Running back Joe Yearby was back, looking fit and on a mission.
Safety Rayshawn Jenkins was back, ready to make a push in the defensive backfield.
Hunter Knighton was back after a year recuperating from a debilitating illness.
Fall camp opened Thursday under the broiling sun for the Miami Hurricanes, and everyone was present, everyone seemed invigorated and no one was in Coach Al Golden’s doghouse — at least not publicly.
“It was a good day,’’ Golden said. “It’s Day One though. I’m pleased, but the guys know we’ve got a long way to go.”
Golden reiterated that the players are holding each other accountable on and off the field.
“This is by far the least amount of distractions we’ve ever had going into a season,’’ the coach said. “It’s not even close. They’ve got to keep doing that, because that allows us to keep the main thing the main thing.’’
Yearby, a sophomore who rushed for 509 yards and a touchdown last season as a reserve to all-time UM rusher Duke Johnson, “missed the [summer] workouts with the team,’’ Golden said, “but he didn’t miss the voluntary workouts. He came back and three days later he passed the conditioning test. That spoke volumes to the team.
“Look, we had kids that needed to lose weight, we had kids that needed to gain weight. We had kids that needed to take more classes than I would want anybody to take in the summer. He needed to take care of some personal things and some family things and we gave him that space and he rewarded that trust incredibly.’’
Jenkins, a redshirt junior, missed all of 2014 after undergoing preseason back surgery.
“Rayshawn Jenkins looks real good,’’ said senior safety Deon Bush. “He looks like he never was injured.’’
Knighton, listed as a 6-6, 300-pound lineman, returned to practice for the first time since collapsing with heatstroke in February 2014 while working out.”
How much does it mean to have him back?
“A lot,’’ Golden said. “Hunter is a representative of who we want to be. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s disciplined, he’s a worker.’’
The only players who “were held out of some things’’ Thursday and wore the red given to injured players were redshirt freshman safety Ryan Mayes and freshman safety Jaquan Johnson.
Golden said they were “working on some little things.’’
▪ True freshman running back Mark Walton changed his jersey number from 4 to 1.