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Props Slaps
 8 years ago '04        #4241
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The 2008 signing class was the No. 1 ranked in the country according to ESPN.

Headliners included defensive tackle Marcus Forston, linebackers Arthur Brown and Sean Spence, wide receiver Aldarius Johnson, and cornerback Brandon Harris.

Some of the freshmen did not get into UM--Brandon Washington, Zach Kane, C.J. Odom, and Antonio Harper.

Brandon Marti is still waiting.

The season opener is only 12 days away so we decided to take a look at the freshmen class to determine whether or not we think they will play or redshirt.

Quarterbacks

#12 Jacory Harris - Play

Harris should open the season as the team's No. 2 quarterback behind Robert Marve. Harris is expected to earn valuable playing time this season and will be ready if Marve fails.

#16 Cannon Smith - Redshirt

Smith is a step or two behind Marve and Harris and has not gotten the reps they have since arriving on campus for spring practices.

#17 Taylor Cook - Redshirt

Cook just stepped on campus this month and is not quite ready for the college game. However, Cook is a big kid who could develop on the scout team. It should not go unnoticed that Smith and Cook could do wonders for the team development on the scout team compared to last year when there were walk-ons handling the scout team.

Running Backs

#43 John Calhoun - Play

This is a tough one because junior Patrick Hill looks to be the starter with Calhoun as the back-up. It does help that Calhoun was here in the spring, but the coaches could opt to redshirt him and have Eric Houston take reps as the No. 2 fullback. Calhoun could also be an a.sset on special teams.

Wide Receivers

#4 Aldarius Johnson - Play

Johnson could emerge as the team's No. 1 receiver. He was very productive in the fall and is an excellent possession receiver who can make the tough catch. Johnson is having a solid fall as well and also could be the team's primary kick returner.

#47 LaRon Byrd - Play

Byrd has been one of the top players this fall. Teammates call Byrd "The Real Deal" when
you ask them how good he is. Byrd is 6-4, 210 and uses his size and speed to his advantage. He has the ability to make the deep catch as well. His best a.sset is his hands as he catches everything. Literally everything. I've heard he's had just one drop this fall.

#80 Travis Benjamin - Play

Benjamin has excellent quickness and a burst that has enabled him to make big-time plays this fall (i.e. the 60-yard touchdown in Friday's scrimmage). Benjamin can be used on the outside despite his size and exploit an opposing defense with his speed. He has made a number of people miss this fall using a quick cut-back move.

#81 Davon Johnson - Play

Now this is where it starts to get tricky. Johnson has excellent speed, which will help be a downfield threat the Hurricanes need which is why I think he will be play this season. Johnson can also be used in the return game and is better as a kick returner.

#86 Tommy Streeter - Redshirt

Streeter is 6-5, 200 and is a very smart individual. However, it is going to take some time for him to adjust to the college game and feel comfortable. He definitely has plans on playing this season, but there are just so many other receivers on the team. He would do just fine if he played if the Canes could fit him in, but the 2008 season might be better for him to redshirt although he probably won't be a big fan of that.

#37 Kendal Thompkins - Redshirt

Thompkins has made nice plays this fall and is one of only a few receivers on the team, who excels in the slot position. This could help his chances of playing, but I think he'll be relegated to scout team duty.

#28 Thearon Collier - Redshirt

Collier is another slot receiver and the biggest difference between Thompkins and Collier is their speed. Thompkins has very good straightaway speed where as Collier is a quick receiver, who likes to juke by his defenders. Collier is more compact at 5-8, 180 compared to Thomkins at 5-11, 170.

Offensive Line

#52 Ben Jones - Redshirt

Jones is currently running on the third team at right tackle. Jones could definitely a year of development as he is still raw to the offensive line after playing a lot of defensive line before his senior campaign.

Defensive Ends

#56 Marcus Robinson - Play

Robinson could be an excellent option as a 3rd down pass rushing specialist. He is great off the edge against the pass and explodes off the line. He will definitely have a role on this team.

#95 Gavin Hardin - Play

Even though he just got here and is a longshot to play because he played linebacker in high school, Hardin can also be an a.sset on the field because he is explosive. He's one of those guys that tends to make plays and his enthusiasm could be very beneficial to a defense looking for an identity.

#62 Andrew Smith - Redshirt

Smith lacks that true burst that you would like to see off the edge, but is a solid player. Smith could see himself in the lineup if injuries begin to mount on the line.

Defensive Tackles

#99 Marcus Forston - Play

Forston should open the season as a starter and get better and better with more experience. He's understanding what it takes to become a good player at the collegiate level and knows he's not going to just be able to plow through people like he did in high school. Forston has excellent body control and athleticism. He should have a big year this year.

#54 Micanor Regis - Play

This team needs depth at defensive tackle and Regis has a solid body the Canes need. He's done a nice job against the run this fall and UM needs their tackles to be good up front for the rest of the defense to be successful. Look for Regis to provide solid depth to a position that sorely needs it.

