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Props Slaps
 8 years ago '04        #4141
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$4,830 | Props total: 470 470
It's no secret part of the problem for Miami's declining passing attack in recent years was the diminishing productivity of the UM receiving corps.

Simply said, UM has been searching for a legit number one target since Andre Johnson left Miami in 2002 and has been missing depth at the position since that same season.

In 2002 Johnson caught 52 passes for 1,092 yards and nine touchdowns. Tight end Kellen Winslow was the second leading receiver of that year's team with 57 receptions for 726 yards and eight touchdowns.

During the five seasons since 2002, Miami has not had a player finish a season with more than 700 yards receiving and only Roscoe Parrish has finished a year with more than six receiving touchdowns.

Since Johnson left, Miami has had many receivers who have performed well for just one season--either in their final season at UM, or as freshmen only to never regain that form.

In 2003 Miami was led by then junior Kellen Winslow and then freshman Ryan Moore, who both finished the year with more than 600 yards, but the two only combined for four total touchdowns. Moore never again approached his freshman year production in his remaining years at UM. In 2005 Moore finished the year with 464 yards and four touchdowns. Winslow left for the NFL after 2003.

2004 was Roscoe Parrish's year and he has proved to be Miami's most productive receiver from 2003-2007. Parrish finished the 2004 season with 693 yards and eight receiving touchdowns. He left UM after 2004, forgoing his senior season.

After an injury-plagued career, Sinorice Moss led UM in receiving in 2005 with 614 yards and six touchdowns. Lance Leggett followed that up in 2006 with a solid sophomore campaign in which he led the team with 581 yards and four touchdowns, but never approached those numbers again for the rest of his career and last season it was Darnell Jenkins who put together a solid senior season with 619 yards and two touchdowns.


The future is definitely brighter for the 2008 receiving corps because it appears the unit finally has the talent and depth--though it is largely untested talent--it has lacked for the past five seasons.

In recruiting the past two years Miami has made it more of a priority in finding a top flight receiver. From 2002-2006 Miami signed just eight receivers, while in the past two recruiting classes Miami has signed 11 receivers. With the numbers UM has brought in the past two seasons, the staff is bound to find a number one receiver.

The following is a list of the leading candidates who should be counted on to become Miami's leading receiver this season. The majority of the receivers currently on the team are young, but they are not short on talent.


Sam Shields - There is no doubt Shields has the talent to be a very strong wide receiver for UM, but he has at times lacked the off-field focus which has caused him to find himself in Coach Randy Shannon's dog house. If Shields--who is UM's fastest player on the team--ever put it all together on the field and off the field, he would prove to be an explosive vertical target because of his great speed. If this is the year Shields gets his focus in order, he will undoubtedly be the number one target Miami has been missing the past few seasons.

Aldarius Johnson - Johnson's talent is so immense, he should make the biggest impact of any freshman this season from UM's stellar class. Johnson brings a toughness and focus to the position that Miami has been lacking recently. He isn't afraid to make tough catches over the middle, he isn't afraid to f!ght for tough extra yards after the catch, and he isn't afraid to lay a block in the running game. The only thing that could hold Johnson back this season is his inexperience at the college level; it may take him some time to adjust.

Jermaine McKenzie - Since the summer of 2007, everyone has heard about McKenzie's great playmaking ability, but fans and members of the media have yet to see it because McKenzie has battled injuries--football and non-football related--since arriving at UM. Reports going into fall camp are that McKenzie is 100 percent healthy and has performed well at summer workouts. McKenzie's strength is his smooth route-running ability and ability to get open against one-on-one coverage. If McKenzie is healthy this season, he will definitely be expected to be a top receiver for Miami this year.

Leonard Hankerson - Hankerson probably gets the least publicity of any of the receivers on this list, but he could prove to be more productive than the majority of the receivers in the unit this year. Hankerson is a very strong possession receiver and is a big target for the quarterbacks to find. He made very big strides in improving his understanding of the position at the college level this spring and if he continues his development during fall camp, he will be right in the mix for becoming a number one target.

Kayne Farquharson - Farquharson is a receiver who is in a mold similar to that of McKenzie in that he is a tall, smooth route-runner. Farquharson showed flashes of great ability during the spring, but at times he showed lapses of concentration in catching passes that should have been caught. Farquharson shouldn't be judged by his first season at UM last year because for the majority of the year he battled a serious groin injury. Another reason Farquharson could be a number one target this season: never underestimate the will and determination of a senior.
 8 years ago '04        #4142
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It's time for the 2007 recruiting class to step up and produce.

Though the 2007 class is just going into their second season at Miami, much of UM's success this season will be a direct result of how the sophomores and redshirt freshmen perform.

Eight players from the class of 2007 can either be penciled in as sure starters or will be legitimately competing for a starting job this fall.

So many young players will have to be ready to step up and perform early in their careers. The following are a list of players from the class of 2007 who could have a major impact on this season.

QB Robert Marve - The success of the 2008 season rests largely with how Robert Marve plays. Marve presumably going to be Miami's starter at quarterback this season and his primary responsibility will be to get the ball to his wide receivers without turning the ball over. The coaching staff will want Marve to make the simple play, not try to make a big play every time he throws the ball. If Marve can show a command of the offense without turning the ball over, the staff may loosen the reigns and allow him to freelance a bit. Without a doubt Marve's success this year is the biggest key to the season.

RB Graig Cooper - Cooper already made a big impact his freshman year last season, leading the team in rushing with 682 yards. This offseason Cooper has put on about ten pounds of muscle--up to 200 pounds--which should help him with breaking more of the arm tackles that took him down last year. This season Cooper should be able to handle more carries and should show signs of becoming more of an all-around back rather than just a speed back.

CB Demarcus Van Dye - Van Dye has transformed his body as much as any player since last season. Van Dye received a lot of playing time as a freshman last year as a skinny 160 pounder--starting eight games last year. Now up to 177 pounds, Van Dye will be expected to be Miami's number one shutdown corner this year. At times Van Dye had trouble matching up with more physical receivers. That shouldn't be a problem this year.

DE Allen Bailey - Reports going into fall camp are that Allen Bailey is ahead of schedule in his rehab from a torn pectoral muscle he sustained in May. Bailey's return this season will be a big key for an already thin defensive line. He showed great progress in learning his new position this spring and the sooner he can get healthy and participate this fall, the sooner he will be able to be a dominant force on the defensive line.

OL Orlando Franklin - Though technically Franklin is part of the 2006 recruiting class, last year was his first at Miami. Last season Franklin started three games and received a significant amount of snaps in all 12 games. Franklin admits last year he largely got by on his great physical ability and the great effort he played with on every snap. This season Franklin's technique and understanding of his a.ssignments should be much improved. Franklin has the potential to be one of the most dominant linemen in the ACC, but will it be this year?

