offense going with an elusive and explosive back.

-- MANNY NAVARRO

July 28, 2014

Jake Heaps on winning UM QB job: "It's absolutely vital. I didn't come here to be the backup.''

After a lengthy teleconference with UM graduate transfer QB Jake Heaps (who played two years at BYU before transferring to Kansas, sitting out a year there and playing last season at Kansas), here's most of what he talked about:

(Note: He was completely friendly and open and talkative. Should be fun to cover him.)

** He said "it's absolutely vital" that he wins the starting quarterback job. "For me I made this decision for a reason. I didn't come here to be the backup. I came here to play, but you have to come and earn that. No one is going to give that to you and that's what I knew coming into this situation and that's what I wanted. I didn't want anybody to hand me a job. I wanted to come in and earn it. That's the only true way you're going to earn your teammates' respect and gain their confidence in you. So for me, I'm very excited about this opportunity. This is my last year. I've given everything I have at this thing and it's extremely important for me to perform well and to do well -- not only to win the job but for my goals and aspirations down the line as well.''

** He arrived in late June and has been basically living in the UM football facilities unless he's sleeping. "Living the freshman life again in terms of dorms, that has been very interesting going from where I was. But honestly it's been great. It's been a great opportunity for me to just come in and focus 100 percent on football -- go to class and take care of my responsibilities outside. ...Honestly, the only time I really go back to my dorm room is to go to sleep.''

** His wife arrives Wednesday and they already have an apartment ready to move into. He said he'll be back in the dorms during fall camp.

** He thinks coach Al Golden is "doing things the right way.'' He is impressed with Golden's attention to detail and doing things right. "The thing I get from Coach Golden is I think he's done a great job with this program. I think he's done a great job of implementing his ideals into this team and into this culture. Coach Golden likes to do things a very particular way. I wouldn't say it's a disciplinarian style, but doing things the right way, that's the way I'd describe it -- making sure you're on time; making sure you're doing all the little things correctly. The guys have responded very well to it. He cares about the guys. He makes sure you're doing all right, you're doing OK. The best thing is that he doesn't want to leave anybody stranded. He's about trying to help people be successful and reach their potential.''

** He said there has been no dissension among the quarterbacks or any of the teammates regarding his arrival, and that everyone has been welcoming and supportive. "Many times you're in a situation with quarteback battles [and] it's very easy to find a team that has a divided locker room, that in a lot of situations don't handle this situation very well. It's a testament to the group of guys in this quarterback room that there hasn't been any division. Everybody has an understanding that we're all trying to do what's best for this team.''  

** He said he's been through transitions to new playbooks before, and a big part of it is adjusting to the new language.

** He said he is impressed with all the talent around him.

** He said he's been here for one month "and it's been vital for me to get in front of these guys, show them that I'm a hard worker, show them what kind of guy I am; let them get to know me; let them see me throw. The only way they're going to jump on board or I'm going to gain their respect is by them watching me and interracting with me. I've tried to come in and be nobody else but myself and come in and work hard and show these guys how much I love the game of football. ...I think they've come to an understanding that this guy is all about the team and is all about wanting to do whatever it takes to win. That's been important. It's gone extremely well. I'm extremely excited to be on this team. These guys are great. They've embraced me and have welcomed me in and I'm very grateful for that.''

** Here's how Heaps describes his style of play: "I'm a pro-style quarterback. I'm a dropback quarterback. I can read defenses extremely well, manage the situation, manage the game, understand the game. I really love the game of football. I feel like my strengths fit really well with what we're trying to do here. The offense that Coach Coley has is  a true pro-style offense. We have the personnel to run it and I feel good about who I am. I'm not going to be taking off for 80-yard touchdowns or anything like that, running, but I'll definitely be distributing the football. I feel very confident in my abilities as a passer and I'm excited to be working with these talented receivers and tight ends. It will be great.''

** On young, incoming quarterbacks Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier: "They've done a good job in terms of handling being freshmen. Like I said earlier about our quarterback room, we're all competing but we're all helping each other out as well. It's important to let those guys know that you care. If we're all going to be here and we're going to go through a season together we might as well enjoy each other. I've been in situations where it hasn't been like that and it's not very fun. I think doing my part and helping in any way is important and letting those guys know that it's not just about football but I care about them as teammates and as people as well."

** He said skill-wise, Kaaya and Rosier "are talented guys. Brad is more of your true dropback passer and Malik is more of your throwing and running. I think they're going to be good here.''

 ** He's "loving'' the Miami culture. He said he went to church his first Sunday here and had to "wear a translator. There were people who have to translate. I had to wear headphone. It was very cool. I enjoyed the mix of cultures and the diversity. It makes it a lot of fun. It's an exciting opportunity and it's fun to experience it. So far I've been really loving it and enjoying it and soaking it all in."

** On what he needs to improve at based on his experiences at BYU and Kansas: "One of the things you can point out is making sure when the pressure is coming on that I'm making sure that I'm making the right decisions -- my mobility. I'm definitely not a runner, but I know that I'm confident in my ability as being mobile and putting myself in the pocket and moving around in the pocket and opening myself up for throws. To have an opportunity to play with the offensive line here at Miami, these guys are extremely talented. It's been a lot of fun getting to work with them. I feel very good. I'm not going to be the guy that is going to go around and scramble for my life. But when  you're having to make sudden movements in the pocket, that's something that I've been working very hard to be extremely efficient at -- not just moving in the pocket but when you're having to do so, being accurate with those throws when you're making off-platform throws.

  "The obvious thing is working on the playbook and making sure I'm studying the playbook as much as I can to where I'm comfortable at camp.''

** On offensive line and other teammates: "They've been great. I've had a chance to get to know them. That's been important for me, letting these guys get to know me on every front -- offense, defense, every position. It's been important because especially in this unique situation, these guys have to know you. They need to know you in order to follow you or let you be the quarterback. Coaches can appoint that, but it doesn't always mean that's going to work out. It's vital for the team to feel 100-percent confident. So, I've had a chance to hang out with them and it's been great. Camp is coming up and we'll bond even more through that experience as well.''

** He described the Miami fan base as "passionate.'' He said the fan bases he came from were "great fan bases. They were very loyal and supportive,'' and "especially at Kansas "it was a great situation. Everything was great. They treated myself and my wife extremely well. We were very a part of that community. It was a tough thing to leave, but the football situation just wasn't the right fit, wasn't the right place. 

"So far with my interractions down here at Miami the fans are very passionate, they're very supportive about the University and about Miami football in particular. They want to see us win. They're hungry to see us win. They're hungry to see us perform. And I think that motivates us as a team to go out there and perform as best as we can. It has been fun getting the chance to interract with the fan base as much as I have. It hasn't been a ton, but the interractions I've had I've really enjoyed them."

   "We feel very confident about who we are as a football team and what we can accomplish as a football team. We're all very excited to get this thing going.'' 

** He said he'll play every down like it's his last.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

July 25, 2014

Fast and faster... Strong and stronger... Canes' speed & strength numbers improving this summer

It's the heart of the summer, but the Miami Hurricanes are still out there running and jumping and pulling and sweating to get ready for summer camp that begins Aug. 5 in Coral Gables.

Spoke to Miami Hurricanes strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey early this morning to get an update on how everyone is doing this summer in terms of strength and speed.

The speedy keep getting speedier, and the strong, stronger.

Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who sat out five games with a knee injury sustained Oct. 17 at North Carolina, is the fastest Hurricane. Dorsett averaged a 4.21 the two times he ran the 40-yard dash earlier this summer, Swasey said.

"He's definitely explosive,'' Swasey said. "When you get to pound-for-pound and relative strength, Dorsett has gotten so much faster. It's amazing what he has done.''

Dorsett ran a 4.4 when he came to UM as a freshman, Swasey said. His 4.21 average set the new 40 record for the Canes, breaking Sam Shield's former 4.26.  

Dorsett also did an impressive 40.5-inch vertical leap and is by far the best jumper on the team.

Here's how the 40 timing is done, according to Swasey: Each player runs the 40 twice (Duke Johnson, impressively fast coming off a broken ankle with the team's third-best 4.42 average and 4.33 fastest, ran it three times). And each time a player runs the 40, there are "two or three'' other people (besides Swasey) holding stopwatches and timing that player. Swasey said all the times for each run are averaged to come up with one time. 

Then, the two times are averaged together for the one "average" result. They also record the fastest time of the two runs. So, for example, Dorsett's fastest time recorded this summer was 4.18! No matter whose stopwatch was more accurate, Dorsett is a speed demon.

The second fastest Cane is receiver Herb Waters (4.39 averate, 4.33 fastest), also coming off a knee injury. Swasey said Waters ran a 4.65 average as a freshman.

Receiver Malcolm Lewis was timed at 4.43 (average) and 4.39 (fastest).

Another eye-opening number: sophomore RB Gus Edwards' new power-clean record of 362 pounds, breaking Willis McGahee's record (357) for running backs. "Pretty amazing for a sophomore,'' Swasey said. Edwards, 6-2 and 235 pounds, averaged a 4.58 in the 40. Be assured he'll run over a few folks this fall.

Your quarterbacks are not the swiftest, though two are newcomers. Freshman Malik Rosier is the fastest, averaging 4.79. His fastest: 4.69.

Kevin Olsen was next fastest, averaging 4.88, with 4.83 the fastest.

Graduate transfer Jake Heaps averaged 5.24 (5.19 fastest).

Newcomer Brad Kaaya averaged 5.51, with his fastest 5.46.

All players are timed twice in the year, Swasey explained, "after spring practice and in the summer.''

Veteran Ryan Williams, rehabbing from a torn ACL, is "ahead of schedule,'' according to Swasey. He said Williams filled in for one series this week at 7-on-7s in the shotgun formation, without putting heavy pressure on his legs. "He's doing great and in the training room he's done a great job. He's running a little bit.''

Guard Danny Isidora is the fastest O-lineman, averaging 5.14 seconds in the 40. And no surprise that rush end Tyriq McCord is by far the fastest defensive big guy with a 4.66 average and 4.63 fastest 40.

Pound-for-pound strength-wise linebacker Denzel Perryman, who is listed as 242 pounds, leads the team.

"He constantly has developed and improved,'' Swasey said. Perryman broke a 29-year-old squat record for linebackers with his 605-pound squat. He also benched 435 and power cleaned 342 (same as OL Jon Feliciano).

Swasey said defensive tackle transfer Michael Wyche came in weighing 365 but has trimmed down to 343. "He's a beast on the bench, but we've got to get his legs stronger.'' Wyche bench pressed 435 pounds this summer. 

Defensive tackle Corey King leads the team with 41 bench-press reps of 225 pounds.

Swasey said the guys are in the weight room lifting about 70 minutes, four times a week, not including all the other parts of conditioning, including exercises in flexibility, agility, strength, coordination, etc.

Any old-time Canes fans might recall when the players did 16 reps of 110s that they needed to pass to be integrated fully into fall practice. Since head coach Al Golden arrived in 2011, the Canes have switched to doing 14, 40-yard dashes as a conditioning test, Swasey said. Each player has 15 seconds to jog back to the start, then another 15 seconds of rest before running the next 40-yard dash. They are placed with teammates of the same speed range.

The 14 reps of 40-yard dashes help determine if players are in good enough condition to begin fall camp in the South Florida heat. "In this weather you have to make sure that guys are not passing out."

In closing, a few other position records broken: Walk-on 5-11, 175-pound receiver Stephen Sweeney benched 360 pounds, breaking Randal Hill's record. And 6-2, 240-pound walk-on fullback Ronnie Regula benched 415 pounds. Safety Jamal Carter, listed as 6-1 and 207, set the power clean record of 318 pounds, 10 pounds more than the late Sean Taylor. Carter also did 20 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.

"I'm so excited to get the guys ready to roll,'' Swasey said. "Year after year I swap out a stronger group [of players who graduate] for a weaker group, so for me it starts all over.''

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 Here are the 40-time averages I was given:



Pos.

#

NAME

40 Avg

40 Best

20 yd

3 Cone

B.J.

B.W.

Neck

225 BENCH

DB

1

Burns, Artie

4.56

4.47

4.26

6.98

9'3"

186

15.50

6

DB

2

Bush, Deon

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

10'

197

16.00

17

DB

6

Carter, Jamal

4.67

4.62

4.52

7.06

8'8"

210

17.25

20

DB

21

Crawford, Antonio

4.47

4.38

4.27

6.98

8'8"

183

16.00

11

DB

25

Crawford, Dallas

4.85

4.83

4.36

7.10

8'10"

200

16.75

17

DB

46

Delapenha, Hugo

4.62

4.53

4.31

7.11

8'11"

193

16.00

19

DB

35

Dortch, Nate

4.66

4.60

4.35

6.91

8'6"

160

15.75

DNT

DB

29

Elder, Corn

4.46

4.37

4.45

7.21

8'8"

172

16.50

DNT

DB

28

Fentress, Nantambu

4.82

4.77

4.24

6.95

9'

188

16.00

6

DB

7

Gayot, Marques

4.87

4.82

4.29

7.17

8'4.5"

206

16.50

13

DB

37

Gunter, Ladarius

4.58

4.56

4.33

7.01

8'9"

193

16.50

7

DB

22

Hester, Kai

4.64

4.57

4.3

7.04

8'7"

203

16.50

9

DB

3

Howard, Tracy

4.57

4.52

4.26

7.10

8'10.5"

181

16.50

12

DB

26

Jenkins, Rayshawn

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

208

15.50

DNT

DB

20

Lewis, Ray

4.63

4.58

4.41

7.14

7'11"

187

16.00

10

DB

27

Mayes, Ryan

4.66

4.61

4.42

7.17

8'11.5

188

15.25

4

DL

71

Chickillo, Anthony

4.91

4.85

4.38

7.26

9'2"

273

19.00

30

DL

99

Hamilton, Jelani

4.98

4.93

5.02

7.80

8'1"

290

17.50

22

DL

33

Harris, Trent

5.09

4.96

4.60

7.84

8'10"

235

16.50

13

DL

93

Heurtelou, Calvin

5.66

5.57

5.17

8.10

7'1"

316

18.00

33

DL

44

Jackson, Demetrius

4.85

4.71

4.39

7.57

7'11.5"

241

16.75

15

DL

92

Jenkins, Courtel

5.53

5.43

5.18

7.97

7'3.5"

320

17.75

20

DL

47

Kamalu, Ufomba

4.91

4.89

4.45

7.50

8'2.5"

286

19.00

24

DL

67

King, Corey

5.45

5.41

4.86

7.84

7'8"

294

17.50

37

DL

17

McCord, Tyriq

4.66

4.63

4.42

7.13

9'2"

