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Props Slaps
 10 years ago '04        #4751
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$5,562 | Props total: 2237 2237
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Redshirt freshman Vaughn Telemaque missed the majority of his freshman year with a shoulder injury, but that hasn't stopped him from making an impression on the Miami coaching staff.

Telemaque only played in three games for UM last season, but he is already working with the first team at safety through the first two days of spring football.

"I would like to be the best," Telemaque said of his goals for the upcoming season. "I am a team player first though. My goal is to help the team and to be known as a guy who helps the team is what I want to be known for. I want to be known as a guy who can bring a lot to the team."

Telemaque was a player coach Randy Shannon highlighted after the season as a true freshman who could have made an impact last year if the injury did not occur. He showed enough promise during fall camp and during early season practices to move up to the second team before the injury occurred.

The only adjustment Telemaque says that he had to make from high school to college was understanding how to play within the defense.

"I love to play football, so the instincts and everything like that came natural," Telemaque said. "I just wanted to know the playbook, know the coaches, know the atmosphere of college football, so that is probably the biggest adjustment for me. Everything was pretty natural for me."

"You have to know what you do before you go out there. You could just go out there raw in high school and play deep, but you have to get to know all the formations and tendencies and once you know that stuff you play faster. When you know, you go."

Now that Telemaque is competing for a starter's role during the spring, he says he understands the importance of competing everyday. Telemaque talked about what the starting role means to him and the responsibility that comes with that job.

"It is exciting," Telemaque said of playing with the first team. "You just keep a competitive nature and so I am just excited with everything that is going on and I am just going to keep on going on and stay in my playbook and have fun out here."

"I take it as a challenge. I know everybody else is out there and wanting to start too. You have to keep you mindset there to compete and always be ready to play."

Telemaque's season was cut short by a shoulder injury he sustained during practice. He says now that shoulder is 100 percent healed.

"It hasn't limited me at all," Telemaque said of his shoulder. "This is my first spring, so I am excited to be out there and work some and get myself better. I am not worried about my shoulder. I am taking it to where I am just going to play and my shoulder is at 100 percent."

During his senior year of high school, Telemaque picked off nine passes to help lead his high school to a state championship. Though his strength is tracking down a pass while it is in the air, Telemaque says he is working on becoming a safety who is also strong against the run.

"I want to be an all-around safety," Telemaque said. "I want to help in the run game and pass game and make it exciting where you can get the ball back because it gets the offense excited and the defense is always ready to get out there."

"It is going to be really fun for the team [to make interceptions]. When we get turnovers, it makes the team better. If I get a pick or an interception then everybody is going to feel good and not just me. That is why I want to get it back to being excited and winning in a fashionable way."

 02-26-2009, 10:04 AM         #4752
The Lefty  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
Redshirt freshman QB Taylor Cook is battling Cannon Smith to be the team's No. 2 quarterback.

And Cook, who players say has the strongest arm on the team (Cook says he can throw the ball 70 yards downfield), is excited about his progress.

"I've learned steps, drops, reads," Cook said. "It's fun."

Cook says his goal is to be the team's starting quarterback.

"You have to go to No. 2 first," he said of his battle with Smith.

What is he doing better this spring than he did when he arrived last August?

"My throwing motion, I've changed it up a bit," Cook said. "I have a higher release than I used to have. And my footwork has gotten a lot better since when I came in."

Cook says he arrived at UM weighing 220 pounds and is now up to 235.

* Redshirt freshman WR Tommy Streeter says dealing with a wrist injury last year that cost him the season was difficult. He couldn't even work out while recovering.

"I used to cry some of the games, being that I couldn't play," said Streeter, who tore a tendon in the wrist and also had a displaced bone. "Especially the times we were down. It hurt."
Streeter says he hasn't lost any speed from before he was injured.

"Being in the (Andreu) Swasey program I regained everything quickly."

Streeter tapes the wrist before practices to keep it stable.

"There are times it feels a little weak, when blocking," Streeter said. "In a year-and-a-half at the most it'll be 100 percent. There are going to be nicks, I'll feel uncomfortable at times, but I have to look past that. It's a little hindrance."
Streeter's take on new coordinator Mark Whipple?

"I love him," Streeter said. "Coach Whipple has so much NFL experience. He's just a wonderful guy."

* Randy Phillips said today he knew his best option was to return to UM for his senior season coming off a knee injury.

He had LCL surgery Sept. 22.

"I felt real good about the players we had coming back this year and the system," Phillips said. "So I stayed."

Phillips was injured on the first play of the Texas A&M game.

"It was really frustrating watching the guys play," Phillips said of missing the rest of the year. "They did a good job for the situation they were in. This year they have to be a lot stronger, and it's going to start with me as our senior leader, Chavez Grant, Sam Shields and Ryan Hill. We want to be No. 1 and let everyone know by our play on the field."

Phillips is weighing in at 215 pounds. He began last year at 208 pounds.

"It's all muscle," he said. "I worked out really hard."

Phillips says he's not quite 100 percent yet.

But he's getting close.

"I'm running good - it's stable," he said. "I'm back to where I need to be, just need a couple of more tweaks."

Phillips also made a prediction.

"We definitely will have more interceptions this year than last year," Phillips said.

UM had only four interceptions in 2008.

* Randy Shannon said of Sam Shields' transition to cornerback from receiver that "His footwork is pretty good. He's moving around, learning the defense. He looks kind of natural back there. The recognizing routes and all that, he has an advantage because he played some receiver. He's been looking pretty good."

Shannon said Shields' move to CB isn't simply an experiment.

"It's a permanent move," Shannon said.

* Shannon also said there are no plans to move Orlando Franklin from guard to tackle. Matt Pipho is currently working as the first group right tackle.

"We're going to find the best five guys," Shannon said. "If it's all five offensive tackles, all five offensive tackles will be in the game. It could be all tackles, guards. We just have to find the best combination right now."

* Ryan Hill says his return to cornerback from safety isn't too difficult a transition - he was initially recruited as a cornerback before moving to receiver and then safety. Hill says he doesn't see himself playing another snap at safety.

"I'm looking forward to playing cornerback permanently," Hill said. "It's a lot of switching, but it's positions I played before (in high school). I just like to play football."

Hill says it was coaches' decision to move him from safety to cornerback.

"I want to do what's best for the team and also myself," Hill said.

Hill played last year at 195 pounds and is now up to 203. He says he'd like to get up to 210 pounds for the season.

"I want to be agile - if I can still be agile at 210 (that's ideal)."

Hill's goals for the team this year?

"Nothing less than an ACC Championship," he said. "We came so close last year. This is Miami. Everyone comes here to win championships, and that's what we want to do."

Asked the toughest receiver for him to cover, Hill pointed to Aldarius Johnson and Leonard Hankerson.

"They give you a lot of double moves, so you have to respect that - they run real good routes," Hill said. "Those two I have to get in the extra zone when they come up."

Hill also said of Sam Shields' transition from receiver to cornerback that "He's doing a lot better than people expect. He's coming along. This spring will be really good for him, because each day he'll learn."

* Former Cane star Ed Reed attended today's practice. Signees Billy Sanders and Stephen Plein also watched on again.

* The stretch depth chart receivers receivers on Day 2: Aldarius Johnson and Leonard Hankerson were lined up in front with Tommy Streeter and Thearon Collier behind them.

Highlights from the day's work (the team practiced for two hours in shells):

7 on 7

- Jacory Harris hit Aldarius Johnson for a 50-yard gain with Brandon McGee in tight coverage. - Cannon Smith found Leonard Hankerson for a 20-yard gain on the left side.

