Returning Canes Signifies Culture Change

Al Golden’s recent dialogue with Penn State raised some unexpected, yet warranted questions regarding overall team morale. How would the Miami Hurricanes respond as a unit, knowing their head coach was said to be contemplating a career move?

Theories of a divided team were put to rest when four key players chose to stick around for their senior seasons.

Miami will return linebacker Denzel Perryman, defensive end Anthony Chickillo, tight end Clive Walford and offensive tackle Jon Feliciano—all of whom will add necessary depth and leadership for the Hurricanes in 2014.

Walford was quick to announce his comeback minutes after Miami’s bowl loss to Louisville, while Chickillo and Perrymanmulled their options until early January—both eventually seeing the benefit in one more season at “The U.”

All players submitted their paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Board, awaited responses and made their decisions accordingly—which sounds like a no-brainer process but isn’t always the case.

Two years ago, Miami saw a mass exodus. Five key players made the early leap to the NFL—all of whom did so without seeking counsel and properly weighing their options. Golden, having just wrapped his first season in Coral Gables, was stunned at his players’ lack of homework, which made for some ill-advised decisions.

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