#98 Jeremy Lewis - Play

Again, the team needs depth at defensive tackle. Lewis is confident he can do his job as well as anyone and his teammates have said the same thing. Lewis came in late, but should continue to adjust throughout the fall and be ready for the opener. Get him in there, let him develop on the field. He's physically ready to make an impact at 6-3, 315.

Linebackers

#31 Sean Spence - Play

Spence had a very good spring and jumped into the first team with injuries at the position. He's a playmaker who always finds the ball. Look for Spence to be a standout on special teams and get some playing time in the base defense. He'll be ready for his opportunity as soon as one opens up if the upperclassmen--Glenn Cook, Darryl Sharpton, and Colin McCarthy--slip up or get hurt.

#11 Arthur Brown - Play

Brown is another player ready for his number to be called, but Spence is likely to get the first shot. Brown has been a bit banged up this fall, but is working himself back into action. Brown is another player--like Streeter--who will excel on the field once he feels completely comfortable.

#58 Jordan Futch - Play

Futch has worked himself into playing size at 6-2, 220 after weighs about 195-200 a year ago. Futch has an excellent attitude and could develop into a very good leader for this team. Hopefully Futch gets some game action because he will take advantage of the time on the field because the future is bright for this individual.

Cornerbacks

#1 Brandon Harris - Play

Harris has the opportunity to have a very good freshman year because there is not a lot of depth at a position that was shaky a year ago. Harris, like a number of freshmen who are expected to play, comes in with good size at 5-10, 185. He's been making plays on defense and is playing with the same confidence and swagger he had last year. Another player who could be used in the return game.

Safeties

#7 Vaughn Telemaque - Play

There are three senior safeties, which doesn't help his chances, however he has a lot of ability and the coaching staff would like to work him in this year so he has some experience under his belt for the 2009 season.

#34 C.J. Holton - Play

Holton would be a great a.sset on special teams even if he doesn't see much action in the base defense, although he has enough ability to excel on defense. Holton is a strong tackler with good speed and is still learning the defense.

#46 Ramon Buchanan - Redshirt

Buchanan, like Holton, would be a good special teams player this year because of his athleticism and ability to tackle. However, he did not play much safety last season and is still getting used to the position change from linebacker.

#41 Joe Wylie - Redshirt

Could also play cornerback, but is listed as a safety. Wylie just got cleared, which doesn't help his chances of playing. He will have a better chance of playing this year if he is a cornerback, which could happen.

Kicker

#40 Jake Wieclaw - Redshirt

Matt Bosher appears to be the guy that will punt and kick this year, which means Wieclaw is unlikely to play. Randy Shannon would prefer to have one guy have one responsibility, but Wieclaw has not emerged as a better kicker than Bosher, who has a stronger leg.

In Conclusion...

Look for a number of freshmen to push for starting positions as the season progresses.

As of now, I think 17 freshmen will play and 10 will redshirt.

The future is bright with this freshmen class and it will be fun to watch them develop throughout the season.
 8 years ago '06        #4242
DEDOS 121 heat pts121
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good looks booie
 08-18-2008, 10:29 AM         #4243
Hurricane Ra 
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Lets get it!
 8 years ago '05        #4244
Junior G 105 heat pts105
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Charleston Southern is about 15 minutes from me... damn they gonna get sh*t on
 8 years ago '06        #4245
DEDOS 121 heat pts121
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 Junior G said:
Charleston Southern is about 15 minutes from me... damn they gonna get sh*t on
ill be there :applause::applause::applause:
 8 years ago '04        #4246
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Freshman defensive back Brandon Harris made the defensive play of the game during UM's most recent scrimmage Friday night.

On the play Harris was playing the nickel position and was showing blitz before the snap.

As soon as the ball was snapped, Harris dropped back into zone coverage and quarterback Robert Marve attempted to throw a quick slant to a receiver behind Harris.

That's when Harris quickly changed the direction he was going and made a diving interception that energized the defense.

"I faked the blitz and came out of it and Marve tried to throw a slant route behind me and I just stretched out and dove behind me for the interception," Harris said. "It got the defense pretty hyped and we dominated from that point on."

The play was so impressive that Harris' teammates were impressed by his athleticism days after the scrimmage.

"He made a pick the other day in the scrimmage and he just amazed me with how he got the ball," safety Ryan Hill said.

Harris is currently rotating in and out of the first team defense as the nickel back. He says in practice he is getting reps on the outside, but his main focus right now is perfecting nickel because that will be his responsibility during the season.

One player who has helped Harris tremendously through fall camp transition to the college game is junior cornerback Chavez Grant. For the past two seasons, Grant was the nickel back at Miami. It appears this season Grant is settling in as an outside cornerback and Harris has been picking Grant's brain about the intricacies of playing the nickel.

Harris feels comfortable picking Grant's brain this fall because the two already had a connection before this fall. When Harris was a sophomore at Booker T. Washington, Grant was in his senior year.

"He is helping me a lot from the time I stepped in on campus," Harris said. "He played the nickel since he has been at Miami, so he knows the position really well. He has been teaching me a lot right now as well as Coach McGriff. He is helping me out tremendously and all the success I have on the field I owe to him."

