Friday morning was day seven of Canes camp, but more importantly it was the Canes correspondents luncheon and we got a chance to watch a different side of practice and take a look at the brand new Schwartz center.
The first thing you see when entering the Schwartz center, which is now 34,000 sq. feet, is the "Gallery of Champions", there you have all the team and individual achievements that have been received at the University of Miami, such as Jim Larranaga's awards that he received this past basketball season and the illustrious crystal ball.
Next, we took a tour of the "Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson locker room", some lockers have plate tags of former Miami players that have worn that number throughout the year. The locker room also includes inspirational quotes from Ray Lewis and "The Rock". Here is a quick video of the 'Canes locker room. It's also worth noting that the "U" was slotted on the roof so it would not be stepped on.
Blake James addressed the media on a "State of the U" address speech and he opened it up by saying "It's great to be a Miami Hurricane." and echoing what Warren Sapp said in Canton last Saturday, "It's a Cane thing, you wouldn't understand it."
Okay, now let's get back to football.
- The first Canes camp depth chart came out this morning, and if you haven't read Cam Underwood's quick reaction to it, you should check it out.
- We got to watch a different side of practice, the offense looked a bit sluggish, but I can honestly say that it was in large part to how the defense was playing. I also want to say that if you're not on the Alex Figueroa bandwagon yet, you should really hop on now.
- I had a chance to talk to Alex Figueroa and when asked who his favorite players growing up, he answered with Ray Lewis and the late Sean Taylor. He [Figueroa] also talked highly on his linebacker counterparts. He had this to say about Jimmy Gaines: "Jimmy is my mentor, he's really showed me the ropes around here. He's taught me everything I need to know." He also added this about Denzel Perryman: "Denzel is like my big brother, he takes me everywhere and he lets me know about the things I need to know."
- Sunny Odogwu has quickly become a fan favorite among Canes fans and when he was asked what he thinks the goals for the team are this year, he said: "I think the main thing is to keep intact our whole teams swag and do our thing. Do your thing, and just do our thing." He was later asked if he had "swag" and he quickly replied "heyyy, everybody's got swag."
- Jimmy Gaines was asked if he ever fears of hitting Duke Johnson too hard during practice and he answered with this: "He's a football player! If he runs me over, I get yelled at by the coaches. He doesn't take it easy on us either."
- Stephen Morris on what he took from his first start after Jacory Harris went down: "I think, just the fun. Going out there and enjoying it, gotta remember to have fun with it."
- I asked Ray Lewis III if his teammates ever ask him if they could meet his father and he told me, "Actually, no. That's a big reason why I came to Miami, they don't really care about that stuff."
- Tracy Howard was wearing a black jersey for the first time all camp and the other cornerback wearing black was Antonio Crawford who had two really nice plays lined up against Stacy Coley.
- Also, Deon Bush and David Perry were still wearing red jerseys.