Al Golden spoke publicly about injured quarterback Ryan Williams for the first time Monday on the radio, saying how “thrilled’’ coaches were with the effort by his players during Friday night’s closed scrimmage, then adding how “deflated’’ and “disappointed’’ for Williams he was.
“But he’s going to fight back,” Golden told WQAM host Joe Rose during a 19-minute interview.
Golden, who will meet with the rest of the media Tuesday morning after a spring practice session, said Williams, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the scrimmage, was “in great spirits” and not experiencing a lot of swelling.
“We were fairly confident because as a staff we watched it Friday night,” Golden told Rose of the non-contact play in which Williams sustained the injury. “There was no swing of the knee; there was nothing like, ‘Whoa, boy! We’re in trouble.’ We were confident that he was going to be OK.
“It was just one of those freak deals. He was running. So, you don’t know why it happens. I feel badly even talking about it.”
Williams also sustained cartilage damage and will undergo surgery Wednesday, a source revealed to the Miami Herald. He is not expected to return for the start of the season, the source said, but the rest depends on the extent of the injury and how he recovers and rehabs.
Golden told Rose that Williams was the “clear-cut” starter, “there’s no question.”
But the coach said redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen, the new projected starter, was “gaining ground” and improving. “Everybody left with a really good feeling for what Kevin could do.”
• Golden told WQAM that injured running backs Joe Yearby and Duke Johnson will take snaps this week in individual drills — a controlled setting — with no contact.
• The coach said receiver Malcolm Lewis had five catches for 103 yards on Friday.
• Golden said safeties Deon Bush, Jamal Carter and Dallas Crawford have jumped out to him more than any other defensive position group in camp, and that linebacker Raphael Kirby has been “the most consistent guy.”
• Golden said the “spring game’’ will not actually be an orange vs. white game, as has been the case since he has been at UM.
“Because of some injuries,” he said, “it’s going to be just offense vs. defense” in a controlled scrimmage type of setup. “We’ll start out with some one-on-ones, then seven-on-sevens, then put the ball in various spots …’’
• The spring game is at 6 p.m. Saturday at Sun Life Stadium, with festivities beginning at 3 p.m.