"The hardest adjustment is just learning a new scheme after being in a certain defense for four years at high school and when I get here, it is a faster speed of play and there is so much going on during one play that it is hard to keep track of your a.ssignment sometimes."

Harris is one of the many players this fall receiving reps at kick returner this fall. Harris believes returning kicks is an area he can help the team this year and make a quick impact.

"I think that is a big part of my game," Harris said. "A lot of people saw me return kicks in high school and were very impressed. When I got to the college level, they gave me the opportunity to return kicks here and hopefully I can take advantage of it."

Through the first two weeks of fall camp Harris says he can't complain about the progress he has made in adjusting to the college game and if he continues to make plays like he did in the most recent scrimmage, Harris will be a key contributor this season.

"I feel like I have done great," Harris said. "There is always room for improvement. I have made some mistakes, but Coach McGriff was always there to correct me in the film room and tell me my mistakes and correct it. I feel like I am having a good camp right now."
 8 years ago '04        #4247
madness 7 heat pts
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Hurricanes gain speed with freshman receiver Travis Benjamin

Speed has never been out of style at the University of Miami, but lately the Hurricanes have come up short in the playmaker department.

Coach Randy Shannon and his staff made finding fast athletes a priority in their last recruiting season, and, two weeks into fall practice, it's apparent the Hurricanes succeeded in that quest.

''Our offense has plenty of speed,'' senior linebacker Glenn Cook said. "That will be a big help.''

Freshman receiver Travis Benjamin has stood out in practice since coming to Coral Gables, and the speedster from Belle Glade hopes to join Miami's long list of players who can break a game open.

Benjamin's biggest moment in his brief Miami career came Friday night in a scrimmage. He opened some eyes when he took a screen pass from Robert Marve, found an opening and never stopped until he reached the end zone 60 yards away.

Benjamin, it is said, can't be caught.

WAY OUT FRONT

''He reminds me of Ted Ginn Jr. -- once he opens that stride, he's gone,'' senior receiver Kayne Farquharson said. ``He just separates from guys. He can't be caught from behind. There are special guys around the nation, but I think he's one of them.''

So, how fast is he? Benjamin, when timed by strength coach Andreu Swasey, ran the 40-yard dash in a Porsche-like 4.26 seconds.

Benjamin's teammates believe Swasey's stopwatch, and Farquharson said he thought of Benjamin while watching the Olympic sprints this past weekend.

''There aren't too many dudes who can run a 4.26,'' Farquharson said. "The guy who set the world record in the 100 may have trouble matching that number in the 40. [Benjamin] should give the Olympics a try one of these days. I would if I were him.''

It's that kind of speed that has coaches drooling in meetings, their minds spinning while coming up with new ways of getting their fast freshman the football.

Benjamin, who helped lead Glades Central High to a state championship at Dolphin Stadium as a junior in 2006, is expected to return kicks for the Hurricanes come opening night against Charleston Southern on Aug. 28.

Benjamin could be Miami's most feared threat on special teams since Devin Hester left Coral Gables to become a star with the Chicago Bears.

Last year, as a high school senior, Benjamin accounted for 339 yards in a game against Palm Beach Gardens. He caught two touchdown passes and also ran back a kick and a punt for scores.

''We will find a role for Travis, without a doubt,'' said receivers coach Aubrey Hill, a former standout in Steve Spurrier's Fun 'n' Gun offense at the University of Florida.

"His ability to soak everything in and execute on the field has been huge.''

Said Shannon: "[Benjamin's] made a lot of plays. A lot of plays.''

Hill, in his first season with the Hurricanes, says these first few weeks of practice have been exciting because of all the new talent Miami has at receiver.

Aside from veterans Sam Shields and Farquharson, the Hurricanes expect to find freshmen Jermaine McKenzie (redshirt), Laron Byrd, Aldarius Johnson, Thearon Collier, Tommy Streeter, Kendall Thompkins and Davon Johnson all vying for playing time in an offense Miami hopes is better than it has been the past few seasons.

''Coach Shannon went out and got us some speed guys, that's for sure,'' defensive back DeMarcus Van Dyke said. "We have a lot of different players who we need to get the ball to so they can show off a bit.''

'HE'S JUST A BLUR'

Benjamin showed his speed during the scrimmage.

''His speed is unreal. He's blazing,'' Van Dyke said. "You let him get one step on you in one-on-ones, and he's gone. He's just a blur.''

Of course, speed alone isn't going to get Benjamin or any of his other quick teammates on the field.

But it sure does help.

''We have so many guys with so much potential, it's really fun to watch,'' Hill said. "We have football players with great speed.

"These guys aren't one-dimensional. It's not just the speed. These guys have the ability to change a game. That's going to help us win.''
cant wait to see what this kid does on gameday:applause:
 8 years ago '04        #4248
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Miami Hurricanes have completed all four of their two-a-day practices and have just one more scrimmage tonight.

The season opener is just nine days away.

There is beginning to be some concern about the availability of starting defensive ends Eric Moncur and Allen Bailey. Neither player has participated in team drills thus far although coach Randy Shannon has said they both will be ready for the Aug. 28 opener against Charleston Southern.

