|9 years ago||'04 #3661|
$4,938 | 707
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Freshman linebacker Sean Spence came into the Spring expecting to play, but no one could have foreseen the absolutely immediate impact he made.
While Spence was expected to see action, not only did he see action, but he cemented himself as the starting weakside linebacker when fall practice begins.
Spence finished a ridiculously good Spring with two interceptions in the Spring Game Saturday morning and showed his knack for making plays. Teammates were raving about him from quarterback Robert Marve who is still in shock that Spence is not even 18 years old yet to coach Randy Shannon who has said he's been great throughout the Spring
Defensive coordinator Bill Young still can't believe he has freshman early enrollee linebackers who compete at the level that Spence and Arthur Brown do.
When it came down to it, it looked just like high school for Spence as his knack for getting to the ball is about as good as it gets at any level.
"You know I got a knack for the ball so once I seen it in the air I wanted it to be mine and I just got it. Last one same thing. It was tipped up wobbly and just landed in my hands," Spence said. "Coach Barrow always stresses turnovers. Once I saw the ball, my eyes got big and I just attacked it. I was in the right place at the right time. I read the quarterbacks eyes and was just trying to make my proper drops."
While many questioned Spence's size coming in at just under 200 pounds, he's already put on ten pounds of muscle, but more importantly, Spence has an understanding for the game that almost no freshman ever has. Of course, he also have the physical ability to fly around the field and make plays.
"Coach Barrow gave us the opportunity to come through. He knows we are going to make mistakes, but he just wants us to play hard and get to the ball," Spence said. "I think mental (is the most important thing to get down) cause you have coach Barrow. He's an awesome coach and he's going to get the physical part down for you so you got to get the mental part of the game down."
Even with two interceptions in the Spring Game, Spence, a perfectionist at heart as he went 30-0 over his last two high school seasons in capturing back-to-back state championships and a National Championship continues to strive for more. He is never left satisfied even though most people would have k!lled for a day like his.
"I feel like I did good. I could have did better, but I feel okay," Spence sad.
But Spence is happy with the way he's progressed since he arrived on campus.
"I am very pleased with my development. I came in and got the mental part down. I wasn't too worried about the physical part very much. Coach Barrow wanted me to take care of the mental part and I feel like I got a good portion of it down," Spence said. "It was just learning all the steps, the blitzes, the coverages, what to check off to and the motions."
There was the chance the Spence may not have made it into school on time, but luckily everything got cleared up just in the knick of time for he and his three Northwestern teammates to get into school early.
Early enrollment has paid huge dividends for Spence.
"I feel like if I came in during the summer, then I would have only gotten a month to get ready for the season. Now I get a lot of time to learn the system and adjust to the college game," Spence said. "I didn't know what to expect. I knew it would be hard. Doing the spring drills and lifting weights and playing with the big boys has been tough."
But Spence is always ready for whatever challenge that is thrown in front of him. He's not only been learning the weak side linebacker position, but the strong side as well, something that may very well be needed from him at some point in the season. What makes Spence special is he has the football aptitude to make the transition with ease.
"It was another big adjustment that taught me how to play both sides of the defense. In a game situation, if somebody goes down then I am going to have to play both sides of the defense," Spence said.
|9 years ago||'04 #3662|
$4,938 | 707
Ask any Hurricane player to tell "the alligator story," and they know exactly what you're talking about.
"It's a crazy story," DB Demarcus Van Dy/ke said.
Van Dy/ke won't tell the story, though. And neither will his teammates.
The story has to come from the source, DE Allen Bailey.
Bailey, who was raised living in a trailer in a nature haven on Sapelo Island (CLICK HERE TO REVIEW BAILEY'S ROOTS), grew up eating deer, wild hogs, raccoons, possums and even snakes.
He can give a dissertation on how to clean and cook them.
But it's his alligator story - or stories, to be more precise - that piqued his teammates interest. And yes, he's also eaten freshly k!lled alligator on his home island.
Story #1, courtesy of Bailey, involves how as a youngster he k!lled an alligator with a shovel: "It was in the bushes - you couldn't really see it," Bailey said. "We came up from behind and wacked it. That was a big one."
Story #2: "It was like my junior year. I'd started carrying a gun when I was like 14 (to hunt for food). After work in the summer I came home and my mother told me there was an alligator in a ditch (in front of the home). I had a little cousin around my house and she didn't want to mess with it. She wanted it out of the ditch because it was too close to the house. So she told me to go get it, take the alligator out of the ditch. I had to k!ll it because I wasn't going to (wrestle it out). I took it back to the house, tossed it in the freezer outside on the patio. I forgot about it. A month later it was frozen. I'd forgotten all about it. I went outside after workouts, checked it out. I took it out (and disposed of the carcass)."
WR Ryan Hill is standing nearby as Bailey told the stories.
Would Hill, who was raised in Tallahassee, be able to k!ll an alligator?
"If his life depended on it, maybe," Bailey said.
Hill says of Bailey's stories that "People on the team every now and then call him `Alligator k!ller.'"
Some of Bailey's teammates try to live up to his stories.
But they don't quite measure up.
"I k!lled a kangaroo once," WR Sam Shields says.
"I've k!lled an opossum with my bare hands," Hill said. "JJ (Javarris James) has a picture of me holding the opossum on his cell phone."
Even if true ... and James wasn't available to verify the claim ... it's not quite the same as protecting your little cousin from an alligator lying wait in a ditch.
|9 years ago||'04 #3663|
$12,861 | 0
March 31, 2008
Gary Ferman, CaneSport Publisher
Talk about it in Gary Ferman's War Room
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Spring practice is a season of hope wherever you go in college football and you almost always walk away from it with an uplifted feeling about your football team.
It is no different here at Miami.
Fans of the Miami Hurricanes showed up at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale Saturday morning for the Spring Game wanting to see something that would make their toes tingle. You could feel that anxiety as they filed in by the thousands, the most impressive showing at a Canes scrimmage in recent memory.
A starvation of joy from a 5-7 season coupled with euphoria from one of the nation's top recruiting classes has generated a buzz around the UM program.
After experiencing the two-hour Canes fan rehab center, and monitoring the team's progress through the spring, I thought it was a great time to take another position-by-position look at the development of the team.
