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 9 years ago '04        #2001
Playnogames305 
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UM's Cook to miss at least 3 games
Posted on Thu, Aug. 09, 2007Digg it del.icio.us reprint or license print email
BY SARAH ROTHSCHILD

University of Miami first-team linebacker Glenn Cook is likely to miss at least the first three games of the season, coach Randy Shannon said Thursday.

Shannon said Cook's injury is serious enough that he will be ''out for a while,'' but would not disclose the injury. Shannon also would not reveal whether Cook needs surgery.

''I don't know, that's up to the doctors,'' Shannon said. ``He'll miss some games, probably [the] early diagnosis is three to four games.''

Shannon said the injury to first-team safety Lovon Ponder, who was seen at UM walking on crutches Wednesday, was not as severe as Cook's. Shannon said Ponder, who started nine games last season, is expected to be healthy in time for the Sept. 1 season opener against Marshall.

Shannon also refused to disclose the nature of Ponder's injury, saying only, ``Ponder will be back before Cook.''

Cook, a senior, has the most starts of any returning linebacker. Last season he started 11 of 12 games and has been a fixture on defense because of his adept knowledge of UM's defense in addition to his tackling ability at weakside linebacker.

Adding to concerns is the fact two other first-team defensive players have been sitting out of practice with undisclosed injuries: right defensive tackle Teraz McCray and middle linebacker Darryl Sharpton.
 08-09-2007, 12:35 PM         #2002
Hurricane Ra 
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fu*k.. Looks like the young guys are gonna have to step the fu*k up
 9 years ago '07        #2003
ttime236 38 heat pts38
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$10,135 | Props total: 8 8
what the news with damien berry...why hasnt he been mentioned as the third or fourth safety
 9 years ago '04        #2004
madness 7 heat pts
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 ttime236 said:
what the news with damien berry...why hasnt he been mentioned as the third or fourth safety
berry is still nursing knee injuries from high school, i wouldnt be surprised if he redshirted
 08-09-2007, 06:15 PM         #2005
Hurricane Ra 
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August 9, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
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Coach Randy Shannon wanted his team to treat today's opening fall scrimmage like a game.

Down to every last detail.

Following stretching and opening drills, Shannon told the team to go inside the locker room.

They didn't move fast enough.

"Get back here and sprint to the locker room!" Shannon screamed.

Players, some of whom were already 50 yards away, returned to where Shannon was standing. They huddled around Shannon, then broke into an all-out sprint back into the locker room.

They remained there for over 20 minutes before returning to the Cobb Stadium field to begin the scrimmage.

The team played four six-minute quarters, and at halftime the team again went into the locker room. The clock ran as in a real game, and there were live kickoff and punt returns.

Shannon split the offense and defense in half to form two "real" teams – one orange, one white.

It was all about making it real.

Highlights from the scrimmage:

* Sam Shields had the play of the day with a 50-yard plus touchdown catch-and-run from Kirby Freeman, who also led another touchdown drive. Freeman almost had a third touchdown but Kayne Farquharson couldn't handle the pass.

Those were the only two touchdowns of the day.

Of his TD, Shields said, "The ball was in the middle of the field. I caught it and just ran it in."

The white team won, but neither quarterback can say they won: Kirby and Kyle switched teams at halftime.

* Wright was pressured a lot after joining the orange team at halftime.

"The defense on the white team really picked it up in the second half of the game, got pressure on Kyle," OL Derrick Morse said. "That's our fault as an offensive line. We didn't do a good enough job blocking and giving him time, the receivers time to get open and catch the ball. We're going to work on that hard and make sure he has time to make plays."

* There also three field goals attempted today. Two were made, including a 38-yard plus attempt by Francesco Zampogna, with Daren Daly missing one.

* Khalil Jones, after dropping a couple of early balls, had three receptions, including a nice diving grab.

* Richard Gordon returned two kickoffs for 25-plus yards each, fumbling after one.

* Graig Cooper came within a hair of breaking a punt for a long touchdown. After evading several tacklers he was finally taken down. He also had a fumble on a running play.

* Lance Leggett and Darnell Jenkins dropped catchable balls.

* Vegas Franklin and Calais Campbell each had multiple sacks.

In depth chart news, Cooper and Javarris James shared first team work with Charlie Jones working in behind them. Antonio Dixon was with the first team in his group today.

"The offense made some good plays, the defense made some good plays," CB Carlos Armour said of the scrimmage work.

"It was very competitive," Leggett added. "(As an offense) we need to work on everything. Everyone's working hard."

Morse added, "We learned a lot from this scrimmage. Coach Shannon puts us in situations that are just like the game. So when we get into a game nothing's going to surprise us."

WR Ryan Hill's take: "We want to get better each and every day. I feel I did a good job on special teams today. That's what I try to focus on."

* Overall did the defense or offense win the scrimmage?

"It was mixed – we made some plays, they made some plays," Shields said.

* Today's primary punt returners were Cooper and Chavez Grant. The kick returners were Darnell Jenkins, Demarcus Van Dyke, Gordon and Hill.
 08-09-2007, 06:17 PM         #2006
Hurricane Ra 
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Did you guys hear anyone caught skipping class has to roll 100 yards down the field and back. Thats a Howard Schnellenberger type punishment. These guys are gonna be k!lling n*gga's when the season starts.
 08-09-2007, 07:59 PM         #2007
Sh0wty 
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Damn. Never Heard that rule..

Rakim Get you get me that article from Aug 8 on nix and the offense..

