November 02, 2015

UM and Adidas unveil new all-black 'Military Appreciation Day' Alternate Football Uniforms

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The Hurricanes and Adidas on Monday unveiled another alternate uniform to be worn this Saturday when the Canes host Virginia at 3 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium.

Designed in collaboration with the UM athletic department, the special edition uniforms "pay homage to the U.S. military and creates a bold new alternate look for the Hurricanes,'' according to a UM news release.

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Here's most of what the release says:

 

To honor those who have served and currently serve our country, players will don a camouflage TECHFIT baselayer with an oversized metallic silver “U” overlaid on top of it, khaki socks and camouflage adizero 5-Star 4.0 gloves that all incorporate the colors of U.S. Army Delta Force uniforms. Prominently featuring an oversized metallic silver “U” logo, the adizero 5-Star 4.0 gloves feature 4-way stretch mesh for compression fit and GripTack 2.0 for consistent control in all weather conditions.

 

Accenting the camouflage theme, the helmet, jersey and pants are a bold black and feature metallic silver oversized “U” logos on the shoulder pads, pants and helmet.  The jerseys are highlighted with player numbers in the Hurricanes’ signature orange colorway and outlined with metallic silver. Additionally, the pants feature metallic silver striping on the right leg that incorporates hurricane style cuts and patterns, while left leg features “Miami’ in oversized metallic silver text. To cap off the look, the “Canes” moniker is strategically placed across the chest in metallic silver with orange outlines.

To complete the military homage, the Hurricanes will debut the new Delta Force inspired Dark Ops 2016 adizero 5-Star 5.0 x KEVLAR® and 2016 Freak x KEVLAR® cleats, constructed from a durable, flexible canvas – similar to military accessories and footwear. Embroidered stripes pay tribute to the insignia found on elite forces uniforms, and stitching reinforced with KEVLAR® provides durability and strength.  The 5-STAR FRAME, featuring a KEVLAR® reinforced plate, is the optimum blend of lightweight, strength and traction.

Further honoring our nation’s active duty members and veterans, the University of Miami has partnered with the Miami VA Fisher House to host honorary captains and provide 1,000 free tickets to veterans and current members of the military. Additionally, the Hurricanes will and donate game worn jerseys and helmets to be auctioned with proceeds benefiting the Miami VA Healthcare System.

 

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The last time UM unveiled an alternate uniform was the all-white "305 Ice'' unis for the road game against Cincinnati. UM lost that game, but I thought those unis were cool. 

Maybe all-black will bring a different result.

Check out the Adidas info here.

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

November 01, 2015

Does anyone have any aspirin? And congratulations to the Miami Hurricanes.

Completely amazed.

I have covered this Hurricanes football team as an occasional backup, full-time backup or beat writer since Butch Davis took over in 1995.

I covered the double-overtime national championship game against Ohio State.

I covered UM's national title win against Nebraska in the 2001 season.

I've seen several overtime games and several just plain crazy games.

But I've never seen anything as crazy as I witnessed tonight on that last, breathtaking play.

There are photos that Mark Walton's knee touched the ground, and others saying there was a UM block in the back at the 15-

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yard line on the final play, but after nearly 10 minutes of discussion on the sideline by officials, they called it a touchdown -- and there's no turning back once that's done.

They can suspend the officials, they can demand an apology from the league, but there's nothing the Duke Blue Devils can do to reverse the result.

And for now, I'm just happy for Artie Burns, a prince of a kid, and for quarterback Malik Rosier (what a debut starting performance) and for the defense that produced that early goal-line stand and might have saved the Canes' season. I'm happy for interim coach Larry Scott -- and for the entire UM team.

After so much misery this past week, it's nice something good happened for them.

And now, at 1:30 a.m., and only because we just turned back the clock, I'm heading to my car. 

Good night.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

October 31, 2015

Gameday blog: Miami Hurricanes at Duke Blue Devils

Live Blog Miami Hurricanes at Duke Blue Devils: Oct. 31, 2015
 

Game Day. What do you think? Is it possible? My take today on Miami Hurricanes at Duke.

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Durham, N.C. -
- So, we know that Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (concussion) is back home in Miami today as the Canes take on No. 22 Duke at 7 p.m. (ESPNU).

And I was told by a source Thursday night, at the same time that I learned the Kaaya news, that UM's top receiver Rashawn Scott (seen in photo above, No. 11) wasn't expected to travel to North Carolina, either. But I haven't confirmed that he isn't here, so we'll see. 