The most amazing thing to me is how much better Robert Marve seems to be right now than Kyle Wright or Kirby Freeman ever became. I find myself constantly questioning myself on this perception because it doesn't seem based on reality. Marve has never taken a snap in a college game. How could he already be better than guys who were in the program for four or five years? But I keep seeing signs that this perception is real. I see it in the leadership ability that is on display with Marve. Some of the prettiest passes I saw Marve throw this spring weren't even completed. This is a kid developing an NFL arm who will really blossom when the performance and talent level at receiver gets back to its appropriate benchmark. I like the way he throws on the move, way better than Wright or Freeman were able to. And that will come in handy as Marve's lack of height will prevent Patrick Nix from strictly making him a pocket passer. I also like the way Marve feels the pocket and slides away from pressure. When he has to tuck it under and run, Marve has nice speed. Marve's leadership qualities will make teammates believe in him. I would like to see him gain 10 pounds this summer.
Jacory Harris, right out of Miami Northwestern High School, is not real far behind Marve in the race to start. Harris looks extremely good out there considering he is just three months removed from high school football. His passes are a little inconsistent as he adjusts to the speed of the game. But he also is a leader and has the ability to make things happen when plays break down. I look for both to play a lot this fall. If Harris is No. 2 on the depth chart, I don't see coaches just having him stand on the sideline. He will get opportunities to continue his development. UM will not have the luxury of creating class separation by redshirting him. Those decisions can be made down the road, just like UM did in the old days when Vinny Testaverde played as freshman after losing out to Bernie Kosar and then picked up a redshirt year in his second year so he could have two years alone as a starter. Testaverde ended up winning the Heisman Trophy.
Cannon Smith looked overmatched in the spring game and other scrimmages, so it is uncertain where he will stand once Taylor Cook enters the fray in the fall. But that was not really a surprise. I would have liked to see the development of a little more of a downfield passing game, but Nix was likely holding some things from public view in the open scrimmages and also managing how much he asked the young quarterbacks to handle.
This position has been refortified with Javarris James and Graig Cooper looking very much like future NFL No. 1 draft picks and Shawnbrey McNeal looking like a home run threat every time he touches the ball. James, about to be a junior, told me he has been working real hard on gaining his speed back, and it is quite evident. He is in great shape and really looked fluid throughout the spring. If he stays on the track he is on and remains healthy, you will be watching James for the last time in 2008. He is getting a lot of work catching footballs also as offensive coordinator Patrick Nix moves him around and sometimes puts him in the slot with Cooper in the backfield to get his two greatest weapons on the field at the same time. This is a package I expect UM to use a lot next year as Cooper or James is capable of being utilized in that role. While James has been working on his speed, Cooper has been bulking up so he can handle more carries this fall. He is up to 202 now which is good. I felt throughout last season that Cooper was underutilized and was a guy who must get closer to 20 touches a game.
Patrick Hill was brought in to be a punishing lead blocker as a fullback but we only saw a handful of short-yardage running plays in scrimmages. Most of that work was done in the privacy of closed practices, so we won't find out until fall if UM has improved in what was a weak area in 2007. I like the look of freshman John Calhoun. He may redshirt this year, but will be a key guy down the road. Lee Chambers got a lot of work in the spring game and looks to still be in development mode. Shawnbrey McNeal showed his afterburners with a 66-yard gain in the spring game, but he also has work to do. Derron Thomas sprained a knee, but he will continue to be a serviceable utility guy buried down the depth chart.
|9 years ago||'04 #3664|
$12,861 | 0
Don't be misled by this group's uneven performance in the spring game. The players here made good strides this spring under the significantly upgraded guidance of new receivers coach Aubrey Hill. Sam Shields comes out of spring playing the best football of his three-year career at Miami. He will be a go-to guy in the fall even though he didn't catch a pass on Saturday. Coaches will game plan to get him the football. Kayne Farquharson has been looking very good as a possession receiver. It is abundantly clear that Aldarius Johnson will get a lot of playing time as a true freshman this fall. Khalil Jones had a great spring until dropping a few balls in the spring game. Shaky hands have been what have always held Jones back. He always seems to be open. As he enters his senior year, I still am not convinced this problem is something he will ever totally shake. But coaches were happy with his improvement this spring. Randy Shannon even wondered if they should have more public scrimmages to help guys like Jones get used to performing at a high level in front of a crowd.
Leonard Hankerson also had a nice spring. It was disappointing that Jermaine McKenzie was hurt throughout the spring and didn't really get a chance to leave an imprint. Look for that to change in the fall. I also would not be surprised to see Ryan Hill moved to cornerback to fortify that position. He seems destined to be an average receiver as he enters his third year as a Hurricane.
It still doesn't appear that this position will be utilized a lot in the Patrick Nix offense. But Richard Gordon, Dedrick Epps and Chris Zellner all had very good springs and will be ready to be solid, if not spectacular, in 2008. Gordon would seem to have the most potential for greatness like UM had grown accustomed to in this spot under past regimes. But he is down the totem pole in an offense that will justifiably feature James and Cooper and a quick passing game that will protect the young quarterbacks. Look for this group to be a little more of a factor in short yardage situations. But how much more they will be allowed to do remains to be seen.
Maybe my expectations of this group are unrealistic, especially with starting guard Orlando Franklin sidelined throughout the spring. But I was really disappointed with the lack of consistency I saw from this group as whole. On isolated plays they would look great. On others, the quarterbacks would be under severe pressure or sacked. I am not ready to anoint the Miami defense as one of the best in the nation just yet. So I expected the offensive line to be a little more consistent and dominant than what I saw. The work this group puts in this summer could be one of the main variables that determines Miami's fate when the season begins in late August. I wonder if the older guys like Reggie Youngblood and Jason Fox have the leadership to pull the younger guys to a greater level in their four months away from Coach Jeff Stoutland's watch. They need to challenge themselves and will themselves to become stronger and better and more consistent. By the end of spring, it looked like Xavier Shannon might be emerging as the starting center. Shannon spent last year starting for 1-11 FIU. That he can walk into Miami and become a starter in three weeks shows the recruiting deficiencies that have plagued this position for several seasons. It got Art Kehoe fired under Larry Coker and Mario Cristobal wasn't at the helm of this position long enough to get it turned around. It looks to me like offensive line is the position where the Miami team is furthest away from where it needs to be. A starting foursome of Fox, Youngblood, Joel Figueroa and Orlando Franklin should be real good regardless of whom the center is. But there is a big dropoff after them with the exception of backup tackle Chris Rutledge, who will play a lot. Quality depth is an issue for Miami in several positions on defense as well and will be an overriding factor in the success of the team in 2008.