DE Adewale Ojomo - Of all the players who were on the scout team last year, teammates point to Ojomo as the player who was by far the most dominant on defense. This year Ojomo will definitely be in the playing rotation for the defensive ends. At this point in his career, he is considered a pass-rushing specialist and should receive the majority of his reps during third-down situations.

WR Jermaine McKenzie - Since the summer of 2007, everyone has heard about McKenzie's great playmaking ability, but fans and members of the media have yet to see it because McKenzie has battled injuries--football and non-football related--since arriving at UM. Reports going into fall camp are that McKenzie is 100 percent healthy and has performed well at summer workouts. McKenzie's strength is his smooth route-running ability and ability to get open against one-on-one coverage. If McKenzie is healthy this season, he will definitely be expected to be a top receiver for Miami this year.
 8 years ago '04        #4143
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The sky is the limit for Graig Cooper during his sophomore year.

Cooper, a speed back from Memphis, Tenn., led the team in rushing as a freshman in 2007 with 682 yards and four touchdowns on 125 carries--5.5 yards a carry.

He has put on extra weight in the off-season and is right around 200 pounds--10 more than he played at as a freshman.

This spring, most people around the program raved about Cooper's ability to attack the line of scrimmage a step faster than a year ago.

He constantly drew praise for making plays throughout the spring and is a key component to the offense this season.

Miami needs Cooper to have a great season this year. They need his breakaway speed to score touchdowns and make big-time plays when called upon.

Cooper needs to be a difference maker. Something the UM offense has not had in a few years.

Really, there hasn't been a difference maker on offense since Frank Gore and Roscoe Parrish left in 2004. Tyrone Moss had a very good start to the 2005 campaign, but an ACL injury sidelined him.

Cooper has the ability to be that difference maker and rush for 1,000 yards this season and score 10 touchdowns.

"I'm not worried about the stats," Cooper insisted during spring practices. "I just want to be a better player than I was last year and be able to help my team more."

Miami's offense finished 110th out of 119 teams last season en route to a 5-7 finish. However, there are bright spots on offense that could emerge this season including Cooper.

In his lone season at Milford Academy in 2006, Cooper rushed for 1,327 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 12.5 yards a carry in eight games.

Milford coach Bill Chaplick believes Cooper is on his way to a great season.

"Because of Graig Cooper's work ethic, the best of Graig Cooper is yet to come," Chaplick said. "He never stops and is never satisfied with where he is. That's the difference between a good player and a great player. He knows he can always get better."

Chaplick has sent over 140 players to Division I-A programs in his nine years and has seen a number of talented prospects over the years.

"He was a leader for us, went to every class, put in the extra time, and was the epitome of a scholar-athlete," Chaplick said.

Miami hopes Cooper can continue to be a leader on and off the field.

Fall practices begin on August 2.
 8 years ago '04        #4144
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Q: Talk about your receiver depth.

Shannon: Well, we feel we have more depth at receiver than we had last year. (The young guys coming in) we're not looking to play 60-70 plays a game. We're looking for those guys, if they can play 25, 30 plays, that can help you win.

Q: How do you get a rotation going at receiver with so many wide receivers on the roster?

Shannon: Well, we'll put them in situations they'll be specializing in. When you have young guys you have to make sure they specialize in something. We'll have packages where `This guy is playing in this package only.' So he'll learn all the plays in that package. So that's how you get those guys to learn faster, help you as a team.

Q: Realistically how many of the 12 receivers on the roster could play?

Shannon: Don't know yet.

Q: Give an example of a particular package you can create for a freshman receiver.

Shannon: Really we don't know what we're going to package them at. We're talking about that now. The first day you'll see what guys are doing on the field.

Q: Is defensive line depth a concern?

Shannon: No. Courtney Harris missed half the season last year because of injury. Really you're not gaining or losing. Allen Bailey is back full speed running. They say he's ahead of (schedule), is pushing on things. He could be ready for the first game, but if he's not ready I won't play him.

Q: Any update on if Zach Kane will be here July 31 when the team reports?

Shannon: Zach Kane right now is still taking care of legal issues.

Q: Of the freshmen overall, how many could get playing time?

Shannon: Don't know yet. Freshmen, if they physically and mentally can handle it, they can help you. If they physically and mentally can't help you, you don't want to waste opportunities. I'll give it this way: Orlando Franklin was a freshman last year, helped us a lot. Orlando Franklin in high school was used to playing against guys 225, 185, 230. Every now and then he played a 300-pounder. When he came in last year, had to go against 300 pounders every day in practice, toward the end of the season Orlando wasn't the same. Even though he's 6-6, 325, his body and his mind frame weren't used to banging on guys like that consistently. That's what you have to be careful about with young kids.

Q: Is it unsettling to have so many freshmen you have to make decisions on?

Shannon: Look at it this way - the one position that's really young is the receiver position, receiver and quarterbacks. If you take Khalil Jones and Sam Shields out, those are guys that have been there three years. Kayne Farquharson (a JUCO arrival last year) you can't count. Leonard Hankerson is the only other guy that played. So everybody else is young. Either way it goes, you're going to play young guys at receiver. Write that one down: You're going to play young guys at receiver. I just don't know which ones. You're going to play young guys at quarterback, because we have no depth at quarterback. None. We're going to create depth. That's why I say we have to have a starter but the next guy has to play in the game not because the guy is doing good, bad or indifferent -he has to play because we have to build depth. Now go to the offensive line. We have our starting tackles back. Tyrone Byrd is back healthy, AJ Trump is back healthy. You have (Joel Figueroa), Orlando (Franklin back). So you've got them, then an older guy (Chris) Barney who just went from 360 to 339. He's dropped weight. Barney's a junior. So you're feeling good about inside. You have either Xavier (Shannon), (Tyler) Horn or (Matt) Pipho who can play (center), but you still have Trump who is a bounce around guy who has played a lot of games. There you're not young. Tight ends, last year they were young because Dedrick Epps, really it was his first time playing. Dedrick only played 15 plays in a game (last year). So what did he learn? He didn't. But he caught a touchdown pass against Florida State. But he still was young mentally. Then you have Richard Gordon who went from tight end to defensive end back to tight end. Now is he better than he was last year? Yes. You're starting to see that at that position. You go to running backs, a true freshman was (Graig) Cooper at 190 pounds. Now he's up to 205. You had Javarris (James) who was 205, 208 - now he's 220, 218. Now you're starting to see the body structure change of those kids. You go to the defensive side of the ball, you've got Chavez Grant who played a lot of football, Bruce Johnson played a lot of football, Carlos Armour will be a senior. You've got Demarcus Van Dvke. He played at 165 (as a true freshman last year). Now he's up to 179, 180. So the body structure's changing. But we've still got some guys that played football. Now you take the next step, you go to the defensive line. You've got (tackles) Dwayne Hendricks, Antonio Dixon, Joe Joseph, then young guys. That's what you've got. A young guy is going to have to (play). Then you go to defensive ends. You've got Eric (Moncur) back, who played. And you've got Steven Wesley who played a little last year. Is a young guy going to play there? Yes. But you've got guys who played some like Wesley and Allen Bailey. Even though Bailey didn't play defensive line last year, he played. Now you go to linebacker, you've got everybody at linebacker played. All veterans - some six year guys, fifth year guys, guys that played in games as freshmen, who played as juniors. Are we young? Yeah, we're a young team. But we have to keep building the depth where we don't have that senior class one or two guys and then you're playing freshmen. You have to close that gap. Once we close that gap it'll be the process of us going to the next step of this program.