Scott wasn't even put on the injury report, which is strange if he didn't travel and it's due to an upper body (possible shoulder) injury, which he did sustain at Clemson. Again, won't know for sure his status until later.

But even if Scott didn't travel, that is not necessarily a major factor as to whether the Canes win or lose today. Kaaya gone? That is a major factor.

 This Duke team (6-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) is not the Duke I used to write about when the Canes were winning Big East and national championships.

This Duke team has a top-10 nationally ranked (according to statistics) defense in several categories: total defense (281.3 yards allowed per game), passing yards allowed (151 yards allowed per game), scoring defense (14.1 points allowed per game) and third-down conversion percentage defense (not something the third-down plagued Canes want to hear) among them.

Duke safety Jeremy Cash, who went to Plantation High, was recruited by Miami but opted to go out of state, is second nationally in tackles for loss.

 The Blue Devils also have a quarterback in Thomas Sirk who leads his team in passing and rushing -- and the Canes have not done well against running quarterbacks over the past several years.

 In the kicking game, Miami has Michael Badgley No. 1 in the nation in field goals per game (great that Badgley has been dominant, bad that he has been used as often as he has been), and Duke has the No. 3 man in in Ross Martin.

  Among punters, the Canes are strong with Justin Vogel, ranked 20th nationally and third in the ACC with his 44.6-yard average. He also has put 13 punts inside the 20-yard line.

  Duke's punter Will Monday has fared even better, ranked ninth nationally with his 45.6-yard punting average.

  This Duke team also has an excellent coach in David Cutcliffe, the 2013 National Coach of the Year who has brought the Blue Devils back from a 4-8 record in 2008 to ACC champs in 2013 and a 9-4 record in 2014.

  With Al Golden gone, tight ends coach Larry Scott has taken over at Miami as interim head coach, but what an uphill challenge he has in these last five games beginning with Duke -- all of them Coastal Division games.

 Last night, Duke was favored by 13 points.

 The Blue Devils have not played as tough a schedule as Miami. The Dukies have played at Tulane, North Carolina Central, Northwestern (their only loss), Georgia Tech, Boston College, at Army and at Virginia Tech (Duke won last week 45-43 in four overtimes; Miami beat VT at Sun Life Stadium two weeks ago 30-20). 

  So, the question is, can the Canes overcome all the turmoil from this past week, from this season, to win one, as the players are saying, for Golden, for cornerback Artie Burns (whose mother Dana Smith died on Tuesday and for whom Artie is dedicating the game), for themselves?

  With backup quarterback Malik Rosier making his first career start, it will be very difficult. The Canes need to run the ball, which they haven't been able to do the past two games. The offensive line needs to improve in a hurry. The defensive line needs to put pressure on Sirk. And the Canes need to stop getting penalized so much for every reason you can think of, including for unsportsmanlike conduct.

   Can it be done? Yes. But it will take an unbelievable effort, and with what has transpired recently, I can't, in all honesty, see it yet.  

  Maybe these Canes will overcome the odds tonight. For the Hurricanes and their fans, that would be an uplifting, badly needed treat on Halloween.

  SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

October 29, 2015

Canes captains for Duke do not include Kaaya -- you know what that means

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Judging by the captains for this weekend’s Duke game tweeted out by the Miami Hurricanes’ football feed, Brad Kaaya will not be flinging the ball at Wallace Wade Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday.

But we've figured Kaaya probably wouldn't play for days now.

However, he will be listed as questionable on the injury report by UM. Go figure.

The good news: receiver Rashawn Scott is not listed on the injury report.

According to what I've been told, he likely won't even be traveling.

   Given the facts that the Canes’ quarterback sustained the concussion last Saturday in the 58-0 debacle against Clemson, and did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday, and still wasn’t able to watch film on Wednesday, according to his roommate and probable starter Malik Rosier, his chances never looked very promising.

   The announced captains: tight end Stan Dobard, safety Dallas Crawford, receiver Herb Waters and cornerback Artie Burns. Burns is playing just four days after his mother, Dana Smith, died at age 44 of a heart attack.

   Also, for those into game-day unis, the Canes are wearing all white Saturday.

  SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

   

October 28, 2015

University of Miami Hurricanes update on Artie Burns, Brad Kaaya and Rashawn Scott

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Miami Hurricanes football update:

*** Cornerback Artie Burns, whose mom died of a heart attack yesterday, inspired the Hurricanes by showing up for practice Wednesday morning. He will travel with the team to Durham, North Carolina, to play Duke at 7 p.m. Saturday. He gave his teammates a huge lift, and they did the same for him.

*** Miami has not made any official announcement, but as we reported today, Brad Kaaya, who has a concussion, is not expected to play against Duke. However, interim coach Larry Scott said UM coaches and those within the program are discussing the possibility of Kaaya traveling with the team if he doesn't play. The cabin pressure on the plane flight might prevent him from going on the trip, as well as other factors obviously. It's a shame the Hurricanes aren't playing at home Saturday, because Kaaya's presence would be a bonus.

*** Top receiver Rashawn Scott (shoulder) was back at practice catching some balls today, according to Scott. Receiver Herb Waters said he was doing better and expected him to play, but I'm not so sure about that. Coach Scott isn't being specific about injuries. 

Here's what Scott said today about Kaaya and Rashawn Scott:

"Brad wasn’t able to practice today but he’s doing better. Again, with those things, those are touchy so we’re going to let the doctors handle that day by day but I did have a chance to speak with Brad. He looked great and he sounded great. You have to calm him down because he’s ready to go, and that’s the competitive nature in him.

 "Rashawn was able to get out today, catch some balls and get moving which is part of what’s going on with him, the soreness. That was great to see him out in cleats and a helmet and pads and catching the football. We’re encouraged by Brad, too."

   Will Brad travel?

   Coach Scott: "Even if he can’t play, that’s something we’re talking about and working through and evaluating. We’ll see. We’re hopeful he will, but we’ll see what happens." 

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

 

 

 

 

 

October 27, 2015

Dana Smith: Rest In Peace. GoFundMe set up for Miami Hurricane Artie Burns and his younger brothers.

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Can it get any harder for the Hurricanes family?

Dana Smith, the mother of University of Miami star cornerback Artie Burns, died overnight after suffering  a heart attack. Smith was 44.

Smith, like her son Artie, was a former track star at Miami Northwestern and worked as an accountant for a hospitality company.

Last week she told the Miami Herald for an article about Artie that she felt very good about what he and his brothers have achieved.

  "I am so happy and so proud of Artie,'' Smith told me. "Through all the adversity of not having a father here, he's overcome it and has been a positive role model for his family.'' 

   She was an amazing woman, very smart and warm and generous and loving to Artie -- the father of a 1-year-old son -- and his two younger brothers. Smith raised Artie, 20, and brothers Thomas, 15, and Jordan, 12, mostly by herself.

Artie's father is in prison in South Carolina, though the two talk whenever possible.

Safety Dallas Crawford said after Tuesday's practice that at least 15 Hurricanes gathered at the hospital last night to support Artie, who obviously missed practice and according to players is with his grandparents.

"It's a sad situation,'' Crawford, said. "It feels like we haven't gotten good news in a while.'' 

Fellow safety Deon Bush talked about his emotions. 

"I was there last night,'' Bush said. "I can’t tell you how he’s doing right now because I know losing a mom is unimaginable. It hurts. It hurts all of us to see our brother go through that.

 "His mom was like a mom to us. We’re here to support him. It’s crazy."

 Continued Bush: "You’ve got to push through, man. We’ve got to rally for him. We can’t be down because we can’t be negative right now. We’ve got to be positive. We’ve got to rally around him and support him as much as possible. That’s how we’ve got to do it as a team."

  From the Hurricanes:

 UM has established a GoFundMe donation fund to help Artie and his family.


NCAA rules permit an institution to run a fundraiser for student-athletes in catastrophic circumstances. The University of Miami has begun this process for Artie and his family by setting up a GoFundMe page to provide support for funeral, medical, and related expenses.

It is imperative that any member of the Miami community who wishes to donate money to the Burns family follow the procedure above in order to ensure Artie’s eligibility is not put in jeopardy.

Please make sure all money is provided through the GoFundMe page and not given directly to Artie or any member of the Burns family.
 
As of 5:30 Tuesday the donations had approached $25,000.

Burns has started at cornerback in every game this season and is one of just nine players nationally that has at least five interceptions. The Miami native also is an accomplished track and field athlete. He finished second in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.70 seconds at the ACC Championships and also competed in the NCAA Championships.

The entire University of Miami family thanks you in advance for your generosity to Artie and the Burns family.

  SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

October 26, 2015

Dana Smith, mother of Hurricanes CB Artie Burns, in grave condition in hospital

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   Tragic news on the University of Miami football front.

   Dana Smith, the mother of University of Miami star cornerback Artie Burns, is at a local hospital in grave condition, according to someone close to the team.

   UM's football staff was informed that Smith had a heart attack, though that has not been officially confirmed.

    Miami coaches, including former head coach Al Golden, had gathered at the hospital  Monday night.

   Smith, a former track star at Miami Northwestern High, has raised Artie and his two younger brothers, Thomas, 15, and Jordan, 12.

   Thomas, a sophomore football player at Northwestern, has committed to the Hurricanes. 

     Artie Burns is tied for third in the nation with five interceptions.

   His status for the Duke game in Durham, North Carolina, at 7 p.m. Saturday is obviously not known.

   Burns' latest tweet Sunday, after Golden was fired: "Finishing the season strong for coach golden. wise men did a lot for me.''  

   Dana Smith talked to the Miami Herald last week and seemed to beam through the phone about her sons.

  “I am so proud of Artie,’’ Smith said. “Through all the adversity of not having a father, he’s overcome it and has been a positive role model for his family.’’

   Smith said not to assume that her son would turn pro after this season. He is a gifted hurdler who has goals of being in the 2016 Olympics.

   “To do that, he’d have to stay at UM,’’ Smith said. “I’d love for him to get his degree, especially when it’s free.’’

   Facebook friends have been sending out mass prayers.

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN        

 

Butch Davis is interested in becoming UM's next coach, but is UM really interested in him?

Bovada lists him as the favorite.

Former players have said they would love to have him be the Miami Hurricanes head coach again.

But is Butch Davis, 63, really in the running to be UM's next head coach?

Depends on who you ask. 

“Obviously, I’d love to be considered for that opportunity,” Davis said on 790 The Ticket Monday morning. “Time will tell whether that’s the direction the school wants to go.

“I’ve told people many, many times: everything I ever accomplished as a coach has its roots in Miami. When you spend 11 years there, you’ve got an awful lot invested in the community. Hopefully my name will be one that will have an opportunity to be considered.”

Internally we've heard over the years how UM trustees and others with power have rolled their eyes when Davis' name has been tossed around because of how his tenure at North Carolina ended among an NCAA investigation and academic scandal. Davis, who cleaned up Miami and its image in the six years he was in charge, has maintained throughout that he was was never implicated by the NCAA for what happened at UNC and has the letter to prove so. He reiterated that on the radio Monday.

A donor I spoke with after Al Golden was fired Sunday told me trustees have urged athletic director Blake James to seek proof from the NCAA itself that Davis was not implicated if James intended to consider Davis to be UM's next coach.

"Up until this year Butch was always met with 'Yeah, he's not going to come back,'" the donor said. "But now Butch is the only person whose name I've heard in hypotheticals. Last year it was [Mario] Cristobal. I don't know if it's the new president, but I think they're willing to consider Butch now."

The donor said UM ended up eating $7 million by firing Golden on Sunday and not waiting until the end of the season. The buyout, the donor said, would have been about $4 million less had UM waited until after the season. But trustees, not James, the donor said, pushed the issue of firing Golden during Saturday's 58-0 loss to Clemson, the most lopsided in school history.

That said, UM apparently had the money to do it and will have the money to offer its next coach upwards of $4 million a season, the donor said. Golden, who was extended through 2019 after his first season on the job, was making $2.5 million, the 42nd highest annual salary for a head coach in college football according to USA Today.

Only 16 coaches in college football are making $4 million or more a season and only one is in the ACC, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher.

"They know that they have to pay to get a big-time coach," the donor said. "Personally, I don't think they're going to settle for an assistant coach or a MAC project. I think it's going to be Butch, [Greg] Schiano or [Rob] Chudzinski. If they're prepared to spend that much whose to say Cristobal doesn't come back as an assistant or a coach in waiting. It's not going to cost a lot to hire Butch."

James set a precedent last year by doing that for baseball when he named longtime assistant Gino DiMare the coach in waiting once Jim Morris retires after the 2018 season. So, that might not be a stretch.

"I've heard Butch would come back at a significant discount," the donor said. "He made North Carolina relevant instantly. He put kids in the draft. Fans can never say he didn't give them what they wanted. The only downside is his age. But you can address that with Mario."

