August 30, 2014

UM finally says QB Kevin Olsen suspended for Louisville -- and some "extremity" information.

The Hurricanes sent reporters this email a little bit ago:

Good morning,

Here is the University of Miami football injury report heading into Monday’s game against the University of Louisville.

Out:

Rashawn Scott - Upper Extremity 

NOTE FROM SMD: Translation: shoulder/clavicle.

-----

ADDITIONAL NOTE:

Kevin Olsen – Suspended for Violation of Team Standards.

NOTE FROM SMD: We've known this for several weeks now, but I'm glad UM finally announced it. The "Team Standards'' part is a new phrase. Also, we reported that this suspension is for "at least'' one game. The next couple of games (Florida A&M and Arkansas State) are at home and should be a lot easier, before the Canes travel for Sept. 20 game at Nebraska.

 Also, I find it curious that quarterback Ryan Williams is not on the injury report. I know he's traveling, and I guess he'll dress out, but wouldn't they say he's "Out?'' if he absolutely, positively could not see any action. At this point I have no idea. I do not think Ryan Williams will play, or is ready to play. 

 Coach Al Golden told us yesterday that Ryan was going "for leadership, and he knows the offense better than anybody so he’s good to have on gameday.''

 And we had this conversation with Ryan earlier in the week, when a reporter asked him if any games were ruled out by the doctors. 

Williams: “I mean, I tried my hardest to be ready for this game. I guess it wasn’t physically possible. I’m just going to take it week by week and when I can come back, I will.”

No specific date then?

Williams: “No specific date, no.”

Stay tuned.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

The freshman QB experience and where Brad Kaaya fits into college football and UM history

ATLANTA -- The average college football fan hears the term "freshman starting quarterback" and hardly flinches anymore.

After all, look at what Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston did in their first years under center. They  won the Heisman, and Winston led Florida State to the national title in January.

But lumping every freshman starting quarterback into the same category is a mistake. And that certainly applies for University of Miami freshman Brad Kaaya, who will make his debut Monday night at Louisville and join Jacory Harris (2008) as the only the true freshmen over the last 35 years to start the season opener for the Hurricanes.

Ken Dorsey didn't do it (he started the last three regular season games as a true freshman). Jim Kelly didn't do it (he made his first career start in the eighth game of the season at Penn State). And Bernie Kosar didn't do it. He, like Winston and Manziel, had the benefit of a redshirt season to learn Miami's offense before leading UM to its first national title in 1983.

Kaaya obviously won't have a year of apprenticeship under his belt. And unlike a bunch of other true freshmen who have found their way under center recently throughout college football, Kaaya doesn't even have the added experience of having enrolled early and participated in spring football.

He's only been at UM since the end of May when the first session of summer classes began in Coral Gables.

Over the last five years, a total of 34 true freshmen have started a game and attempted at least 100 passes for a school in a major conference (FootballStudyHall.com did the research from 2008-2012 and I looked up last year's numbers). Of that group, only nine started the season opener. The majority of those true freshmen enrolled in college early including two of the three who did it last year -- former Texas Tech walk-on Baker Mayfield (who has since transferred to Oklahoma) and Cal's Jared Goff.

Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, who started all 12 games for the Nittany Lions last year as a true freshman and went 7-5 as a starter before being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, enrolled in college in late June. He might be the only example of someone who got into school later than Kaaya and started right away.

While Winston, Manziel, Stanford's Andrew Luck, Boise State's Kellen Moore, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Georgia's Aaron Murray, UCLA's Brett Hundley and Oregon's Marcus Mariota all had tremendous success as redshirt freshmen, most true freshmen have endured growing pains.

The good news for Kaaya -- and Miami fans -- there is some history of true freshmen having success.

Back in 1985, Jamelle Holieway became the first and only true freshman quarterback to lead his team to a national title after being pressed into duty when Troy Aikman was lost for the season in a 27-14 loss to the Hurricanes in Norman.

More recent examples include:

> Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor took over as the starter three games into the 2008 season and went 8-2, completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 1,942 yards and 18 touchdowns. He finished with a quarterback rating of 145.6. Pryor was not an early enrollee.

> Baylor's Robert Griffin III enrolled early in college and put up a quarterback rating of 142.0 after coming off the bench four drives into his first season and taking the starting job from there. Baylor went 4-7 with Griffin, who threw for 2,394 yards and 28 touchdowns and eventually went on to win the Heisman a couple years later.

> USC's Matt Barkley led a top five-ranked team in 2009 from the start to a 9-3 record. He completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns and 2,697 yards finishing with a QB rating of 131.3. Barkley was an early enrollee. 

> Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater started the final 10 games of his true freshman season and went 5-5, completing 64.5 percent of his passes for 2,129 yards, 14 TDs and 12 picks. Bridgewater was an early enrollee.

> In 2009, Rutgers' Tom Savage started 11 games and went 8-3, completing 52.3 percent of his passes for 2,106 yards and 15 touchdowns. Savage was an early enrollee.

> And just this past year, Texas Tech started a pair of true freshman -- Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb -- and went 8-5. Both were early enrollees. 

> Houston's John O'Korn, a former St. Thomas Aquinas standout, meanwhile, took over as a starter three games into the 2013 season and went 6-5. He was the named the American Athletic Conference's Rookie of the Year after setting the Houston freshman record for touchdowns (28) and completions (259). O'Korn was a summer enrollee.

Something else for Kaaya can lean on aside from history: his backups.

Seniors Jake Heaps and Ryan Williams both started as true freshman for BYU and Memphis, respectively. Heaps became the starter the fourth game of the season and went 6-4. Williams became the starter the third game of the season and went 1-9.

What has coach Al Golden told Kaaya to do with all the hype surrounding his start opening night?

"Just keep ignoring, keep blocking it all out," Golden said. "I think he's mature in that sense. He'll do it. Again, expectations are just like what they sound -- external.

"He's playing to a standard right now and not really worried about anybody's expectations. He competed everyday for the starting job. He won it outright. I think that's all he's worried about it -- performing and taking care of all the little things as we get closer to the game. We need the whole offense to rally around him and keep him poised, keep him relaxed and not worry about the outside."

August 29, 2014

Which QBs are making the trip to Louisville? Al Golden's last pregame chat.

Just spoke to Hurricanes coach Al Golden before the Canes close up shop (at least from the media) and get ready to head to Louisville for the big game at 8 p.m. Monday.

What you need to know:

*** The four quarterbacks making the trip are starter Brad Kaaya, backup Jake Heaps, Ryan Williams and true freshman Malik Rosier. "

   Golden said Williams, still recuperating from a torn ACL sustained in early April, is traveling "as a captain and leader, that kind of role,'' Golden said. "...Ryan is there for leadership and he knows the offense better than anybody so he’s good to have on gameday."

*** The freshmen playing special teams will include Trayone Gray for starters, and "Oh, my goodness, there’s a whole bunch of them --[Ryan] Mayes for sure, Darrion Owens, Juwon Young -- God, there are so many.''

  Golden was then asked if Tyre Brady would play special teams? "They’re on the depth, whether or not that actually unfolds on game day…  Brady’s ready, [Darrell] Langham’s ready.. right now they’re all traveling. we’ll evaluate all that tonight, select the final traveling squad, kind of set the depth and go from there."

  ***Walter Tucker will get in the game at fullback and on special teams, and maybe on defense.

    Golden: "The order for him will be fullback, special teams and then defense. He’ll definitely see action on offense and special teams and he’s close on defense. That selection is going to be made here, to be honest with you based on how he and Juwon performed and then who won the special teams jobs. That’s how we’ll work that."

 *** Golden is still not revealing the starters at right tackle, cornerback and safety.

  On right tackle -- "[Jon] Feliciano can play out there, [Taylor] Gadbois can play out there, [Trevor] Darling can play out there and [Kc] McDermott can play out there. We’re going to keep rotating all those guys out there. There will be probably two in the game at that position.''

    And safety? "That will be determined out here. It would be silly of me to sit here and select it right now without making sure I go back and evaluate the tape and give everybody a fair opportunity."

   How did Gadbois look?  "Taylor looked much better. There’s really good competition there. Nobody can relax. I thought [right guard] Danny Isidora has had a good week. Obviously the center [Shane McDermott] and left guard [Feliciano] and left tackle [Ereck Flowers] have been really experienced veterans for us. I think all the guys contributing at right tackle are doing well, it’s just hard to figure out who’s the starter and who’s going to come in next."

  *** Kicker Matt Goudis was never in the punting competition because of his back ailment earlier in the summer, but Justin Vogel earned the kickoff spot because he's been better in practice.

    "We pulled him back from punting because of that,'' Golden said of Goudis. "And to be honest with you, Vogel has been doing better at kickoffs right now. He’s healthy now. There was some weakness. I expect him to be ready to go game day. Everybody is behind Vogel right now at kickoffs."

   ***Nantambu Fentress, as defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said recently, is playing safety now and special teams. 

 *** Receiver Rashawn Scott (shoulder/clavicle) went to the doctor recently, but Golden gave very few specifics on his recovery status.

   "He’s doing good,'' the coach said. "I don’t know what his recovery. I know he just met with the doctor and they said he’s recovering well. What that means I don’t know. So it would be crazy for me to comment on it."

  That's it, folks. Have a happy weekend enjoying all that football. Can't believe it's back!

   The Hurricanes are now officially in hibernation until Louisville.

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN   

August 28, 2014

Canes notes: Vogel wins punting job, will handle kickoffs too; Chickillo talks Louisville rematch (video)

Al Golden (COMPLETE AUDIO OF GOLDEN'S PRESS CONFERENCE THURSDAY) wasn't ready to reveal a final depth chart or tell us who has won the remaining position battles up for grabs (secondary, right tackle), but we did learn Thursday at least who will be handling kickoffs and punts.

Walk-on sophomore Justin Vogel, a transfer from Florida, said Golden informed him a couple days ago he'll be handling punts at Louisville Monday night. Vogel said he also climbed to the top of the depth chart -- the one only players and coaches have had a chance to see -- on kickoffs.

"I've always been No. 2 on kickoffs, but I had a really good day on Tuesday," Vogel said. "I had always been hitting them here and there. But then we did our game plan, scheme and I just hit a couple of really good kicks. Coach [Golden] was like do it again the next day. So I replicated it again. That moved me up to first team."

Freshman walk-on Michael Badgley is backing Vogel up on kickoffs. Redshirt senior Ricky Carroll is behind Vogel on punts.

"They judge all of it," Vogel said of the competition for the kicking jobs. "First off [on punts] they want to make sure the operations aren't slow. No matter how good your kick is if the operation is bad you're kick is getting blocked. So it has to be off under in under two seconds. Coach Golden wants is 43 yards, 4.3-second hang [time]. I've been averaging around that. I've kicked better than that too."

GOLDEN TALKS TEAM

> So what is happening with some of the remaining position battles yet to be determined?

"We're still going," Golden said. "For some of them it's too early to call. I like our depth at a lot of positions. Obviously some of them are settled like Denzel [Perryman] and Chick [Anthony Chickillo]. But if you look at the back four, the secondary, those guys are fighting. Thurston [Armbrister] has had a good camp, [Raphael] Kirby seems to be back now from his ailment. On the other side [Taylor] Gadbois and KC [McDermott] and Trevor (Darling) are all still in the mix at tackle. We'll see more of [Chris] Herndon and Jake O'Donnell now and Ron Regula as a third or fourth tight end. The tailbacks are the same as all camp and Brad [Kaaya]. We'll probably play six or seven wide receivers as well."

> Golden yet again reiterated that sophomore defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad will play in Monday's opener. Muhammad was back at practice Thursday morning after missing Tuesday's practice to deal with what Golden referred to as a personal issue.

> Golden said the only freshman who will be counted on in a major role is quarterback Brad Kaaya

"The last few years we were counting on so many young guys before they had the opportunity to learn the system or ready to go. We're playing a lot of young guys but they're not in significant roles, they don't have to shoulder the burden," Golden said. "Obviously Brad is the one outlier in this instance. The good news with Brad is he has a veteran line in front of him, a nice complement of veteran guys."

Asked if there is plan to play senior transfer Jake Heaps, Golden said: "No."

Asked if Kaaya struggles if Heaps would replace him, Golden said: "No. He's our quarterback. He's going to do great, execute really well, has been doing really well. Brad's worked really hard over the last 16 weeks, has earned this job and that's it. There were no qualifiers here ever. He's the exception this year in terms of a freshman that has to start."

What is it about Kaaya that gives Golden so much confidence in him? "I don't know," he said. "All I can say is really sharp. First of all not many mechanical flaws. And then the young man went and lost 20 pounds so you weren't dealing with mechanics and something physiological in terms of condition. And whatever he learned via videotape or book transferred to the field spatially, conceptually. Plus a young man who's a great example for everyone else. He gave up a lot socially, a lot of his time to continue to work hard, ask the right questions, fix his flaws. He has a long way to go as a quarterback, as we all do, but he really worked hard mentally and physically to put himself in this position."

Did Golden think Kaaya would start from Day 1? "No," he said. "We thought he'd compete, but we took a lot of roads since April 4 [the day Ryan Williams tore his ACL] to get to this point. I sleep well at night knowing we have two guys we can run at quarterback right now without Ryan being in the mix yet."

> On Wednesday night Miami landed a commitment from Kaaya's former high school teammate, four-star offensive tackle Bar Milo. Golden was asked how having a kid like Kaaya helps UM's recruiting efforts.

"Your greatest recruiters are the young men that are in your program because they're the ones that know how you treat them every day, what the values are," Golden said. "When you start getting that endorsement, the testimony they give to the local kids, that gives a lot more weight than any feedback a coach has in a recruiting setting. It's good. We're seeing more of that. Guys are proud of what we're building at the University of Miami. It's exciting for us."

VIDEO INTERVIEWS

> I was able to catch up with Vogel and defensive end Anthony Chickillo and record their interviews on video.

Chickillo talked a lot about facing Louisville's offensive line which returns four starts, game planning for new coach Bobby Petrino's offense and what it's going to be like facing a Louisville team that trash talked a whole lot in the bowl game.

August 27, 2014

Another "Welcome to the U:" Kaaya 4-star OT teammate commits

The Brad Kaaya pipeline is paying dividend for the Miami Hurricanes.

West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade four-star offensive tackle Bar Milo – class of 2015 – committed to the University of Miami on Wednesday night.

Kaaya, the true freshman starting quarterback for the Hurricanes, recently graduated from Chaminade.

Milo, 6-6 and 300 pounds, told Rivals.com on Monday that “regardless of where I commit I promised my parents I’d keep my recruitment open and not be fully committed. But where I commit, that’s where I plan on going. I’d just stay open.’’ Milo added that “he’s taking into consideration’’ that his parents don’t want him to go too far from home.

His other finalists were Washington, Nebraska and ArizonaState.

Milo attended ‘U’ Day on an unofficial visit Aug 10. He watched the Canes practice and told 247Sports.com that Kaaya was “fantastic. He only says good things about Miami – how fantastic he’s been treated and how it’s a family atmosphere. He thinks it would be a great fit for me.’’

Milo is ranked the 32nd best offensive tackle by Rivals and the 26th in 247Sports’ composite rankings.

He is the seventh offensive lineman to commit for 2015, a class that now has 23 commits, according to 247Sports. On Tuesday, Under-Armour All-American kicker Andrew Galitz decommitted from Miami and committed to Baylor.

“I have officially decommited from the University of Miami,’’ he posted on Twitter. “I would like to thank the coaching staff for recruiting me.’’

If he follows through and signs with UM, Milo would be the third Hurricane out of West Hills Chaminade. Kicker Matt Goudis also went there.    

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

Hot off the press: ACC announces '15 men's hoops schedule

ACC Announces 2015 Men's Hoops Schedule

 

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami opens it 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference schedule against reigning league champion Virginia on Jan. 3 in Coral Gables, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced today.

 

In the 2014-15 campaign, Miami will host three Atlantic Coast Conference opponents that finished in the Top 25 in 2014, including preseason No. 7 North Carolina (Feb. 28), league newcomer No. 10 Louisville (Feb. 3) and No. 12 Virginia (Jan. 3). The Canes will travel to preseason No. 2 Duke (Jan. 13) and No. 21 Pittsburgh (March 4).

 

“The ACC in my mind is the best basketball conference in the country. Every night you are playing against a Top 20 or Top 10 team in the country,” said Larrañaga. “Whether you are at home or on the road, you had better be at your best, or you will be defeated.”

 

Miami will play eight games on the ESPN body of networks (ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU), one game on CBS, three on the ACC Network and six will be aired on the ACC’s regional sports network (RSN), which consists Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Florida, Sun Sports, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Midwest, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, NESN, YES Network, MSG Network and ROOT Sports.

 

“We have such a demanding non-conference schedule because of the number of games we are going to play in such a short period of time. We are going to find out right away how well prepared we are for the ACC,” added Larrañaga. “This is going to be a very challenging team with nine new players. They are going to be asked to bond and play well together very very quickly. That’s why the trip to Spain was so important to us.”

 

The Canes start the conference season with two at home and two on the road, as UM hosts Virginia Jan. 3 on ESPN 2 and Boston College (Jan. 10), then hits the road for a pair of ESPN or ESPN2 televised matchups against Duke (Jan. 13) and Notre Dame (Jan. 17). Following a home outing against NC State on Jan. 22, Miami travels to Syracuse, N.Y. to face the Orange on Jan. 24, a game that will be on ESPN or ESPN2. Miami wraps up the month with a home matchup with Georgia Tech on Jan. 28.

