Tag:Al Golden
Posted on: May 23, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: May 23, 2011 11:07 am

Al Golden wants even more QB's at Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

One of the major storylines of Miami's offseason has been the ongoing competition at the starting quarterback position. Head coach Al Golden elected to keep the race open through the summer, as he felt neither Jacory Harris nor Stephen Morris had truly "won" the job. Golden, a former defensive coordinator at the University of Virginia, has been particularly vocal about the quarterback position - even telling the Palm Beach Post that he'd like to have "five or six quarterbacks."

"Right now, we're still not where we want to be. We need five or six quarterbacks. We're looking. If you're a talented recruit out there and you're looking for a chance to impact a program, it's still a great opportunity for you."

The topic came up after Golden landed a commitment from former Memphis starting quarterback Ryan Williams. Williams will transfer immediately, then be eligible to play beginning in 2012. Along with Williams and Morris, Miami already has a firm commitment from Gray Crow - one of the top ranked quarterbacks in the state. Golden has also said that he hopes to sign "at least one quarterback" who can enroll in January 2012 to take part in spring practice.

"If you're a rising senior and you have an opportunity to compete against only two quarterbacks – Ryan and Stephen – come January, that's the best deal going in college football," Golden said. "On the first day, you're getting reps with (the second-team offense) and if you're doing good, you can get reps with the (first-team offense). I think it's an incredible opportunity for someone."

Golden's first months on the job have been eventful, to say the least. There have been the normal slew of offseason troubles, which have led to some hasty transfers and dismissals. But the focus off the offseason continues to be a return to the top. Since arriving in the ACC in 2004, the Hurricanes' momentum has sputtered from the four straight Big East titles from 2000-2003. Golden has made no secrets about his goal for change around the program. As long as it results in competing for ACC titles, Hurricanes fans will have no problem with his surprising personnel decisions.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 9:13 pm

Storm Johnson leaving Miami

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Transfer Tuesday cannot be stopped, it can only be moved to another day!

After two transfers were announced earlier on Tuesday afternoon, a release from Miami on Tuesday evening says that running back Storm Johnson is no longer with the program.

“As of this afternoon, Westleigh Storm Johnson is no longer a part of the University of Miami Football program," said head coach Al Golden in a statement. "When these situations arise, we always assist the student-athlete and his family in the transfer process.  We wish Storm success in all future endeavors.”

This news may not have been expected, but it's not exactly surprising either. Johnson wasn't having the best offseason as he was one of six Hurricanes suspended for the season opener against Maryland back in March, and then Johnson found himself in some more trouble in late April when he and teammates Travis Williams and Keion Payne were involved in some kind of altercation at a Miami dormitory. That run-in resulted in another suspension for Johnson. So while it's being presented as Johnson leaving on his own accord, I wouldn't be all that surprised if Al Golden gave him a nudge in this direction.

Johnson saw limited time for the Hurricanes last season, getting only 9 carries, but he did tally 119 yards on those limited carries, including a 71-yard touchdown run. 

Posted on: May 13, 2011 10:26 am

Forcier not going to Miami after all

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The career of former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier has already taken a stunning number of turns for one that's still only two collegiate seasons deep. But it's just taken another one all the same.

ESPN's Heather Dinich is reporting that Forcier has now elected not to transfer to Miami, the school with which Forcier signed an Aid Agreement (and who announced his arrival) this past February. Dinich reports, however, that Forcier hasn't returned once to the Coral Gables campus since his first visit. A source cited by Dinich claims "personal reasons" for Forcier's decision.

More than one wag will claim those personal reasons will amount to one reason named "Ryan Williams" (the former Memphis starter now also competing for the Hurricanes' 2012 quarterback job), but given Forcier's limited exposure to the program before making what now looks like a hasty decision, some second thoughts might have been inevitable regardless of the depth chart. (In any case, we'll be watching the famous "@QBForce" Twitter feed closely this week in the hopes of clarification.)

In any case, Forcier now joins the swelling ranks of unaffiliated quarterback transfer targets. He might not be Russell Wilson, but given his impressive true freshman season and capable performances in relief of Denard Robinson in 2010, he's also likely to offer more immediate help (in 2012) than Tyler Gabbert.

As for Miami, Forcier's decision leaves them with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the projected 2012 roster: Stephen Morris and Williams. Expect Al Golden to hit the recruiting trail even harder than usual when it comes to finding a future signal-caller.

