UM football

Hurricanes switch Walter Tucker to offense

 

Freshman speedster Walter Tucker has been switched to fullback, one of the changes on the Hurricanes’ final fall practice depth chart.

 
Walter Tucker, American Heritge, Boys track and field athlete of the year at The Miami Herald Athletic Awards Breakfast at Signature Grand in Davie on May 24, 2013.
Walter Tucker, American Heritge, Boys track and field athlete of the year at The Miami Herald Athletic Awards Breakfast at Signature Grand in Davie on May 24, 2013.
Joe Rimkus Jr. / Miami Herald Staff

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

UM released its third, and final, depth chart of fall practice late Monday night, about the same time it unexpectedly announced that practice was shutting down a day early.

One of the most-noteworthy changes was the move for freshman Walter Tucker from linebacker to fullback, where he will play behind entrenched senior starter Maurice Hagens.

Tucker, from Plantation, was presumably moved because redshirt freshman running back Danny Dillard is no longer on the team, as confirmed by UM on Tuesday.

Tucker is a track star who graduated from Plantation American Heritage High and will also compete for the UM track team. He is a two-time state champion in the 110-meter hurdles and state runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles.

On media day on Aug. 9, he said he was timed at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. In high school, he ran the 100-meter dash in 10.4 seconds and posted the eighth-fastest hurdles time in the nation for a high school runner.

“This is basically like high school, but at a faster pace,” he said. “But the game is the same.”

Tucker’s father, Walter, was an NCAA national champion in the 400.

Last season, Tucker played running back, linebacker and defensive end at American Heritage. He rushed for 343 yards and five touchdowns on 36 carries.

Golden said Monday morning that “there’s a depth chart we’ll break camp with, and then probably 50 percent of jobs will be settled in those next six or seven practices.”

The coach wouldn’t specify which jobs were “solidified,” but he did mention the defensive line, secondary and wide receiver units.

Golden always tells his players that “the depth chart is written in sand.”

Some of the changes:

• Freshman receiver Stacy Coley, the subject of much praise during camp, is now the backup to starter Allen Hurns and to sophomore slot receiver Herb Waters.

• Clive Walford has overtaken Asante Cleveland as the top tight end.

• Anthony Chickillo, a junior, is back as a co-starter with senior Shayon Green at one defensive end position, with Green listed as the starter on the other side as well.

• Newcomer Justin Renfrow, a fifth-year graduate student who just transferred from Virginia and had his first day of practice Aug. 13, is backing up first-team defensive tackle Curtis Porter.

• Newcomer David Gilbert, a fifth-year graduate student who just transferred from Wisconsin and also began practice Aug. 13, is behind Green on one side at defensive end.

• Newcomer Ufomba Kamalu, a junior-college transfer who began practice with Renfrow and Gilbert, is the third-team defensive end behind Chickillo/Green.

• True freshman Alex Figueroa is now listed ahead of junior Thurston Armbrister at outside linebacker, with an “or” between their names.

• At cornerback, Tracy Howard is ahead of Antonio Crawford, with an “or” between their names; and on the other side, Ladarius Gunter is the starter, with Nate Dortch or Artie Burns behind him.

• Kacy Rodgers and AJ Highsmith are the starting safeties, with Deon Bush behind Rodgers and Rayshawn Jenkins behind Highsmith.

• There will be no UM media access until Monday, four days before the Aug. 30 opener against Florida Atlantic.

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