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Props Slaps
 10 years ago '04        #2081
madness 14 heat pts14
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$12,967 | Props total: 2776 2776
i need to stop bullsh*ttin and cop ESPNU, a n*gga missed out on alot of good games last season
 08-29-2007, 12:15 AM         #2082
Hurricane Ra  OP
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$n/a | Props total:  
Check out my 25 hour ESPN thread
 10 years ago '05        #2083
Deeangoe 2 heat pts
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$13,042 | Props total: 639 639
i got espnu....but i have to work sat :banghead:....so im praying to god that sh*t comes out on sopcast.....i definately got the oklahoma game off aint no way in hell ima miss that game
 10 years ago '04        #2084
madness 14 heat pts14
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$12,967 | Props total: 2776 2776
Amid controversy, Northwestern has something special



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FOUR OF A KIND: Northwestern football players from left to right, Brandon Washington, Jacory Harris, Sean Spence and Aldarius Johnson will need to step up if the Bulls are to repeat as the Class 6A champions.

After Miami-Dade County Superintendent Rudy Crew briefly considered canceling the football season in July, he dismissed coach Roland Smith and the majority of his staff, and declared that the school would be put on a probationary period in the wake of last December's s3x scandal involving former running back Antwain Easterling.

Northwestern, which already had a new principal (Charles Hankerson) following a grand jury investigation of the Easterling scandal, hired a new athletic director (Earl Allick) and a new coaching staff headed by Billy Rolle, who returned to Northwestern after six seasons at k!llian.

''I've been blessed to have a good mom and dad, but it was hard for some of the guys who looked up to the former coaches as that father or big brother figure,'' senior defensive lineman Marcus Forston said.

``Coach Rolle really made us feel good when he came in. We told the guys give him a chance. Here's a guy that has gone through some of the same things we have when he was here the last time.''

Through it all, the Bulls relied on their close friendships to persevere through a tumultuous offseason that brought plenty of change to the nation's No. 1 ranked high school football team.

''The day after coach Smith got fired, Jacory and I brought the guys on the team together and told them to take two days off,'' Forston said. ``We called everyone back two days later and we ran our summer conditioning ourselves. We worked on drills and busted into a little 7-on-7. There were fans at the school watching us that couldn't believe there were no coaches around. That's when we knew we must really have something special here.''

While last year's state championship team is considered one of the best ever in Miami-Dade County, this year's squad has the potential to top it if it wins back-to-back titles for the first time in school history.

Northwestern will open the season ranked No. 2 nationally by Sports Illustrated and StudentSports.com, and Rolle has said he will not alter the formula on a team that scored 600 total points and returns eight starters on offense.

Harris (6-4, 175) is the nation's fourth-best quarterback by Rivals.com, and one of five players orally committed to the University of Miami. This summer, he became the first South Florida quarterback to be chosen to the EA Sports Elite 11 National Quarterback camp where he won the ''Best Footwork'' Award.

Wide receivers Aldarius Johnson (6-4, 200), the state's No. 7 overall prospect by Rivals.com and UM commitment, will try to best the county's single-season receiving records he set last year, and Tommy Streeter (6-6, 200) is entertaining offers from Alabama, Miami and South Carolina, after a stellar performance in Northwestern's 42-21 win against defending Class 3A champion Belle Glade Glades Central in the spring. Add to that talented senior receivers Kendal Thompkins, Brandon Drayton and Robert Demps, and you have one of the best receiving groups in the state.

Offensive lineman Brandon Washington (6-5, 280), who transferred from Edison, is the nation's No. 9 guard by Rivals.com and a UM commitment. He will anchor the line along with 6-5, 320-pound senior Terrell k!llings.

The one on-field question was who will replace Easterling's 2,503 yards and 33 touchdowns rushing?

Juniors Daquan Hargrett and Tyresse Jones, who were backups last year, and sophomore Corvin Lamb are the favorites for the starting role.

The defense that posted seven straight shutouts has seven starters back and is equally replete with Division I talent.

Forston (6-4, 305) is the nation's No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 15 overall prospect by Rivals.com. He starred at the University of Florida's Friday Night Lights camp in July and committed to UM shortly after. He will anchor the line with senior defensive end Ben Jones (6-5, 280), who missed last season with a knee injury, and has offers from UM, UF, FSU, LSU and Ohio State to name a few.

