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Props Slaps
 03-01-2009, 04:50 PM         #4761
The Lefty  OP
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Booker T. Washington High School WR Quinton Dunbar attended UM's practice yesterday and spoke with coaches, including Randy Shannon.

A day later he decided to become a Hurricane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why did he choose the Canes?

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

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

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

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

Why did Dunbar make such an early decision?

"I just wanted to," he said.
...........
 9 years ago '04        #4762
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Sophomore running back Lee Chambers was one of the bright spots in the Emerald Bowl as he rushed for 60 yards on nine carries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I was close to him," Chambers said. "I still talk to him, but he had to go his separate way and he's still my boy."
 9 years ago '04        #4763
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Redshirt freshman Kendal Thompkins caught two touchdown passes, both 15 yards, and both from Jacory Harris in today's practice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I'm having a great time. Everything is looking good."
 9 years ago '04        #4764
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Sophomore linebacker Jordan Futch is off to a good start this spring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Its exciting," he said. "With the injury it made my love for the game even more knowing that any given day you can stop playing and career can be over at anytime."
 9 years ago '04        #4765
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Sophomore defensive end Marcus Robinson is looking to have a more productive season after showing flashes as a freshman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miami just completed their first week of spring practices.

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

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

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

"Every day somebody is trying to be the starter so we are all just working hard," Robinson said.
 9 years ago '04        #4766
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Kylan Robinson came to Miami in 2006 as a higher ranked running back than Javarris James.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I've been patient," Robinson said. "I'm just sitting back and learning everything and getting all the knowledge I can from the people around me. Going into my redshirt junior year, I need to be able
 9 years ago '04        #4767
booie4 
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CORAL GABLE, Fla. -- Ramon Buchanan is more comfortable at linebacker after moving from safety late last season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buchanan and the Hurricanes return to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon
 9 years ago '04        #4768
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- One of the big keys for the University of Miami football team this spring is solidifying a backup quarterback for the 2009 season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As a senior at Rice Consolidated High School, Cook completed 103 of 214 passes for 1,598 yards, 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions and rushed for 512 yards and 11 more TDs.
 9 years ago '04        #4769
booie4 
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Sam Shields is looking to make the best out of his situation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's been tough working on different parts of my body," Shields said. "I'd been running forward, but now I am backpedaling and I'm sore on different parts of my body, but it's all good."
 9 years ago '04        #4770
booie4 
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LAUDERHILL, Fla. -- Lamar Thomas is one of the greatest wide receivers to ever play at the University of Miami.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do believe that UM will be back and keep us on the schedule because you will get your butt beat one day.
 03-02-2009, 10:42 AM         #4771
The Lefty  OP
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Booker T. Washington High School DE Lynden Trail says yesterday's Cane commitment of teammate Quinton Dunbar "has a huge effect on me. I'm real good friends with him. Over at Booker T. we have something called the Big 5 - me, Eduardo (Clements), Quinton, Jose (Jose) and Ted (Meline). Basically we were planning on staying close, didn't know if we'd all go to the same college, but planed on staying close by with each other."

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

For now he's receiving Hurricane mail.

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

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

"They were on fade routes," he said.

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

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

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

And his Godfather is a big Cane fan.

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

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

He says his former teammates now at UM "always tell me home is where it's at and it's a great program and that if you want to have that family feeling that you might as well stay home at UM."
.............
 03-02-2009, 10:44 AM         #4772
The Lefty  OP
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Before Booker T. Washington High School WR Quinton Dunbar committed to Miami, he told teammate Jose Jose he would have a surprise for him.

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

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

Does it have an effect on Jose's recruitment?

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

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

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

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

Jose says he needs to make an early decision.

The reason?

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

Last year Jose finished with 78 pancake blocks on offense, allowing two sacks. On defense he had 30 tackles and three sacks.
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 03-02-2009, 10:47 AM         #4773
The Lefty  OP
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Port St. Lucie (FL) Treasure Coast High School LB Jeff Luc attended UM's practice on Saturday and got plenty of attention from Cane coaches.

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

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

Why did Luc drive almost two hours to attend practice?

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

Luc also chatted with players after practice ended.

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

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

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

What is most important to him in a college?

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

Last year the 6-foot-1, 240-pounder finished with 125 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 18 tackles for losses.
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 9 years ago '04        #4774
madness 13 heat pts13
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thanks for the updates yall

welcome to the fam, dunbar:applause:
 9 years ago '04        #4775
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Shannon works on altering his rep
Coach shows playful side to 'older team'
By Shandel Richardson | South Florida Sun-Sentinel March 3, 2009
Miami vs. Duke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"They can come in here and ask me about rap music, playing video games and girlfriend problems," Shannon said. "Those are the things that people don't know. Everybody thinks you're supposed to hug and kiss [in public]. It's not always about texting a guy 24 hours a day."
 9 years ago '04        #4776
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Miami (Fla.) Central quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey went into the Badger Sport Skills Pass Camp as one of several top South Florida prospects vying for a spot on the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team. By day's end he'd proven to be as good as any passer on the field and now has 14 offers to prove it.