231

18.00

17

DL

72

Moore, Earl

5.46

5.40

5.20

8.41

6'5"

300

19.00

24

DL

95

Moten, Anthony

5.45

5.27

5.16

8.20

7'9"

303

17.50

20

DL

98

Muhammad, Alquadin

4.78

4.70

4.34

7.51

8'11.5"

238

18.50

17

DL

60

Naser, Anthony

5.34

5.30

4.97

8.19

6'3.5"

249

17.75

21

DL

91

Pierre, Olsen

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

298

18.25

DNT

DL

9

Thomas, Chad

4.91

4.82

4.50

7.57

8'3"

260

18.00

11

DL

11

Wyche, Michael

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

355

19.00

35

K/P

24

Badgley, Michael

4.85

4.78

4.45

7.23

8'5"

199

16.00

5

K/P

48

Bacon, Josh

5.02

4.93

4.60

7.47

7'7"

180

15.50

1

K/P

27

Carrol, Ricky

4.95

4.91

4.62

7.41

8'1"

199

14.75

7

K/P

 

Contorakes, JC

5.08

4.96

4.79

7.90

6'0

196

16.00

1

K/P

18

Goudis, Matt

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

161

14.75

DNT

K/P

43

Semerene, Jonathan

5.02

4.97

4.67

7.48

7'9"

206

16.50

7

K/P

16

Vogel, Justin

4.65

4.63

4.45

7.22

8'5"

208

15.50

8

LB

34

Armbrister, Thurston

4.73

4.62

4.42

7.27

8'6"

238

16.75

18

LB

41

Chickillo, Wyatt

4.73

4.69

4.51

7.16

8'5.5"

216

17.50

17

LS

55

Gabriel, Frank

5.15

5.11

4.68

7.45

7'5"

214

16.00

4

LB

5

Grace, Jermaine

4.49

4.43

4.16

7.04

9'.5"

205

16.50

17

LB

56

Kirby, Raphael

4.64

4.59

4.46

7.31

9'3"

233

17.00

31

LB

50

McCray, Terry

5.14

5.07

4.69

7.50

6'6"

226

16.50

8

LB

96

McGinnis, Michael

5.04

4.99

4.35

7.32

8'0"

218

16.00

11

LB

58

Owens, Darrion

4.79

4.78

4.36

6.95

8'2"

229

17.25

17

LB

52

Perryman, Denzel

4.71

4.65

4.51

7.27

8'8"

245

17.75

33

LB

57

Smith, Michael

5.22

5.09

4.99

8.15

6'5"

234

16.00

14

LB

51

Young, Juwon

4.75

4.69

4.55

7.49

8'11.5"

239

18.00

23

                     
                     

OL

77

Arnaut, Adam

5.78

5.74

5.15

8.31

5'6"

280

17.75

5

OL

55

Brown, Joe

5.73

5.72

5.12

8.20

7'0"

333

17.00

9

OL

73

Darling, Trevor

5.88

5.83

5.52

8.29

6'3"

317

17.25

13

OL

70

Feliciano, Jon

5.37

5.37

4.83

7.73

7'8"

319

18.25

24

OL

74

Flowers, Ereck

5.33

5.29

4.91

7.69

7'5"

314

19.00

34

OL

76

Gadbois, Taylor

5.22

5.19

4.76

7.61

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

OL

67

Gall, Alex

5.55

5.50

5.11

7.71

7'2.5"

311

17.50

18

OL

79

Goldberg, Justin

5.85

5.77

5.44

8.40

6'10.5"

316

17.75

13

OL

69

Grimsley, Tyler

5.40

5.34

4.74

7.65

7'10"

273

18.00

25

OL

75

Harvey, Sean

5.34

5.30

4.83

7.95

7'0"

293

18.25

32

OL

63

Isidora, Daniel

5.14

5.13

4.96

7.93

7'4"

319

17.75

31

OL

55

Jackson, Sterling

5.61

5.57

5.05

8.00

6'7"

268

17.75

5

OL

54

Knighton, Hunter

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

268

16.75

DNT

OL

68

Linder, Nick

5.60

5.53

5.05

8.45

6'3"

286

18.00

21

OL

52

McDermott, Kc

5.64

5.56

5.14

8.16

7'1.5"

307

18.50

22

OL

62

McDermott, Shane

5.48

5.44

4.78

7.77

7'6"

298

19.00

27

OL

66

Odogwu, Sunny

5.69

5.65

DNT

DNT

7'8"

317

19.00

30

OL

64

Wells, Hunter

5.47

5.41

4.96

8.38

7'8"

310

18.25

26

QB

 

Feller, Colin

5.28

5.27

4.76

8.09

7'1"

192

16.00

0

QB

16

Heaps, Jakes

5.24

5.19

4.64

7.43

7'9.5"

208

16.50

7

QB

15

Kayaa, Brad

5.51

5.46

4.80

8.01

6'9"

216

15.50

DNT

QB

19

Olsen, Kevin

4.88

4.83

4.45

7.17

8'1"

203

16.25

6

QB

12

Rosier, Malik

4.79

4.69

4.63

7.62

7'5"

204

16.75

7

QB

18

Welch, Michael

5.4

5.33

4.79

7.65

6'9"

216

16.75

1

QB

11

Williams, Ryan

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

223

15.50

8

RB

7

Edwards, Gus

4.58

4.49

4.33

7.17

8'10.5"

237

17.00

15

RB

30

Johnson, DeAndre

4.62

4.49

4.17

6.62

8'10"

193

17.00

17

RB

8

Johnson, Duke

4.42

4.33

DNT

DNT

9'2"

201

17.00

18

RB

44

Tucker, Walter

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

6'11"

233

17.50

18

RB

2

Yearby, Joseph

4.65

4.62

4.62

7.39

8'7"

187

16.50

13

TE

47

Akpejiori, Raphael

5.05

4.99

4.87

7.90

8'7.5"

243

16.50

11

TE

13

Crow, Gray

5.32

5.26

4.76

7.42

7'2"

225

17.00

8

TE

5

Dobard, Standish

4.97

4.88

4.67

7.56

8'3.5"

258

16.75

15

TE

40

Golden, Matt

5.47

5.23

4.91

7.86

7'5"

222

16.25

10

TE

23

Herndon, Christopher

4.82

4.79

4.62

7.40

8'9"

237

17.25

17

TE

83

O'Donnell, Jake

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

251

17.75

18

TE

39

Regula, Ronnie

4.82

4.77

4.42

7.13

8'4"

236

16.75

34

TE

38

Rodgers, Joseph

5.06

5.03

4.66

7.81

7'10"

236

16.75

DNT

TE

85

Sandland, Beau

4.83

4.82

4.51

7.42

8'7.5"

260

17.75

25

TE

46

Walford, Clive

4.89

4.83

4.53

7.03

8'6.5"

255

17.00

22

WR

83

Berrios, Braxton

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

DNT

186

16.50

13

WR

82

Brady, Tyre

4.86

4.83

4.48

7.30

9'5"

198

16.50

5

WR

3

Coley, Stacy

4.48

4.40

4.47

6.89

8'4"

182

16.00

1

WR

4

Dorsett, Phillip

4.21

4.16

4.07

6.56

10'1.5"

183

16.00

11

WR

84

Golden, Greg

5.08

5.00

4.37

7.14

7'9"

187

15.50

7

WR

21

Johnson, Josh

4.51

4.50

4.22

7.00

8'11"