Senior Sean Spence (6-1, 200), a UM commitment, is the backbone of arguably the best linebacking corps in the state. Forston said senior Quavon Taylor (6-0, 195) is the hardest hitter on the team, and senior Levonte David (6-1, 200) has excellent quickness.

''Practicing on this team is practicing with the best,'' Washington said. ``These guys all deserve the rankings they've got because they are talented and they stay humble.''

Northwestern will make its bid for a national championship Sept. 15 when it takes on Southlake Carroll in a nationally-televised game in Dallas on ESPNU. Southlake Carroll has won 79 of the past 80 games, three straight Texas state titles, and was voted national champions last year by USA Today.

''The chance to play on national TV is not something every school can say,'' Forston said. ``We want to represent our community and our alumni in a good way.''

But representing off the field is paramount to the Bulls players.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools released a new student participation contract for county student-athletes earlier this month with strict guidelines for the Northwestern football team.

Forston said this season the Bulls will strive to change the negative perception that has lingered around the school in recent years.

''The first thing my mom asks me is about my report card, not the game,'' Forston said. ``That's the kind of stuff people don't see. They say we're a bunch of thugs playing football. We want to show everyone it's not like that at all.''
 10 years ago '04        #2085
madness 14 heat pts14
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$12,967 | Props total: 2776 2776
Players to watch in Miami-Dade

DB
One of Dade's deepest positions annually doesn't disappoint this season. All five players should sign with Division I schools, including Wisconsin commitment Donovan Varner, right

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1. Brandon Harris - Booker T. Sr.
2. Travis Howard - Krop Sr.
3. Donovan Varner - Gulliver Sr.
4. Robert Sands - Carol City Sr.
5. Shawn Abuhoff - Dade Christ. Sr.



Others to watch

Derrick Crumpton - Columbus Sr.
Judah Linder - Edison Sr.
Lavarris Edwards - Bay Point Sr.
Kenneth Smith - Booker T. Sr.



LB
A ''punishing hits'' statistic should be kept for the monsters in this year's linebacker class. Two of the best are Homestead's Marcus Robinson and Krop's Etienne Sabino, right

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1. Marcus Robinson - Homestead Sr.
2. Etienne Sabino - Krop Sr.
3. Sean Spence - Northwestern Sr.
4. Brandon Marti - Gulliver Sr.
5. Malcolm Munroe - Coral Reef Sr.



Others to watch

Quan Fletcher - Krop Jr.
Quavon Taylor - Northwestern Sr.
Levonte David - Northwestern Sr.
Drayquan Crawford - South Miami Sr.
Tyrone Everett - Coral Gables Sr.
Rashard King - Miami Beach Sr.

DL
The sack club should get its share this season. Miami-Dade is the home of the top-rated defensive tackle in the nation -- Northwestern's Marcus Forston. The class is no slouch even without him. Look for a big year from Hialeah's Corey Liuget, right

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1. Marcus Forston - Northwestern Sr.
2. Corey Liuget - Hialeah Sr.
3. Benjamin Jones - Northwestern Sr.
4. Sean Ferguson - Norland Sr.
5. Johnathan Jackson - Booker T. Sr.



Others to watch

John Williams - Central Sr.
Chris Darbouze - Sunset Sr.
Brandon Taylor - Krop Jr.
Mike Smith - South Dade Sr.
Nicholas Bowers - Bay Point Sr.

OL
This group gets rid of any belief that big men can't be nimble on their feet. A prime example is Columbus' Mike Goodman, right, who will anchor one of the top running games in Dade this season

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1. Greg Shaw - Pace Sr.
2. Mike Goodman - Columbus Sr.
3. Brandon Washington - Northwestern Sr.
4. Chris Edgecomb - Southridge Sr.
5. Terrell k!llings - Northwestern Sr.



Others to watch

Kenneth White - Norland Sr.
Fernando Losada - Varela Sr.
Paul Lungren - Ferguson Sr.
Jonathan Inoa - Dade Christian Jr.

RB
Dade has its usual share of speed demons this season. Although the major college prospect figures to be k!llian junior Lamar Miller, right, who is already getting lots of interest from major schools, including Miami, North Miami Beach's Aaron Winchester is tops among returning backs

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1. Lamar Miller - k!llian Jr.
2. Aaron Winchester - N. Miami Beach Sr.
3. Paris Cotton - Hialeah Sr.
4. George Baker - Archbishop Carroll Sr.
5. Jaren Jones - Columbus Sr.



