Eduardo Clements, healed from neck injury, runs for TD in Miami Hurricanes’ first scrimmage

If Eduardo Clements is healthy, he could give Miami depth in the backfield behind ACC Freshman of the Year Duke Johnson and shifty backup Dallas Crawford.

It appears Clements is ready for that role.

Clements rushed for a 6-yard touchdown Sunday in Miami’s first scrimmage of training camp. Clements, a 5-foot-9, 192-pound senior from Miami-Booker T. Washington High, says he has healed from a herniated disk in his neck suffered while covering a kickoff Oct. 13 against North Carolina, an injury that was initially believed to be a stinger. Instead, it ended his season and left him in a neck brace for three months.

It has been a long road back for Clements, who rushed for 70 yards and two TDs on 16 carries as a junior. He was cleared to resume contact in the weeks before camp and has taken licks since the first day of contact, last Monday.

“It was a struggle. It was a battle,” coach Al Golden said. “As with any injury of that magnitude, there’s a lot of ups and downs on the way back. But overall, he’s been really positive here.”

The 90-minute, scripted scrimmage, which was closed to reporters, included artificial crowd noise, penalties and “signature third-down music” played in an attempt to rattle the offense, according to UM.

UM said senior quarterback Stephen Morris threw a pair of touchdown passes, a 1-yard toss to fullback Maurice Hagens and a 30-yarder to junior Phillip Dorsett, who made an over-the-shoulder catch. Freshman Danny Dillard added a 3-yard rushing score.

Miami’s defense, which got the better of the offense in an 11-on-11 drill during Friday’s practice that was open to reporters, had three sacks, four tackles for loss, three pass deflections and three pass breakups. Sophomore kicker Matt Goudis went 3-for-3 on field goals, all from 45 to 47 yards.

Several players were held out of the scrimmage with injuries: junior defensive lineman David Perry (knee), sophomore safety Deon Bush (hernia), plus junior defensive end Anthony Naser, sophomore running back Brandon Yosha and freshman offensive lineman Hunter Knighton (all undisclosed).

The four players added to the roster last week weren’t in pads. Defensive ends Ufomba Kamalu and David Gilbert and defensive tackle Justin Renfrow, all of whom are expected to play this fall, sat because of the NCAA’s two-day waiting period before new players may practice in pads. Also sitting out was freshman defensive end Naim Mustafaa, who won’t play this fall due to transfer rules.

Miami also hosted a post-scrimmage barbecue for recruits, which was attended by Dwyer senior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon, who is considering UM along with Alabama, Ohio State and Florida. Also in attendance: Palm Beach Central offensive tackle Kc McDermott and Santaluces receiver Darrell Langham, both of whom previously gave verbal commitments to Miami.

UM will hold another scrimmage Friday. Golden said it will largely determine the makeup of the team’s roster heading into the season opener Aug. 30 against Florida Atlantic.