- Taylor Cook hit Hankerson for 25 yards on the left side. Hankerson got wide open on the play.

11 on 11

- Harris hit Leonard Hankerson for 25 yards down the left side with Chavez Grant in coverage - it was a great touch pass. He also threw a nice touch pass over Demarcus Van Dyke to Hankerson for 20 yards on the right side.

- A pitch to Graig Cooper was fumbled, but Cooper grabbed the bouncing ball on the run and wnt 40 yards downfield before being touched down.

- Ryan Hill intercepted a short pass by Taylor Cook.

* Miami has tomorrow off before returning to practice on Friday. That morning is also UM's NFL Pro Day.

Last edited by The Lefty; 02-26-2009 at 10:05 AM..

 02-26-2009, 03:09 PM         #4753
The Lefty  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
Alright, is it March 12 or 16? For when Bryce is going to announce.

Im hearing both dates..

 10 years ago '04        #4754
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$5,562 | Props total: 2237 2237
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Senior Ryan Hill's career at the University of Miami has come full circle.

Hill was recruited by the University of Miami as a cornerback and now after making a few position changes, he will end his career at UM as a cornerback.

Throughout his career at Miami, Hill has played cornerback, wide receiver, safety, and now cornerback again.

Hill says he welcomes the change of positions because he ultimately wants to help the team win any way he can.

"I feel like I have been all around the world," Hill said. "I came here as a cornerback and I am going to leave as a cornerback. I am happy about making the move to cornerback. Anyway I can help my team win, I am going to do it to the best of my ability. I am really excited this year because I know I can really help this team at corner."

According to Hill, he hasn't really had to shake off much rust with the position change back to corner. Hill played safety last season for the Hurricanes and he says the transition to cornerback hasn't been a big difference for him.

"You are still a defensive back, so the main job is to cover and tackle." Hill said. "There are some differences, but they are not big differences. There is always things I am going to have to work on and my main goal is to get better every day."

One positive Hill undoubtedly brings to the cornerback position is size, strength, and an ability to be physical with opposing receiver. Hill says that jamming receivers from the snap is the main objective of what he is trying to get done on the field.

"My main goal is to get physical with receivers," Hill said. "I feel like that is the main reason why they brought me back to cornerback. When I was getting recruited, I modeled Antrel Rolle. That is the player I tried to be and hopefully I can be a big corner like that for Miami."

When asked which receivers have impressed Hill during the offseason seven-on-seven drills and through the first two days of spring football, he names two of the biggest receivers on the Miami roster.

"I like the way Hankerson and Aldarius challenge me because they do double moves and that is the main thing I am trying to work on defending," Hill said. "Everyday when I go up against them I ready myself for that challenge and we just make each other better."

Hill's best friend on the team--Sam Shields--has switched to cornerback this offseason after playing his first three years at Miami at receiver. Hill says that Shields has shown a lot of potential at corner so far through the first two days of spring practice.

"To me, I feel like he is doing a phenomenal job," Hill said. "He is a guy who is a true receiver and who has hardly played any cornerback. He is fast and he has some instincts. Those are the two main things you have to have as a corner and he has that. His feet are really good and he just has to work on the little things. When the season comes along he will be fine and it will look like he has been playing the position for four years."

 10 years ago '04        #4755
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$5,562 | Props total: 2237 2237
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Last season was hard for Tommy Streeter.

So hard, that Streeter would sometimes cry on Saturdays.

"Last year was tough," Streeter said. "After a couple games last year I would cry because I wasn't able to help the team."

Streeter, a standout wide receiver from Northwestern, missed the 2008 season with torn ligaments in his right wrist and had a bone out of place--an injury he suffered in August, which required season-ending surgery.

"Even in practice, there were times where I didn't even feel that I was a part of the team because I was just looking on and I wasn't going through what they were going through so it felt I was distant from the team," Streeter said.

Streeter, 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, came back late in the year to participate in bowl practices, but only ran routes.

"I prayed, 'Lord, I just wish I could be out there," he said.

Now, Streeter is full-go in spring practices as he competes for playing time with a crowded group of receivers.

"I'm real excited to be back out here after missing the whole season," Streeter said. "I'm just trying to get back in the rhythm of football and reading the defense, getting used to catching passes, getting chemistry with the quarterback since I missed a whole year so I'm just trying to get back in the rhythm of things."

Six freshman wide receivers caught passes last year including Aldarius Johnson and Thearon Collier, who were the top two yardage leaders on the team. Travis Benjamin racked up over 1,000 all-purpose yards and LaRon Byrd led the team with four receiving touchdowns. Davon Johnson and Kendal Thompkins showed flashes throughout the season as well while Streeter watched his peers from the sidelines.

"I always feel like I am behind and that means I have to work twice as hard just to catch up being that I missed a whole season and those guys got a whole year under their belt," Streeter said.

Streeter came to Miami as a highly regarded recruit from Miami Northwestern as he caught 36 passes for 676 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior in 2007 for the national champions.

Throughout the first two days of spring practice, he says he does notice a little discomfort with his wrist, but it is not something that is affecting his play.

"There's times where it feels a little weak when blocking and on contact, but I just tape it up," he said. "I feel it is not going to be the same for a year and a half at most, it would be 100 percent. It is going to be uncomfortable at times, but I have to look past that. It don't affect me too much, but I can feel it from time to time."

While he was out, his teammates helped keep him positive, which benefited him throughout the process.

"A lot of my teammates encouraged me and kept me motivated," Streeter said. "They always let me know that God has a purpose for me and in due time, it will be my time."

Hopefully that time is now.

 10 years ago '04        #4756
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$5,562 | Props total: 2237 2237
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Today was the third day of spring practices. Find out which players stood out, which players were on first and second team, which players were held out, and more in this practice report.

The team was in shoulder pads and shorts.

Former Hurricane and NFL superstar Jon Beason was in attendance as well as former Michigan Heisman Trophy Winner Desmond Howard.

Former Canes Calais Campbell, Freddie Capshaw, Brian Monroe, and Francesco Zampogna were also at practice.

************************************************** *********

News & Notes

? Head coach Randy Shannon was not at practice as he was in Pittsburgh for a Nike camp.

? WR Tommy Streeter caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Jacory Harris. Streeter also a 10-yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone as he made a diving catch, also from Harris.

? LB Kylan Robinson recorded an interception as he continues to play on the first unit as a weakside linebacker.

? WRs LaRon Byrd and Aldarius Johnson both had strong days catching a number of passes while Leonard Hankerson had a tough day with a number of drops.

? RB Graig Cooper had a 12-yard touchdown run up the middle.

? TE Daniel Adderley and FB Patrick Hill each caught touchdown passes during a redzone drill.

 10 years ago '04        #4757
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$5,562 | Props total: 2237 2237
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- A number of seniors participated in UM's annual Pro Day at the Greentree Practice Fields. There are a number of players looking to get drafted in April's NFL Draft.

There were 17 NFL teams represented with as many as 30 scouts in attendance to watch a number of guys just hoping to get drafted.

Cornerback Bruce Johnson from Live Oak is Miami's top draftable prospect and he is projected as a mid-round pick.

Linebacker Glenn Cook and safety Anthony Redd*ck are the next two prospects hoping to be selected in the late rounds.

Former Hurricanes currently in the NFL Edgerrin James, Jon Beason, Tavares Gooden, and Calais Campbell were in attendance.

Former UM a.ssistant coach Don Soldinger as well as former Hurricanes Brian Monroe, Tanard Davis, and James Bryant, were also in the crowd.

"We are a family and we all stick together," Cook said.

Offensive lineman Chris Rutledge and wide receiver Kayne Farquarson both suffered injuries during the Pro Day.

