That being said, it really is hard to not get excited about the incoming freshman class at ‘The U’ as head coach Al Golden and staff hauled in an impressive crew, thirty-three kids ready to make an immediate impact, putting this proud program back on the map.
The Miami Herald posted a piece earlier that talked about the incoming class and how the college game has changed.
Honestly, with recruits enrolling early, getting a jump on things, in turn becoming more acclimated to college life and by kickoff in August, coming off more like redshirt-freshmen than true freshmen.
What have some of tomorrow’s Canes been up to since signing with UM in February?
– Two-sport athlete David Thompson has been studying the playbook like mad. He’ll arrive on campus for Summer Session II on June 27th. Thompson was recently selected in the MLB Draft (New York Yankees, 38th round) but he will head to Coral Gables to play football (quarterback) and baseball (outfielder) as his father, Ed Thompson stated, “the opportunity at the University of Miami was too valuable for all of us.”
– Defensive back Deon Bush headed straight to UM after graduating from nearby Columbus High on May 19th, attending Summer Session I and getting on board with strength and conditioning efforts. He’s already reported back to his family that workouts are intensifying after being brought on slowly out the gate.
– Homestead wideout Herb Waters graduated June 5th and has been working out with incoming freshman cornerback Vernon Davis, working on abs and muscles he claimed to have never known about before reaching college.
– Others who arrived early for Summer Session I: defensive back Antonio Crawford, defensive back Nate Dortch, defensive lineman Jelani Hamilton, cornerback Tracy Howard, offensive lineman Daniel Isidora, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, tailback Randy ‘Duke’ Johnson and receivers Malcolm Lewis and Robert Lockhart.
They joined early enrolees quarterbacks Gray Crow and Preston Dewey, offensive linemen Taylor Gadbois and Ereck Flowers, linebackers Raphael Kirby and Josh Witt, defensive backs Ladarius Gunter and Larry Hope, as well as defensive lineman Dwayne Holiett.
The Herald piece talks about the newest Canes meeting for breakfast with the team, working out, tending to academics (a light summer load has most players taking one class to get adjusted) and then back to a player-led football regimen, usually seven-on-seven practices led by veteran players and without coaches, per NCAA rules.
Again, while it’s premature to get overly-hyped regarding this crop of newbies, as a fan starved for a new attitude, an improved culture and more discipline in the process, it’s all right to show some excitement regarding what you see.
Golden and staff seemed to have pulled in a quality class; hopefully the type of difference-makers this program saw in the late nineties that helped right the ship, sending UM on a stellar run. – C.B.