As reported yesterday by @ByCasagrande, beat writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, three very important players have decided to return to school for their senior years.
Offensive linemen Brandon Linder and Seantrel Henderson, along with defensive lineman Curtis Porter, have all declared their intention to stay at school for their senior years. Most surprising out of this group is Henderson. I don't think that anyone saw him staying 4 years at any school, let alone Miami. His dad's rap career must really be taking off!
In all seriousness, this is huge news for the team next season. It keeps an already great offensive line intact, and allows the depth behind the starters to grow even more to prepare for the rebuilding that is inevitably coming. In addition, Porter was by many accounts the best defensive lineman the Canes had last season, once he got healthy that is. Having him back as part of the much maligned defensive front will be huge if the defense wants to improve at all.
This announcement will definitely help to set this week off on a good note, considering the NCAA is in town to (hopefully) wrap up what they started 3 years ago.
UPDATE: Coach Golden spoke about each of the three players:
"I'm really proud of Seantrel. He exhibited patience and self-restrain and approached this business decision with transparency and maturity. Instant gratification and leaving would have been easy for Seantrel; instead, he's accepted the challenge to become the best person and player he can be.
"I believe that Seantrel is really enjoying his teammates and wants to be a part of bringing the Canes back. There is room for growth with respect to Seantrel's game. He has started 18 games in his career, suffered through some injuries, has endured personal tragedy as well as created a number of self-inflicted distractions which we believe he has left in the past. It's essential that he continue to keep trusting our process, make great choices and surround himself with the right people. If he does this, the sky is the limit for Seantrel.
"Coach Art Kehoe, (Head Strength) Coach Andrew Swasey, Coach Jedd Fisch and I are anxious to assist him and his family achieve all of their goals and develop him into the type of player we all know he can be."
"We're blessed to have Brandon returning to our football team. He has clearly grown over the last year and has been a beacon of consistency for our student-athletes during an extraordinarily turbulent time. He's not only the most experienced Miami Hurricane having started 29 games in his career, possessing at 24 consecutive games started streak, but he is a tremendous student and one of our finest leaders.
"You can see in his demeanor that he has unfinished business on his mind and is excited about returning to Coral Gables for the 2013 season. Brandon will be considered among the best at his position in the ACC, if not the country."
"We're excited to have the opportunity to work with Curtis for an entire year. He's had some unfortunate injuries which have encumbered his development over the last couple of years; however, he really came on strong during the last half of the year for us.
"He exhibited to everyone associated with our program a glimpse of what he can become. Curtis is talented - he's smart, strong, powerful and explosive yet has room for development on and off the field. If he continues to trust his coaches, cultivates his position skills and develops consistency in his daily approach to football, he will undoubtedly develop into the type of player he wants to become. Our hope is that Curtis will start to 'enjoy the journey' as he deserves this opportunity and every measure of good fortune in 2013. We're excited that he will be joining us for his final year."
You can find the rest of the story from HurricaneSports HERE