Football Blog: Spring starts today

The Hurricanes will begin spring football today under new head coach Al Golden.

Spring football begins today. Al Golden and all but one new coach will look to turn around a Hurricane program that has fallen short of expectations in recent years. Here are some key things to look for in the coming weeks.

1) Which quarterback will emerge as the starter? Golden made it very clear that he may not name a starter until August, especially if the two remain close. Senior Jacory Harris had a solid sophomore season and then a sluggish junior season, while sophomore Stephen Morris showed flashes as a true freshman last season.

2) Who will step up and emerge as the go-to guy after Leonard Hankerson has moved on? Hankerson was Miami's best offensive player the last two seasons and so the receivers had big shoes to fill. Most expect that guy to be senior LaRon Byrd, who seems due for a breakout season.

3) Can the Canes replace Orlando Franklin at left tackle with effectiveness? Franklin was a four-year starter. He was battle tested and played both guard and tackle. Will Seantrel Henderson end up as the team's left tackle? Will someone like Ben Jones step up and be the guy? This should be a good position to watch this spring.

4) With Allen Bailey gone, who becomes the new leader on the defensive line? All of Miami's great teams had a dominating defensive lineman. Will it be Olivier Vernon? Marcus Forston? There is a lot of talent here but most haven't lived up to expectations quite yet. This should be a fun group to watch under new coach Jethro Franklin.

5) How much quality depth can the Canes build at cornerback? The top three guys from last season are gone. One of the top four guys now played running back to start his career. Another has been playing cornerback. Another one just graduated high school. There are a lot of question marks so new DB's coach Paul Williams will have his hands full trying to replace the trio of corners who just left.

6) How will the team replace Matt Bosher? There is help on the way, but not until the fall with the new recruits coming in. Jake Wieclaw will have a golden opportunity this spring. Can he take advantage of it will be a key thing to watch for.

Stay tuned, as will have complete coverage of spring football in the coming weeks -- interviews, photos, analysis, and more.

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