Thanks..
 08-09-2007, 08:25 PM         #2008
Hurricane Ra 
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 Sh0wty said:
Damn. Never Heard that rule..

Rakim Get you get me that article from Aug 8 on nix and the offense..

Thanks..
August 8, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
Never miss breaking news on Miami sports and recruiting. Sign-up for CaneSport.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!


Offensive coordinator Patrick Nix said today that Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman are almost identical through this point in the fall.

"Believe it or not, their numbers are almost identical with completions, incompletions, touchdowns, interceptions, everything else," Nix said. "They're both doing really well. Both are having a very good camp."

Nix said he won't have a good idea for another two to three weeks if one is ahead of another.

"A lot of factors go into it, not just one scrimmage or one practice," Nix said. "We might get into that last week and both of them will still be neck and neck and we'll have to make a decision from there."

Nix isn't exactly spilling any secrets so far.

Asked more about how Wright and Freeman are progressing, he said, "Both of them are very capable, and we feel very comfortable with either one of them."

Nix was asked if, with his philosophy, he might play both in games.

"My philosophy is to win," Nix said. "If you play two, you play two. If you play one, you play one. I've never been in a situation where I had two guys I felt could go out there and do as good as the other, so it's unchartered territory. I don't think there's many teams in the country that have two guys that have quality experience and that are extremely good players that they can go and win with. We're unique in that situation and very fortunate in that situation."

Asked if he can say something specific about each quarterback and what they excel at, Nix said, "No."

He then added, "They're both very good, play very good, both can execute our offense. We'll just see how it plays out. Maybe both of them give us the chance (to win)."

Nix says he's completely on board with Randy Shannon's plan of not naming a starting quarterback until the Tuesday before the opening game against Marshall.

"It's a lot tougher for one of them if they're told they're not the quarterback than to have both out there competing," Nix said. "What if one gets hurt the first play of the game?"

Nix said the way he sees this offense "the quarterbacks are interchangeable, the receivers are interchangeable, the O-linemen are interchangeable. That's the thing you have to be in this game nowadays. You don't know what's going to happen during the first game, the first week of practice. Having good quality depth, guys that can come in and compete and win is extremely valuable."

Nix said there's "good players and good competition everywhere" on offense.

"If we're going to reach the goals we want to reach, you have to have depth at every position," he said.

At tailback, Nix said of Javarris James and Graig Cooper that "both of them are very good running backs that can do a lot of different stuff. They're kind of interchangeable and we can use them at any time, either one of them.

"We've got more than two running backs. Charlie Jones, you've got experience there. You've got more than two running backs, which is a good problem to have.

"Eventually you're going to have a running back banged up and you're going to have to have someone else to help him. The less wear and tear they take during the season, the better they'll be at the end of the season. So hopefully we'll have two guys that are real good instead of just one, and hopefully they'll be able to go through the whole season."

Asked how important it is to have Lance Leggett show he can be a go-to No. 1 receiver this season, Nix said, "I don't think it's important that Lance is the guy – I think it's important that we have a guy. I don't care who it is, as long as we have one or two receivers that can be a go-to guy. The receivers are very important, as important as any position on the field. If you make them go out and double a guy, all of a sudden something else opens up. We have a few guys that are candidates to go out and demand double coverage. We just have to figure out which one it's going to be. But I do think if Lance can stay healthy he has the ability and the potential to be that guy."

CaneSport Magazine publishes 25 times a year, 10 glossy monthly printed issues and 15 online or Gameday Issues for a subscription price of $54.95. An online only subscription or a printed magazine only subscription is $39.95. Call 1-800-635-2263 or visit CaneSportmagazine.com
 08-09-2007, 08:26 PM         #2009
Hurricane Ra 
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August 9, 2007

Matt Shodell, CaneSport Magazine

Related Links:
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Melrose (Tenn.) High School LB Antonio Harper says he's planning to make a decision sooner rather than later.

"My first game is Aug. 25 – I'll probably announce right around then," Harper said.

And he could wind up a Cane.

"It's a good chance," Harper said. "I'm talking to coaches at Miami. I came down to Miami the beginning of the summer, and it was a great school."

Harper hasn't taken any other visits this summer.

Asked other schools in the mix with UM, he said, "I really don't even know right now. I need to think about things."

The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder with 4.6-second speed lists offers from UM, Florida State, Alabama, Memphis and Ole Miss.

His linebackers coach, Anthony Stevenson, says whatever school gets him will have a tremendous prospect on its hands.

"Size, speed, skills and his sense of awareness to the ball - he has it all," Stevenson said. "He had nothing less than 10 tackles a game in every game last year. He has skill like Ray Lewis."
 08-09-2007, 08:40 PM         #2010
Hurricane Ra 
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FLORIDA SPORTS BUZZ
Six UM seniors have last chance to match hype
Posted on Sun, Aug. 05, 2007
Digg it del.icio.us reprint or license print email
By BARRY JACKSON

Related Content

* Tough background motivates UM's Phillips

With practice opening, some buzz on a six pack of UM seniors who entered highly touted but have endured a bumpy road because of injuries or inconsistency, in several cases, unfulfilled promise:

• Quarterback Kyle Wright: UM people have commended his improved leadership, communication and film study habits. Now, as he battles Kirby Freeman, coaches want to see him avoid sacks, do a better job finishing off drives and improve his decision-making. Said ABC/ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit: ``I'm very surprised not only is he not putting up big numbers, [but] to not even solidify himself as the guy -- if you had told me that four years ago, I would say no way that would be the case.''

