Football, Sports

Golden discusses spring progress, new talent

Miami football head coach Al Golden spent a few moments discussing the direction of the program heading into the summer.

Speaking to media members via teleconference on Wednesday, Golden brushed on topics including the status of junior quarterback Stephen Morris, players who made an impression on him during the spring, and what will happen once the remaining incoming freshmen make their way to campus.

“Clearly, we have an infusion of young talent coming in a large group that’s going to create some competition and certainly has at certain areas already,” he said. “We’re excited about that.”

Arguably one of the bigger storylines heading into spring camp was the situation at the quarterback position.  With Morris not participating due to injury, the duties were split between transfer Ryan Williams and freshmen Gray Crow and Preston Dewey.

While Morris has not fully recovered from back surgery just yet, according to Golden, it’s only a matter of time.

“I think he’s throwing and everything now. So I think it’s not going to be for too long,” he said. “I don’t know exactly when he’s going to get the absolute green light to do everything, but it’s not going to be very long now because he’s already pushing it.”

Throughout the spring scrimmages and the Spring Game, the overall theme was the way the defense dominated against the Canes’ offense. Though there were individuals who stood out (Golden noted sophomore receiver Rashawn Scott and junior tight end Asante Cleveland, among others) there are still areas of concern, namely at the receiver and cornerback spots.

“I think no one would be satisfied with our wide receiver situation in the spring just by numbers specifically. There have to be some guys who come in and help us out there,” Golden said. “I’m not trying to diminish what the kids that were there did. It was just a huge task for minimal players asking three or four wideouts to carry a load for a group that had 10 in it. Same thing at corner.”

The big news that everyone is awaiting is the ruling by the NCAA on the Nevin Shapiro scandal that struck the program just weeks before the 2011 season. Though there’s been no update over the past few months, it is expected that the ruling should be announced sometime over the summer, and certainly before the start of the season.

Generally, cases such as these take about a year for the NCAA to finish the investigation and mull it over before making a ruling. The University of North Carolina, which found itself under accusations of academic fraud, association with sports agents and lack of institutional control in June 2010, had its penalty laid out in March.

Though it is not expected to take quite as long in this case, there is ultimately no time table as to when any word should be expected.

With so many players graduating and leaving for the NFL draft, Golden admitted that the Canes were light at some positions during the spring. But with the incoming freshmen arriving on campus soon, a starting spot in the spring won’t guarantee one once the games actually count.

“Just because your competition may not be in this room, just understand that he’s coming,” Golden said. “I believe that we did recruit well. I’m very pleased with the 10 that are here now, and I’ll be anxious to see the next wave that comes in.”

April 26, 2012


Ernesto Suarez

Sports Editor

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