Others to watch

Kenny McKenzie - Dade Christian Sr.
Daquan Hargrett - Northwestern Jr.
Tyresse Jones - Northwestern Jr.
Aamar Bahr - Krop Sr.
Jakhari Gore - Columbus So.

WR
Rarely do two teams look as dominant at one position as Northwestern and Booker T. do this year. Booker T.'s Thearon Collier and Davon Johnson, right, should each make life easier for their quarterback this year

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1. Aldarius Johnson - Northwestern Sr.
2. Davon Johnson - Booker T. Sr.
3. Tommy Streeter - Northwestern Sr.
4. Thearon Collier - Booker T. Sr.
5. Kendal Thompkins - Northwestern Sr.



Others to watch

Marquise Law - American Sr.
Obie Dunn - South Miami Sr.
T.Y. Hilton - Miami Springs Sr.
Andrell Smith - Palmetto Sr.
Rodney Smith - Archbishop Carroll Jr.
Wilner Marcelin - Mater Academy Sr.

QB
Miami-Dade has one of its top classes ever for quarterbacks, led by UM commitment Jacory Harris. Booker T.'s Sancho McDonald should also go Division I, and Central's Jeffrey Godfrey, right, appears headed that route in two years

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1. Jacory Harris - Northwestern Sr.
2. Sancho McDonald - Booker T. Sr.
3. Jeffrey Godfrey - Central So.
4. Chris Gordon - Coral Gables Sr.
5. Nico Flores - N. Miami Beach Jr.


Others to watch

Victor Marc - Krop Jr.
Dan Parker - Columbus Sr.
Tamba Thompson - Homestead Sr.
Von Thomas - Pace Sr


lamar miller is gonna be amazing
 08-29-2007, 10:34 AM         #2086
Hurricane Ra  OP
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We own that whole list
 10 years ago '05        #2087
Santoro 12 heat pts12
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$7,949 | Props total: 6 6
I'm not sold on Kirby Freeman. I mean he's fast as fu*k, but I gotta see how the first few games go.
 10 years ago '04        #2088
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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$17,836 | Props total: 4096 4096
 KingOnSlaught said:
aight cuz i am already lookin for one of them progs that broadcast espnU
try this site



Last edited by C.R.I.P.; 08-29-2007 at 03:22 PM..
 08-29-2007, 08:28 PM         #2089
Hurricane Ra  OP
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August 29, 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!


Coaches have always said if a player is on the two-deep, even if he's a true freshman, that he'll play right away.

Which means there are already several first-year players guaranteed not to redshirt: WR Leonard Hankerson, RB Graig Cooper, OL Orlando Franklin, safety Joseph Nicolas and CB Demarcus Van Dyke.

But there are some other first-year players that are also expected to get playing time this season: WR Kayne Farquharson (a junior college transfer with a redshirt year available) and DBs Jared Campbell and Damien Berry.

If all of the aforementioned defensive backs play this year and players say based on what's been going on in practice with scout team this week that that's what will likely happen then there will be four true freshmen defensive backs in line for immediate action.

Berry says he'll be playing on "A couple of special teams and a little in the nickel package."

He added of the young defensive backs that "We're all coming along real great. All we need to work on is talking a little more not everyone is getting the calls in, but we're going to get that straight with communication."

Veteran safety Lovon Ponder hasn't seen more than one or two true freshmen defensive backs get immediate action at UM in a given year.

But he also hasn't seen young defensive backs with this kind of potential.

"We didn't come in with a lot of numbers at DB to start with, and they came in and did well," Ponder said. "It's a good thing for them that they can travel (with the team). Once you've been clarified as traveling, to me you're an upperclassman already."

Coach Randy Shannon said of the young DB's that "They're doing really well. That's the thing we've always had is skill guys, because skill guys are the ones that can help you out early. We're always going to recruit skill guys to come in and play early. These guys are going to contribute on special teams and play some in the game, which will build depth on this team and competition."

Defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff says "I think there's a lot of talent in that group. Of course they have to mature you have very few true freshmen that can come in and make a huge contribution. Now, you have some freshmen that can come in and make a contribution. And I see that in some of the DB's that we have as freshman. I see some of them coming in the first game, some of them coming in the fifth game, and some of them coming in later in the year and making a contribution. I see several of them making a contribution on special teams."

The lack of experienced depth at defensive back is mirrored at wide receiver, where it appears two newcomers will be playing right away.

