Shannon praises Benjamin & Byrd

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami football team worked out in full pads for the first time this fall, practicing just under two-and-a-half hours Wednesday morning at the Greentree Practice Fields.

After two days of helmets and shorts and two days of shells to open camp, the Hurricanes continued the progression into full pads Wednesday, the fifth straight day of practice.

"The first day in pads was pretty good," head coach Randy Shannon said. "We sent the kickers out to Dolphin Stadium to get some work out on the dirt out there. The goal posts are up for the Dolphins' game against Tampa Bay so it is good for our guys to get used to kicking on that field."

Temperatures again reached into the upper 80's with a heat index in the mid-to-upper 90's for the second straight morning.

"We were very physical today," Shannon said. "We emphasized the running game a lot this morning. It was more of trying to establish the running game and get physical on the first day in pads."

"We also tried to do a lot of play-action with the receivers," Shannon added. "Travis Benjamin did a good job today and Laron Byrd did a great job for the young guys. The other young guys are doing well, but those are the two guys that stand out."

Fans can order tickets for the 2008 season 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.

UM's season-opener is slated for Thursday, Aug. 28 against Charleston Southern at Dolphin Stadium. Kick-off for the opener is slated for 7:30 p.m. and all fans are encouraged to wear orange to the game against the Buccaneers.

Post-practice notes

· Tuesday's practice lasted approximately two hours and twenty minutes

· Senior defensive lineman Antonio Dixon was treated for dehydration

· Shannon reported that linebacker Gavin Hardin (Jackson, Tenn.) was cleared to join the Team

· Thursday will mark the first of four two-a-day practices for the Hurricanes. UM will

practice at its normal time at 8 a.m. in addition to adding an afternoon session from 3:45

p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Both practices will be held at the Greentree Practice Fields

· Thursday morning's practice will be the team's second in full pads this fall

· The Hurricanes' season-opener against Charleston Southern is 22 days away.

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