UM coach Al Golden confirmed Wednesday after practice that sophomore wide receiver Herb Waters (406 yards and five touchdowns), who was on crutches with an undisclosed injury and missed practice for the third consecutive day, will likely miss the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Golden said Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Lewis and Alan Hurns are the receivers who will have to compensate, as well as tight ends Clive Walford, Asante Cleveland and Beau Sandland. “We don’t anticipate Herb right now,’’ Golden said.
After Golden spoke, 6-4, 259-pound junior Walford said he will decide on bowl night whether to turn pro a year early.
Walford is the father of a nearly 5-month-old son, but he did not say whether that will affect his decision-making.
Walford played in all 12 games this season, starting 11. He has 30 catches for 372 yards and two touchdowns.
His career numbers: 36 games, 24 starts and 73 catches for 995 yards (13.6-yard-per-catch average).
His potential reason for staying: “I could better my craft, learn more football because this is actually my fourth year playing football. There’s still a lot I need to learn. … If I stayed on the team I could be a major leader for the squad.”
He would not reveal which way he was leaning. He said he has not gotten back his evaluation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Underclassmen must declare to the NFL by Jan. 15.
Said Walford: “It definitely won’t go down to the wire. I’ll make my decision directly after the game, whether I’m going to go or whether I’m going to come back. That night.’’
Junior defensive end Anthony Chickillo said he has not gotten his evaluation back from the NFL Draft Advisory Board The other junior deciding whether to leave early is linebacker Denzel Perryman.
• Golden said the Hurricanes were to spend Christmas evening at Dave & Buster’s as a team. “We have a great dinner planned,’’ he said. “Rather than just feeling like you’re in a hotel room, we’ll have the kids interact and engage with each other and walk around and play some video games. It will be fun for them.”
• Also on the injury front, Golden said defensive tackle Luther Robinson “had a little bit of an ankle deal’’ but appeared to practice Wednesday. “Other than that, I think we’re good.”