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UM depth chart has QB surprise

CORAL GABLES — First-year Miami coach Al Golden warned that the opening depth chart for spring football would have some "wake-up calls." And as the Hurricanes open practice today, he wasn't kidding.

At quarterback, Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris, who last season started nine and four games, respectively, are ultimately expected to compete for the starting job. But atop the depth chart is Spencer Whipple, the son of former offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. Harris is second, Morris third.

Whipple barely played last season, going 6-of-12 for 54 yards and two interceptions. But in Golden's mind, the Hurricanes have no returning starters.

"My plan for choosing a starter," Golden said, "is (the players are) going to choose a starter."

At left tackle, 6-foot-8, 340-pound Seantrel Henderson, who started nine games as a freshman last season, is No. 2 behind Malcolm Bunche. Other surprises include converted fullback John Calhoun as the first-string tight end (Asante Cleveland will miss the spring because of an undisclosed injury) and sophomore-to-be Jimmy Gaines over senior-to-be Jordan Futch at middle linebacker.

"Some guys got their butts beat out in the offseason program," Golden said. "And now it's going to be up to them to try to win this second phase. We made sure the kids knew how it was going to be declared, how the depth was going to be listed going into spring. And that was based on the offseason."

Clemson: Star tailback Andre Ellington, who had offseason toe surgery, was cleared to run but will miss spring drills. He's expected to be ready for fall practice.

Georgia: Redshirt sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray said he will be 100 percent by spring practice, which starts Thursday. The Plant High graduate sprained his right ankle during a pickup soccer game Feb. 19.

Oregon: The school said it has been contacted by the NCAA to provide documentation about its use of two recruiting services. Yahoo Sports and ESPN reported Oregon paid a combined $28,000 to two men who ran recruiting services that typically provide biographical information and video about players. If either guided a recruit to Oregon, it would violate NCAA rules. Coach Chip Kelly and athletic director Rob Mullens said the school believes its use of such services is allowed.

Men basketball

Duke: Coach Mike Krzyzewski said star freshman point guard Kyrie Irving has been cleared for "a few basketball-related activities" as he recovers from a right big toe injury. But he added he doesn't expect Irving, who averaged 17 points while starting all eight games before the injury, to return this season: "(Duke has) a responsibility that … we take care of his future."

Wash. St.: Klay Thompson, the Pac-10's leading scorer at 21.4 per game, won't play in today's game against UCLA, which is critical for the Cougars' tournament hopes, after being cited for suspicion of misdemeanor marijuana possession. Police in Pullman, Wash., said after Thursday's home win against Southern Cal, Thompson was stopped because of a broken headlight and a search turned up the marijuana. An arraignment hasn't been scheduled.

Baseball: Brian Johnson struck out nine over five scoreless innings to lead host Florida (8-1) past Miami (4-5) 8-3. … Randy Fontanez allowed five hits and struck out eight over eight innings as host USF (3-5) beat Florida A&M (4-7) 5-0. The final two games of the series will be a doubleheader starting at 4 today. Sunday's game was moved up because of anticipated bad weather.

UM depth chart has QB surprise 03/04/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 5, 2011 5:39pm]
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