Farquharson isn't listed in the official two deep but says he has worked against the scout team all week.

"I'm getting reps in practice, so I doubt (I'll redshirt)," Farquharson said. "I could be wrong, but I highly doubt it."
 10 years ago '04        #2090
Playnogames305 
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$662 | Props total: 0 0
UM vets must earn jobs
Posted on Wed, Aug. 29, 2007Digg del.icio.us AIM reprint print email
By BARRY JACKSON

There's no entitlement. That was the clear message as new UM coach Randy Shannon unveiled likely starters for Saturday's opener against Marshall. ''We're not going to play a guy just because he's a veteran,'' Shannon said.

And if a former starter is ''nicked up,'' like cornerback Glenn Sharpe? He becomes ''the low man on the totem poll,'' Shannon said. ''It's not personal.'' Chatter on some positions clarified Tuesday:

Quarterback: According to a UM person, here are four reasons Kirby Freeman won the job: superior mobility to Kyle Wright, a knack for getting his team into the end zone during drills, strong leadership skills and a willingness to take accountability for mistakes. We're told that Freeman was preferred by most of the staff.

Running back: Shannon left the starting job unresolved between Javarris James and Graig Cooper, but both will play a lot. Cooper said he is being used at times as a slot receiver in practice, to get both on the field together.

Receiver: With Sam Shields suspended for one game, Khalil Jones is the surprise starter opposite Lance Leggett. ''Khalil had problems catching the ball in the past but not anymore,'' James said. Darnell Jenkins is listed behind Jones, but that's partly because Jenkins has been playing the slot and ''we may line up with three receivers and without a fullback and then Darnell is starting,'' Shannon said.

Offensive line: Jason Fox, Reggie Youngblood and Chris Rutledge will share time at the tackles so ''each can get about 50 plays [and] wear other teams down,'' Shannon said. Although Orlando Franklin opened camp ahead of Andrew Bain, Shannon said he was impressed by how Bain responded, and he won the spot at left guard for Week 1, with Derrick Morse at right guard. ''If Franklin doesn't push Bain, we stay average on the offensive line,'' Shannon said. For more on new center John Rochford, see page 5D.

Defensive line: One surprise: Dwayne Hendricks -- who has skills that Morse compared to deceased former Cane Bryan Pata -- starts at one tackle spot ahead of slightly injured Josh Holmes and Antonio Dixon. ''We're going with the guy who has been the most consistent,'' defensive line coach Clint Hurtt said. ``Dwayne's very good in the running game.''

Linebacker: Tavares Gooden, who bemoaned a few weeks ago how he hasn't fulfilled expectations, recently started getting a lot of time at middle linebacker and won the job over Darryl Sharpton, who can't stay healthy. Shannon liked Gooden's experience. Coaches have been buzzing about Spencer Adkins, who won the weak-side job, with Colin McCarthy at strong side.

Defensive backs: Freshman DeMarcus Van Dyke -- ''who's big, fast and can make a lot of plays,'' Shannon said -- won one cornerback job, with Randy Phillips/Carlos Armour still battling for the other. When front-runner Phillips missed time last week, ''Armour did such a great job, there's now competition,'' Shannon said. . . . The safety spot alongside Kenny Phillips remains open between Lovon Ponder and Willie Cooper.

Walk-on Francesco Zampogna won the place-kicker job because he was the most consistent on field goals. ''He reminds me of the Carlos Huerta situation,'' Shannon said. . . . Cooper, who won the punt-return job, dropped several punts earlier in camp but said he has corrected that.
 08-30-2007, 06:32 PM         #2091
Sh0wty  OP
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Rakim, can we get that article on Nix and the offense that came out today..

Thanks.
 10 years ago '04        #2092
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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$17,836 | Props total: 4096 4096
for those who aint got ESPNU, including myself




check back on saturday
 10 years ago '05        #2093
Deeangoe 2 heat pts
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^^^ the site u posted didnt post the game that was actually airing on espnu....which was louisville / murray state

all those espn games were on espn360 tho....
>>>> check it out

fu*k ima be so pissed on sat


Last edited by Deeangoe; 08-30-2007 at 09:59 PM..
 10 years ago '04        #2094
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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$17,836 | Props total: 4096 4096
dammit im gonna watch the game. even if i have to watch through somebody's window. lol.


but seriously CSS replays Miami games on Wednsday's at 12 PM and 7 PM
 10 years ago '05        #2095
dipset kid0221 1 heat pts
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$4,190 | Props total: 8 8
We bout to have ESPNU here now after i sent about 6 emails. I saw the channel after i turned to ESPNC to see what was on then went up one and it was there. :applause:

i guess they still working on it cus it wasnt up earlier and i been sittin here looking at a black screen for the last 5 minutes. and C.R.I.P. i gotta spread rep for the link.


