Posted by Chip Patterson
The number one concern of most Miami football fans right now is the status of the 12+ players allegedly connected to the NCAA's investigation of the football program. So it should come as a welcome change of pace to hear some positive news regarding the status of another star Hurricane, particularly one not named in the Yahoo investigative report.
Head coach Al Golden did inform the media on Thursday that the school planned to declare players associated with the investigation ineligible with hopes of getting them cleared before the Hurricanes' season-opener on Sept. 5 against Maryland. But he also was able to give a positive update on offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson's recovery after undergoing back surgery on Aug. 8.
"Everything is positive right now in terms of the back injury," Golden said. "We're optimistic, but we're being cautious with it. We're talking about a young man that has a really positive future and bright future. We just want to be prudent with it and we really won't know anything for 3 or 4 weeks probably."
According to CBSSports.com's Brian London, the sophomore tackle was seen lifting weights on Thursday morning, and Golden added that he already has been able to get into his stance. This news is extremely uplifting particularly after reports surfaced that the FWAA Freshman All-American may miss the entire season recovering from the operation.
But "3 or 4 weeks from now" brings us to a crucial point in Miami's schedule if they plan to compete for an ACC Championship this season. After facing Bethune Cookman on Oct. 1, the Hurricanes play all five Coastal Division opponents in a row. First back-to-back away games against Virginia Tech (Oct. 8) and North Carolina (Oct. 15), followed by a home stretch against Georgia Tech (Oct. 22), Virginia (Oct. 27), and Duke (Nov. 5). The Hurricanes' season could be determined in that stretch, and they will need as many players healthy (and eligible) as possible in order to compete for a Coastal Division crown.