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April 25, 2012

Al Golden

COACH GOLDEN:  Again, I was pleased right now we had some bumps and bruises during the spring.  We certainly held some guys out of the last week in the spring game, but it appears that everybody will be healthy and ready to go for preseason camp, so we don't anticipate accruing any more injuries over the summer.  So we're excited about that.
Clearly we have an infusion of young talent coming in in a large group that's going to create some competition and certainly has at certain areas already.  So we're excited of that.
I think we had a good, productive off‑season.  I think we're stronger, and our team unit and leadership has grown.  So we're right where we want to be moving into this next phase, and we'll see how much we develop as a team.

Q.  I'm wondering what is the current and the next step for the incoming freshmen recruits who haven't arrived?  Have they been given playbooks?  Have they been given a conditioning program to work on before they arrive on campus?  What do you expect from them in those terms when they do arrive and when do they arrive?
COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah, they're allowed to have a conditioning book and a program to follow, even though they're not with us.  Some of them are working out with us already.  But we expect another probably six or so to be here for summer one, and then the remainder by June 27th.
So, again, we'll have everybody in place before July 1.  That will help us and help them with the transition.  But clearly we're continuing to talk to each and every one of them and monitoring them, and making sure they understand what they need to do and where their weight needs to be and those types of things so that we're in good shape when we begin.

Q.  Do you expect them to know stuff from the playbook?  Do they get tested or anything?
COACH GOLDEN:  No, I mean, we're always trying to talk football with them, but in terms of giving them playbooks and things it's something we don't do.  But certainly we talk football with them and make sure they understand the thing that's they need to get done.

Q.  Spring football rules are governed by the high schools in each state, and I believe you've done it both ways.  You're coaching in a state now that has high school spring football practice, and in the past you've coached at states that don't have spring football practice in the high schools.  I'm wondering, how much of an advantage do you think you have from coaching in a state that does have spring practice in the high schools?
COACH GOLDEN:  I don't think there is any question that there is an advantage to being in a state where they do participate in spring football.  On top of that, we're in a state where the climate is conducive to year‑round advancement in the sport.
So I don't think there is any question from being in working camps up north to first coming down here to seeing the biggest difference that I see, the difference in the Pop Warner and youth levels down here.  It's called optimus.  But to see what some of those kids are doing in sixth, seventh and eighth grade, that can only be happening by playing year round and being exposed to it year round.
So I think there is definitely a difference.  It doesn't mean that players are any better at any other players in any other state.  But the reality is we seem to have a lot more, and a lot more kids that are exposed to it year round.

Q.  When you look at the spring maybe two or three kids that stood out and helped themselves, not necessarily starters, but just kids that helped themselves in the spring?
COACH GOLDEN:  Yeah, I think Rashawn Scott, Asante Cleveland and Shane McDermott on offense, I think really helped themselves, no question.  I think on defense, I would say Shayon Green, Cain, Cornelius, and I think Rogers and Highsmith at safety.  Those guys really helped themselves.  I think there are other ones, but I think those guys jumped out.

Q.  I'm sure you're not satisfied with anything right now.  But is there any area going into the fall that you have some concerns about, whether it's a position or position group or whatever that you aren't satisfied with what you saw in the spring?
COACH GOLDEN:  That I wasn't satisfied?

Q.  Yeah, is there any concern that you didn't see what you want in the spring?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think no one would be satisfied with our wide receiver situation in the spring just by numbers specifically.  There have to be some guys that come in and help us out there.  I'm not trying to diminish what the kids that were there did.  It was just a huge task for minimal players asking three or four wideouts to carry a load for a position group that had ten in it.
Same thing at corner.  Asking three or four corners to really carry the weight of a position that should have eight when you consider all the nickel that we played these days.
I'm not satisfied in a lot of areas, but those two positions are certainly positions in a defensive end spot where we're going to have an infusion of talent and competition, and hopefully it will improve our program.