Posted on: May 10, 2011 11:51 pm

ACC nonconference tilts to air in primetime

By CBS College Football staff

Two of the biggest non-conference opportunities this fall for the Atlantic Coast Conference -- Oklahoma at Florida State and Ohio State at Miami – will be televised on the evening of Sept. 17 in primetime on ABC and ESPN, CBSSports.com correspondent Brett McMurphy has learned.

Although the games will be televised head-to-head, the kickoffs will be staggered by 30 minutes. The specific networks and kickoff times for each game will be determined at a later date.

Oklahoma is ranked No. 1 in CBSSports.com’s post-spring Top 25 rankings, while Florida State is No. 8 and Ohio State is No. 9. Miami, under new coach Al Golden, is not ranked. The ACC is expected to release its television schedule on Wednesday.
Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:08 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 1:09 pm

Suspended Miami LB plans to transfer

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami head coach Al Golden has had his hands full with off-field trouble this offseason, and now another Hurricane is seeking out of Coral Gables.  Redshirt freshman linebacker Travis Williams will transfer at the end of the semester, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  Williams was one of four players expected to be suspended for their alleged involvment with a marijuana-related incident at a Miami residence hall on April 27.  Williams explained himself to InsideTheU.com, and was very clear about his unhappiness at Miami.

“I didn’t being like being targeted as a drug user,” Williams told InsideTheU.com. “They can give me whatever test they want, whenever they want. As far as me being regarded as a drug user, I am not. I wasn’t happy here. It wasn’t about playing time because I was playing in the spring. Things just happened and I can’t make everybody happy.”

Williams sat out all of last year after suffering a knee injury during training camp, and was thought to be the de facto starter after the Ramon Buchanan was supsended indefinitely (though reinstated) for a scuffle with the Miami Police Department.  Running back Storm Johnson and cornerback Keion Payne were also involved in the April 27 incident, which if suspended would make them repeat offenders.  Johnson and Payne have already been suspended from the opener against Maryland, reportedly for a violation of team rules.
Posted on: May 4, 2011 6:29 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 11:48 pm

Miami DT Jeffrey Brown accused of sexual battery

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Al Golden's most challenging day of his young tenure at Miami has just gotten immensely worse. Earlier today there was a report that the Hurricanes would be suspending four players stemming from two separate instances, but that pales in comparison to the accusations facing Miami defensive tackle Jeffrey Brown.

According to the Associated Press, Brown, 19, was arrested Wednesday on sexual battery charges for allegedly raping a fellow student on campus:

Miami defensive tackle Jeffrey Brown was arrested Wednesday and accused of forcing sex on an intoxicated female in her dorm room.
Police say the alleged incident took place in the early morning hours of April 30. Brown surrendered to police Wednesday afternoon and was charged with one count of sexual battery about an hour later.

According to the report, a female friend of Brown's showed up at his dorm room on April 30 after a night of drinking. After she threw up in his bathroom, Brown walked her back to her room. That's when the trouble allegedly began. 

Police say Brown took her back to her room after she became ill and passed out in his bathroom, then helped her into her bed, doing so "under pretense that he was concerned for her well being," according to the affadavit.
Police said the alleged victim fell asleep, only to be awakened by Brown allegedly removing her "comforter and underwear." Police said Brown then had sex with the woman, despite her pleas for him to stop.
Police said Brown initially denied having sex with the alleged victim, then acknowledged doing so under further questioning.

Making matters worse, while being interviewed by the police on Wednesday, Brown reportedly sent several text messages to his roommate asking him to dispose of his underwear. The police recovered Brown's underwear and took them into evidence.

The University of Miami has suspended Brown indefinitely following his arrest, announcing in a statement that it "has become aware of the serious charges made against a student athlete," but not naming Brown specifically.

If the details of the allegations listed in the arrest report are even close to true -- often but certainly not always the case -- Jeffrey Brown will have much larger problems to face than trying to regain his football eligibility.

This makes seven players currently believed to be suspended for Miami's season-opener against Maryland.

UPDATE: In Brown's defense, Chicago-based law firm Durkin and Roberts released a statement asserting that Brown "did not engage in any criminal conduct whatsoever on the evening in question," and that he broke no team or university rules. Brown is a native of Evanston, Illinois.

