Miami Hurricanes to get an early start on spring practice
Spring doesn't officially begin until March 20, but the Miami Hurricanes plan on getting a head start.
Via his Twitter, head coach Al Golden announced the spring football schedule, which begins with practice at 9 a.m. on Feb. 21. There will be an 11-day break from March 6-16 that overlaps with spring recess. All 12 sessions will begin at 9 a.m. at the Greentree Practice Fields and will not be open to the public, though local area coaches can RSVP.
The first two scrimmages will take place at 9 a.m. on March 5 and March 21. The spring game, which doesn't yet have a location with Sun Life Stadium renovations underway, will be on March 28.
After a disappointing 6-7 season, the Hurricanes need to replace some of the program's all-time greats. There will be battles at several key positions.
At running back, rising junior Gus Edwards as well as sophomores Joe Yearby and Trayone Gray will try to make up for the loss of Duke Johnson. Four-star signee Mark Walton doesn't arrive until May.
Clive Walford finished his career as UM's all-time leader in receptions and yards as a tight end. Junior Stan Dobard is considered the frontrunner to be the starter, but sophomore Chris Herndon could surprise. Jerome Washington, an early enrollee, was the top-rated junior college tight end in the Class of 2015.
With the departures of Shane McDermott, Jon Feliciano and Ereck Flowers on the offensive line, guys will need to emerge. Both Kc McDermott and Taylor Gadbois underwent knee surgery in October and will likely be out for the spring, or at least limited. Sophomores Trevor Darling and Nick Linder, as well as junior Alex Gall and senior Hunter Wells, will get playing time. Junior college transfer Jahair Jones, an early enrollee, will also compete.
Denzel Perryman, a Butkus Award finalist in 2014, is preparing for the NFL, and Thurston Armbrister is gone. Senior Raphael Kirby will take over Perryman's role in the middle, while senior Tyriq McCord may slot into Armbrister's spot. Other names to be on the lookout for include sophomores Darrion Owens and Juwon Young.
An interesting situation will also develop at quarterback. Sophomore Brad Kaaya is the starter, but who will emerge as his backup? Redshirt freshman Malik Rosier will not be able to participate in spring practices as he plays for the baseball team. That leaves junior Gray Crow and walk-on Vincent Testaverde Jr. to split reps. Miami received a National Letter of Intent from Evan Shirreffs, but he will not be on campus.
Dates (all times 9 a.m.):
Feb. 21, Feb. 22, Feb. 24, Feb. 26, Feb. 28, March 3, March 5, March 17, March 19, March 21, March 24, March 26
Scrimmage 1: March 5 (9 a.m.)
Scrimmage 2: March 21 (9 a.m.)