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10 April 2011

High energy and intensity at second spring scrimmage

If the calendar didn’t read April and the temperature didn’t feel like 100, Miami’s execution and intensity would have felt a lot like fall.

During the football team’s second scrimmage, this one at Traz Powell Stadium on Miami Dade College’s North Campus, the Hurricanes showed significant progression on both sides of the ball.

Tommy Streeter, the 6-foot-5-inch 215-pound junior wide out, led the team in touchdown receptions with two. He had six catches for 98 yards.

The dropped passes that plagued him during the team’s first scrimmage at Spanish River High School made their way into a video created by the coaching staff, mocking the receiver’s desire to “Go deep, every game.” But on Saturday, Streeter was no longer the butt of the joke, as passes fell directly into his hands.

Playfully, Streeter said he “wanted to come out here and shut their mouth.”

“God blessed me with everything I need to be great,” Streeter said.

Streeter’s improvement was a welcome sight, but it was unfortunately overshadowed by the apparent injury to the left knee of fellow wide receiver LaRon Byrd. Byrd, a senior slated to be the team’s primary target, needed to be helped off the field and onto a trainer’s table midway through the game.

Coach Al Golden said Byrd is going to be alright.

“They checked him out and we held him out,” Golden said. “It’s a fine line that we’re walking, because we want to be in better condition and want to be a tougher team, so we’re trying to manage those situations we put them in.”

On more than a few occasions, some Canes needed extra recuperation time after hard plays. Linebacker Jordan Futch hit Storm Johnson in the backfield with such ferocity that the pop of their pads was heard throughout the stadium. Futch punctuated the play with a dance he calls “The Old School.”

What, pray tell, is The Old School?

“It’s something [former Canes linebacker] Coach Michael Barrow used to do,” Futch said. “So I said ‘I’m going to come out here and get me a little bit.’”

The energy and passion Futch brought to the game did not go unnoticed, as fellow linebacker Sean Spence expects him to continue “flying around, making plays for the defense.” Golden, who noted that the scrimmage as a whole was played with extremely high energy, likes the spark of intensity that Futch provides.

“He [Futch] keeps doing what he’s doing and we’re going to find a spot for him,” Golden said. “He plays with energy, he’s tough, he’s rugged, he’s smart. I don’t know how things are going to shake out here before training camp, but it seems when the lights come on he’s producing.”

Though the team was generally positive, “Stretch ‘Em Out” Streeter offered perspective about playing on talented teams that have failed to produce championships. In speaking of himself, he seemed to summarize the meaning that the spring and summer will have for the entire team.

“I don’t want to be one of those guys who show glimpses of greatness,” Streeter said. “I want to work hard on being consistent and show that all the time.”

Austen Gregerson may be contacted at agregerson@themiamihurricane.com.

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