UM notebook

Top lineman commits to Miami Hurricanes; Malcolm Lewis ahead of schedule

 

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.com

The Hurricanes landed a commitment from 2014 top offensive line prospect K.C. McDermott on Tuesday — three years after plucking his brother and current starting center Shane McDermott out of the same Palm Beach County high school.

Rated as the 31st player in the nation by 247Sports, the four-star offensive tackle picked the University of Miami over Notre Dame, saying he wanted to stay close to home. The Irish recently hired his eldest brother, Tyler, as a graduate assistant.

“I couldn’t leave my friends and family,” McDermott said to TV cameras during an announcement at Palm Beach Central High. “It wasn’t going to happen.”

Speedy recovery

Even though watching the replays of his gruesome, season-ending ankle injury last September at Georgia Tech might induce others to feel sick to their stomachs, Hurricanes receiver Malcolm Lewis said he doesn’t cover his eyes or wince when he sees it.

“I watch it and see what I could’ve [done] to prevent the injury,” Lewis said Tuesday — about a month since doctors cleared him to begin individual work and route-running on his own.

“I should have kept my feet chopping instead of letting it sit in the ground and roll. ... It was just a football play — fighting for extra yardage. I’m still going to be the same player, fight for extra yards every time.”

Lewis said doctors first told him it would take him about eight months to recover. He said Tuesday he’s about a month ahead of schedule. He said he expects to be fully cleared for contact next month and ready to go in the fall.

“It felt weird [at first] but now its getting better and better,” Lewis said of running routes at the start of camp. “It’s just amazing to be on the field again, and I’m going to treat every play like it’s my last because you never know.”

• Defensive end Dyron Dye, injured in the first spring scrimmage, had surgery to repair his right Achilles tendon and is out indefinitely. Coach Al Golden said there is a chance Dye could return this season.

• Asked Tuesday who has had a good spring on defense, coordinator Mark D’Onofrio first mentioned sophomore cornerback Antonio Crawford, who has been wearing a coveted black jersey since the team’s third practice.

“He’s playing both corners for us and he’s playing our star position, which is our nickel,” D’Onofrio said. “Again, for a young kid to be able to play two positions, he’s really done a nice job.”

• When freshman linebacker Alex Figueroa “turned an ankle” recently it looked like he might be out for a while, D’Onofrio said. But Figueroa was back at practice Tuesday participating in limited reps. “You’ve really got to love his attitude and what he’s done so far,” D’Onofrio said.

• With injuries to the team’s three starting interior offensive linemen, junior Malcolm Bunche, who started all 12 games at left tackle last season, has worked primarily at left guard this spring. Offensive line coach Art Kehoe said he has been impressed by his “flexibility” and wouldn’t rule out having Bunche line up inside next season.

“He’s actually playing some center, too,” Kehoe said. “Malcolm has really grown up, matured a lot. He’s a dynamite player.”

• Kehoe claims freshman offensive lineman Sunny Odogwu (6-8, 318) is so flexible he can go into a split and touch his chin to the ground.

“He’s going to be a terrific player, has size 17 shoes — his hand measures 12 inches [from pinkie to thumb with his hands spread out]; the highest measurement we’ve ever had in school history,” Kehoe said. “This guy has a great engine but really doesn’t know what he’s doing yet.”

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