Byrd among first day standouts

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami football team held its first practice of the fall Saturday morning at UM's Cobb Stadium in front of over 2,000 fans at the BankUnited Season Ticket Holder Canesfest.

"Today was a pretty good day for us," second-year head coach Randy Shannon said. "We got a lot of reps in and we're thrilled about all the season-ticket holders coming out."

The team practiced in helmets and shorts for approximately two hours. Temperatures were in the mid-80's with a heat index in the mid-90's under partly cloudy skies.

"Usually on the first day, you lose about 10 guys [to cramps]," Shannon said. "If only one guy cramped up, that means we are in really good shape so I'm excited about that. Guys did the right thing last night as far as hydrating themselves."

In addition to the return of 48 lettermen and the early-enrollees from the spring, a number of Hurricanes participated in their first practice at UM on Saturday.

"The young guys did a good job today," Shannon said. "Laron Byrd made some catches today and we're very excited about him and the way he progressed."

Gates opened at 7:30 a.m. for 2008 season-ticket holders with practice running from approximately 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The exclusive event gave season ticket holders an opportunity to watch practice, purchase apparel and interact with the team in a post-practice meet-and-greet autograph session.

The Hurricanes will return to practice Sunday at 8 a.m. at the Greentree Practice Fields. UM's season-opener is 26 days away against Charleston Southern on Aug. 28 at Dolphin Stadium.

Fans can order tickets by visiting or by calling the UM ticket office at (800) GO-CANES or (305) 284-CANE. The UM ticket office, located at the Hecht Athletic Center on UM's campus, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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