Hurricanes linebacker Tyriq McCord, fully back at practice Tuesday after sustaining a knee injury March 6 in the first spring scrimmage, got nostalgic when a reporter asked if it felt strange knowing that spring practice is nearly over.
The annual spring game, free and open to the public, is at noon Saturday at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
“My last spring game, that’s crazy,” said the 6-3, 242-pound soon-to-be senior linebacker. “It went by real quick. I was just 209 [pounds] walking in here yesterday. These four years go by so quick. I let them know that, too. Cause, you know, like J-Lew [Jeremy Lewis], a lot of the older guys, [Allen] Hurns, all of them boys, they told us that it’s going to go by quick. I didn’t listen to them, either, and look at me now.”
McCord was quickly reminded that he has another season left.
“True, but look,” he replied, pointing to a clump of facial hair. “I’m growing a little peach fuzz now. I had nothin’ when I came in.”
McCord said his knee is “doing great. Just had a little stinger, had a little banger. It happened the first scrimmage and it was the beginning of the scrimmage on a little cut right there on the goal line. I kind of banged it up. Started to swell up real bad, so I got [the swelling] down and I’m feeling great now.
“Just going to ice it down… right quick. But there’s nothing wrong with it right now.”
McCord, who previously was a hybrid rush end/linebacker, started 12 of 13 games last season and was the seventh-leading tackler with 48 tackles. He had three sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery, 6.5 tackles for losses, three pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. But by far his most exhilarating moment was returning an interception 46 yards for a touchdown on Oct. 11 in a win against Cincinnati.
It was Miami’s only defensive touchdown of the season, and McCord’s first defensive touchdown ever.
“Not too many D-linemen or linebackers say that they scored a touchdown in collegiate football,’’ McCord said last fall. “You can get a lot of people to say they got the sack-caused-fumble, but scoring a pick six? That’s amazing.”
TRENT HARRIS ADDS MUSCLE
Trent Harris, a 6-2, 242-pound rush end who will be a sophomore this season, confirmed that he has been with the first team all spring, but that he and redshirt sophomore Al-Quadin Muhammad and redshirt freshman Demetrius Jackson are “pushing each other” to their limits in practice.
Harris said strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey has helped him put on muscle and weight.
“I’ve been trying to eat healthy and cut down all the fats and of course get stronger and faster,” said Harris, who noted he came to the Hurricanes last spring weighing 220 pounds.
Last season, Harris played in 12 games and had 15 tackles.
“It’s not all about athletic ability,’’ he said, when asked what he learned through playing as a true freshman. “You’re got to know the formations and you’ve got to play calm and you’ve got to be able to read your keys like it’s an instinct.”
Harris said the offensive linemen he goes up against have all improved. He mentioned tackles Trevor Darling and Kc McDermott and guards Hunter Wells and Danny Isidora.
“It’s like iron sharpening iron,’’ Harris said. “Just making sure we’re getting better.”