CB Bruce Johnson

Johnson was the only Hurricane who participated in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last week.

In Indianapolis, he checked in at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds and ran a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash with a 34-inch vertical jump.

He improved his status by running a 4.40 in the 40 and registered a 38.5-inch vertical jump at UM's Pro Day by wearing a pair of fluorescent green cleats.

"I have no idea where I'll be picked, but I think I raised my stock a little bit more," Johnson said. "I really don't know where I'll go, but I think I turned some heads."

Johnson, the nephew of Seattle cornerback Kelly Jennings, said Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Detroit, and the New York Giants have showed the most interest thus far.

In his career at Miami, Johnson recorded 70 tackles, two interceptions, and 14 pass break-ups in 43 games, making 23 starts.

LB Glenn Cook

Cook led the team in tackles last season with 91 and is hoping a team gives him an opportunity.

He ran a low 4.6 in the 40-yard dash at UM's Pro Day.

"This day has a big part in the rest of my life whether or go on and play at the next level or take up another trade," Cook said. "It's an important step for the rest of our lives."

Cook recorded 200 tackles, 22.5 for a loss in 47 games since arriving at UM in 2003.

S Anthony Redd*ck

Redd*ck ran a low 4.5 in the 40

Redd*ck had a well-documented up-and-down career at Miami which included two torn ACL injuries and a suspension for his role in the FIU brawl.

"The things that happened to me is a part of life, you bounce back and I did," Redd*ck said. "It has made me a better person today. I put myself in those situations, with the FIU f!ght, the injuries I couldn't do anything about. I tell (teams) that I made a mistake and what I did was wrong."

Redd*ck bounced back from missing the 2007 season to record 75 tackles as a senior and could have applied to the NCAA and returned for a sixth season, but instead opted to leave.

"I just felt I gave the program all I had and I just wanted to move on with my life," Redd*ck said.

DE/LB Spencer Adkins

Adkins is known for doing well in the weight room and training and didn't disappoint.

The 5-foot-11, 230-pound defensive end/linebacker from Naples ran a 4.43 in the 40, had a broad jump of 10'2", vertical jump of 36.5", had a 4.25 in the shuttle, and bench pressed 225 pounds 30 times.

"I did good in pretty much everything," Adkins said.

He is hoping to land a role with a team despite not having a signature career at Miami where he recorded 75 tackles and five sacks in 32 games, making five starts.

 10 years ago '04        #4758
madness 21 heat pts21
$13,263 | Props total: 4393 4393
Streeter shines on third day of spring

Each time I think about my trip to Dallas two years ago to watch Miami Northwestern take on Southlake Carroll, the first image that always pops into my mind is the one of receiver Tommy Streeter racing down the field underneath a long, rainbow pass from Jacory Harris for a touchdown. It was the highlight of one of the most impressive high school football games I've ever watched.

Tommy Streeter was the star of the day at Thursday's practice Friday afternoon during the University of Miami's third practice of the spring at Greentree Practice Field, Tommy and Jacory treated us to a replay of those long touchdown connections again. Only this time, they were wearing Canes colors. Streeter, who missed his freshman season with a wrist injury, made the play of the day Thursday. Not once. But twice! First, he hauled in a 75-yard touchdown pass during 11-on-11 drills, beating newly converted cornerback Sam Shields down the sideline on a long pass. Then, Streeter used all of his 6-5, 207-pound frame to stretch out and make a diving touchdown catch in the back of the end zone during red zone drills.

There shouldn't be MVP awards for spring practices conducted in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets. But when you consider how good Streeter looked in only his third practice back from wrist surgery, you got to give him something (at least a helmet sticker).

"It really surprised me to see him fly around like that,'' former Northwestern teammate and fellow UM receiver Aldarius Johnson said. "He looked pretty good for a guy coming off injury, being out all that time after surgery and having therapy. He talked a lot of smack before today's practice. Then, he came out and did what he said he was going to do. He stepped up today. It was like old times."

While Streeter definitely has to put on more weight to take the type of licking safeties will be sure to try and deliver on him, his emergence at receiver bodes well for the Canes. As Aldarius pointed out, "He can stretch the field," Johnson said. "That gives me and Laron and the other guys the underneath stuff. He can make a big impact."

> Streeter was the only player to a touchdown during full on 11-on-11 work, but he wasn't the only player to score Thursday. During red zone drills the following guys scored during red-zone work: Running back Graig Cooper scored on a 12-yard run, fullback Pat Hill on a 15-yard pass from Harris, tight end Richard Gordon on a 10-yard pass from Harris, and receiver Leonard Hankerson (who had a bad case of the drops for most of practice) hauled in a 15-yard jump-ball pass from Cannon Smith on a broken play.

> Other standouts from Thursday's practice included: Linebacker Kylan Robinson (who intercepted a deflected pass intended for Cooper and made a nice tackle of Javarris James after shedding a block); defensive tackle Allen Bailey (who also broke free from a block on a screen pass and drilled James); and defensive tackle Marcus Forston (who showed his speed chasing down Cannon Smith from behind).

> I've got to admit I've enjoyed the extra access coach Randy Shannon has given us for the first four practices this spring. Being on the sideline has allowed the media to really get a good look behind the scenes of who the real leaders, trash-talkers and effort guys are. During running drills today, we got a real good opportunity to listen in on how Orlando Franklin antagonizes opponents. During the entire drill he kept challenging defensive end Adewale Ojomo and clapped when Ojomo and Forston were given extra up-down drills for jumping offsides. Left tackle Jason Fox is another guy who likes to talk smack. He went over several times to the defensive players to ask them what was wrong. It was pretty funny.

> Speaking of Shannon, he wasn't at practice Thursday because he was participating in a Nike Camp in Pittsburgh according to UM's sports information staff. We were told he'll be back for Saturday morning's practice, the first in full pads.

> I don't have a lot more to share in terms of interviews after practice, but I did learn a little about the offensive line from center A.J. Trump. Don't be shocked this season if you see Trump snapping with both hands. The left-handed Trump says when quarterbacks in the shotgun, he'll snap left-handed. But when QBs are under center, he'll do it right-handed because that's how they prefer to receive it. It hasn't really caused any problems in practice yet that I've noticed.

As for potential backups, it's obvious Tyler Horn will be behind Trump when the season starts. But it was interesting to hear who UM is working in with Matt Pipho as the team's third and emergency center. According to Trump, freshman Brandon Washington is getting a look there. "He's a smart kid and he's picking up on things quickly," Trump said. "We need a third center right now, so why not."
got some nice big receivers - streeter (6'5) byrd (6'4) hankerson (6'3) johnson (6'2).....cant wait to see them wreak havoc on secondaries

 10 years ago '04        #4759
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$5,562 | Props total: 2237 2237
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Today was the third day of spring practices. Find out which players stood out, which players were on first and second team, which players were held out, and more in this practice report.

The team was in shoulder pads and shorts.

Former Hurricane and NFL star Jon Beason was in attendance as well as former Michigan Heisman Trophy Winner Desmond Howard.

Former Canes Calais Campbell, Glenn Cook, Freddie Capshaw, Brian Monroe, and Francesco Zampogna were also at practice.

************************************************** *********

News & Notes

? Head coach Randy Shannon was not at practice as he was in Pittsburgh for a Nike camp.

? WR Tommy Streeter caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Jacory Harris as he beat Sam Shields deep. Streeter also a 10-yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone as he made a diving catch, also from Harris, as he got behind Chavez Grant, who was in coverage. Streeter is getting a lot of work with the first unit as he makes his way back in the rotation.

