White's Play at Tight End One of Thursday's Stories


CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Spring practice No. 5 came and went on Thursday for the University of Miami football team and it was a hot one.

The Hurricanes again practiced for three hours but on Thursday, it was under the warmest conditions so far this spring, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low-to-mid 80’s throughout.

Starting With Special Teams
A better part of the first hour of practice was spent working on special teams, specifically on field goal situations and kick-offs. Redshirt freshman Ben Hopfinger looked good in the field goal drills, consistently booting balls through the uprights with plenty of room to spare.

On kick-offs, the focus was on coverage and positioning. Head coach Al Golden – who has said before he likes being involved with the special teams – and Special Teams Coordinator Micheal Barrow were directing traffic.

On more than one occasion, Golden could be heard saying, “We are watching each and every one of you out here. I don’t want to see anyone hit the ground.”

As you would expect, everyone stayed on their feet.

Watching the Tight Ends
As one of the deepest positions on UM’s roster, tight end is certainly a position to pay attention to this spring. On Thursday, several tight ends stood out but Cory White had the most impressive day.

White, who moved over from the offensive line in the offseason, showed good hands, strong blocking (expected) and fluid movement in his patterns given his 275-pound frame. White also tallied a decent amount of yards after the catch on several plays, sometimes with two or three defenders needed to slow him down.

Tight ends coach Brennan Carroll acknowledged White’s effort on several occassions, as did strength coach Andreu Swasey, who celebrated White’s efforts after the catch.

Chase Ford and Billy Sanders both looked comfortable in drills and made the catches they needed to make, while transfer Blake Ayles appears to be getting more comfortable as practices wear on.

Asante Cleveland, who led all UM tight ends last season with 110 receiving yards as a freshman, has been limited by injury in spring ball thus far.

Practice Highlights
Here are a few of the players/plays that stood out on Thursday….

– For the second straight day, Lamar Miller had a few nice runs in the inside run drill, finding a seam and breaking through a crowded box.
– The defense seemed to have the upper hand in 7-on-7 action, with the quarterbacks often checking down to the backs with no one open downfield. On the final play of 7-on-7, JoJo Nicolas broke up a potential touchdown pass in one-on-one coverage on a ball intended for Tommy Streeter.
– Some other players who made some big plays or performed well on Thursday were center Tyler Horn, safety Vaughn Telemaque and wide receiver Kendal Thompkins.

Green Out the Remainder of Spring Ball
Sophomore linebacker Shayon Green will miss the remainder of spring practice with a knee injury. Green, who is in his third year in the program, has only played in two games in his career, seeing action against Florida A&M and Ohio State in UM’s first two games of the 2010 season.

His availability for fall camp has not been determined.

‘Canes Stop by Before Pro Day
With UM’s Pro Day scheduled for Friday morning, several `Canes who are wrapping up preparation for the tryouts stopped by practice to watch some of their former teammates in action.

Orlando Franklin, Colin McCarthy and DeMarcus Van Dyke were just a few of the onlookers at today’s practice.

At one point, Franklin jokingly told defensive tackle Curtis Porter he needed to move quicker to the next station. Needless to say a winded Porter wasn’t laughing along with Big O.

UM Students, Employees Invited to Practice
In appreciation for their support of University of Miami athletics, Al Golden would like to invite UM students and employees to attend one of the team’s spring practices on Tuesday, March 29. Click here for more information.

Practice No. 6
The Hurricanes will return to practice on Saturday for morning session beginning at 9 a.m. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 70’s for most of the practice.

Freshman cornerback Thomas Finnie prior to Thursday’s practice….