Now, time will only tell if UM's athletic director is thinking the same way.

"The most important thing is to rally the family," Davis told 790 The Ticket. "We all played for Miami — it doesn’t matter who the head coach was.’ You have to rally the fan base, you have to rally the alums, rally the former players. … There is no school in America, and I don’t care who it is, that has that tight bond. If you were part of that program, you’re a Cane for life."

> Former Hurricanes safety Ed Reed told Rich Eisen on his daily podcast Monday he would "entertain" a phone call from UM about the vacant coaching job if called. Reed has no coaching experience. 

"The NBA did it with Jason Kidd and now I even thought about it," Reed said. "I was like 'I'll even put my name in for a coaching job because it seems like the head coach job is just to manage everybody, manage the game and try to help the offensive coordinators and defensive coordinators make the best decisions. I haven't received a call from a 305 number, just so you know."

Bovada: Butch Davis, Mario Cristobal, Rob Chudzinski the favorites to be Hurricanes next football coach

They're only betting odds. 

But if you want to know who the favorites are to be UM's next football coach, Bovada put them out this afternoon and as expected three former coaches with UM connections are at the top of the list.

> Former Miami and North Carolina coach Butch Davis is the favorite at 7/4

> Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal is at 7/2

> Colts assistant head coach Rob Chudzinski is at 5/1

> Memphis coach Justin Fuente is 11/2

> Marshall head coach Doc Holliday is 8/1

> Former Tampa Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano are 8/1

> Houston coach Tom Herman is 9/1

> LSU associate head coach Frank Wilson is 9/1

> And Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville is 10/1

Hurricanes coaching search shouldn't be hard: make it Mario Cristobal, Butch Davis or Rob Chudzinski

It's time to give the people what they want.

Firing Al Golden was the first move.

Making the right hire -- and having him in place by Dec. 1 -- is the next, more important move.

This doesn't have to take that long either.

The list is pretty short: Mario Cristobal, Butch Davis or Rob Chudzinski.

That's what former players and local coaches were telling me this morning, less than 24 hours after Golden finally got the boot.

They want one of their own.

"I actually got calls from both Butch and Mario last night," newly minted University of Miami Hall of Famer Joaquin Gonzalez said. "They are both extremely interested. I am fortunate to have been coached by both. I think they would both assemble great coaching staffs, do amazing in recruiting, and restore the killer instinct in the program. Maybe there is a possibility where we get both... you never know.

"Butch wants to end his career associated with Miami, still has a lot to give. I would love to see him in some capacity on the new staff, maybe starting as the head coach and then transitioning to AD. The one thing I do know, he will put a great staff together. With Mario here, we would not lose a single recruit we wanted!

"If they bring a no name up and comer, they will be calling for Blake's head! This hire can solidify recruiting, ticket sales, and bring lore back into the program. All that would be left to do is win some damn games!"

And that's ultimately what this all comes down to.

The Hurricanes have been sub-standard for too long. Finding the guy to fix the problem doesn't have to be nearly as complicated as trying to get the players to figure out Mark D'Onofrio's defense.

"Butch or Chudzinski, that simple," former Hurricanes receiver Randal Hill said. "Butch has done it before. He led us through one of the toughest times in UM's history and put the program back on the map. I don't want to hear this stuff about him being responsible for what happened at North Carolina a couple years back. He was cleared of any wrongdoing, has the paperwork to prove it. The NCAA sent him a letter clearing him.

"Chud [currently the Colts associate head coach] is a younger version of Butch. I don't want to hear this stuff about how he wouldn't come back to coach in college because he's been in the NFL too long. They all would come back. They bled for this program. I'm close with both of those guys. Mario would be great too."

Miami Jackson coach Earl Little, who played safety for the Hurricanes, said UM's next coach can't be an outsider. It has to be "100 percent Hurricane."

He said the right fit will lead to immediate winning.

"The players are there," Little said. "Look at the kids who are NFL rookies this year. Talent will always be at The U. We need to get back to UM's 4-3 defense. We need to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball. That's Miami football.

"We need to play with more swagger. It kills me when I see other schools play with more swagger/energy than us. For instance: the Cincinnati game. Those kids look like Miami kids. You know why... their head coach [Tommy Tuberville] was my defensive coordinator at The U."

And that's ultimately the most important part of this next hire.

I'm talking about the coordinators and the assistants.

