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 9 years ago '04        #4961
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CB Darius Robinson names Top 10


When spring began, three-star cornerback Darius Robinson did not have a single scholarship offer.

But the 6-foot-0, 170-pounder from Atlanta, Ga., has been flooded with 23 offers in just a matter of weeks. Robinson began the process of narrowing down a Top 10 list and informed BulldogBlitz shortly after letting those schools know.

Robinson cut 13 schools from his list and is now focusing on Mississippi State, Miami, Clemson, Central Florida, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Stanford, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

"When I sat down and looked at all my schools, I looked at the relationship I had with the coaches who were recruiting me and that's how I made my Top 10," Robinson said. "I notified all the schools that made my Top 10 and it's really just about the relationship I had with those schools, where I would fit in on the depth chart and schools that I could go in and play early."

Since narrowing things down to 10 schools late Friday, Robinson stated a sense of relief.

"I think since now it's a dead period and they can't get out and recruit, it takes a lot of pressure off me especially since I am trying to make a decision in the coming month," Robinson said. "A lot of emails stopped coming so I think it took a lot of pressure off me."

Now the next step for Robinson is to cut his list in half and come up with a top five. There is one factor that is going to help him decide which school is the right fit.

"I'm just going to have to sit down and think about it," Robinson said. "A lot of recruits don't realize what I realize. I try to look at the relationship that I have with my position coach. It's fine to have a good relationship with the coach that is recruiting you but he won't be the one that is making the decision if you play or not. I try to get a relationship with all the coaches at all the schools. That is mainly how I am going to choose my top five."

Robinson does not foresee changing his mind after he makes his final decision and will not take any of his five official visits.

"I feel like when I make my commitment I am done," Robinson said. "I think that school would respect me more if I didn't take my official visits."

Robinson did take an unofficial visit to Mississippi State a little over a week ago. It was his first trip to the Starkville campus and was shocked.

"Mississippi State was probably one of the better trips that I've had," Robinson said. "When we came down to Mississippi State it was about 8 or 9 o'clock on Sunday so went to the dorm rooms and spent the night there. When we woke up we had a campus tour. I was surprised at how nice the school looked. The campus was huge.

"We went to the stadium and saw the big TV on the field. That thing was huge and was nice. All the facilities were nice. We went and saw a 50-yard indoor field and then a full indoor facility. I was really surprised at how nice and modern everything was. There was nothing old about it or anything. Everything was up-to-date and not run down or anything."

Robinson admitted that he had heard all the stereotypes about MSU and really was not expecting much from his visit.

"I've actually just been hearing what people say about Mississippi State," Robinson said. "They obviously don't know what they are talking about. I just thought nothing was going to be out there. They've actually got more to do there than the school up north, I think that's what they call it. I visited that school but it was a lot of older people there."

Robinson did not get a chance to meet with head coach Dan Mullen or cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith during his visit. Neither Mullen or Smith were on campus but he did spend time with his recruiting coach David Turner and defensive coordinator Carl Torbush.

He also got a chance to start building a bond with several of the Bulldog players during his stay in Starkville along with several of his Westlake teammates.

"A select few of us went out with the players that night," Robinson said. "We had a good time. We went to downtown Starkville with probably 10-15 of the players. Me, Michael Taylor, Tony Jacob and Eric Simmons had a good time. We went downtown and went to a little party. It was nice."

Robinson made 43 tackles, picked off three passes and had 10 pass breakups as a junior for the Lions, who went 6-4 last season in Class AAAAA. He is credited with 4.41 speed with a 35-inch vertical. He benches 215-pounds and maxes out in squat at 435-pounds.

Robinson is rated the No. 21 cornerback in the country.
 9 years ago '04        #4962
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A new Top 2 for CB Dior Mathis


Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Dior Mathis has never been shy about stating exactly where things stand in his recruitment. The 5-9, 175-pound Mathis has expressed strong interest in several teams over the course of his recruitment, but now two new ones reside in the top spots.

In recent weeks, Oregon has bolted to the front of Mathis' mind due to increased recruiting attention by the Ducks' coaching staff.

"That's a surprise school that came up out of nowhere," Mathis said. "They've been talking to me a lot, so that is probably one of my No. 1 schools right now. I'm going to take a trip down there in August.

"Checking out their background, they graduate all their football players and all the guys at my position go high in the draft. Their football facilities are amazing, their school is amazing and the coaches are outstanding people."

Mathis currently lists Oregon and Michigan State - which has also made a strong recent push for the nation's No. 8 cornerback prospect - atop his list at this stage of the process.

"Those are the top two right now," Mathis said. "Michigan State is making a real big impression. Even though they just had a cornerback commit, which is Mylan Hicks, they are still making a big impression on me."

Oregon and Michigan State have replaced Miami and Michigan at the top of Mathis' list, but the Hurricanes and Wolverines are not out of the race.

