As your Miami Hurricanes prepare for their first football scrimmage of the 2011 Spring practice session on Saturday at Spanish River High School the long, hard practices that new Head Coach Al golden and staff are putting the UM players through appear to be taking their toll.
The latest player to sit out a regular practice today was Lamar "Speedy" Miller.
Miller, who is the fastest, possibly the most talented and potentially the most likely running back to be the next 1000 yard rusher at Miami apparently got "banged up" in practice (Golden's term for injured players who he chooses not to discuss in detail with the media).
Now #6 hangs out wearing red with the player that Canespace blogger SolarCane for some strange reason repeatedly insists is "UM's most talented WR" in Aldarius "Glue hands" Johnson (seen below) and one of the projected starters at DT Marcus "Dancing Bear" Forston.
They all congregate on the sideline to watch practice with several other Hurricane players wearing red and doing stretches and "mental reps" all while drinking Gatorade instead of practicing.
Future scrimmages in Dade (4/9/11 at Traz Powell Stadium) and in Broward County (4/16 at Lockhart Stadium) will also give Miami fans from all over South Florida a chance to see the Hurricanes perform live and showcase their talents.
Golden said openly at the beginning of Spring ball that he was going to go hard on this years squad in an attempt to toughen them up both physically and mentally. He has clearly kept that promise this Spring that began with the off-season workouts with Strength and Conditioning Coach Andreu Swasey.
Swasey pushed the players to their limits during weight training and physical endurance drills and tried to bring back some of the old school attitude by injecting some of the infamous Hurricane swagger back into this team.
The pace established by Swasey has continued to accelerate during the first two weeks of practice at Greentree Field as Golden, D'Onofrio, Fisch, Kehoe and all of the other UM assistant coaches have upped the ante for players wearing "The U" on their helmets.
Like all football coaches trying to establish their own tempo and mark on a team Golden will need to negotiate the delicate balance of pushing the players hard in practice yet still have them available to perform during scrimmages and more importantly on game day.
Now let's hope that enough players survive the first Golden "boot camp" long enough to perform on the field during the three scrimmages.