 

The Canes play nine games in February, five of which are at the BankUnited Center. UM opens the second month at Florida State on Feb. 1, then is in Coral Gables Feb. 3 and Feb. 8 to face Louisville and Clemson, respectively. Miami’s next three of four games are on the road as the Canes go to Wake Forest (Feb. 11) and Boston College (Feb. 15), are home for Virginia Tech (Feb. 18), then travel to Louisville Feb. 21, for an ESPN or ESPN2 game. The Canes conclude the home portion of the schedule with home matchups against Florida State (Feb. 25) and North Carolina (Feb. 28).

 

Miami’s two games in March are on the road, as the Canes play at Pittsburgh (March 4) and at Virginia Tech (March 7).

 

The ACC Tournament will be held at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum March 10-14.

 

In 2015-16, Miami will play home and away against Virginia, Florida State, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech and will host Duke, Louisville, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. UM will play on the road against North Carolina, NC State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Boston College that season.

 

The 2014-15 season will be the first year of a 12-year schedule rotation during which teams that are not partners play five years at home only, five years on the road only, and two years both home and road. The past two conference schedules were “one-offs” due to an increase from 16 to 18 conference games and conference expansion, respectively.

 

This season will mark the third in which each ACC team will play an 18-game conference schedule. With Louisville joining the ACC on July 1, nine of the conference’s 15 teams will enter next season having made postseason appearances in 2013-14, including seven teams that took part in NCAA Tournament play this past year.

 

The ACC’s collective non-losing streak in the NCAA Tournament reached 27 years in 2013-14, by far the longest stretch in the nation. The ACC has had at least one team ranked among the Top 10 of the final Associated Press poll for 54 consecutive years.

 

For the latest information on the Miami Hurricanes, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @CanesHoops. For the most accurate and up to date information delivered to your phone, download the official Miami Hurricanes app for your Droid or iPhone.

 

Date

Opponent

Location

TV

Time

Nov. 6

Eckerd College (exhibition)

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 14

Howard

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 17

at Florida

Gainesville, Fla.

ESPNU

7 p.m.

ESPN Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)

Nov. 20

Drexel

Charleston, S.C.

ESPNU

3 p.m.

Nov. 21

Akron/Southern Cal

Charleston, S.C.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 23

Penn State/South Carolina/Cornell/Charlotte

Charleston, S.C.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 25

at Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 28

South Alabama

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Dec. 2

Illinois

Coral Gables, Fla.

ESPN2/U

9 p.m.

Dec. 6

UW-Green Bay

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Dec. 8

Savannah State

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Dec. 19

Eastern Kentucky

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Dec. 22

vs. Providence  (at Barclays Center, N.Y.)

Barclay’s Center

TBA

TBA

Dec. 30

College of Charleston

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Jan. 3

Virginia

Coral Gables, Fla.

ESPN2

2/4:30 p.m.

Jan. 10

Boston College

Coral Gables, Fla.

RSN

4 p.m.

Jan. 13

at Duke

Durham, N.C.

ESPNU

9 p.m.

Jan. 17

at Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Ind.

ESPN/2

2 p.m.

Jan. 22

NC State

Coral Gables, Fla.

ACCN

8 p.m.

Jan. 24

at Syracuse

Syracuse, N.Y.

ESPN/2

4 p.m.

Jan. 28

Georgia Tech

Coral Gables, Fla.

RSN

9 p.m.

Feb. 1

at Florida State

Tallahassee, Fla.

ESPNU

12:30 p.m.

Feb. 3

Louisville

Coral Gables, Fla.

ACCN

8 p.m.

Feb. 8

Clemson

Coral Gables, Fla.

ESPNU

6:30 p.m.

Feb. 11

at Wake Forest

Winston-Salem, N.C.

RSN

7 p.m.

Feb. 15

at Boston College

Chestnut Hill, Mass.

ESPNU

6:30 p.m.

Feb. 18

Virginia Tech

Coral Gables, Fla.

RSN

7 p.m.

Feb. 21

at Louisville

Louisville, K.Y.

ESPN/2

2 p.m.

Feb. 25

Florida State

Coral Gables, Fla.

RSN

9 p.m.

Feb. 28

North Carolina

Coral Gables, Fla.

CBS

2 p.m.

March 4

at Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pa.

RSN

8 p.m.

March 7

at Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Va.

RSN

Noon

ACC Tournament, Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum

March 10

First Round

 

 

 

March 11

Second Round

 

 

 

March 12

Quarterfinals

 

 

 

March 13

Semifinals

 

 

 

March 14

Finals

 

 

 

 

 

-www.HurricaneSports.com-

 

Al Golden just spoke on ACC Coaches' Teleconference. Here he is...

You guys have two prime-time games in first 20 games of season. In recruiting how much do you still talk about Miami being a national brand and obviously somebody that is still attracted to networks?

GOLDEN:  “From our recruiting realm, young people understand that and the high school communities around the countries understand that. That’s one of the reasons that we can still attract nationally, but yet at the same time make sure we’re paying close attention regionally and locally for sure. In terms of our guys on the team, they’re just focused on this week and worrying about Louisville. The rest of it will take care of itself.’’

 How is Duke Johnson doing? Is he ready for Louisville?

 GOLDEN: “Duke has been doing good. He’s had a great recovery. There are no signs of fatigue or anything. He’s much stronger. He’s retained his quickness, he’s posted his fastest 40 since he’s been here back in July. Duke is ready to go.”

 NOTE: Golden also talked about Brad Kaaya being the starter and all the veterans he has around him.

 Al, a couple of your players have told the media down there they felt disrespected by the way Louisville played the second half of the game, maybe thinking they ran up the score. Do you find any sense of extra motivation from players given what happened at the bowl game?

 GOLDEN: “No, not at all. Louisville played really well. They had an exceptional team. They only lost a couple times in two years. That was a great team [that] played really well. But no, in terms of our program and their program, this is a different team for both and clearly we have to take care of our business, not worry about anybody else’s.”

 When Golden was asked about what it was about Kaaya’s play since beginning of August that made him decide to go with him as his quarterback, he said, “His completion percentage was excellent. He did a great job at the line of scrimmage. That’s probably where we got the most confidence from him, just his overall depth and understanding of what we were trying to get done and his ability to get us in the right play at the line of scrimmage. Without that, it would be hard to name him the starter. But he certainly demonstrated to us all training camp that it certainly wasn’t going to big for him and we’re excited for him.’’

 From what you’ve seen of Petrino offenses in the past on film, what is it about that Petrino system that makes them traditionally so prolific with him as the coach?

 GOLDEN: “He does a great job, no question about it, with multiple formations and tempo, high completion percentage and probably what goes under the radar the ability to run the football in addition – a two headed monster if you will. Those are things we have to adjust to and be prepared for going into this game.’’

 The defense this year has looked really good this year in camp, despite having a few younger players. What are your expectations of the defense and how good can the unit be this year?

 GOLDEN:  “That’s the challenge we have to answer. We can talk about it all we want, but at the end of the day there’s a great challenge. I thought they improved in the spring, I thought they started to play together a lot more. I thought there was more harmony. I think our tackling was better. At the end of the day, it’s going to be about going out there and proving it and what better opportunity [than] to go against a prolific offense that Louisville has.’’

 Any plan for which players on the right side of the offensive line will start and what rotation will be used?

 GOLDEN: “Danny Isidora, a young man who played for us [at right guard] last year, he’s been the starter since spring there. That hasn’t changed. And then Taylor Gadbois, Kc McDermott, Trevor Darling, all of those guys have seen action at right tackle and we’ll let that play out this week to see who the starter is.’’

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

August 26, 2014

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino talks injuries, Canes, Kaaya, Duke and more

Louisville's pre-game press conference took place Tuesday afternoon and he are several topics coach Bobby Petrino touched on related to the Hurricanes before Monday night's opener.

> Louisville's best receiver DeVante Parker, injured in practice last Friday, will miss Monday's game after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot. Parker is expected to miss six to eight weeks. 

“He’s a tremendous player, and what we just have do is guys have to step up and perform. I think we’re fortunate in the situation we’re in that we have a lot of experienced players. We’ve got Eli Rogers, we’ve got Michaelee [Harris], we’ve got Kai De La Cruz, Matt Milton, James Quick, guys that have played in games and made plays. And certainly they’re all going to have to contribute, we’re going to have to rely on our tight ends and running backs, so you’re never going to replace a guy like DeVante with just one guy. You’ve got to do it collectively with all the weapons that we have stepping up and making more plays.”

Will the injury to Parker restrict Louisville's offense?

"It’ll change things around. I don’t know if restriction is the right word. Certainly when you miss a guy like that, we’re going to be a little bit different. Like I said, we’re not going to have one guy step in and say “OK, you’re now DeVante.” We’ve got to be able to utilize the weapons that we have, the things they do well, mix the ball around, get guys in a position where they can make plays.”

> The health and availability of running back Michael Dyer (bruised quadriceps) remains in question. “Michael has not progressed as well and we had th0ught he would initially. He still has some swelling in there, he’s not been able to get back out on the field yet. I think here, today, tomorrow are big days to see if he’ll be available for the game. He has made progress and he has gotten better, particularly the last part of the week last week, but we’re yet to see if he’ll be available for the game.”

> Petrino said he and his coaching staff have gathered plenty of film on freshman starting quarterback Brad Kaaya.

“We’ve got his high school film," Petrino said. "We studied his high school film. He’s a big guy, he makes a lot of good throws, he looks like a guy that gets the ball out of his hand quick, has a quick release. In the video that we watched, he’s not like a run-around guy and he’s more of a pocket passer. But he was impressive in his high school video.”

> Louisville didn't face Duke Johnson in last year's 36-9 blowout win over Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl. They will this time.

“He’s a really good player,"  He’s somebody that we have to contain. We’ve got to do a good job of setting edges with our outside linebackers and defensive ends. Our safeties are going to have a to do a good job coming downhill and tackling, and we’ve got to get 11 guys to the ball. I think that’s the biggest thing when you watch him is that we’re going to have to run full speed to the ball because he’s a guy that can take it the distance.”

> Would Petrino rather be coaching the losing team in a bowl game rematch?

“No I would rather be coaching the team I’m coaching right now. And I wasn’t part of that either," he said. "I think that’s the thing that we’ve tried to make sure our players understand. They’re two completely different teams. We have a different offense, different defense, they have a different quarterback. They do have the same defensive coordinator and some of the same guys back on defense. But it’s totally two different teams, and it’s going to be a battle. We have to go out there and perform well, play with great intensity and try to find a way to win the game in the fourth quarter.”

Canes DE Quan Muhammad misses practice Tuesday to deal with personal issue, Golden said

Sophomore defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, expected to be one of the team's top pass rushers this coming season, was noticeably absent from Tuesday's Hurricanes practice.

But there is no reason for fans to be alarmed. Apparently, it wasn't unexcused.

"He's got something on campus he's dealing with right now. It's personal in nature," Golden said. "We'll have him back here by [pause] he's probably in class right now."

Will Muhammad play in the opener? "Absolutely," Golden said. 

MORE NEWS AND NOTES FROM TUESDAY

> Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Olsen (6-3, 200) was out there in a scout team jersey. So, no, he hasn't transferred.

> A total 15 players on offense were wearing orange jerseys (designated for starters): tight ends Standish Dobard and Clive Walford, running backs Gus Edwards and Duke Johnson, fullback Ronald Regula, receivers Malcolm Lewis, Phillip Dorsett and Stacy Coley and offensive linemen Kc McDermott, Shane McDermott, Jon Feliciano, Trevor Darling, Ereck Flowers, Danny Isidora and Taylor Gadbois

> A total of seven players on defense were wearing black jerseys (designated for starters): Cornerbacks Corn Elder and Ladarius Gunter, safeties Nantambu Fentress and Dallas Crawford, defensive linemen Olsen Pierre and Anthony Chickillo and linebacker Denzel Perryman.

> Junior defensive tackle Corey King remained in a yellow non-contact jersey. He was in one Monday, too.

> Gadbois, competing for the starting right tackle job with freshman Kc McDermott, said he took all the first team reps Tuesday with McDermott backing him up. It was the first time this week Gadbois said he took all the reps. McDermott and him had been splitting the reps.

"I assume the battle never stops," Gadbois said. "I'm just going to keep pushing forward with what I've got to do. I took all the reps with the ones and he took the reps with the twos [Tuesday]. Whatever. Coach's call. But like I said when we go to Louisville I'll be the starter."

> The cornerback position continues to be a hot battle.

Corn Elder said he continues to get most of the reps at field corner with Tracy Howard working in with him. At the boundary corner, it's Ladarius Gunter leading the way with Artie Burns getting some reps. 

"I think a lot of guys are getting used to competing and not worrying about the end result," Golden said. "They're just trying to get better. Obviously our team will get better if we keep doing that. We have a group there -- certainly five -- we'll rotate into the game and a lot of guys fighting for that nickel spot too."

> Quarterback Ryan Williams will travel with UM to Louisville, but won't play. Williams, who said his surgically repaired right knee was about 85 percent on Monday, has not been cleared for contact, Golden said, but "he's cleared to progress what he's confident with." 

"To say he's ready for middle dog blitz at him or the ability to step up with somebody coming at him those are all things that have to be determined by the doctor no question about it," Golden said. "He's making progress. We're pleased with how he's progressing. But at the end of the day it's going to be a medical decision and a decision Ryan has to make in conjunction with the medical staff, training staff and his family."

August 25, 2014

Backups Williams, Heaps talk and more notes from Canes practice

A day after it was announced true freshman Brad Kaaya had been named Miami's starting quarterback, the guys backing him up -- seniors Ryan Williams and Jake Heaps -- talked about the situation.

> Asked if Kaaya was keeping his seat warm, Williams smirked and said: "I mean, they couldn’t sit around and wait for me, I guess. I’m hurt. I didn’t think I was going to play Week 1. Didn’t really expect to. The recovery’s been a long time, but it’s still been faster than a lot of people. They had to move on. They couldn’t wait around and see if I could play or not. Glad for Brad. He had a great camp. I think he’s very smart. I think he can get the job done.”

Williams, who started as a true freshman for Memphis back in 2010 and lost 56-0 at Louisville during a 1-11 season, will be making the road trip with the Canes next week even though he won't be physically ready to play. Coach Al Golden said he's taking Williams because he wants his leadership there.

With redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen suspended for at least the opener, freshman Malik Rosier will also probably be making the trip, Golden said, as the team's third quarterback behind Heaps.

“It’s a big confidence-booster," Williams said of being on the travel roster. "Just means that I’m there to help my team regardless of the situation. Even though I can’t play, I’ll still be there to talk with Brad on the sideline and the other players on the sideline regardless of what happens.

“I did a lot of that last year. Me and Stephen would talk about everything, every drive, every play, really. So I don’t expect any different this year.” 

> Williams said his surgically repaired right knee is about 85 percent. In camp, Williams participated in 7-on-7 work and "did a little bit of team stuff one day," but he still hasn't been into full-speed reps very much.

Williams said he is "just trying to get moving on it and throwing on the run and getting the cutting down and all that stuff” and hopes to get into more team drills soon. But there is no timetable for a return. 

> Heaps, who transferred in from Kansas with the hopes of being Miami's starting quarterback when Williams went down in April, said Monday he's not considering transferring after losing out to Kaaya. 

"I'm happy to be here," Heaps said. "I don't have regrets being here. This is a great opportunity and we'll just see what happens the rest of the season. All we know is we're getting ready for game one and we're excited for it.

"For me, it's just about keeping my head up,  just continuing to work hard and practice hard and be a team guy. When my team needs me I'll be ready. That's all I can do at this point."

Heaps missed UM's second scrimmage with what Golden said was elbow soreness. But it appears it was a little more than soreness. Williams called what happened to Heaps "an unfortunate accident in practice."

Still, neither backup quarterback said they felt Heaps missing the scrimmage factored into Kaaya winning the starting job.

"It wasn’t like my arm got tired or anything like that," Heaps said. "I won’t really get into the details of it, but it was something that I just needed to have some time to recover from.

"So I don't think [that was a factor]. I think it was over a period of camp and a full evaluation. I don't think one day makes or breaks you. But me not being out there, I would have loved to be out there with my team and be in the game situation and compete out there. It would have been better than not being out, but I don't think it was the deciding factor."

Said Williams: "I didn’t think it really hurt his chances. Brad had a great camp, it wasn’t like he was given it for no reason.”

MORE NEWS AND NOTES

> Golden said sophomore walk-on Justin Vogel, a transfer from Florida, had a really good day punting Monday. It appears safe to say he's leading in the race for the job over senior Ricky Carroll. Vogel apparently is also impressing on kickoffs.

"It comes at a good time," Golden said "Tomorrow is a big special teams day."

> Six players on the offensive line -- including sophomore Taylor Gadbois -- were wearing orange starter jerseys Monday, and Golden said he isn't sure who is going to be in the starting five. 

"But I feel like we have a rotation now," Golden said. "Kc [McDermott] is making progress. Alex Gall is making progress. Trevor Darling. We're definitely in a better position than we were at the beginning of camp and certainly coming out spring ball. 