Last edited by dipset kid0221; 08-30-2007 at 10:52 PM..
 10 years ago '04        #2096
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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$17,836 | Props total: 4096 4096
if i cant watch it..im sure ill be able to listen...which is better than nothing
 10 years ago '04        #2097
madness 14 heat pts14
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$12,967 | Props total: 2776 2776
Le Batard: UM's Shannon must change things

Randy Shannon is at the center of the advertising campaign and the center of the storm. Everything gets rebuilt around him and by him now, beginning Saturday at noon, as his beloved University of Miami football program opens a season of renewal. UM is not unlike its old Orange Bowl home now -- sagging, weary, passed by. A little embarrassed, too. You don't want to call Shannon a savior, but a resurrection has been requested of him by a restless town not known for its patience. Hurry, Cane.

It is a very big job. But, man, UM's new head coach sure knows how to climb. He has lost siblings to crack cocaine and AIDS, his rugged past unlike many you'll find atop sports leadership. Shannon is Miami, both the city and the program, at his core -- overcoming, overachieving, overreaching. His father was murdered. One of his troubled brothers stole his identity. He was never the strongest or fastest or most athletic, but he willed himself to the top of college football and, after that, to the highest levels of our most violent sport. But, as any parent can tell you, knowing how to do something yourself is not the same as being able to instill it in your rambunctious kids.

Strength and discipline and pride and responsibility are not just things Shannon talks about in motivational speeches. They are what have kept him alive and prosperous, what got him from Miami's scarred streets to the National Football League, and what he brings with him when he runs his young men through that tunnel smoke Saturday to start a new f!ght. But his quiet dignity and stern discipline won't mean much if he doesn't get more players who are much better at finding the end zone than the ones Miami had last season.

The Hurricanes are so down. Unranked to start a season for the first time in about a decade. Forgotten, dismissed. But the man entrusted with picking the program off the floor, dusting it off and making it look right again grew up watching the program be elite and playing for the program when it was elite and coaching for it when it was elite. He is a bejeweled champion. He has given his body and mind and soul to this cause over the decades. He loves this thing. And, if you want to take something from those old war movies and westerns Shannon loves to watch, he isn't about to let it die in his arms without a f!ght.

Miami has always made the coaches, not the other way around. The program and surrounding area has been so rich with blurring talent that Butch Davis and Howard Schnellenberger and Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker would never succeed anywhere else the way they did here. What Shannon must do now, while changing the culture, is find more players who can make him look good. Help them help him. Never mind the losing. Miami has been boring lately, too, because it doesn't have electric skill-position players who can turn a common play into something that makes an entire stadium and city sway.

All over the highest level of football, the NFL, you will find UM players capable of taking football games and breaking them over a knee. And they are frustrated with the program, which is coming off an uncommonly mediocre 7-6 season. New York Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma threw things at his television after one UM loss. Houston Texan receiver Andre Johnson literally sprinted right out of the bar where he was watching another in disgust. Shannon needs time to find more players like his best one -- 6-8, 280-pound defensive end Calais Campbell, a mountain of menace unlike anyone else Miami has in either huddle.

Shannon learned at champion Jimmy Johnson's knee. His UM roommate, Michael Irvin, climbed from their dorm room to the Hall of Fame. One of Shannon's former Hurricane players, Dwayne Johnson, climbed from the middle of Miami's depth chart to stardom in Hollywood as The Rock.

Miami helped lift Shannon from an awful place and surrounded him with success.

Beginning Saturday at noon, UM's new leader gets to start returning the favor.
 10 years ago '04        #2098
madness 14 heat pts14
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RANDY SHANNON
Showing tough love
New UM coach Randy Shannon has instilled a culture that thrives on discipline, accountability and selflessness, and his players are welcoming the new attitude.


Edgerrin James was 18 when he first felt the heat of Randy Shannon's all-seeing, all-knowing persona.

