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Al Golden talks depth chart, injuries to Scott, Jenkins and a lot more

AUDIO: AL GOLDEN TALKS DEPTH CHART, INJURIES THURSDAY NIGHT

On the decision to narrow it down to two players at quarterback: “I’m pleased, I know it’s hard for everybody reading and watching, but I’m pleased with that group. That group in general has made as strong a progress as any group over the summer. Malik Rosier had a great summer, I think Kevin Olsen had a great summer and is as strong as he’s ever been, but right now, Brad and Jake are a little bit ahead of them. But we have a long way to go. We have one scrimmage, we’re going to have three more practices before the next one and obviously a lot of film. We’ll go from there. I’m not ruling out anybody else, but we really want to get a good look at these two and see where it goes.”

Q: Is it really a two horse race?

“I’m still looking at everybody. We’re more than two weeks out, but I think at some point, you have to at least allocate reps so we’ve got to be careful with that. We still want to develop everybody, we’re still going to make sure everybody gets reps. Then we have a little bit of an outlier in terms of Ryan and his progress. He’s doing really well. That’s where we’re at today. It’s by no means a two-man race, but those are 1-2 right now. That’s probably the best way to say it.”

Q: Is there any chance Ryan Williams can go full speed in the next two weeks? 

“There is a chance. There is a chance. Going full speed, and then being able to protect him against our first or second opponents, that’s a little bit different deal. That’s uncharted waters for us right now. He’s doing really well. I know he’s confident, I know he’s strong, nobody’s been more committed than him. I’m just being perfectly honest. This is not my call. This is his call, along with Dr. Kaplan. We’re going to continue to let him progress and let him work in like he has been. But he’s doing really well. It’s hard to say it any other way.”

Q: Does Williams' status make the quarterback situation fluid? 

“Tricky. Makes it tricky. Yup. Makes it tricky, because he had a really good spring. And he’s bright and he’s a leader, so yeah, it makes it tricky. But his return will be a good thing for the University of Miami. That’s how I look at it. His return, whenever it is, will be good for us. But again, it’s just, that’s why I’ve just taken on this one day at a time mantra. I’m not really worried about other than just how do we get the guys ready for practice tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock and see what tomorrow brings.”

Q: Is there one guy in front right now? 

“I don’t think so, that one’s too close to call. I thought Jake had a really good morning today. As you guys know, cause you hear it all the time when you’re watching those preseason games in the NFL, you really have to take into consideration who’s out there in each series and who they’re going against. It’s really hard to quantify that into a little sound byte for you. It’s really hard. But they were really…they were…Maybe Brad was a little bit ahead yesterday and Jake’s answered today, whatever the case may be, but they’re 1 and 2. Really either way right now, but they’re 1 and 2.”

Q: For anybody saying Kaaya is first because his name is listed first on the depth chart how would you respond?

“I’m not very good at the alphabet, I guess. First name, I don’t know. It’s just the way it shook out.”

Q: Still, you have to be pretty impressed that Kaaya’s been here a couple weeks and is already to that point?

“I feel the same way about Malik and Jake. Jake was here less time than those two guys. Now Jake has a little bit more conceptual knowledge and line of scrimmage experience and things of that nature, so Jake adjusted…but Malik and Brad, the commitment that they made this summer as incoming guys and as I said, the whole quarterback group in general, because I think Kevin Olsen had a great May, June, and July, he really came on strong. They’re into it. Would Brad be where he was right now if the NCAA didn’t change the rule, probably not. James got a little bit extra time, but that young man put in a lot of time, an inordinate amount of time on his own, him and Malik, and then Jake when he got here, we’re grateful because he’s in terms of Brad answering your question, he’s running the huddle, his reads are really good, and he’s got a lot of poise right now.”

Q: Why is Duke Johnson not on return duty?

“We’re going to continue to work him there. I was trying to get some guys some work there. How many guys did I end up putting there, four? It’s probably four and four right now. Kick return is - pretty fluid, and we’re fortunate. Phillip, Artie, Corn, Malcolm Lewis can do it. I know I’m missing --- Braxton’s been good. And then same thing, Duke obviously can do that too, punt returner too, I probably could have put four or five on there. Braxton’s on both those lists. He’s really good at it.”

Q: Why is receiver Rashawn Scott not listed on the depth chart?

“Yeah, so Rashawn has an injury and we really just need to see where he’s at before we move forward. Rashawn, as you guys know – so, again, I’m not as concerned, because you guys see the depth every day, with the shirts and everything, because you’re here every day, so I wasn’t as concerned – but I didn’t want to place him until we know the extent of his injury. As soon as we know exactly what that injury is, we’ll release it. But certainly he would have warranted a 1 or a 2, as he has all camp.”

Q: Happened before or after the scrimmage?

“In the scrimmage.”

Q: Any other injuries to report from the scrimmage?

“Uh, well Jenkins got injured – he’s had a chronic deal, and the way it looks right now, it’ll have to be the end of his season. Again, when I get more information on that, we’ll relay it. It’s been unfortunate. It’s just a chronic thing that they want to fix.”

Q: Scott injury minor or major?

“You know, I don’t know. We didn’t think it was major, but again, rather than put him out for an extended period of time, I just wanted to get the facts before we release it on that.”

Q: Back injury for Jenkins?

“Yes. Scott is like in the shoulder/clavicle area, and Jenkins is lower back.”

Q: Is Scott's injury the same  as last year?

