UM notebook

Hurricanes punter Pat O’Donnell receives praise from coach

 
 
University of Miami teammates celebrate with punter Pat O'Donnell (16) after the team was about to down an O’Donnell punt inside the 5-yard-line against the University of Virginia during their game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Nov. 23, 2013.
University of Miami teammates celebrate with punter Pat O'Donnell (16) after the team was about to down an O’Donnell punt inside the 5-yard-line against the University of Virginia during their game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Nov. 23, 2013.
Al Diaz / Staff Photo
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Coach Al Golden said Tuesday he’s “struggling a little bit” with why punter Pat O’Donnell is not a finalist for the Ray Guy Award.

O’Donnell, a fifth-year transfer from Cincinnati, is averaging 47.6 yards a punt this season, second-best in the nation. He had a season-long 71-yard punt against Virginia on Saturday and has 19 punts of 50 yards or more among his 43 punts. He has pinned 14 punts inside the 20 and had eight touchbacks

“Pat’s a great kid, always locked in, very process oriented, always out here working on his game,” Golden said. “Blame the offense or blame me for not putting the punt team out there enough.”

Golden said O’Donnell is in the mix to be named team MVP.

• Golden said receivers Phillip Dorsett (knee) and cornerback Artie Burns (ankle), two players coming back from injury, looked good during Tuesday’s light practice.

• Six Hurricanes players and several coaches’ wives delivered 48 turkey dinners and other traditional nonperishable Thanksgiving food items to the Greater Mercy Missionary Baptist Church in Overtown. Players delivering meals included quarterback Ryan Williams, receiver Herb Waters, defensive tackle Justin Renfrow and linebacker Akil Craig, defensive back Alex Irastorza and defensive back Hugo Delapenha Jr.

Director of player development Ryan McNamee organized the trip along with Kelly Golden, Diona Kehoe, Valerie McNamee and Inika Vance. Pastor Willie Williams greeted players and was appreciative of the Canes’ special delivery.

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