153

14.75

14

WR

15

Jones, D'Mauri

4.74

4.69

4.62

7.21

8'4"

197

16.50

9

WR

87

Kidd, Garrett

4.53

4.51

4.35

7.04

8'8"

190

16.00

0

WR

9

Lewis, Malcolm

4.43

4.41

4.56

7.21

8'7"

189

15.25

12

WR

31

Mayweather, Malik

4.79

4.77

4.41

7.12

8'3"

177

15.50

7

WR

86

Njoku, David

4.76

4.67

4.64

7.22

9'6.5"

222

16.00

9

WR

 

Pfenninger, Austin

5.13

5.07

4.48

7.46

7'7.5"

165

15.50

6

WR

80

Scott, Rashawn

4.69

4.64

4.35

7.19

7'7"

200

16.00

17

WR

 

Stavetski, Theodore

5.01

4.94

4.57

7.53

8'7.5"

204

15.25

1

WR

24

Sweeney, Stephen

4.54

4.47

DNT

DNT

8'3"

178

16.00

17

WR

86

Waters, Herb

4.39

4.33

4.14

6.81

9'9.5"

190

16.25

11

                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                 

 

July 23, 2014

Here's the Preseason All-ACC Team that includes Duke Johnson and Denzel Perryman

From UM, via the ACC: 

Miami Hurricanes junior running back Duke Johnson and senior linebacker Denzel Perryman were named to the 2014 Preseason All-ACC Football Team released Wednesday.

Johnson, a second-team All-ACC performer in 2013, rushed for 920 yards and six TDs in eight games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. The Miami native enters his junior season with 1,867 career rushing yards in 20 games.

This summer, Johnson has already been named to the watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Maxwell Award (college player of the year) and Doak Walker Award (best running back).

A 2013 All-ACC first-team selection, Perryman started all 13 games at outside linebacker for the Hurricanes in 2013, registering a team-leading 108 total tackles including 69 solo stops. In addition to earning All-America Honorable Mention honors from SI.com, Perryman was the recipient of the Hurricanes’ 2013 Hard Hitter Award and Defensive MVP award.

Perryman has been named to the watch lists for four major national defensive awards: the Bednarik Award (college defensive player of the year), the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (national defensive player of the year), the Rotary Lombardi Award (best lineman or linebacker) and the Butkus Award (best linebacker).

Miami opens the 2014 season Sept. 1 against new ACC member Louisville at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

2014 ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON TEAM

OFFENSE

WR  Jamison Crowder, Duke
WR  Rashad Greene, Florida State
WR  DeVante Parker, Louisville
TE   Nick O'Leary, Florida State
OT  Cameron Erving, Florida State
OT  Sean Hickey, Syracuse
OG  Tre' Jackson, Florida State
OG  Laken Tomlinson, Duke
C  Andy Gallik, Boston College
QB  Jameis Winston, Florida State
RB  Duke Johnson, Miami
RB  Karlos Williams, Florida State

DEFENSE

DE  Vic Beasley, Clemson
DE  Mario Edwards, Jr., Florida State
DT  Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech
DT  Grady Jarrett, Clemson
LB  Denzel Perryman, Miami
LB  Kelby Brown, Duke
LB  Stephone Anthony, Clemson
CB  Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
CB  P.J. Williams, Florida State
S  Anthony Harris, Virginia
S  Jeremy Cash, Duke

SPECIALISTS

PK  Roberto Aguayo, Florida State
P  A.J. Hughes, Virginia Tech
SP  Ryan Switzer, North Carolina

 
 

July 22, 2014

"#WelcomeToTheU'' tweeted Brennan Carroll, signaling a new Miami Hurricane commitment

Ah, those "Welcome To The U" tweets that pop up on Twitter every now and then. Each is a not-so-secret code that a new young football player has pledged his verbal (and non-binding) commitment to the Miami Hurricanes.

Canes' receivers coach and national recruiting coordinator Brennan Carroll authors those tweets that likely bring every social-media crazed UM fan to life. He doesn't put the recruits' names because of NCAA rules, but the kids themselves usually broadcast the information via social media.

This afternoon it was long and lean Wellington High School receiver Ahmmon Richards -- Class of 2016 -- who posted on Twitter that he was "Verbally committed to the "U."

 Richards, 16, is a four-star player who was recruited by Carroll and according to 247Sports.com is the seventh of seven four-star commitments in the 2016 class, which 247 ranks No. 1 in the nation. He is one of four receivers in that class and reportedly chose UM over offers from Georgia, Louisville, Marshall, FAU, West Virginia, Tennessee and Florida -- among others.

He is listed as 6-2 and 172 pounds.

Anthony Chiang, who covers high school football for the Palm Beach Post, said Richards caught 29 passes for 468 yards and three touchdowns last season as a sophomore. He also had four interceptions and returned one kickoff for a touchdown.

"I committed to coach [Al] Golden and [Brennan] Carroll,'' Richards told Canesport.com on Tuesday. "They were really excited, said that it was a win for them to get another great player in that class.

"Coach Carroll is a down-to-earth guy, really cool, the kind of guy I like.''

Carroll's corresponding tweet included an old-time photo of former Cane Dwayne Johnson, now immortalized as "The Rock,'' standing next to Carroll "circa 2001"

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

July 21, 2014

Al Golden talks to Miami Herald in a fireside (without the fire) chat today. Some of what he shared...

   GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Miami Hurricanes coach Al Golden was kind enough to give each of the three South Florida dailies that cover the team one-on-one time today before he meets with the entire media in the early evening.

There was a fireplace beyond our chairs, so I'd like to think of it as a fireside chat.  

  Just to get a few topics out of the way for those wondering... At some point in our chat, I asked him, "Were you offered the Penn State job?"

   "I'm never going to comment on those things,'' he told me. "Never.''

   Understood. I followed with, "What was that short window of your life like last year?"

   Golden: "I'm just not going to comment. I just don't want to get involved in that. Professionally I just think...(he pauses here) The year before, rumors were circulating about this thing or that thing. I just don't want to get involved with that.''

   I let it go.

   I also asked him about former UM linebackers Alex Figueroa and JaWand Blue and their rape-related case. He definitely would not touch that one in any specific way.

   "Ultimately I'm responsible for all 114 student-athletes on the team and making sure that they're conducting themselves in a manner consistent with the University and our mission. But more importantly this goes beyond that in terms of their families and our families and society and issues that we're dealing with in colleges.

  "We do a lot to educate them as a team and try to give them examples, help teach them the lifeskills, but more importantly support the lifeskills their parents gave them and sent them to us with. But at the end of the day it's my responsibility as a head coach.''

*********************************************************************

   Have you replaced Blue and Fig's scholarships yet? "No.''

   Are there two empty scholarships? "There may be.''

   Are you bringing in somebody from the outside to replace them? "We're always looking to improve the roster. We don't have anybody in mind at this point.'' 

  Look for Tyriq McCord to play a lot of linebacker again this season.

  Who's the quarterback? I asked.

   "xxxx xxxx!'' Golden said. He didn't divulge.

   On senior QB Ryan Williams, recuperating from a torn ACL: "Ryan is doing great. He's as good as anybody that suffered the injury he has. We don't know what that will mean though in terms of when he will be integrated back into action but whenever that is it will be the earliest possible because of how much progress he has made during his rehab. ...I am not prepared to give any kind of medical word on when he'll be cleared.''

