UM defensive tackle Ufomba Kamalu improving as Canes defense out to prove itself
03/27/2014 12:01 AM
03/27/2014 1:36 AM
He wears a black rubber bracelet with the words “chaos tempo.”
Defensive end Ufomba Kamalu indicated Wednesday after a spirited University of Miami football practice that he is primed to help turn around the Hurricanes’ woes of 2013.
“It’s getting there,” Kamalu noted of the “chaos tempo” label that he said defined the defense of his former school, Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. “Guys are flying around. Our safeties, all our players are flying around. It’s getting crazy.”
In his lone season at Butler, Kamalu, a three-star defensive tackle as a recruit out of Starr’s Mill High in Fayetteville, Ga., had 54 tackles, 7 ½ sacks and 14 tackles-for-loss in 2012.
Last year at UM, he recorded 10 tackles, 3 1/2 tackles-for-loss and 3 ½ sacks in nine games. He said is significantly stronger after gaining 10 pounds in the offseason, and has been especially aggressive during practice this spring.
“I’m definitely a lot better from a year ago,” said the 6-6, 285-pound Kamalu, a junior. “I’m a lot faster. I feel like I have more understanding of the defense right now.”
The defense, which has dominated the offense during much of practice, did well again Wednesday.
“We’re talking better, guys know their plays,” Kamalu said. “We’re more normal as a group. We’re more together.”
Kamalu said his unit has much to prove after the way the defense was maligned last season.
“We have something to prove to ourselves, not to anyone else,” Kamalu said. “We want to be good for our sake.”
The Canes passed the halfway point of spring practice Wednesday, closing in on Saturday’s first of three spring scrimmages (it’s closed) and seeing progress from some of the injured players slowly being integrated back, such as receiver Malcolm Lewis and tight end Clive Walford.
“He’s as healthy as he has been in a while,” UM coach Al Golden said of Lewis. “It was good to see him go have some fun,” He added that the limited Walford “made progress. We’ll get him out there a little more Friday and see what he can do Saturday.”
Sophomore linebacker Alex Figueroa left in the middle of practice because of a shoulder-related situation. “Obviously we want to be careful because that’s what he injured last year,” Golden said. “I don’t have any reason to believe it’s severe, but we just want to be prudent if it’s a recurring injury.”
Defensive tackle Olsen Pierre, who has missed practice recently with “a head deal,” likely won’t make the scrimmage, but will be back after that, Golden said.
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