? LB Kylan Robinson recorded an interception as he continues to play on the first unit as a weakside linebacker. Talking with one of the former players, they really thought Robinson has the chance to be a very good player and has shown flashes of it in his career, but needs to be more consistent in practice.

? WRs LaRon Byrd and Aldarius Johnson both had strong days catching a number of passes while Leonard Hankerson had a tough day with a number of drops. Byrd has been a standout this spring as he catches everything including a diving catch along the sideline on a pass from Taylor Cook. He arguably has the best hands on the team and is proving he is worthy of being a top two receiver. Johnson was very effective across the middle in Friday's practice as he caught inside slants and drag routes. Hankerson had a great day on Wednesday, but his lack of consistency in the first week is something Shannon cautioned reporters about when a.ssessing him.

? RB Graig Cooper had a 12-yard touchdown run up the middle. It was a nice run by Cooper, who is looking to take the next step as a player.

? TE Daniel Adderley (from Cook) and FB Patrick Hill (from Harris) each caught touchdown passes during a redzone drill.

? CB Ryan Hill is playing very physical as a corner and looking very comfortable in the position change back to one his natural position. Hill is also not afraid to let receivers know he's shutting them down as he's been very vocal in practice similar to what Brandon Meriweather used to do.

? QB Jacory Harris did an excellent job in the redzone drill at the end of practice. Harris ran six plays inside the redzone and threw two touchdown passes. He would have thrown a third to Hankerson if he could have positioned his body better instead of letting Grant knock the ball away.

? QB Cannon Smith threw a nice 18-yard touchdown pass to Hankerson as he trusted his receiver to out-jump Brandon McGee for the play. Smith is looking comfortable in the pocket in the first three days of practice.

? DE Gavin Hardin had a nice tackle for loss on RB Damien Berry as he tracked down Berry in the backfield. Hardin is making a case for more playing time at defensive end this spring although he's behind a number of young players.

? S Randy Phillips has primarily been playing the slot receiver in nickel formations as Vaughn Telemaque and JoJo Nicolas have been the first-team safeties this spring.

? WR Kendal Thompkins is having a nice spring thus far and showing a lot of speed. Thompkins is a very good slot receiver, which gives the team another solid option there with Thearon Collier. Travis Benjamin could also be moved to the slot when he returns to the team from track although he played a lot on the outside last spring.

? Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple is doing a very good job of mixing up formations in every drill even if it's not against the defense. The team is running a wide variety of plays with a lot of movement and shifting--something common in a lot of NFL offenses.

Freshman Watch

? There are six freshmen who have enrolled early: RB Mike James, OLs Brandon Washington and Jermaine Johnson, DE Oliver Vernon, DT Curtis Porter, and CB Brandon McGee.

? DE Olivier Vernon is coming off the edge very well and doesn't look to have any pain in his ankle, which isn't a surprise as we've heard from some of his teammates in high school who says Vernon could have played in the middle of the season, but remained out. Vernon is a physically impressive freshman, who doesn't need to get much bigger.

? OL Brandon Washington is playing right guard this spring and like in high school, is showing that he is not afraid to mix it up with teammates. After he pancaked a defensive player on a screen play, Washington went to the defensive sideline and taunted some of the players. Washington is likely to play this year and provide solid depth at guard.

Injury and Status Updates

? The following players were wearing green jerseys, which means they were limited in practice: WR Kendal Thompkins and TE Tervaris Johnson.

? WRs Travis Benjamin and Davon Johnson, and Brandon Harris will be held out this week due to them having track this weekend.

? LB Colin McCarthy, CB DeMarcus Van Dke, and K Matt Bosher were in uniform, but did not practice.

? TE Dedrick Epps (torn ACL) and OL Joel Figueroa (right arm surgery) will be out this spring.

Recruits in Attendance

Stephen Plein and Billy Sanders, 2009 signees, were at practice.

Next Practice

The Hurricanes return to the practice field Saturday morning afternoon for their fourth practice of the spring.

They are expected to be in full pads.

 10 years ago '04        #4760
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$5,562 | Props total: 2237 2237
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Today was the fourth day of spring practices. Find out which players stood out, which players were on first and second team, which players were held out, and more in this practice report.

The team was in full pads.

Former Hurricane Khalil Jones was at practice.

A number of recruits were in attendance as listed below.

************************************************** *********

News & Notes

? WR Kendal Thompkins caught two touchdown passes, both 15 yards, and both from QB Jacory Harris. On the first touchdown, Thompkins found an opening in the back of the endzone and went up and got the ball, which was thrown high. Thompkins beat Vaughn Telemaque on the play. On his second touchdown, Thompkins beat Chavez Grant in the corner of the endzone.

? RB Javarris James also scored two touchdowns both on off-tackle plays--one to the left and one to the right. James showed excellent running ability on both plays, which were only a few plays apart and each were about 15-yard runs. James also had another nice run in practice.

? WR Aldarius Johnson caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from QB Jacory Harris as he beat Sam Shields on the play. Johnson had a good nice catching the ball and mixed it up with CB Ryan Hill after a play, in which Hill proceeded to throw punches as Johnson walked away.

? CB Ryan Hill didn't have a great day of practice although he did recover a fumble by WR Leonard Hankerson. In addition to his mix-up with Johnson, Hill allowed a short touchdown to WR LaRon Byrd as Byrd got free on a pattern and defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff was constantly on Hill throughout the day. Hill had been sharp the first three days of practice and will look to put today's practice behind him.

? RB Mike James had a very nice 30-yard run up the middle and eventually was pushed out of bounds. James has done a nice job of getting through the holes in his first week of practice as a freshman.

? OL Orlando Franklin remains in the middle of various altercations in practice. This time his combatant was DE Adewale Ojomo. After Ojomo pushed Franklin after the play was over, Franklin and Ojomo got tied up on the ground a few plays later. According to one former player I talked to this week says that Franklin has matured since he first got to campus and thinks this could be his year he puts it all together. Franklin is still playing left guard although right tackle could be in his future although coach Randy Shannon denied it earlier this week.

? S JoJo Nicolas intercepted a pass from QB Jacory Harris as Harris was about to be sacked. Nicolas remains a first-team safety.

? S Vaughn Telemaque continues to look very smooth in the secondary although he's not the fastest player or strongest hitter, but he is a fluid player. Telemaque had a nice hit on WR Aldarius Johnson allowing the ball to come free.

? S Randy Phillips was very active late in practice making big hits and leading the defensive celebrations after big plays. Phillips has received very limited reps, if any, as a base safety this spring. He is primarily playing the nickel position with two other safeties on the field at the same time.

? DEs Steven Wesley and Marcus Robinson each made plays in the backfield in practice. Both players are looking to take that next step as players after showing flashes in 2008.

? LB Sean Spence has been steady this spring and has made a few nice plays like he showed in the fall. He looks to be about the same size, nothing glaring has changed from his game thus far.

? LB Arthur Brown was extremely active in practice today against the pass and against the run. He appears to have found a home at middle linebacker where he can trust his teammates on the outside to make plays as well. Brown had a very good first week of spring practices and it is safe to say you can expect to see him on the field this fall in a larger role than last season.

? LB Jordan Futch continues to play well at weakside linebacker as he's routinely in position and even batted down a pass today as he rushed the quarterback.

? TE Daniel Adderley is quietly being productive as he caught another touchdown pass--a 5-yard reception from QB Taylor Cook. Adderley, a.ssuming he's still on the team in the fall as opposed to transferring, could be a very nice red-zone option. One former player thinks highly of Adderley and didn't know why he wasn't playing because he always does well in practice and makes a lot of catches.

