Spring football kicked off Saturday, but three Hurricanes were sidelined due to suspension. Offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson, linebacker Kelvin Cain and defensive back Keion Payne are said to have “violated team policy”, though individual infractions were not specified.
Head coach Al Golden did confirm that all three will be back in action for Tuesday’s practice and will rejoin the team for meetings on Monday.
“I think it’s disappointing for the team, to be honest with you,” Golden said, comparing his players to a garden.
“You can’t just weed all the time. If you weed all the time, if you’re just constantly weeding, that’s the problem. When you’re trying to improve the program and move the program forward, you can’t just weed your garden, you’ve got to water your garden, too.
“And so we’re sitting here saying to the guys, ‘That is an incredible offseason,’ and ‘Great job,’ and then the next day you’ve got to weed the garden again. It’s like, after a while, you stop using the weed whacker and you get a shovel and get the whole root. That’s kind of where we’re at.”
Golden’s frustration seemed to be mounting, especially regarding repeat offenders like Henderson and Cain, who have been in the second-year coach’s doghouse in the past. With so many kids working to do things the right way, those who continue missing the bigger picture aren’t going to earn Coach’s favor anytime soon.
“There are a lot of kids on that team that have given up a lot and that will continue to give up a lot, that love [UM], that are trying to do things the right way,” said Golden. “… Just do what we’re asking you to do, what everybody else on the team is doing.”
Henderson entered spring as second-team right tackle behind Jermaine Johnson while Cain was slated to practice at first-team outside linebacker due to the injured Ramon Buchanan (knee). Payne is currently listed as second-team corner behind Thomas Finnie.
Golden did take the time to rave about those who are getting it right – namely redshirt freshman Dallas Crawford, who’s moved from defensive back to running back / slot receiver and return specialist. Golden praised Crawford’s “lateral quickness” and as the shape he’s in and his abilities with the ball in his hands, which Golden referred to as “versatile”.
As year two gets underway, Golden will continue “the process” and again, this is something guys will either buy into, or won’t. Seems the Golden Era kids are all-in, but some from the old regime aren’t necessarily getting it.
Either they will, or they’ll get used to spectating. Pretty simple equation.. – C.B.