Q: You haven't been happy with the receivers.

Shannon: Right. Did we go out and try to find some guys last year? Yes.

Q: You have Sam Shields, who had his ups and downs. Do you have any leadership at that receiver spot?

Shannon: You know the guy that, for some reason, these guys gravitate to? Khalil Jones. I don't know how, but here's the thing you have to remember: If they bring something to the team you'll be okay. He doesn't have to catch a ball. Those guys, they run to Khalil Jones for everything. Everything. I haven't seen anything like this - offseason workouts, everything the receivers did this summer they ran to Khalil Jones. That means he's helping us win. He's bringing something to the team that those guys listen to. You can hear the defense talk about it, the receivers in the hallways - `Where's Khalil? I need to talk to Khalil about this. I need to talk to Khalil about that.' That's when you know you're starting something really good.

Q: Is Sam's status ready to go?

Shannon: Sam is Sam. Sam's got to get ready to take the next step in his football career. We're going to have competition at every position, depth at every position. Is Sam a guy who can run 4.2, 4.3? Yes. Can Sam make big plays when he wants to? Yes. In football you have to have a guy that's consistent. We'll keep coaching Sam to be the best he can be. We're going to meet with him, watch film with him, throw millions of balls at him, show him how to block, put him in situations. We're going to make him do those things. Now it's up to Sam to execute and get it done. If he doesn't, Sam knows someone else will get an opportunity. That's all football is right now is someone getting an opportunity to be successful. One thing I'll never do: You don't bench a guy because of a bad game. You get him to the next game. Most guys bounce back. If a guy comes back and makes the same mistakes like he did the first game you have to move on. If (the mistakes are) something different, that's okay. But you can't keep making the same mistakes on maybe the same play over the same read over and over. That's when you have to make a change.
 8 years ago '04        #4145
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$4,830 | Props total: 470 470
Q: Why did you want Cooper and James to gain weight?

Shannon: I tried last year, and I was wrong, but I was trying to win the last two games - Javarris and Cooper were not healthy after the fifth or sixth game, just were not healthy period. And they tried, but they couldn't get it done. So we ran through five running backs last year, and I never thought that would happen. We felt like and those kids understood that for them to be successful they had to gain weight. Is Cooper going to be a guy that's going to be 230, 240? No. But Cooper will be a great back at 210, 215 when his body keeps maturing. Javarris will be a great back when he gets to the 220, 225 range because now your body can take a lot and you're not a freshman anymore. And both those guys are faster now. They spent a lot of time working out with the track program last year.

Q: How much weight has Dixon lost?

Shannon: Last time he weighed in was at 323. He's lost about 15 (pounds this summer). He's done a good job.

Q: Is Josh Holmes on the physically unable to perform list and won't count against the scholarship limit?

Shannon: Josh Holmes is injured, is not on that (list). Demetri Stewart (is on the list).

Q: What's the biggest thing you'll do differently this year as a coach?

Shannon: Delegating more. I've done more (of that). I tried to do everything off the field (last year). You're only as good as the people around you, your support staff. We've got a great support staff now.

Q: Do you feel more comfortable with Bill Young as the new defensive coordinator instead of Tim Walton given Young's experience?

Shannon: We felt we had to improve in every facet of things we do, evaluate what we get done, how we could improve, what we need to do better in recruiting. It's nothing against coach (Tim) Walton. It's just we felt we had to improve on things and get better.

Q: You know the scholarship players you have back - of all the freshmen you've signed, how many will need to defer or go to prep school to keep you at the 85 limit?

Shannon: Don't know yet. We still have Clearinghouse issues. It's up to the Clearinghouse right now and what we're trying to get done.

Q: How many still have Clearinghouse issues?

Shannon: Two went to prep school (note that C.J. Odom and Brandon Washington are at the Milford Academy and that Antonio Harper is expected to report there soon per Milford coach Bill Chaplick). So we've got four (with Clearinghouse issues).

Q: Isn't there a way programs can get together and have the NCAA inform them more clearly on if student-athletes are eligible?

Shannon: The biggest problem right now is it's not just the University of Miami but schools around the country - they went from 14 core courses to 16 (that are required by the NCAA). And a lot of programs around the nation didn't update their 48H form. When you don't update your 48H form and send it to the Clearinghouse, they don't know. Some people are still saying `Oh, well, they got the 48H form, but we have the updated one still at home.' They never sent it to the Clearinghouse. You've got those issues going. It'll work itself out whoever is going to be eligible. The ones that are not, we'll work on them to get them here at Miami at a later date. The problem is everyone goes on vacation and when a (high) school is shut down the kids have no way of getting in contact with the principals, because that's the guy who has to make the final call. It's not the counselors. The counselors have to update it, then give it to the principal to sign it. Now he has to call up there (to the NCAA) and send it up to them and then talk to them. So it's a lot of stuff that goes on. We talked to some coaches at the ACC meetings. They're having the same problems right now, the Clearinghouse stuff. A lot of times the 48H forms are not updated.

Q: a.ssuming none of the four kids are cleared by Friday, they can't show up?

Shannon: You can't report until you get certified in the Clearinghouse.
 08-01-2008, 01:06 PM         #4146
Hurricane Ra 
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Big ups Booie
 8 years ago '04        #4147
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$12,679 | Props total: 463 463
UM quarterbacks form bond
Robert Marve, Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith are vying to be UM's starting quarterback, but say they will stay close regardless of the outcome.

Just call them The Three Amigos: Robert Marve, Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith.

They arrived at the University of Miami football media day Friday as best of friends. They left as best of friends. And they will begin Saturday's fall camp, it appears, as best buds.

Then, about a week before the opening kickoff -- the Hurricanes' Thursday night, Dolphin Stadium debut Aug. 28 -- coach Randy Shannon said he will name one the starter.

And, they insist, they will still be best buds.