Quality depth is a massive issue at this position. I think the potential starting line-up of Allen Bailey and Eric Moncur at end and Antonio Dixon and maybe Marcus Forston at tackle could be very good. But UM will need a lot more guys to produce to be successful. The jury remains out on all the rest – Dwayne Hendricks, Joe Joseph, Luqman Abdallah, Chaz Washington. None of these guys have made a significant impact or their presence felt. Like offensive line, this position continues to suffer from bad recruiting and only time can heal the wound. The off-season will be critical for all of those guys on the fringe. Joseph and Hendricks in particular played a lot of football last year. Can they make themselves better? Washington showed signs of improvement this spring. Can he take his game up notch? Only time will tell. But Jeremy Lewis and Micanor Regis are a pair of freshmen who could quickly be thrown into the mix in the fall. At end, Steven Wesley and Adewale Ojomo must continue to progress and provide depth along with Courtney Harris, who missed the spring but will return for fall practice.
|9 years ago||'04 #3665|
$12,861 | 0
The Hurricanes have the potential to be pretty good at this position now that Glenn Cook is back and freshman Sean Spence is emerging as a guy ready to play from Day One. Cook, Spence, Darryl Sharpton and Colin McCarthy will give Miami four solid starting level players and Romeo Davis will also be back for the fall. Arthur Brown, another freshman, is improving quickly and also will likely be ready for fall playing time. Spencer Adkins, who played a lot in 2007 but struggled, will be allowed to provide depth this time around rather than be thrust into a role he can't handle. The linebackers made a lot of big plays in the spring game and seemed very athletic. The fall battle for starting positions will be one of the most intriguing elements of fall practice.
Coaches were pleasantly surprised by the spring performances turned in at the cornerback position while the safety play was not as good as they might have expected. Lavon Ponder and Randy Phillips need to step up the level of their game while Anthony Redd*ck continues to work his way back from injuries. JoJo Nicolas is another guy that should be able to start elevating his game. None of the safeties really made the kind of impact this spring that might have been expected. Demarcus Van Dyke looks rock solid at one corner spot and Chavez Grant could be working himself out of strictly a slot corner role on third down into a starter. Bruce Johnson also has played a lot of football and is a candidate to start. It is believed that freshman Brandon Harris will be good enough to challenge here in fall camp. Tervaris Johnson, a junior now, seemed to make some progress this spring. Carlos Armour is solid at times but continues to seek consistency. Don't be surprised if true freshman Ramon Buchanon moves up the safety depth chart quickly in the fall and challenges for serious playing time.
This is probably the biggest problem area on the team. Who will be the kicker in the fall? Matt Bosher appears to have the best leg, but it was disappointing to see him badly miss his only field goal attempt of the spring game. Truth is, this team needs him to get his act together as a kicker. He was recruited to be the kicker, but has had struggles adjusting to kicking off the ground and seems to be battling the mental game. Jake Wieclaw made a chip shot in the spring game and will likely get the nod if Bosher can't get his technique straightened out. Bosher will remain the punter.
Randy Shannon has significantly upgraded, in my opinion, by bringing in Bill Young and Aubrey Hill, and the results are already showing. UM will be much more defensively aggressive in 2008 and, even though Shannon's schemes have had success over the past six seasons, it never hurts to inject some variety and new ideas to keep conference opponents guessing and working. The receiver play was clearly better this spring under Hill, who also is having success accelerating the development of Aldarius Johnson. Offensively, Patrick Nix has done a nice job creating a scheme for Javarris James and Graig Cooper to be on the field together. My only concerns are the absence of a bread-and-butter running game and a third down, long-yardage passing attack. UM must be careful in trying to do too many different things with too many personnel groups offensively and not establishing an identity or a toughness.
|9 years ago||'04 #3666|
$12,861 | 0
March 31, 2008
Matt Shodell, CaneSport Magazine
Talk about it in The Storm Center
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Tampa (Fla.) Plant High School Orson Charles was working out today when his high school coach called him outside.
"He was on the phone with coach (Joe) Pannunzio," Charles said. "I got on the phone and coach Pannunzio was telling me I had just officially just got offered by Miami."
Charles had been hoping for a Miami offer, and his advisor, Vernon Williams, said that Charles almost committed on the spot.
"I was about to cry," Charles said. "I couldn't believe it. I was jumping up and down. I'm supposed to be talking to them again tonight."
Charles says he spoke to his coach and that he has decided not to rush into any decision.
"My coach said to make sure this is what you really want," Charles said. "It's 50-50 right now (that he'll be a Cane in the end)."
Charles says his other favorites are Georgia, FSU, Florida and LSU.
"I'm going to Georgia this weekend and we're visiting Florida, FSU and Miami (in the next few weeks)," Charles said. "I'm going to wait a while (to commit anywhere) because I want to take my official visits."
Charles transferred to Plant High after last season and was previously at Riverview - he was primarily a blocking tight end in the Wing T offense there and last season had 12 catches for 400 yards and three touchdowns.
As a sophomore he had three catches for 75 yards.
|9 years ago||'04 #3667|
$4,938 | 707
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- There is no doubt Bill Young's new defensive scheme will give fans a new look on that side of the ball.
With his innovative zone-blitzing scheme, Young is probably UM's biggest addition to the 2008 team.
In this article Young discusses the progress of his defense this spring, how they performed in the spring game, and what impact the freshmen could make on defense next season.
How do you think the players did today with the new scheme and how much of it did you show?
"It went well, but we didn't want to do everything. We wanted to keep some of it secret."
So overall you were pleased with the defensive performance in the spring game?
"I thought we did ok. Obviously if you give up 29 points that is too much, but at the same time we gave up some big plays by lost leverage, and bad angles, and bad tackles. Those are things that are correctable and we definitely have to get that straightened away before we get into our season."
You were thin at defensive tackle this spring, how did that unit perform?
"We are happy with how they did and you have big guys like Jeremy Lewis and other guys coming in that we are excited about also."
So is that a position where you really think the freshmen can make an impact next year?
"We'll just have to see. We have guys coming off a great spring, and then we will just have to mix in the freshmen and see who comes out on top. There will be a lot of competition there without question."
Is the Miami speed everything it is cracked up to be?
"It certainly is. I will tell you that we have some excellent speed and that is a lot better as a blitz team because you are able to get home with the speed. I am excited with what we got. Plus our corner situation is really going to be a solid position for us we feel."
Who are the linebackers you really want to send in the zone blitzes?
