Highlights from Al Golden’s Thursday news conference:
### Golden wishes he would have known NCAA sanctions before camp starts Saturday, but that’s not going to happen. But “we’re not going to let this disrupt our third consecutive training camp…. We’ve been to hell and back the last two years.”
Though some parties have been told the NCAA is targeting late next week to reveal sanctions, the NCAA has cautioned that it’s not definite and could stretch a couple weeks beyond that. Nobody at UM would be surprised if this goes deep into August.
### Golden said running back Eduardo Clements (neck) will be medically cleared.
### He said incoming defensive linemen Julio Derosier and Ufomba Kamalu are expected “to be here by Saturday.” Of the signees, only Devante Bond, Rhyheem Locksley and Derrick Griffin haven’t been cleared academically. Locksley and Griffin are going to prep school, as previously announced. Bond could be headed there, too.
### Golden, on his mindset heading into the season: “I don’t know if I’m any more confident. I’m just being me. I’m a football coach, I’m not a litigator, a researcher, a defender. I had 15 different jobs the last two years. It’s been so long since we’ve been able to talk about anything but that four letter word [NCAA].’”
He mentioned Virginia Tech’s long run of success and said: “If we want this conference to be what it wants to be, Miami has to do its job.”
### Golden’s nephew Greg is a walk on receiver: “It’s a lifelong dream for him. He’s mature enough to understand I’m the coach. He’s in a good shape. I’m excited he’s here.”
### He said having difficult choices about playing time at some positions such a receiver “is a good problem. I don’t know who the starters are there, or who are the six or seven that are going to travel. I’m as anxious as you guys to see where they’re at…. We’re going to have a good rotation at every spot.”
### Players who didn’t adhere to team rules have been purged. “We have the right guys on the train. We have a team that’s focused. This is a very mature team right now.”
### He said he feels very good about eight offensive linemen and would like to identify a ninth and 10th. “I don’t know who the starting five is and that’s a good thing. I know there are at least six guys going to bed tonight thinking they’re the starter.”
### Most of the front seven has put on considerable weight, which was an offseason priority. Anthony Chickillo has gone from 260 to 275.
“Chickillo grew up on the field [and] his lack of weight and strength was evident. Now he’s going to hopefully harness all that experience and be where he [needs to be] physically.” Jelani Hamilton has gone from 258 to 285.
### He likes how tight end Beau Sandland has developed.
### He said Duke Johnson has an “elite stiff arm and protection of the football. He has to take the next step and be able to handle a little bit more. We’ve got to get his touches up a little bit more. He’s got more muscle. His body composition is better. He’s stronger.”
Fortunately, he’s not taking Duke Johnson off returns to try to conserve energy. “For us to say we’re not going to have Randy return kicks, then he’s not Randy Johnson.”
### He said Jimmy Gaines is ahead of Raphael Kirby at middle linebacker. “If I wanted to show a kid what a middle linebacker should look like, I would go to our web site, hit [a link], and listen to Jimmy” explain “what a linebacker does pre-snap.”
### He said receiver Allen Hurns “has been a tremendous leader for us. Really proud to have him on our team. He deserves a measure of good health.”
### Will Ray Lewis be around the program more now that his son is here? “I don’t know. We haven’t had that dialogue.”
### He said one reason he came to UM is “I believed there would less Achilles’ heels here, less chinks in the armor in recruiting.”
Please see the last post for lots of Dolphins news, views and notes from Wednesday night.