Golden Names Most Impressive Freshman

Eight players from the 2012 recruiting class started school for the spring semester and are going through spring drills. Read on to see who Al Golden says has been the most impressive.

The Hurricanes practiced for the fifth time this spring on Tuesday morning and seven true freshmen, along with a Junior College transfer, have been participating.

Gray Crow and Preston Dewey are the two quarterbacks who are pushing Ryan Williams. Crow and Dewey have each been getting a lot of reps this spring and will spend time with the first unit at Saturday's scrimmage.

Ereck Flowers and Taylor Gadbois are two massive freshman offensive linemen who are working under offensive line coach Art Kehoe, trying to provide some quality competition for the older players at the position.

Raphael Kirby and Josh Witt are a pair of freshman linebackers who were excellent in the offseason workout program.

Ladarius Gunter and Larry Hope helped fill a major hole at cornerback when they enrolled in school early and were able to go through spring drills. Because of the lack of depth at that position, both players have been seeing time with the ones. Defensive end Dwayne Hoilett also started early.

So which of the eight has been the most impressive after the first few weeks of spring football? Golden didn't hesitate a bit when answering that question today.

"Kirby," he said. "When you pose a question like that, it's like you blink and answer. Kirby's doing a good job."

Coming in right behind Kirby is another defensive standout who is likely going to play a major role for the Canes this coming season.

"Ladarius Gunter's doing a good job," he said. "The quarterbacks are doing a good job. We're asking a lot of them."

Hope and Hoilett started a little later than the rest of the newcomers and thus missed some of the Phase 1 workout program.

"The first thing they do is go through the offseason program," Golden said. "That's not easy. Guys like Larry Hope came in a little later so they're fighting through it."

Overall, Golden has been very pleased with his newest group of players.

"We're impressed with Kirby and the freshman group," he said.

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