• Receiver Lance Leggett: Although last season was his best (38 catches, 584 yards), more was expected from the nation's 21st-best player (rated by rivals.com) in the 2004 class. But coaches and teammates see big changes.

''He looks like a top-three receiver in the country,'' cornerback Randy Phillips said. ''He's faster and not dropping balls'' anymore. One key: He's stronger and 15 pounds heavier, said receivers coach Marquis Mosely, adding: ``If defenses don't double-team Lance, they will pay.''

• Receiver Darnell Jenkins: At Central, he was named Miami-Dade County's male athlete of the year. But besides sustaining a season-ending knee injury in the third game of 2006, he also ''was a guy you couldn't count on,'' Mosely said. Jenkins and coaches determined in March it was ''best for me to step away and come back focused.'' And now? ''He has matured,'' Mosely said. ''He's holding himself accountable.'' Jenkins, who shed his dreadlocks, said, ``I'm more of a leader now, a team player. I used to pout when I didn't receive the ball.''

• Linebacker Tavares Gooden: Rated among the nation's best linebackers in the 2003 class, the former St. Thomas Aquinas standout missed most of 2005 (shoulder) and hasn't been the star some expected. Now he's battling sophomore Colin McCarthy to start.

''Being a highly touted athlete, I feel I haven't done enough for this program and it hurts me inside,'' Gooden said Friday, eyes tearing up. ``I thought I'd be the next [big] thing, and I haven't. Jon Beason tells me if I play with the aggressiveness I box with, I'll be dominant.''

• Cornerback Glenn Sharpe: After returning from the second of two major knee injuries (different knees), Sharpe wasn't the same player early last season and admits becoming fatigued early in games. Now in his sixth season at UM, Sharpe said he's 100 percent. But on Saturday, he was second-team, behind Randy Phillips and Carlos Armour.

• Running back Charlie Jones: Rated the nation's fifth-best back in 2004 by rivals.com, the South Dade grad lost his starting job after three games in '06 and finished with a meager 3.4-yard average. Now he figures to be a third-stringer behind Javarris James and Graig Cooper. ''Jones will have carries,'' running backs coach Tommie Robinson said. ``You've got to have three backs.''

CHATTER

• Another eye-opening Randy Shannon discipline story: James said some players who mess up (late to class, etc.) must lie on the field and roll 100 yards. ''You get dizzy,'' said James, who has done it once.
 9 years ago '04        #2011
madness 7 heat pts
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$12,689 | Props total: 474 474
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - -

Six days into preseason camp, the University of Miami Hurricanes conducted a live scrimmage Thursday morning at Cobb Stadium, which is the on-campus track and soccer stadium.

"We had a game, special teams and all, so guys could get used to the tempo of what it's really going to take to play an entire game," UM head coach Randy Shannon said. "The funny thing (in a scrimmage situation) is you almost cover every situation possible - short-yardage situations, even goalline. The guys did a good job. There weren't many penalties. We have to correct some things on a whole, but for the most part, it was aggressive and they played well."

The Hurricanes played four six-minute quarters, which included a halftime period. The teams were divided into orange and white, wearing this season's new game uniforms. Shannon said he wanted to simulate as much of a real game as possible, which included special teams going live.

"We had a couple of good kickoff returns," he said. "We had one or two punt returns over 10 yards, and another fair caught. The biggest emphasis this year -- since they moved the ball back five yards (on kickoffs) -- is that the ball is always going to be returned. You better work on your return and cover game. You really don't ever go live (on special teams) this early, because you're always afraid of injuries. But you have to do that, because guys have to get used to it."

Miami returns nine starters on offense and eight starters on defense. Most of the starters along the offensive line are back, as well as 10 players who caught at least one pass in 2006. UM also returns two experienced quarterbacks and four of its top five rushers.


"I was pleased with everyone's enthusiasm," Shannon said. "Sam Shields made some plays. The receivers caught the ball well. We had some nice runs. The defense kept up and played the run well. It was good all around. This was the first scrimmage. We have two more scrimmages and a lot of practices in between. We'll find out more by the time that third scrimmage comes around."

The Hurricanes return to their regular practice schedule at the Greentree Practice Fields at 7:50 a.m. Friday. UM will hold its first two-a-day practice Saturday.

Notes:
Offense Has Good Showing
Miami's offense continued to show signs of big play capability early on in preseason. Shields made a nice grab on a long pass from Kirby Freeman. "Kirby made some good passes today," Shannon said. "He had some good deep balls. Kyle Wright was patient, didn't throw any interceptions and didn't take sacks. Like we've said, whichever one can manage the game and help us to win games, that's what will best for the team. Both of them did a good job today." Shannon also expressed his satisfaction with the play of the offensive line. "We had a couple of big plays in the passing game and a couple run plays that were great," he said. "I always tell them, you're not going to always dominate the whole game. Be patient, stay calm and things are going to happen as long as you do that."

Ponder and Cook Out
Senior linebacker Glenn Cook was injured in Wednesday's practice and will miss early season game action. Shannon said the early prognosis could be between three to four games for Cook. Cook was the fifth-leading tackler for the Hurricanes last season. He posted 64 tackles, four for loss and seven quarterback pressures. Junior safety Lovon Ponder is also injured but is expected to return soon. Shannon said Ponder will be available for the first game of the season against Marshall. Senior Tavares Gooden, sophomore Colin McCarthy, junior Eric Houston and junior Spencer Adkins shared time at linebacker in the scrimmage. "Whoever you have, you have to coach," Shannon said. "The guys here, we recruited. You have to coach them, so we'll be fine. Really, at this level, you have to have four to five linebackers. Two guys who can play outside and two guys in the middle. That's about all you can use to get ready for a game each week."
 08-10-2007, 05:07 PM         #2012
Hurricane Ra 
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August 10, 2007

Matt Shodell, CaneSport Magazine

Related Links:
Dwayne Allen bioVideo highlights

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Fayetteville (NC) Terry Sanford High School TE Dwayne Allen committed to Georgia last December.