''The one thing we're all excited about is we all like each other, and I think that's a big thing,'' said Robert Marve, a redshirt freshman and seemingly the front-runner. ``We all have a fun time together. We make each other a lot stronger on the field.''

Said Harris: ``This is a competition and we're all f!ghting for one job. But at the same time whoever gets the job is going to be the right person and whoever gets No. 2 is going to be the right person to back up . . . It's crunch time.''

And this from Smith: ``I feel like I have a chance. We had great 7-on-7s all summer and we're moving in the right direction. All of you know how pleasant the relationships are amongst the quarterbacks. It's a pleasant competition and it takes a lot of the stress and pressure away to get along and work so well with these guys.''


Marve led Tampa Plant High to a state championship and 15-0 record after passing for 48 touchdowns and 4,380 yards as Mr. Florida Football in 2006.

Homegrown star Jacory Harris, the 2007 Mr. Florida Football, led Miami Northwestern to a 15-0 record and the state title last season. He passed for 49 touchdowns and 3,445 yards.

Cannon Smith, of Memphis, played at Hargrave Military Academy in 2007. As a senior in 2006 at Olive Branch High in Mississippi, he completed 130 of 273 passes for 2,314 yards and 27 touchdowns, with seven interceptions.

''We're going to play two of them but one of them is going to be the primary starter and the next guy has got to get playing time because we've got to build depth at that position,'' Shannon said Friday. ``It's not a two-quarterback position. We're going to have one guy as the guy, and no matter what happens during the season, he's the guy.''

Former UM quarterback Steve Walsh, a college football analyst for Sun Sports, said Shannon is in a tough position.

'I think Bill Parcells put it best. He said when a coach says, `Oh, we've got two quarterbacks that can play,' it means you don't have one that has jumped out and said, 'This is my job.' And that's the reality. Randy hasn't seen these two players [Marve and Harris] react and respond to big games, handle the crowd, handle adjustments on the sideline -- all those things you don't know until a young player is in the heat of the battle.''

Shannon said all three will have an equal amount of snaps when practice begins at 7:50 a.m. at Cobb Stadium adjacent to Greentree Field -- open to all season-ticket holders and the only open practice this fall. Not one of the freshmen has played in a college game.


Newcomer Taylor Cook, a 6-7, 225-pounder from Eagle Lake, Texas, will make his first appearance in front of fans at the practice. The other three freshmen were at UM for the spring. But Cook opted to graduate high school with his classmates, and is clearly in the rear view mirror. Shannon said Cook will not be given the same amount of snaps.

''We have to make sure we give him reps,'' Shannon said. ``But he's too far behind right now.''

Marve said his left (nonthrowing) hand feels ''100 percent'' after last year's car accident, in which he broke his wrist, dislocated his left ring finger and sustained a severe cut on the hand that caused nerve damage.

Asked if he feels the starting job is his to lose, Marve said, ``No, not at all. Honestly, I promise you I don't. I don't feel like it's my job at all. I'll be satisfied with myself if I go out there and play the best ball Robert Marve can play and not worry about what my other friends are doing.''

• Observant season-ticket holders who attend Saturday's practice might notice that several incoming freshmen are absent. As has been reported, Shannon confirmed that, ``We have maybe four or five freshmen out pending on some issues with the [NCAA] Clearinghouse. That hasn't changed.''

It is believed that four UM signees will attend prep school this season, with the others expected to report soon.

''If anything is going to happen, it's going to happen Monday,'' Shannon said.

• Shannon said sophomore defensive linemen Josh Holmes and Chaz Washington will not practice this fall, supposedly because of injuries. Junior defensive end Courtney Harris is out for the season.

• Running backs coach Tommie Robinson said fullbacks will play a larger role. Former linebacker Eric Houston has switched to fullback.
 8 years ago '04        #4148
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Coach Randy Shannon declined to speak specifics today on which players didn't report.

Yesterday CaneSport reported that eight incoming freshmen that have not yet qualified.

Four of them – CJ Odom, Brandon Washington, Antonio Harper and Zach Kane – are attending Milford (NY) Prep School.

Still awaiting clearance as of yesterday were CJ Holton, Gavin Hardin, Brandon Marti and Jeremy Lewis.

Shannon declined to confirm the names of players that are awaiting clearance.

"You go to practice tomorrow, you'll know who the guys are," Shannon said.

Apparently referring to players not already set to attend prep school, Shannon said, "We have maybe four guys out pending the Clearinghouse." He later clarified that "it may be five" that have issues.

He says there's nothing imminent on their clearance.

"If anything's going to happen it will happen Monday (at the earliest)," he said.

In other news, Shannon said Josh Holmes and Chaz Washington won't go through fall workouts but that he hopes they could return to the team at some point. He said Courtney Harris is out for the year.

Shannon said, other than "Nicks and bumps" everyone else is ready to go.

Shannon said he doesn't know if there will be any academic casualties.

"I don't know – the last day of finals (for summer school) is today," he said.

Shannon was asked about the progress of the quarterbacks.

"All of them did a great job (in the spring)," Shannon said. "In the course of the spring we threw maybe over 300 reps. The most interceptions were six maybe the whole entire spring, which was a whole lot of improvement from last year. All three are doing a reat job."

Shannon said none of them have stood out above the other coming into the fall.

And he said all the quarterbacks will get the same amount of snaps early-on this fall.

"Just like we did in the spring – Jacory (Harris) played a lot, Cannon (Smith) played a lot, sometimes we rested (Robert) Marve, sometimes we rested Cannon, sometimes we rested Jacory," Shannon said.

Shannon said he likes the camaraderie between the quarterbacks and their overall attitudes.

"Marve, Jacory and Cannon have always been the second guys coming up in ninth, 10th grade, did a great job of competing, became starters, turned the programs around where they were at. On Friday's Marve would go out and watch Jacory play. On Sunday's Jacory would come out and talk to Marve. Everybody wants to make it a controversy, but relationships is the biggest (thing). And with the addition of Cannon coming in it's been great."

Of Smith, Shannon said, "He's done a great job this off-season. He's bulked up, his arm is stronger. Cannon's doing all the things to play at the University of Miami."

Shannon said freshman QB Taylor Cook "is too far behind" and won't get as many reps as the other quarterbacks this spring.

Shannon says he will announce a starting quarterback "seven to 10 days" before the first game.

Of the team's prospects for the season, Shannon said, "We're excited about the things we've got to accomplish this season. We're looking for a better season than we had last year. We're also expecting some guys coming in as freshmen to help us out. They're going to come in and play. You look at some positions you can tell who is going to have the opportunity to play. At the wide receiver position we have four guys returning so automatically - you travel 7-8 during the season - we have to find 3-4. The quarterbacks are all freshmen. We're going to play two (quarterbacks). One will be the primary starter and the other will get playing time. It's not a two quarterback system. One guy is the guy no matter what happens during the season. The next guy has to get some playing time to build depth at that position."