? WR Leonard Hankerson was open on a drag route, which CB Sam Shields released on allowing Hankerson to pick up 50 yards on the play. He probably could have scored if the coaches did not blow the whistle.

Freshman Watch

? There are six freshmen who have enrolled early: RB Mike James, OLs Brandon Washington and Jermaine Johnson, DE Oliver Vernon, DT Curtis Porter, and CB Brandon McGee.

? OL Jermaine Johnson definitely looks the part as a collegiate linemen as he has a very strong frame. Johnson has been a second-team right tackle thus far this spring.

? CB Brandon McGee was limited in practice after suffering an apparent leg injury.

Injury and Status Updates

? The following players were wearing green jerseys, which means they were limited in practice: WR Kendal Thompkins and TE Tervaris Johnson.

? WRs Travis Benjamin and Davon Johnson, and Brandon Harris will be held out this week due to them having track this weekend.

? LB Colin McCarthy, CB DeMarcus Van Dke, and K Matt Bosher were in uniform, but did not practice.

? TE Dedrick Epps (torn ACL) and OL Joel Figueroa (right arm surgery) will be out this spring.

Recruits in Attendance

Ray Ray Armstrong, Dyron Dye, Jared Wheeler, Stephen Plein, and Billy Sanders, all 2009 signees, were at practice.

Class of 2010 recruits: Jeff Luc, Quinton Dunbar, and Demetrius Pettway.

Class of 2011 star Denzel Perryman was also at practice with 2010 teammates Jarvis Bridge and Andre Gutierrez.

Next Practice

The Hurricanes are off until Tuesday afternoon.

 03-01-2009, 05:50 PM         #4761
The Lefty  OP
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Booker T. Washington High School WR Quinton Dunbar attended UM's practice yesterday and spoke with coaches, including Randy Shannon.

A day later he decided to become a Hurricane.

"I committed today to UM," Dunbar said. "I called coach (Wesley) McGriff, told him I was a Hurricane. He was real happy.

"It's a done deal - I won't take any other visits."

Dunbar also says he expects teammates Eduardo Clements and Jose Jose to follow him to Miami, although neither have committed yet.

"I'll be working on getting them to Miami also," he said.

A 6-foot-3 1/2, 175-pounder with 4.4-second speed, Dunbar finished last season with 739 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

He says his coaches compare him to NFL star Larry Fitzgerald.

Dunbar had three other offers - from Michigan, FIU and Oregon.

Why did he choose the Canes?

"I just like it down there," he said. "I've been there four times, and practice yesterday was real exciting.

"I talked to coach Shannon yesterday and he said if I come he'll have my No. 5 ready when I get there."

Dunbar says he also got pressure to commit to Miami from current Canes and former Booker T. teammates Thearon Collier, Davon Johnson, Brandon Harris and Chavez Grant.

"They wanted me at Miami, were saying to come," Dunbar said.

Why did Dunbar make such an early decision?

"I just wanted to," he said.

 10 years ago '04        #4762
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Sophomore running back Lee Chambers was one of the bright spots in the Emerald Bowl as he rushed for 60 yards on nine carries.

Coming into the Emerald Bowl, Chambers had rushed for just 56 yards on nine carries.

He is hoping he left an impression on the coaching staff as he participates in spring practices.

"Coming off the bowl game, we had a couple of backs banged up so I just stepped in when my number was called and played my role," Chambers said. "I hope I get better and have a much bigger role."

Senior Javarris James and junior Graig Cooper are expected to get the first crack at carrying the ball for the Hurricanes, but Chambers is hoping he can add his name to the mix.

"It's a team thing. I'm just doing what I can," Chambers said. "With all of us backs, we are all good. With the addition of Mike James and Lamar Miller coming in, we are just adding on. We just keep every back prepared so when one goes down, the other is ready."

Damien Berry and James are also competing this spring for carries.

"We are always going to stick together, but there is always competition," Chambers said.

Chambers is currently 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds "on a good day", which is nearly 20 pounds heavier than when he came to Coral Gables in 2007 at 189 pounds.

"I can tell the difference when it comes to running hard," Chambers said. "I've been in the weight room with Coach Swasey and can tell a big difference between my freshman year and now. Absorbing and taking the licks better."

Miami finished up their first week of spring practices on Saturday and have 11 practices remaining including the spring game on March 28.

"All I can say is that football practice is football practice," Chambers said. "We come out here and we are working to get better for the 2009 season. Our goal is get to better every day, not to stay the same, but to get better."

Chambers is pushing on this spring without a close friend and former roommate as former UM running back Shawnbrey McNeal transferred to SMU after the season.

"I was close to him," Chambers said. "I still talk to him, but he had to go his separate way and he's still my boy."

 10 years ago '04        #4763
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Redshirt freshman Kendal Thompkins caught two touchdown passes, both 15 yards, and both from Jacory Harris in today's practice.

On the first touchdown, Thompkins found an opening in the back of the endzone and went up and got the ball, which was thrown high. Thompkins beat Vaughn Telemaque on the play.

On his second touchdown, Thompkins beat Chavez Grant in the corner of the endzone.

"Today was just my day," Thompkins said with a smile. "Everybody has their day. I just came and worked hard. It just happened."

Thompkins and Harris paired up at Northwestern in high school, where Thompkins caught 46 passes for 839 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior.

"Me and Jacory have a real good connection," Thompkins said. "He knows how I run my routes, I know how he throws the ball, he knows where to put it at, and I know where to go get it at."

As a freshman, Thompkins caught two passes for four yards in two games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

"I feel like I am behind," Thompkins said. "Last year, I didn't really have a chance to prove myself like I wanted to and I feel like I have a lot to prove right now."

Thompkins tore his labrum in his left shoulder last season, which required surgery. He says he does not have any pain right now and says he is about "95 percent".

He has had a very good first week of spring practices making a number of plays including a nice touchdown catch on Friday in which he made a diving catch in the end zone.

Fellow receivers Travis Benjamin and Davon Johnson did not practice this week due to track, which helped open the door for opportunities for Thompkins.

"I looked at this week as a week for me to take advantage of the situation," Thompkins said. "I have been working at every position. I usually play the slot, but coach has been on the outside and I've been getting a lot of reps."

Thompkins, who stands 5-foot-10 and weights 173 pounds, likes to compare his game to Roscoe Parrish and Santana Moss.

He is one of eight players from Northwestern who signed with Miami in 2008 and Thompkins almost didn't join his teammates.

Word out of Northwestern was that Thompkins was headed to Nebraska, a school he visited on the final weekend, but decided to stick with his commitment.

"This is always where I liked, deep inside, this is really where I wanted to be at, but at the time I was kind of second-guessing myself and short-changing myself not knowing if I had the ability," Thompkins said. "But I came and I said I had to compete."

Thompkins, who plans on wearing number 83 this season, says he is enjoying himself at UM.

"I'm having a great time. Everything is looking good."

 10 years ago '04        #4764
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Sophomore linebacker Jordan Futch is off to a good start this spring.

Futch, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, is currently the second-team weakside linebacker and has made a number of tackles as well as pass deflections in the first week of practices.

"Things are going good, I feel real comfortable out there," Futch said.

Futch played in five games last year, registering three tackles, before a concussion ended his season and a suspension due to a violation of team rules kept him at home for the Emerald Bowl.

"It was rough," Futch said. "Sitting and watching is not fun. I think its always rough when you are on the sidelines when you know you should be on the field watching your teammates. But I feel I came through and I think I was someone that they could count on when it came to encouraging them. It was a tough, but it was a learning process and a learning curve and I was able to sit back and learn from the older guys before they left."

Futch primarily played on special teams last season and is looking to expand his role on the team in 2009.

