UM notebook

Al Golden: ‘It was a great first day’ of spring practice for Miami Hurricanes

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Sidelined:</span> Center Shane McDermott, who has an injured foot, was one of 12 players who were unable to participate in the first spring practice.
Sidelined: Center Shane McDermott, who has an injured foot, was one of 12 players who were unable to participate in the first spring practice.
Peter Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald staff
WEB VOTE What should happen with UM defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, who has come under sharp criticism for last season's poor defense?

Despite 12 of his Miami Hurricanes unable to take part in the first day of spring football, coach Al Golden was especially chipper Saturday after a nearly three-hour practice at Greentree Field.

“It was a great first day,” said Golden, who had an especially tough week in light of the death of former Hurricane JoJo Nicolas and the hospitalization of current offensive lineman Hunter Knighton. “It was a lot of teaching, a lot of installation, breaking down, three-step game, drop-back game, those types of things. They did a great job and were prepared for it.”

Knighton, who was transported to UM Hospital on Monday and unconscious and in intensive care after a campus workout, has improved, the coach indicated.

“Hunter is doing really well,” Golden said, stressing that Knighton’s family has asked for privacy and has not revealed the diagnosis. “I had a chance to see him [Saturday] morning — just really excited how he’s doing. … Everybody is thinking about the young man right now and the family really appreciates the privacy that everybody has afforded him.”

The players who did not participate Saturday and will be wearing red, no-contact jerseys for their respective injuries: receivers Braxton Berrios (ACL), Malcolm Lewis (sports hernia) and Herb Waters (knee); cornerbacks Corn Elder (knee), Nate Dortch (knee) and Ladarius Gunter (shoulder); safety Rayshawn Jenkins (unspecified); defensive end Anthony Chickillo (unspecified); center Shane McDermott (foot); running backs Duke Johnson (ankle) and Joseph Yearby (fibula); and tight end Clive Walford (unspecified).

Chickillo, Lewis, Jenkins and Waters are expected to return for at least part of the spring session, which encompasses 15 practices and ends April 12 with the spring game at Sun Life Stadium.

Wearing yellow (limited) jerseys were linebacker Thurston Armbrister and safety Nantambu Fentress.

Golden confirmed that junior Dallas Crawford has changed positions from running back to safety, the position he was recruited to play and spent a year practicing as a redshirt. He called Crawford one of the 22 best overall players on the team.

•  Ricky Carroll, a 6-3, 198-pound fifth-year senior out of Mission Viejo, Calif., and formerly of Orange Coast College, is the punter.

• Senior Denzel Perryman, now 6-0 and 245 pounds and looking more muscular than ever, said he will play middle linebacker during 4-3 defensive schemes. Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said he will continue to use the 3-4 scheme as well.

• Receiver Rashawn Scott, who had a long touchdown Saturday, is back after a season marred with injury and suspension. He was contrite about the past and said he is eager to make the most of his final season.

• About 200 fans showed up for the open practice, with the players wearing shorts and no pads. UM’s next practice is at 9:40 a.m. Sunday, 40 minutes later than originally scheduled.

Read more UM stories from the Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category