"Sean Spence is one of them. He can get to the hole and slide through there and make people miss him. Darryl Sharpton is another one. Right on across the board--all of them are good blitzers."
Is Darryl a guy who you can use at every linebacker spot?
"We use Darryl as a back position where we line him up in different places and try to feature him a little bit. He did a nice job of that."
Where do most of the blitzes come from today?
"We tried to mix it up. We gave up a few gains because they were running some screen passes on us, so we adjusted to that. Really and truly though I think they came from all over the place."
Were there any mistakes made today that stand out to you?
We made some mental mistakes out there today and gave up some big plays. We have to make some corrections there, but we'll get it done.
|9 years ago||'04 #3668|
$4,938 | 707
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – One trip into Miami's locker room was enough for senior safety Lovon Ponder to realize there was something different about the Hurricanes' new defense.
Offensive players were quick to hit up Ponder with questions: What did you guys run? How did that blitzing defender come free?
Miami has turned to former Kansas defensive coordinator Bill Young to fix its defensive problems.
The reason for the questions was Bill Young, the Hurricanes' new defensive coordinator. After an un-Miami-like season in 2007, the Hurricanes hope ACC teams have the same sense of bewilderment this season. In turning to Young, Miami hopes the defense will look like the Miami of old.
Despite returning only four starters and losing two projected first-rounders to the NFL, Young's first defense won Miami's spring game 32-29 Saturday. He hopes that's not the last time the defense wins a game for the Hurricanes.
"He's an excellent coach. He's fitting in great," Ponder said. "He allows us to utilize our speed and utilize our skills that we've got on our defense."
Miami could use the help. Last season, the Hurricanes ranked in the bottom half of the ACC in yards per game, points per game, rush defense and pass efficiency defense. And three teams – Oklahoma, Virginia and Virginia Tech – scored more than 40 points against Miami.
Young's defense at Kansas, meanwhile, led the Big 12 in scoring and total defense on the way to an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Young arrived from Kansas preaching a tried and true defensive axiom: The best defenses don't think, they react. It didn't take long for him to find believers.
"Last year, guys didn't really understand the defense," Ponder said midway through spring drills. "This stuff here – it's not complicated, but it gives some offenses some difficult things to read. It's easy for the defense to do, but it gives the offense some difficulty."
Young has become something of a master of the zone blitz, which caused headaches in UM's spring games for the new quarterbacks, who were 20 of 44 for 223 yards with three interceptions and six sacks.
Young's aggressive defense belies his on-field demeanor.
"He's a pretty laid-back dude," defensive end Eric Moncur said. "He's real big on the little things. All great coaches are. And that's what makes great players, being good at handling the small things."
At Kansas, Young, 61, put together one of the most overachieving defenses in the nation. From 2002-07, the Jayhawks never ranked higher than 38th nationally in recruiting. But Young's defense was eighth in the nation against the run in 2005 and led the Big 12 in takeaways in 2004. Kansas topped both of those marks by going 12-1, winning the Orange Bowl and leading the Big 12 in four major defensive categories last season.
Young will have a new set of tools at his disposal at Miami, starting with an ample talent pool. The Hurricanes' 2008 signing class ranked fifth in the nation, with two five-star defenders and a four-star prospect enrolling early.
"At Kansas, our whole goal was to unearth every rock and find a diamond in the rough," Young said. "Here, you're not looking for the finished product but something pretty close."
A STORM BREWING?
Kansas' 2007 defense under Bill Young compared to Miami's from 2007
Category Kansas Miami
Rushing defense 94.8 ypg 133.8 ypg
Passing defense 225.5 ypg 212.2 ypg
Total defense 317.3 ypg 345.9 ypg
Scoring defense 16.4 ppg 26.0 ppg
He found out just how close to game-ready his freshmen are during the spring, when projected starting linebackers Colin McCarthy and Romeo Davis were held out because of injury. Like Young, linebacker Arthur Brown left Kansas for Miami. Brown, the No. 23 player in the class of 2008 out of Wichita, Kan., enrolled early and made an instant impact with eight tackles and an interception in the spring game.
Rivals250 linebacker Sean Spence had two interceptions in the final scrimmage. Marcus Forston, the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country, also made an immediate impact in the spring. Both are from Miami's Northwestern High, which won the mythical national high school championship last fall.
"Our guys that have been here in spring will really notice a difference in the fall having been able to digest this stuff and move on," Young said.
Young is plenty familiar with coaching at a major program. He has been a defensive coordinator at Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC – but under less-than-revered coaches at those schools. He spent 15 seasons as John Cooper's defensive coordinator at Tulsa, Arizona State and with the Buckeyes, then served on John Blake's staff with the Sooners and Paul Hackett's staff at USC.
Throughout his career, Young has kept an eye on Miami. Former Miami coach Larry Coker was Tulsa's offensive coordinator while Young was the Golden Hurricane's defensive coordinator from 1980-82. Coker also was secondary coach in 1993 at Ohio State while Young was defensive coordinator.
Young became familiar with Miami coach Randy Shannon from watching him on film as a player, then visiting Miami practices while Shannon was an a.ssistant.
Shannon served as UM's defensive coordinator from 2001-06, and Young said he will rely on Shannon as a "resource." There seems to be little objection from the coach about that arrangement.
"Bill's a great defensive coach," Shannon said. "He's been doing a good job everywhere he's been. It's not like he's adding things. He's doing all the things he's always done. He's instructing and planning as he's always done."
|9 years ago||'04 #3670|
$4,938 | 707
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The most impressive offensive performance of the spring game this past Saturday came from the running backs.
Graig Cooper led the offense in the game with eight rushes for 91 yards and two touchdowns, while James accounted for 85 total yards, and McNeal led the team in receiving with a 66-yard reception.
In this article running back coach Tommie Robinson discusses the effort to get James and Cooper on the field at the same time, what makes James effective out of the slot, how much more weight Cooper can hold and why the new fullbacks have impressed him.
How does having Javarris and Graig on the field at the same time benefit you?
"Today we put in a little package and J.J. and Cooper were in the same backfield together and on the field together. They can both run and they can both catch. Those are two guys that you identify and you try and put the ball in their hands and see what they can do."
Do you see that package being used a lot next season?
"We put that package in and we will go back and talk about it and see if it really benefits us. It probably will and we will see if this is something we can use and how much we can use it."
Is the goal of lining up Javarris in the slot to match him up against the secondary immediately rather than run through the first level to get there?
"Yeah, there were a couple of good hard runs J.J. had out here. Those guys are used to running with the football and running with the ball in their hands, so we want to get the ball in their hands and let them go make plays. It will help us out in the passing game and we have a lot of you receivers. I can't say enough about Aldarius this spring and the young quarterbacks. We are trying to take some pressure off of those kids. The running backs have experience. J.J. has been around forever and let the pressure ride on him a little bit and take the pressure off the young guys."
How much more weight do you think Graig can hold on his frame?
"Really I don't know if it makes a big difference with him, but I think he will be 210 pounds by his junior or senior year."
How have your fullbacks performed this spring?
"Patrick Hill has been a blessing to us. We love what he brings. He brings exactly what we thought he would. He is one of those kids who when I recruited him I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to run the football because if he wanted to run the football I was going to leave him in California. He never, ever told me he wanted to run the football. He said his idea of a great game is if I can go out and knock about five guys a game out and I said you have a scholarship offer to the University of Miami. We didn't need a guy who was griping and frustrated because he wasn't running the ball. We needed a guy who wanted to bang people and help us between the tackles and get some movement. John Calhoun is coming. He is a young kid. This is still a kid that has not gone to his senior prom. He is not doing a bad job. I am very proud of him. They are both something we didn't have last year."
Was a physical fullback something you sorely missed last year?
"We had some kids last year that they looked like that, but it wasn't in their mentality. We needed kids who would give up their bodies and play football the way it is supposed to be played. I didn't need a guy who thought football was a contact sport, because it is not. Football is a collision sport. I needed some guys who thought football was a collision sport and didn't mind making some collisions. To me contact is when you watch the NCAA tournament and you watch Memphis box some guys out. To me a collision is when you go in there and hit a guy."
Do you plan on giving the ball to Hill at all?
"Here is the thing about Patrick Hill, he rushed for about 2,000 yards in high school and I think he led the city of Los Angeles in rushing. This is a guy that can run the football, but not once has he asked me to. Now we are going to run it because he is a good runner from the fullback position, but all he wants to do is hit people. Had he told me running the football was a concern, I would have left him in L.A. or told him to go to Texas A&M, because that was the other school he was considering."
|9 years ago||'04 #3671|
$4,938 | 707
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- When Spring practice began five weeks ago, freshman defensive tackle Marcus Forston did not know what to expect. He was a dominating defensive tackle in high school, regarded as the best defensive tackle in the country.
He was easily the highest rated defensive tackle to sign with Miami in quite some years, if ever, so he had a lot of weight on his shoulders to walk in the door and produce immediately.
After five weeks, Forston has passed with flying colors making plays throughout the Spring in both the mid-Spring scrimmage and the Spring Game last Saturday. He picked up a sack Saturday and had a pass break up, tackle for loss and three total tackles. He mixed time in the Spring playing on both the first and second units, but the one thing he did was solidify his top tier ranking coming out of high school.
He was so good that center Xavier Shannon dubbed him "Mr. 5-Star."
But it wasn't as easy for Forston as it looked to the public. While he said he was never pancaked by offensive lineman far bigger than him, he did get driven back on the first play of the first Spring practice, something he never experienced in four years of high school.
"The first day I think my body went through shock man because I never expected anything like that. The double team guys 335 pounds each coming at me full throttle, so the first play I stood straight up I got drove way back, right after that I said I'd never make that mistake again so every play I got to get low and fire off the ball because if I don't I am going to be back there with the safeties," Forston said. "I haven't been pancaked, I've been ran through, but I've never been pancaked. That first play scared me though."
Since that day, Forston has made a point to stay low and fire off the ball to avoid that happening again. That's what makes Forston such a special player. It only has to happen once and Forston will learn what's right and what's wrong.
That goes the same for the thing he continues to work on which is finishing plays. Does that mean finishing a tackle? No. It means never stopping and getting to the ball wherever the ball is at.
"Finishing plays. In high school if I was on the left hash and the ball went all the way to the right hash I was like oh man, I don't have to run way over there. So now, in college, I have to run to the ball, people will chop block me, people will blind side me and that looks bad for NFL scouts. The first thing they'll a.ssume is that I am lazy, so that's something I am working on and going to keep on working on," Forston said.
Forston feels like he's come a long way since the first day of practice and went as far as to say he went back to his mother's womb the first day of Spring practice.
"Oh man, day one, I went back to my mom's womb. I started crawling again. I've been progressing every week. I had a bad practice (last) Wednesday and came back Friday to just finish plays because Wednesday I didn't finish plays. It's about running to the ball and finishing plays," Forston said.
Last Friday a lot of alumni showed up at practice for a reunion and Forston got an opportunity to speak with some of them, something he really appreciated. For all that is spoken about the University of Miami being a family that proved it for Forston.
"It was nice out here. Just to see these guys come back from their jobs, a lot of big time guys. It was a pleasure to shake their hands. They had no excuses. They played football and still got a degree so there shouldn't be no excuses for us getting a degree and playing football," Forston said. "Bascially they were telling me to keep pushing myself that I made the right choice. I don't think you'll see, you go to anyone's practice around the country and see a lot of alumni at practice just for a reunion. It's big time."
But after two months of grueling work, Forston will finally get a chance to let his 300 pound body rest for a bit before getting back to the grind of practice in August.
"Man, finally it's over. I've been busting my butt for the past two months now, working hard, throwing up, sweating, losing weight, everything. I've been through everything these last two months," Forston said. "It's worth it."
|9 years ago||'04 #3672|
$4,938 | 707
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- A player who has seemed to get better and better over the past three years and will have a lot expected him is tight end Chris Zellner.
On the final day of practice, Zellner showed the ability he has by making between a 40 and 50-yard touchdown reception on a perfect pass by freshman quarterback Jacory Harris.
It's just a sign of the things that Zellner can do and he's grown tremendously over the past few years.
While the 'Canes had trouble completing the simplest of passes last year, Zellner still managed to come up with 13 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown in the 2007 season.
Spring has been good for Zellner as he's continued to establish himself as a good target for the 'Canes young quarterbacks.
He caught two passes for 16 yards in the Spring Game Saturday and will certainly be a good outlet for Miami quarterbacks this year.
"Spring has been real good. As a tight end unit, we've just been competing, having a good time out here, having fun, it's just about competing and have a good time so we can have a great season this year," Zellner said.
Zellner also got a chance to talk about his big play Friday in the final day of practice in front of a plethora of alumni in attendance.
"It was a blitz and the quarterback was able to find me wide open...run as fast as I can for a touchdown. It was about 40-50 yards so it was up there," Zellner.