"I'm fully recovered, I'm healthy. I'm 100 percent," he said. "I'm running around, Coach Lovett is doing a great job coaching and I'm just learning."

Futch was the No. 5-ranked outside linebacker in the country coming out of high school in 2008 according to ESPN.com. He missed the majority of his senior season at Chamanade-Madonna Prep after a disagreement with the head coach, in which Futch considered a mutual decision.

Miami resumes practice on Tuesday afternoon and Futch is glad he's able to be participating.

"Its exciting," he said. "With the injury it made my love for the game even more knowing that any given day you can stop playing and career can be over at anytime."

 10 years ago '04        #4765
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Sophomore defensive end Marcus Robinson is looking to have a more productive season after showing flashes as a freshman.

Robinson, 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, finished fifth on the team in tackles last season with 35 and second on the team with four sacks.

"My freshman year went okay," Robinson said. "It didn't go like I wanted it to go. I wish I had done more tackling, more sacks, more everything."

His best game was against Virginia Tech in which he recorded seven tackles and three sacks while earning ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors.

"I can do that more consistently," Robinson said.

Robinson played in 12 games last season, starting five including the final four games of the season. He's been known as a pass rushing specialist, but is working hard to be a more complete defensive end.

"I'm just polishing up so I can be a run stopper and a pass stopper," Robinson said. "That's basically what I am working on this spring."

Miami just completed their first week of spring practices.

"The first week has been good," Robinson said. "I've been working on extra stuff that I wasn't working on last year so I'm trying to get all that down now."

New defensive coordinator John Lovett's system has been "pretty simple" according to Robinson.

There is plenty of competition at defensive ends this spring with Robinson and Steven Wesley on the first team, Adewale Ojomo and Andrew Smith on second team. Senior Eric Moncur is still out this spring while recovering from an injury.

"Every day somebody is trying to be the starter so we are all just working hard," Robinson said.

 10 years ago '04        #4766
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Kylan Robinson came to Miami in 2006 as a higher ranked running back than Javarris James.

Robinson rushed for 1,600 yards and 11 touchdowns during his senior year at Tampa Chamberlain after moving to Florida from Anchorage, Alaska.

Robinson redshirted his first year at Miami while James led the team in rushing.

Then in 2007, Robinson switched to linebacker and played in just two games. In 2008, he played in seven games and had three tackles.

"The transition has been going good," Robinson said. "I feel more comfortable at linebacker now that I have been here for a while."

This spring, Robinson, now a junior, is the first-team weakside linebacker alongside side middle linebacker Darryl Sharpton and strongside linebacker Sean Spence.

During Friday's practice, the first in shoulder pads, Robinson intercepted a pass that was tipped in the air.

"It was an empty formation so I knew that every time that is in that formation it is usually a quick pass so I had to step up and not give them too much space," Robinson said. "So I got up there, it was a tipped ball and I caught it."

Robinson also was very active against the run making a number of tackles including a couple of big hits.

"It felt good. I felt more in the groove," Robinson said. "It was the first day of pads so I felt I had to be more aggressive because that was my problem last year is that I wasn't aggressive. now I have to go out there and attack."

Robinson's promotion on the first team gives him an opportunity with Colin McCarthy still sidelined with an injury.

"It's a good opportunity for me and gives me a confidence boost," Robinson said. "I know I have to stay in my playbook and not have any busts or missed tackle. I have to stay on point."

His career at Miami has been one of transition and working himself onto the field. It hasn't exactly went as planned.

"I've been patient," Robinson said. "I'm just sitting back and learning everything and getting all the knowledge I can from the people around me. Going into my redshirt junior year, I need to be able

 10 years ago '04        #4767
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CORAL GABLE, Fla. -- Ramon Buchanan is more comfortable at linebacker after moving from safety late last season.

Buchanan was a highly-regarded linebacker out of Melbourne Palm Bay, where he was the third-best outside linebacker prospect according to ESPN.com in 2008.

However, the Miami coaches saw Buchanan more as a safety so they put him there to begin his career.

Late in his freshman season, Buchanan moved to linebacker, where he prefers.

"I feel way more comfortable at linebacker," Buchanan said.

Even though there is more responsibility at linebacker with playing against the run and different pass schemes, he prefers it.

"The biggest difference is in pass coverage," he said. "You have to learn a lot more at linebacker because you have to think about what is in front of you and behind you, but I like that."

As a freshman, Buchanan played in nine games and recorded six tackles, mainly on special teams as the Hurricanes went 7-6 and lost in the Emerald Bowl.

"I was hoping we would at least win our bowl game in my freshman year," Buchanan said.

Currently, Buchanan is the second-team strongside linebacker as he is playing with middle linebacker Arthur Brown and weakside linebacker Jordan Futch---all three of which came to UM in 2008.

Since arriving at UM, Buchanan, who stands 6-foot-1, has put on 15 pounds and currently weighs 210 pounds.

"It feels good at 210," Buchanan said. "It helps a lot with my strength. I got way stronger. Stronger cleans, bench, everything. I'm more explosive and I still got my speed. The weight hasn't slowed me down so that's a good thing."

He says he would like to weigh 220 for the season.

This spring, Buchanan has been very active running sideline-to-sideline, something that has been missing from UM linebackers in previous seasons.

"I'm trying to go out there and make plays," Buchanan said. "I want to be a playmaker for this team. This spring I want to stand out a little bit more by tackling more, getting interceptions, and just making plays as a playmaker."

Buchanan and the Hurricanes return to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon

 10 years ago '04        #4768
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- One of the big keys for the University of Miami football team this spring is solidifying a backup quarterback for the 2009 season.

Two redshirt freshmen, Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith, are competing for that job.

"You always need a second quarterback," Miami coach Randy Shannon said. "We have to build depth on who is the number two guy."

Through the first week of spring practices, it appears strong-armed Cook will be the backup to Jacory Harris next season. Though at times Cook looks raw as a quarterback with inconsistent accuracy, he has all the tools to be a good quarterback.

"[The backup quarterback job] is what I am shooting for," Cook said. "Your goal is to be number one, but you have to get to number two first and that is what I am going to do.

At 6-feet-7 and 235 pounds Cook certainly stands out on a football field. Only offensive lineman Ian Symonette (6-9, 351) is listed as being taller on the Miami roster. Cook's big stature has allowed him to have a big arm.

Cook estimates he could throw the football about 70 yards in the air.

"He has a strong arm," Shannon said. "He really does have a strong arm. He gets back with good rhythm and when he releases the ball, it has a good velocity on it. When you want to throw it downfield, he can throw it downfield."

Since arriving at Miami as a freshman last year, Cook says he has gained about 15 pounds and he has raised his release point when he throws the ball.

"I changed my throwing motion up a little bit and my footwork has gotten a lot better since I came in," Cook said. "I just have a little bit higher release than I used to have."

Though he has worked with newly hired offensive coordinator Mark Whipple on the field for a week now, Cook says he has "had fun" learning from his new coach.

"He has helped me with my steps, drops, and reads," Cook said. "Just the basic stuff that you need to know."

As a senior at Rice Consolidated High School, Cook completed 103 of 214 passes for 1,598 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions and rushed for 512 yards and 11 more TDs.

 10 years ago '04        #4769
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Sam Shields is looking to make the best out of his situation.

Shields, who has 75 career receptions to his credit, could have cracked UM's all-time top 10 list with a solid season and could have generated interest for next year's NFL Draft as he has always been one of Miami's faster players.

But instead coach Randy Shannon moved Shields to cornerback, a position he has never played, prior to his senior year.