Shannon, first-year head football coach at the University of Miami, coached the linebackers when James was a freshman and sophomore in 1996 and '97. But his UM family was all-encompassing. When young tailback James and his teammates would spend half the night partying in South Beach, in Coconut Grove -- wherever -- Shannon would be in their faces the next morning.

'He'd come up to us and say, `Be careful! I know where you all were!' said James, now 29 and with the Arizona Cardinals. ``He has an in to the streets. He knows what's going on backwards and forwards. He knows everybody.

"Coaches are usually out of the loop. But Coach Shannon knows -- always.''

And that's why, it seems, almost ironically, that players are drawn to this 41-year-old man who was raised in the inner city and has overcome obstacles his entire life. He not only will help save them from themselves, they surmise, he will, in turn, help save UM football.

Since being named head coach Dec. 8 to replace Larry Coker, Shannon has changed the culture of a football program that has lost much of the respect it worked so hard to regain during the Butch Davis era and early Coker years. Tough love is one way to describe his philosophy. He thrives on the words ''accountability'' and ''team.'' He reveres education, discipline, tireless work and those who follow directions.

He barely tolerates those who don't listen. And he hates distractions.

Selfish is out. Selfless is in.

PROPER BEHAVIOR

Like children who crave order and boundaries, the Hurricanes seem relieved to have Shannon around, even if that means no guns (or you're off the team), no names on jerseys, going to class, being on time, maintaining a 2.5 grade point average to live off campus as a junior or senior, shelving cellphones much of the time, wearing appropriate clothing (no undershirts in most places), being respectful toward women, walking away from f!ghts and keeping the locker room tidy.

''It's not about rules,'' Shannon said. ``It's about things that are going to make you win and make it safe for kids. If a police [officer] stops them and they have a firearm, they know it's over. There ain't no in-between. Season. Done. Forever.''

Said senior guard Derrick Morse: ``We just needed a change. Whatever system the old coaches had wasn't working. The respect factor, the intensity and presence he brings. You see him walking down the hallway and you're going to stand up straighter. It doesn't matter who you are -- a fifth-year senior, freshman, starter, third-string, walk-on. Right down the line, he treats everybody the same.

'Before, if you messed up you were just going to run. And some guys can run till the cows come home. Now it's, `You're not going to run, you're going to move down the depth chart.' ''

Junior cornerback Randy Phillips was amazed recently when he discovered Shannon had stripped players' names off the back of jerseys. Too much preening and self grandeur.

''No names? Wow. Wow,'' Phillips said. He paused.

"Whatever Bossman says. Coach Shannon is more of an urban-like, modern-like, right-now-type coach. Coach Coker was more in the 2000 era. Coach Shannon is a more hip-hop type, you know, like a big brother. But that big brother stays on that little brother so hard because the dad hardly is ever around. The big brother is around all the time.''

Linebacker Tavares Gooden believes Shannon ``has put his foot down because he wants us to be successful. I believe it's a good thing. We can take it. He doesn't go beyond and yell and yell and yell. He knows how to say things and when to say things. You kind of don't want to mess up.''

EVERYBODY PAYS

Shannon's method: If one player messes up, everybody pays -- and everybody knows. He doesn't believe in secrets among family.

'There was a team meeting and Coach Shannon pretty much said, `We're all grown men and we have to start being more responsible,' '' Morse said.

``He switched up the locker room, so instead of all the offensive linemen being in the same area, now I'm next to a quarterback, a defensive back, a defensive lineman. He's breaking up cliques, and it's helping a lot. We're hanging out with different guys, there's better chemistry and everyone has everyone else's back.''

Offensive tackle Chris Rutledge has bought into the new philosophy. ``It works. It's not about individuals. We need the strictness. We need the direction.''

Shannon is sure of it.

''We're going to be known as a team that will do the right things on and off the field,'' he said.

"The players are excited because they want structure. They're thrilled.

"If a bunch of little things pile up, it's going to be a big mountain. Everybody can see the obvious. . . . But you have to attack the small things. Because once you get those out of the way -- the distractions -- everything else is easy.''

That, said by a man whose life has been anything but easy.

Shannon grew up in Miami and graduated from Norland High in 1984. Two brothers and a sister had drug addictions and died from complications of AIDS. His father was murdered in Liberty City when he was 3. Another brother stole his identity.

