Miami Football: Week 3 Spring Practice Stock Report
Spring break is finally over for the Miami Hurricanes as they practiced on March 19 for the first time in almost two weeks. So far this spring there have been some interesting stories like the one of linebacker Eddie Johnson not even enrolled in school for this semester.
Tag that with the an interesting spring depth chart and you get a very strange start to the 2013 campaign.
But it's not all sour down in Coral Gables, Fla., as head coach Al Golden has given praise to a lot of players that performed well in the Canes' Utough strength and conditioning program.
Here is the latest stock report from the third week on Canes' spring session.
Stock Up: Beau Sandland, TE
Beau Sandland came into Miami from Los Angeles Pierce College (Community college) with aspirations of becoming the next great Hurricane tight end.
So far this spring he has proved that he has the skill to be a threat in the middle of the field, catching everything thrown his way.
According to the Miami Herald, Head coach Al Golden said this about Sandland.
“He’s doing good, he’s just got to get a little bit more comfortable with his in-line blocking on the line of scrimmage,” said coach Al Golden, who played tight end at Penn State. “But he’s willing, he’s just not skilled there yet with his toolbox. He’s a big man with very soft hands, he’s very smart and can get down the field.”
If blocking seems to be an issue right now, it's hard to say if Sandland will beat out last year's starter Clive Walford this spring, but don't think for one second that Sandland won't be used a lot this fall.
He has great size and is apparently making waves so far this spring.
Stock Down: Eddie Johnson, LB
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No real surprise here as Eddie Johnson is still not at practice. According to head coach Al Golden, Johnson still is not enrolled at school and his future at Miami is still up in the air.
Johnson was a surprise last season, starting eight of 10 games, recording 59 tackles (No. 4 on team) and leading the team with 7.5 tackles for loss.
The linebackers are already without Gionni Paul—the third-leading tackler last season with 61 stops—who decided to leave Miami earlier this year.
Although there is plenty of depth at linebacker, losing Johnson for the entire season would be a big loss.
Stock Up: Ereck Flowers, OT
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Last season as a true freshman, Ereck Flowers started the first four games of the season at right tackle, as Seantrel Henderson recovered from injuries and suspensions during the spring and fall sessions.
Flowers did a admirable job while Henderson was out and competing every week in practice to be the starter. Although he was later replaced by Henderson, there was no denying that Flowers had the ability to start.
This spring has been no different as Flowers has impressed head coach Al Golden according to ESPN.com.
Flowers will bring great depth to an already deep offensive line and if Henderson is unable to stay on the field, expect Flowers to come in and dominate.
Stock Down: Brandon Linder, OG
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The only reason Brandon Linder is on my "stock down" list is because he suffered a knee injury and it looks as though he will be held out for awhile, according to the Miami Herald. Coach Golden is certain that the injury won't require surgery but says he will hold him out for awhile. Linder is currently sporting a knee brace and left Tuesday's practice on crutches.
Linder is arguably the Canes' best linemen and this would hurt his conditioning and readiness so early this season. If Linder can fully recover by the fall, there will be no question on him starting come August.
Stock Up: Gray Crow, QB
Gray Crow during spring practice on Thursday. Courtesy of the Miami Herald
Last season Gray Crow was probably the fourth-best quarterback the Hurricanes had behind Stephen Morris, Ryan Williams and Preston Dewey.
That changed on Thursday when Al Golden said Crow was now competing with Williams for the backup spot for the upcoming season.
According to the Miami Herald, Crow moved passed Dewey.
“Gray is a little bit ahead of Preston right now,” Golden said of the two redshirt freshmen. “So Gray is competing with Ryan. Stephen [Morris] is clearly the No. 1, but Ryan and Gray are fighting for No. 2.”
Golden continued to say that he will get a look at all four quarterbacks this weekend when Miami scrimmages at Traz Powell Stadium.