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The Connect: Spring Practices and Secret Payments


The college football world was abuzz yesterday over a report that Willie Lyles, already infamous for possibly illegally steering players towards Oregon, was out pimping Patrick Peterson (neé Patrick Johnson) in 2007 to the tune of $80,000. Of course, this accusation doesn't come as a surprise to most UM fans. When Peterson abruptly decommitted from Miami back in '07, rumors abounded that LSU had paid for the player. Of course they were unsubstantiated rumors at that point (and there is still no hard evidence), but as is often the case in college football, where there's smoke, there's an under the table payment totaling between $75,000-$200,000.

Spring practizzzzzzzzzzz The Canes will be holding a scrimmage on Saturday at Spanish River High School in Palm Beach, and usually these things are boring and also worthless, but with a new coaching regime, the scrimmage will provide our first peek into how the team now operates. We'll see some new players, players in new positions and, most intriguingly, how Jedd Fisch's offense looks (hopefully better than Patrick Nix's). As for Al Golden, here's what he'll be looking forward to:

(via Canesport)

Q: Is there one specific position you want to especially see how they act in a game situation?

Golden: Well, quarterback. I'm not different than you guys. We have to make sure we're getting the proper reads, seeing our checkdowns, are distributing the football, delivering the mail so to speak. Just making sure we're getting a lot of guys involved in the offense and being a good distributor. That would be the one I want to see the most. And then anyone you haven't seen a great deal of as a player I haven't seen a great deal of. So I want to see some of those guys and what they do in a competitive situation.

And players that have impressed so far?

Golden: There are so many. Starting at quarterback, I would say Jacory (Harris). I've been very pleased with his progress. I think Chase Ford has had an excellent spring. Streeter I alluded to earlier. (Allen) Hurns, I'm very excited about his progress. Clive Walford is another guy at tight end. I think both tackles, Jermaine Johnson and (Malcolm) Bunche - most particularly Bunche the last two or three practices. On the defensive side, a lot of those guys are veterans, but (Thomas) Finnie and (Olsen) Pierre jump out. Jimmy Gaines is a guy who is doing a good job, (Tyrone) Cornileus back there, (Keion) Payne has been having a good spring, has a good attitude. So there's a lot of guys really doing a nice job for us right now. I'm probably leaving some guys out.

It's no secret that the team's defensive backfield is, to put it nicely, inexperienced. Around signing day there was speculation that Wake Forest junior CB Michael Williams would attempt to transfer to UM. Barry Jackson has an update:

Transferring Wake Forest cornerback Michael Williams has been approved by UM’s admissions office, but still must petition the NCAA for expected approval to play next season at UM.

The grounds for his appeal are unclear at the moment to me (high quality blogging here), but we'll keep an eye on it.