I would not be surprised if they were held out of the opener as a precaution to make sure they are healthy for the Sept. 6 matchup at No. 5 Florida.

Shannon said he might name a starting quarterback on "Thursday or Friday". The sooner the better. However, keep in mind. Last year, Shannon didn't name a starting quarterback until days before the opener at the press conference leading up to the game. The pre-game press conference will be on Monday leading up to the Thursday night matchup.

Marve Appears to be the Starter

Robert Marve has done everything that one could hope for in his competition to be the team's starting quarterback.

He's performed well in the spring scrimmages and again in the fall. He's been consistent, limited his mistakes, and has thrown touchdowns.

It appears more and more each day that Marve will be the starter with Jacory Harris backing him up. (Watch Video)

Harris has done well since arriving on campus in January, but still could use a season under his belt to continue his adjustment to the college game.

When the starting quarterback is named, I wonder how long it will take before a controversy will ensue. Or maybe the starter performs well enough and the teams wins to silence a controversy. Obviously, the second statement would be a better outcome.

James Continues to Work in the Slot

Running back Javarris James (Watch Video) began doing a lot of work as a slot receiver this spring and put in a lot of time in the off-season working on his hands.






James said former Hurricane Lamar Thomas gave him some pointers and the two did some 1-on-1 work together.

"I've been working on my hands a lot more," James said. "Hopefully getting out there in the slot and getting a chance to have the ball in my hands."

James (pictured right) also caught passes with Kellen Winslow, another former Hurricane. NFL Pro Bowl receivers Chad Johnson and Reggie Wayne were also working out at UM in the summer.

"Working with all of those guys is a privilege," James said. "Those guys are really great. They come back and put in the work with us. Hopefully I'll join them one day."

With James in the slot, look for Graig Cooper to handle more of the tailback responsibilities and James to be used more in the passing game.

In his first two seasons, James has caught 31 passes for 300 yards and one touchdown. Only one returning player, wide receiver Sam Shields, has caught more passes (64) in their career.

Hard Hitters

Junior linebacker Darryl Sharpton (Listen to Sharpton) has widely been considered one of the hardest hitters on the team at 5-11, 235 pounds.

So who are the other hard hitters?

Safety Anthony Redd*ck, freshman linebacker Arthur Brown (Listen to Brown), and defensive end Eric Moncur round the top hitters on the team according to one senior.

Sharpton has always been a hard hitter since he arrive on campus in 2005, but he is beginning to progress as an overall player. Currently, he is the starting strongside linebacker after posting a career-high 57 tackles last year.

JoJo Nicolas on first team?

So JoJo Nicolas is a first team safety and Lovon Ponder says he wouldn't be surprised to see him start. Umm, what?

Nicolas was a seldom-used player last season as a freshman and mainly saw action on special teams. Now he is on the first team along with Redd*ck.

It's great to see Nicolas performing well. But what about Randy Phillips? Something doesn't sound right. Earlier this fall, Phillips (pictured below) admitted he was not on the field in some games last year due to disciplinary action. Hopefully everything is okay with him.

We will see what we can find out.





Futch Gets the 'U'

Freshman LB Jordan Futch (Watch Video) has a 'U' shaved into the back of his head and plans to keep it there.

"That's his style," running back Javarris James said.

Meanwhile, James has decided to let his hair grow out during fall practices, but will go back to having a clean look for the season.

In other hair news, offensive lineman Orlando Franklin continues to have a design on the side of his head with a mohawk.

We're Hurricanes...

The team practiced in the rain on Monday morning with Tropical Storm Fay on the horizon.

Following practice, two players--Kayne Farquharson and John Calhoun--acknowledged the weather with the same response.

"We play in the rain, we're Hurricanes," they said.

Just an interesting observation.

Recruit Wearing UM Shorts

American Heritage offensive lineman Jared Wheeler, a high priority for the Hurricanes, was at Friday's scrimmage wearing UM shorts.

This has to be a good sign for UM fans, although it is typical to see recruits wear gear of a variety of colleges.

Florida, which is believed to be UM's toughest competition with Wheeler, already has three verbal commitments from offensive linemen.

Upcoming Practice Schedule

UM has a scrimmage tonight before a day off on Wednesday. They will resume practice on Thursday morning, but a 5:30 AM practice on Friday is a bit shocking. They are off on Saturday before getting into game week preparations on Sunday.
 8 years ago '04        #4249
madness 7 heat pts
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Scrimmage 3 wrap-up

The third and final scrimmage of the fall is all wrapped up. Even though we didn't get to see a single snap of this one (we at least got to see a little of No. 1 and No. 2), it's apparent the offense had it's best scrimmage of the fall so far.

"I think as far as an offense, this was our best scrimmage by far," left tackle Jason Fox said. "We executed. We didn't have a turnover tonight. Pass protection was there. I'm not sure if we gave up any sacks. No dropped balls. I think we had one penalty. This was a great way to finish off camp as far as an offense."

Fox told reporters the offense scored seven to eight touchdowns. Well, it wasn't that much. Chavez Grant told me somebody was multiplying by two. After all the interviews, I've concluded there were four.