Zellner also had a message for the alumni who were in attendance last Friday.
"We wanted to show them that we were good. It was just to show them what to look forward to," Zellner said.
While the 'Canes work with a tight end, the tight ends are learning to play the H-Back position which is a combination of tight end and fullback.
"We are all learning to play both. We are all trying to experience both so we can play all over the field," Zellner said.
But the most important thing for Zellner beyond personal performance is that the fans know the 'Canes are going to be back with a vengeance next year.
"We just wanted to have a good time to show the people that Miami is on the rise. We had a down year, but we just wanted to show them we are on the rise and give them a good show," Zellner said.
|9 years ago||'04 #3673|
$4,938 | 707
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Defensive end Steven Wesley is entering his sophomore season at the University of Miami and is hoping to earn more playing time.
Wesley played sparingly in eight games recording three tackles, one for a loss after redshirting in 2006.
"Last year was a learning experience for me," Wesley said. "I played about 10-15 plays a game so I learned a lot. This year I really think is going to be my breakout season."
Wesley admits that he wasn't focused when he first got to UM from Bartow High School.
"I'll say that when I first got here I didn't really have my head focused. Talking to the older guys like Vegas Franklin and Calais Campbell, they told me to have the right mind frame. But now I am focused to handle my business this year."
Now Wesley, 15 pounds heavier than he was during the 2007 season, is competing with Eric Moncur, Courtney Harris, Allen Bailey, and Adewale Ojomo for playing time at either defensive end spot.
"My biggest strength is against the pass because I'm so explosive off of the ball and I use my athletic ability to go around the tackle," Wesley said.
Wesley came in at 237 pounds and is up to 260 now. Coaches would like him at 265-270 for the season.
"I noticed a difference, but my quickness hasn't changed because Coach Swasey has a real good training program," Wesley said.
During the spring, the defensive line unit had a goal they wanted to focus on.
"Our real goal was no excuses, just play," Wesley said. "We don't want anybody complaining about any nicks or bruises. Just come out to practice and be a man."
This season, Wesley believes the Hurricanes will surprised people.
"We are going to show the nation a whole lot next year, believe that," Wesley said.
So is there pressure on the team to excel after a 5-7 season a year ago?
"There is pressure on the University of Miami every year because of the tradition that we have as a program," he said.
|9 years ago||'04 #3674|
$4,938 | 707
One of the positions that Miami is in need of dire improvement from is wide receiver.
Last year, Miami struggled at receiver mightily. From not being able to make the big play down the field, to the constant dropped balls, to not being able to break away from defenders, to the inability to make yards after a catch, it was simply a miserable year for Miami's receivers.
In stepped freshman Aldarius Johnson and the expected return of redshirt freshman Jermaine McKenzie and the 'Canes receivers were supposed to be a lot better this year. Not to mention having a quarterback that could get them the ball where it was supposed to be thrown, the receivers were supposed to better.
Throughout the Spring, all Randy Shannon could do was compliment his receivers. They were making plays. They made plays in the mid-Spring scrimmage and they looked good doing it.
Saturday was a different story.
Wide receiver Khalil Jones was said to have had a great Spring. He had a case of the dropsies even though he caught a pair of passes. Johnson had a case of the dropsies and didn't make a catch. Sam Shields didn't catch a pass. McKenzie was again held out because of the same ankle injury that held him out of the mid-Spring scrimmage. Leonard Hankderson, sans a decleating block of Damien Berry on Graig Cooper's 44-yard touchdown run, didn't do anything.
The fact is, only one receiver showed up Saturday morning and that was Kayne Farquharson who caught four passes for 29 yards and didn't drop anything that was thrown his way.
Running back Javarris James added four catches for 60 yards while lining up in the slot, but he does not factor into the equation when doing an analysis on wide receivers.
While Farquharson stepped up, the others fell off which certainly brings concern as the 'Canes thought they had vastly improved the situation at receiver with just the addition of Johnson and McKenzie.
Overall, Johnson had a great Spring according to teammates and coaches, and he had a good mid-Spring scrimmage, but he was virtually non-existent Saturday.
McKenzie is supposed to be a dynamo down the field and has been said to be a big time playmaker, but there has to be concerns now about his injuries. While he was in a car accident last year which forced him to redshirt last year, he was the main guy most people were dying to see on the field. An ankle injury held him out of the mid-Spring scrimmage.
He returned after the Spring Break, but then missed the final day of practice and the Spring Game with the same injury which leaves you wondering when he will finally be actually able to play in a game situation.
Jones had made remarkable improvements during practice, but the cameras and eyes were on the field Saturday and Jones did not have the best of the day.
On the other hand Farquharson, as said above, was great and improved from the mid-Spring scrimmage to now as he had no drops Saturday.
The biggest concern as a unit remains dropped passes. It's something Shannon made a point to talk about following practice and it's something that needs to be corrected if the 'Canes are to be effective passing the ball. While it's great to have a quarterback that can get the ball there, the receivers have to make plays.
|9 years ago||'06 #3676|
$58,739 | 14520
players that will attend the UM nike camp this weekend
QB Eugene Smith
QB Victor Marc
QB Wayne Times
QB Brandon Doughty (2010)
RB Lonnie Pryor
RB Jamaal Berry
RB Gregg Pratt
RB Carlos Hyde
RB Tyrese Jones
RB Daquan Hargrett
RB Jakhari Gore (2010)
WR Nu'Keese Richardson
WR Xavier Rhodes
WR Rodney Smith
WR Jairus Williams
WR Stedman Bailey
OL Nick Alajajian
C Henry Orelus
DT Antwan Lowery
DE Olivier Vernon
DT Todd Chandler (2010)
LB Frankie Telfor
LB Quananthony Fletcher
LB Shane Gordon
LB Brent Singleton
DB Josh Robinson
S Tevin McCaskill
CB Ricardo Dixon
CB Michael Carter
CB Khalid Marshall (2010)
CB Lamarcus Joyner (2010)
Last edited by DEDOS; 04-03-2008 at 05:35 PM..
|9 years ago||'04 #3677|
$12,716 | 560
Recruiting, camaraderie keys to Miami's resurgence
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The whole high school-to-college thing seemed pretty easy to Marcus Forston. The defensive tackle left Miami Northwestern High in December and enrolled at the University of Miami in January, but he never had to leave his comfort zone. When he walked into the Hurricanes locker room for the first time, Forston found his locker alongside the lockers of former Northwestern teammates Jacory Harris, Aldarius Johnson and Sean Spence.