"I wouldn't have envisioned my senior year like this, but it is what it is," Shields said. "I'm just going out there and helping out the team."

Shields chose Miami over Florida and LSU after a standout prep career at Sarasota Booker where he caught 133 passes for over 2,800 yards and 42 touchdowns in three years.

As a freshman in 2006, he caught 37 passes for 501 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman.

Then as a sophomore, Shannon's first year as head coach, Shields was in and out of the lineup due to multiple suspensions. But when he was on the field, he was productive catching 27 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns.

Then last year, Miami brought in seven freshman receivers, six of whom caught passes, and Shields had a tough time earning consistent playing time. He caught just 11 balls for 124 yards and failed to reach the end zone.

Following the season, Shannon informed Shields that he would be switching to cornerback.

"It's something to help out the team," Shields said. "I figured it was another opportunity to help out the team like I did last year on special teams. I had confidence to help out our team in defense."

Most players in Shields' situation would have looked at transferring to another program instead of making a tough position change.

"It's a good program and it's a program that makes me better," Shields said. "I didn't think about going to another school."

When asked if he felt he would get more playing time at cornerback than wide receiver because of the number of players at receiver, Shields responded, "I don't know."

Shields, who changed his jersey number to 9 from 83, has been getting a lot of time on the first unit during the first week of practices with projected starters DeMarcus Van Dke (injured) and Brandon Harris (track) out.

"I'm feeling pretty good about it," Shields said, "I'm repping it and just have to get the technique down and I'll be alright."

Shields, 6-foot-0 and 185 pounds, has been getting used to using different muscles in his body.

It's been tough working on different parts of my body," Shields said. "I'd been running forward, but now I am backpedaling and I'm sore on different parts of my body, but it's all good."

 10 years ago '04        #4770
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LAUDERHILL, Fla. -- Lamar Thomas is one of the greatest wide receivers to ever play at the University of Miami.

Thomas, 39, set UM's all-time receptions record during his tenure from 1989-1992, which was later broke by Reggie Wayne.

After winning two national titles at UM, Thomas was drafted in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay, where he played three seasons before playing five seasons with Miami.

Thomas is currently an a.ssistant coach at Boynton Beach, where he just finished up his first year as a coach.

We caught up with Thomas in person to get his take on the state of the Hurricanes program, his thoughts of the wide receivers, and more.

In His Own Words...
As told to Christopher Stock

It's been an extremely rough couple of years. I do think they have the right man on board in Randy. I think he is going to have to get his staff in place and he's made some adjustments. I think he probably has to make a couple more. Once he gets those adjustments down, he'll have his coaches in place and his kids in place. That's what it's all about in building a program.

Unfortunately I look at their schedule this year with the first four games and that is the toughest four games I have seen at the beginning of the season in quite some time.

People talk about the goals for the team this year and I really want them to be able to compete to the end. I mean in games and through the end of the season.

Last year, through luck, they were still in it with a chance to win the ACC, but then you go up to Georgia Tech and crap yourself. I don't feel Georgia Tech was this great team and I just felt that they would have played better. Obviously Georgia Tech showed that they were a pretty good team. I think this year they will do a lot better if they are in that same situation because now they have that experience and they are going to remember that Georgia Tech game because if they would have won that game they would have been in a great position.

In regards to the wide receivers, you have to start with coach Aubrey Hill, I think he is good at what he does. He's got a wealth of knowledge of the position and takes the kids back to the basics. With young kids, I think you have to do that because what they see on TV, it is not basics sometimes. He does a great job of keeping them focused.

That collection of receivers could go down as the most talented groups at one time at the school. They are deep. They have a lot of different kids that can do a lot of different things. With Aldarius, he's such a big physical kid. What we saw last year, he was in his pup stage and I can't wait to see him in his dog stage. You got LaRon Byd, a big kid that made some plays and Streeter is coming back. There's so many of them. I told Aubrey, you are lucky. You have such a great group. And the kids, from being around them last year, they want to get better and want to compete. Competition only makes a group better. Personally, I think we are good at that position and wish all of the positions were like that.

It's been hard seeing the lack of production at receiver in recent years. Every time I go down there and talk to the kids, maybe I might be biased, but the receiver position at UM is the key to the whole thing because you don't see many long runs, you don't see 1,000-yard rushers, what you see is receivers catching balls at UM. We literally changed the face of the game. If you come out and play with that type of intensity, then the team follows. People say it goes through the quarterback, but I believe that it goes through the wide receivers.

I think the biggest thing that the kids are missing today is the art of route running and catching the football. I tell kids, you're an artist. When you run a route, it does not look like what it is on paper. It is your job to put it on the canvas or the field and draw your art, your route. I believe that these kids have been taught the right way to run routes and do the little things like catching the ball. The kids now-a-days watch guys on TV like Randy Moss, who is a freak of nature, and say, 'Oh I can do that'. But what they don't understand is that most of them aren't freaks of nature and they have to get down to the basics to get some type of advantage. I think that has been lost. When I talk to some of the old-time receivers who played the game, we all look at the guys and they don't run true routes anymore, it's all going to spots or running down and if you're taller than the guy, you jump up and catch it, no more of the stop-n-go comebacks.

There have been a lot of great receivers at Miami, but I like Michael Irvin as the best. He's third on the list all-time at receiver, but I like that guy. He was pretty good. What more can you say about Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Santana Moss, those guys are great players and they've really done a great job of not only reaching the pros, but I've really enjoyed watching them play. If I had to say the number one guy, I'd have to go with Mike just because him and Eddie Brown put us all on the map and made it what it is today.

I tell the young guys to not just rest on your laurels of getting there, but look at the lists and try to do better than each one of those guys and set your goals. That's what I did when I first got there. I looked at that list and I targeted one guy, Michael Irvin and said I had to go get it. It's what I wanted to do, it was my goal, and I did.

When I played, we played with a lot of swagger. It was because we worked our tail off all summer long. Nobody went home. We worked. That swagger came from us having so much confidence. When you play against every day and they knew your moves and you're still doing good things. You can't wait to face another opponent. We felt that you could not out-work us in the summer. We didn't even know what you were doing, but I just felt that nobody was going to out-work us. I didn't even want to go home. I didn't even know my family in the summer. I was out on the Greentree practice fields because I wanted to be a better player and everybody around me was like that. We policed ourselves. If you didn't come out, then bro, you're hurting us, where were you? No, you have to run. It meant so much to us to be able to talk the talk and walk the walk that we made sure that we were doing the right thing.

I think that is something has been missing lately. The kids have to learn that you have to work. It's all about having to work. When I was there, nobody had to pull me out there or suggest to me to go catch balls. I grabbed the JUGS machine and set it up myself and to catch balls or I went and grabbed the quarterback and said hey let's get better. But when I was out at UM, there was a sense that some of the kids weren't like that and I'd ask are you going to go catch balls today and they would say, 'I don't know man.' You never heard that around there especially in the great days. I think Randy is trying to instill that in them and say that a lot of this is on you. You're only going to be as good as you prepare yourself.

I sense that attitude is changing. I think that Randy is doing his jobs. Being around there last year, he's slowly changing the course of it and getting it back. With him, I don't think it's about being brash and all of that because rules have changed. You don't have to be a bunch of c*cky, brash kids, but you can be confident in yourself. And your confidence is going to come from knowing that you worked your tail off in the summer and you know that when you step on the field against a team like Florida, you are supposed to beat them.

They went through all of the coaching changes to be able to compete with you. They went through all of that to be able to put you back on the schedule. They knew at that point in the 80s and 90s that they were way far behind even though you had a great back named Emmitt Smith, you still couldn't beat the mighty, mighty Hurricanes.

