With thirty-four freshmen or sophomores in the two-deep (depth chart) for the Miami Hurricanes as they head into Saturday's 3:30 p.m. season opener on the road at Boston College, head coach Al Golden isn't the least bit anxious about how his young players will respond.
"We hope they have positive energy and are excited," he said after Wednesday's practice. He did so while emphasizing that he would be the same guy that he is in practice as to provide the stabilization for the team emotionally.
Coach Golden always preaches to his team that he wants them to the "be the same guy everyday," and not "get too high with the highs or too low with the lows." He'll get his first chance to measure if that message holds true with the freshmen who are playing for the first time in Chestnut Hill.
He revealed today on the Atlantic Coast Conference Coaches Teleconference that all five players listed on the depth chart at safety would play: Kacy Rodgers, Deon Bush at one position and at the other safety spot Vaughn Telemaque, A.J. Highsmith and freshman Rayshawn Jenkins.
With so many young players, the team put increased emphasis on special teams during this morning's pre-practice period where media are allowed to view the team's practice. When asked after, Golden didn't specifically address just how many freshmen, redshirt freshmen or sophomores are playing special teams in key roles but he did say "we'd be crazy to put someone out there we don't feel can do the job."
"I think the first game i think it's really important to focus on what you're doing," Golden continued. Driving home the point that there's no way to control what the other team does but Miami can control what they do and how aggressive they play.
Expect Miami to open with a script on offense for comfort, Golden says, and then that can change according to the looks they get, penalties or a number of different variables. The team will prepare contingencies and expects to go out and compete.
-Malcolm Lewis, freshman WR, will travel to B.C. even though he's been in a yellow non-contact jersey the past few days.
-Seantreal Henderson, the parade All-American will not travel to B.C. and has played predominately on the scout team this fall camp.