About two months later, Forston noticed coaches had moved his locker. Instead of his buddies, he sat next to a group of older offensive linemen. Forston immediately clammed up. What could he possibly have in common with these guys? It didn't take long for Orlando Franklin and Reggie Youngblood to notice their young neighbor wasn't holding up his end of the conversation.
"Why are you so quiet?" one would yell.
"Young guy! Say something!" the other would chime in.
Under pressure, Forston opened up. Within days, he laughed and joked with the big uglies as if he'd known them his entire life -- which is exactly what Miami coach Randy Shannon had in mind when he shuffled the locker a.ssignments.
With last weekend's spring game in the books, Shannon plans to rearrange the 'Canes locker room again soon. Defensive backs will sit next to receivers. Quarterbacks will hob-nob with defensive linemen. Scholarship players will share personal space with walk-ons. Shannon believes his players need a change of scenery every so often because they need to care about one another. If each 'Cane has a personal connection to each of his teammates, he's less likely to let them down by skipping that last rep in the weight room or by forgetting the snap count on a Saturday in October.
"You can sit by a guy for four years, and that's the only guy you're going to talk to," Shannon said. "Now, you mix them around the locker room, so you get to talk to four or five guys every so often. By the time your senior season is over, there are about 70 guys that you've had two to three months to spend every day with."
Shannon, a former 'Canes linebacker, believes an unbreakable bond between teammates allowed Miami to dominate college football with five national titles in an 18-year span (1983-2001). Clint Hurtt, a former 'Canes defensive tackle who now coaches defensive tackles and coordinates recruiting, believes that bond helped he and his teammates break Miami out of a brief, probation-induced lull in the mid-'90s and allowed them to storm back into the national-title picture. Now, the coaches hope that if they can force the current 'Canes to bond, they can rescue Miami football from the clutches of mediocrity.
Miami's lowest point last season came on Nov. 10 when the 'Canes were embarrassed by Virginia 48-0 in the final game in the Orange Bowl. They would lose two more games to finish 5-7, but on that night, with so many former 'Canes in attendance wearing national title rings won as few as six years earlier, Miami players and coaches realized how far the program had plunged. The fall came quickly, too. When the 'Canes closed the 2002 season with a loss in the national title game to Ohio State, most of the players on the two-deep depth chart had NFL potential.
But something changed. The former 'Canes, who still flock to Coral Gables for offseason workouts, noticed. Though NCAA rules prohibited them from lifting and working on the field with current players, the alums could dispense wisdom. Miami tailback Javarris James said he received advice -- solicited and unsolicited -- from his cousin, Edgerrin, and from receivers Andre Johnson and Roscoe Parrish.
"We really don't talk about the season that much," James said. "[Edgerrin] just tells me what they used to do back in the day. When they had breaks and stuff, guys would still work out. Guys would stay around the campus, always hanging together. They always had that team bond."
James said that rarely happened during his freshman and sophomore seasons, but he has noticed more camaraderie in recent months. When the team broke for spring break last month, most players still reported to the weight room and the practice field. After workouts, they would walk to nearby Coconut Grove and play video games at Gameworks or commandeer an entire section of a restaurant. One night during the break, James and three teammates headed to South Beach. Phone calls were made, text messages were exchanged and before long, 20 'Canes strolled along Ocean Drive, laughing, joking and admiring all the feminine pulchritude Miami has to offer. One Miami player even tried to give the ladies something to admire in return.
"[Cornerback DeMarcus] Van Dyke was out there," James said. "He had his little muscle shirt on."
But trips to the beach and quips about unfortunate wardrobe choices are only part of the equation. Miami coaches know the bond won't help if the players don't have the raw talent or the proper respect for the program. When Shannon brought in Hurtt as his recruiting coordinator last year, the coaches agreed they could best solve both problems by recruiting as close to home as possible. For a few years, Miami had reached for highly ranked recruits from across the country. And while some of those players were good, many had not lived up to their rankings because they played against inferior competition.
In Dade (Miami), Broward (Fort Lauderdale) and Palm Beach counties, the coaches knew the level of competition intimately. If they recruited players they liked from those areas, they could more accurately project how those players would perform in college.
"We wanted to make sure we made Florida -- in particular, South Florida, because that's our own backyard -- our main goal," Hurtt said. "Obviously, there are a lot of great players all across the country, but we know this: Florida has the best talent in the country, hands down. We feel like if we win here, we'll be in contention every year -- especially if we win in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties."
The South Florida players also have more respect for "The U." Most of today's recruits were just leaving elementary school when the 2001 'Canes were the baddest men on the planet. For kids who lived in South Florida at the time, Ed Reed and company were larger than life. "The 'Canes were the gladiators that never could get beat," Forston said. "They always found a way to win. When I was growing up, those were my heroes, my role models."
No five-star player from California could possibly understand what it will mean to Forston the first time he runs through a cloud of smoke with a U on the side of his helmet. "I might cry," he said.
The young 'Canes love the program that much, and they'll have a chance to prove it on the field in the fall. Forston probably will have to play because Miami is so thin at defensive tackle. Harris, who will remain in contention with favorite Robert Marve for the starting quarterback spot in preseason camp, likely will take snaps even if Marve does win the job. No matter who plays quarterback, Johnson likely will catch passes from him. Meanwhile, Spence and fellow early enrollee Arthur Brown -- who had eight tackles and an interception in the spring game -- should have a chance to win playing time at linebacker.
Hurtt, who came to Miami with the likes of Reggie Wayne and Dan Morgan, believes the older group that includes James, Van Dyke and tailback Graig Cooper is analogous to the group of 'Canes who arrived in Coral Gables and laid a foundation as Miami struggled after NCAA sanctions. This year's class, Hurtt said, reminds him of the cavalry that came next -- Reed, Clinton Portis, Vince Wilfork and the others who took Miami back to the pinnacle of college football. If they can form the same bond the older 'Canes did, Hurtt said, Miami may be on the verge of another renaissance.
"In my heart of hearts," Hurtt said, "I believe we're back on the path to being what we were again."
|9 years ago||'04 #3679|
$4,938 | 707
Long Beach Ply defensive back Vaughn Telemaque flew all the way from California the Wednesday before the spring game to better acquaint himself with the school he signed with in February and a.ssess his competition going into next season.
Telemaque had a breakout senior year in which he compiled 91 tackles, nine interceptions, four fumbles caused, two sacks and one fumble recovered for a touchdown.