Golden said a lot of jobs will remain up for grabs all the way up until Saturday's practice. 

"A lot of those jobs -- it's all the game within the game," Golden said. "You guys maybe don't see the guy coming in on short yardage and one guy leaving. Well that job is up for grabs. Goalline that job is up from grabs. On the nickel those jobs are up for grabs. Those are all different jobs on defense. Offense the same thing. 21, 12, 11, 10 personnel. Empty package. Those are all up for grabs. We have a long way to go -- five more practices -- before that."

> Tight end Clive Walford said the veterans in UM's offense are all pushing to make Kaaya feel more comfortable in the huddle. 

"He's still kind of young," Walford said. "We're all trying to teach him when he calls a play in the huddle to make sure everybody knows the play, and before he snaps the ball to make sure everybody is set and the guys in motion are in motion. We're trying to stay on top of him with that. As soon as he messes up in the huddle the veteran guys correct him."

> Why does cornerback Tracy Howard think Kaaya won the starting job?

"I think it's his pocket presence," Howard said. "He has great footwork in the pocket. He has a natural feel. He does a great job stepping up and avoiding defenders in the pocket. He makes great decisions. You can't beat a guy who makes great decisions. He rarely makes bad decisions. I feel like before he'll throw an interception he'll throw it away. I just feel like he makes great decisions with the ball. He moves the ball down the field. He moves the sticks."

How is Kaaya's arm strength compared to Stephen Morris? "I feel like he's got good strength and he can get the job done. They're starting him for a reason. I feel like his strength is up to par."

Is Howard nervous about starting a true freshman at quarterback opening night? "No. I'm not nervous," Howard said. "I feel like he goes up against a good defense in practice every day. I feel like he handled himself very well. Not saying sometimes we didn't get the best of him. But he goes out there and makes plays. I feel like if he can do it against us he can do it against defense in the country."

> Even though freshman Darrion Owens is wearing a black jersey in practice, defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said nothing is official yet in terms of him getting the starting nod over Thurston Armbrister at strongside linebacker. 

> D'Onofrio said Antonio Crawford, Howard and Corn Elder are the three players competing at nickel corner. "We’ve got some flexibility there as far as the combination there," he said. "Obviously they all play corner as well."

Early morning Monday for Miami Hurricanes

The Miami Hurricanes were already doing their walk-through by 7 a.m. this morning.

Afterward, we got to watch the first 15 minutes of practice. 

It's definitely game-week for the opener a week from tonight at Louisville, but it's also something else today for the Hurricanes: the first day of college classes.

Think Brad Kaaya, the new starting quarterback, has a lot on his mind?

Coach Al Golden was on the Joe Rose show on 560 WQAM this morning, and said he wanted to get a really early start for the kids today so they could have the whole day in front of them to focus on school.

 How much do you think they think about school during the day, vs. football?

 Anyway, you don't have to answer that.

Here's who I saw wearing the orange jerseys, in no particular order, for the offense (orange signifies first-team or the players who most recently performed well): RB Duke Johnson, OT Kc McDermott (he has been playing first-team RT), OG Danny Isidora, RB Gus Edwards, OT Taylor Gadbois, OT Ereck Flowers, WR Malcolm Lewis, FB Ronnie Regula, TE Standish Dobard, TE Clive Walford, WR Stacy Coley, WR Phillip Dorsett, C Shane McDermott, LG Jon Feliciano.

 Here's who I saw wearing the black jerseys, in no particular order, for the defense (black signifies first-team or the players who most recently performed well): DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE Anthony Chickillo, LB Denzel Perryman, LB Raphael Kirby, LB Darrion Owens (Al Golden lauded him today on the radio), S Dallas Crawford, CB Corn Elder, DT Olsen Pierre

  Glad to see S Deon Bush (green jersey, for defensive players who aren't in black) without any type of limited (yellow) jersey on. Deon has had his share of injuries over the past couple seasons and he is a real talent. He just needs to stay healthy.

  Also glad to see Gus the Bus in orange for the second consecutive day. He's a bull, and Canes need him to perform, too.

 A new player who is being added to the roster is Collin Alford, a running back who will wear No. 45. He played for Miami Columbus High (two-time All-Dade selection) and the Fighting Falcons of Fairmont State University in West Virginia (at least in 2011 and 2012), from what I looked up.

 ***TE Beau Sandland is transferring, according to Palm Beach Post, and even though Golden didn't respond to the question, saying he'll address the situation as soon as he talks to Sandland, it appears to be true. Sandland was not at practice this morning. That leaves Clive Walford and Standish Dobard as the go-to tight ends. 

** Kind of felt bad for Jake Heaps this morning. OL coach Art Kehoe was giving him crap for not getting a play off fast enough in very early drills. I like Heaps and I thought he'd be named the starter. But I have to give kudos to Al Golden and James Coley for not going the safe route and choosing the guy they think is ready for the moment.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

 

 

August 24, 2014

Brad Kaaya new starting QB for Miami Hurricanes

A true freshman will lead the way.

Finally, a week and a day before the University of Miami season opener at Louisville on Labor Day night, coach Al Golden named a starting quarterback -- and that quarterback is 18-year-old Brad Kaaya.

"Brad Kaaya will be the starter,'' Golden said, calling the decision "close'' as reporters began immediately posting the news on Twitter. "Jake understands exactly what he needs to do in terms of getting ready and supporting Brad, and Brad knows that the competition is going to continue.

   "We've got a long way to go in terms of the season. There's competition at every position.
   "It was a tight battle. It was a battle that none of us, including you guys, could have foresaw at the end of June or beginning of July or maybe even at the beginning of camp. I'm excited about that position.

   "In Ryan [William's] absence, those two had a great battle. Kevin Olsen really improved, so I'm excited about him. But right now, Brad nudged out Jake and he's our quarterback.''

   Golden said he made the decision this morning and told the media after practice Sunday that Kaaya "nudged out'' graduate transfer Jake Heaps, 23, who played his first two years at BYU, transferred to Kansas and spent the next two years there, and transferred again this summer to Miami.

  Kaaya will not be made available to the media until after the Louisville game, which is the usual policy for freshmen who haven't played  in a game. Heaps and Ryan Williams, who were both requested by media members, however, also were not made available to the media Sunday.

 

    UM offensive coordinator James Coley said the decision had nothing to do with the injury (elbow) that kept Heaps out of the second scrimmage.

  "I thought that Jake did a great job this camp and I just thought that, you know, Kaaya towards the end here really pulled away and started getting really comfortable, and like I've been saying, he's not your regular freshman, right?'' Coley said. "He's not a freshman anymore, he's the starting quarterback at the University.     "He's really embraced it. There's no hiccups.

   "It was tough early coming in. Down maybe the last eight to 10 days you saw him get a lot [more] comfortable out here with the players and with the speed of the game.''

   Kaaya, 6-4 and 206 pounds, is from West Hills, Calif. and was an All-American at West Hills Chaminade College Preporatory.  Kaaya led Chaminade to a 23-3 record as a starter and threw for a school-record 3,855 yards during a state-championship senior season, and has impressed everyone this fall camp.

Heaps, 6-1 and 210 pounds, came out of Skyline High in Sammamish, Wash., as a Parade All-American ranked the nation's No. 1 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com. He completed 219 of 383 passes in all 13 games his freshman season at BYU, good for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns, with nine interceptions, setting nearly every BYU freshman record.

But last season at Kansas he completed only 49 percent of his passes for 1,414 yards, with eight touchdowns and 10 picks.

  Golden said Kaaya "has come along great'' in terms of progressing with his communication skills and being more vocal. "He's really maturing. We're putting him in a tough environment every day in terms of the music [UM blasts at practice]. I think the biggest thing now is to get him to... because we don't have our whole offense in for the opener, he'll improve by leaps and bounds in the next three or four days."

 What was Heap's reaction?

  "They were both very positive,'' Golden said. "I don't want to get too much into the personal stuff in terms of protecting our privacy. But obviously both are really positive guys, they've been great the entire competition and they know it's an ongoing thing. It's all about performance and execution. That's where we are today. Brad is the starter going into the opener and Jake knows he needs to support the starter and get ready to go.''

   What does this mean for Williams, the fifth-year senior who would have been the starter had he not torn his ACL in April?

   "Ryan, as I said all along, that's a medical issue right now,'' Golden said. "When it's not a medical issue anymore and he can do everything that we need our quarterbacks to do,then we'll look at it in every angle and see what's best for our football team. But right now that's not part of the equation. His health right now, his strength, his ability to rehab and return is paramount for him. Once he does that we'll evaluate the situation.''

   Kaaya did not come to UM for spring football, which makes this decision even more impressive.

   "The biggest thing was we saw how much he was devoted to it, how many sacrifices he made, how well he learned and how it translated to the field,'' Golden said. "A guy can be good in the film room or be good out of the book and then it doesn't translate. But it has translated here. We've put him in very tough situations. 

   "We've put him under the gun, his completion percentage is good, he's protected the ball really well, he can articulate the offense, he's very poised. At the end of the day, as I told him, he's our quarterback. He's not a freshman quarterback, he's the University of Miami quarterback.''

   Golden said this is the first time in his career he's starting a true freshman at quarterback.

  And this will be the first time that a true freshman quarterback starts for the Hurricanes in an opener since Jacory Harris was anointed in 2008. Harris' selection was the result of former quarterback Robert Marve being arrested on a misdemeanor charge in Coconut Grove, and thus suspended for the opener.

The 2008 opener was against Division I-AA Charleston Southern, which UM throttled 52-7. 

The Canes finished 7-6 in 2008, with Marve and Harris sharing reps during games.

Louisville, which embarrassed the Hurricanes 36-9 this past December, is in the "others receiving votes'' category in the Associated Press poll -- equal to a ranking of 31, while UM would be ranked 39th in the AP.

UM coach Al Golden said he will not allow Kaaya to speak to the media until after he plays his first game.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

August 22, 2014

New high for Canes' season-ticket sales at Sun Life. Oh, you want FSU tickets? Read this.

   The Hurricanes have sold more than 31,000 season tickets this season – “more than we’ve ever sold since we moved to Sun Life Stadium in 2008,’’ said Chris Freet, UM’s senior associate athletic director for communications, marketing and sales. "We're really pleased, really excited." 

   There are 27,000 seats in the lower Sun Life bowl, and the Canes have sold 95-percent of the seats that aren’t allocated to students (5,500), visiting teams (about 800) and recruits and high school coaches (about 1,500), Freet said.

   The capacity of Sun Life is 75,000, but goes down to 67,000 when the four corners are covered with tarp.

    Last year the Canes sold 29,917 season tickets, Freet said.

   "The impact of the Florida game on the schedule last season was fantastic and we've only played the Gators at home once every 10 years historically,'' Freet said. "This year, with Florida State on the schedule, which comes in every two years, the fact that we're outpacing last year is really, really exciting for us in terms of growing our fan base No. 1 and the impact it will have on revenue for our department.''

FSU TICKETS

   Now, the more pressing issue for Canes fans: single-game tickets to FloridaState on Nov. 15 have already been sold out through the Hurricane Club, Freet said. The only way to still get a ticket to FSU is by buying a “mini-plan’’ that encompasses both the FSU and North Carolina (Nov. 1) games. The least expensive mini-plan is $108.00 for upper-bowl seats.

   The cheapest ticket Friday for the FSU game on StubHub.com was $112.89.

   Freet said the 1,500 tickets UM got for the Sept. 1 Louisville opener have been sold out.

  “What we heard from our fans is that it’s a difficult trip because they’d have to travel back on Tuesday, a work day,’’ he said.

   Freet added that there will be “a much larger group of UM fans at Nebraska’’ on Sept. 20. He did not specify how many seats have been allocated to the Canes.

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 21, 2014

Canes cancel Friday practice, end camp

 

Apparently, the Miami Hurricanes don't need any more stinking training camp.

In an email sent out late Thursday night the University said Friday's practice had been canceled, essentially wrapping up camp. The Hurricanes will instead be off Friday and around to sign autographs Saturday from 4-7 p.m. at CanesFest.

Preparation for Louisville officially begins on Sunday when practice resumes.

 

Canes notebook: Denzel is back in black, Chickillo is refocused and Heurtelou ready to wreak havoc

Fans might be fretting over who gets chosen as Miami's starting quarterback for the season opener at Louisville, but the players hardly seem fazed.

"I'm kind of comfortable with all the quarterbacks," receiver Malcolm Lewis said Thursday. "It doesn't really matter who is throwing ball, just that someone throws the ball."

Lewis said senior transfer Jake Heaps and freshman Brad Kaaya continued to split the first team reps Thursday.

Asked if Heaps' absence in Monday's scrimmage (UM said he was resting his sore elbow) is a sign of something, Lewis responded: "I don't know what goes on in the quarterback room, but they're probably just giving him rest."

> Senior middle linebacker Denzel Perryman wasn't wearing a black starters jersey on Wednesday -- the first day back following Monday's scrimmage. But he was back in one Thursday morning.

"It feels good. I'm not going to lie," Perryman said. "I was in a green jersey Wednesday. That's based on my play in the second scrimmage. I didn't perform as well as I did in the first scrimmage. And, I picked it up in practice [Wednesday] and got my jersey back. I made a couple mistakes in the second scrimmage. Coach D asked me if I wasn't focused in the scrimmage. I was focused. I was just being overly aggressive and it caused me to make mistakes."

> Sophomore cornerback Corn Elder played well in the scrimmage and had a good day on Wednesday. "Yesterday was like his highlight film in the defensive meeting room," Perryman said. "He was breaking up passes, catching interceptions, left and right."

> Senior Anthony Chickillo tried to keep his discontent about having to play defensive tackle for the Hurricanes in third down situations last year under wraps. He tried to show a good face, tried to be a good teammate. But he's bought into the role now and he wants to have a big senior season.

"It helps a lot accepting what they're asking me to do," he said. "I came in here I was more of an edge guy and they asked me to do something I've never done before and anytime somebody asks you to do something you've never done before you're going to have resistance.

"When you've been doing it since high school and you did it really well, you think that's what you're going to do forever. That's not what the game of football is about. Football is doing whatever your team, coaches ask you to do. You do whatever for the benefit of the team. I'm just happy now I'm able to do what they're asking me to do at a high level."

Chickillo said he refocused himself back in January "when all the things about whether I was going to leave or come back happened." When the NFL told him he would only be a fourth or fifth round pick, he realized he needed to prove himself at Miami as a senior.

"I feel like for my size and my speed... I can go a lot higher than that," he said. "I've just got to go out there and make plays. I'm going to do well at the combine. But that's a long way away and I'm not worried about that now."

Chickillo said he's  watched some film on Louisville and knows the Labor Day Night challenge won't be easy.

"They've got a lot of veteran guys coming back on their o-line," he said. "Both their tackles are coming back. They've got a really good guard in Miller. They're going to be a really tough challenge for us. Teddy [Bridgewater] was a big piece for them. But Coach Petrino is a really smart football coach, a really good offensive mind. So, we know they're going to be ready for us and we've got to be ready for them."

> Chickillo said it stinks EA Sports did not come out with a video game this year for college football (in light of the Ed O'Bannon case). He and his teammates have been playing FIFA World Cup soccer in the interim.

> Defensive tackle Calvin Heurtelou (6-3, 315) came into spring practice overweight and out of shape, but in fall camp he's been outstanding in the eyes of defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio and his teammates.

"I figured out I'm one hell of a player in this 3-4 defense," Heurtelou said Thursday. "I realized I've made progress since I've been here since the spring. It was a new position for me. But I've done well the last three weeks."

Heurtelou said he played the three technique in junior college and adjusting to nose guard took some time for him. He arrived at Miami at 330 pounds, lost 25 pounds and then gained 10 pounds of muscle over the summer. He had the third most bench press reps (of 225 pounds) on the team (33) this summer. 

"Calvin's got a lot of energy, really strong guy," Chickillo said. "He comes to work everyday. He's just what you want inside. I'm really happy with Calvin's progress and he just needs to keep getting better."

 

News, notes and quotes from Thursday's practice

News and notes from Thursday's practice:

> Coach Al Golden cut practice at least an hour short because he said he thought "the humidity was catching up to us a little bit." Miami practiced twice on Wednesday after having an off day Tuesday.

> With junior Matt Goudis solidly in position to be Miami's kicker, the punter job remains a battle between walk-on senior Ricky Carroll and walk-on sophomore Justin Vogel. Golden said the team will have a  special teams scrimmage on Friday "that will determine a lot." 

"They're going back and forth," Golden said. "Will [Friday's special teams scrimmage] be the final? No. We have a lot of practices left. So, we might not even determine who the starters until next week."

Goudis has been trying to bounce back from a lower back issue. “He’s getting stronger," Golden said. "I think the biggest thing right now is there’s nothing ailing him in terms of pain. There’s no real medical condition. It’s just strength, and the way you build that back up is to kick, lift and do whatever you’ve got to do. Then you rest, let it heal and come back the next day. He’s making a lot of progress right now. He’s just got to keep doing that, have no setbacks. He’s doing well.”

> Golden said senior transfer Jake Heaps "was sharp" in Thursday's practice. Heaps was held out of Monday's scrimmage with a sore elbow, but continues to take first team reps alongside freshman Brad Kaaya.

"I thought he ran [the offense] really well," Golden said. "We threw some more deep balls perhaps than we have. When he didn’t have those, he came down, worked his progression. Thought he did a good job. Threw the ball well.”

> Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said Wednesday the cornerback position remains the toughest position to narrow down in terms of starters. 

“[Wednesday's standouts were] Ladarius [Gunter], I think he’s really improving," Golden said. "Corn [Elder] probably had his best day [Wednesday]. Artie [Burns] did really well. We come back [Thursday], Antonio [Crawford] gets two interceptions and he looks better.

"It’s definitely a group that's competing, I think they all understand that – but it’s a good situation. They’re competing for both corner spots and then the starter on the nickel. We have a long way to go in terms of that, so we’ll see how that plays out. But we feel much better about our depth and competition.”

> Safety Deon Bush was in a yellow non-contact jersey Thursday. Golden said they were protecting Bush because he has "a little hamstring" issue. "If we were practicing this afternoon, he’d probably be ready to go, "Golden said. "He did significant amount of individual stuff and everything, but he’ll be fine.”

> Golden said he feels better about Miami's linebacker situation because senior Thurston Armbrister "is playing really well."

"Thurston’s playing really good football and Darrion Owens has been really consistent," he continued. "[Jermaine] Grace is active, which is nice. [Rapael] Kirby is back now. Juwon Young and [Walter Tucker] should be able to help us. It will be a good group – Tuck and Juwon and Grace have to keep hammering their alignment and their technique and all the little things, but clearly having Denzel and Kirby, veterans there, should help settle it down.”

> Senior Nantambu Fentress, who has seen time at weakside linebacker and safety in camp, will be on scholarship for the second year in a row, Golden said. Fentress was a walk-on who first received a scholarship last year. The scholarships are one-year renewable and Fentress said last Friday at media day he didn't know if he would receive on this year.

"He's been renewed," Golden said. "He's basically a starter. The only reason he doesn't start on every special teams is because we save him for all the other things he does. Nantambu is one of those guys. He's smart. He plays two positions. He's a tremendous leader for us and he's doing a great job for us on special teams."

Golden wouldn't reveal which other walk-ons have received scholarships. He said he usually keeps that private. Fentress, by the way, has spent the past two days working at safety.

> Freshman David Njoku is back at receiver after spending two days last week working at linebacker. 

"We think he's more inclined to be an offensive player," Golden said. "Just where he is right now in terms of his body and his makeup he would have to stay on Slim Fast for 4 years to stay at 230. I think he's going to develop into an H [back]. I think when we're talking on March 1st he'll be 250 pounds. So I think he's going to go the route of being an H. If he helps us at all this year it will be as an X receiver, low red zone, things of that nature."

> Golden said sophomore Al-Quadin Muhammad came out of Monday's scrimmage having earned a first team spot at rush end. Tyriq McCord and freshman Trent Harris continue to receive reps there behind him.

August 20, 2014

Only three Canes in first-team black jerseys Wednesday afternoon, but lots in first-team orange

Surprise, surprise.

The report we got after Monday's closed scrimmage mentioned several defensive players who made impressive plays. 

But when the media was permitted to watch the first 15 minutes of the afternoon session of Wednesday's practice (open practices have ended), only three players on the Hurricanes' defense were garbed in the black jerseys worn by first-team players.

They are cornerbacks Corn Elder and Artie Burns, and defensive end Anthony Chickillo

That means all-everything linebacker Denzel Perryman was wearing ordinary green for the first time this fall camp, as well as safety Dallas Crawford, and on and on.

Can't wait to hear what the coaches have to say on that. Sending a message, anyone?

"Denzel had an awesome first scrimmage and a pretty good second one,'' defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said. "Just making sure he sets the same standard that he can every time he's out there. I'm pleased with the linebacker group. Jermaine Grace had a really good scrimmage. Just got to finish a few more plays. Very productive, productive as anybody we had out there. I'm not unhappy with them, just as far as a black jersey, it's, 'Did you do your job and did you finish every play?' At the end of the day, it's a hard thing to get, is how we're making it.''

Many players, however, wore the first-team orange.

They are, in the order I spotted them, OL Jon Feliciano, WR Stacy Coley, OL Kc McDermott, WR Phillip Dorsett, OL Ereck Flowers, OL Danny Isidora, OL Alex Gall, TE Standish Dobard, RB Joseph Yearby, FB Ronnie Regula, OL Shane McDermott, RB Duke Johnson, WR Malcolm Lewis and TE Clive Walford.

As for your quarterbacks, they were all out there throwing during preliminary drills -- that includes graduate transfer Jake Heaps, who was accompanied by fellow scholarship quarterbacks Ryan Williams, Brad Kaaya, Kevin Olsen and Malik Rosier. The walk-ons were there, too.

Keep in mind that we only watch the first 15 minutes, then go inside.

 Heaps, listed with Kaaya as the co-starters on the depth chart, did not participate in Monday's scrimmage "to rest his arm,'' a UM report noted after the scrimmage.

  Today, Heaps did not wear an elasticized sleeve or any other protective device on his arm during that first afternoon portion we watched.

  Turns out, according to Golden, and Heaps did not disagree, that Heaps had a sore elbow on his throwing arm. Heaps wanted to compete in the scrimmage, but Golden, in consultation with the team doctor, wanted to rest him to play it safe. Golden said he will not penalize Heaps in the competition for sitting out that day.

   Heaps said he felt good today, and competed fully in both sessions. He also said he will continue to rehabilitate.

  

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

August 19, 2014

Hurricanes land huge commitment from Killian 4-star safety Jaquan Johnson

The Hurricanes landed one of the most prized safety recruits in the nation Tuesday night when Miami Killian's Jaquan Johnson called coaches to inform them he was committing to their 2015 signing class.

Johnson (5-11, 192) is rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports.com and the ninth best safety in the nation. He's a three-time All-Dade First Team selection and a U.S. Army All-American.

Johnson told The Miami Herald last week his top five college choices were Miami, Florida, Florida State, South Carolina and Louisville and that he might be making a decision soon. He also told The Herald he planned on taking official visits to LSU, Alabama and Louisville during the season. 

There is no word yet if he still plans to, but Killian coach Cory Johnson said Jaquan, no relation, told him Johnson informed UM coaches "Coral Gables is where he plans to play his college football."

"He's going to walk in there trying to be the man right away," Cory Johnson said.

Johnson missed the first four games of his junior season at Killian last year with a lower back injury. He said he contemplated having surgery to shave a disc in his back but decided against it. Johnson said he still experiences some tightness in his back.

Johnson finished his junior season with 75 tackles, an interception, five fumble recoveries and eight catches for 122 yards and three scores. As a sophomore he collected 94 tackles, 7 INTs and ran 88 times for 646 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a freshman he had 45 tackles, two forced fumbles, 1 blocked field goal, 417 yards rushing and eight rushing touchdowns. He also scored on two touchdown catches.

"One thing I know about Quan is if you put the ladder up six feet higher than he can reach he's going to find a way to climb it," coach Johnson said. "He'll go as high as he can to get to the top of that ladder."

The Hurricanes have 23 commitments in the 2015 signing class. Johnson is one of six who is considered a four-star recruit.

August 18, 2014

Hurricanes' final fall scrimmage completed. 2 TD passes for Kaaya.

The Miami Hurricanes' second and final fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over.

  NOTE: UM just sent message saying fifth-year senior quarterback Jake Heaps was "held out to rest his arm.'' Hmmm. Is his arm hurt? Is it just sore? This was a scrimmage, and a very important one at that. 

  I like the way Lindsay Bohlen, UM's Assistant Director of Football Operations/Recruiting described it in her tweet: "Monday Night Football for the Canes!"

 The next game is the real thing two weeks from tonight at Louisville.

Though we couldn't watch, the University of Miami's sports information staff generated a scrimmage report. 

Here's the UM report, while I work on a story for tomorrow's paper and to post online later.

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

 Yearby, Muhammad excel in second scrimmage

 

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Monday night was filled with football in Coral Gables as the Miami Hurricanes held their second scrimmage of #CanesCamp.

 The Canes were out on the Greentree Practice Fields for a two-hour scrimmage, and players on both sides of the ball wasted little time making an impression on the coaches and NFL scouts in attendance.

 The offense got on the scoreboard early as Matt Goudis hit a 38-yard field goal on the team's second series of the evening. Brad Kaaya added six more points when he connected with Stacy Coley on a three-yard touchdown pass. Kevin Olsen's nine-yard touchdown pass to Tyre Brady completed the first half scoring for the offense.

 Kaaya got the Hurricane offense into the end zone for the final time Monday night when he found fullback Walter Tucker in the end zone for a score from nine yards out.

 Several of Miami's running backs had impressive showing on Monday, led by freshman Joseph Yearby. The former Miami Central standout rushed for a team-high 71 yards, including a game-best 33-yard run. Duke Johnson, Gus Edwards and Trayone Gray also had several impressive runs.

 Fifteen different Canes caught a pass on Monday, with freshman Braxton Berrios leading the way with five catches for 48 yards. Seven Hurricanes has multiple catches and senior tight end Raphael Akpejiori recorded his first catch in a scrimmage.

 Linebacker Thurston Armbrister picked off a pass and returned it for a 40-yard touchdown, but the junior linebacker was not the only defensive standout on Monday night. Malik Mayweather also had an interception late in the first half, while senior linebacker Denzel Perryman delivered a loud and forceful hit on Edwards in the second half for a three-yard loss. Perryman finished the night with five tackles.

 Al-Quadin Muhammad was active in the backfield, recording two of Miami's seven sacks on Monday. Anthony Chickillo, Jermaine Grace, Ufomba Kamalu, Tyriq McCord and Darrion Owens also sacked the quarterback in Monday's scrimmage.

 The Hurricane defense finished the scrimmage with 10 tackles for loss, five pass breakups and two passes deflected at the line of scrimmage.

 

 Monday Night Football for the Canes! pic.twitter.com/ZZ6gM0rccs

The freshmen speak: Kaaya, Berrios, McDermott, Darling, Yearby, Gray, Thomas, Harris and Njoku

I got a chance last Friday during Media Day to talk to nine Hurricanes freshmen on film.

They were: Quarterback Brad Kaaya, receiver Braxton Berrios, offensive linemen Kc McDermott and Trevor Darling, running backs Joe Yearby and Trayone Gray, defensive linemen Chad Thomas and Trent Harris and linebacker David Njoku.

As you know, we the media only get to talk with freshmen once during camp and this was our opportunity. Here is the playlist of interviews I shot.

August 16, 2014

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.

August 15, 2014

Canes Media Day news and notes: Njoku position switch, injury updates, more

There is probably 20 blogs worth of content I can post here from today's media day event, but I'm going to go ahead and give you the fast and furious version as well video and audio clips.

Please come back for updates throughout the day.

> One of the first things we learned at Friday's practice was that freshman David Njoku was switched from receiver to linebacker. The Hurricanes have obviously been looking for help there since Alex Figueroa and JaWand Blue were kicked off the team last month. Sophomore fullback Walter Tucker and senior walk-on safety Nantambu-Akil Fentress were the first two players coach Al Golden switched over from other positions as replacements. Njoku is now the third.

"David is kind of a hybrid for us," coach Al Golden said. "He's 230 pounds. So is he a Big X because he runs well and has explosiveness? Is he an H back? Or is he a SAM [strongside linebacker]? We wanted to take a look at him at SAM now because we know what his ball skills and movements are like. We want to look at his basic movements [at linebacker] because he has length and size. Like we tried Trayone Gray at tailback and it stuck. We're just trying to look at some guys at different spots."

Click on the video below to hear David's take on the switch. It seemed to me like right now he's trying to be a team player. Golden said the move was just a look. So it might be that Njoku moves back to receiver.

> Golden said offensive line depth was his number one concern coming into camp, but that position has made a lot of progress. So what about linebacker? "Tucker and Fentress playing linebacker has kind of fixed that depth issue," Golden said. "But we have to stay healthy."

> Receiver Rashawn Scott, who had been running with the first team, had his right arm in a sling during practice Friday. Golden said Thursday Scott injured his shoulder/clavicle. Golden said he still doesn't know how long Scott will be out, but said "it's not a season-ending deal."

"It's a little bit of an exotic injury, something that's not customary," Golden said. "But he's doing good. Obviously he was out there today coaching. He'll keep his conditioning up so he can return to action quickly. As I said, Rashawn was running with the 1s most of camp. So we'll get him back."

> Starting weakside linebacker Raphael Kirby (undisclosed) and cornerback Artie Burns (right foot) were in red non contact jerseys Friday. Golden said neither injury is serious and he expects both players back soon.

> Golden said freshman defensive lineman Chad Thomas is in the mix right now for first and second down reps and has taken a lot of starter reps on third down pass rushing packages (at defensive tackle). Thomas, Miami's most highly regarded prospect in the 2014 class, came in weighing 250 pounds and is now 260. Golden said he hasn't lost any of "twitch" with the added weight.

"He's a competitor and a leader," Golden said. "And he's not afraid to stand up for what's right. We've asked him to lead already as a freshman in certain segments. He comes out of a championship program. He's got an expectation and standard to win. He's got a will inside of him. He come to work everyday. I'm excited about him. He got a lot of reps today." 

Thomas said he's "acting like a starter," but would not be disappointed if he only play on third downs. Thomas said he's very comfortable playing tackle because he did it his entire senior year for national champion Miami Booker T. Washington. "I know how to rush [the passer] against a guard or a center," Thomas said. "It's easy."

> Golden had more praise for safety Dallas Crawford Friday. Asked how he's changed since the spring, Golden responded: "No comparison. Starting with his body. His lean muscle mass. His weight reduction. His fast twitch. His quickness. His attention to detail. How much more comfortable he is running the defense. I've said on multiple occasions playing safety in college football is almost as difficult as playing quarterback. You see a different formation just about every play. Every week you see a different offense. So, Dallas has made a commitment to his body, worked really hard and performed [in the scrimmage]."

> Senior transfer Jake Heaps took the majority of reps with the first team Friday after freshman Brad Kaaya had those reps Thursday.

Asked what sets Kaaya apart, Golden said: "The first thing that helped him was he came in at 228 and he's 206 now. So, he really leaned out. His endurance is good. His fast twitch is good. He's lighter on his feet, he's better in the pocket. So, again, strength and nutrition staff, tremendous job. That's No. 1.

"Number 2, he loves the game. I mean, everybody says you got to love football. This guy loves football and he's devoted all of his time to it. So he's given up a lot. We talk to our guys all the time about volition. Everybody is motivated right now to have a great season. What are you willing to give up? Well, he's given up a lot in terms of seeing the area, sightseeing, relaxing and all that to learn to the game. So he's made that commitment.

"And obviously he's blessed in terms of his length, his ability to see, and his arm down the field. I think the biggest thing I see with him right now is his ability to conceptualize the play and know where everybody is. So if he does get in trouble he knows where the tight end is going to be. He knows where his checkdown is going to be. So from that sense, it's a little bit of calmness that you don't normally see where its not just panic, sack. You see a progression and he knows where to go. His feet are telling him where to go with the ball and he's trust it."

> Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said the freshman rush end Trent Harris began to hit a wall this week in practice, but redeemed himself in Wednesday's scrimmage to hold off junior Tyriq McCord who had begun closing the gap. D'Onofrio said the reason Harris (6-2, 240) started camp with a defensive starter's black jersey was because of what he did during off-season workouts and conditioning, but he's kept it because he understands run fits and wraps up. That has been a problem for Miami's defense for years.

Harris said he came to UM in January weighing 222 pounds. He's now 14 pounds heavier and stronger. He said he increased his bench press reps of the NFL Combine testing standard of 225 pounds by seven to 14 or 15. 

> Freshman running back Trayone Gray (6-2, 197) scored on a 25-yard touchdown run in the scrimmage. "I took the opportunity to show what I got," Gray said. "I got the ball outside, made moves and got in the end zone. I showed coach I can run the ball. I'm still trying to work on my pocket, creating the pocket as a running back [for handoffs]."

Gray started camp a day late because he was awaiting academic clearance. Gray said he attended night school, virtual school and summer school to pass Geometry, Algebra and Physical Science. He said he raised his grade point average from a 2.1 to a 2.5 and finally got a good ACT score to get into Miami.

"I had to makeup a big gap," he said. "I worked out on the weekends. During the weekdays I would stay in, practice and do work for school, study. It was tough. Now, I'm ready to work, come in and make an impact for the team."

Gray said he has yet to take any snaps in the Wildcat formation, but coaches have hinted he will. He said he expects to get on the field somehow this season in "screen packages or outside packages."

> Freshman running back Joe Yearby is coming off right ankle surgery in December and said he feels like he's 90 percent. "I can cut on it and most of the things I used to do," said Yearby, who had a couple of impressive, long runs in Friday's practice. "But I still got to do a little bit more work to get it how it used to be."

Although he's listed at 5-9, 192 pounds, Yearby said he currently weighs 180 pounds. "I'm trying to get myself to 185 going into the season so I can take the impact and the pounding."

> Freshman receiver Braxton Berrios (5-9, 185) said he is feeling no ill-effects of his ACL injury. Berrios said an MRI at UM in January revealed he had completely torn his ACL. He said quarterback Ryan Williams, who tore his ACL in April, comes to him to ask him questions about his recovery from the surgery.

> Freshmen offensive linemen Trevor Darling (6-5, 320) and Kc McDermott (6-6, 305) both arrived in January and have become close friends -- even while competing against each other in camp for the starting right tackle job. Darling currently leads.

