Sports

Defensive end’s spring cut short

Miami coaches have suspended freshman defensive end John Wood for the remainder of spring practice.
Coach Larry Coker said Tuesday that Wood violated team policy. Coker wouldn’t elaborate further but said the coaching staff will make a decision soon on Wood’s status for the fall. Coker also said the suspension began prior to the Hurricanes spring scrimmage Saturday.
Wood played as the second team right defensive end behind John Square during the spring and was trying to earn a starting spot at a position with plenty of holes after the graduation of four key players.
Despite the loss of Wood, Coker seemed positive about the situation at defensive end.
“We feel really good about the guys we’ve signed,” Coker said. “I think we’re fine there and we may need some help from some young players.”
The defensive line is also without the services of junior tackle Santonio Thomas, whose grandfather recently died.
Thomas missed Saturday’s scrimmage and still had not returned to practice Tuesday.
Thomas received a medical redshirt after missing most of last season because of a torn pectoral muscle, but had worked as the first team tackle next to Vince Wilfork throughout the spring.

Gore Still Not Ready
Coaches held Frank Gore out of contact Tuesday to protect a shoulder bruise sustained two weeks ago in a scrimmage. After losing Gore all of last season to a torn ACL, coaches have kept a close eye on him this spring. Gore also stayed sidelined during Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I’m real hungry because this is my first time ever sitting out a whole year,” Gore said. “I’m just going to practice hard and when it comes game time I’m going to go out and do my best.”

Beard Undergoing Succesful Rehabilitation
Kevin Beard, who has missed all of spring practice while recovering from a torn ACL, said that his recovery is on schedule. Beard tore the knee ligament against Pittsburgh Nov. 21. and knows that he will have to work hard to get his starting position back.
“No job out here is given to you,” Beard said. “I don’t have that mind set where I know I’m the starter because these guys out there are working hard and making plays and I’m on the sideline.”
Wide receiver coach Curtis Johnson says that Beard’s job remains relatively safe.
“You don’t lose your job, if you’re a starter, to an injury,” Johnson said. “I play four to six guys all of the time but his name will probably be in the program first.”
The Hurricanes finish spring practice today with their 15th practice.
The Hurricane will have a spring practice wrap-up in the next edition.

Nate Johnson can be reached at NPJ44@aol.com.

April 11, 2003

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