Shannon also said he expects Graig Cooper and Javarris James to continue complementing each other out of the backfield and add plenty of receptions.

"The more we get those guys involved the more successful we'll be," Shannon said.

Here's what else Shannon had to say:

Q: Talk about Javarris James.

Shannon: Him and Cooper did a great job of adding weight on. They're faster than what they were, 10 or 15 pounds for both of them. We're excited about them. They made some great runs in practice and scrimmages where last year they were getting chased down. And they're making tough runs. We're excited by the way they're progressing.

Q: What do those two backs bring to the table?

Shannon: Both are very smart guys. Javarris as a true sophomore last year was a very smart football player, very, very knowledgeable of what we were doing as a total offense. This spring we added more things to him and Cooper. They've done a great job this off-season with Lee Chambers, Damien Berry and Shawnbrey McNeal. That's the one thing at Miami is guys always helping each other out. Last year I didn't think we could run through five running backs, but we did. I think they'll be a much better back combination.

Q: How has the team taken no ACC pre-season accolades for Cane players?

Shannon: It's a different team. They don't worry about it. This team believes in what we're doing, has a lot of confidence in what we're doing. All of them feel stronger than what they were, like the things we're doing offensively and defensively. So we're excited about this whole team.

Q: Why are the names back on the jerseys?

Shannon: They came together. We were trying to get this team together. They were spread out when I took over. Now these guys are more fitting in, more together. In the hallways walking around guys are talking about, `Hey we had a great time over at Jason Fox's house.' Well, that's Cannon Smith, Jacory, Aldarius (Johnson) over there. When you see those things, now you know you're ready to get back on track. Every two or three weeks, maybe a month, I change the locker room around (so players on opposite sides of the ball get to know each other). I still do that.

Q: Have you had a vocal leader recently on this team?

Shannon: I don't know you need a vocal leader. You have guys that lead by example. Some guys are quiet leaders that we have on the team. Jason Fox made a statement, a couple of guys made a statement. Well, you don't need a rah-rah guy when you have guys like that who can control things all the time. You don't have to be vocal all the time.

Q: How do you see WR LaRon Byrd doing?

Shannon: I don't know because he didn't go through spring football and you can't do anything with him in the summer (per NCAA rules). We're expecting him to come in and play. He's a big receiver, a physical guy, has great speed, can go up and get the football. With these (freshmen) coming in, if physically and mentally they can handle it, they'll play.

Q: How strange will it be to play at Dolphin Stadium?

Shannon: It's not any different. It's in Dade County. It's a stadium. We've played there before, had great times at that stadium.

Q: Your team didn't get any votes in the initial Coaches' Poll.

Shannon: We have to keep building the foundation, building depth. The expectations are always here at Miami. This coaching staff and players on the team feel good about this season.

Q: Did it help Glenn Cook at all being on the sideline last year watching on?

Shannon: He just helped to make sure our morale is always up.

Q: Was it his idea for the "No Excuses" wristbands?

Shannon: That was his idea. Glenn's a very smart guy. Something triggered that in Glenn's mind. Maybe last year the team was making too many excuses. When you have that team and that concept in them it's great for the team.

Q: Are guys physically in the condition you want?

Shannon: They are. The weight room, strength room they do a great job. We had a 110 test, 16 110's, and we had 2-3 guys that didn't make it. The following week he ran eight 200's and two guys didn't make it. We feel we're in great shape. We have guys that improved. Take Aldarius, he came in 185, he's up to a 265 bench press. You have guys who were 400 pounds squatters now are 500 pound squatters. We're excited about it.

Q: How is the OL developing?

Shannon: I think it's great. We have three guys returning, Tyrone Byrd coming back. Orlando Franklin and Joel Figueroa played a lot last year. AJ Trump is back, a tremendous a.sset. Xavier Shannon, Tyler Horn can play center. We feel we have seven to eight guys we can go into a game and win with, now we have to keep the depth because they can get banged up.

Q: Outside of running back and linebacker is there any position you know will be a strength for you?

Shannon: The O-line.

Q: What do the freshmen bring to the table as a group?

Shannon: They bring a winning mentality. What we tried to do the last two years is recruit players from wining programs so when things get tough they know how to get out of those situations. When you get that atmosphere and guys that know how to win, the process they go through changes what I call the whole face of a team.
 8 years ago '04        #4149
madness 7 heat pts
$12,679 | Props total: 463 463
Have the playmakers returned at WR?

CORAL GABLES - I know it's early. I know they were just wearing shells. But after watching the wide receivers during the first practice of the season, the UM coaching staff has to be a little giddy. The group was easily the most impressive on the field, mainly freshman Laron Byrd.

Byrd drew praise from several, including coach Randy Shannon. At 6-foot-4, he looks to be a handful for defensive backs. He, along with freshmen Travis Benjamin and Davon Johnson, looked the best of the newcomers. Byrd caught a nice pass near the sideline for a first down, and didn't drop many passes. Benjamin showed elusiveness that should put him near the top for punt and kick return duties. And then there's Johnson who had the best move of the day. He caught a short pass from Jacory Harris and turned it into a touchdown. In the process, he juked linebacker Romeo Davis near the sideline before making his way to the endzone.

So, yes, there's reason to be excited about this group. And this is without even mentioning Kendall Thompkins, who caught a touchdown from Taylor Cook. Shannon has said he wants the receivers to make plays after the catch, and that's what they showed today. It appears the offense has been tweaked some, with several short passing plays added. Today, there were a lot of hitches and bubble-screen type plays.

A few thoughts:

-At exactly 10:21 a.m., Shannon dropped his first "guys flew around" comment. The season has officially began.

-Robert Marve looked solid with his accuracy but we didn't see him throw deep much. Jermaine McKenzie said today was about the short game, and they will probably work on the deep ball later in the week.

-Watching Jacory Harris throw is like watching Ken Griffey Jr. swing. His delivery is nearly flawless. Actually, it makes me think of the title of this song.

-Cannon Smith continues to compete. His arm is a lot stronger than expected. He hit Derron Thomas for a touchdown on a crossing route.

-The quarterbacks were not perfect. A couple of interceptions were dropped by Glenn Cook and Jordan Futch. Speaking of Futch, he had a solid debut. He was in the backfield on a lot of plays.

-Ramon Buchanan received lots of reps at free safety.

-Eric Moncur and Allen Bailey were held out of practice. Shannon said both are working their way back into shape.

-Shannon confirmed the players who have yet to report. They are Joe Wylie, Brandon Marti, Gavin Hardin, Jeremy Lewis and C.J. Holton.

-Marcus Robinson, listed at LB, did some work with the defensive ends.