In this article Telemaque discusses what he saw from the defense from the two practices he attended, why he is excited about the new defensive scheme, why he was excited to see the freshmen perform in the spring game, and more.
Just tell me what you did during your visit to Miami and why you wanted to come visit UM on your own?
"I just really got to hang out with all the players like an official visit again, but I did it on my own time. I got to set up the trip and I really wanted to see them practice and play this spring. I didn't get to participate in the drills or get to workout like I kind of planned, but I just wanted to get out there and get a better feel for my teammates and a better feel for the school on my own time. I also wanted to see how my safeties are looking. That is the only chance I have seen the players in action and seeing the competition I have ahead of me next season."
On this last visit what did you learn about Miami that you already didn't know?
"There was a lot of terminology stuff that I learned. I am a big knowledge of the game freak and I want to be up on all my checks and stuff. Reading offenses is a big thing to me the terminology is going to be different from high school to college, but I can look at the field and the players and the scheme and know it will be a good transition because of how my style of play is and how coach McGriff's style is. We want to work on all the little things so that in the big scheme of things it becomes automatic."
Which of the players did you bond with and get to know on this visit?
"I want to talk about my class because I am so excited about the guys that I am coming in with and that I just met and looking forward to playing with. I got to meet Marcus Forston, Sean Spence, Arthur Brown, and all the other freshmen that are out there. They are all cool and they thought that I was from California and I could have gone to a California school, but I chose Miami. They are looking forward to me coming out this summer and seeing how my play compares to their play. I met Jacory, Joe Wyle, Brandon Harris at the spring game as well. Then I also just got to know Carlos Armour and Anthony Redd*ck more and we had good conversations. They just wanted me to know it is a whole different tempo than high school. They just told me to come out and play the game I want to play."
How excited were you to see Sean Spence and Arthur Brown have the most impressive performances on the defense during the spring game?
"I loved seeing that. You can't really beat that. You come out to a game and you are really excited that you have kids already in your class that are out there and working. For them to take over that game in a sense and make people notice them was exciting for me to see. We have some good things coming in the future at Miami. I just look at it as we have a lot of great players from my class out there already and there will be a lot more coming now this summer."
With a number of 2009 recruits at the spring game, did you get a chance to talk to any of those guys and tell them about Miami?
"I tried to do that as much as I could. I spoke a lot with Darrell Givens, who is from Maryland. I was just talking to him and being straight-forward and telling him that you have got to enjoy your recruiting process and taking trips. I just told him from my standpoint why I picked Miami and how I felt about Miami and I think he grabbed on to that because I am from California and I chose Miami. It caught his eye because he could see that I was serious about what I was saying. I feel like he responded to what I was saying. I feel like he can just listen to what I have to say and make a better decision."
What did you think about the safeties already at UM that will be your competition next season?
"They are all great players. It was going to be good for me to go out in the spring and see them because I know the competition level is going to be high and I won't just a.ssume that I will be able to get on the field right away. I see great things about all the players, but the biggest thing for me is to just learn the scheme and the defense as fast as possible and give myself the best opportunity to play. Coach McGriff plays the best that are out there and you just have to go out there and work as hard as you can because the best player will play."
So do you still feel confident you can come in and play next season?
"I do. I feel confident because the way that Miami has their football program and uses their defensive backs. The defensive backs they bring in every year are the best of the best so every year they are going to be able to compete. I know the competition is going to make me raise my game and I want to raise my game to the next level. That competition is going to put me over the top and give me a chance to play early because I love to compete."
What are the players telling you about the new defensive scheme Bill Young has installed?
"All the players like it. It is a good thing for me that the scheme is new because I am getting a feel for it just like they are getting a feel for it. Coach Shannon is still trying to feel out what he likes and what he doesn't like and figure out which players fit where in the scheme. The coaches are still working things out and I know that there are things that they still want to touch up on and perfect. It does present me with the opportunity to come in and try and pick things up at the same rate as the other guys, so I am excited about that."
It seems like his scheme will play to your strength in that the safeties can roam around in space and make plays on the ball. Does that excited you?
"That is something in Coach Young's scheme that is really stressed. I need to work on coming up and making hits--I have not problem doing that--but my game is to roam around and check where the quarterback is looking and check where the receivers are running and go make plays in the air and get the ball back for the offense. I feel like the scheme really fits me because I am a ball-hawking safety and I feel that I can get around the ball better than most people can because I have a special talent for being around the ball. I don't want to make myself sound like I think too highly of myself, but I am just a confident guy and I know what I can do as far as what my talent allows me to do and I am looking forward to playing in this system."
What are you doing this offseason to prepare for next season?
"I am working out with my defensive back coach. I just want to keep myself in shape and lifting weights. That is the thing about football--you can't get off your grind and you can't stop for one minute because everybody else is not going to stop. I am just trying to work on my speed and really my hips. I want to keep my hips open and learning how to open up better because when I am on the field I can open up and change directions faster than other people and I think that gives me an edge that other people don't have."
What kind of results have you seen from your workouts?
"I feel like I have gotten faster. At the end of the year I think I ran a 4.55 and right now I am probably in the low 4.5s and getting into the high 4.4s. I look forward to getting more speed because I think my body is still growing and I still have a chance to gain more weight. I am at 180 pounds now and I want to gain a few more pounds before I get situated with the UM strength coach."
When do you plan on arriving at UM officially this summer?
"I believe the second semester of summer school starts on June 25, so that is when my parents and I will fly out and get situated and help me out with moving. I am really excited though and I can't wait for summer school and starting summer workouts so the sooner I can get out there the better and I will be out there as soon as possible."
Being from Southern California and choosing Miami over USC, do you hear much trash talking from the USC fan base?
"In the beginning I heard a little bit of stuff like that. I couldn't go some places because I would hear some things, but that is just because the fans are really loyal to their team. Most of the people, like some of the dads of the guys I played with in high school come up to me and say that they are looking forward to what I am doing no matter where I go because I have a bright future ahead of me. There are people who support me for whatever choice I make."
Finally, how much did your last visit to Miami get you excited for next season and reassure you that you made the right decision to be a Hurricane?
"When I was deciding it was really a tough dilemma for me because I wanted to go to Miami, but to all the way across the country is tough. When I got out there though again this spring I felt at home and I got to know a lot of the defensive backs and I was already taken care of. I know I am supposed to be a Hurricane now and everybody greeted me with open arms and showed me the ropes and welcomed me. I know now that I made the right and best decision for me."