Golden may have been the 42nd highest paid coach in college football according to USA Today, but his assistants are another story.

I speak to enough people around college football to know the Hurricanes don't pay their assistants very well. I also know how to read.

Look at the list of assistants and where they've come from and the look at where former assistants have moved onto since leaving the program. Other than Jedd Fisch's move into an NFL offensive coordinator position, who else has climbed the ladder? Who else has been plucked from this staff over the last 10 years because they were doing an outstanding job?

I love Tim "Ice" Harris and Kevin Beard, two of the best, most passionate coaches on staff. But both came from local high school programs, and both came cheap. You could make those hires at some of the better programs in the country if you had other great assistants around them. The Hurricanes simply haven't had any.

"I'm with you, I like Mario," said Luther Campbell, Norland's defensive coordinator who knows a thing or two about UM's history and South Florida recruiting.

"They just have to give him enough money to pay coordinators. Mario would bring the same fire that Dan Campbell is bringing to the Dolphins. Plus, he would lock South Florida down."

Golden did an okay job recruiting South Florida. There's only so much an outsider could do with an off-campus stadium, NCAA sanctions and a recent string of losing as background. He tried. But he was never the right fit. His defensive system was never the right fit.

"First of all I want to thank Al Golden for all he has done for the high school coaches in the South Florida area. He did a great job in building tghe important relationships betweeh the U and the high school coaches," said Belen coach Rich Stuart, who became the winningest coach in Miami-Dade history on the same day Golden sustained the biggest loss in UM history.

"With that said, I would love to see Mario Cristobal as the new coach of the Canes."

Miami Hurricane recruits react to Al Golden firing

With the firing of Al Golden announced by UM Sunday evening, recruits reacted.

Wellington wide receiver Ahmmon Richards responded in the most extreme way. He decommitted Sunday night with this tweet.

*Three-star cornerback out of Hallandale Deion Jackson said the firing won't affect his commitment, but did say he felt the move was "stupid."

He added: "Golden was a good coach. He had chemistry with the team. He literally used to go on the field and work with the players himself.

"Golden brought a family together. He always used to say, 'This is not just a football program, it's a family.' Half of these college coaches don't care. They don't care. They don't even look some recruits in the eye when they speak to recruits. Golden did and always stayed on top of me with my grades and things like that.

"Other college coaches don't care about building chemistry. If you're good, they want you just to win."

*Jackson's teammate at Hallandale, running back Zack Moss, says the change doesn't affect his commitment.

"I didn't commit to the coaches," he says. "I just look at rosters, mainly my position."

*Lantana Santaluces linebacker Zach McCloud will take a wait-and-see approach. He doesn't have much time as he plans to be an early enrollee in January for the spring semester.

"To be honest, I'm waiting before I make any big decisions. My biggest concern in this process is my future with only three months to decide since I'll be an early enrollee," he says. "I'm not comfortable at the moment, still being patient, though. I want to make an informed decision."

*Four-star St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Sam Bruce, who was in attendance to watch UM's 58-0 debacle against Clemson and has also recently taken an Ohio State visit, when reached said: "No comment."

But Bruce later made his opinion known with the tweets below.

The latter of the two statements, of course, is in reference to UM wide receivers coach Kevin Beard who once coached Bruce at University School. 

*Fellow Aquinas wide receiver and legacy Cane commit Michael Irvin II voiced his displeasure with the decision earlier Sunday.

*Teammate at Aquinas and 2017 linebacker Tyler Dunning had no comment but did post this to Twitter.

*Dionte Mullins' mother posted this on Twitter, noting "#StillCommitted" at the end.

*2017 safety out of Jacksonville Bolles Ahman Ross said, "Committed to UM. I will, of course, evaluate the staff, but I am committed to UM."

*Four-star athlete Tyler Byrd out of Naples posted this.

*Nick Roberts, 2017 defensive back out of Orange Park Oakleaf, expressed similar sentiments in this post.

*Deltona assistant coach David Williams said of senior tight end/defensive end Evan Hinson: "We're staying committed on our end."

*Fort Lauderdale coach Richard Dunbar said of committed defensive end Jaquwan Nelson, "Jaquwan will stay committed to UM but will take all of his visits. Just not sure what the university is thinking at this point. That's very critical for him."

Dunbar is referring to whether the new staff that comes in will continue to recruit his three-star defensive end, which has recorded 66 tackles and 15 sacks on the year.