Posted on: April 26, 2011 3:00 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 3:04 pm

What I learned this spring: ACC Coastal

Posted by Chip Patterson

With all six spring games completed, we wrap up spring practice in the ACC Coastal Division.

DUKE: Head coach David Cutcliffe exits his fourth spring practice with the Blue Devils with as much optimism as ever, but knows that the 2011 Blue Devils have some work to do before kicking off the season against Richmond on Sept. 3.

"A successful day," Cutcliffe said after the spring game. "But I told them this is just the beginning. In college football now, [you have] the remainder of the spring term to work on weights and conditioning. And a summer that's going to very important to a young team."

Almost two-thirds of the Blue Devils roster is made up of freshman and sophomores. While youth can easily breed optimism, there is also a realistic expectation that this group needs to put in more work on the fundamentals this summer. Duke does have the benefit of returning both pieces of their quarterback rotation from 2010. Junior Sean Renfree will remain the starting quarterback, coming off a pleasantly surprising 3,131 yard, 14 touchdown season. Sophomore Brandon Connette will continue in his role as a run-first quarterback in rotation with Renfree, but the spring has shown some improvement in Connette's passing game. Defensively, we didn't learn much about Duke this spring due to widespread injuries across the unit. If anything the injuries made a talented Blue Devils offense look spectacular at times. Duke will likely not be able to escape a similar bowl-less fate in 2011, but at least now they have the athletes on the roster to remain competitive.

GEORGIA TECH: Georgia Tech set out to improve defensively this spring and try to focus on special teams. The good news is that the Yellow Jackets defense finished spring practice looking much better than the offense. Which might actually reveal more issues with the offense than it does compliment the defensive improvement. At different times this spring, both Tevin Washington and Synjyn Days have struggled in scrimmage situations against the first-team defense. Both quarterbacks have struggled to find a rhythm, and as head coach Paul Johnson said, they have been "running for their lives" on the field.

The defense was highlighted this spring by players like defensive end Jason Peters and inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy, who entered spring practice as a backup. Nealy, a redshirt freshman, has seen time with the first-string this spring due to injuries to Julian Burnett and Daniel Drummond. He has made the most of the opportunity, capping off his spring by leading the Yellow Jackets in tackles during their annual T-Day game. Paul Johnson also wanted to increase the mistakes in the special teams after last season. Unfortunately that is not completely solved as Georgia Tech's kickers combined for misses from 28, 47, and 49 yards in the T-Day game.

MIAMI: Miami's spring has been much publicized due to the arrival of new head coach Al Golden . Therefore it should come as no surprise that we learned just as much (if not more) about Golden's vision for the Miami football program this spring than we did about the actual players on the roster. In following the Hurricanes this spring one word stands out to describe Golden's brief time at Miami: demand.

Golden demands that Miami play, practice, and think at a fast pace. He demanded that the Hurricanes get in better shape, and instituted a rigorous winter conditioning program. He demanded that players need to earn starting positions, and that is obvious with the unusually fluid final spring depth chart.

But will all these demands and the implementation of a new attitude around Miami catch on in time for the 2011 season? There are still plenty of question marks on the field, most notably the ongoing quarterback battle between Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris. The Hurricanes have a stable of running backs and a solid offensive line that should provide stability to the offense, and take some pressure of whichever signal-caller ends up as the starter. If nothing else, Golden has brought hype back to "The U." More than 300 former players showed up for the Hurricanes' spring game in Ft. Lauderdale, a who's who of active and retired NFL players.

Something else I learned from Miami this spring? I really need to get a Michael Irvin alarm clock.

NORTH CAROLINA: - While several former North Carolina defenders are preparing to hear their name called this weekend in the NFL draft, many of the stars from 2010's defense are still in Chapel Hill preparing for next fall. If anything, the spring showed us that the heart of of the Tar Heels' defense will be on the defensive line. The Tar Heels will be able to rotate 8-9 defensive lineman, highlighted by Quinton Coples, Jared MacAdoo, and Donte Paige-Moss. Much of the depth and added experience on the defensive line is due to the suspensions of Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn forcing players into positions unexpectedly before the season started. One of the things that makes North Carolina's line especially dangerous is the ability of several players to play multiple positions. Both Coples and MacAdoo are able to play inside or out, and that versatility can benefit a team when injuries hit during the long season. One of the biggest surprises on the already deep defensive line has been the play of junior college transfer Sylvester Williams. Williams has been building buzz since he arrived in Chapel Hill, and could end up challenging Jordan Nix for a starting defensive tackle job by next fall. North Carolina's secondary is a concern once again, making it even more important for the defensive line to put pressure on the quarterback to prevent opposing wide receivers from getting space down the field.