Since then he's opened things up.

Asked if he remains a Georgia commitment, he says, "No comment."

He says he's been talking with Hurricane coaches and that "Miami is high on my list. I'm definitely considering Miami. I like their tradition, the way they put out tight ends.

"Georgia, Miami, North Carolina and Clemson are my top four for right now in no particular order."

He later adds that "Georgia is probably ahead because I've had more contact with them."

He says he plans to take an unofficial visit to Miami in the near future.

But he says he has no plans to solidly commit anywhere anytime soon.

"I'm not sure when I'll make a decision," he said.

What's his timeline for picking a school?

"There's no telling when I'll decide," he said. "I'm going to probably wait till February. There's a possibility of me going to any of those four schools. In the end it depends on their offense and who impresses me."

He's being recruited by Cane coaches Michael Barrow and Joe Pannunzio.

"They try to get me familiar with their offense, how they use the tight end, get to know me as a tight end," Allen said.

As a junior Allen had 25 receptions for 551 yards and one touchdown.

Allen has a couple of ties to Miami.

He's friendly with incoming UM hoops freshman Julian Gamble.

"We played on the same AAU team this summer," Allen said. "He just says Miami's great, that it's a good place to be. He was ecstatic going down, was very happy."

Allen says he's also getting pushed to Miami by current Cane commitment Jordan Futch.

"We've talked a bit," Allen said. "He's just showing me love, showing me it's a family down there."
 9 years ago '04        #2013
madness 7 heat pts
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CORAL GABLES Fla. -- Running back coach Tommie Robinson told us in this Q&A how his unit is progressing through the first week of preseason practice, who led the team in rushing during the scrimmage Thursday, and his philosophy on playing and coaching freshmen.

Miami has five running backs all battling for carries this season: sophomore Javarris James, freshman Graig Cooper, senior Charlie Jones, freshman Lee Chambers, and junior Derron Thomas.

How did the running backs do during yesterday’s scrimmage?

"The scrimmage went well. We made some mistakes, but for the most part everything was good and positive. We put those guys in tough situations and everybody responded well. All of the guys did well—fullbacks and tailbacks. I was really pleased with the scrimmage yesterday."

A guy we don’t hear much about is Derron Thomas. How has he performed to this point?

"He did a good job yesterday. A matter of fact, Derron was probably the leading rusher in the scrimmage yesterday. He had some good runs, good reads and made some good decisions. I am very pleased with how Derron performed yesterday."

Have you been pleased with how your players have responded to everything during the preseason practices

"The guys are responding pretty good. We have thrown a lot at them and they have responded real well. They are f!ghting through the heat and for the most part I have been pleased with them as a group."

How much do you put on your freshman in terms of a.ssignments and responsibilities? How do you bring freshmen along?

"We put it all on them and see what they can handle. That will give us an indication on what he can and how much he can handle out here. We don’t hold back on them at all. We have those freshmen out there and they are getting the same teaching, same training and same reps as everybody. Graig Cooper is a freshman and he has responded well and so has Lee Chambers."

Specifically, how has Lee Chambers done so far?

"Chambers has turned out to what I thought he’d be before fall practice began. He is a real explosive kid who is a tough runner and has a tough mindset. He is going to have a chance to be a good football player."
 9 years ago '04        #2014
madness 7 heat pts
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CORAL GABLES Fla. -- Tight end Richard Gordon has recently gained notoriety because as a 6-foot-4, 260 pound tight end, he will be receiving reps as a kickoff returner this fall practice.

While it is an interesting scenario to have a 260-pound kick returner, I’d much rather see Gordon line up as the starting tight end in 2007—versus Marshall.

Gordon is most likely the current fourth string tight end on the depth chart because he switched to the offense this past summer after playing on the defensive line and his knowledge of the offense is presumably lower than DajLeon Farr, Chris Zellner, and Dedrick Epps. Though both Zellner and Epps see a lot of playing time at H-back.

An athlete like Gordon must be on the field. The fact that Randy Shannon is giving Gordon a legitimate shot at returning kickoffs this season illustrates the type of talent and athleticism Gordon possesses.

Right now, I’m not convinced Farr, Zellner, or Epps are the answer at tight end. In 18 games played during his two years at Miami, Farr has caught four passes for 30 yards. Epps caught zero passes in six games played. Zellner, whose strength at tight end is his blocking ability and is considered primarily an H-back leads all candidates with two touchdowns and nine receptions for 40 yards in 21 games played during his two seasons.

Gordon is the type of talent a coach should throw on the field and let him figure it out. Farr, Zellner, and Epps have not separated themselves as being the number one guy at tight end so why not put the player on the field who has the potential to have the greatest impact for UM.

“Richard is a big-time athlete who has a lot of ability” head coach Randy Shannon said. “We sat down as an offensive staff and talked about where we can best use Richard. Right now he will be a tremendous help on offense and he is a weapon so we have got to use it.”

Miami ranked 87th nationally in total offense last season—just behind Louisiana Lafayette and Baylor—and needs all the weapons they can have in their arsenal to improve those numbers. Graig Cooper is a new weapon at running back who this season will see significant playing time.

