Posted: 10:32 pm Friday, March 28th, 2014
By Matt Porter
Note: see the latest Hurricanes Spring Highlights video after a few notes from practice.
CORAL GABLES – Though Friday’s practice wasn’t the knock-down, drag-out kind, it was still a relief for the Hurricanes to see Alex Figueroa in the mix.
Figueroa, the sophomore strong-side linebacker who has had an excellent camp, left practice two days ago with a shoulder injury. This was problematic since Figueroa, a promising talent, has battled shoulder trouble the last two years.
He looked fine on Friday, participating in full-contact drills while wearing the same protective shoulder brace he’s worn all spring. Figueroa the final four games of last season with a torn labrum and a partially torn AC joint.Neither players nor coaches were available to the media following the evening session, which was held at Cobb Soccer Stadium. It was integrated into UM’s two-day clinic for local coaches and held for the benefit of longtime South Florida recruiting writer Larry Blustein, who is battling kidney disease. About two hundred high school coaches and players were hanging out on the sidelines, while a few dozen fans and player parents were in the stands.
Other than Figueroa’s return, tidbits of news value were scarce. The same players wore orange and black jerseys as last practice (orange shirts are given to offensive team leaders, while black shirts are for defensive team leaders). The same players were in red (no contact) and yellow (limited) jerseys.
Spotted at practice: former UM running backs coach Don Soldinger, who gave his “Attitude of a Champion” speech to area coaches afterward, and former Canes basketball player Raphael Akpejiori, who may have been there to pick up some tips — InsideTheU.com reported Akpejiori, a senior, will try out for the football team this spring.
The Canes ran through a 90-minute practice with some intriguing one-on-one battles. Take a look at some of the highlights from Friday’s practice in this music video. UM linebackers coach Micheal Barrow, the one doing most of the hooting and hollering, certainly approved of his team’s defensive play:
Note: receiver Phillip Dorsett and cornerback Tracy Howard, who crashed into a young boy and a tackling sled at the 1:34 mark. All were OK (even the sled).
A few scenes from practice:
The right side of the Hurricanes offensive line: starting right tackle Taylor Gadbois (left) and right guard Danny Isidora. (instagram.com/mattyports)
The Howard clan (dad Tracy Sr., junior cornerback Tracy Howard and mom Shaiy) poses for a photo after practice. (Instagram.com/mattyports)
Freshman running back Joseph Yearby hanging out at practice. (instagram.com/mattyports)
Hurricanes offensive linemen blocking each other during practice. (instagram.com/mattyports)