"Even though we're competing for the same job we're having fun while we're doing it," McDermott said. "We're not going to curse each other out or argue because one is starting over the other. We're good friends and we joke around with each other."

Offensive line coach Art Kehoe said it's safe to say Darling and McDermott, All-Americans from Miami Central and Palm Beach Central High Schools, have earned playing time this season and will be part of the rotation of 10 linemen the team intends to play.

Darling said he's shed about 15 pounds and six percent body fat since arriving at UM. He said he did 17 reps on the bench (225 pounds) and is considerably stronger, too.

McDermott, who passed on Notre Dame, said playing alongside his older brother, Shane, Miami's center has been an honor. "I love my brother and I couldn't imagine playing with anybody else other than him," the younger McDermott said. 

THE FRESHMEN TALK

August 14, 2014

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."

It's QB "Brad Kaaya OR Jake Heaps" on 1st UM depth chart

The moment we've all been waiting for... (drum roll please....)

The Hurricanes have released their first depth chart of the 2014 football season, and, as we expected, there is an "OR'' between quarterbacks Brad Kaaya and Jake Heaps.

BradkaayaThe surprise, at least to me, is that the true freshman Kaaya is listed first, followed by the graduate transfer Heaps.

Wow. I know they'll say it doesn't mean anything, but...does it?

I truly thought they'd have the "OR,'' but that the fifth-year QB Heaps would be listed first (either because he's the veteran or because of alphabetical order. Haha).

So does that mean Kaaya is the super-secret one to beat? Have no idea, really, other than he played with the first-team this morning in practice and is very impressive. 

I do know from the past that coaches like to light fires under players, and the depth chart is a good way to do it. 

Please keep in mind that the second scrimmage is Monday, also that the Canes have another practice session this afternoon and we'll get coaches after it's over.

No other quarterbacks -- zip -- are mentioned on the depth chart.

The only true freshmen listed as first-team on depth chart: Kaaya at QB, Trent Harris at DE and Trevor Darling at RT.

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

OFFENSE:

First-team QB: Brad Kaaya OR Jake Heaps.

First team RB: Duke Johnson, then Joe Yearby and Gus Edwards.

First-team O-linemen, left to right: Ereck Flowers, Hunter Wells (He's followed by Jon Feliciano), Shane McDermott, Danny Isidora and Trevor Darling.

Second-team O-linemen, left to right: Kc McDermott, Jon Feliciano, Alex Gall, Alex Gall (not a typo), Taylor Gadbois.

NOTE: Kc and Feliciano were wearing red jerseys recently, so maybe they're recuperating from injuries.

Third-team O-linemen, left to right: Just listed are center Nick Linder and Joe Brown at right guard.

First-team tight end: Standish Dobard, followed by Clive Walford and Beau Sandland

First-team fullback: walk-on Ronnie Regula OR Walter Tucker.

First team wideouts: Phillip Dorsett and Malcolm Lewis, followed by Stacy Coley and Herb Waters. Braxton Berrios and Tyre Brady are third team. 

Missing from WR depth chart, and missing from today's morning practice: Rashawn Scott.

 DEFENSE:

First-team defensive ends: Anthony Chickillo and Trent Harris, followed by Chad Thomas OR Jelani Hamilton under Chickillo's name; and by Tyriq McCord and Al-Quadin Muhammad under Harris' name.

First-team tackles: Calvin Heurtelou and Olsen Pierre, followed by Earl Moore and Ufomba Kamalu.

First-team OLB: Thurston Armbrister and Raphael Kirby. Behind Thurston is Darrion Owens and behind Kirby is Nantambu-Akil Fentress OR Jermaine Grace.

First-team MLB: Denzel ''The Prez'' Perryman, followed by Walter ("two-way") Tucker OR Juwon Young.

 First team corners: Tracy Howard and Ladarius Gunter, with Corn Elder behind Tracy and Antonio Crawford OR Artie Burns behind Gunter.

 First-team safeties: Dallas Crawford and Deon Bush. Hugo Delapenha OR Marques Gayot behind Crawford and Jamal Carter behind Bush.

SPECIALISTS:

Punt returners, in order: Stacy Coley, Braxton Berrios, Phillip Dorsett and Corn Elder.

Kickoff returners, in order: Stacy Coley, Artie Burns, Braxton Berrios, Corn Elder.

Punter: Ricky Carroll OR Justin Vogel.

Field goals: Matt Goudis, followed by Michael Badgley and Jon Semerene.

Holder: Dallas Crawford, followed by Justin Vogel.

Long snapper: Frank Gabriel OR Ronnie Regula.

Short snapper: Frank Gabriel OR Ronnie Regula.

OUT FOR SEASON (Yes, you knew already): safety Rayshawn Jenkins.

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 HERE IT IS, FOLKS:

 

OFFENSE

WR 4 PHILLIP DORSETT 5-10, 187, Sr.
3 Stacy Coley 6-3, 185, So.
83 Braxton Berrios 5-9, 183, Fr.

LT 74 ERECK FLOWERS 6-6, 324, Jr.
52 Kc McDermott 6-6, 305, Fr.

LG 64 HUNTER WELLS 6-6, 312, R-So.
70 Jon Feliciano 6-5, 316, Sr.

C 62 SHANE MCDERMOTT 6-4, 300, R-Sr.
67 Alex Gall 6-5, 305, So.
68 Nick Linder 6-3, 290, Fr.

RG 63 DANIEL ISIDORA 6-4, 318, R-So.
67 Alex Gall 6-5, 30, So.
55 Joe Brown 6-4, 318, Fr.

RT 73 TREVOR DARLING 6-5, 310, Fr.
76 Taylor Gadbois 6-8, 316, R-So.

TE 5 STANDISH DOBARD 6-4, 255, So.
46 Clive Walford 6-4, 258, R-Sr.
85 Beau Sandland 6-6, 260, Sr.

FB 39 RONALD REGULA -OR- 6-2, 240, Sr.
FB 44 WALTER TUCKER 6-0, 226, So.

QB 12 BRAD KAAYA -OR- 6-4, 209, Fr.
16 JAKE HEAPS 6-1, 208, Gr.

RB 8 DUKE JOHNSON 5-9, 206, Jr.
2 Joe Yearby 5-9, 192, Fr.
7 Gus Edwards 6-2, 230, So.

WR 9 MALCOLM LEWIS 6-0, 189, R-So.
6 Herb Waters 6-2, 198, Jr.
82 Tyre Brady 6-3, 200, Fr.

 DEFENSE

 DE 71 ANTHONY CHICKILLO 6-4, 282, Sr.

9 Chad Thomas -OR- 6-5, 265, Fr.
99 Jelani Hamilton 6-5, 290, Jr.

DT 93 CALVIN HEURTELOU 6-3, 315, Jr.
72 Earl Moore 6-1, 304, Jr.

DT 91 OLSEN PIERRE 6-5, 300, Sr.
47 Ufomba Kamalu 6-6, 295, Jr.

DE 33 TRENT HARRIS 6-2, 238, Fr.
17 Tyriq McCord 6-3, 248, Jr.
98 Al-Quadin Muhammad 6-4, 245, So.

OLB 34 THURSTON ARMBRISTER 6-3, 241, Sr.
58 Darrion Owens 6-3, 235, Fr.

MLB 52 DENZEL PERRYMAN 6-0, 242, Sr.
44 Walter Tucker -OR- 6-0, 226, So.
51 Juwon Young 6-2, 240, Fr.

OLB 56 RAPHAEL KIRBY 6-1, 238, Jr.
28 Nantambu-Akil Fentress -OR- 5-9, 200, Sr.
5 Jermaine Grace 6-1, 212, So.

CB 3 TRACY HOWARD 5-11, 188, Jr.
29 Corn Elder 5-10, 188, So.

S 2 DEON BUSH 6-1, 198, Jr.
6 Jamal Carter 6-1, 213, So.

S 25 DALLAS CRAWFORD 5-10, 196, R-Jr.
48 Hugo Delapenha Jr. -OR- 5-11, 193, R-Sr.
7 Marques Gayot 6-1, 205, Fr.

CB 37 LADARIUS GUNTER 6-2, 192, Sr.
21 Antonio Crawford -OR- 5-11, 191, Jr.
1 Artie Burns 6-0, 196, So.

 SPECIALISTS

P 27 RICKY CARROLL -OR- 6-3, 198, R-Sr.
16 JUSTIN VOGEL 6-4, 210, So.

FG 18 MATT GOUDIS 6-0, 170, Jr.
24 Michael Badgley 5-10, 180, Fr.
43 Jon Semerene 6-0, 205, Fr.

KO 43 JON SEMERENE -OR- 6-0, 205, Fr.
18 MATT GOUDIS -OR- 6-0, 170, Jr.
24 MICHAEL BADGLEY 5-10, 180, Fr.

H 25 DALLAS CRAWFORD 5-10, 196, R-Jr.
16 Justin Vogel 6-4, 210, So.

LS 55 FRANK GABRIEL -OR- 6-3, 215, Jr.
39 RONALD REGULA 6-2, 240, Sr.

SS 55 FRANK GABRIEL -OR- 6-3, 215, Jr.
SS 39 RONALD REGULA 6-2, 240, Sr.

PR 3 STACY COLEY 6-3, 185, So.
83 Braxton Berrios 5-9, 183, Fr.
4 Phillip Dorsett 5-10, 185, Sr.
29 Corn Elder 5-10, 188, So.

KR 3 STACY COLEY 6-3, 185, So.
1 Artie Burns 6-0, 196, So.
83 Braxton Berrios 5-9, 183, Fr.
29 Corn Elder 5-10, 188, So.

 

 

Safety Rayshawn Jenkins to have season-ending back surgery Monday; QB Kaaya runs with first team.

Safety Rayshawn Jenkins, who started 12 games last season and had 46 tackles, three interceptions and five pass breakups for the Hurricanes, will have season-ending back surgery on Monday, a source has told The Miami Herald.

Jenkins first posted the news late Wednesday night on his Facebook page: “Will not be playing this season but I wish my boys the best. I would do anything to be out there with them but everything happens for a reason.#MinorSetBackMajorComeBack”

The source said Jenkins injured his back lifting weights and was trying to play through the pain. Jenkins last practiced on Monday. The recovery following surgery is expected to take at least six months, the source said.

"That hurt. That hurt us big time," senior safety Dallas Crawford said. "But he's still going to be out here coaching us. He has a lot of game experience. So he can still help the team in a lot of ways. But we need him."

-- MANNY NAVARRO

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

FRESHMAN KAAYA TAKES FIRST TEAM REPS; PLAYERS TALK QB BATTLE

In Thursday's morning practice at Greentree Field -- one day after the first scrimmage -- quarterback Brad Kaaya went with the first team and Jake Heaps went with the second team. We were told that the first depth chart will be released later today. It is neck-and-neck for the starting quarterback spot between freshman Kaaya and graduate transfer Heaps.

"I feel like I did a good job of running the operation and completing passes but I think the biggest thing is continuing to get better, continuing to work on the overall operation and feeling comfortable with everything,'' Heaps said after practice. "At this point after yesterday and today’s practice this morning feeling good about where I’m at and the progress that I’ve made and now over the next few days this is really going to be a big push so we all need to get better as a team.

When told coaches would narrow the race to two frontrunners, Heaps said, "I’m not worried about that. I’m just going out there and focusing on me and every rep that I get and trying to make it count. What coach decides, what he ends up deciding, that’s out of my hands. All I can do is just go out there and execute the best I can."

 Dallas Crawford told us Kaaya threw the pass that he picked off and he returned 50 yards for a touchdown in the scrimmage. He said Heaps threw the other interception.

 Here's what Crawford said about Kaaya: “He goes through his progressions very well. He doesn’t panic. He has really good feet in the pocket. He doesn’t force anything. I joke with him all the time, I think he’s a junior college transfer or something. He doesn’t act like a freshman. Just the way he carries himself and calls the audibles at the line. He looked really good yesterday.” 

Crawford on Heaps: “Jake’s a leader. As soon as he stepped foot on campus, he’s been leading. He takes command of the offense as well. He looked good yesterday too. It’s a battle. They’re both going at it. They looked good yesterday.”

> Hurricanes RB Duke Johnson said he did not experience any soreness after Wednesday's scrimmage on his surgically repaired right ankle: "Everything was fine. Got in the ice tub. Woke up today feeling better than yesterday.''

Duke also said Brad Kaaya reads defenses "exceptionally well for a freshman,'' but that Jake Heaps is better in that regard. “His checks, his reads, everything is a lot faster and quicker than Brad’s.”

What does receiver Stacy Coley think of the quarterback competition?

"Everybody has their different skill set," Coley said. "Brad is really smart. Brad can just pick out the zones, coverages being run. He picks it up real quick. He's very calm. Since Day 1, he as really calm. He just got in his playbook and was ready to go.

"Jake's just a good motivator. All the quarterbacks are smart. He has a great deep ball, throws great slant routes. It's a good spiral. It comes at you fast. You can catch it on the run and keep going."

Linebacker Denzel Perryman gave us his take, too. What does Kaaya do well in Perryman's eyes? "He's great under pressure man," Perryman said. "I can't rattle that guy for nothing at all. I think nobody can."

What does Perryman like about Heaps? "The fact he's really short -- he's like my height -- and he can still get the job done. He's another one that can't be rattled."

> The players wearing first-team black this morning: DE Trent Harris, DL Anthony Chickillo, S Dallas Crawford, Lb Thurston Armbrister, weakside linebacker Nantambu-Akil Fentress (for the first time), LB Denzel Perryman, LB Raphael Kirby and CB Ladarius Gunter.

> The players wearing first-team orange this morning: G Hunter Wells, G Danny Isidora, TE Standish Dobard, TE Clive Walford, RB Joe Yearby, WR Phillip Dorsett, RB Duke Johnson, T Ereck Flowers, C Shane McDermott, T Trevor Darling and FB Ronnie Regula 

> What does Duke Johnson think of freshman RB Joseph Yearby wearing an orange jersey: "It says he's working hard. He came in ready to learn, ready to listen. He was ready to be ready. He came with a mindset that stuff in high school don't matter. I need these guys as much as they need me. Me and Gus Edwards have to teach him everything we know so he can come out here and be effective.

What's Yearby's next step? "Stay consistent," Johnson said. "That's the hardest thing for a freshman to do because that's something you're not used. You're not used to being out here all the long days, coming back for two-a-days. If he can be consistent he'll be fine." 

> Crawford forced a fumble by receiver Tyre Brady with a big hit in Wednesday's scrimmage. "I guess he ran a post and he was on the goalline and I hit him and he fumbled," Crawford said. "That's pretty much it. I usually don't think, I just react to the play."

> Crawford on Fentress, who is playing outside linebacker and a rover safety position: "We need him to be a big contributor. I don't know if anybody on the defensive side plays as fast he does. He runs from sideline to sideline. He's smart. He gives great effort and he's always where he needs to be. So, I mean, we're going to need to him big time this year."

> UM will be back this afternoon for another practice session. 

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 13, 2014

Miami Hurricanes scrimmage report from UM folks (Please note that it was closed to media)

The scrimmage was closed, but UM sent some photos and a report.

It's in, and it appears that the defense did a great job, according to this UM report. Here's the University of Miami's report from the scrimmage this afternoon at Greentree Field:

 

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The competition was fierce on the Greentree Practice Fields Wednesday as the Miami Hurricanes held their first scrimmage of #CanesCamp. The Canes battled under the South Florida sunshine, opening practice with goal line situations before transitioning into a 12-series scrimmage that featured highlights on both sides of the ball.

Like he did six times in 2013, Duke Johnson rushed for a touchdown to get the Hurricanes' offense going in the goal line drills. Also finding the end zone were fellow running back Gus Edwards on a three-yard run and running back Walter Tucker, who scored on a pass from freshman Brad Kaaya.

Johnson made an almost immediate impact once the scrimmage started, juking past two defenders on a 21-yard run to give Miami a first down. On the next snap, the star running back went untouched for 54 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. Johnson also was a threat in the passing game, taking his lone reception of the afternoon for a scrimmage-best 30 yards.

Jake Heaps, Isaac Hoza, Brad Kaaya, Kevin Olsen, Malik Rosier and Michael Welch all took snaps at quarterback on Wednesday.

Heaps used many different weapons to get the Canes moving on Wednesday, completing passes to five different receivers.

Kaaya had several impressive throws, including an 18-yard completion to Stacy Coley and a 27-yard strike thrown to Clive Walford. Five Canes – Coley, Walford, Tyre Brady, Malcolm Lewis and Herb Waters – had multiple receptions on Wednesday, while freshman Trayone Gray turned heads when he powered past defenders for a 25-yard touchdown run.

Miami's defense was active in the team's first scrimmage of #CanesCamp. The Hurricanes had seven pass deflections (four at the line of scrimmage), six tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble that was recovered by junior Tyriq McCord.

The Canes defense was particularly good on third down, routinely stopping the offense and getting off the field thanks to a combination of pressure on the quarterback, good coverage and sure tackling.

Senior safety Dallas Crawford was an impact player for the Hurricane defense, tallying five tackles and forcing the fumble that was recovered by McCord.

Crawford also picked off a pass and took it 50 yards for a touchdown to end Wednesday's action.