   On redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen: "He's had a really good summer. He's growing up physically. He has matured. He's developing. He just looks a lot different, a lot more confident. He has put in a lot more time and has been focused.

   On graduate student/Kansas transfer Jake Heaps, who is eligible to play immediately: "We brought him in because he's 23 years old. He's married. he started 30 games in college and he gives us maturity, he gives us experience and he's exactly what we thought he would be. Very bright. Very focused. He's clearly in a little bit different place in his life than many kids that may be freshmen and sophomores. He's already been through it. He's competing very well right now. I'm very pleased with Jake.''

Would you hope Jake starts so Kevin can get one more year learning if he needs to? “We’ll see. I don’t predetermine it. We’ll go from 4 quarterbacks to 2 very quickly in terms of who we’re going to focus our reps on in camp. But right now Malik Rosier and Brad Kaaya have really benefitted greatly from being at both summer sessions. They’re both very bright and they’re both going to be excellent leaders. A little bit different style for both.

"Brad is a big presence in the pocket – 6-4, 6-5, 220-something pounds. Great work ethic, can really see it. so I’ve been very impressed with him. And Malik, big strong arm and bright. Most people think he’s a runner just because he’s athletic. But he’s athletic in the sense Stephen [Morris] was. He can move and create but he doesn’t really look to run all the time although he can run. He’s a very good athlete."

 

Golden: "[QB] Gray Crow moved to H-back."

Me: Why?

Golden: "It’s just how it worked out. It’s a position we feel he can help the team at, just the way it shook out at the quarterback position. I don’t think he’s disappointed. Gray has always been a team player. He loves the University of Miami. He’s a great teammate and a great guy to have in the locker room."

  Would you like to redshirt Brad and Malik? 

  "I don’t know. Those guys have been out there in 7 on 7s and 1 on 1s and all that and we haven’t seen them in practice or scrimmage settings. We’re going to let it play out on the field. We’re going to give them an opportunity to compete. They’ve been competing all summer. I think a lot of their teammates are impressed with their knowledge and with their work ethic and with their poise. I want to see what we have before we decide to redshirt them."

*****************************************************************************

Some other topics we discussed: 

 * Incoming freshmen WR Darrell Langham and ATH Treone Gray have not yet arrived at UM, but Golden said he expects them in camp.

* S Rayshawn Jenkins, who was injured during the spring, "is doing the best he's been and we expect him cleared for full activity and training camp within the next week,'' Golden said.

* CB Nate Dortch "has left the team,'' Golden said. Note: He played in six games last year, mostly on special teams. 

* Speaking of special teams, UF Gators transfer Justin Vogel, who shares the jersey No. 16  with QB Heaps, "is doing a really good job'' at punter, Golden said. The way it's looking now, according to Golden, is it's between Vogel and Ricky Carroll, though kicker Matt Goudis will also work there.

* Golden agreed with me that freshman Braxton Berrios has the "it'' factor. "He's just about 100-percent right now'' in terms of his knee surgery rehab. "He's already cutting and doing all that. It's just one of those deals where he just finds a way. He's very resourceful, whether it's special teams or slot receiver, he finds a way to get things done.''

* What does Golden think of DT transfer Michael Wyche: "He's strong,'' the coach said. He's at 348 pounds now, Golden said, and he wants him at 335. "He's got a great personality. He's very grateful. Every time you turn around he's speaking to kids. We're glad he's a Hurricane.''

* Coach said the Canes played with 80 or 81 scholarship players last season and he expects the same this season.

* Coach said he expects to sign "probably 25 or 26" in the 2015 signing class.

* I asked Golden about Ray Lewis III. If you recall he was suspended for the bowl game.

Golden: "He's making progress. He's got to continue to mature and settle in. Hopefully he's continuing to improve. Like a lot of kids his age, it's time to grow up and time to mature and make sure to prioritize your day, think about why you're here and what you're trying to get accomplished and what are your goals and what are the team goals. Hopefully, he'll continue to move in the right direction.''

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

Miami Hurricanes picked by media to win the ACC Coastal Division & face FSU in league title game

The Miami Hurricanes were voted by the media on Monday to win the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference and face defending national champion Florida State in the ACC title game.

The Seminoles, in the Atlantic Division, were predicted to win the ACC championship on 104 of 112 ballots cast. 

Miami's 26 first-place votes placed third among Coastal Division teams, but the Hurricanes' 614 total points led overall. Duke, the defending Coastal Division champion, received 33 first-place votes and 597 overall points.

Not one of the 112 ballots cast voted for Miami to win the ACC title.

Virginia Tech was voted to finish third in the Coastal (571 points, 23 first-place votes), followed by North Carolina (570 points and 27 first-place votes), Georgia Tech (322 and one), Pitt (319 and two) and Virginia (142).

 The Canes also were picked to finish first in the Coastal last season and in 2006. Last year Miami finished 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the ACC (tied for second), while Duke (10-4 and 6-2) lost to FSU 45-7 in the league title game.

 In 2006 the Canes were 7-6 overall and 3-5 in the conference, with Wake Forest beating Georgia Tech in the ACC title game.   

FSU, which went 14-0 last season, was also voted to win the ACC in 2011 and 2012 -- and in each of its first 14 seasons after joining the league (1992-'05).

Predicted to finish behind FSU in the Atlantic: Clemson (660 points and three first-place votes), Louisville (564), Syracuse (368), NC State (326), Boston College (301) and Wake Forest (136).  

The media predicted Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston would be The ACC Player of the Year.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

July 20, 2014

Duke Johnson: ankle pain only when he overdoes it, on Blue & Figueroa's rape case: "I was disgusted;'' and on Al Golden's Penn State saga.

Greensboro, N.C. -- Had a quick chat this morning with running back Duke Johnson of the Miami Hurricanes. He looks great and seemed happy to be here at the Grandover Resort for the 2014 ACC Football Kickoff.

We'll get Duke in-depth, as well as Canes linebacker Denzel Perryman, late this afternoon. Their interviews end at 5 p.m.

 Johnson, listed as 5-9 and 206 pounds, looks rock-solid (and you can only imagine how that also pertains to Perryman, a man who prides himself on his physique and strength) and ready to go. Johnson already is on the Watch Lists for the Doak Walker Award (I'm a voter, by the way), Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

 Duke rushed for 920 yards and six touchdowns in eight games before breaking his right ankle Nov. 2 at Florida State. He averaged 174.1 all-purpose yards. The year before he finished with 947 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games. Think he's itching to reach 1,000?

 Regarding his ankle, here's what he told me: "I'm 100 percent. I barely feel it. I feel good.''

 When asked when, if ever, he feels pain on it, he said, "Sometimes I feel pain when I'm doing too much and have a long day -- when I do more than one workout. When I do overtime, when I go the extra mile after practice. It's just pain, just tightness. Not really sharp pain, more like tightness of the ankle. You get off of it, ice it, heat it and stretch it out.

 "I used to sprain both my ankles, little sprains here and there.''

 ***********************************************************************************************

Johnson was adamant about former teammates JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa, both linebackers arrested and charged with sexual battery July 8 after admitting to Coral Gables police they got a 17-year-old new UM student intoxicated and raped her on campus.

Johnson's reaction: "I was disgusted. Yeah, they’re my teammates and yeah they were my teammates and we hung out and talked. But there’s a certain line you don’t cross and there are certain things you don’t do and when you do I become the enemy. I become the guy that just can’t associate with you.

