Kickoff is officially twenty-three days out as summer continues blowing by. For the Hurricanes, practice is underway and two types of stories pour out of camp; some competition-fueled and the standard scoop you’d hope to hear in mid-August, while some is marred in controversy and speculation. Regardless, let’s dive into the latest at ‘The U’.
The headlines continue circling around junior offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson. Days back Henderson was absent from practice, sparking conspiracy theories as to what his lack of presence meant. Then it was confirmed that the absence was excused as he was attending the funeral of a friend back home.
Henderson returned and participated in light conditioning drills Monday and Tuesday, but was again held out of practice Wednesday and today, when it was uncovered that he was involved in a car accident before his trip home to Minnesota. He was cited for three infractions on August 1st by the Florida Highway Patrol.
According to head coach Al Golden, Henderson may had a ‘medical issue’, which is thought to be a concussion. True freshman Ereck Flowers is taking first-team reps at right tackles in Henderson’s absence.
Whatever the case, none of this bodes well with kickoff weeks away. Instead of taking on the personality of Golden’s second-year staff and underclassmen recruited by said coaches, Henderson seems stuck in the type of rut that plagued so many players from the Randy Shannon era.
At some point, you hope that light switch goes off. Coaches have called Henderson out on numerous occasions, attempting to motivate by praising his skill and God-given talent, but making it clear that mentally and effort-wise, he’s not getting the job done.
Without being overly pessimistic, this story doesn’t seem like one that will end well. Henderson is a physical phenom-type who hasn’t mentally taken well to the college game.
Big NFL money will be on the table next spring and you have to believe, especially based on so many other early departees from the past few classes, that the Henderson experiment will last twelve more games – if that long.
Golden is a no-nonsense coach and his goal is to turn this program around with his type of kids. It’s a get on board, or get out of the way mentality. Henderson seems to be another guy who is down to his last ‘get out of jail free’ card.
Time to find hard work and success, as opposed to lethargy and drama.
Speaking of troubled players from the past regime, the saga of Ray-Ray Armstrong simply won’t go away. Dismissed from the team weeks back, the former senior safety has hired an attorney and is seeking reinstatement for his client.
Armstrong was dismissed without reason and his attorney is arguing that the decision to remove the safety has caused irreparable damage to his potential NFL career. Of course the case better hinge on more that that as the story of former Gators defensive back Janoris Jenkins played out just fine.
After being booted from Florida, Jenkins wound up at North Alabama, a Division-II program, and still wound up being picked in the second round of April’s NFL Draft.
The Armstrong tale is another disappointing end to the career of a Shannon-era Cane. Where it got even more frustrating, when his father Albert Armstrong spoke out weeks back, essentially blaming the system, as well as his son’s youthful ways, for all that had transpired.
There was no accountability and instead of father blaming son for screwing up an not making most of his opportunities, he took the “boys will be boys” approach and shook his fist at ‘the man’.
Here’s hoping the Armstrong case just goes away. Miami has enough going on as a program and the return of Ray-Ray would be a lose-lose.
Honestly, even if the Armstrong family feels their son is a scapegoat for UM and the NCAA investigation calling for a ‘sacrificial lamb’ (Albert’s words), bringing him back for the 2012 has disaster written all over it. Coaches and teammates have moved on, other safeties are working to earn the position and from a chemistry standpoint, it’d never be a proper fit again.
Go play some Division-II ball, Ray-Ray, Twelve games until the NFL Draft and your payday. Close this chapter and call it a day.
Where Armstrong failed as a defensive back, one of Golden’s recruits is making proper headlines, thankfully. JUCO transfer Ladarius Gunter is impressing coaches and is vying for some serious playing time this fall.
Gunter was raised in Montgomery, Alabama and wound up in Coral Gables by way of Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. Besides his roots, he wasn’t a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide or Auburn Tigers – instead he was smitten by former Miami safety Sean Taylor.
“My favorite player was Sean Taylor,” said Gunter. “The first game I really paid attention to on TV was Miami versus Florida State. I saw Sean Taylor crushing people, and I was just like, ‘Wow.’ I fell in love with his style of play.”
Gunter is currently sporting a coveted black jersey at Greentree this week, despite a sluggish start. Golden pointed out that Gunter was recently listed as third-team, but he kept grinding, studying, working hard and earned his way to the head of the class.
An injury to Thomas Finnie gave Gunter a leg up, but coaches have made it clear that no one is going to stay on top without working hard, and that upperclassmen have no advantage over newbies. That theory was tested and proven when true freshman cornerback Tracy Howard snagged a black jersey from senior Brandon McGee.
Fierce competition has always been the name of the game for successful Miami teams and Golden’s Canes are going to have to earn everything each step of the way. Love it.
The sophomore linebacker was juked hard by the freshman running back so badly that some initially feared that Paul was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The morning after, Coach Golden stated that he felt Paul would be back in “two or three days”.
Paul has been listed on the depth chart behind started Ramon Buchanan, listed as co-second team with Tyrone Cornelius.
Lastly, thank you for bearing with us here at allCanesBlog.com the past few weeks. If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve seen teasers in regards to the relaunching of the revamped allCanes.com website.
This undertaking has been a massive one – and one we’ll be proud of when all said and done – but it’s proven to be much more of a challenge than ever expected.
We’re working with a great firm that has put together something rather amazing, but with four strong opinions on the allCanes side, combined with the folks doing the actual front-end and back-end design, what looked like a July launch has now stretched into mid-August.
We will be live before kickoff and we’re certain that you are going to be blown away, but truth be told, allCanesBlog.com has ridden shotgun to the allCanes.com relaunch and we apologize.
Football is just over three weeks away and with allCanes.com nearing our relaunch, we promise more football coverage from this point on. Thanks for your patience and your support. Go Canes.