Junior cornerback Ladarius Gunter had Miami's first pick of the day, jumping an out route to stop the offense's momentum. Denzel Perryman was Miami's leading tackler with nine stops. The senior had three tackles for loss, including a huge hit on Joseph Yearby for a loss of two. Defensive lineman Ufomba Kamalu and linebacker Jermaine Grace each had a sack, while defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo, linebacker Thurston Armbrister and defensive backs Tracy Howard, Hugo Delapenha and Ryan Mayes had pass deflections.

 

Canes home run derby a tuneup for scrimmage? We think not. (Where's David Thompson when you need him?)

   The football Canes switched to baseball and a home-run derby on their day off Tuesday.

   All I can say is that Malik Rosier, who will be an outfielder for the Hurricanes come baseball season, puts most of the other Canes to shame (Anthony Chickillo, don't quit your day job). 

   Speaking of baseball, former UM quarterback  David Thompson tore it up in the prestigious Cape Cod League this summer. 

  The regular season concluded with David, representing the Orleans Firebirds, hitting .331 (7th in league). He had 54 hits (4th), 29 RBI (4th) and 14 extra-base hits (5th). He led all batters in the East Division, was a starter on the All-Star team and was his team's MVP.
 
  Between the unexpected return of ace lefty Andy Suarez, Thompson's continued excellence and the eventual arrival of Rosier (one of four UM quarterbacks battling it out for playing time), UM baseball coach Jim Morris must be feeling optimistic this offseason.

  We'll be back as soon as we hear some news about today's football scrimmage, which is closed to the media and public.  

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

  

 

 

August 12, 2014

Tomorrow is a big day for the future of UM football.

The Hurricanes' quarterback race is about to get real tight.

After Wednesday's first scrimmage, Al Golden and his assistant coaches at Miami will dissect the film, likely discuss it ad nauseum and put out a depth chart that reveals the two frontrunners.

Those two, whom it seems fairly evident will be Jake Heaps and Brad Kaaya -- or Brad Kaaya and Jake Heaps -- will get the bulk of the snaps with the first team until a starter likely is announced after next Monday's second scrimmage.

There is a point system, Coley said on Saturday, that helps determine the outcome, or at least plays a part in it.

“We are grading them,” Coley said Saturday. “Not only are they getting pluses and minuses, but they are getting points for certain things they do on the field, and they are getting points taken away for certain things they do … and we are searching for who has the highest number of points.”

We talked to Coley again on Monday. Here is some of what he had to say:
 
How much does it hurt when they throw a pick in practice?

 "It’s a negative point against them, so sacks and picks, if it’s caused by them, like a sack coverage is a negative on them, an interception is a negative on them. But they get points for other things as well, and it’s all within the point value that we have."

MY COMMENT: Just from observation, it appears that Jake Heaps has thrown more interceptions than Brad Kaaya, but I have not counted and have not seen every interception.

How tough is it going to be to narrow this down to 2 qbs after this scrimmage?

"Yeah, it’s going to be tough and it’s going to be tough going into the scrimmage with taking out the hot…If a guy has a hot hand and putting in the next guy. Even ask coaches. We want to win the scrimmage too. But we have to make sure that the guys get the reps that they get and we’re able to put enough on film that we can take upstairs and we can evaluate, we can grade and we can make decisions -- and the biggest thing is, make corrections so we can develop them."

Here are Coley's comments on Malik Rosier, who also will play baseball for UM: 

 "Malik does some good things as well. He came in  at the end of practice. He’s got such a strong arm and he’s such a great athlete. He’s right where he’s supposed to be, maybe a little ahead of where he’s supposed to be coming in and being a true freshman.

 "There are times like the end of practice right here where he showed some good stuff and fired some really great, accurate footballs and took control of the team." 

Are Kevin Olsen and Ryan Williams in the mix to be the top two?

 "Well, we’ve got to see with Ryan. There are certain things he can do, there are certain things he can’t do yet. There are certain things we’re not comfortable with him doing medically. Olsen is going to get his shot in the scrimmage as well."

AL GOLDEN'S COMMENTS FROM MONDAY ON SCRIMMAGE:

"It’s going to be ones-ones, twos-twos and situations, just spot the ball in all the areas of the field that we’re working right now to make sure we can respond the way we need them to respond without the coaching. So, we’ll do that. And then the second [scrimmage] is more up and down the field. Just play it."

Do you know which QB is going to start with the ones?

 "I don’t. We’re going to discuss that tomorrow and go from there."

Again, (as Golden would say) here's the head coach's comment about how close the quarterback competition has turned out: 

“Man, it’s tight. It’s tight. … It’s just unbelievable when you think about it. Couple weeks ago, it was three guys who we hadn’t seen, you know? Really. They squeezed it down pretty good. It’s a heck of a battle, and I’m excited by their work ethic, their commitment to this team, how much they’re learning and clearly, you guys know, there’s execution going on. The balls aren’t on the ground a lot. So that’s good. And uh, we’ll see how it plays out. I mean … I thought it was going to be a little easier to narrow it down to two by Thursday, but it’s going to be tricky. We’ll just play it by ear other the next three days and see what happens.”

 With Brad, is there anything he shows you that makes you think he couldn’t handle at Louisville?

 “Zero. Zero percent. Poise, maturity, confidence, self-assured. And you know, a guy that turned a program around in his league and won a whole bunch in a row. Good leader right now, finding the reads he needs to find. Doing what he needs to do. Good start for him. We’ll get the bullets flying on Wednesday. It’s going to be a great challenge for all our quarterbacks.”

 ***So, UM fans, you likely haven't seen any of the closed practices, but what in your gut would you LIKE to happen? Who would you like to be the starting quarterback at Louisville on Labor Day night while millions of people are watching on national television? (Yes, that would be very intimidating for any new UM starter, whether it be Jake Heaps or Brad Kaaya).

 At first I was convinced it would be Jake Heaps. I'm still leaning toward thinking they'll pick Heaps. He has the experience playing major college football, a lot of it, and that's invaluable. But honestly, after watching Kaaya in action, it has made me not as certain. I think they'd love to redshirt Kaaya, and maybe use Rosier if they need him. Kaaya still has a lot of learning to do when it comes to analyzing complex blitzes or defensive schemes coming at him -- and I'm talking about coming at him during a game, the best teacher in the long run. But there's no doubt that if he stays healthy, he has a huge ceiling. Everything about Brad Kaaya screams "big future." Golden knows he needs to win this season, and if Kaaya is the one, then...

  Suffice it to say this scrimmage Wednesday will be important.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

August 11, 2014

Monday's two-a-days completed. Check out Al Golden's telling comments on the QB competition

     The Canes have their first day off Tuesday and will conduct their first scrimmage of camp Wednesday. After the scrimmage, which will be closed and in a controlled format, coaches will cut the quarterback competition down to two players, Golden said.

   Graduate transfer Jake Heaps and true freshman Brad Kaaya have taken most of the first-team reps, and are believed to be the two frontrunners for the starting job. Golden indicated Monday he’d have no qualms playing Kaaya in the opener at Louisville should he emerge the better performer. 

 How tight is QB battle going into that scrimmage?

 Golden: “Man, it’s tight. It’s tight. … It’s just unbelievable when you think about it. Couple weeks ago, it was three guys who we hadn’t seen, you know? Really. They squeezed it down pretty good. It’s a heck of a battle, and I’m excited by their work ethic, their commitment to this team, how much they’re learning and clearly, you guys know, there’s execution going on. The balls aren’t on the ground a lot. So that’s good. And we’ll see how it plays out. I mean … I thought it was going to be a little easier to narrow it down to two by Thursday, but it’s going to be tricky. We’ll just play it by ear over the next three days and see what happens.”

  With Brad, is there anything he shows you that makes you think he couldn’t handle at Louisville?

  Golden: "Zero. Zero percent. Poise, maturity, confidence, self-assured. And you know, a guy that turned a program around in his league and won a whole bunch in a row. Good leader right now, finding the reads he needs to find. Doing what he needs to do. Good start for him. We’ll get the bullets flying on Wednesday. It’s going to be a great challenge for all our quarterbacks.”

 ***  Despite the "Knock on wood'' phrase being tossed around freely Sunday while talking to Miami coach Al Golden and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio about no new injuries in fall camp the past week, the situation was less bright Monday morning -- the first session of this year's first two-a-day.

  Two first-team offensive linemen wore red jerseys in practice, signifying injuries and no contact.

   The players: freshman right tackle Kc McDermott, the younger brother of center Shane McDermott, and senior left guard Jon Feliciano.

   Taking their places were freshman Trevor Darling at right tackle and junior Hunter Wells at left guard. By the afternoon, Darling and Wells wore the orange jersey of first-teamers and McDermott and Felciano were still sidelined.

  *** Additionally, freshman running back Joe Yearby was accompanied off the field by trainer Vinny Scavo at 9:30 a.m.

    Yearby, who sustained a broken fibula above his left ankle Nov. 30, had a bag of ice taped to his left ankle and he missed the rest of the morning session, but was full go in the afternoon.

     “He did great this afternoon so he’s doing good,’’ Golden said. “We’re just going to make sure we’re prudent with it…He’s a little bit behind Duke [Johnson] in terms of when [the injury] took place. So, from that standpoint, he’s still trying to catch up. But he’s fine.’’ 

       ***The biggest celebration of the morning was enjoyed by the defense after linebacker Thurston Armbrister picked off Jake Heaps near the end of the morning sessLon. The ball was intended for receiver Malcolm Lewis

  ***Wearing the first-team black jerseys on the defense Monday morning: DE Anthony Chickillo, LB Raphael Kirby, DT Calvin Heurtelou (DT Earl Moore wasn't wearing the black Monday, nor were LB Darrion Owens and freshman DE Trent Harris), S Dallas Crawford, CB Antonio Crawford and LB Denzel Perryman

*** Wearing the first-team orange jerseys on the offense Monday morning: WR Phillip Dorsett, LT Ereck Flowers, RG Danny Isidora, FB Ronnie Regula, TE Beau Sandland, TE Clive Walford, WR Rashawn Scott, C Shane McDermott and RB Duke Johnson.  

*** First-team quarterbacks were Brad Kaaya and Jake Heaps, with Ryan Williams coming in for a short stint and even rolling out. Near the end of the morning session, Heaps threw two nice, deep consecutive completions to Dorsett and Sandland. Kaaya continues to look really good.

  SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 10, 2014

Sunday in Coral Gables -- last afternoon practice for a long time, maybe all season. Tomorrow, it's back to a.m.

  The Hurricanes had a closed practice Sunday for the first time this camp, as they hosted recruits on campus for much of the day. “U Day’’ included a barbecue and a chance for the recruits and their guests to watch practice and see what life is like as a Miami Hurricane.

       Golden was asked what message he was hoping to convey.

     “Just what a sharp contrast from a year ago,’’ he said. “Just, everything. How we approach everything. How we attack. How we’re back talking about who we are, instead of defending who we aren’t. It’s just different. …As bleak as it was a year ago, we’re so jacked up about everything right now.

    “That’s the message to the kids. I know they want to bring the ‘U’ back, so we’re excited that they’re here.’’

    Golden once again praised the players for a constructive practice.

    "Good effort today again. Good focus. Guys have been taking care of their bodies, getting good rest. I was really impressed with the way they came out this morning. Had a walkthrough this morning and not a lot of error repeats from yesterday. It was good. They took care of business last night.”

     The coach said he spends '' a good deal of time'' with special teams, but hasn't revealed a lot about specifics yet to the media. "I think what we do is kind of do the heavy installs for offense and defense in the beginning, and when we repeat them we increase the installations for special teams. We’re right about that time now where special teams is going to increase in terms of the meeting time, the walkthrough time and obviously the practice time.”

    ***Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio was asked how much more advanced he could now be with his defensive linemen, considering many of them are veterans.

   “Last year we did make a schematic change,'' he said. "We adapted to more of a 3-4 package that evolved -- still a hybrid package. We’re playing a lot of 4-3 concepts and all that kind of stuff. So now this is year two of that, with the type of guys that we’re looking for. So, you know, I think the guys, what we’re asking them to do fits their skillset.

"Certainly you have to be multiple, you have to be multiple for the different teams that you see. Some teams are going to try to pound you, some teams are going to try to spread you out; we have to play Georgia Tech with the option. We just try to recruit really good players and put them in position to do things that they do well. That doesn’t exclude anyone in the recruiting process. We can find a place for Jermaine Grace at 200 pounds at Will, and Nantambu Fentress at 195, then we have Denzel playing next to him at 245. It doesn’t exclude us from anybody in the recruiting process.”

 *** UM reported in its camp notebook that quarterback Brad Kaaya made “several highlight-worthy throws and “connected for first downs with receivers Stacy Coley and Malcolm Lewis and running back Duke Johnson. His most “impressive’’ throw, according to the report, was “a perfectly placed ball over the safety and into the hands of Herb Waters for a 25-yard gain.

*** Cornerback Tracy Howard ended an 11-on-11 period with an interception for a touchdown, the report said, while safety Jordan Tolson had a pick during seven-on-sevens. The quarterbacks were not named.

 *** Please be sure to read my story in tomorrow's paper (online tonight) about UM's new punters battling to replace Pat O'Donnell. O'Donnell's talent will be missed, and who knows what kind of difference that might make this season.

*** Practice Monday is at 8:20 a.m. It is closed to the public.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

August 09, 2014

First a.m. practice in the books: QB competition will be cut to 2 contenders after next week's scrimmage

Our talented intern Jacob Feldman (@JacobFeldman4) covered practice today at Greentree Field.

And he saw what everyone else has been seeing, that graduate transfer quarterback Jake Heaps and freshman Brad Kaaya are the two young men getting the bulk of the reps with the first team, and it appears the favorites going into the first scrimmage (closed) Wednesday.

 Jacob reported and transcribed some of what Coach Al Golden said after practice. Make sure to read his story on Dallas Crawford later today, and his notes from camp on the quarterbacks.

GOLDEN:

***On if players are starting to separate themselves:

"There are some guys that have played a lot and have a lot of experience, so those guys kind of separate themselves and you can maybe give them 3 reps and the other guy 5 in an 8 play period, but I would say a majority of our team is scratching and clawing right now to be honest with you. I dont think there is going to be that kind of separation until after the 2nd scrimmage. There are a lot of guys in the mix right now so there are a lot of jobs open."

***On the quarterback situation:

"I'd like to get it down to two (QBs) after the first one (scrimmage). I’d like to get it down to two and go from there as we get into game week. The first scrimmage is Wednesday, and the second one is Monday so there isn’t a lot of time, so if I can get it down to two and give them a lot of work between the first one and second one, we’ll go from there."

   Note that Golden said Kaaya was more vocal Saturday.

*** On WR Darrell Langham, whose first practice (in shorts and jersey and helmet, no pads) was Saturday:

   "We'll get [him] caught up -- get him in condition here, be careful with him in the beginning so he doesn't pull anything or get an injury.''

*** On what has impressed him about freshman right tackle Kc McDermott:

  "Kc's really good with his feet for a big man, and that’s what's allowing him to compete. He’s smart and he’s got great feet, and obviously the rest of that group has worked together for a long time so that’s the 5 right now. And we have 6, 7, and 8, which is one group and then the next group -- 9, 10, and 11 -- that’s how we are breaking it down right now."

  UM's starting offensive line is from left to right: tackle Ereck Flowers, guard Jon Feliciano, center Shane McDermott, guard Danny Isidora and McDermott. He confirmed that Hunter Wells, Alex Gall and Taylor Gadbois are the next three in line.

 Tomorrow's practice is closed to the media, but we will still conduct interviews in the late afternoon.

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 08, 2014

More Kaaya, a little more Williams, lightning, Langham and................. it's Goudis!

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.” 

IT'S GOUDIS!

   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

   

Two-way Tucker not shying away from playing linebacker or fullback for Canes

When JaWand Blue and Alex Figueroa were arrested and booted off the team last month following their arrests on sexual battery, sophomore Walter Tucker said he had an idea coaches might ask him to move back to linebacker. 

Apparently, though, coaches didn't get around to it until Monday -- the day before camp started. 

"Basically [linebackers coach] Hurlie [Brown] called telling me to come to the office," Tucker said. "He asked if I minded playing linebacker. I was down for it."

Tucker (6-0, 218 pounds) is still down to play fullback, too. And as far as coach Al Golden is concerned, Tucker will.

Although he spent the first three days of camp at middle linebacker and will spend the rest of it shadowing starter and leading tackler Denzel Perryman, Tucker said he still expects to come in and block or carry the ball in short yardage situations as a fullback.

"It really shows that I'm an athlete," said Tucker, who said he still participates in team meetings with the running backs to stay fresh with that side of the ball. "In the past, when I was younger, I always played both sides of the ball.

"With the [defensive] scheme, things are coming along better than what it was last year. I also have DP there to help me. We always get together after practice and work on plays."

Tucker was a two-way star at Plantation American Heritage as well as a track star. He won a pair of state titles in the 110-meter hurdles and had the nation's fastest time as a senior at 13.89 seconds.

This summer, Tucker said he was timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.4 seconds, squats 405 pounds, bench presses 330 pounds and produced 25 reps on the bench of the NFL Combine testing standard (225 pounds).

What does he like about middle linebacker? "Basically, you get all the action," he said. "You are the head hunter and you are also like the quarterback of the defense. You're in control."