Three belonged to sophomore receiver Leonard Hankerson, who told us he caught two long passes (one from Robert Marve and Jacory Harris) and another on a bubble screen (from Harris). Hankerson admitted he's been feeling the heat from the freshmen, who up until Tuesday had been receiving all the praise from coach Randy Shannon.

"I felt I had to play well because in the previous [scrimmages] I didn't do as well as I should of," Hankerson said. "So, today I just had to come out and show I can play. The performance I figure it help with the coaches and my confidence too."

Hankerson, who said he's lined up at all three receiver positions (flanker, split end and slot), said he caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Harris in the end zone. His 45-yarder from Marve was caught at the 25-yard line, he then raced past the secondary into the end zone. His third and final touchdown came on a bubble screen at the 30-yard line.

"I guess he has that deceptive speed," cornerback Chavez Grant told me. "He's not a slim guy. He's kind of heavy set. He runs great routes. But you don't expect him to jump on the horse, but he did tonight. We kind of busted some coverages and once the offense got the momentum going. They just did well."

> Grant said the defense was called for offsides four times -- including once on a punt block, giving the offense new life.

> Shannon didn't say a word about Hankerson, a St. Thomas Aquinas grad once after we asked him who shined during the scrimmage. The only name that came out was freshman receiver Thearon Collier, whom Grant told us had a rushing touchdown. Shannon said Collier did a great job on punt returns.

Shannon told reporters before Tuesday the final scrimmage was going to focus on special teams. He reiterated that if the season started today, sophomore Matt Bosher would handle all of the kicking duties. Grant said he, Graig Cooper, Collier and Benjamin are the guys primarily working on punt returns and pointed to Ryan Hill, Brandon Harris and Shawnbrey McNeal as guys working in the kick return game.

> Grant said part of the reason he thinks the receivers have been enjoying so much success this fall is depth, something UM obviously hasn't had the past several season.

Chavez_grant
"I think we have a lot of speedy freshman, big strong guys like Laron Byrd," Grant said. "They're coming in, making it tough for us. They're rotating every play, so they got fresh bodies. It's making us tough on our DBs. All of them have great talent. If they keep rotating, they're going to be real good."

Grant said he and Bruce Johnson are the guys starting at cornerback, but admits he moves inside when DeMarcus Van Dyke comes in the game. He said Brandon Harris is seeing a lot of time at nickel. "I don't even want to take that spot back," Grant sad. "Right now, just like it was for my first two years, he's doing a phenomenal job, making all the right checks, that's his spot right now. You just got to give it to who is performing the best right now."

> Shannon said defensive end Eric Moncur and Allen Bailey still aren't participating in full contact drills. Safety Randy Phillips was held out. So was freshman receiver Tommy Streeter.

> I know Shannon doesn't want to be accused of favoring his son Xavier, who is expected to start at center. But we all cracked a laugh tonight when I asked him how Xavier is doing. "Don't know, don't watch him," Shannon said.

> Jason Fox is officially becoming my favorite quote on this team. He's answering questions honestly and with real thought. I asked him for his take on several subjects...

How is Xavier doing at center? "With Xavier, he's playing a new position, he played tackle over there, so he's picked it up. He's quick. He hasn't missed a beat. He's graded out well in scrimmages."

Who on the offensive line would you say has made the most progress since camp began? "AJ Trump he's a guy if he's not starting, he'll be the sixth man. He'll play a lot. He had a block that sprung a touchdown on the last play. He's a guy that's been working real hard and shined."

Who on the defensive line is making an impression on you? "Same old name keeps popping up -- Marcus Forston. He's a hard worker. He's playing real well for a freshman. He's making a lot of plays."

> UM is off Wednesday. Ill be back on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. The team practices at 5:30 a.m. on Friday.
good to hear Hank get back into the mix, he's kinda been the forgotten guy with all the freshmen ballin'
 8 years ago '04        #4250
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Freshman wide receiver Travis Benjamin made the play of the scrimmage Friday night.

Benjamin took a quick screen pass from quarterback Robert Marve and immediately got up the field and scored a touchdown from 60 yards out.

"I had a decent day," is all Benjamin said about his performance following the scrimmage, but he had his teammates abuzz about his 4.26 speed.

Head Coach Randy Shannon: "He is very, very fast. I remember watching Travis when he played Northwestern in the jamboree. He caught a hitch route and went 90 yards and that hasn't changed. Any time he can get one-on-one with anybody, he can go the distance and those are the kind of players we need on this team."

Quarterback Jacory Harris: "Oh man, Travis Benjamin is amazing. He displayed his 4.26 speed today on a screen. He just caught it and found the hole and took off."

Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dke: "He reminds me of Ted Ginn how he caught the pass and just ran with it up the middle. He is just so fast."

Running back Damien Berry: "That guy has got speed, man. He is from Belle Glade, so what else can I say. He caught a screen and got guys missing."

"His speed is awesome. He makes moves on a dime and gets guys missing."

Benjamin has been making plays all of fall camp and figures to be pushing strongly for a heavy role in the offense this season, but Benjamin says he will be happy this season if he can just get in the playing rotation.