Q.  I asked you after the spring game about Olsen Pierre.  I wondered if you had a chance to look at the tape, because he stood out in that game and you were going to evaluate it.  You were holding off on comments of his play.  I wondered if you had a chance to look at what you thought he showed in the spring game?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think he made progress this spring.  I don't think there is any question about it.  I reserve judgment in some of those situations based on who did he make the play against and when did it occur and how did it occur?  In other words, did one guard go the wrong way, which he did one time.  He was unblocked and everybody looked at it like oh, that was a great play, great tackle for a loss.  The reality is he didn't do anything.  The guy didn't block him.
Again, I don't want to dismiss or diminish what he's accomplished this spring.  In the off‑season he's making a lot of progress.  We like Olson.  But, again, I don't get too high or too low based on a scrimmage in that instance.

Q.  One other question about Stephen Morris.  What is his plan now?  Is he back up to speed?  When will he be back up to the same speed as Ryan Williams and the freshman as far as quarterbacks in full participation in whatever the off‑season programs are?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think he's throwing and everything now.  So I think it's not going to be for too long.  I don't know exactly when he's going to get the absolute green light to do everything, but it's not going to be very long now, because he's already pushing it.

Q.  They're having the BCS meetings South Florida this week and discussing four different plans for the postseason.  Are the options making sleight adjustments to the BCS?  The second option is playing in the semifinal that's championship game.  The third is a plus one system.  The last one is the four team plus system.  What are your thoughts and what do you prefer?
COACH GOLDEN:  It's such a tough question without having it in front of me and knowing the ins and outs.
The only thing I would say is something I've always said.  Regardless of what we select, let's make sure that we do not turn our backs on all of those communities and chamber of commerce and Bowl games that have really enabled college football to get to this point.
Let's make sure we include those bowl sights and those communities if we are going to go to a plus four or whatever the case may be.  Let's make sure that we use and support those bowls that have supported us for so long.  I think it's really important that we continue those relationships and don't abandon that now if we're going to go to that plus four or whatever those scenarios that you just gave me.
Trust me.  I've got enough to worry about.  There are people that do this for a profession.  But if they're going to do that, let's just use the bowl sights at those opportunities.

Q.  Before spring practice, you said certain guys are going to have the opportunities to see some playing time before the talented freshman class came in.  Did you feel that some of the guys were able to do that this spring?  If so, who?
COACH GOLDEN:  That they were going to do what now?

Q.  That they were going to have an opportunity to see maybe a starting job or some playing time before the freshmen came in in the fall?  Did you feel the guys took advantage of that opportunity?
COACH GOLDEN:  Oh, I think some guys did.  The reality of it is at some positions we were so light because we lost 30 players.  At some positions we were so light that it's easy to get lulled to sleep or become complacent.  The reality is you're competing against the standard.  Whether or not you're the next in line, you're competing against the standard that we need to operate on and expect, and have become accustomed to here in Miami.
Just because your competition may not be in the room, just understand that he's coming.  I believe that we did recruit well.  I'm very pleased with the ten that are here now, and I'll be anxious to see the next wave that comes in.
Again, we're trying to play and perform at a standard, and not so much there is no one else at my position right now.  I'm the starter by default.  That's not how it works.  Our job as coaches is to keep maneuvering players so that we get the best players on the field, and we have depth at every position.

Q.  At QB or at quarterback, what are some of the things you didn't see in the spring?
COACH GOLDEN:  I think at quarterback we've developed depth by virtue of Johnson for this spring.  So we've already crossed that bridge, which is great to do that now, as opposed to August.
So we'll narrow it down quickly there in August.  We'll have guys that ultimately compete for the starting job, and identify them and move in that direction.  Certainly at running back, I think James and Clements have kind of distinguished themselves right now from the group.  Dallas Crawford will have a role there and at wideout.
We have two talented players coming in in Johnson and Dillard that are going to have a say.
Again, I think we'll have some depth there that was pretty precarious coming into the spring.  But we've created did go at wideout and certainly at quarterback, and hopefully we'll continue to develop over the next 120 days.

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