'THE RIGHT ROAD'

'Randy is the baby of the family, and he spent many years fussin' at his brothers and sister to stop doing drugs and clean themselves up, but they didn't listen and now they're gone,'' Shannon's mother, Dorleatha Johnson, told The Miami Herald when he was hired. ``God gave me five children, and he made Randy to take care of me when I lost the others. They grew up in the same surroundings, but Randy always chose the right road.''

Shannon, UM's former defensive coordinator, is the first black head football coach in UM history and sixth active in Division I. But even the mention of those facts makes him uncomfortable. He'd rather be judged by his accomplishments.

He earned one UM national title in 1987 as a linebacker, he earned another in 1991 as a UM graduate a.ssistant, and yet another as defensive coordinator in 2001 -- when he received the Frank Broyles Award as the top a.ssistant in college football. His defenses consistently have been among the nation's elite.

Now, with new offensive coordinator Patrick Nix and a rebuilt staff, he is intent on fixing a long-ailing offense and inconsistent special teams.

''He's a genius,'' All-American defensive end Calais Campbell said. ``He played at the U, so he knows what the U is about. We're going to push it to the limit.''

James, UM's former star, believes Shannon's Miami ties and no-nonsense approach will make all the difference.

''People do what they can get away with,'' James said. ``But if you put more responsibility on their shoulders, the real men will stand up and the weaker men will fall.

"Coach Shannon is getting the hunger back.''
 10 years ago '04        #2099
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UM FOOTBALL
Long odds for UM in national title bid
An unranked preseason status, combined with a tough schedule, makes UM's chance to play in the BCS title game unlikely, analysts say.
Posted on Fri, Aug. 31, 2007Digg del.icio.us AIM reprint print email
BY SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

For Hurricanes fans who despair at their football team doing nothing less than winning a national title, this could be another Maalox year.

''No possibility,'' ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso said. ``They can forget about it -- unless lightning strikes twice. Miami, being unranked, has to hope for seven, eight, 10 teams to lose games, including some teams twice. So, they've got no chance.''

Actually, Miami does have a chance, say two national Bowl Championship Series analysts -- a slim chance.

''Miami is not done before it begins,'' Jerry Palm said. ``Being undefeated will likely get them to No. 1 or 2 before the bowl game.''

Silence.

``But you usually don't get teams that people think are mediocre before the season all of a sudden going undefeated.''

It has been six years since Miami won its last national title, and this season, according to pollsters, could be the grimmest of all. For the first time since 1998, the Hurricanes are not ranked in The a.ssociated Press and USA Today (coaches) preseason polls. Despite road games against anticipated national powers Oklahoma and Virginia Tech, and fellow Top 25 teams Texas A&M and Florida State, it would be a dizzying climb to reach No. 2 or No. 1 for a chance to play in New Orleans for the national title.

HISTORICALLY TOUGH

In the past 20 years, there have been 13 teams to lose a game and still end up in the top two at the end of the regular season, said BCS analyst Brad Edwards of ESPN.

But here's the punch line: ''Of those 13 teams,'' Edwards said, 'only LSU in 2003 was ranked outside the preseason AP or coaches' polls. What that tells you is if you lose a game, history says you need to be ranked pretty high to start the season and overcome a loss. In other words, UM better win out.''

Palm and Edwards agreed that, unless there is the rare occurrence of three undefeated teams from any of the six major conferences after the regular season, a team to go undefeated from the Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-10 or Big East virtually will be guaranteed a place in the title game.

''I can a.ssure you if Louisville had not lost to Rutgers last year and had gone undefeated, as maligned as the Big East was, they would have played in the national championship game instead of Florida,'' Edwards said.

The first BCS standings will be released Oct. 14, after most teams have played six games. The formula is based two-thirds on humans (the Harris Interactive Poll of former coaches, former players and the media; and the coaches' poll) and one-third on the compilation of six computer rankings (with the high and low results tossed out weekly).

Big victories early move teams up higher and faster, so a UM victory Sept. 8 at Oklahoma likely would catapult UM into the top 15, or even top 10, the analysts said. UM opens against Marshall at noon Saturday in the Orange Bowl.

''The thing I don't understand,'' SportsLine.com analyst Dennis Dodd said, ``is why is FSU in and UM out? They had identical records last season [7-6]. FSU beat them by three. FSU has [six] home games this year and an ungodly schedule.

``But national title? I'd say, no. They have a tough schedule, there are too many holes and a lot better teams.''

TEAM IS UNFAZED

UM players and coaches are not fazed by their team's absence from the rankings. Most said they didn't deserve to be ranked after last season. All are convinced that will change in a hurry.