"I don't think I should be a starter," Benjamin said. "We are a team as a receiving corps and if I keep doing what I am doing, maybe I will get in the rotation."

If Benjamin keeps performing like he has through the first two weeks of fall camp, it will be hard to keep him off the field. Benjamin is a versatile threat on offense for Miami because he has the speed to line up as an outside receiver and stretch and defense vertically and he can lineup in the slot and use his quickness to get open.

"I know I had to come to college and work hard. In college you have to work harder than in high school," Benjamin said. "Since I am a freshman, everyone is going to kind of underrate me or something and I know I have to just work hard at my position."

Since arriving at UM this summer, Benjamin says he has dropped his best time in the 40 from a 4.4 to a 4.26. The University of Miami is known for having speedy players at the skill positions, and Travis Benjamin appears to be the next great home run threat for the UM offense for years to come.

"I think I have impressed most of the people that I have came in and made plays like I do," Benjamin said.
 8 years ago '04        #4251
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Since Greg Olsen left Miami two years ago, UM has been searching for a productive tight end.

In Dedrick Epps, Chris Zellner, Richard Gordon, Tervaris Johnson, and Daniel Adderley, Miami has five candidates at the position, but which player will separate themselves from the pack?

According to Epps, the coaching staff has made no secret about their confidence in his playmaking abilities.

"The coaches look at it like I am the go to guy, but I just play my position and when the ball is thrown to me then I catch it," Epps said.

Epps made the most of his opportunities when he had them last season. Epps came up huge in the 37-29 win over Florida State, when he caught the game winning 13-yard touchdown in the corner of the end-zone.

Used primarily as an H-back last year, Epps made zero starts and caught just eight passes for 83 yards and one touchdown.

Even though last season the tight ends were rarely used in passing situations, Epps says the quarterbacks this year are doing a better job of getting the ball to them.

"They look for us more," Epps said. "If the receivers aren't open, they will check down to us if we have a drag or a hitch. We are helping them out a lot more."

And are there any plays in which the tight ends are the primary targets?

"Coach Nix has drawn up a few plays like that," Epps said.

This fall Epps has made multiple plays for the offense in which he has caught the ball in the flat and gotten yards after the catch by running defenders over. Epps says he loves to run over opposing linebackers and defensive backs because of the energy it brings his teammates.

"They say that I am going to be the one that gets to offense hyped after making a catch and running over a few people and then getting yards after the catch," Epps said. "It helps us come together as an offense and it helps us build off of each other."

"A lot of guys are running defenders over though, like Javarris. We got a lot of big bodies on offense, so it is going to be something to see in the season."

The 2008 season is Epps' time to become the go-to receiver at tight end. The coaches have placed the expectations on Epps this year and he says he is ready to embrace that role.

"I am excited about those expectations," Epps said. "I don't feel like there is a lot of pressure on me. I can play that role well."
 8 years ago '08        #4252
904Nole 1 heat pts
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$6,015 | Props total: 166 166
Travis B.= Santana Moss
 8 years ago '04        #4253
booie4 
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$4,877 | Props total: 589 589
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami running back Graig Cooper is excited and ready to go. The University of Miami's leading rushing last season wants to start hitting the hole against opponents and not teammates.

When he speaks, it's easy to see his excitement and how jacked up he is to get on the field next Thursday when the 'Canes open their season against Charleston Southern.

"Man we've been tasting it for 49 days. We've been counting down for 49 days. We've been taking it day-by-day. We always concentrate on the day we are working on, but we've been talking about it for 49 days," Cooper said.

Cooper was equally excited with the performance of the offense during Tuesday night's scrimmage as well even though he didn't get too many carries as coach Randy Shannon is attempting to protect his franchise running backs in Cooper and Javarris James while giving other backs the majority of the carries.

"We did pretty good. We executed. We only had 2 penalties and no turnovers, so we did pretty good," Cooper said.

With the season opener looming at Dolphin Stadium next week, Cooper said it doesn't matter where they play.

"I mean it's alright, we'll play anywhere, we ready, we just ready. This is what we've been preparing for," Cooper said.

More importantly for Cooper is his confidence. It's improved a great deal since he started off his career last year at 190 pounds. Now weighing 203 pounds, Cooper feels the difference throughout his body and when he runs the ball in between the tackles.

His teammates are the first ones to constantly make mention of his ability to run through arm tackles now, something he couldn't do last year. Just watching film from last year's game, opponents would toss him because he wasn't strong enough to battle them.

"Oh man, I am just a whole lot more confident from 190 to like 203, it's a big difference so I just go in there with a lot more confidence than I did last year. Last year when I saw a big guy coming I'd take him on, I don't care, but now I got a lot more confidence. I got a little more weight and strength to go back with it," Cooper said..

Beyond weighing more and being stronger, Cooper feels like he is still 190 and has the same burst he had last year even though he's bigger now.

"I did it all so good that I barely feel it. It's still feels like I am 190. I am just so comfortable," Cooper said.

One thing that Cooper has taken notice is the difference from last year's camp to this year's camp. While it hasn't been easier per say, the team has been given more days off, something it didn't get last Fall which led to a very unhealthy team when the season began.