-Several players cramped up, including Javarris James. The most severe case was defensive lineman Joe Joseph, who used Moncur and Bailey as crutches while walking toward the field.

-Graig Cooper had one fumble.

-Xavier Shannon is the slimmest 300-pounder I have ever seen
 8 years ago '04        #4150
madness 7 heat pts
$12,679 | Props total: 463 463
Herald Poster/Observer-

Open practice was pretty boring stuff. Good thing is we got to get real close to the drills and size these guys up. My observations....


- Marve is a stud...he just does everything so smoothly. IMO this kid is starter...unless he mentally collapses ala Kirby Freeman, he's not coming off of the field.

- Marve still doesn't throw a good deep ball, don't know what to say here because they looked good in his youtube vids...he just overthrows the receivers. The also looks in on the receiver he's throwing to, reminds me of Kyle Wright in that sense.

- Marve is one of the leaders of this team...Seems to get along well with everyone, especially Randy Shannon. Helped Taylor Cook a lot.

- Taylor Cook has a nasty hitch in his throw and his footwork needs a lot of work. He did complete a nice deep pass though....I know its his first day.

- Taylor Cook is too thin to be a TE..just my opinion.

- Jacory Harris needs to work on his footwork, he also throw a couple of wobblers. His play-fakes need some work. Good leadership though.....interacts a lot with Marve, Smith, and Cook.

- Cannon Smith has improved a lot since the spring game. He delivers the ball ontime and the sprials are tight. He really looked sharper....I'd say he looked as good as Jacory.


- They are not exaggerating about James and Cooper bulking up...these guys look bigger and faster.

- James didn't lineup in the back field much, he was used in the slot a lot.

- Shawnbrey looks pretty good, sharp cuts, good speed through the least in shorts and a helmet.


- Receivers are still dropping balls, lots of dropped least 10. Some lead to interceptions. Some guys are still catching the ball with their bodies. Disturbing thing is noone is correcting them when they do it.

- Tommy Streeter is one tall dude...throw the fade to him in the end zone please!!!

- We have lots of receivers...can't keep up with all of them, but I like Hankerson, Sheilds, Aldarius, and Tommy Streeter (just because he's tall)

- Sam Shields looks like the sharpest receiver in the bunch...too bad he won't be on the team.


- Noone stood out...they all dropped balls, who is our TE coach...didn't notice anyone working with this group.


- These boys have lost some weight...kudos, but they look sloppy as disorganized in their drills and they way they move around the field.


- Sharpest unit on the field...they drill hard and Michael Barrow seems to do a great job of coaching them up.

- Colin McCarthy seems to be moving around very well.


- Didn't see anything that stood out, they were pretty excited about making plays...good enthusiasm.

- Didn't see Vaughn Telemanque...anyone know anything??? I looked for this kid...No.7, didn't see Brandon Harris either. Did we just spot UF 21 points because these guys can't pick up a book???


- It was only helmets and shorts...they look like they've been working out.


- Pat Nix doesn't miss an opportunity to correct QBs and WRs on throws, footwork, and route running.

- Randy Shannon lets his a.ssistants do most of the coaching, he just seems to observe everything and doesn't get in anyone's face. I hope its just because its an open practice. I've heard he can be harsh, but you couldn't tell that from his behavior today. This dude is Tom Landry, not Bill Parcells.

- Michael Barrow, good energy...runs sharp drills and keeps everyone involved.

- Bill Young, needs to roll his socks down, otherwise didn't observe anything else.


- The team had no energy in practice....the LBs and DBs had lot of energy, but can't say the same for the offense. Do our WR like playing football????

- No coaches in someone's face when they drop a ball....can we get a little public humiliation please...its like they say 'Oh you dropped the ball, damn, but its OK'.

- Noone runs out of the huddle, they give a little jog like there's a Jehovah's Witness at the door, but not a 'coach is going to k!ll me if I don't run' jog.

- We are going to signal offensive plays from the sidelines with hand signals???? Please practice this throughly!!! If the QB isn't going to repeat the play in the huddle, lets all make sure we learn the playbook. Thank god we don't play the Patriots.

From another poster/observer-

From Canesigep23

Orson Charles was out there. I also saw I phi with who i think was Tevin M. Laron and Streeter are huge. Coop and James look bigger. In fact the whole team looks A LOT bigger. Everyone was having fun on the sidelines (totally different from last yesr) but then when it came time to pla every was all about business. Robert Marve is our starter no doubt in my mind. They guy is sick...ridiculous sparrow, was throwing bullets on the money.
Travis Benjamin= the guy is so fast. he wasn't running and he looked like he was running full speed and then turned it up a notch even faster. Everyone around me was amazed.
Damien Berry looks really really good at the running back position. Found holes where there wasn't any, everytime he touched the ball he broke a long run.
All the receivers were going up and snatching the ball from the dbs (alot better than the spring game).
Brandon harris might start at nickle...kid looked really good out there. all the cbs were getting coached up by coach mcgriff and he was asking them questions and brandon was the first one always to answer and would answer correctly. the guy is a leader.
Ramon Buchanan was practicing with the safetys and not the linebackers.
Bailey looks ahead of schedule...was running and stretching full speed.
Overall, it just looked like the guys believe in each other...always high fiving each other, congratualing on every play, b harris made a nice play and randy phillips ran over and jumped on him and screamed good job brandon. it was nice seeing the seniors bonding with the freshman like a big family.
 8 years ago '04        #4151
madness 7 heat pts
$12,679 | Props total: 463 463
Herald..New Blog...And look who's first!!
« Media Day: Shannon speaks | Main
First practice impressions

Football season has officially started at the University of Miami. I just got back home from Saturday morning's first practice of the fall and have plenty of thoughts and notes to share with you.

I took my new video camera out there and filmed plenty of practice, stuff I'll post as the year progresses (Note: Today's practice was the only one open to the press or public this season). In case you missed it, I posted a few video interviews yesterday with Jason Fox, Marcus Forston and Glenn Cook. I'll have more video up later today with freshmen Brandon Harris, Laron Byrd, Jordan Futch and center Xavier Shannon.

To the highlights...

> The first noticeable difference in my eyes with this team -- there are playmakers at the wide receiver position. Even though the guys were just wearing helmets and shorts, the new arrivals made quite the impression. No one bigger than 6-4, 211-pound, No. 47-wearing Laron Byrd. He was the first player Randy Shannon mentioned in his post practice meeting with the press.

Byrd, who comes from a little town called Boutte, La., can certainly entertain kind of like Irvin did. He's a fast talker and loves talking about being a playmaker.

"We're very excited about him, the way he's progressing and things like that," Shannon said. "He stood out. We threw a tight end option route where Laron ran over the corner and that as a big play for us. He has great size and you can't come in and teach a freshman to do that. It's just natural."

