McDougle puts a scare into teammates

Fear and memories of recent tragedies entered the minds of University of Miami players as they watched over junior defensive end Jerome McDougle, who collapsed earlier this at Greentree Field. Here are some thoughts from the players ...

McDougle, who was released Wednesday night from the hospital, was the players main concern he laid on his back for about 10 minutes after practice Tuesday morning. Players clasped hands and prayed around McDougle as the field was engulfed in silence. With the recent string of player deaths on the practice field during workouts, the Hurricanes worry for their teammate could not be under stated. Already this summer, Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer has died of heatstroke and University of Florida freshman Eraste Autin died after a workout.

"It scared all of us," said freshman defensive tackle Vince Wolfork, who was on the field as team trainers assisted McDougle. "Just seeing down, really was tough."

Although he wanted to finish out the practice, McDougle told teammate Ken Dangerfield and strength coach Andrew Swasey he was 'tired' before passing out. Defensive tackle William Joseph said that McDougle felt 'kind of dizzy'.

"I really don't know what happened, but he did look tired," Joseph said.

After the initial scare, players were relieved after visiting with McDougle at the hospital.

"All Jerome said was that he was tired, he said he really didn't pass out," said senior defensive end Cornelius Green, who visited with McDougle yesterday. "He was fine-cracking jokes and saying he wanted to get out of there."

Green said he could not tell during practice that McDougle was having any difficuties, because the redshirt junior is always 'going hard on every play'.

"You can't really tell if someone is really trying to push themselves or they're just tired. I couldn't really tell if something was wrong because Jerome goes hard on every play. He doesn't take any plays off."

Although a lot of the players seemed tired and emotionally-drained at the end of Tuesday's practice, the Hurricanes went about their business as usual.

Wilfork, who earlier this week had to receive fluids intravenously, was confident that McDougle would be back soon and performing at a high level.

"He'll be back and we really can't wait," said Wilfork. "Practicing in South Florida isn't easy. We expected it. We just practice hard and don't come out here to joke around."

University of Miami head coach Larry Coker and sophomore safety Jermell Weaver were complimental towards the Hurricanes training staff in their handling of McDougle as they waited for the arrival of the Coral Gables Fire Rescue.

"The trainers did a good job of cooling him down," said Weaver. "I was standing there. They got ice on him and called 911."

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