Golden excited about fall camp

Al Golden addressed the media for the first time this summer today. Read on to see what he's saying about the health status of Ryan Williams and Duke Johnson, why he believes the defense will be much improved, and a whole lot more.

* All but two players are in and fully ready to go. The two players who are still not yet qualified are Darrell Langham and Trayone Gray.

* Golden said the entire staff was fully supportive of Mike Barrow's recent departure. "Micheal has always conducted himself with class, with dignity, with integrity. He has been a great leader here for a long time, not just on campus and with our team, but within our community."

* Golden has full confidence in Hurlie Brown's ability to make a smooth transition to coaching linebackers. He also believes the promotion of Ice Harris will work out really well. "Here’s a guy that’s been doing this for a quarter-century for this opportunity, and I know he’s going to give everything he has and going to make us better."

* Golden singled out Jermaine Grace when asked out the linebackers. Grace is 210 pounds and has consistently run under 4.5. "He gives us three down value."

* With the dismissal of Alex Figueroa, who had been the expected starter at SAM, Golden has three guys competing for that spot now -- Thurston Armbrister, Darrion Owens, and Terry McCray.

* Golden also mentioned freshman Demetrius Jackson, who most had pegged as a defensive end, when talking about linebackers. That likely means we'll see Jackson at OLB in some of the 3-4 packages.

* Denzel Perryman is now 245 pounds and had a "great summer."

* Kevin Olsen was suspended a few days ago but the staff will still evaluate all four quarterbacks over the next couple weeks. "We're going to cut it to two after the second scrimmage" to determine which one will be the starter going into the Louisville game.

* Duke Johnson "is doing great. He's more physical, more durable, and a stronger version. At 208 pounds, he's running his fastest 40 times ever as a Hurricane."

* Ryan Williams is set to meet with the doctor tonight for an update on his health status. It's too early to tell how much he'll factor in the quarterback competition in August but "he's had no setbacks and is doing great physically."

* The defense has made a lot of progress. There are seven guys on defense who can bench press 225 pounds more than 30 times now. With the addition of Calvin Heurtelou, Michael Wyche, Chad Thomas, and Anthony Moten, "that's the best we've been on the defensive line in quite some time."

* Golden believes the leadership on defense will be another big difference from last season. "We had the best leadership we’ve had in quite some time. I thought [Anthony] Chickillo stepped up, [Ufomba] Kamalu stepped up, Jamal Carter, Denzel [Perryman] we mentioned. A bunch of guys had a really good summer. Now they have to bring it into the season."


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