UM Football Blog: 8/9

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

* Al Golden said last week that a starting quarterback will likely be named after the first scrimmage, which takes place this coming Sunday, or the second one, which takes place the following weekend. It's a two-way battle between Stephen Morris and Ryan Williams. Both have been getting reps with the first unit through the first several practices. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said on Wednesday that a starter will be determined on a number of factors, that can be linked to certain stats -- turnovers, making good reads, checkdowns, mental mistakes, and a lot more. They'll be evaluated heavily on those factors this Sunday and most believe Morris will grade higher and earn the job. Don't be surprised if they wait to name a starter until the next scrimmage to keep the competition fierce but it's likely only a matter of time before Morris gets the official nod. Like the spring game showed when Williams was under center, this is a different offense with Morris running it.

* The Hurricanes are playing with five true freshman receivers and Fisch singled out Malcolm Lewis, Robert Lockhart, and Herb Waters -- in that order -- on Wednesday. Lewis is the most polished of the group and was always the most likely to play right away because of his readiness. Lockhart wasn't far behind, and so it's not surprising those seem like the top two freshman receivers right now. A third one will definitely play and it seems like Waters has been that guy so far. Remember, he played all over the field (including QB) at Homestead High so now that he's focusing on one position, he's really stepping up.

* The Canes opened fall camp with starters penciled in at left tackle (Malcolm Bunche), center (Shane McDermott), and right guard (Brandon Linder). Fisch singled out McDermott and Linder for their leadership roles and Bunche has been rock solid since taking over as the starter since the spring. The two spots that are still up for grabs are left guard and right tackle. Seantrel Henderson will return to full practice today so he'll finally get a chance to win the RT job, which is expected of him right now. Ereck Flowers has done a very good job filling in, and Golden singled him out Wednesday, noting that the true freshman was watching film at 10 pm Tuesday night by himself. That's who Flowers is -- dedicated. He was that way all through high school. He knows the game. He gets it. Because of those qualities, and his physical tools, he'll have a chance to log some quality minutes early in his career. Jon Feliciano is the top guy at the left guard spot right now.

* According to the Miami Herald, the first major injury of camp may have occurred on Wednesday when sophomore linebacker Gionni Paul went down with a knee injury. Golden will likely update his status later today but Paul was competing for the backup job to Ramon Buchanan on the outside. This means that Tyrone Cornileus and Thurston Armbrister will need to step it up. Armbrister was singled out by Golden as having a very good camp so far. It would be a pleasant surprise for the Canes to get quality minutes from Armbrister, a lightly recruited two-star recruit who signed with the Canes just before last season started.

* There have been numerous reports saying that Ray Ray Armstrong's family has hired an attorney in Orlando to see about getting him back on the team for this coming season. Really? That seems like a major stretch. Al Golden didn't want to discuss the situation on Wednesday and I don't think there's anything to discuss. Armstrong was removed from the team, just like many other players at every other major program in America, and he will likely play his final season of college football at a small school. There doesn't appear to be much of a story here.


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