HEAPS OF KAAYA (ON FRIDAY)
It's still early in camp, but at least after four practices it seems that graduate transfer Jake Heaps and true freshman Brad Kaaya are the Nos. 1 and 1A leaders, respectively, in the quarterback race.
Kaaya, the 6-4, 218-pounder out of West Hills, Calif. (Chaminade-Madonna), took the reins for much of Friday's practice as the first-team quarterback. He is poised, has a great release, nice touch and exudes confidence on the field.
Golden, who has praised Kaaya all week, was asked what else he'd like to see from the young quarterback.
“Just do what he’s doing,'' Golden replied. "Command of the huddle. Continue to be more vocal. I think that’s the one thing Jake Heaps is right now. He’s vocal. He’s not afraid to get into, get after other guys and communicate and be loud. We’ve got to continue to work with Brad and Kevin [Olsen] and Malik [Rosier] on that. So that was the challenge to Brad today, just continue to be more vocal. Obviously he’s learning a lot. We’ve got a lot going in on the front end.”
*** Ryan Williams, slated to be the starting quarterback before he tore his ACL in April, was behind center for three plays during seven-on-seven drills Friday.
"He’s making progress,'' Golden said of the fifth-year senior. "Again I keep knocking on wood, and I’m not being coy with you – I don’t know what it all means. All I know is, he’s having an unbelievable recovery. In terms of the bell curve, he’s on the high end of it. So it’s good.”
Hurricanes kicker Matt Goudis, a junior who hit 13 of his 17 field-goal attempts last season, said he is feeling better after injuring his back this summer, forcing him to “miss some time in the weight room and running.’’
Goudis said now that he's back, he needs to build up his legs again.
“I should be good to go and back by Louisville,’’ Goudis said of the Sept. 1 opener. “From missing some running, my legs are just a little tired, not as explosive, but I’m still hitting from 50. In four more weeks I should be good to go.’’
LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN
The Canes had their next-to-last afternoon practice of fall camp Friday, but their fourth consecutive session with a lightning delay.
That streak could end Saturday, when they switch to a morning practice and don full pads for the first time.
They go in the afternoon Sunday and then back to mornings Monday.
“It’s almost comical,’’ Golden said, laughing, when he was told by a reporter that it was a short practice. “We only had one interruption today, so this was good. The kids fought through it, finished up their finals and papers this morning and got locked in. I’m proud of them. They did a great job this week. Great maturity, excellent leadership, good focus.’’
Golden said he likes morning practices better.
“Yeah, it’s good for their recovery,’’ he said. “It’s better for our meeting schedule and most importantly, it’s best in terms of the heat and everything.’’
*** Wide receiver Darrell Langham, the only Hurricane who has not joined camp, was expected to arrive Friday night, Golden said.
*** The Canes will practice for the first time this camp in the morning on Saturday. They will also be in full pads for the first time.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN