The Miami Hurricanes held their annual media day today just following day 9 of their fall camp at which they had their 11th practice of the pre-season. During that time, head coach Al Golden says that they have only practiced in pads three times. That's mostly because this team according to their head coach is preparing better and knows their plays so it's given him some options in preparation.
"I know in terms of our age, we're young but in terms of how we practice and the intensity we practice with, we're able to handle this team like a mature team." That's due in large part to the great condition this 2012 edition of the Miami Hurricanes is in.
Tomorrow is the first scrimmage of the fall camp session and it will be principally important to determining which players in position battles begin to gain a leg up on their competition. Coach Golden says he expects his first team players to get 60-70 plays which is what the typical game is comprised of. The second team is expected to get 50-60 plays and Golden says there are some third string guys who will get reps in order for the coaches to see what they have and how they are progressing.
One position that will certainly get the the most attention is the quarterback position where junior Stephen Morris and redshirt sophomore Ryan Williams are still battling to gain the starting role. Earlier in camp, Golden says that after Sunday's scrimmage would be the earliest that he would name a starting quarterback.
Today, Williams sat out of practice to rest his arm. Morris had sat out on Friday and each quarterback is said to be doing well but most players on the team feel like Morris has the inside track on the job. Golden likes his leadership and conditioning level.
"I am surprised at Stephen's conditioning and his strength level. I thought there would be more of a gradual integration to him, he's been all-in every practice to the point where I actually had to sit him."
Golden says this in reference to Morris' sitting out the entire spring nursing a back injury. It will also be interesting to see which freshmen wide receivers emerge out of the group playing behind Allen Hurns, Phillip Dorsett, Rashawn Scott and Kendall Thompkins.
"My overall feeling about the freshmen, I've never seen a group that just, the preparation side, it means something to them. They compete every day, with their peers. And then they compete when they're not on the field, in their film study."
A few wide receivers stand out, particularly Herb Waters and Robert Lockhart. Golden likes where all of those players are but favors one trues freshmen wide out over the others.
"Malcolm [Lewis] is a little bit further ahead," with consistency and approach to the game as a wide receiver.
Immediately after the practice session today where the media was invited to watch the final 30 minutes, the Miami Hurricanes held their annual media day. The darling of the day was clearly true freshmen Tracy Howard who spoke to the media for the first time. Howard expressed the fact that he was not surprised by how he had performed in the opening days of camp and expects to play right away. By his mature handling of the reporters who crowded around him, he appeared like a fifth year senior cornerback, not a true freshmen.
-Something to watch: Brandon McGee was given a black jersey today so that means that three corners have them (Gunter, Howard, McGee).
-Injured or limited in practice: G. Paul, E. Johnson, J. Grimble, M. Bunche, K. Cain, S. Henderson
-Ryan Williams did not participate. He was a player coach.