"When the story came out I was more wanting to reach out to the girl and her family and make sure she was OK. Because that’s a family that just sent their daughter to college and that’s a fear of all families when they send their daughters to school. It hit homes with me because I have a goddaughter, I have a sister -- Autumn is 2. No matter how close you are with someone that’s not something that should ever be acceptable.

"I have not talked to them. I think the AD [Blake James] and Coach Golden made the right decision [to dismiss them permanently from team] but at the same time that was over their heads anyway. Once you get into the laws’ hands, there’s nothing they could do anyway. I feel like at the end of the day they would be off the team regardless."

Though there was a team meeting after the rape charges, Johnson said the team met with coaches. He was asked if UM conducts any seminars or lifeskill classes preparing them for social situations that could arise in college and how to cope.

"No,'' he said. "My mother taught me. It’s just something you learn growing up."

Does he  think the players should be given any type of education on that?

"No. Everybody is not like that. It was just a couple of kids. I don’t think there are that many guys who need a class for it. I think when older guys start drinking, they're able to handle it on their own and they understand the law. They know what’s right and what’s wrong."

*****************************************************************************************************************

 Duke on Al Golden's situation with Penn State and what it would have been like for the team if he left to become the coach there:

"It’s hard to say now what it would have been like, but obviously we would have had to move on and take the next step. We were on break at the time and just enjoyed our break, took our time off and hung out and relaxed. We weren’t bothered by it because if he left it was out of our control. If he stayed it was out of our control. The decision wasn’t up to us so there was nothing we could do. I think there was a time he did talk about it with us. but I didn’t even see the point. At the end of the day he had to make the best decision for his family."

****************************************************************************

 Before the interview was ended I quickly asked Duke about new senior quarterback transfer Jake Heaps.

 "He's a smart quarterback,'' Johnson said. "I like him. He's a bit undersized but he makes up for it with his smart decisions and quick release. He's an older guy so he can read coverages well. He knows what to throw and when it's open.''

 But Johnson quickly added as he was whisked away for another interview: "But Jake just got into our system, so...''

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2014

MLB 2nd-rounder Andy Suarez does the unexpected & returns to the Canes -- & other UM baseball news

I just looked back at a blog I wrote last month before going on vacation and saw the title: "Could Miami Hurricanes get back LHP Andy Suarez? Doubt it. But he still hasn't signed with Nationals."

Well, as of 5 p.m. today (Friday, July 18th), the improbable became true -- and Suarez will return to play for the Miami Hurricanes in 2015.

We spoke on the phone as the clock struck 5 and the signing deadline for Major League Baseball passed. Same old Andy: low-key, polite and very pleasant -- just a nice young man who is looking forward to returning to Coral Gables for his redshirt junior season.

Did he make the right decision? We'll know in another year. But he said he is "positive'' he did.

Bottom line, according to Suarez: The Nationals did not offer him more than the slot value of $987,800 for his place as the 57th overall pick.

He did not tell me their offer.

"I wasn't going to sign for slot and we didn't agree in negotiations,'' he told me. "And that was it pretty much. I feel like coming back is a good decision for me. I'm going to get my degree (in  criminology, with minor in psychology) and I'll be a junior so I can still negotiate.

"I'm feeling stronger than ever, really good, and hopefully it stays the same throughout the year.

"I know for sure I made the right decision. It's a win-win for me. 

"I'm really excited. We have unfinished business to take care of. I feel like this could be our year to make it to Omaha. We'll have some veteran hitters coming back next year and a lot of guys will do their jobs."

  Suarez, 21, is 6-2 and now 205 pounds. He had a 6-3 record this past season with a 2.95 ERA in 109.2 innings. He struck out 87 batters and walked just 15. He graduated from Christopher Columbus High and lives with his family in Miami.

He said he talked to the Nationals earlier this week. "They said they were just going to offer me slot and I told them I wasn't going to sign for that,'' he said. 

From the Washington Post online Friday: "The Nationals signed first-round pick Erick Fedde with a bonus worth just over $2.5 million, a deal that softened the blow from the Nationals’ inability to sign their second round pick."

Fedde is a right-handed pitcher who was selected 18th in the first round.

  UM coach Jim Morris was naturally ecstatic to get Suarez back. We spoke by telephone just after 5 p.m. because Morris wanted to be sure he was getting Suarez back.

  "He told me at 2:40 p.m. but I wasn't going to comment until afterward,'' Morris said. "I don't know if I have ever said this early who our starting pitcher would be on opening night. I don't know who the No. 2 pitcher is, but I know Andy Suarez is No. 1.

"Everything is special about Andy. He's a great kid, outstanding student and he throws the best pitch in baseball -- a strike. He has an outstanding breaking ball. He throws his curveball, slider and changeup for strikes."

 Suarez's fastball ranges from the low 90s to 95 mph.

The Canes finished the season 44-19 and lost to Texas Tech in the championship game of the Coral Gables Regional. They were 41-17 in the regular season for a .707 winning percentage, third only to national seeds Virginia (.772) and Florida State (.741) -- both fellow members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Miami won the regular-season ACC crown with a 24-6 league record (.800).

Morris said he wants to keep All-American closer Bryan Garcia as his closer next season, and wants to keep Cooper Hammond as the set-up reliever.

Right-handed pitcher Andy Honiotes, from Geneva, Ill., is coming off Tommy John surgery and will be on the roster next season as a redshirt freshman.

Also, Michael Mediavilla, a 6-5, 200-pound left-handed pitcher/first-baseman out of mater academy, will come to the Canes after being drafted last month in the 40th round by the Reds. He graduated from Mater Academy. 

Carl Chester, a 6-0, 185-pound outfielder who was drafted last month in the 38th round by the Brewers, also will play for UM next season. He's from Longwood, Fl and graduated from Lake Brantley.

 And 6-2 infielder George Iskenderian (Don Bosco Prep graduate in 2012), who played his freshman season for South Carolina and then transferred to Indian River State (drafted in 34th round recently by the Cardinals), will be joining the Hurricanes as well. 

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

 

"

July 10, 2014

Perryman makes Nagurski Award Watch List

Hurricanes senior Denzel Perryman, already on the watch lists for the Bednarik award and the CFPA Linebacker of the Year award, was one of 81 players named to the 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List Thursday, an award given annually since 1993 to the National Defensive Player of the Year.

Past Hurricane winners of the Nagurski Trophy include defensive lineman Warren Sapp (1994) and linebacker Dan Morgan (2000).

Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. The Football Writer's Association of Amercin and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 20. The  Nagurski  winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2014 FWAA All-America Team. The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be held on Dec. 8 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte.

Pittsburgh tackle Aaron Donald won the award last season.

July 08, 2014

Canes net two huge commitments from St. Thomas Aquinas

The Miami Hurricanes netted a pair big recruiting commitments Tuesday night from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.

The first was Jordan Scarlett, a 5-11, 210-pound running back in the Class of 2015 ranked by 247Sports.com as the 11th best at his position nationally.

The other was Sam Bruce, a 5-8, 160-pound receiver in the Class of 2016 ranked by 247Sports.com as the 7th best at his position nationally.

Our Safid Deen has more on Tuesday's big Hurricanes recruiting story on our High School Sports Blog

Hurricane linebackers JaWand Blue, Alex Figueroa kicked off team after admitting to police they intoxicated, raped 17-year old on campus

Two University of Miami football players were arrested and charged with sexual battery Tuesday morning after admitting to Coral Gables police they got a 17-year-old intoxicated and then raped her on campus over the holiday weekend.