Golden called Tucker explosive earlier this week. 

“He’s a 4.5 guy who’s 230,” Golden said. “He played a lot there last year and even a great deal before the bowl game, he took a lot of reps there. He’s got some stored up. Talking to [linebackers coach] [Brown], he was comfortable with his recall to this point.”

August 07, 2014

Notes from Thursday's Canes practice: Ice Harris talks becoming an assistant; Golden has high praise for Heaps

When Tim "Ice" Harris rejoined the Miami Hurricanes staff back in March as the assistant director of football operations, his plan was to finish his final year of college so he could put himself in position to become an assistant coach should a position open. 

That opportunity came a little earlier than  expected. When linebackers coach Micheal Barrow stepped away last week to go on sabbatical, coach Al Golden decided it was time to make Harris, who spent 24 years coaching in South Florida at the high school level, a full member of his coaching staff.

“God is good, you know?," Harris said Thursday after practice, his third day as UM's running backs coach. "He definitely sets things up for you when you least expect it, but if you do things the right way, you definitely get your blessings. It’s an awesome blessing and I’m so excited to be in the position that I’m in, and I’m running with it.

“This is something I’ve been waiting for my whole life, you know. The hard work that you put in doing things the right way at the high school level, developing young people and then to have an opportunity to be the running backs coach at the University of Miami, it’s a dream come true.”

Although it's not an NCAA requirement for a college coach to have a degree, it is a standard colleges want their coaches to meet. Harris, 48, said he's at the tail-end of completing his degree in business administration and is just "waiting on some grades, some final stuff to finish up." He said Thursday he thinks he'll be finishing school just before September starts. 

"It's going to be different and exciting [being on the other end of recruiting and going into high schools]," Harris said. "But one thing they're going to be able to see is when we talk about dreams and goals and stuff we always set out to do they can actually somebody of my magnitude, it doesn't matter how old you are, how long it takes, if you're doing things the right way dreams will come true because time will pass by."

Barrow was arguably Miami's best recruiter in South Florida. Harris said Golden still hasn't decided which areas he will absorb in recruiting, but it's hard to imagine a man who has coached at Miami High, Northwestern, Central and Booker T. Washington wouldn't be asked to try and corner the market in his backyard.

"He's a guy that a lot of families and players can relate to," running back Duke Johnson said. "Just to have him coaching us is exciting. Just knowing he comes from the area where I'm from and knows what it takes to be successful and he's going to install upon us to be successful. I'm just excited to see what he's going to bring and help us learn."

Harris, known for his expressive behavior on the sideline and not being one afraid to chew a player out, was asked if he might give offensive line coach Art Kehoe a run for the title for feistiest Canes assistant.

"Oh, no," Harris said. ""Art Kehoe, he's got me. He's a true veteran. I haven't caught up with him. [I'm] just going to focus on development. Whatever we have to do to get them to be developed -- take their talent and game to the next level, understanding this team's mission -- that's what I'm going to focus on."

GOLDEN HAS HIGH PRAISE FOR HEAPS

Golden had high praise for Jake Heaps Thursday, who again took the majority of reps with the first team at quarterback. Freshman Brad Kaaya also received work with the ones.

“Just a complete understanding, poise, experience, very coachable, not an error-repeater," Golden said. "Anything you correct, he gets fixed. Pleasure to work with right now.”

Told by a reporter Heaps seems to be making the extra effort to connect with his offensive line and teammates, Golden responded: “He’s that kind of guy. Glad he’s here. Mature, grateful, and doing a great job trying to bring it all together for us.”

Although he overthrew the speedy Stacy Coley and Phillip Dorsett on a pair of long passes, Heaps had several highlights on Thursday including a nine-yard touchdown pass during 11-on-11s. His most impressive throw was to sophomore Malcolm Lewis. Heaps showed nice touch on a corner route, delivering a perfect pass over the safety and for a 30-yard gain.

> Golden mentioned defensive linemen Chad Thomas, Anthony Moten and Demetrius Jackson as freshman who could all compete for playing time this season. He also said freshman Darrion Owens is fighting for a starting job as the strongside linebacker. Owens has been wearing a black jersey -- designated for starters -- the first three days of camp.

"We’ve got a long way to go, but certainly those guys are going to help us,” Golden said.

> Senior receiver Rashawn Scott, suspended twice in his career by Golden, was wearing an orange jersey (designated for offensive starters) Thursday for the first time in camp. What has Golden seen out of Scott lately?

“More maturity right now, more focus," he said. "He’s just got to stay with the structure, be around good people, keep making good decisions and he’ll allow his talent to come to the surface. I think that’s the biggest thing with Rashawn. He’s done a great job this summer. I’m proud of him. Clearly, he’s come back in the best shape of his life because he’s playing good football right now.”

> Why is Coley in a white, non-starter jersey?

“Stacy’s doing good," Golden said. "It’s just a deeper position than it was a year ago. It’s deeper and Tyre [Brady] and [Braxton Berrios] tightened it up for us. Again, Phillip healthy, Herb healthy, Malcolm healthy, much different group and Rashawn back, much different group."

> Freshman running back Joseph Yearby missed Wednesday's practice because he was sick the night before. Yearby was back at practice Thursday. "We were prudent with him," Golden said. "We held him out. We didn’t like where he was at at 2 o’clock, we held him out. That’s it. I’m moving on.”

> Thursday was the first day the Hurricanes donned shoulder pads in camp. Miami spent the previous two days in only helmets. The team will be in helmets and shoulder pads again Friday. They will move into full pads on Saturday.

AUDIO CENTER

Here is what the folks down at UM were talking about after Thursday's practice -- the third of the fall.

AUDIO: Al Golden talks about how Jake Heaps has looked in practice

AUDIO: Ice Harris talks about being hired as an assistant coach and what it means to him

AUDIO: Receiver Malcolm Lewis on his return from injury and Phillip Dorsett's eye-opening 40-time

AUDIO: Tight end Standish Dobard on his development and new teammate Raphael Akpejiori

AUDIO: Sophomore Walter Tucker discusses his move back to linebacker and his role as a two-way player

Hurricanes basketball announces non-conference schedule -- Who's going to Gainesville Nov. 17?

JUST IN:

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team will host seven home games and travel to Gainesville, Barclays Center and the Gildan Charleston Classic during its 2014-15 non-conference slate, Coach Jim Larrañaga announced Thursday.

“This is a great non-conference schedule for our players and our fans,” said Larrañaga. “Playing Florida, Illinois, Providence and competing in the ESPN Charleston Classic will give us great competition to gauge our progress and prepare us for our ACC schedule."

UM opens the season with an exhibition against Eckerd College on Nov. 6, followed by the regular-season lidlifter on Nov. 14 against Howard. After games at 2014 Final Four participant Florida and at the Charleston Classic, the Canes return to the BUC for six of the final seven home games.

UM will face preseason Top 10 ranked Florida for the first time since 2009, in a Nov. 17 matchup in Gainesville, then the Canes will host the Gators in the fall of 2015. After the in-state matchup, Miami plays in the Charleston Classic Nov. 20-23, which includes Akron, Charlotte, Cornell, Drexel, Penn State, South Carolina and Southern California. The Canes will then face Charlotte on Nov. 25, also part of the Charleston Classic.

After five-straight home tilts from Nov. 28 to Dec. 19, Miami hits the road for Brooklyn to face Coach L’s alma mater and 2014 Big East Champion, Providence College, in a Dec. 22 matchup at the Barclays Center.

Miami’s home non-conference schedule is highlighted by the Dec. 2 ACC/BigTen Challenge game against Illinois. The Hurricanes last defeated the Fighting Illini in 2013, on their way to the NCAA Sweet 16. The Canes will also face a pair of conference champions in Horizon League regular season champs Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec. 6) and Ohio Valley champs Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 19), as well as South Alabama (Nov. 28) and Savannah State (Dec. 8) at the BankUnited Center.

UM wraps up non-conference play in Coral Gables on Dec. 30 against College of Charleston.

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.

 

Miami Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

Nov. 6

Eckerd College (exhibition)

Coral Gables, Fla.

Nov. 14

Howard

Coral Gables, Fla.

Nov. 17

at Florida

Gainesville, Fla.

ESPN Gildan Charleston Classic

Nov. 20

Drexel

Charleston, S.C.

Nov. 21

Akron / Southern Cal

Charleston, S.C.

Nov. 23

South Carolina, Penn State, Cornell, USC, Charlotte

Charleston, S.C.

Nov. 25

at Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C.

Nov. 28

South Alabama

Coral Gables, Fla.

Dec. 2

Illinois

Coral Gables, Fla.

Dec. 6

UW-Green Bay

Coral Gables, Fla.

Dec. 8

Savannah State

Coral Gables, Fla.

Dec. 19

Eastern Kentucky

Coral Gables, Fla.

Dec. 22

vs. Providence

Barclay’s Center

Dec. 30

College of Charleston

Coral Gables, Fla.

 

 

August 06, 2014

GRAY SKIES IN THE GABLES: Frosh RB Trayone Gray reports ... Kaaya works with first team ... UM in lightning/rain delay

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Talented freshman Trayone Gray (Miami Carol City) reported to his first day with the Hurricanes on Wednesday afternoon.

Gray, a first-team All-Dade Miami Herald selection last year, is wearing No. 32 and working with the running backs.


Coach Al Golden previously said that Gray could be used as a 'Wildcat' type quarterback but would likely start with the running backs -- as is the case Wednesday. Gray could also find himself at wide receiver sometime down the road.

"He took that first screen for quite a long way," Golden said of a Gray catch during the first 11-on-11 session of the day.

"I think we have him listed at 208 [pounds], but he weighed in at 222, so he's a big back. We'll see where he grows – will he grow into a wide receiver? Will he stay at running back? I don't know. He's young – he just got here. We just saw a couple of plays today, and we told him what to do so we could see him. We'll look at it and see where he goes, but he's certainly a big kid. We're happy he's here."

-- Miami's second practice of the summer was in a lightning delay for over 90 minutes.


Things like this happen in South Florida on an August afternoon.


-- Offensive coordinator James Coley said he was going to rotate his quarterbacks with the first team in camp.

On Wednesday it was true freshman Brad Kaaya's chance to get in some reps with the first unit. Jake Heaps was working with the second team today.

Hurricanes looking to establish depth at linebacker in camp

Hurricanes defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio opened camp Tuesday feeling the best he has ever felt regarding depth on the defensive line and in the secondary.

"Last year I don't think we had a stretch where we had more than three healthy safeties available," D'Onofrio said. "Now I'm looking at six guys and I'm no longer forced to play two of the young ones.

"We have some options at that nose tackle position between Earl [ Moore]. Calvin [ Heurtelou], who was here in the spring, [freshman] Cortel [Jenkins] and [junior college signee] Mike Wyche. The competition is really going to make everybody better."

Linebacker? That's another story. The dismissals of Alex Figueroa and JaWand Blue last month following their arrests on sexual battery have made developing depth at linebacker D'Onofrio's top priority in camp.

"I felt like we had seven guys coming out of the spring," he said. "Now we've got to go back and find No. 6, 7, and 8. That's going to be my focus. Just trying to figure out who the best combination of guys are on the field, particularly in passing situations."

After seniors Denzel Perryman (middle), Thurston Armbrister (strong side) and junior Raphael Kirby (weak side), there isn't a whole lot in the way of playing experience. D'Onofrio said 6-2, 210-pound sophomore Jermaine Grace, the team's fastest at the position, is currently fourth in his eyes on the depth chart but freshman Darrion Owens (6-3, 236) is coming on strong.

Tuesday, sophomore Walter Tucker, who spent most of last season and the spring as a fullback after being first recruited as a linebacker, was back taking snaps at linebacker. D'Onofrio said junior Tyriq McCord, who plays the rush linebacker position in the team's 3-4 formation, has strong-side experience and will be used there "while we develop other guys."

"There are going to be some guys that get shots early, and we're going to look at different combinations there," D'Onofrio said. "It will be good. We'll have competition. We've made some adjustments, made some moves. We'll work through it."

THIS AND THAT

What was senior defensive end Anthony Chickillo's first thoughts when he heard about the arrests and dismissals of two teammates on charges of sexual battery last month?

"Our thoughts were all with the victim and her family," he said. "Obviously, a huge mistake was made."

New defensive tackle Michael Wyche, signed out of East Los Angeles Junior College this summer, has already shed 10 pounds since his arrival to drop down to 6-4, 340 pounds. He's also established himself as a force in the weight room.

Wyche bench-pressed 225 pounds (the NFL Combine testing standard) a total 35 times, good for second on the team behind Corey King's 37 reps. Wyche said coaches want him to play at 335 pounds.

"I'm more about the action than talking, so I can't wait to get out there and just try to make some plays and learn about the defense," Wyche said.

Former basketball player turned tight end Raphael Akpejiori said he spent the summer working with former Hurricanes Jimmy Graham and Santana Moss on route-running and catching.

"At first I was getting jammed a lot [in 7-on-7s]," he said. "I didn't know how to get a release. But I've been doing pretty well so far. I've been finding myself open a lot. I dropped a few balls, but I think I caught more than I dropped. It's been great. "

August 05, 2014

AUDIO: Interviews from the first day of Hurricanes camp: Duke, Dorsett, Wyche, Heaps, Crawford, Chickillo

Here are a bunch of interviews from moments before the first practice of fall camp at Greentree Practice Field in Coral Gables.

AUDIO: Running back Duke Johnson's 1-on-1 interview with Manny Navarro

AUDIO: Receiver Phillip Dorsett talks his blazing 40-time of 4.19 seconds

AUDIO: New Canes DT Michael Wyche talks about his strength, size and the potential of the defensive line

AUDIO: New Canes QB Jake Heaps on what he would like to accomplish the first week of practice

AUDIO: Canes safety Dallas Crawford said he's had full grasp of the defense since a week before the spring game

AUDIO: Defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo on his health, the arrests of former teammates Alex Figueroa and JaWand Blue and the state of Miami's defense

AUDIO: Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio talks big picture

AUDIO: New tight end and former Canes basektball player Raphael Akpejiori on his transition to the gridiron

August 04, 2014

News, notes and quotes from Al Golden's press conference the day before the start of fall camp

Hurricanes coach Al Golden met with reporters Monday morning to preview the start of fall camp on Tuesday. Here is a collection of news, notes and quotes covered over the 28-minute press conference. 

AUDIO: Al Golden's press conference

> Golden said redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Olsen will "absolutely" be at practice Tuesday.

It was reported Friday Olsen was suspended for at least one game for failing a drug test. Golden wouldn't address the issue of a possible suspension of Olsen directly, saying that was a question athletic director Blake James or associate athletic director Chris Freet would have to handle. 

James declined to comment on the subject of Olsen Monday.

"As far as how we're approaching camp: we have four quarterbacks," Golden said. "We're going to cut it to two after the second scrimmage, about two weeks prior to the first game. We'll cut it from four to two at that point. And then we'll have two we'll get ready for the trip to Louisville [in the season opener Labor Day night]."

Does Golden believe Olsen is committed to being a Hurricane for the long term? "In my mind sure, absolutely," Golden said. "Kevin has made a lot of progress this summer. He really has. He’s made a lot of progress, and grew a lot as a person, so I’m anxious to see that tomorrow. That’s what I want to see, just how much he’s grown. Just being in meetings, I can hear him. He’s more vocal, he’s more confident, understands the system a lot better and has had a lot of opportunities to grow since the spring and I’m excited to see what he can do tomorrow."

> Asked who would be limited or sidelined when practice starts Tuesday, Golden only mentioned quarterback Ryan Williams.

"I think he’s going to meet with the doctor tonight, so rather than me act like I know what I’m talking about, why don’t we just get an idea where he is [Tuesday]," Golden said. "He’s had no setbacks. He’s doing great physically. Obviously his mind has always been tremendous in terms of the game and the leadership from that standpoint. Is he going to be a factor in this race in the next five weeks? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know and it’s not worth speculating on. Let’s see what Dr. [Lee] Kaplan and his staff say and we’ll stay on track. He’s got much more experience in dealing with this and the integration part of it than we do, so we’ll just follow his orders."

> What does Golden want to see out of his eventual starting quarterback? "We need a QB that can manage the game, that’s smart, that protects the football and that has a great presence on the field in terms of getting us in the right play when we need to be," Golden said.

> Golden said kicker Matt Goudis "did have a little issue this summer but everything that I understand is he’s been much better here the last two weeks so he should be good."

> Golden said most of the incoming freshman are in and some are being processed. "We expect to have everybody out there [Tuesday] except two individuals," Golden said. "We'll reaffirm that as the day goes on. But we're still waiting on the arrival of receiver Darrell Langham and running back Trayone Gray to save you that question."

> With linebackers coach Micheal Barrow leaving the team to go on sabbatical last week, Golden has moved former running backs coach Hurlie Brown to coach that position. Golden said he has full confidence Brown can handle it. Plus, Golden pointed out, both he and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio have coached the position in the past and will lend a helping hand when its needed.

"Not the best of timing. But all that is, is circumstance," Golden said. "It's not the definition of what's going to happen moving forward. Or, it's not the result. It's just the circumstance. It's not going to determine anything. We have good veterans at those two [coaching] positions and we expect our guys to rally and be stronger in camp."

Golden said moving Brown to defense is something the former Hurricanes safety is "very comfortable with."

