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Tag:Al Golden
Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 5:44 pm

Miami's depth chart shuffle not a shock

Posted by Chip Patterson

With Miami's spring game in the books, Al Golden and the Hurricanes coaching staff released their final post-spring depth chart on Monday. Then, a few hours later, they made a few last-minute changes and released another. Many fans and critics have taken to speculation as to what the many changes and final results might mean for Miami heading into the summer break. One item that has been particularly headline-worthy is the lack of a starting quarterback.

That "controversy" should come as no surprise considering the attitude that Golden has brought to the Hurricanes since arriving in December.

If there is one thing that has jumped out from following the Hurricanes' spring practice it has been Golden's love for competition. One of his first goals after observing the Hurricanes was to increase the speed and toughness during Miami practices. He constantly is asking for more of the Hurricanes, but has shown he is not afraid to compliment/promote a deserving player.

Take the running back position, for example. Lamar Miller, Mike James, and Storm Johnson have been shuffled all spring in the multiple depth charts. When one player brought his best stuff and did something that deserved recognition, they found themselves atop the depth chart. In Saturday's spring game, Miller exploded with a 166 yard, three touchdown performance to lead the Orange team in a 30-17 victory over the Green team. When the depth chart was edited and re-released for the final time until the fall, Miller found himself standing alone as the first-string running back.

At the quarterback position, the coaching staff entered the weekend hoping that one player would emerge the way that Miller did.

"We’re continuing to let them compete and at the end of spring we’ll see where they’re at," offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said of Harris and Morris earlier this spring. "But right now I see good things from both guys, and they’ve got to continue to compete and step up and show who wants to be the leader and No. 1 guy."

But when spring workouts came to a close neither Harris nor Morris had done enough to convince the coaches that they were THE choice at starting quarterback.

Morris certainly got the better of the spring game, completing 14 of 22 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Morris did throw one interception to 2nd team all-ACC linebacker Sean Spence, which was returned for a touchdown. But the performance still outshone Harris' 18-for-30, 149 yard performance with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Morris and Harris combined for 24 interceptions last season, and there has not been enough improvement in the spring for Golden to award the starting job to either quarterback. So just as he promised, Golden will let the players compete until someone has stepped up and earned the job.

But the quarterback indecision becomes even less of an issue when you realize how many different places on the depth chart the Hurricanes have a similar issue. Middle linebacker, right tackle, tight end, wide receiver are all positions still in open competition, and while Golden has identified starters at the cornerback position - all signs point to possible mix-ups before September's kickoff.

Different coaches have their own quirks about how to do deal with personnel, particularly in the offseason. Maybe this is just Golden's style. He has entered a situation of predictability and wiped the slate clean. There is a new formula being written at Miami, we just have to wait until the fall to see how well it works.
Posted on: April 15, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 3:11 pm

Miami expecting over 300 alumni at spring game

Posted by Chip Patterson

Al Golden has been in college football for over 21 years as a player and coach, but the greatest support he will have on Saturday will be from a program that he has only been a part of for less than four months.  Golden has made a point to reach out to Miami's long and impressive list of former players and coaches since he was introduced as the next Hurricanes coach in December.  That alumni group plans to show their support of Golden and the 2011 Hurricanes at Saturday's spring game in Fort Lauderdale.

Golden told reporters that they are expecting over 300 alumni at the event on Saturday, highlighted by the reunion of the 2001 National Championship team. Ken Dorsey, Phillip Buchanon, Antrel Rolle, Brett Romberg, Bryant McKinnie and Willis McGahee and many more notables are all expected to be in attendnace. The players in from the 2001 squad are scheduled to eat dinner with the current Canes on Friday night before the game.  After wrapping up their final practice on Thursday, Golden was asked if his players felt extra pressure with so many alumni coming in town for the weekend.

"There's pressure?" Golden responded.  "I hope for their sake that they understand there are over 300 players back, and it's clearly a who's who. I hope our guys are excited about that and they don't feel pressure, but they feel grateful to be a part of that lineage.

"I've never seen it. I've been in college football for 21 years as a player and coach and I've never seen 300 football alumni anywhere that would come back for a spring game."

