Youngblood Ready for Return

When the University of Miami plays Houston Saturday at the Orange Bowl, starting left tackle Reggie Youngblood will more than likely be back on the field after missing the last two games with an ankle sprain.

It couldn't come soon enough for the true sophomore who hails from Houston and will be getting a chance to crack some heads against his hometown team.

But it's not because it's his hometown team, nor the fact that he knows a few players on the team. It's because rather than playing against Louisville, he was relegated to watching the game on television and had to endure the agony of the brutal defeat away from his teammates.

"It was hard because I didn't travel so I had to watch it on TV," Reggie Youngblood said. "We came out on fire. I just knew we were about to win, but after the fumble it seemed like just went down hill man.

But what made it so painful was the fact he was helpless in watching the ‘Canes get busted up in Papa Johns Stadium.

"That's what made it harder. I wasn't even there to even help. That made it real tough," Youngblood said.

He plans on being able to help his teammates though this week against Houston as his ankle is coming along slowly, but surely.

"It's doing a lot better you know," Youngblood said. "I am just taking it day by day. I'll be playing against Houston."

Offensive line coach Mario Cristobal echoed that sentiment, but was more forceful with his thoughts of Youngblood and fellow tackle Tyrone Byrd missing action because of injuries.

"They better (be ready)," Cristobal said. "You play with pain in this game."

However, it's more so because the offensive line has struggled and needs to have its starting unit in order to get that cohesion that any line needs in order to become a better unit and provide better protection for Kyle Wright and blasting holes away for the running backs.

Youngblood wants it bad though so there's no doubt he'll be ready to play.

"(I want it) bad. Just getting back and helping my team because we got to turn this thing around," Youngblood said.

As for facing his hometown team, it's not a big deal to Youngblood.

"It's just another game to me. It ain't nothing," Youngblood.

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at rudy@canestime.com

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