football Edit

Gaynor wants "tough ... smart" Miami Hurricanes offensive line

Miami Hurricanes C Corey Gaynor missed much of the spring, which necessitated Navaughn Donaldson to move from guard to center.

But now Gaynor is back as the first team center.

“I’m blessed to be back with the team,” Gaynor said.

He adds that “[Donaldson] said he loved it (that he’s back at guard).”

What was it like missing so much of spring ball?

“It was definitely tough because you want to be out there helping your guys,” Gaynor said.

Gaynor was pointed to as a leader by Bryant McKinnie and Brett Romberg, former Canes who have come back to help out the linemen on their free time.

“It’s great,” Gaynor said. “Everyone says it’s the U family. We have alumni coming back all the time and it’s fantastic for them to come back and take time out of their busy days to come coach the younger generation.

“They’re legends and they instilled a lot of knowledge in us these last couple of weeks.”

* Freshman Zion Nelson began practice as the first team LT.

“Zion is doing a great job,” Gaynor said. “He’s come in, exceeding expectation. He’s a hard worker, will keep his head down for us and it’s just awesome to see him out there competing.”

The offensive line is a question mark area, but Gaynor says what he wants the group to be known as is “We’re going to be tough, we’re going to be smart, we’re going to be dependable. All the things that coach (Butch) Barry preaches - I’m a junior version of him instilling in our guys. That’s the passion we want all season.”

He adds “We’ve been meeting extra, it’s going to take time. It’s a process. The final product is not yet decided.”

* Fans were lined up on the side fence to start practice and at one point a fan yelled that the Hurricanes don’t lose to Florida.

And yes, players heard it and got the message.

“Of course we did (hear that) - the fans were electric,” Gaynor said. “We’re sorry that it got short because of the weather, but like (he) said Miami doesn’t lose to Florida. … We definitely heard what he said.”