*The latest UM commit, 2018 wide receiver Daquris Wiggins, said: "I'm still committed."

DAVID FURONES

October 24, 2015

Clemson hands UM its worst loss in school history; former players call for Al Golden's job

With Clemson crushing the Canes Saturday plenty of former players took to social media to express their disgust including newly minted UM Hall of Famer Joaquin Gonzalez.

Kaaya fails concussion test after being pummeled on sack, heads to locker room

Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya was sent back to the locker room after failing a concussion test on the sideline midway through the first quarter, WQAM reported. 

Kaaya was sacked and hit hard by Clemson fifth-year senior Shaq Lawson (6-3, 270) at the UM 36-yard line early in the second quarter. Lawson split two UM lineman on the left side of the line -- tackle Kc McDermott and guard Alex Gall -- to get to Kaaya. Clemson only rushed two defensive linemen on the play (see the video above).

Kaaya walked off the field under his own power before UM trainers performed a concussion test on him on the sideline as players held up towels to shield him. He failed it and returned to the locker room.

Backup Malik Rosier, a redshirt freshman, replaced Kaaya on UM's next offensive series with the Hurricanes already trailing 28-0.

Gameday blog: Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 6 Clemson Tigers

Live Blog Miami Hurricanes vs. Clemson Tigers: Oct. 24, 2015
 

Bring some gently used (or new) books to game today for homeless children

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If you're going to the Clemson-Miami game at noon Saturday, please bring a couple of books -- or more -- to help Kenya Handfield with her 13th-birthday book drive.

The books can be gently used or new, and in English or Spanish or Creole, and intended for very little ones up to high school age.

Cane Moms United are helping  Kenya with her project. She wants to distribute the books to children throughout the homeless community. Kenya is a friend of the Cane Family and the Cane Moms are asking family, friends and fans to bring books to Sun Life Stadium.

Go to Gate H14 West with your books, please.

Kenya and her family will be there to receive the books. Please do not give any books to Cane Moms.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

October 23, 2015

Ask the Clemson beat writer: five questions on the Miami-Clemson matchup

Deshaunwatson

This week, Clemson beat writer Aaron Brenner from The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, was kind enough to give his perspective on Saturday's matchup. Follow Aaron on Twitter here.

SMD:  What makes quarterback Deshaun Watson so hard to defend, and how has his knee held up after ACL surgery last December? Has the knee hindered him at all in his run game?

 AB: Watson does many things at a high level, particular for the college game. Perhaps the pro quarterback Watson mimics the most is Russell Wilson, since he's one step past a dual threat - he's a triple threat, in that he can hand off to Wayne Gallman, tuck and run it himself or drop back and fire a quick pass. It's very difficult to scheme against, especially since Clemson has more than its share of athletes on the perimeter. He's also an improving deep thrower, and reads defenses very well for a kid who just turned 20. As for the knee, that was the hottest question all offseason, and even a lingering concern into the first game or two, but in ACC/Notre Dame play Watson has rushed 45 times for 195 yards and two scores over the course of four games, while absorbing some pretty big blows after runs and passes. He's fine - or as fine as any football player could be. Everyone's "injury-prone," as the label goes.

 SMD: Like Clemson’s Watson, the Hurricanes have a very good quarterback in Brad Kaaya. Clemson is tied for 12th in the nation in passing yards allowed. Can they stop Kaaya, and who are the players – including linemen – he most has to fear?

 AB: Yeah, that's what makes this matchup is fun, is we could see an aerial shootout break out between the ACC's premier young quarterbacks. I would say the key to success for Kaaya is completion percentage; his gross numbers are excellent, but completing just over three of five passes isn't exactly elite, and that's the area where Clemson's pass defense has thrived. (In fact, Miami's next two opponents - Clemson at 43.8 percent and Duke at 43.4 percent - have the second- and first-lowest opposing completion percentages in the country. Food for thought. Defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd, and perhaps Lauderdale Lakes' own Richard Yeargin, will look to pin their ears back on Kaaya; so will Jayron Kearse (Fort Myers) on sporadic safety blitzes. Most ACC fans are aware of third-year sophomore cornerback Mackensie Alexander (Immokalee), but his bookend, Cordrea Tankersley, has really shined through one-half of a season. Kaaya might test 'Tank' further.