There are several aspects to Saturday's game that have drawn extra attention.  The teams for the Green-Orange game were picked by two Miami alums who won the responsibility in a charity auction.  They met with the coaching staff earlier this week to draft each squad.  The team has reportedly embraced the playground-style competition, already cheering and jeering each other through practice.

For the full video of Coach Al Golden speaking to reporters after Thursday's practice, Click here [via Canes All-Access]
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:48 am
Edited on: April 15, 2011 1:39 pm

ACC Spring Game Watch (April 16)

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Saturday, nearly half of the ACC will wrap up their spring practice with an annual spring game. Some teams will engage in game-like scenarios in front of thousands of onlookers, while other teams will engage in a more “drill-centric” display for their eager fans. Regardless of the setup, there are always pertinent questions to be answered whenever a team takes the field competitively. Here are your things to watch in the ACC spring games on April 16.

Boston College - 1 p.m. Alumni Stadium
Judging by the statistics and observations from the last two scrimmages, new offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers has been dialing up the passing attack for all three of his quarterbacks. The play of Chase Rettig (the starter for now), Mike Marscovetra , and Dave Shinskie has been spotty; with different signal-callers shining at different times. Once the season has Montel Harris is expected to be the foundation of the Eagles’ offense, but the ACC’s second-leading rusher in 2010 has remained quiet this spring. Boston College’s spring game will be made up of situational drills, so it will be difficult to judge much from the play in the trenches. Keep an eye on the Boston College secondary, as the Eagles look to improve their passing defense that gave up over 226 yards per game a season ago.

UPDATE - We will be streaming the Boston College spring game LIVE.  You can watch it HERE on Saturday.

Florida State - 4 p.m. Doak Campbell Stadium
Despite all the hype and anticipation, head coach Jimbo Fisher has been frequently frustrated with Florida State’s effort and attention to detail during scrimmages. When asked about his thoughts on last Saturday’s scrimmage, Fisher felt the Seminoles still have “a long way to go." E.J. Manuel in a jersey will be nothing new for FSU fans, but it will be his first spring game after missing the last two due to injury. It will be intersting to see if the Seminoles tighten up on a bigger stage or continue the small mistakes that have been frustrating their coach. Also, this is the only ACC spring game receiving national coverage (ESPN3) so you might as well sneak a peek since you can.

Miami - 12:00 p.m. Lockhart Stadium
New head coach Al Golden has made it a point to change several aspects of Miami’s preparation since taking over back in December. On Saturday fans will get to see the results of Golden’s first offseason and spring practices. Golden has kept the depth chart in constant rotation since the beginning of spring practice, encouraging open competition at nearly every single position. Despite the exciting improvements on the defensive end, Hurricanes fans will likely have their eyes set on the skill positions in the backfield on Saturday. Miami boasts a loaded running back corps of Mike James , Storm Johnson , and Lamar Miller ; who should all receive significant opportunities on Saturday. Also, Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris will get to go head-to-head in the “fantasy-style” scrimmage between two rosters picked by fans. Miami held a charity auction for the right to pick the teams in the spring game, and two Miami alumnus made their selections earlier this week. With no first-team or second-team alignment, the game should be ripe for some outstanding plays on both sides of the ball.

N.C. State - 1 p.m. Carter-Finley Stadium
Head coach Tom O’Brien prefers to focus on improving as individuals during spring practice. Instead of focusing on elaborate scheme’s or sets, the Wolfpack have spent their spring workouts with a focus on fundamentals. With many key positions to fill, that makes Saturday’s spring game particularly interesting on an individual level. New starting quarterback Mike Glennon has shown his chops to the Wolfpack fans during spring games, but he will be throwing the ball to fresh crop of wide receivers. Also with Mustafa Greene undergoing foot surgery, Saturday should be an opportunity for the now-healthy Brandon Barnes to make an impression on the coaching staff. Also keep an eye on the secondary, where this staff is notorious for swapping personnel.

Wake Forest - 1 p.m. BB&T Field
Last season Wake Forest’s inexperience burned them on both sides of the ball. The good news for the Demon Deacons is that 17 of those starters will get a chance to prove themselves again in 2011. The number one thing to watch out of Winston-Salem will be signs of improvement from all the underclassmen. From quarterback Tanner Price to a (rising) sophomore-laden secondary, Wake needs to get better all over the field. With the coaching staff jumble sparked by Brad Lambert’s departure, look for more individual improvement as the team has yet to dive into much heavy scheming this spring.

