Spring: Things We've Learned

Spring football is just past the halfway point. We've learned a lot over the last few weeks. Mike Bakas breaks it down.

1) This seems to be the most mature team Al Golden's had so far at Miami. He's mentioned on several occasions lately how this team has a different feel to it. They're more serious, more focused. Part of that was to be expected with so many starters returning from last season. Most of the key players on this year's team are battle tested. It's showing this spring, and hopefully it will carry over into the fall.

2) Gray Crow is clearly ahead of Preston Dewey among the redshirt freshman quarterbacks. And he's slightly behind Ryan Williams for the backup job. Either way, no one really seems to be separating himself from the rest of the pack behind Stephen Morris. Look for that to start changing when incoming freshman Kevin Olsen arrives this summer.

3) Malcolm Lewis is further along with his rehab than many people, including Al Golden, expected. Lewis has already been out running routes and catching passes. He seems ahead of schedule, and is on schedule for a return early in the season in 2013. If that happens, it'd be a major boost to an already solid receiving corps.

4) Jake O'Donnell has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the entire spring. A former three-star defensive end recruit, O'Donnell was moved to tight end during the offseason and was last on the depth chart to begin spring. He's had a solid month, and has been singled out by Golden a few times. Many thought the move was for depth purposes, or that he'd be a blocking tight end, but he could end up challenging for playing time. The depth at tight end is now a major strength.

5) Alex Figueroa has been the most pleasant surprise on defense. A very lightly recruited player in the 2013 class, Figueroa has not only been in the starting lineup all this month but he's been running the show on defense (per Mark D'Onofrio). With all the injuries at linebacker, his insertion into the starting lineup wasn't a major surprise. His running the defense, and the impact he's had so far in doing so, has been.

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