''People who make judgments on that can't even play badminton,'' defensive line coach Clint Hurtt said. ``But still, we put ourselves in this predicament. We tell the kids to stay away from the newspapers and off the Internet and they'll be OK.''

Most can't stay away.

''It hurts a little because everybody looks at those rankings,'' said defensive end Calais Campbell. 'You want to know where everybody is ranked. I'm a very optimistic person, so I look at it like, `We've got something to prove.' We have to show everybody we're better than they think we are.''
 10 years ago '04        #2100
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Shannon-Kirby, a match made in heaven?

Success with starting quarterback Kirby Freeman will speak volumes of coach Randy Shannon.

It may be hard for a defensive player, like Randy Shannon was, to fully accept the importance of a quarterback when he played with game-changing All-Americans like Jerome Brown, Bennie Blades and Daniel Stubbs.

It may be hard for a defensive coordinator, like Randy Shannon was, to swallow the idea that a quarterback is incalculably vital when his 2001 defense was so good it could have carried an offense of nothing but fullbacks to a national championship.

It may still be hard for a defensive-minded head coach, like Randy Shannon now is, to truly wrap his mind around the concept that a quarterback is the key component to any team with above-average standards of success, especially when he has players on the defensive end like Calais Campbell and Kenny Phillips -- who could be the best at their position in the country.

But Shannon will soon have to come to terms with the elevated status of the quarterback position. Because he has picked his first one as a head coach. And like it or not, it'll be the decision most correlates with his early success as a head coach.

A head coach and his starting quarterback form an arranged marriage so steeped in tradition that even the most independent of thinkers can't talk their way out of it.

And Shannon is now married to Kirby Freeman -- 'til graduation, or a few shaky performances, do them part.

Shannon's predecessor didn't have to make a difficult decision to start his head-coaching career. Larry Coker had his football soul mate, Ken Dorsey, waiting to lead UM to national glory and start Coker off as the most successful coach in Hurricanes history.

Dennis Erickson started off with Craig Erickson. Jimmy Johnson stepped right into Bernie Kosar followed by Vinny Testaverde.

Shannon doesn't have that luxury. He had two relatively equal talents from which to choose, and no overwhelming evidence pulling him in either Freeman's direction or toward the incumbent, Kyle Wright. The choice gave Shannon one more leak to plug in a program littered with issues following a tumultuous 7-6 campaign.

So with his first major personnel decision as the head man, Shannon chose Freeman ahead of Wright. He chose fire and mobility and guts over calm and classic and safe. He picked the slightly younger model that promises only the unknown instead of the experienced model that can be reliable but hasn't quite lived up to the promise showed early in his career.

He picked Freeman, a new starter to coincide with the program's new start.

It actually makes the most sense for Shannon to go with the less experienced quarterback as his guy. It allows him to mold the junior and uncover some potential rather than attempt to improve a fifth-year senior who has done little with his opportunities in big spots.

And while Freeman started four games to finish last season, that experience could hardly be labeled as a fair showcasing. If you need a reminder of how turbulent a situation Freeman stepped into last year, the team was still feeling the effects of the embarrassing on-field brawl with FIU, and after consecutive losses to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, it was becoming close to obvious that Coker was coaching the stretch of what would be his final season. Adding the most mournful of tones to an already trying season, defensive tackle Bryan Pata was murdered the week of Freeman's first start.

Under those circumstances, Freeman's 2-2 record, 186.3 yards-per-game average, five touchdowns and six interceptions were rather insignificant numbers.

So Shannon's start with Freeman at his side can still be considered new -- a honeymoon period for both men who are especially eager to succeed. And it appears Freeman knows a thing or two about kicking off such a crucial relationship.

''I need y'all to hear me out on this,'' the native Texan said the day he was named starter. ``Coach Shannon is brilliant. He really is brilliant and y'all really will see this in this era of Miami football. He has not necessarily been a mediator, but he's done many things to implant things in my mind to show me things from a different perspective.

``And I really do believe this could be a special year for us.''

Shannon better hope those vows hold up. Because as much as the coach would like to convince people that Freeman's position carries just as much weight as the starting left cornerback, middle linebacker or right guard, it simply doesn't in the eyes of those watching the games from the stands.

It'll be in his best interest if Shannon-Freeman becomes a pairing made in Hurricane heaven.
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