Consider it a big deal. Shannon rarely singles out players for what they do in practice.

> Byrd (whom Herald recruiting guru Larry Blustein insisted to me months ago would make an instant impact this year at UM) wasn't the only freshmen to make me say 'Wow.' Freshman Davon Johnson of Booker T. Washington had a nice catch down the sideline, then stopped to avoid a cornerback before scoring a touchdown. Former Northwestern receiver Kendall Thompkins also scored a TD on a long pass from Taylor Cook during 11 on 11 drills. I also liked what I saw from Travis Benjamin and Thearon Collier, who look like they will be battling out with Johnson in the slot.

> After dodging the question Friday, Shannon finally told us exactly which freshmen are still awaiting to get into UM: Defensive back Joe Wylie, defensive tackle Jeremy Lewis, safety C.J. Holton, linebacker Gavin Hardin and Brandon Marti. None, obviously, were at practice Saturday. But they could be as soon as Monday. Ultimately, the wait could be a bit linger longer. As long as they report before the third day of school, they can play this season.

> For those of you worried about the depth of the defensive line, I saw something Saturday that might make you even more queasy. Defensive end Eric Moncur was unexpectedly held out of practice and was busy working out on the sideline with a trainer (he was tossing one of those weight balls while running side to side). Allen Bailey and Josh Holmes (also out with injuries) were also participating in the drills.

It might be good news that they're working out, but it wasn't good to see a few other guys leave. During practice, Dwayne Hendricks eventually made his way to the sideline (not sure if it was cramps or not) and defensive tackle Joe Joseph was carried off the field with cramps late. The good news, a leaner Antonio Dixon once nicknamed "2 Play Dix" was able to complete practice. As you know, Miami is already without Courtney Harris for the season and Holmes could miss significant time. Shannon insisted Saturday Moncur (who he says missed 5-6 weeks of workouts this summer) will be back for the start of the season. But to me, these are obviously not the kind of signs you want to see from a defensive line that lost so much and has been riddled with injuries. Also of note, freshman Marcus Robinson, who was recruited as a linebacker, was playing defensive end Saturday (call it out of necessity).

> As far as the quarterbacks are concerned, I thought both Robert Marve and Jacory Harris looked exceptionally well. Both did a great job during seven on seven drills, rollouts and connecting on deep passes. I still say both are better than Kyle or Kirby right now even though they still haven't thrown a pass in college.

> Cannon Smith, who I spoke to one-on-one Friday at Media Day, looked better than he did in the spring. Shannon told us his arm is stronger and I found out why. According to Smith, he was still recovering this spring from a separated shoulder. He said he couldn't throw the ball as hard as he wanted to. "I don't know what percentage I was at, but I know when I was throwing the ball, it wasn't all there," Smith said. "But now I'm back and after working hard with coach Swasey during the conditioning drills I feel I'm back to where I want to be." We'll see if that means in the race for the starting job with Marve and Harris.

> Shannon told reporters Friday that the team's fourth quarterback, Taylor Cook, was too far behind to compete for the starting job this fall. You saw why Saturday. Although, he showed some good arm strength and did connect with Thompkins for a touchdown, Cook looks like he'll need some coaching from Patrick Nix on his mechanics. He throws the ball sidearm and at times doesn't appear to be really stepping into his passes.

> Several player said they couldn't sleep last night before the start of practice -- including Byrd and Xavier Shannon. Shannon said he woke up early and was at UM early enough to still see the moon, "It was strange coming out here and still seeing the moon." Shannon, who has some great stories to tell about his father, said Randy recently called him at 6 a.m. on his day off a few weeks ago to ask him if the movie National Treasure 2 had been released yet. "He didn't ask me how I was doing or anything," Shannon said. "Just, 'Did it come out yet?"

> There were a few visiting recruits among the spectators and fans in attendance. I saw highly touted tight end Orson Charles from Tampa Plant, Northwestern safety Tevin McCaskill and Pace defensive back Kayvon Webster. I was told Cane commitment Stephen Plein of Fort Myers was there. Highly touted Plantation High defensive back Brandon McGee (who will announce his decision Aug. 11) was also reportedly there.

> The following is by no means an official depth chart, but it was where I filmed guys practicing at Saturday. Consider just a starting point for discussion as the fall progresses.

Offense (first team | second team | third team)
QB: Robert Marve or Jacory Harris | Cannon Smith
RB: Javarris James or Graig Cooper | Derron Thomas or Shawnbrey McNeal
FB: Patrick Hill | John Calhoun | Eric Houston
WR: K. Jones and K. Farquharson | A. Johnson, L. Hankerson or J. McKenzie | L. Byrd
Slot: Sam Shields | T. Benjamin, D. Johnson and K. Thompkins
TE: Dedrick Epps | Chris Zellner or Richard Gordon | Daniel Adderley, Tervaris Johnson
LT: Jason Fox | Tyrone Byrd | Ian Symonette
LG: Chris Barney | Orlando Franklin
C: Xavier Shannon | Tyler Horn
RG: Joel Figueroa | Harland Gunn
RT: Reggie Youngblood or Chris Rutledge | Ben Jones

Defense (first team | second team | third team)

DE: Steven Wesley (since Bailey was out) and Adewale Ojomo (since Moncur as out) | Marcus Robinson
DT: Joe Joseph and Antonio Dixon and Marcus Forston | Dwayne Hendricks, Micanor Regis
SLB: Darryl Sharpton | Arthur Brown | Jordan Futch
MLB: Glenn Cook | Spencer Adkins | Romeo Davis
WLB: Colin McCarthy | Sean Spence | Kylan Robinson
CB: Bruce Johnson and Chavez Grant | DeMarcus Van Dyke, Carlos Armour and Ryan Hill | B. Harris
S: Lovon Ponder, Anthony Redd*ck, Randy Phillips | Jojo Nicholas, Jared Campbell | V. Telemaque
From another site credit to UMFIRE:

Attended practice this morning and while I know practice reports are subjective as hell, here's mine:

Robert Marve is the starter by a clear stretch IMO. Beautiful spirals, accuracy, and he has learned to not throw strikes every time. He was very impressive. Jacory also looked very good. Taylor Cook is a specimen but his mechanics will have to be addressed.

Wow at Travis Benjamin. No way he doesn't see the field this year, clearly the fastest guy on the field. Looked awesome.

Jermaine McKenzie probably has the best hands on the team I didn't see him drop a single ball and he make some tough tough grabs. Him and Marve definitely have some chemistry going on for sure.

Laron Byrd looked damn good. In fact, talent was the issue at wr. These young wr's go up and attack the ball and there were far less drops than in previous year's practices I've attended.

Orson Charles was on the sideline watching.

This practice was clearly different from any of last year's... Marve is just so clearly head and shoulders better than anything we had last year. I saw things like (gasp!) leading his receivers, putting in spots where only his receiver could get it.