JaWand Blue, 20, and Alexander Figueroa, who turned 20 on Tuesday, have since been dismissed by the school, according to a statement made by athletic director Blake James.

"Earlier today, I permanently dismissed JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa from the UM football team," James said in a statement. "The University has also suspended the students from school and barred them from all campus facilities while the University conducts an internal investigation and continues to cooperate with local law enforcement.

"Any allegation of a sexual assault is extremely serious, and the University will not tolerate conduct that threatens the sanctity and safety of our students and our campus. We hold all of our students -- especially student athletes -- to the highest standards of moral conduct. The University is committed to maintaining a safe campus environment for all."

According to Coral Gables police, the victim, also a UM student, reported the crime to campus police. Coral Gables police investigated and made the arrests.

According to the arrest report, the incident occurred in the early morning hours last Saturday inside Figueroa's dorm room at Pearson Hall on campus.

According to the report, Blue and Figueroa administered or had knowledge of someone else administering to the victim a narcotic, anesthetic or other intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitated the victim without her prior knowledge or consent. Police said the victim was physically helpless to resist.

On Tuesday morning, Blue and Figueroa admitted to police they bought and provided several alcoholic beverages for the victim before bringing her back to Figueroa’s dorm room. They admitted to performing sexual acts on her without her consent, the report said. Both were immediately arrested and transported to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Figueroa was also charged with having a fake driver's license.

A spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Corrections said Blue and Figueroa were in the process of bonding out of jail Tuesday for $10,000 and $15,000 respectively. Miami-Dade state attorney's office spokesman Ed Griffith said Figueroa and Blue were scheduled to be arraigned in front of Judge Maria Elena Verde on July 29.

UM president Donna Shalala released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying she had spoken to the victim and offered full support.

"The safety and welfare of our students is fundamental to our mission as a university. We have zero tolerance for sexual assault and gender-based violence," Shalala said in her statement. "There is no confusion about our responsibility as a university: We will fully and compassionately support the victim of sexual assault. I have spoken to her myself and reassured her of our full support.

"We have suspended the men involved, and they have been barred from campus. Our athletic director has taken firm action ending their involvement in the football program. We have notified the individuals involved that the university is beginning an investigation immediately, which we expect to conclude quickly and fairly. We will also continue to cooperate with the police in their ongoing criminal investigation."

Blue, a former three-star recruit from West Boca Raton High, played in two games last season and registered one tackle. He finished the spring as the backup middle linebacker behind Denzel Perryman.

Figueroa, the son of military parents from Stafford, Va., played in nine games last season and made two starts, registering 17 tackles. He ended the spring listed as a co-starter at outside linebacker along with Thurston Armbrister.

Getting a quick boot from the team following an arrest is nothing new under coach Al Golden.

In May 2011, Hurricanes freshman defensive lineman Jeffrey Brown was booted from the team after being accused of sexual battery on a helpless victim and admitting to Coral Gables police he had sex with a severely-intoxicated female student in a campus dorm. Those charges were eventually downgraded to false imprisonment and Brown was asked to serve three year's probation, complete a sex therapy program and perform 100 hours of community service.

Two months prior to that linebacker Ramon Buchanan was arrested and charged with two felonies and three misdemeanors following an incident at a Coconut Grove nightclub. Buchanan was suspended from the team following his arrest but reinstated two weeks later after he was permitted to enter a pre-trial diversion program.

In December 2012, cornerback Thomas Finnie was suspended indefinitely from the football team after surrendering to police and admitting he was involved in a laptop theft on campus.

In April 2013, linebacker Gabe Terry was kicked off the team following his arrest on charges of felony marijuana possession.

Neither player has posted any updates on their social media accounts since the arrests. But Figueroa did post the following message on Twitter last night.

This story was updated throughout the day as information became available

McDermott (Rimington), Walford (Mackey) join growing list of Canes on preseason watch lists

Tis the season to be named to College Football Award Watch Lists.

Tuesday, it was Shane McDermott and Clive Walford who became the latest Miami Hurricanes to receive some preseason recognition.

McDermott was one of 66 centers named to the 2014 Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List, an award presented annually since 2000 to the nation’s top collegiate center in NCAA Division I FBS. Miami’s Brett Romberg won the Rimington Trophy in 2002 after contributing the Miami’s 34-game winning streak from 2000-2002. He never allowed a sack at center and led an offensive line that helped produce three 1,000-yard rushers – James Jackson, Clinton Portis and Willis McGahee.

Walford, meanwhile, was one of 40 players named to the John Mackey Preseason Watch List, an award given annually since 2000 to the nation's top tight end. It's the second year in a row he's on the list. Kellen Winslow II (2003) is the only Hurricane who has won the award.

McDermott, a Lake Worth, Fla. native, started 11 games at center in 2013 for the Hurricanes. A third-team All-ACC selection by the league’s head coaches, he helped anchor the offensive line that paved the way for a Hurricanes offense that averaged 425.8 yards of total offense and 33.8 points per game.

Walford played in all 13 games in 2013, making 12 starts at tight end. He finished the season with 454 receiving yards and two TDs on 34 catches, finishing second on the team in receptions. The Belle Glade, Fla., product had a streak of 27 consecutive games with at least one reception snapped Nov. 23, 2013, against Virginia. He later eclipsed the 1,000-yard career mark against Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

The winner of the Rimington Trophy is selected by determining the consensus All-America center pick from three prestigious All-America teams: Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The Rimington Trophy presentation will be held Jan. 17, 2015, at Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Neb.

The Mackey winner is selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and will be announced Dec. 10, and then presented live Dec. 11 at The Home Depot Collegiate Football Awards Show.

MIAMI HURRICANES ON 2014 PRESEASON AWARD WATCH LISTS

> Anthony Chickillo, DE: CFPA Defensive Line Trophy

> Stacy Coley, WR/KR: Paul Hornung Award (most versatile); Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year)

> Ladarius Gunter, DB: CFPA Defensive Back Trophy

> Duke Johnson, RB: Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year); CFPA Running Back Trophy 

> Shane McDermott, C: Rimington Trophy (nation’s best center)

> Denzel Perryman, LB: Bednarik Award (College Defensive Player of the Year); CFPA Linebacker Trophy

> Clive Walford, TE: John Mackey Award (Outstanding collegiate tight end)

July 07, 2014

Canes' Coley, Johnson named to Maxwell Award watch list; Perryman to Bednarik watch list

Stacy Coley and Duke Johnson were named to the 2014 Maxwell Award Watch List on Monday, an award presented annually to the College Player of the Year since 1937.

Linebacker Denzel Perryman, meanwhile, has been named to the 2014 Bednarik Award Watch List, presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year annually since 1995.

Dan Morgan is the only Hurricane (2000) to win the Bednarik Award. Vinny Testaverde (1986), Gino Torretta (1992) and Ken Dorsey (2001) are previous Maxwell Award winners for Miami.

A 2013 All-ACC First Team selection, Perryman started all 13 games at outside linebacker for the Hurricanes, registering a team-leading 108 total tackles including 69 solo stops. In addition to earning All-America honorable mention honors from SI.com, Perryman was the recipient of the Hurricanes 2013 Hard Hitter Award and Defensive MVP award. 