Richard Gordon is a similar type of weapon who should be used on offense. He will bring a spark to the offense that the rest of the tight ends can’t. Gordon should be the starting tight end in UM’s first home game versus Marshall. Miami doesn’t need a solid tight end that can block well, they need a tight end who can put points on the board.
 9 years ago '04        #2015
madness 7 heat pts
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He was a former walk-on.

He had his scholarship taken away before his senior season.

He was an un-drafted free agent.

Now, Tanard Davis is a Super Bowl Champion.

Davis, a former Hurricane cornerback, has fought through adversity to earning a Super Bowl ring in his first season with the Colts.

“It was a great experience,” Davis said. “I really enjoy the players and the coaching staff. I couldn’t ask for nothing better. Being on a historical team with the first black coach winning, it felt pretty good.”

Davis earned a spot on the Colts practice squad last season after being invited to camp as an un-drafted free agent.

“It’s like it was like Miami,” Davis said. “It was the same thing, but I was just getting paid for it. It’s fun going against Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne every day. I’ve learned a lot as a player even though last year I hit a rookie wall, not in terms of playing, but with waking up in the morning and doing the same thing every day. It was kind of like a broken record.”

Making an NFL roster was a long shot for Davis, who was primarily a practice squad player at UM and generally only played when the games were already decided.

“It’s hard to explain,” he said on his accomplishment of making an NFL roster and being a Super Bowl Champion. “It’s bittersweet because you work so hard to make it and when you make it, you try to cherish it.

“I stay humble with it and I work hard. I worked hard even though I didn’t play at UM, but I kept my mouth shut because I knew if I had any shot of making the NFL, I didn’t want to have any problems with the coaches.”

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound cornerback is best known for his speed and the Colts wanted to see if he could transition his speed onto the field and make plays.

In a preseason came last year against the New Orleans Saints, Davis forced a fumble on a kickoff return.

“I don’t play very much so when I do, I try to make a player every time that I am out there,” he said.

His speed has always been there as he came to UM on a track scholarship. He eventually earned a football scholarship, but in the spring of 2005, as he prepared for his senior season at Miami, Davis had his scholarship taken away.

He tried to transfer to Howard to finish his career and his hopes of making an NFL roster, but that didn’t work out.

The UM staff reconsidered their initial decision to let Davis go and decided to bring him back on scholarship for his final season of eligibility.

“It hurt me when they were taking my scholarship away,” Davis said. “But I always still go back out there to see everyone.”

Davis could easily have bitter feelings with his situation at UM, but he does not let it bother him. It was a tough situation he went through, but he has turned it into a positive.

“Even though things didn’t work out with me and the coaches at Miami, playing wise, I still respect the coaches,” Davis said. “They have to do what they have to do. I always felt Coach Shannon taught me the business side of football. He told me when coaches make these kinds of decisions, it’s not personal. At the end of the day, it’s business.”

Currently Davis is dealing with a strained calf muscle, which happened in a scrimmage on Wednesday and did not travel with the team to Dallas last night to play the Cowboys, but anticipates being able to practice on Saturday.

The Colts are expected to keep seven cornerbacks on the roster and Davis is f!ghting for the fifth spot.

“It’s looking pretty good for me,” he said. “My calf has set me back, but I am hearing good things about me. If they wanted to cut me, they would have done it by now.”
 9 years ago '04        #2016
madness 7 heat pts
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$12,689 | Props total: 474 474
In another edition of The Top 5 we talk about the cornerbacks on the University of Miami. This is the most hotly contested position and will certainly have a big time battle for the next two weeks of Fall practice going into the season opener against Marshall.

Many people seem to think that “Old Man River” Glenn Sharpe (just playing Glenn) has a spot locked up, but I disagree and believe that both spots are pretty much wide open.

So I will take a look at each corner and talk about what each brings to the table and rank them based on basically one thing, my opinion. Don’t quote me on it of course as I don’t make the final decision as to who will be the starters, but who knows, maybe I will be right.

5. DeMarcus Van Dyke

DeMarcus Van Dyke is only a freshman, but he’s been quite impressive to coaches and players alike already. He knows he is small, so he has to figure out other ways to lock down opposing receivers. But getting the jam at the line is big for Van Dyke because he can run with just about anyone. He just can’t allow the receivers to get off the line without a jam. He is already working with the second unit and will more than likely get some work in the nickel package, but I think it will be tough for him to have a real spot in the rotation with five bigger and more experienced corners currently on the team.

4. Glenn Sharpe

I am just not totally convinced that someone with two completely reconstructed knees can ever be back to normal. Not everyone is Willis McGahee who experienced one blowout in high school and then another in the gruesome Fiesta Bowl hit by Ohio State’s Mike Doss. Unfortunately for Sharpe, he’s most remembered for the pass inference call in the end zone that gave the Buckeyes another chance. He’s a very good cover corner, but there are younger guys who have more time in the program and unless he’s markedly better than them, I think you have to go with the younger guys that will be here for another few years.

3. Carlos Armour

Armour is most physically imposing of the ‘Canes cornerbacks. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Armour a physical specimen. He’s the most aggressive of the group and is a great match up for big receivers. He also has plenty of speed. One of the big knocks on Armour is that he commits a few too many penalties, i.e. pass interference. If he can avoid getting those called on him, I’d look to start him. I personally love big corners because the prototypical receiver is getting bigger, not smaller. Armour is a banger. He physically matches up and he can run with the smaller ones too.

