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Saturday report: Kaaya/Heaps share 1st-team reps; several players take rest, help teammates

Thank you to David Furones, the Miami Herald correspondent who covered UM practice today. Here are his observations. Story coming later.

By David Furones 

The UM football team returned to Greentree Practice Fields Saturday morning for another fall camp two-a-day. The morning session went for a relatively calm hour and a half — with offensive line coach Art Kehoe even scowling at big linemen for walking instead of jogging between drills — before intensity ramped up in 11-on-11 goal line drills to wrap up practice.

Defensive tackle Corey King was seen in a red jersey and wearing a boot on his right foot at Sunday’s practice.

“I don't think it's too bad because there was a chance he could go today," head coach Al Golden said.

Linebacker Raphael Kirby (undisclosed) and cornerback Artie Burns (right foot/ankle) were in yellow jerseys after wearing red on Friday.

“I think they’re progressing,” Golden said.

Golden gave several key Canes a non-injury day off on Saturday, allowing them to act as player-coaches during practice. Duke Johnson, Denzel Perryman, Anthony Chickillo, Shane McDermott, Ereck Flowers, Malcolm Lewis and Braxton Berrios all watched on out of uniform and with whistles. Golden said he wanted to find out which players would step up with that group missing.

“If somebody goes down in the first quarter against Louisville, I don’t want to see that look that night. I want to see that look this morning,” Golden said. “All the guys that got pressed into action this morning and saw that that guy was not going to be playing, that’s the effect of it.

“We’re looking for that guy to say, ‘I’m ready. I’m prepared. My turn to step up.’ We’ll evaluate them like that. Braxton and Malcolm notwithstanding — although they are leaders — all the other guys are leaders, so I wanted to see who would replace the leaders.”

Who stepped up?

Golden listed Chad Thomas, Dallas Crawford and Clive Walford.

Overheard during drills, Golden said to Crawford, "Same guy every day, Dallas. I love it. I know you're hurting."

Rashawn Scott (shoulder/clavicle) watched practice with his right arm in a sling.

Brad Kaaya and Jake Heaps split first-team reps Saturday morning after Kaaya ran mostly with the ones on Thursday and Heaps on Friday. 

Gus Edwards ran in three touchdowns in goal-line drills that wrapped up Saturday’s practice after the defense stopped the offense on the first two reps. Two were in between the tackles and

“I wasn’t pleased with him early on today, but then he ran with more of a purpose,” Golden said. “Clearly that competition [with Joe Yearby for the No. 2 spot behind Johnson at running back] is escalating fast. I think Gus answered in the second half of practice.”

Thomas had a non-contact sack of Kaaya off play action on the first play of goal line.

Freshman linebacker Darrion Owens forced a fumble on Tyre Brady in earlier 11-on-11 action.

Following the afternoon session of Saturday’s two-a-day, the team has a day off on Sunday before the second scrimmage of the spring on Monday, another off day on Tuesday and returns to practice Wednesday.