Offensively much of the focus will be on quarterback Bryn Renner, who is taking over for four-year starter T.J. Yates. Renner showed promise at times this spring, but he is still getting accustomed to his new role as leader of the offense. Thankfully he'll have Dwight Jones and Erik Highsmith to throw to, and an experienced offensive line to give him time to operate. Ryan Houston was a touchdown machine in 2009, but after redshirting last season and undergoing shoulder blade surgery this summer the depth at running back will be a concern heading into the fall.

VIRGINIA: Earlier this year, head coach Mike London made headlines by pulling in yet another unexpectedly strong class on National Signing Day. Unfortunately, these small victories will take some time before they translate into more marks in the "W" column for the Cavaliers. This spring did not answer many of the questions that existed near the end of last year's four-win season. Defensively, the Cavaliers return seven starters from a unit that finished only better than Duke and Wake Forest in both scoring and total defense. Improvement from those numbers will be necessary considering the lack of offensive firepower.

Virginia rotated through four different quarterbacks during their spring game (Michael Rocco, Ross Metheny, Michael Strauss, and David Watford), but no candidate stood out among the group. The offensive line has been porous, and the Cavaliers still lack an answer at running back as well. What did I learn about Virginia? Greener pastures may lie in their future, but unless someone steps up to make the Cavaliers a threat on offense they will have a difficult time keeping up with opponents in 2011.

VIRGINIA TECH: Not to drone on about new quarterbacks, but when a sophomore takes over for the ACC Player of the Year it is going to turn some heads. Logan Thomas has looked impressive this spring, grabbing most of the positive notes out of Blacksburg across the last several weeks. He finished spring practice as the star of the spring game, throwing for 131 yards and two touchdowns while also leading the Hokies in rushing with 46 yards on just five carries. However, Thomas' impressive performance did showcase some depth issues for the Hokies on offense. With starting running back David Wilson away with the track team, backup running backs Daniel Dyer, Josh Oglesby, and James Hopper struggled against the Hokies' defense in the spring game. Last season head coach Frank Beamer had the benefit of three NFL-caliber running backs to choose from, right now it looks like Wilson is the only competent option. The backup quarterbacks did not fair well either, with second-string Ju-Ju Clayton completing just three of his ten passes, and tossing two interceptions.

Defensively, Virginia Tech's returning talent seems charged up by the 40-12 lashing they took from Andrew Luck and Stanford in the Orange Bowl. The competition on the field has been aggressive, and defensive coordinator Bud Foster has not backed down from calling his team's performance in that game "unacceptable." Players to keep an eye on heading into the fall include linebacker Tariq Edwards and defensive end James Gayle, who was voted the spring defensive MVP. For those still curious, wide receiver Danny Coale did punt in the spring game and is still considered in the running for the job come fall.
Posted on: April 25, 2011 3:51 pm

VIDEO: Michael Irvin addresses Miami locker room

Posted by Adam Jacobi

At the University of Miami, perhaps moreso than any other school, the football players stick around with the program long after their college careers are finished. If it's summer at Miami, guys like Clinton Portis, Jeremy Shockey, and Andre Johnson will be there at the university, doing their off-season training and imbuing the players with a sense of tradition and responsibility. It's pretty cool.

And yet for all the limitless pride and commitment to the program, there's one man who reps the U harder than anybody else, and that's Hall of Fame wide receiver/talker Michael Irvin, who won a national championship with the 'Canes in 1987 before heading to the Dallas Cowboys. Irvin's still in Miami, hosting a sports radio show, and as long as he's down there, he'll always have something to say to the team. So here's new head coach Al Golden bringing Irvin in to address the team before its annual spring game this weekend.

Look, if you can't get up for that, then football's obviously not your sport. It's my sport, though, and even though I'm not a Miami fan (I don't hate them or anything, they're just not my team), I'm still thisclose to ripping my shirt off and running down the street while throwing up the U. I don't really know what going shirtless would accomplish but it seems like a necessary step. Maybe I'll shave the U into my chest hair first. Wait, why am I still writing these things down? END POST! END POST!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com