Friday, December 15, 2017

Miami to 'cut the cord' Friday

CORAL GABLES — Tonight will be the second and final scrimmage of Miami's camp, and it will have much more of a game feel.

First, it will begin in the evening, just like the Aug. 30 season opener against Florida Atlantic. Second, the players will be split into teams. Third, the coaches will let the action dictate their decisions.

"It's time to cut the cord with some of these guys," coach Al Golden said. "It can't be about yelling from the sideline. They're going to have crowd noise and music. They're going to have to learn the signals. They have to be more independent thinkers out there."

One aspect coaches will focus on is the accuracy of Stephen Morris and other quarterbacks.

"We just have to do the little things right," Morris said. "That comes with pocket presence, finding the right guys and the right targets and not forcing stuff."

Missing fullback: Freshman FB Gus Edwards missed recent practices with a situation Golden described only as "(NCAA) clearinghouse issues." The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder is expected to back up Maurice Hagens.

UF: Green feels good

GAINESVILLE — Ankle surgery caused Florida OL Chaz Green to miss all of spring practice and be limited during the offseason. But the Tampa Catholic graduate has not missed any practices of fall camp and said he's physically ready for the upcoming season.

"I'm ready to get back to (working on) technique and just playing my game," he said.

With injuries hitting the offensive line hard near the end of last season and early in fall camp, Green has been getting work in a variety of areas.

"Everybody has been getting a fair share of reps at every position," he said. "I've been at right tackle, but a lot of guys have been rotating in. We've all been getting cross-training just to be familiar with the offense."

More line news: OL Max Garcia, who sat out last season after transferring from Maryland, returned to practice this week after doctors cleared him following a back injury. "It's a great feeling to be back out there with my teammates."

Antonya English, Times staff writer

USF: Freshman shines

VERO BEACH — Sophomore Kenneth Durden and senior walk-on Brandon Salinas currently are USF's starting cornerbacks. But coach Willie Taggart said freshman Lamar Robbins is making a push.

"The kid plays with so much confidence," Taggart said. "You have to have a lot of confidence at that position. And he's full of it. He's making a strong push for it, but it's not over with."

Still out: Sophomore G Thor Jozwiak, sidelined with an irregular heartbeat, joined the team in Vero Beach but hasn't been cleared to practice yet. He's taking a new medication. "We have to not be selfish and rush him back," Taggart said. With Jozwiak out, sophomore Brynjar Gudmundsson and senior Lawrence Martin are working with the first team. Senior Steven Jacques also has seen first-team reps.

Quotable: "I tell our guys, if you don't know where we're going, just run in a circle until you figure out where everybody's going." — Taggart on not liking to see players walk during practice.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

FSU: Dual threat

TALLAHASSEE — In high school, Jacobbi McDaniel was a three-sport star who was drafted by baseball's Brewers. Now Florida State is putting the fifth-year senior's versatility to the test.

A defensive tackle throughout his career, coach Jimbo Fisher has started experimenting playing McDaniel at fullback.

"Anything to help the team out," McDaniel said.

Defense remains his primary position. But in short-yardage situations, McDaniel will come on the field as another blocker.

"The way I approached the linebacker, they were kind of surprised that I still had (the offensive athleticism) in me," McDaniel said about his first time practicing on offense.

And McDaniel said he won't be shy about catching passes.

"I still have it," he said. "Every day before practice, we're playing catch. It's still there."

Rest: Thursday marked the Seminoles' first off day of camp. It came one day after scrimmaging and three days after their first two-a-day.

Orlando Sentinel


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