2. Chavez Grant

He was very impressive as a freshman and should crack the starting line up this year. Only a sophomore, his potential to get better and better is great. Grant has great instincts and great hands. He saved the game I like to call the Boise Bowl last year to save the ‘Canes 21-20 win over Nevada. Grant has great speed and has swivel hips. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and will be a big time playmaker for the ‘Canes this year on defense.

1. Randy Phillips

Randy Phillips has had his ups and his downs in his career at UM. He wanted to be a safety at first and really seemed more adept at being a safety, but now is playing cornerback and accepted the role. He’s also started to flourish in the role. Again he had some good games and some not so good games last year, but Phillips is a very physical corner in comparison to Armour and likes to bang. Phillips is quite fast a well, so he brings the combo that I love in a corner. He also has a lot to play for emotionally this year. His younger brother passed away a few weeks ago and he is without question, inspired. With Armour being my third guy, I need at least one real physical corner in my starting line up and that is Randy Phillips.
 9 years ago '04        #2017
madness 7 heat pts
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$12,689 | Props total: 474 474
MIAMI, Fla. -- Before I begin, it’s obvious which high school team is the No. 1 team in the county. It’s the same team that is No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in the country in numerous national prep football polls.

Even so, we’ll take a look at the top five football teams in our opinion and give you a few tidbits on the local high school football teams that we consider the contenders.


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5. North Miami Beach Chargers –

The Chargers are possibly one of the best coached teams in the county year in and year out. The reigning Dade County Football Coach Jeff Bertani lost a lot from last year’s state semifinal team that dropped a tough game to Northwestern, probably the toughest game the Bulls had all season. Namely, he lost do-everything Doug Wiggins who was his quarterback, corner back, punter, return man, water boy, bus driver and anything else you can think of who happens to be a freshman corner at UM now. Returning though is Wiggins’ right-hand man Aaron Winchester, one of the best running backs in Dade County, if not, the best back in the county. Winchester is a little truck that explodes through the hole and will be the man expected to carry this team. New quarterback, Nico Flores will take over for Wiggins. Although, not as good of an all-around athlete as Wiggins, Bertani says that Flores is a better passer than Wiggins. The Chargers though, of course, continue to deal with being the most undermanned team in the county with around 30 players on the team, which is the least among any 6A school in Miami-Dade and probably in the state.

4. Dr. Michael Krop Lightning –

The Lightning are about the least expected team to be in any top five, but this isn’t the regular Krop team of past seasons. This team is loaded with high major Division I talent led by middle linebacker Etienne Sabino who leads what will be one of the best defenses in the county. Alongside him is a nasty linebacker in junior Quan Fletcher who is going to be a high major prospect in 2009. The defensive backfield is led by cornerback Travis Howard who has an offer from Miami and the defensive line is led by NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor’s son, in junior tackle Brandon Taylor. Offensively, this Krop team will be better also. The Lightning has a bad boy quarterback in junior Victor Marc who is built like a truck. Senior running back Ammar Bahr is the starting running back and had a very good spring game against Jackson. But this team will be led by Sabino, the fifth ranked linebacker in the country. Coached by former Florida State linebacker Lamont Green on the defensive side of the ball, this team will be extremely aggressive and do a heck of a lot of blitzing. I expect nothing less than a district championship from Krop this year with its game against NMB being the difference.

3. Miami Central Rockets –

The Rockets were dealt a major blow when Billy Rolle picked up and left to take over at Northwestern, but the reality was, it was not really a surprise to them when the Bulls job became available that the Rockets would need to start searching elsewhere. They didn’t look far, no further than their own staff in Emanuel Martin who played for the Buffalo Bills earlier this decade. In most counties, the Rockets would still be the best team around, but not in Dade. They Rockets were 11-2 last year. Both losses came to Northwestern by a combined scored of 80-12. This year will be no different for the Rockets. They’ll be the District Runner-Up to the Bulls and then lose to the Bulls in the Regional Final, but they will probably be undefeated otherwise and have another 11-2 season. Led by sophomore quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey who transferred over from Edison, the offense is expected to be pretty potent. He’ll have a pretty good target in wide receiver Ben Kearse who caught the winning pass in the Rockets 7-6 spring game win over Norland on the final play of the game. Defensively, they’ll be led by defensive tackle John Williams who is a pillar on the inside and linebacker Matt Darden-Sims who is one scary cat at linebacker. But unfortunately for the Rockets, they will finish short of their goal once again.

2. Miami Booker T. Washington Tornadoes –

The fun and gun shotgun offense is back and in full effect for the Tornadoes who bring back a slew of high major Division I prospects including UM commitments Davon Johnson and Thearon Collier who lead a potent wide receiver corps that make a lot of big plays. Cornerback Brandon Harris, who we expect to commit to UM as well later on this Fall, leads the defense, but he may also be the team’s best wide receiver as well in all reality. Senior quarterback Sancho McDonald returns after an up and down junior year, but with a year of experience under his belt, coach Tim “Ice” Harris expects big things from his offensive leader. The Tornadoes will put up plenty of points and have a big trip to South Carolina on August 25 for their season opener on ESPN, but regardless of what happens in South Carolina, the Tornadoes have one true goal and that is to win a state championship. The track team coached by Harris was co-Class 3A state champion last year and the leaders of that team all play football, including Harris, Collier and Johnson. They want a football championship. They have fallen short each of the past four years losing in the state semifinals 44-14 in 2003 to Seffner Armwood, 36-35 in 2004 to Seffner Armwood, 37-34 in 2005 to Seffner Armwood and 20-15 last year to Robert Marve-led Tampa Plant. In every game but the game in 2003, the Tornadoes led in the final quarter and in the last two games against Armwood, they led in the last two minutes only to have their hearts broken. Will the story change this year? We shall find out in December if they can finally mend their broken hearts and win that elusive state title.