"Yeah man, we feel real good. Everybody is healthy. I am glad we got everyone out of camp real healthy. And everybody is confident. Offense sees that the defense looks real good and the defense sees that the offense looks real good and we are just getting ready for the season, that's it," Cooper said. "Coach is being cautious with everyone, not just us. We need everyone healthy."

Even so, the 'Canes will practice on Friday at 5:30 a.m., something Cooper was unaware of following Tuesday's scrimmage.

"This Friday coming up? I didn't know that," Cooper asked with a laugh. "God. I am going to sleep early Thursday. I will go to sleep at 5:30 p.m. That is something new for us. That hurts my soul. You hurt my soul with that one."

But Cooper is ready to go.

"We've been ready for Charleston Southern since Thursday at workouts. We are just ready to go," Cooper said.
 8 years ago '06        #4254
DEDOS 121 heat pts121
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hey booie what chandler say on inside the u about a leader

:wow:
 8 years ago '04        #4255
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- It was a big day for the offense this morning in practice as the 'Canes began their official preparation for their season opener against Charleston Southern next Thursday at Dolphin Stadium.

SHANNON QUOTES

"Today's practice we worked on Charleston Southern. We broke up offensively and defensively and did some special teams. As far as execution, we executing pretty well. no illegal procedures or offsides so guys are focused on the first game."

NEWS & NOTES

? There is no update on when the starting quarterback will be named.

? WRs Khalil Jones, Sam Shields, Kayne Farquharson and Travis Benjamin all caught touchdown passes this morning in practice.

? Freshman DE Marcus Robinson received first-team reps, but is a second-team player according to Shannon, and will have an opportunity to receive substantial playing time this season.

"He's a young kid who has done a great job of pass rushing," Shannon said. "He's one of our premier young pass-rushers for the future. We are really excited about him. He has been getting to the quarterback and chasing the football."

? Freshman Joe Wylie is playing safety this fall, which is where he played in high school. There was some consideration about playing Wylie at cornerback.

? Freshman CB Brandon Harris continues to impress his teammates at cornerback and nickel back position. Look for Harris to be one of the top freshmen performers this season.

? Shannon would like to have seven offensive linemen in the rotation. Right now, the sixth guy is OT Chris Rutledge and the seventh is OG/OC A.J. Trump.

? WR Leonard Hankerson was playing inside slot receiver earlier this fall, but was moved back out to the outside, which is where he was when he scored three touchdowns in Tuesday's scrimmage.

? DEs Eric Moncur and Allen Bailey have doctor appointments later today to get the latest on their status. Shannon still expects both to be ready for the Aug. 28 opener.

? RB Derron Thomas is a bit banged up and sore after taking a lot of reps this fall as Javarris James and Graig Cooper are being rested.

? Graig Cooper, Shawnbrey McNeal, Ryan Hill, Thearon Collier, Travis Benjamin, Davon Johnson, and Brandon Harris are still in the running to be the team's returners this season. Aldarius Johnson was on kick return, but was recently taken off.

? Matt Bosher is still the guy that will kick field goals, punt, and do kickoffs. "Right now, it looks like he is going to have to do all three until we get into the games until we get K Jake (Wieclaw) and see what QB/P Taylor Cook can do," Shannon said. Bosher missed a 54-yard field goal in practice recently, but came back and hit a "40-something yarder".

? Practice resumes Friday morning at 5:30.

? UM classes start on Aug. 27.
 8 years ago '04        #4256
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- For the past two years, junior cornerback Chavez Grant has worked his way into the rotation playing the role of nickel and dime back. It's a role he took on and worked very hard at. It's a role that he is now teaching for another former Booker T. Washington graduate and former high school teammate in freshman Brandon Harris.

He's teaching the role to Harris because right now Grant is working as a first team corner opposite of Bruce Johnson.

Grant's play has improved so much that he's currently ahead of DeMarcus Van Dke, someone everyone expected to be as close to a lock as a starter as anyone on the team.

As much as his play has been excellent in Fall practice, he's also taken on the role of mentor with a passion and pleasure.

"I am at corner right now. It's a big change from having to deal with a lot of motion and check calls on the inside. Like I said I am on the corner now. There's a lot more one on one. We have Brandon Harris who stepped in and he's doing a phenomenal job. He's stepped in like a champ and he's playing it very well. We have corners me, Bruce, Van Dke and Carlos Armour. Guys are stepping up and doing their role," Grant said. "I played a lot of nickel and dime and accepted my role. That's what I did. I played it my best. And now I am teaching it. We are just teaching each other and help each other. That's the only way we can get better."

Grant was very complimentary of the offense though following a strong scrimmage Tuesday as the offense got the best of the defense. Grant said teammate Jason Fox was multiplying when he said the offense scored 7-8 or either touchdowns, but was smiling when he said it.

"Nah, he's multiplying," Grant said with a smirk. "The scrimmage went okay. You know we had a lot of mental mistakes. They didn't beat us up physically. It wasn't the scheme. Mentally we had a lot of mistakes. A lot of credit to the offense, they really impressed me today," Grant said. "They ran the ball well and threw the ball well. I am real proud of those guys."

