UM notebook

Miami Hurricanes stop for spring break as Al Golden appears pleased

 
 
Head coach Al Golden speaks on the opening day of UM football practice at the Greentree Practice Field on UM campus, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013.
Head coach Al Golden speaks on the opening day of UM football practice at the Greentree Practice Field on UM campus, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013.
Peter Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald Staff

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

The Hurricanes completed their fourth spring practice session Thursday before being dispersed by coach Al Golden for spring break.

Golden seemed genuinely pleased by the past week, and explained that the reason he always starts spring practice the week going into vacation is, basically, so the players can mentally take home with them what they’ve learned — and let it simmer.

“It’s just the philosophy of it,” he said. “Longer duration. If you can get four installs in before spring break, now you’ve increased the amount of time they’re thinking about football.

“I want them to enjoy their time off, relax, make sure we don’t get too tight — stretch, lift a little bit.”

Practice, open to the public, resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 18. Some of the players, such as track athletes, are staying at UM and continuing to work out.

News and notes

• Defensive end David Perry, a 6-7, 280-pound rising senior out of University School by way of Portmore, Jamaica, quit the team and is not expected back. “David Perry is excused right now, and we’ll go from there,” Golden said. Perry played in one game (Savannah State) in 2013 and had two tackles.

• Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Olsen had a good day, hitting receiver Rashawn Scott on several passes in different situations. Golden said he’s getting better and “playing with a lot more confidence.”

• The coach said offensive lineman Hunter Knighton, who was hospitalized a week ago Monday after collapsing following a workout, “is doing well and they’re just being prudent with him. That’s all I can say about that. We’re excited how he’s doing.”

•  Braxton Berrios, an early enrollee who is recovering from ACL surgery on his right knee, will return to the team “closer to June than August,” Golden said.

The coach said he’ll play “slot receiver, Z receiver, kick return, punt return, special teams. He did all those things. He played wildcat, too.”

• On the offensive line, guard Danny Isidora and tackle Taylor Gadbois were praised by Golden. “Taylor is as gifted as any of our offensive lineman. I think the only one that’s more gifted is probably [tackle] Ereck Flowers. … For Taylor, it’s time.’’

• Reserve tackle Sunny Odogwu had his best day of practice Thursday, Golden said.

• The defensive players wearing the coveted black jersey: linebackers Alex Figueroa, Denzel Perryman, Raphael Kirby, safeties Deon Bush and Jamal Carter, defensive tackles Ufomba Kamalu and Olsen Pierre, cornerback Tracy Howard and defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad. Pierre walked gingerly off the practice field and into a building midway through the session, escorted by head trainer Vinny Scavo.

• Scavo was honored Thursday at the end of practice by being tapped into the prestigious Iron Arrow Honor Society. Based on Seminole Indian tradition, Iron Arrow recognizes those who exemplify love of alma mater, character, leadership, scholarship and humility. Also tapped into the Iron Arrow Society on Thursday was baseball player Javi Salas, who pitched a perfect game Tuesday.

• Golden said freshman middle linebacker Juwon Young, a hefty 6-2 and 240 pounds, “needs to spend more time studying football, which is not uncommon in his situation. [He’s] physical, can run, can strike, just gotta keep studying it so he can play faster.”

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