Ray Lewis III has his father.
Kevin Olsen has his brother.
Greg Golden has Uncle Al.
Al-Quadin Muhammad? He’s got himself — and that old-school, Canes swagger that appears headed for legendary status.
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“Some of the moves I have and some of the things I do is just God-given talent,” Muhammad, a defensive end, said Friday at the University of Miami’s media day. “Some things I do and moves I make, you have probably never seen a guy make before. You probably don’t even see some of them in the NFL.
“Any move I see I put some swag on it.”
The Miami football freshmen spoke to reporters Friday for what will be the only time this season — unless they play. They gathered outside the new Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence, where media were given a tour, and feasted with teammates while being interviewed.
Muhammad, nicknamed Quan, is a 6-3, 230-pound newcomer from Irvington, N.J. In February, UM coach Al Golden called him “one of the premier pass-rushers in the country,” and has been equally effusive this week, saying he was “twitchy” and as “high energy” as advertised.
“I guess that means a lot of juke,” Muhammad said. “I basically do a pass-rush move on a dime. I’m a little twitchy off the edge. I give you a little head fake, stutter-steps, basically like a running back without the ball. I’m only a freshman so I’m taking it step by step [but] it would be great to break a sack record.”
Also drawing attention was Lewis, a newly converted cornerback and the son of former Canes linebacker and two-time Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis; UM quarterback-of-the-future Kevin Olsen, the brother of former Canes tight end and Carolina Panther Greg Olsen; and Greg Golden, a 6-3, 192-pound receiver and nephew of the head coach.
All three seemed equally thrilled to be on campus and upholding the legacy, as their coach loves to say.
“It’s definitely a little bit different than some of the other guys,” said the 6-3, 200-pound Olsen, from Wayne, N.J. “It’s awesome having somebody like my brother and trying to carry the legacy on. He was a big-time player here and I’m just looking to keep the name going.”
Olsen, No. 19, said the college game was a major adjustment, and that it was tough, despite calling himself a fast learner. “The guys I thought were fast in high school are slow compared to the guys I’m throwing to out here.”
The defense, too.
“You think something is open and if you’re not right on time, if your footwork is off and you’re a little slow, that window is going to close.”
Lewis, all of 5-9 and 185 pounds, is another Cane who knows about fame. His father is a sure future Pro Football Hall of Famer.
“The best thing about being a Cane is the brotherhood we have and how we’re going to shock people this year,” said Lewis, who wears No. 20 and played running back at Lake Mary Prep in Longwood.
He said his father will “definitely” give him space, but will occasionally visit and, naturally, offer “pointers,” such as a couple weeks ago when the elder Lewis came to Greentree Field to observe seven-on-seven drills.
“For him, I know it was a very incredible moment to come back to the same exact field that he played on, the same exact place he grew up and transitioned into manhood,” Lewis said. “To watch his son growing up there, he always talks about that.”
The elder Ray Lewis’ words are inscribed in giant green letters on top of the lockers in the new facility: “EFFORT IS BETWEEN YOU AND YOU!”
“It’s a bit weird at times,” Ray-Ray said. “But then again it’s also motivation.”
As for No. 84 Greg Golden, from Red Bank, N.J., he said UM has been his “dream school” since he “was little growing up and watching [the Canes] win the 2001 national title. My dad was a walk-on here back in the day.
“I’m kind of a normal kid,” Golden said. “I fit into the team. You just have to do the right thing on and off the field.”
Golden, whose dad Greg Sr., is a bond broker in New York City, said the first time he called his uncle “Coach” was when the elder Golden was visiting New Jersey this summer.
“It was a little weird at first,” he said. “But now it’s cool.”