Posted on: April 8, 2011 5:34 pm

Miami LB Ramon Buchanan reinstated after arrest

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Last month, Miami linebacker Ramon Buchanan made waves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: he was arrested and charged with five crimes, including two felonies, after an incident at a Coconut Grove nightclub that involved police officers. According to the police report, Buchanan allegedly resisted arrest, tried to headbutt a police officer, then spat on him, then allegedly told him “I’m a U.M. football player .... I’ll get out of it. F--- the police," which is highly inadvisable.

Today, however, Buchanan's future seems immensely brighter than those few short weeks ago, as head coach Al Golden announced that Buchanan had been reinstated and was practicing with the team. Not only that, just as Buchanan (allegedly) drunkenly predicted, the Miami Herald reported that he might not face any criminal charges for the incident:

“Ramon Buchanan has been reinstated for us and he’ll be practicing today,’’ Golden said Thursday before practice. “He’s taking part in all team activities. He’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do – both me and the athletic department.’’

Golden was asked if a possible suspension, which has not been announced, would be affected by him being reinstated.

“It has nothing to do with that,’’ Golden said. “Right now we’re reinstating him. Again, he has done everything that we’ve asked him to do, and I’m going to keep those things private in terms of what we asked him to do. But it was a considerable amount of things and it will be ongoing here throughout the summer.’’

As to that whole avoiding charges part, the Herald didn't cite anybody making that specific statement, but Florida law may very well be on Buchanan's side:

According to a search by The Miami Herald, the March 18 incident was Buchanan’s first arrest. It is possible he could enter into a pretrial diversion program, which would result in charges being dropped should he fulfill all the requirements. Such requirements might include, for example, extensive community service, taking anger management classes and completing an alcohol-related education program, etc.

One would surmise that Buchanan has been made perfectly aware by Golden that he is on the thinnest of ice with the Miami program right now. Contrary to Buchanan's claim, his status as a Miami football player isn't what stands to help him avoid charges, it's his status as a first-time offender. Moreover, he's been granted a second chance by Golden and, perhaps, the legal system. He is very unlikely to receive a third.

Posted on: April 7, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 2:43 pm

Eye on CFB Recruiting Review, 4/7

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Once a week, our Eye on College Football Recruiting Review recaps the past week's top headlines from our sister blog, Bryan Fischer's Eye on Recruiting. Enjoy:

  • The big news in recruiting this week was the release of most services' initial "top 100" lists for the class of 2012, and Tom Lemming and our colleagues at Maxpreps were no exception. The full Tom Lemming top 100 is now available, topped by Springfield (Mo.) receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Eye on Recruiting breaks down the main storylines within the top 100 here; Bryan Fischer discusses the top 100 in a must-listen podcast here; and the recruitment of the list's top 10 prospects (Green-Beckham included) is updated here. There's no better time to get informed on where the 2012 recruiting cycle stands.
  • None of those lists are as full of names as the SEC's, though, with no league save the Big 12 having embraced early commitments the way the SEC powers have; Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Florida all have five pledges or more and only Ole Miss and Vanderbilt have yet to add their first name of the cycle.
  • This is not old news: Malcom Brown has committed to Texas. But this time it's not five-star running back Malcolm Brown (who famously joined the Longhorns this past Signing Day,) it's a highly-regarded defensive tackle out of Brenham (Texas), one who Longhorn sports information workers are no doubt very glad spells his first name without a second "L." 
  • Recruiting in the Bluegrass State is heating up. Charlie Strong has flexed his muscle over the past year at Louisville, but last week it was Joker Phillips who fought off the Cardinals as well as Cincinnati and others) for in-state quarterback Patrick Towles. 
  • It took a little longer than expected, perhaps, given the Ducks' tremendous 2010 season. But Oregon is on the board all the same after receiving a pledge from Newport (Ore.) athlete Oshay Dunsmore. Staying in the Pac-12, Stanford has continued Jim Harbaugh's nationwide recruiting push under David Shaw, netting a commitment this week from Virginia defensive back Alex Carter. 
  • Bryan Fischer was on hand to watch Atwater (Calif.) defensive tackle Aziz Shittu dominate the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp; here's his full report on Shittu's performance and all the goings-on at the camp.
One more reminder: if you don't want to wait for these Monday recaps, simply read Eye on Recruiting . You'll be glad you did. 
Posted on: April 6, 2011 10:02 am

Golden wants Miami to be better conditioned

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami head coach Al Golden made it clear early on that he planned to increase the tempo of practice.  Players told horror stories from the new offseason conditioning program, and many around Coral Gables have noticned a difference since the Hurricanes began spring practice.  Miami played their first of three spring scrimmages on Saturday, and on Tuesday Golden voiced some complaints about his team's conditioning. 