The mental mistakes though are something the defense needs to get past and not make when playing a team like Florida.

One of the concerns that Grant had was the play of the safeties who got beat a few times in the scrimmage.

"We had a lot of penalties, a lot of offsides, a couple of blown coverages where there safeties weren't staying deep," Grant said. "We just have to have each other's back. Football is a bunch of ups and downs. The offense just had some more ups than we did today."

Grant has also been impressed with the play of the wide receivers throughout Fall practice.

"They always do we well. We are just competing. Hank (Leonard Hankerson) caught a screen and turned it into a touchdown. Sometimes they are going to have good days and sometimes we are going to have good days. We are going back and forth, we are just competing."
 8 years ago '04        #4257
booie4 
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Per the Fort Myers News Press:

Former Fort Myers High star C.J. Odom said he plans to travel to Hargrave Military Academy this weekend and renew a football career that hopefully will lead him to the University of Miami in January.

Odom left Milford (N.Y.) Academy after a week of freshman orientation and didn't return on his scheduled reporting date of Aug. 10. After talking with Miami running backs coach Tommie Robinson, Odom said he's confident his change of schools won't affect his status with the Hurricanes.

"I called coach Robinson and he's a real positive, honest guy," Odom said. "And he said he wasn't gonna give up on me.

"Miami always has been my favorite school and the school I've wanted to attend. I'm really going to work hard to wind up there in January. I want to be part of the building there."

Troy Davis, a former Cape Coral High coach who's now at Hargrave, said he's been in touch with Odom. "We're kind of still seeing where we're at," he said.

Matthew Brawn, Hargrave athletic director, said Davis and school administrators will decide whether Odom can be accepted this late, but added he was confident everything will work out.

Odom said his heart was set on going to Miami; but when he fell 50 to 70 points short on his test scores, he needed to attend prep school so he could get his test scores and be academically eligible for college in January of 2009.

"Everyone in my neighborhood is big fans of Miami's, too, and when I couldn't go there right away, I kind of hurt inside," he said. "I felt there were a lot of people I disappointed; and I didn't know I had other options."

Miami placed him at Milford, Odom said, because it was a last-minute situation, but he said it wasn't a good fit. When he returned to Fort Myers, he said spent time alone to sort things out.

"He told me he's got everything figured out now," said John Schwochow, Fort Myers High defensive ends and running backs coach.

While Odom's brother Johnny Brown could take him to the Chatham, Va., campus, Fort Myers High coach Sam Sirianni, Jr. said he's there if needed.

"No matter what it takes, we'll get him there," Sirianni said. "This is too great of an opportunity to miss out on. We're not going to be hard on him, we just need to get him in school."
 8 years ago '04        #4258
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- If the season were to start today, freshman Marcus Robinson would be Miami's starting left defensive end.

Today was the first day Miami started their preparations for the Charleston Southern game on August 28 and Robinson was elevated to first team after an impressive performance in the last scrimmage in which he totaled two sacks.

Because starters Eric Moncur and Allen Bailey are still being held out of practice due to injuries from the summer, Robinson will have to prepare like he is a starter for UM's season opener.

"Today I went a lot with the first team because I don't know if [Moncur and Bailey] will be able to play the first game," Robinson said. "They are just getting me ready for the first game of the season."

"It is challenging for me right now knowing that two good guys are out. It is just motivating me to go harder every day to backup those guys and be a starter for the first game."

At 6-feet-1 and 231 pounds Robinson is the smallest defensive end on Miami's roster, but he makes up for his lack of size with his speed and quickness.

Though Robinson was recruited to play linebacker at Miami, he primarily played defensive end at Homestead High School, totaling 46 sacks during his junior and senior seasons.

"I was recruited as an outside linebacker, but when I got in there was a couple guys who got hurt and coach brought me in his office and asked what I think about playing defensive end and I told him it wouldn't matter," Robinson said.

Already plenty fast enough, Robinson says the areas he had to work on during fall camp was his hand placement and footwork.

"In high school I used my speed, but now everything got quicker and faster so I have to use my technique too," Robinson said.

Though Robinson admits he is nervous about the prospect of starting the first game of his UM career, one aspect he is looking forward to about the Charleston Southern game is being able to make the tackle when he gets to the quarterback.

"That is tough for me right now because I can't tag off on [the quarterbacks], but I know in a game I have to run through them really hard and I can't slow up like I slow up in practice," Robinson said.
 8 years ago '04        #4259
1000bluntz 
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There's a rumor going around that Marve and like 4 other players are suspended for the first game. Anybody know what they did? Marve's first career start could be at the Swamp, that would be some scary sh*t.
 8 years ago '04        #4260
madness 7 heat pts
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 1000bluntz said:
There's a rumor going around that Marve and like 4 other players are suspended for the first game. Anybody know what they did? Marve's first career start could be at the Swamp, that would be some scary sh*t.
probably for his arrest last year

and it's not like 1 game against charleston southern wouldve prepared him for a night game in gainesville
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