"Obviously being in the meetings, the staff meetings and understanding the nomenclature of our defense,  being the type of guy who has a rapport with everybody I think he's going to make the transition quickly," Golden said.

As far as elevating Ice Harris to running backs coach, Golden said: "More than deserving and obviously very grateful. Here's a guy that's been doing this for more than a quarter century for this opportunity. And I know he's going to give us everything he has and he's going to make us better."

> With linebackers Alex Figueroa and JaWand Blue no longer on the team following their arrests for sexual battery last month Golden said there's no question the Hurricanes "lost some depth, but we have some other guys that are going to rally."

"It's going to give [freshman Terry] McCray an opportunity. It's going to give a guy like [freshman Mike] Smith an opportunity, Demetrius Jackson, Juwon Young, and obviously you already mentioned [Jermaine] Grace. Those guys will all get an opportunity," Golden said. "Having said that, I'm excited about our group. I don't want those that are not with us to diminish what the guys that are with us are all about. [Rapahel] Kirby. Denzel [Perryman] has had a great summer. 245 pounds now. [Darrion] Owens I mentioned earlier and [Thurston] Armbrister."

Golden said Grace has had a good summer. "He ran some of the fastest 40 times on the team," Golden said. "Consistently under 4.5. He's 210 pounds now. He's more experienced. He's smart. He's an excellent special teams player. He gives us three down value. He's a competitor and a striker. So, excited about Grace. And clearly, Owens. You guys know I was excited about his focus and his performance in the spring and how he's going to great opportunity at SAM [strongside linebacker] along with Thurston Armbrister. We'll start McCray over there as well."

> Golden said he's brought in guest speakers to talk to the team regarding this summer's sexual battery incident involving Blue and Figueroa.

"I'm responsible for all 114 guys and really every staff member," Golden said. "I'm responsible for everybody. But it's something we take seriously. It's something we're very prudent with in terms of being proactive... it's something that's disappointing. We just have to continue to educate and communicate and make sure we're making great choices on campus." 

> Golden said running back Duke Johnson has been fully integrated into workouts this summer and he doesn't expect his surgically repaired ankle to be a problem. Golden said Johnson has an edge about him, is stronger and at 208 pounds is running his fastest 40 times as a Hurricane.

"I don’t think we need to modify anything with Duke," Golden said of his workload. "We’ll be prudent with him just as we are with anybody. But he wants to go. He’s ready to go. It’s not been, ‘Hey, I’ll wait till I get to camp to test it.’ He’s been testing it out here for all of summer B, which I believe started June 28.

"At the same time we're excited about that group in general. With the emergence of Gus. Yearby. Tucker gave us a lot of work there in the spring. DeAndre Johnson. We have depth there. Duke has done a good job of mentoring a lot of those guys."

> What areas can Duke Johnson improve on?

"The biggest thing is we all want to see him pick up where he left off," Golden said. "He was pressing his runs. They were hitting where they were designed to hit. So he had great discipline at the end of last year. He was running between the [tackles] really well and then when he got to the second level he would allow his talent to take over but he was very disciplined in that. I don’t know if you guys feel the same way as observers, but I know this: He was running differently in those last 3 ½ games. He was running as strong and as hard as I’ve ever seen him run and delivering stiff arms, lowering his pads, running really where the ball needed to be run. Moments prior to the injury he was running the ball at Florida State as well as anybody probably all year. We need him to pick up where he left off and go from there."

> Is there any empirical data Golden can point to that he saw in the offseason that points to that the defense will be better?

"There are a lot of things certainly coming out of the spring in terms of our tackling, yards per carry, three-and-outs, things of that nature, certainly we’re attacking more and we’re stronger," Golden said. "We have seven guys now on the defensive front that [bench press] 225 [pounds] 30 times or more. Mike Wyche comes in and gives us great size and strength; Calvin Heurtelou comes in and gives us the same. AJ Moten, Chad Thomas, so in terms of depth that’s the best we’ve been there on the defensive line in quite some time.

"We’re stronger and the biggest difference I hope, and this isn’t empirical, this is just watching, is the experience and quiet mind that we’re seeing in the secondary. Everybody is back, everybody is stronger, everybody is stronger, everybody is experienced, the communication is really good, the belief in each other, the accountability. And we’ve got great leadership. We had the best leadership we’ve had in quite some time. Chickillo stepped up, Kamalu stepped up, Jamal Carter, Denzel, a bunch of other guys, Ladarius – just since the spring a really good summer and now they’ve got to bring it into the season."

> How does Golden assess the gap between FSU and the rest of the ACC?

“Again, I’m not worried about them," he said. "They had a great team last year. They deserve to be champions. We’re on a different course. We’re on a different path. We’re proud of the way we do things. We’re excited about the direction we’re going. We’re excited about the resources and the commitment that we’ve gotten from the administration and Blake James. As I’ve said multiple times recently, we sat here a year ago and we didn’t know what the future held. We weren’t quite in this building yet. We didn’t have the fields. We didn’t have the medical center that’s going up that’s going to house our sports medicine. We didn’t have the training table. So, there’s been a great transition here in the last 12, 13 months. We’ve moved into this facility, $17, $18, $19 million, whatever it is. Seven million dollars on the field, $3 million training table. We have a $120 million U-Health medical facility that’s going to house our sports medicine and performance center that’s going to be 200 yards away. All of those things are in conjunction, obviously, with what Mr. [Stephen] Ross and the Dolphins are doing to Sun Life [Stadium].

"As bleak as it was a year ago, we’re equally excited right now. We’re proud of the direction that we’re going. We appreciate the commitment that’s been made, all of the donors, the alumni, the administration, the board, to really make a lot of changes in a short period of time and to do it under not-so-great circumstances. That’s really all I’m focused on. I don’t have time to worry about anybody else’s program. We’ve got to take care of the Canes.”

> What are realistic expectations for freshman five-star defensive end Chad Thomas?

“We don’t really look at Chad as a freshman. We look at Chad as a defensive end. His maturity, his leadership, really are well above his years. So his expectations are high, but more importantly, his standards are high. He comes from a program where the standards are high. So, it’s going to be hard for us to say, ‘Chad, take it easy. You’re only a freshman.’ That’s not going to happen. Chad wants to make a difference just as Anthony does, Moten, just as Demetrius does, just as Mike Wyche does, Courtel. We’re going to let him rip and he’s going to compete over there at end with Chickillo and Hamilton and those guys to start. Because of the summer Kamalu had, we had a chance to separate him. So he’s over there with Olsen and those guys at the other spot. So we’ll see how that develops. All those guys are bigger and stronger and Chad’s going to be a big part of this and including the third-down pass rushing.”

> Do you guys have the size and depth up front to play more 3-4 full time?

“We’ve never really been 3-4 full time," Golden said. "We’re in and out of it depending on situations. It’s become a game of situations. Everyone thinks it’s a game of four quarters, it’s really not, it’s a game of situations and when they go 10 or 11-personnel, three or four wides, excuse me, when they go three or four wides, we’re going to match up a lot of times. Sometimes that means put the nickel out there, so you might see Deon Bush, Crawford or Tracy in the slot, okay, then bring another corner in. If Deon goes down in the slot, we have a bigger guy that’s kind of like a sam in space and we bring a safety in. As it relates to the front, we’re in and out of fronts constantly. Sometimes we’ll be in an odd front which is 3-4 based, other times we’ll be in over or under front, which is 4-3 based. We have the flexibility now because we’re stronger at the point of attack, we’re the strongest we’ve been there. Again, seven guys over 30 reps, that’s a big number. That’s a big number. That was a lot of hard work by Swasey and those guys, great jobs by the guys up front doing that, now we’ve got to see it pay dividends for us.”

> Assuming he gets in, what position will freshman Trayone Gray start out at? 

“We’ve talked a lot," Golden said. "We’re not where we want to be yet depth-wise at running back, so we might put him at running back. He’s also a young man that can play wide receiver or wildcat quarterback. Very good athlete, he’s about 6-2, 208, 209-pounds. A big strong kid. We’ll look at him in a number of places just to see where he best fits in and also get him involved on special teams early.”

August 01, 2014

Here's my updated UM quarterback Kevin Olsen story. Any thoughts you'd like to add?

    The quarterback situation at the University of Miami is in flux again.

    Redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen, whose status was elevated when formerly declared 2014 starter Ryan Williams tore his anterior cruciate ligament in April, has been suspended for at least one game, WQAM’s Adam Kuperstein first reported and the Miami Herald confirmed through a source early Friday evening.

    The reason for the suspension, Kuperstein said on the radio and the source confirmed, was for failing a drug test.

    UM did not respond to multiple Miami Herald requests to verify the report. 

    Olsen was also suspended for the Russell Athletic Bowl in December for violating team policy, and had gotten into trouble before he arrived at UM when he was initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident and careless driving after a May 2013 incident in his hometown of Wayne, N.J.

    Olsen’s suspension for at least UM’s Sept. 1 opener at Louisville – the same team that badly defeated the Hurricanes in the Russell – means the competition for starting quarterback in Williams’ absence will be between recently transferred graduate student Jake Heaps and true freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier.

    Former UM scholarship quarterback Gray Crow, of Clearwater, was recently switched to H-back, UM coach Al Golden revealed at the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff.

   The Herald source said “Thankfully" Heaps was brought in to compete. “Otherwise there would be two true freshmen competing for the starting job.’’

    Olsen, 6-3 and 210 pounds, was a four-star athlete ranked 10th nationally among pro-style quarterbacks by Rivals.com and seventh by 247Sports when he arrived at UM. He is the younger brother of former UM star tight end Greg Olsen, now with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

   It is believed that coaches wanted, if possible, to redshirt Kaaya, the highest rated true freshman vying for the job. But Golden said recently the competition was “wide open’’ and first he’d have to see what each quarterback could do in camp.

  Fall camp opens Tuesday for the Canes, and the question remains whether Olsen will be there. (My comment: Will Olsen stick around for this season? Will he transfer? I don't know answer, just saying...)

  In other news, UM announced Friday evening that the football program has signed rising senior tight end Bowman Archibald to a grant-in-aid agreement earlier Friday.

   Archibald, the school wrote in a release, “ranked among the top tight ends in the nation for the Class of 2015, played on both sides of the ball and exploded with an impressive junior campaign at Pasco High in Dade City, Fla.”

   Archibald, 6-6 and 244 pounds, is rated as the fifth best tight end in the Class of 2015 by ESPN. Rivals.com and 247Sports.com have him as the 17th best tight end in the nation.

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

  

 

BREAKING NEWS: Changes to UM Canes football coaching staff

HERE'S THE RELEASE STRAIGHT FROM UM WHILE I'M WORKING ON STORY...

So sorry to hear the Barrow news. I'm talking to someone right now on phone who knows the family and confirms to me that Barrow's mother is very ill and he wants to take care of her. Susan Miller Degnan

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Linebackers coach Micheal Barrow is taking a sabbatical from coaching to devote his time and attention to a family matter. 

 "As a proud University of Miami graduate, former football player and coach, it is with a heavy heart that I announce I'm taking a sabbatical from coaching this season,” Barrow said. “This was an extremely tough decision to leave my dream job. However, I have a very important family obligation that requires my full attention, and I would not have had enough time to effectively fulfill my coaching duties.

 “With the 2014 football season starting soon, please know that I am truly sorry if my decision brings the organization any inconveniences. I would like to thank President Shalala, Blake James, Al Golden, the coaching staff, UM football players and the entire UM family for seven great years. During this time, my professional career has grown and afforded me wonderful opportunities on and off the field. I have enjoyed working alongside some excellent colleagues and privilege to coach some great kids. I will never forget my tenure at the U and I'm looking forward to watching them this year. Go Canes!”

 Head football coach Al Golden wished Barrow and his family the best, and said the Hurricane legend will be missed.

 “Coach Barrow has always put faith and family first in his life and this is clearly a time in his life where family needs him,” Golden said. “Micheal Barrow is the very definition of a Miami Hurricane - having given 11 years of class, service and leadership to the University and our community. We wish Micheal, Shelly and their children all the best as they enter a new chapter in their lives and we certainly hope Mike will return to coaching and mentoring young people in the near future.”

 Barrow’s departure has resulted in subsequent promotions of two current Hurricanes staff members.  Former running back coach and two-time national champion Hurlie Brown will move to the defensive side of the ball as linebackers coach for his 15th year of coaching.  In addition, assistant director of operations and national champion Tim “Ice” Harris has been promoted to running backs coach.  Finally, former Hurricane captain and national champion Kevin Beard will replace Harris as assistant director of football operations.

 Brown, who completed his first season as Hurricanes running backs coach in 2013, will shift back to the defense where he spent his playing career in the orange and green as a standout Hurricanes safety.

 “Words cannot explain how fired up I am about going back to coaching on the defensive side of the ball,” Brown said. “The defensive side of the ball has always had a very special place in my heart. And to be given the opportunity now in my career to be able to coach linebackers at the University of Miami is a dream come true.

 “I have played on the defensive side of the ball all my life, safety, corner, linebacker and some defensive line. My passion and love for football has always come from a defensive mindset. Aggressive play, physical play and playing with a high motor are all defensive terms that have helped fueled me to love this game. I know I can help instill my love for the game and the University of Miami in the young men that are playing linebacker for the Hurricanes today. It is truly a blessing from God!” 

 Golden said Brown’s mentality is a perfect fit for his defensive staff.

 “When I informed Hurlie Brown about the vacancy on defense he was sad to leave the running backs he coached and recruited, yet  equally excited about the opportunity to return to the defensive side of the ball,” Golden said. “Hurlie brings with him 14 years of coaching and playing experience at four different defensive positions.  His time on offense has made him a better coach, and Hurlie has always had a great rapport with our players, regardless of their position, so I know his transition back to defense will be a seamless one.  We are excited to add Hurlie Brown and his attacking mindset to our defensive staff.” 

 Harris, who has more than 24 years of high school coaching experience and recently joined the staff as assistant director of football operations from nearby national powerhouse Booker T. Washington High School, was promoted to running backs coach.

 “I am so excited to be the running backs coach at the University of Miami.  Having been born and raised in Miami and also a high school football coach in Miami, words cannot explain how I feel about this great opportunity, “Harris said. “It’s a dream come true. I have a great passion and love for the game of football and developing young men to help them achieve their maximum potential every day and also be great in the community.”

 Golden is excited to shift Harris into his new position.

 “I’m extremely happy for Ice Harris and his family,” Golden said. “Ice has been a winner, teacher and mentor to young people in South Florida for more than 20 years and is excited to share his wisdom with our student-athletes here at The U!  Coach Harris brings a championship mindset founded on discipline and toughness to the running backs room.  Born and raised in Miami, Ice is an excellent recruiter and is excited to continue the many relationships he has formed here in the Miami community and throughout the state over the years.  It is with great respect and admiration that we welcome the National Champion Ice Harris to our staff as running backs coach.”

 A member of the Hurricanes team that won the 2001 national championship, Beard will join the staff from his most recent position as coach on the University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) coaching staff.

 “I am truly thankful for this opportunity.  I understand that this opportunity does not come around often.  To come back to my alma mater, a place that has shaped me to be the man that I am today is truly a blessing,” Beard said. “I am excited to get started with this new chapter in my life.  I hope to pass on the legacy that was passed on to me during my tenure here to bring a national championship back to the Miami Hurricanes.”

 Golden is excited about welcoming a member of the Hurricanes community back to the football staff in Coral Gables.

 “We are very fortunate to add Kevin Beard to our staff.  As a former team captain of a national championship team here, he truly understands what it means to be a student-athlete at The University of Miami,” Golden said. “His diverse background as a player, teacher, coach, and trainer enables him to contribute in a unique way, and we’re looking forward to him sharing his experience with our team.  His work ethic and personality will be welcome additions to our staff.  I am excited to have him rejoin the U Family.”

 

It's true: Miami Hurricanes linebackers coach Micheal Barrow leaving the program

    Just when you thought it would be a smooth, quiet transition into fall camp...

     Long-time University of Miami football coach Micheal Barrow is leaving the football program, a source told The Miami Herald late Thursday.

     Fall camp opens for the Hurricanes on Tuesday afternoon, and UM coach Al Golden was previously scheduled to address the media on Monday.

      Barrow’s departure was first reported by CanesInSight.com.

     A native of Homestead, Barrow coached linebackers at UM for seven seasons. Barrow played for the Hurricanes from 1989-’92, when he was the Butkus Award runner-up and finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting. He was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and finished his career as the third-leading tackler in UM history.

      Other Internet reports by CaneInsider.com and 247Sports.com said former UM receiver Kevin Beard would be joining the Hurricanes’ staff, though it was not confirmed.

     The 247Sports.com report said Beard has joined the UM staff “in a quality control position.’’ FootballScoop.com reported UM special teams quality control assistant Billy Furman left for Eastern Kentucky.

      When reached by the Miami Herald late Thursday, Beard, who was a UM player from 1999-2003, said, “I don’t have a comment.’’

      When asked if he would love to become a UM staff member, Beard, the receivers coach at University High School in Davie, said, “Definitely. If it happened that I could be an asset to UM, that would be a good situation.’’

    And CaneSport.com's Gary Ferman posted on his message board that he heard from a source close to Barrow who said Barrow's mother was very ill and that Barrow wanted to care for her -- but Ferman wouldn't confirm. 

       SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN    

 

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