“You know, it’s not. It’s not. Guys to be honest with you, as soon as we get everything gathered, we’ll be able to release it so we all know what it is. Hopefully it won’t be too long.”

Q: Dallas Crawford had a strong showing in scrimmage. Was his performance a sign of the way he’s transitioned?

“He’s physical. I think everybody on the team would say he’s one of our toughest players. He’s another guy who’s lost a lot of weight, his body looks different, he’s quicker than he has been. And he really studied the game worked on his transitions and everything. He played really well, really, really sound. There’s good competition there at the safety spot with Gayot and Hester, two young kids, of course Fentrees can go back there if we need him, he’s sort of in between now and then Bush, Jamal and him. But Dallas has made a difference back there with his leadership.”

Q: A lot of young guys in starting spots on the offensive line

"There's two things when I sat around like July 4th weekend -- the offensive line I was saying I was wondering where 8, 9 and 10 were going to come from. And we've been really, really pleasantly surprised here. Those guys have done a good job. Trevor Darling has really come on strong. Hunter Wells has been in the rotation with the 1s. I think Kc McDermott did an absolute overhaul on his body and came in with a great mindset. Maybe Joe Brown is the surprise of the camp. We knew when we recruited him he was strong. He played defense. He wasn't really an offensive guy. But, we have him listed at 318. You would take the over on that. He's probably 330, doing a really good job. Nick Linder is just as you would imagine he is. He's playing both guard and center for us. Tyler Grimsley. Those guys have all made a difference. And then going the other way, Gall, Hunter Williams, Taylor Gadbois and of course the vets. That's a position I'm excited about. Of course the position was quarterback. Those two things have have changed. The fortune on those two have been very positive. So, we'll see how well we can perform in the next couple days and then into the scrimmage."

Q: Jonathan Feliciano, Kc McDermott were held out some during camp. Did that affect their status on depth chart?

"They're all competing. Jon is going to play left and right guard and right tackle. We're in a mode right now. This afternoon I was going to rest Flowers. I was going to rest Duke. I was going to rest Shane. What you do is try to pull guys out so some other guys have to step up. So, in Kc and Jon's case, Trevor and Hunter and Alex Gall were given opportunities and they really responded really well. We're moving guys around, trying to build that depth. I really feel like we're going to end up with 10. I wouldn't have said that a month ago. I don't know who they are going to be yet. But certainly Jon and Kc are in the mix and can play both positions. Kc is going to work left and Taylor Gadbois is going to work right now and we're just going to keep mixing it up."

Q: Has Joe Yearby increased what you think he's going to be able to this season?

"I think that's fair. Just has to develop, understand what's expected everyday. That will come with maturity. I know Ice is doing a great job. And Duke has done a great job with that. He really had a good scrimmage. And he ran the ball hard. Did he outperform Gus in all the practices? No. Did he outperform Gus yesterday -- and that's a money ball for us -- and yes he did. But again, I thought Trayone Gray did a nice job. So, I think Gus is going to answer it. He started to answer it this morning. So we'll see how that develops. I really wanted to take Duke out of it today to see those other three guys step up."

Q: Does Joe Yearby's weight concern you?

"No. Who does he remind you of two years ago?"

Q: Does he remind you of that guy (Duke Johnson) two years ago?

"Well, you know, guys can play at that position. It's his running style. He's a spinner, a slasher, low center of gravity. He ran the ball hard between the tackles yesterday. He really did. Proud of him. It was a little bit overwhelming in the beginning. The tempo. He got sick the one night. He's been fighting steadily back. We just go to keep him going."

Q: How is Quan Muhammad?

"He's doing really good. That's a heck of a battle though. That's a good battle. Tyriq McCord, Quan. I thought Trent played really good yesterday when it looked like the other guys were going to jump on him. So, again,  that's the first depth chart. But that's been a fluid position. We're going to keep rotating there."

Q: Do you plan to wait until closer to the game to decide who the starters are for Louisville?

"What we're going to do is get it down to two at some positions and then we'll carry a third. At wide out you'll have a third guy because you use more wideouts. There will definitely be a cutdown day on that Tuesday. It's not going to be -- if I can liken it to the NFL roster -- not the final cut, but the one before that. It's like we're cutting it down and work with these guys, keep developing everybody else and get these guys the reps."

Q: Will you cut down the depth chart and announce starters the week of the game?

"No. Tuesday. Then there's here's our depth when the week is over."

Q: What has Trent Harris done to get in the mix?

"He doesn't make any mistakes. He's a hustler. He's tough. And there's something to be said. Like I always say this to offensive coaches -- offensive linemen that are smart and cover guys up and have a guy like Duke running behind them, that's half the battle. Trent's the same way on defense. If he's supposed to box the play he knows how to box it. If he's supposed to kick it to the will linebacker outside him he knows how to kick it. His pass rush is good. He's gained weight since the spring. Like a lot of the freshmen who came in midyear we're not looking at them as freshmen. He's done a good job. He really has."

Q: How close was Michael Wyche to making the depth chart?

"He's still got a long way to go from a conditioning standpoint. He got a little behind this summer. He had an achilles heel long before he even got to camp. That put him behind a little bit. The other guys were ahead of him physically from a conditioning standpoint. He made some really good plays. He just has to be able to do it for multiple series."

Q: Artie Burns limped off the field at practice. What is his status?

"They got him booted right now. But he'll be fine. Might it take another day? I don't know. We'll see. Hopefully he'll be out there in the morning. The rest today might have helped him. He got a lot of treatment. We'll see what he looks like in the morning."

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