 SMD: UM’s starting middle linebacker, senior team captain and tackling leader went down with a season-ending knee injury last week and will be replaced by sophomore Juwon Young – making his first start. The Canes have lost three linebackers to season-ending injuries. Will Miami be able to handle RB Wayne Gallman and TE Jordan Leggett?

 AB: First-year Clemson OCs Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott (Arcadia) have pledged two things: stay true to Clemson's roots of fostering fast tempo, and let the gameplan come to them. When they see chances to throw it deep (like vs. BC), they'll plan to pass; and in weeks like this, against a Miami defense that's allowing 4.9 yards a carry, you could see a lot of Gallman carries. Gallman should be relatively fresh, after just 30 carries total the past two weeks following heavier workloads at Louisville and vs. Notre Dame. Leggett, a Navarre, Fla. product, has a touchdown in each of his last four games - yardages of 25, 6, 29, 8 and 6 - so he's the man to watch in the red zone. By the way, have you noticed the heavy Floridian impact on Clemson's roster?

 SMD: As you told me, Clemson is going for its 35th consecutive victory over an unranked opponent. Do you think the Tigers in any way feel wary about this Hurricanes team? Or do you figure they realize this isn’t the Miami it used to be, and strongly believe this game is a Clemson victory waiting to happen.

 AB: I'd say this: I don't think the Tigers are mentally overlooking the Hurricanes whatsoever, in part because their coaches brainwash Clemson (in a good way) with the one-game-season mentality, in part because of all the Florida products who want to show out tomorrow, and in part because it's a new challenge against a team the Tigers probably realize is perfectly capable of beating anyone. But telling yourself to bring your best every single game is different than actually doing it; if sports were in a vacuum, the favored team would win every game. So the energy is not something I'd question from Clemson at noon; the execution is something I'm dying to watch unfold in what is just Clemson's second road game of the season.

 SMD: Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has a .720 winning percentage (67-26) with the Tigers as a head  coach. He has won at least 10 games in each of the past four seasons after posting a 6-7 record in 2010. How well loved is he and what are a few characteristics that make him so successful?

 AB: He was awkwardly loved until the afternoon of Nov. 29, 2014, when he finally beat those dastardly Gamecocks after five straight losses. Only then did the fanbase completely, totally embrace Dabo Swinney. It's not hyperbole to argue Clemson has been the most consistent team in the country during this recruiting cycle outside of Ohio State, Florida State and Alabama - which just so happen to be the past three national champions - since that quartet of teams brandish the best overall records since the start of 2012. There's one primary characteristic that got Swinney this far: recruiting. Ever since he lured C.J. Spiller to Clemson, that helped blow the doors open for going outside the state to grab Sammy Watkins from Fort Myers, Tajh Boyd from Virginia Beach, Christian Wilkins from Connecticut, etc. etc. Beyond that, he's a well-tuned CEO; he's comfortable with delegating, even having a relatively modest salary so he can pay top assistants like defensive coordinator Brent Venables to keep the Tigers among the ACC's best. 

AARON BRENNER

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

New Unis for UM hoops...

In case you don't follow me on Twitter (shame on you!..just kidding...but you may want to add me to your list if you care about Canes hoops)...

The men's and women's teams had a Medium-Sized Reveal party last night, attended by UM basketball's biggest boosters. It wasn't quite the extravaganza at LIV that the football team got, but it was a nice affair -- with plenty of lovely appetizers.

Here is what the Canes will be wearing this season....

UMuniforms

Be on the lookout early next week for my preview stories on the men's and women's teams.

It should be an interesting season with nearly everyone back, the addition of Oklahoma State transfer Kamari Murphy, and a leaner, quicker Ivan Cruz Uceda (he dropped 20 lbs and went from 24 percent body fat to 9 percent..I want to use his trainer!!)

The schedule has lots of big home games -- Dec. 1 vs. Nebraska, Dec. 8 vs. the Florida Gators, Dec. 29 vs. Princeton, Jan. 2 vs. Syracuse, Jan. 9 vs Florida State Seminoles, Jan. 25 vs. Duke, Feb. 3 vs. Notre Dame, Feb. 22 vs. Virginia and Feb. 27 vs. Louisville.

On the women's team, the Hurricanes are very excited (read: giddy) about the addition of "Double Dutch'' freshmen Laura Cornelius and Emese Hof. They are both members of the Netherlands youth national team, played in the U19 World Championship, and word is they are picking things up really quickly and poised to make an instant impact.

See you at the BUC!

---Michelle Kaufman