UM Football Blog: 8/6

Read on for the latest surrounding Miami's football team, with analysis from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

* Seantrel Henderson returned to practice today but was limited. Al Golden said his junior tackle will have to spend a couple days in just a helmet before getting back into full action. Getting Henderson back and on the field is key for the Canes. He's Miami's biggest and probably their most talented offensive lineman. He entered fall camp as the projected starter at right tackle. While he was gone, Jermaine Johnson filled in nicely but it'd be nice to let Johnson continue competing for playing time at guard as well. While Henderson's dealt with injuries and inconsistency since coming to Miami as the nation's top overall recruit a few years ago, a healthy and determined Henderson can and will only help the Canes. If he can lock down the starting right tackle job, and give more than 200 minutes (like he did in all of 2011), it's only going to help. He has a lot of potential and has the ability to develop into one of the premier tackles in all of college football. Missing the first couple practices doesn't change any of that and hopefully he'll be back to full speed and ready to make a big impact at the scrimmage this coming weekend. Henderson being here also means the Canes won't have to rush the development of true freshmen Ereck Flowers and Taylor Gadbois, although their increased role over the first few days of fall camp can only help.

* Deon Bush has been getting work at safety. He signed with Miami as a four-star cornerback prospect but when Ray Ray Armstrong was removed from the team, it created some depth issues at the safety spot and Bush was the most likely of the incoming freshmen to be moved there. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, he has the necessary size to play there. He's listed at strong safety, behind Vaughn Telemaque, and that probably makes more sense than playing free (behind Kacy Rodgers) since Bush's ball skills were never considered his strong suit in high school. Either way, he has the athletic ability and the IQ to earn some early playing time at the safety position.

* Stephen Morris pointed out today that Herb Waters and D'Mauri Jones have been the most impressive of the freshman receivers. It probably doesn't mean much -- especially after just a few practices -- but the two more likely answers would have been Malcolm Lewis (because of his football IQ and great route-running skills) and Robert Lockhart (because he played a year of higher level football at the prep school level). Jones has ideal size and if he can catch on quickly, he could find a key role in the offense this season. Waters is just a flat out football player. He's very competitive. He played all over the field in high school but never really settled in playing just receiver -- something he's doing now. He could really take off in his development.

* Jimmy Gaines is still limited with an injury. He began fall camp as the projected starter at sam linebacker so his lack of practice is likely giving redshirt freshman Eddie Johnson a good opportunity to showcase his skills. Gaines has the size (6-3/235) and experience that those on the second unit don't have yet so getting him back in action will be important. We'll continue to monitor Gaines's status as the first scrimmage gets closer.


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