“We don’t play at the type of tempo we need to play at and clearly not the energy I’m looking for on either sideline – too much of a survival mode,” Golden told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “That’s a challenge for the team this week: Can we prepare? Can we play with Miami toughness? And will we start to play with energy and passion? We’re not playing with the passion we need, and that’s not going to come until we get in condition.”

Golden has made conditioning a big part of where players have been falling in the ever-changing depth chart this spring.  Each position was considered "open" at the beginining of spring practice and the hope is that the competition will bring out the best in each player.  The focus on speeding up practice was one of his first goals since watching the Hurricanes prepare for their eventual 33-17 Sun Bowl loss to against Notre Dame.  

Posted on: March 22, 2011 2:21 am
Edited on: March 22, 2011 2:38 am

Miami LB arrested on two felonies, other charges

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Miami linebacker Ramon Buchanan is in a world of trouble today after being arrested on Friday and charged with several crimes, including two felonies. According to court documents, Buchanan's alleged felonious conduct was violent behavior toward police officers. The Palm Beach Post has more:

Buchanan, 21, was charged with resisting a police officer with violence and battery on a police officer, firefighter or emergency medical care provider, both of which are felonies.

Buchanan also is accused of three misdemeanors - disorderly conduct, resisting a police officer without violence and trespassing.

Miami head coach Al Golden has suspended Buchanan indefinitely.

Unfortunately, according to the Post, the Miami Police Department has not provided an official report of the incident yet, so not only are we waiting for the other side of they story, we're waiting for both -- the only known details of that night are the pending criminal charges.

Miami Hurricanes

Speaking generally, then, it's always worth reiterating that it is never, ever a good idea to lose one's temper with (or even near) a police officer. That's easier said than done, of course, but if one perceives an overstep or other mistake by a police officer, the correct place to address that is in a courtroom, and not 18 inches from the cop's face, at the top of one's lungs, spittle flying. Resorting to violence in that situation has not only never worked, it routinely costs young people (almost exclusively men) a shot at a successful future. Again, that's all speaking generally; Buchanan is still innocent until proven guilty.

From a practical standpoint, as far as football is concerned, Buchanan's suspension and potential dismissal is a tough blow to the Miami defense. The 'Canes don't lose many starters from 2010, but leading tackler/team captain LB Colin McCarthy is off to the NFL, and there's enough flux that having a returning starter senior (wherever in the linebacking corps Golden needed him) would have helped provide stability to the situation. Now, it appears rising senior Sean Spence will have to be the unit's leader almost by default.

That's all by the wayside, though, as Buchanan is now in danger of turning from an experienced veteran to a convicted felon. For a program so committed to discipline that this is its first arrest since 2007, this could be a major hit from both a PR and a personnel perspective.

Posted on: March 18, 2011 11:24 am

Report: Six Canes to be suspended for opener

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Over the weekend there were rumors coming out of Coral Gables that Miami offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson had been suspended for the team's season opener against Maryland, and that Henderson was preparing to transfer. Well, Al Golden and Henderson's father went out of their way to make it clear that he would not be transferring, but Golden did not address the suspension rumors, which seemed a bit strange.

Now we know why, as there are now reports out of southern Florida that not only will Henderson be suspended for the Maryland game, but five more of his teammates will be joining him.
According to two anonymous sources, Henderson, RB Storm Johnson, LB Kelvin Cain, DB Keion Payne, DL Dyron Dye and DB Devont'a Davis will all be spending the season opener on the sideline. The report says that the suspensions are not academic related, and that all six broke team rules.

Al Golden has not commented on the story, as he's on vacation this week with the rest of his players, as Miami is on spring break.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or