I do believe that UM will be back and keep us on the schedule because you will get your butt beat one day.

 03-02-2009, 11:42 AM         #4771
The Lefty  OP
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Booker T. Washington High School DE Lynden Trail says yesterday's Cane commitment of teammate Quinton Dunbar "has a huge effect on me. I'm real good friends with him. Over at Booker T. we have something called the Big 5 - me, Eduardo (Clements), Quinton, Jose (Jose) and Ted (Meline). Basically we were planning on staying close, didn't know if we'd all go to the same college, but planed on staying close by with each other."

Trail says if he gets a Cane offer "of course they'd be in front."

For now he's receiving Hurricane mail.

"They're sending me letters, just started communicating with me a month ago," Trail said.

Last year the 6-foot-8, 220-pounder had 99 tackles, 22 sacks and two interceptions. He also played receiver and had seven touchdowns.

"They were on fade routes," he said.

Trail lists five offers so far: Tennessee, Florida, USF, Rutgers and FIU.

He says he plans to attend the UM Spring Game with Clements and Jose.

Trail says he will start narrowing down his college choices in the near future after discussing things with his Godfather.

And his Godfather is a big Cane fan.

"He can tell you what high school everyone came to on the roster, past players," Trail said.

Of what he wants in a college, Trail said, "Of course a winning program, a big-time DI program, anyone with my major because academics do come first. And anyone with a family oriented program and where I feel comfortable."

He says his former teammates now at UM "always tell me home is where it's at and it's a great program and that if you want to have that family feeling that you might as well stay home at UM."

 03-02-2009, 11:44 AM         #4772
The Lefty  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
Before Booker T. Washington High School WR Quinton Dunbar committed to Miami, he told teammate Jose Jose he would have a surprise for him.

That surprise was the news he was making the early commitment.

"I'm happy for him," Jose said.

Does it have an effect on Jose's recruitment?

"Of course - he's one of my teammates and we've been close friends ever since we've been younger," Jose said. "It won't make me go there, but I'll keep it in mind that I'll be with a close friend and maybe even a roommate."

Jose lists a verbal Cane offer. He lists written offers from Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, South Florida, Alabama, Rutgers and Boston College.

"I'm being recruited as a center or nose guard by Miami," Jose said. "I was supposed to go to practice Saturday to pick up the written offer but I wasn't able to go.

"I'm going to go out to practice this week, not sure which one."

Jose says he needs to make an early decision.

The reason?

"I'm trying to graduate in December, so I want a decision by the summer," he said, adding "I won't be doing anything (regarding making a decision) in the next few weeks."

Last year Jose finished with 78 pancake blocks on offense, allowing two sacks. On defense he had 30 tackles and three sacks.

 03-02-2009, 11:47 AM         #4773
The Lefty  OP
$n/a | Props total:  
Port St. Lucie (FL) Treasure Coast High School LB Jeff Luc attended UM's practice on Saturday and got plenty of attention from Cane coaches.

"Coach (Randy) Shannon, he said to name any position and he'd tell me a story about it," said Luc, who has a UM offer. "I said linebacker and he was telling me about Ray Lewis, how Ray wasn't all that because he tried Ray at outside linebacker and that Ray didn't do as well as everyone thought he would do there, that he stank it up. Then he said the Mike backer got hurt and he tried Ray there and he did great.

"Coach Shannon also was telling me they have seven or eight linebackers and they'll be losing two the year I come out."

Why did Luc drive almost two hours to attend practice?

"I wanted to see what their practice would be like," he said. "I liked it. I liked almost everything about it - the way they compete, the way the defense communicates with each other, the intensity, enthusiasm."

Luc also chatted with players after practice ended.

"They just greeted me, made me feel comfortable," Luc said.

Luc says for now he's keeping an open mind to all schools and that he has no favorites. He's also visited Florida unofficially and says he wants to visit "every school in Florida and a few out of Florida."

He plans to graduate early, so he'll have a decision in December at the latest.

What is most important to him in a college?

"Their graduate rate, how many seniors they graduate," Luc said. "Academics come way before football."

Last year the 6-foot-1, 240-pounder finished with 125 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 18 tackles for losses.

 10 years ago '04        #4774
madness 21 heat pts21
$13,263 | Props total: 4393 4393
thanks for the updates yall

welcome to the fam, dunbar:applause:

 10 years ago '04        #4775
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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$12,859 | Props total: 0 0
Shannon works on altering his rep
Coach shows playful side to 'older team'
By Shandel Richardson | South Florida Sun-Sentinel March 3, 2009
Miami vs. Duke

Miami head coach Randy Shannon shows his displeasure about a call. (CHUCK LIDDY, MCT / October 18, 2008)

CORAL GABLES - Before the final home game, the seniors on the University of Miami football team were given one more chance to poke fun at the coaches.

Each took turns impersonating the staff. As the laugh session concluded, coach Randy Shannon asked if they were done. What happened next was as unexpected as a double-reverse on the goal line.

"He surprised me," senior cornerback Randy Phillips said. "He just started impersonating all of us, the way we walked, the way we talked. He did everything. He [impersonated] me. It was almost like he was waiting for this moment. He baited us."

It was the perhaps the beginning of a new Randy Shannon. After long being portrayed as an extreme disciplinarian, he enters his third year as head coach with hopes of shedding that label.

"Everybody thought I was a hard-a--," Shannon said. "Everybody still thinks I'm a hard-a--. [The media] pegs me as a hard-a-- … But that's not me."

Just a week into spring practice, Shannon has appeared less gruff. Players say he's lightened up. Cornerback Ryan Hill was having his car detailed in Tallahassee while home during the winter break. When he phoned Shannon — on the day players were supposed to report — to say he would be late, Hill was shocked to hear no talk of suspension.

"Nothing," Hill said. "He was just worried if I was all right."

Shannon even allowed the media to attend the first four spring practices, insisting it's all part of the change. Now that he's earned the team's respect, he wants to ease up — just a little— as both he and the players have matured in their roles.

"This year, because we're an older team, I can be more free and mess around with them," Shannon said. "I'm going to be more lively, more open, the way I was as a defensive coordinator.

Shannon came off somewhat cold with his strict rules and guidelines. When he was hired as head coach in December 2006, he made players sign contracts. They included everything from guidelines for class attendance to a no-gun policy. His image grew more fearful when his first two years were filled with players being suspended from games for violations that ranged from missing team meetings or "loafing in practice."

"Really, how strict are [my rules]?" Shannon said. "I just said don't let me get a phone call after midnight. Don't carry a gun. I just made it known that I don't want those things to happen. Now, how strict am I for that, how bad of a guy am I?"

Several players have transferred. Most cited playing time, but quarterback Robert Marve publicly complained about his relationship with Shannon. He was suspended twice, including for the Emerald Bowl. Days later, he left the program.

Marve's father, Eugene, said he felt there was a communication gap between the two.

Shannon insists he has strong relationship with players. Although he is not in constant contact, they know where to find him. He has an open-door policy in his office. It's common to see linebackers Colin McCarthy and Jordan Futch eating a sandwich or taking a nap between classes or film sessions.

"His office is always open," Futch said. "I know I'm in there every day, whether it's watching TV or getting snacks."

When players visit, Shannon mostly talks about personal issues, preferring players speak with position coaches to discuss playing-time matters. He a.ssigned Phillips a spiritual adviser when he was dealing with the suicide of his brother two years ago.

"They can come in here and ask me about rap music, playing video games and girlfriend problems," Shannon said. "Those are the things that people don't know. Everybody thinks you're supposed to hug and kiss [in public]. It's not always about texting a guy 24 hours a day."



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