Overall very impressive, much better than the spring scrimmage.

RB's were awesome. Damien Berry sure looked comfortable at RB to me. Kid has great instincts.

Mcneal, Coop and James have all gotten better and faster. RB should not be an issue at all this year.

Marcus Robinson is playing at D End. Smart move imo.

Wow at Orlando Franklin, guy is monstrously huge. Looks like an NFL player already. Chris Barney was a surprise, he moves a lot better than last year becasuse he's probably down twenty pounds. Looked good.
 8 years ago '04        #4152
$662 | Props total: 0 0
Canes' first practice gets some players noticed
Posted on Sat, Aug. 02, 2008reprint print email
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UM quarterbacks form bond
Hurricanes bordering on irrelevant
Key questions for UM, UF, FSU, FIU, FAU
For those Hurricanes fans who couldn't make it to Saturday's first University of Miami fall football practice -- a practice open to season-ticket holders and the only one that will be open this camp -- here are some tidbits that will make you smile, and grimace:

• UM coach Randy Shannon can't stop talking about incoming freshman wide receiver Laron Byrd, and the 6-4, 211-pound kid from Boutte, La. made it hard not to be noticed with a combination of finesse, speed, soft hands and aggressive blocking.

• Shannon revealed that senior defensive end Eric Moncur, who has replaced NFLer Calais Campbell on the right side and is expected to be the backbone of the line, missed ''four or five weeks of conditioning'' and worked out on the sideline Saturday with the rehabilitating players. He wouldn't elaborate and said Moncur would be back to play the first game.

• Shannon said the five freshmen who weren't at practice because of NCAA Clearinghouse issues were defensive lineman Jeremy Lewis of West Palm Beach, defensive back Joe Wylie of Lauderdale Lakes, safety C.J. Holton of Crawfordville, Fla., defensive linemen Gavin Hardin of Jackson, Tenn., and linebacker Brandon Marti of Miami. ''I won't know anything until Monday,'' Shannon said.

Another four players -- offensive lineman Brandon Washington, defensive back C.J. Odom, linebacker Antonio Harper and Zach Kane -- will play this season in prep school.

• At least two players (defensive lineman Joe Joseph and tailback Javarris James) severely cramped and had to either leave practice early or be a.ssisted to the sideline in intense heat at Cobb Stadium.

''My whole body is cramping,'' James told coaches as he grasped his upper body and quadriceps. ``I drank five bottles of water, man.''

• Quarterbacks Robert Marve, Jacory Harris, Cannon Smith and newcomer Taylor Cook all took a substantial amount of snaps, and for the most part looked sharp.
 8 years ago '06        #4153
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 8 years ago '04        #4158
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Strength coach Andreu Swasey was encouraged by the team's work this off-season.

"I was pretty impressed," Swasey said. "They worked together, were very competitive. It's going real well. They're taking on the leadership and all that good stuff. They're helping the young guys out, there's real good chemistry. Guys are stressing what coach (Randy) Shannon says about `finish.' Guys are doing well.

"It's good to see the chemistry, trying to get back to where we need to be. Everything is on schedule. Coming off five wins there's a lot to be proven."

Swasey ran down the freshmen numbers (CaneSport previously reported the returning players' results). The freshmen results:

40 TIMES (taken when the freshmen arrived on campus)

Travis Benjamin, 4.26 – "That's most likely the fastest freshman time ever," Swasey said. Benjamin's time was faster than Sam Shields' 4.28, making him the fastest on the team in testing.
Davon Johnson, 4.32
Brandon Harris, 4.47
Thearon Collier, 4.50
Kendall Thompkins, 4.50
Tommy Streeter, 4.51
Marcus Robinson, 4.56
Taylor Cook, 4.59
Vaughn Telemaque, 4.75
Andrew Smith 4.90
* Note that Laron Byrd's time was not available

Bench (taken at end of summer workouts)

Micanor Regis, 390
Marcus Forston, 385
Marcus Robinson, 325
Andrew Smith, 300
Jordan Futch, 300

Squat (taken at end of summer workouts)

Marcus Forston, 475
Micanor Regis, 425
Sean Spence, 400
John Calhoun, 385
Ramon Buchanan, 355
Brandon Harris, 355
Davon Johnson, 355
Marcus Robinson, 335

Vertical (taken at end of summer workouts)

Travis Benjamin 36.5
Brandon Harris 35.5
Sean Spence 35.5
Ramon Buchanan 35.5
Marcus Robinson 33.5

Of the overall freshmen testing, Swasey simply said, "They did unbelievably."

Swasey's pick as the freshman "freak?"

He can't pick just one.

"There's so many of them," Swasey said. "In this class you have so many guys that can do something. Some are freakish.

"A lot of young guys will get opportunities."
my n*gga travis benjamin wit a 4.26!:wow: i know it was hand-timed so it was probably really in the 4.3's, which is still blazing fast, those boys from the muck dont play.

tommy streeter 6'6 running a 4.5 nix better throw him some fades in the redzone for real.

look out for marcus robinson, he'll get alot of snaps at DE due to a lack of depth and i think he'll do really well
 8 years ago '06        #4159
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 8 years ago '04        #4160
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Bigger at cornerback

CORAL GABLES _ At times last year, it looked like the Hurricanes were using high school players at cornerback. Players such as DeMarcus Van Dyke and Bruce Johnson looked that small out there when facing bigger receivers.

That's no longer the case. Van Dyke and Johnson bulked up in the offseason, which should give the Hurricanes a stronger presence in the secondary. Van Dyke weighs 178 and looks noticeably stronger in the upper body. The same with Johnson. It was all part of secondary coach Wesley McGriff's plan to have a more physical defensive backfield.

"He wanted us to be the most physical secondary in the nation this year," Van Dyke said. "Our first goal was to get bigger and stronger. This year, you're going to see a different secondary."

A few thoughts:

-For the second consecutive day, a WR was one of the biggest practice standouts. This time, it was freshman Travis Benjamin. He caught two long TDs from quarterback Robert Marve. Benjamin has done it with speed. He recently ran a 4.26 in the 40, trimming his time from around 4.5 as a high schooler. It gives Benjamin the dangerous combination of speed and the ability to make defenders miss. The only thing that may stop him this year is if he trips over those long dreads.

-There could be some fuel to those rumors of receiver Sam Shields dealing with academic issues. He talked after practice, but UM officials said Shields wasn't interested in answering questions about his grades. Stay tuned ... The good news is Shields talked a lot about how he has matured in the offseason. He's ready to be a leader to the younger guys and is focused on "doing what I have to do."

-Defensive ends Eric Moncur and Allen Bailey did not practice for the second consecutive day. Both are dealing with conditioning issues.


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