1. Miami Northwestern Bulls –

Like there was any doubt about which team is the top team in Dade. The Bulls are simply on another level than every single team in the county. The only team that can beat Northwestern is Northwestern. Even last year the Bulls couldn’t beat themselves. For most of the year, they averaged 15 penalties a game and still destroyed everyone. The same will probably happen this year and they will still blast everyone. It’s almost unfair. Seven straight shut outs. Scoring over 600 points with a ridiculous offense and a starting defensive unit that was absolutely dominating, the entire crew is back led by UM commitment quarterback Jacory Harris who may go down as the best quarterback in Miami-Dade history. He has the two best targets on the planet in UM commitment and Dade County record setter Aldarius Johnson and another potential Hurricane in Tommy Streeter. That doesn’t include his two other quality targets in Kendal Thompkins and Robert Demps. He has a monster offensive line in front of him led by Brandon Washington, another future ‘Cane. Defensively, the Bulls are loaded. UM commitments Marcus Forston and Sean Spence lead the Bull rush on a defense that now has the insight of defensive guru Billy Rolle who took over for Roland Smith following his and his entire coaching staff’s dismissal in July by Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Rudy Crew. Quavon Taylor joins Spence in the linebacker unit and laid a monster shot on the Glades Central quarterback in the spring game and is expected to be a major player on the defense as well. But the biggest beneficiaries of Rolle’s presence will be in the secondary. The Bulls have a big test, maybe their only test of the season on September 15 when they travel to Dallas to play Southlake Carroll in a No. 1 v. No. 2 match up of the two of the best teams in the country, so the real goal for the Bulls isn’t so much a state championship which is almost a foregone conclusion as it is going to Texas, whipping the Dragons (I expect a three touchdown win) and going undefeated and winning their first ever mythical National Championship.
 9 years ago '04        #2018
madness 7 heat pts
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$12,689 | Props total: 474 474
TOP 5 IMPACT FRESHMEN

5. CB DeMarcus Van Dyke

There is one reason why DeMarcus Van Dyke is on this list: the dude is FAST. At 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Van Dyke may not be physically ready to play many downs during the year, but he just oozes with speed and you just can’t keep speed like DVD’s off the field. In high school, DVD was reportedly clocked at a 4.26 40-yards before his senior year. The spot where DVD will most likely have the greatest impact is on punt returns. Van Dyke will figure to at least get a look returning punts and the Miami native from Pace High School will make the most of his opportunity. Van Dyke will also probably see time as the fourth cornerback in four receiver sets. The attribute that excites me most about DVD as a corner: he has the confidence and swagger needed to put a bad play behind him.

4. WR Leonard Hankerson

Miami signed four wide receivers in their 2007 class and I believe Hankerson will have the most impact of the bunch. Hankerson has HUGE hands and physically he is more advanced than most freshmen receivers at 6-foot-3, 199 pounds. Hankerson isn’t going to explode past anyone for long gains, but he will grind out receptions of 10-15 yards and has the mentality to make the tough catch in traffic. During his junior and senior years in high school, Hankerson averaged 21 yards per catch and scored 28 touchdowns. Wide receiver coach Marquis Mosely has said the Hankerson will definitely see playing time this season. Hankerson is most likely only going to see time during the four or five wide receiver sets.

3. S Joseph Nicolas

Nicolas is the surprise of this group. According to cornerback Randy Phillips, Nicolas has been the best our of all the freshmen in the secondary. Nicolas gained 20 pounds to his 6-foot-1 frame bringing his weight to about 200 pounds and looks extremely strong for a freshman defensive back. His continued progression could prove to be extremely important to UM with projected starting safety Lovon Ponder currently sitting out practice with a nagging injury. Nicolas, out of Homestead High School, could see significant playing time this season if injuries continue to mount and he is able to continue his rapid progression. In the very least, Nicolas will be a strong performer on special teams coverage.

2. RB Graig Cooper

The Memphis Fastman should have the greatest big-play impact a freshman running back UM has had since Frank Gore ran for 575 yards (9.1 yards per carry) in 2001. Cooper is so good he may be the starter, overtaking sophomore Javarris James, by the end of the season. Cooper is probably already the most explosive player on offense for Miami. The coaching staff will try to get the ball in Cooper’s hands anyway they can—as a running back, kick returner, and he may at times line up as a receiver. Expect Cooper to touch the ball 10-15 times a game and pay immediate dividends on offense for UM.

1. OL Orlando Franklin

The fact that Franklin is listed ahead of Cooper proves how big of an impact the 6-foot-7, 320 pound Franklin will have as a freshman. Franklin has played with the first unit at left guard from day one and he should start the first game of the season versus Marshall. Franklin is simply a physical specimen who is the most physically impressive lineman to come to UM since Bryant McKinnie. Franklin is a solid 320 pounds and arrives at Miami already as one of the strongest players on the team. Franklin is considered the top impact freshman this year because he will receive the most playing time and will fill a considerable void along the offensive line.
 9 years ago '04        #2019
madness 7 heat pts
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$12,689 | Props total: 474 474
CORAL GABLES Fla. -- With senior linebacker Glen Cook missing at least the first game of the season with a foot injury sustained this week, Miami has a large void to fill at linebacker.