Godfrey's latest offers have come from Miami, West Virginia, South Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Boston College. The offer from Michigan came just days following his performance at the Badger Sport Camp and has the Wolverines on top of his list.

"(Michigan) did come through, I think Monday (after the camp) and my coach told me on Tuesday," Godrey reported. "After getting the offer I had made up my mind that was where I wanted to go, but I didn't make any commitment.

"Right now Michigan is my No. 1 school and I am looking at them very hard. I am just waiting on them to recruit me a little more and just learn about the school a little more."

The 6-0, 180-pound Godfrey said earlier this month that he was hoping to make his first visit to Michigan in April for the Wolverine's Spring Game. That trip has not officially been set up, but still could materialize in the next few weeks.

"It would be a wonderful time to go up for the Spring Game," Godfrey said. "Whenever they ask me to come up there or whenever I get a chance to come up there I will. I'd love to go up there, see the atmosphere and see how the school really is."

Whenever Godfrey does make the trek to Ann Arbor, his experience could be the determining factor on whether Michigan can secure the services of the South Florida standout.

"I know Rich Rodriguez is a great coach and has a great offense going on," Godfrey commented. "I just want to know if I come, will they give me a chance to compete with the other quarterbacks and choose the best one for the job."

As a junior, Godfrey accounted for 2,999 yards passing and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for over 400 yards from the quarterback position.
 9 years ago '04        #4777
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Booker T. Washington High School DE Lynden Trail says yesterday's Cane commitment of teammate Quinton Dunbar "has a huge effect on me. I'm real good friends with him. Over at Booker T. we have something called the Big 5 - me, Eduardo (Clements), Quinton, Jose (Jose) and Ted (Meline). Basically we were planning on staying close, didn't know if we'd all go to the same college, but planed on staying close by with each other."

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

For now he's receiving Hurricane mail.

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

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

"They were on fade routes," he said.

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

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

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

And his Godfather is a big Cane fan.

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

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

He says his former teammates now at UM "always tell me home is where it's at and it's a great program and that if you want to have that family feeling that you might as well stay home at UM."
 9 years ago '05        #4778
Deeangoe 2 heat pts
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i heard clement commited to fsu...so much for staying close
 03-03-2009, 09:18 PM         #4779
The Lefty  OP
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 Deeangoe said:
i heard clement commited to fsu...so much for staying close
I heard something similar... something about it happening real soon.

Just a week ago he said Georgia was his favorite, but he's been a life long FSU fan I guess.

EDIT: Atleast we have great consolation prizes.
 03-03-2009, 09:30 PM         #4780
The Lefty  OP
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Travis Benjamin, Demarcus Van Dyke and Brandon Harris returned to practice today after missing most of last week due to their track commitments.

"It was a fun experience just to be back in pads," Harris said. "I hadn't played football since the bowl game, so it was fun just getting back used to my chemistry with the team."

Benjamin (quadriceps) and Van Dyke (undisclosed) worked on the side with the injured players while Harris returned to action.

"I feel strong and confident on the field," Harris said. "It was different being out on the field since I've been in track the last two or three months."

Harris competed in the 60 and 4x4 relay - he ran a personal best of 6.9 seconds in the 60. His best split in the relay was 47.5 seconds.

"I started off below average - working with (track coaches) I feel a lot faster," Harris said. "Now I'm getting comfortable with the playbook, things like that."

Harris says he's put on 10 pounds since last season (he's up to 195 pounds) and has gotten stronger - "I went up 50 pounds on my bench and 100 pounds on my squat, so I've gotten a lot stronger," he said.

Harris says he's rotating in with the first and second groups at corner.

"By the end of the spring we'll see depth chart-wise," he said. "Right now we're competing, getting each other better."

His expectations for this year?

"I'm expecting to have a big year this year," Harris said. "I feel a lot more confident, am playing with a little more swagger. (I'll be) able to make a lot more plays on the field this year."

* Benjamin says of the new offense that "It's a very good system. It has me, Aldarius (Johnson), LaRon Byrd, Thearon Collier all on the field at the same time, and we're running all kinds of crazy routes. We're looking forward to a big season."

Benjamin has returned to his high school number, 3, after playing with 80 last year.
He says he's up to 175 pounds, having gained five pounds since last year.

"Hopefully I'll be 180-something (this season)," Benjamin said.

* Coach Randy Shannon was asked after practice how important it is that either Cannon Smith, Taylor Cook or AJ Highsmith (who arrives in the summer) step up and be a solid No. 2 quarterback.

"It's important," Shannon said. "You have to go through spring football and see who comes out, and whenever AJ gets here if he can fit into the mix great. If not, we'll have a second team quarterback (regardless)."

* Today's practice was the first one closed to the media (the rest are expected to be open to the media but closed to the public). Players said scores today came from Davon Johnson on a long bomb and from Mike James on a screen pass he took into the end zone. On defense Jared Campbell had an interception.

* Matt Pipho continues to work as a first-teamer at right tackle. He has played sparingly in the past.

"He's a fifth-year senior, and sometimes with offensive linemen it takes time to develop," Shannon said. "You look at Matt, he's a guy that's big, has long arms - what you want at offensive tackle. And when he stepped in against Virginia last year we didn't miss a beat, won the game."
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