Here’s the news after University of Miami spring practice No. 6 on Saturday:
▪ Early-enrollee running back Robert Burns, listed as 5-11 and 215 pounds out of Gulliver Prep, did not practice for the second session in a row, confirmed by UM coach Mark Richt.
“Robert, he still is being evaluated right now. Trying to decide what to do,’’ Richt told us after practice Saturday. “But he did get injured. I won’t say what, because I don’t really have permission from [trainer] Vinny [Scavo] or family on that. If they want to say something they can. But he got an injury. Just not sure how severe yet. Within a few days we’ll know exactly what it is and what we’re going to do about it. But he was out because of an injury.”
Peter Ariz of CanesInsight.com reported through a source that Burns is nursing a shoulder injury.
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On Thursday, the last time the Canes practiced, Burns was carted off before media was allowed to enter, and missed the entire practice. We did not get to speak to Richt after Thursday’s practice.
Last Saturday, March 25, Richt talked about the running back position and expressed his concern about depth this spring, which now has nine sessions left.
“That’s the biggest thing for me – we’re dangerously thin at the position,” Richt said a week ago, when Burns was still practicing. “If one guy got hurt we’d really be in trouble at this moment. We’re still trying to possibly get some more help at that position before camp starts.
“I like what I see. Mark [Walton] is a machine. Mark loves football. He loves to compete. He loves to do things right. If you just watch him practice, either as a coach, a player or a fan, you’d love it because he’s just that way every day.
“Then you’ve got Burns learning, you’ve got Travis [Homer] knowing more but getting more opportunity. And Crispian Atkins is our fourth-team guy right now, a walk-on who’s really a very quality walk-on and doing a really good job.”
Burns was injured most of his senior year at Gulliver, carrying the ball only nine times.
“It’s tough. Just love him and do what’s right by him as far as diagnosing anything he may or may not have and trying to decide what’s the best course of action with his input, his family’s input as well,’’ Richt said Saturday.
It’s evident that 5-11, 195-pound Homer, out of West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy, is now the No. 2 back this spring. Homer is a significant talent.
The wear and tear on running backs could take its toll during the spring.
▪ Running back Trayone Gray (ACL rehab) was stretching with the running backs today, but he did not take part later during our media session.
▪ Usual center Nick Linder (shoulder rehab), who has been out of spring practices during our media sessions, was seen stretching with the O-linemen today. However, in the next portion we’re allowed to see, Linder was not there.
▪ Interesting development on the offensive line today. First team today was Kc McDermott (who had been playing right guard) at left tackle, Trevor Darling at left guard, Tyler Gauthier at center, true freshman Navaughn Donaldson (who had been playing right tackle) at right guard and Tyree St. Louis at right tackle.
At second-team Saturday was George Brown at left tackle, Hayden Mahoney at left guard, Justin Goldberg center (he’s listed as a redshirt junior walk-on out of Cypress Bay High), Zach Dykstra at right guard and Jahair Jones at right tackle.