A second-team All-ACC performer in 2013, Johnson rushed for 920 yards and six TDs in eight games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Johnson enters his junior season with 1,867 career rushing yards in 20 games. Last month, he was named third-team Preseason All-America by Phil Steele and was one of 40 FBS running backs named to the 2014 CFPA Running Back Trophy Watch List.

Coley was also one of 47 players named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List on Monday, given annually since 2010 to college football's most versatile player.

As a freshman in 2013, Coley, a third-team All-ACC selection by the league’s coaches and honorable mention by the media, led the Hurricanes with 1,461 all-purpose yards – the 10th-highest single-season total in program history. He also led the team with seven receiving touchdowns while ranking second in receiving yards (591) and third in receptions (33). A Freshman All-America selection by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Coley was the only FBS player in 2013 to record a TD four different ways – rushing, receiving, punt return and kick return.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Award will be announced November 3 and the three finalists will be unveiled November 24. The winner of the 2014 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced December 11 as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

The watch list candidates were chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes both past performance and future potential. The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2014 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, FBS head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.

July 03, 2014

Cardinal Gibbons defensive lineman Richard McIntosh commits to Hurricanes

Cardinal Gibbons defensive lineman Richard McIntosh became the 17th commitment in the Miami Hurricanes' 2015 recruiting class Thursday.

And it was hardly a surprise for his football coach Mike Morrill.

"He kind of indicated before I left on vacation last week he was going to commit on or about the Fourth of July," Morrill said. "Miami was on him early and they did a very nice job. They were very thorough. I think it's going to be a great fit for him."

McIntosh, ranked a three-star recruit by both Rivals and 247Sports.com, is as big and athletic a player Morrill said he's ever coached. Last season the Chiefs lined McIntosh at defensive end, tight end and wide reciever.

"He was over 270 pounds last I saw him," Morrill said. "He played probably about 240 last fall and then played basketball this winter. As soon as basketball ended he recommitted himself to the weight room and he really got big. But he's still growing. He's 6-4 1/2, about 270, 275 now.

"He's such an athletic kid, has tremendous feet. We even put him at quarterback in short yardage last season. I think in the playoff game we went short yardage against Immokalee and I think he got a first down, maybe even scored a touchdown. We're not afraid to put him anywhere on defense or offense."

McIntosh is the fifth player from Miami's immediate backyard to commit to the Hurricanes and the fourth from Broward County. His younger brother, Dion McIntosh, is a standout running back in the 2016 class Miami is also pursuing. 

Six former Canes to compete in NBA Summer League; Perryman on CFPA watch list

According to UM's sports information staff, six former Miami Hurricanes are slated to suit up for NBA teams in the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League, which tips off this weekend in Orlando, Fla., then will continue in Las Vegas, beginning July 11.

They are: Rion Brown (Charlotte Hornets), DeQuan Jones (Indiana Pacers), Kenny Kadji (Milwaukee Bucks), Shane Larkin (New York Knicks), Trey McKinney Jones (Miami Heat) and Durand Scott (San Antonio Spurs).

Brown recently completed his senior season with the Hurricanes, posting 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while hitting 1.9 shots per game from the 3-point line in his final season in Coral Gables.

Jones will be participating in his third NBA summer league season after spending the 2013-14 campaign playing for the Reno Bighorns. He spent the 2013 summer with the Sacramento Kings and earned a spot on the 2012-13 Orlando Magic after an impressive showing on their 2012 summer league squad.

Kadji is playing in his second summer league after spending his first summer with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. Kadji played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League in 2014, after starting the season with the NY Phantom Braunschweig in Germany.

Larkin, the 18th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, was traded to the New York Knicks on June 26. He appeared in 48 games as a rookie with the Dallas Mavericks a year ago. Now Larkin will look to show the Knicks what he can do as he prepares for the 2014-15 season.

McKinney Jones, who was named to the 2014 All-NBA Development League All-Rookie Third Team, averaged 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals for the 2014 D-League champion Ft. Wayne Mad Ants this season. He was a member of the Milwaukee Bucks training camp roster a year ago before starring in the D-League.

Scott was with the Spurs in the 2013 summer league and went on to play the 2013-14 season abroad with Obradoiro CAB of the Spanish ACB League. He will return to the Spurs this summer and the reigning NBA champions will take another close look at the talented and versatile guard.

From July 5-11 the Orlando Magic will host the 25 games of the Orlando League at their Amway Center practice court. The Las Vegas League will consist of 67 games between the dates of July 11 and July 21, which will be held at both the Thomas & Mack Center and the COX Pavilion on the campus of the University of Las Vegas. All games will be broadcast on NBA TV, NBA.com, and on the NBA Game Time app.

PERRYMAN ON WATCH LIST

You can go ahead Hurricanes senior Denzel Perryman to another watch list. Wednesday he was named one of 40 FBS linebackers selected to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy Watch List.

He joins teammates Ladarius Gunter and Anthony Chickillo on the CFPA watch list at their respective positions. Miami is one of only five FBS programs with a player named to all three defensive player watch lists.

An All-ACC First Team selection in 2013, Perryman started all 13 games at outside linebacker for the Hurricanes, registering a team-leading 108 total tackles including 69 solo stops. In addition to earning All-America, Honorable Mention honors from SI.com, Perryman was the recipient of the Hurricanes 2013 Hard Hitter Award and Defensive MVP award.

July 01, 2014

Canes announce basketball series with Gators; Chickillo, Gunter named to CFPA watch lists

For the first time since 2009, the Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators will meet on the hardwood as both schools have agreed to a home-and-home men’s basketball series. Florida will host the first game Nov. 17, while Miami will host the return game at BankUnited Center during the 2015-16 season.

Florida leads the all-time series 45-22. November’s nonconference matchup will be the first meeting since March 20, 2009 – a 74-60 loss at Florida in the second round of the NIT. The Canes haven’t hosted the Gators since Dec. 22, 2005 – a 77-67 Florida win. Miami last defeated Florida on Dec. 4, 2004, a 72-65 win in Gainesville. 

Miami finished the 2013-14 season with a 17-16 overall record and the Hurricanes are 66-36 in three seasons under head coach Jim Larrañaga.

The Canes welcome nine newcomers to the 2014-15 roster, which includes six recruits – Kamari Murphy, Ja’Quan Newton, James Palmer, Omar Sherman, Joe Thomas and Ivan Cruz Uceda – along with two Big 12 transfers – Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan – and redshirt freshman Deandre Burnett, who sat out the 2013-14 season with an injury.

CHICKILLO, GUNTER ON WATCH LIST

Miami Hurricanes seniors Ladarius Gunter and Anthony Chickillo have been named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards Lineman Trophy Watch Lists at their respective positions.

Gunter, a defensive back, started the Hurricanes' first 12 games in 2013, missing only the Russell Athletic Bowl due to injury. He recorded 46 tackles (36 solo) with two TFL, six pass break-ups and three interceptions. He was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week for Oct. 7, 2013, after returning an INT 30 yards for a TD in a win over Georgia Tech. He was then named ACC Specialist of the Week for Oct. 21, 2013, after returning a blocked FG for a TD in a comeback road win at North Carolina.

Chickillo started all 13 games at defensive end for the Hurricanes in 2013, recording 46 tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss, 3.5 sacks and seven QB hurries. Chickillo has started 34 consecutive games for the Hurricanes over the span of the last three seasons.

Miami's Leonard Hankerson won the 2010 CFPA Wide Receiver of the Year Award and Pat O'Donnell won the 2013 CFPA Punter of the Year Award.