Cook, UM’s most experienced returning starter at linebacker, could line up at all the linbacker spots for the defense. His absence means a linebacking group will be that much more inexperienced and have to go through some growing pains as a new linebacker learns the position.

Linebacker is the most important position on the field because they are expected to do a little bit of everything: cover passes, stuff the run, rush the passer, and call out plays to the rest of the defense. It is no coincidence that Miami’s highest ranking in total defense since 2000 came during the 2003 season when Jonathan Vilma and DJ Williams were in their final seasons at UM.

The purpose of this article is to outline who I think should be starting at linebacker for the Marshall game. Here are my picks for the starting three linebackers when the ‘Canes take the field in their first game September 1.

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER

Colin McCarthy

McCarthy’s primary responsibility as the strongside linebacker is to cover the opposing team’s tight end and be a solid run stopper. McCarthy’s greatest strength is his field awareness and ability to cover the tight end on pass defense. During the spring and the first week of preseason practice McCarthy has shown he has a great ability to pick off passes intended for tight ends; either by jumping a route or dropping back in coverage. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, McCarthy is tall enough to cover tight ends in pass coverage. Though he may be a little thin at this point in his career to be effective against a tight end in the running game, if he can effectively shed blocks he will be a productive strongside linebacker.

MIDDLE LINEBACKER

Darryl Sharpton

Sharpton, if healthy, is the only logical choice at middle linebacker. The middle linebacker must be a great communicator—with coaches and teammates—and know the a.ssignments of all the plays on the field. It is usually the middle linebacker’s responsibility to make calls in the huddle. The versatility of the middle linebacker is key because he is expected to defend the run and pass, as well as make plays sideline-to-sideline. The coaching staff believes Sharpton has all the tools—smarts, speed, athletic ability—to be a good middle linebacker at Miami. Sharpton started five games last season with his productivity improved steadily throughout the 2006 season. In his last two starts versus Virginia and Boston College he totaled 17 tackles.

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER

Spencer Adkins

Choosing Spencer Adkins over Tavares Gooden is the toughest call to make on the unit. Gooden normally plays strongside linebacker, but it appears McCarthy has the job locked up there, moving Gooden to compete for the job on the weakside. I chose Adkins over Gooden because he has the better makeup of what a weakside linebacker should be. The weakside should be the fastest of the three linebackers and is usually called upon to drop back into pass coverage or rush the quarterback. Though Adkins’ pass coverage skills may be suspect, there is one thing the 5-foot-11, 230 pound linebacker can do: rush the quarterback. Adkins, who ran a 4.31 40 recently, has great burst off the snap and would be a scary pass rusher coming off the edge. If Adkins can prove to be solid in pass coverage, he has the physical tools to be a prototypical weakside linebacker
 9 years ago '04        #2020
madness 7 heat pts
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$12,689 | Props total: 474 474
DB Campbell Learns from Brother

CORAL GABLES Fla. -- Freshman safety Jared Campbell thought he was used to seeing his older brother Calais as the big man on campus. As a freshman in high school, Jared witnessed everyone on the football team and in his high school gravitate toward Calais.

Now, both brothers are at the University of Miami together and really nothing has changed. Calais is still the big man on campus.

“It really is strange,” Jared said. “I went through it a little bit in high school, but coming out here Calais is a leader. He was like that in high school too, but this is a much bigger program. He is just like he is in high school being a leader on the team and he’s a guy you can go talk to if you make a mistake and talk to him on the side.”

“Calais, of course, is my big brother, but he is like a big brother to all the other freshmen too. He will pick up some of the freshmen when we have free time and take them out in the city. It is great having a brother here who cares about me and I appreciate that.”

It was because of Calais that Jared was recruited by Miami in the first place. Calais recommended his little brother to then head coach Larry Coker and his staff, but received little interest. When Randy Shannon was hired to be the head coach, Calais told him about Jared and told him to look at his film.

“He helped push the coaches my way,” Jared said. I wasn’t getting recruited very much by Coach Coker and his staff, but when Coach Shannon was given the job, Calais told him that he has a brother who works hard and really wants to come here. He saw my highlight tape and gave me an offer to come here.”

“Having Calais here was a big influence on me coming to Miami,” Jared said. “A lot of people say we act the same and have similar personalities. There really aren’t many differences between us besides height and position. When they offered me, it was my dream school and there was no question about it.”

During the recruiting process, Jared’s highlight film gained momentum and created some buzz because of the hard hits he would lay on opponents. He attributes his physical style and hard hitting ability to playing running back as well in high school.

“A lot of people come out here and tell me, ‘you better hit people like you did in high school’ so I am going to try and make sure that I make the tackle or if I don’t I want to hit somebody on the play,” Jared said.

“Because I played running back, I know what the running back is thinking when I am running at them,” Jared said. When they meet you in the open field, you have to break them down, get in the proper position, and use your technique to wrap him up. As a running back, when you are getting hit, you kind of have to learn how to hit back.”

Now that Calais and Jared are together again, they are as close as they were growing up together in Denver, Colorado. Calais has given Jared an informal tour of the city of Miami and taken him to some of his favorite places to eat: Taco Rico, Chicken Grill, and Marino’s.

“We were real close growing up,” Jared said. “When he went to high school he kind of branched out and got some more friends, but we used to go to football practice together. He played in the upper division. We played video games and always played at the park when we were growing up, so we are real close.”

“When I got here earlier in the summer he showed me around the city and as far as the football team goes he showed me what not to do—not to be late and all that. He told me about all the punishments. The things he had to learn he told me already so I wouldn’t make those mistakes.”
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