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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.