Football gets into swing of things

The last time Miami football fans saw its team play, the Hurricanes were being blown out of the Peach Bowl 40-3. Fans continue to have that image in mind because spring practice is closed to the public, media included.

The coaching staff sounded positive on Tuesday about the direction the team is going.

“We’re making progress,” Head Coach Larry Coker said. “As long as we keep making progress I will be happy.”

The main worry for Coker has been on the offensive side of the ball. For that reason, the Hurricanes changed the coaching staff and brought in Rich Olson as offensive coordinator, Marquis Mosley as receivers coach and Todd Berry as quarterback coach. These three men are looked at as the cornerstone pieces updating an offense that has been labeled as predictable.

Many of the familiar faces on offense will be back this season. Kyle Wright is still the quarterback. Ryan Moore, Darnell Jenkins and Lance Leggett are the receivers. Charlie Jones is still the starting running back until Tyrone Moss recovers from knee surgery.

The offensive line has elicited many questions. Anthony Wollschlager is the only returning starter from the offensive line of last season that gave up nine sacks to Florida State.

“The offensive line is young, but I definitely think we are going to take a step up from last year,” Wright said.

Young is the key word for the offensive line this season, as in sophomore Reggie Youngblood. Youngblood was the third highest rated lineman by coming out of high school.

“Youngblood is as good as advertised,” Coker said. “He is still young and learning. He is going to be a good player.”

Coker said that he was impressed by the entire line and singled Tyrone Byrd out as well for his solid contribution this spring.

The big story of the spring, however, is Lance Leggett. Leggett was another highly touted recruit coming out of high school, but has not lived up to the billing yet. He was even removed from the starting lineup last season.

Coker said numerous distractions got a hold of Leggett last season, but he is much more focused and ready this spring.

Wright spoke about Leggett’s importance to the team after practice Tuesday.

“He means huge big plays up and down the field,” Wright said. “A happy, healthy Lance Leggett is going to be scary for other defenses.”

Denis Brown can be contacted at