"Those two teams right there are going to be in my top five along with Oregon and Michigan State," Mathis said. "I'm just looking for another team to [round out] my top five."

Michigan dropping down Mathis' list of favorites has to do with other teams stepping up their efforts more than the Wolverines doing anything to decrease the four-star cornerback's interest level.

"Where they stand with me is, they are still high but they have a little more improvement to do because more teams are stepping up and telling me what I want to hear," Mathis said.

"When I had that one phone call [in the spring] I talked to every single coach and they were all saying they want me. I talked to players all the time because my teammates go there. I talk to them every day and they tell me how fun it is and how they want me to come up there and be with them."

Michigan has had great success recruiting Cass Tech, picking up three prospects from the school just in the class of 2009. Having several former Technicians on their roster is one of the Wolverines" strongest selling points with Mathis.

"I think it is a positive because the guys that are up there, I have a bond with those guys and it would be like playing with the teammates I've played with my entire life," Mathis said.

After taking part in the U.S. Army Combine this past January, Mathis decided he wanted to make his decision at the Army Bowl next January.

"That's still the plan, but you never know," Mathis said. "Anything could happen, but it is still my plan to commit there."

Mathis is coming off an MVP performance at the Football University Camp in Wixom, Mich., the weekend of June 19. His performance was rated the best by the FBU instructors at the invite-only event.

"They said I got it by being first in every drills, being amazing in one-on-ones and being a good person off the field," Mathis said. "It was a good competition and a real good experience. I took away things that I didn't know about the game and didn't know about my position... things I am going to use throughout my senior football season and in my college football career."
 9 years ago '04        #4963
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DB Travis Bell

Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central High School DB Travis Bell lists over 10 offers, including Miami.

But one school is now standing out to him.

"West Virginia, they're No. 1 because of what I saw while I was up there for the summer camp," Bell said. "I liked their program, their campus, how they run things up there, their education."

Bell adds that he's "Still looking at Miami strongly."

He says he plans to take an unofficial visit to UM this summer.

"I'll be deciding early on in the football season," Bell says.

How much ground do the Canes have to make up with West Virginia?

"A lot," Bell said. "They have a big lead."

Of what he knows about UM at this point, Bell said, "The only thing I do know is they put a lot of people in the NFL. I'm friendly with Randy Phillips - he says they have a good education, good training, good football program."

Other than speaking with Randy Shannon once, Bell hasn't talked with Cane coaches.

"I get Miami letters - I don't read them," Bell said. "I don't read any of the letters - there's too many of them. I just put them all in my dresser drawers."
 9 years ago '04        #4964
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orey Crawford

Columbus (Ga.) Carver High School DE Corey Crawford is getting recruiting mail from Hurricane coaches, but he has yet to receive a UM offer.

If the Canes do offer, they will join a growing list for the standout player - he currently lists 17 scholarship offers.

"I've been talking to Miami coaches - coach (Clint) Hurtt is recruiting me," Crawford said. "He said he had seen my highlight film, liked the way I looked.

"I'll be looking at Miami."

So far Crawford has taken visits to Clemson, Georgia and Auburn.

"I want to visit Miami also, but I'm not sure yet when I will," Crawford says. "I don't know much about Miami. a.ssuming they offer, if I had to have a top 10 they'd be in there."

For now Crawford hasn't narrowed down a list.

But he does have one school in front - Clemson.

"That's how it is right now, but I won't make a decision until signing day," he says.

Of what he wants in a college Crawford says, "A place that has a good program, somewhere I can have fun and be comfortable."
 9 years ago '04        #4965
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Tampa (FL) Hillsborough High School CB Terrence Mitchell says he only has one school he knows for sure he will visit at this point: Florida State.

"I talk to their coaches the most," he says.

Mitchell says he has no top five or 10, and no real frontrunner right now. And he says the Canes are in the thick of things.

"I'm still considering Miami," he says. "Coaches are sending me mail. Coach (Joe) Pannunzio is recruiting me - he just says how he wants me, how I can come and help them right away."

Mitchell will likely take his recruitment into the fall - he has no summer visits planned.

"I'll just be in the weight room," he says.

Of UM, Mitchell says, "I really don't know too much about them. I know about them being on TV all the time, having a good defensive backs corps."

He also talks about Miami with Todd Chandler, who is a Cane commitment.

"He's like my brother," Mitchell said. "He tells me about the school, why he picked them."

Mitchell says he plans to narrow things down in the fall.

"I'll get a top five, and it's a real good chance Miami will be in there," he says.

When will he make a final decision?

"After all my official visits," Mitchell says.

Last year the 5-foot-10, 165-pounder had 43 tackles and two interceptions.
 9 years ago '04        #4966
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Atlanta (GA) Westlake High School DB Darius Robinson says a visit to Miami for the summer camp has helped solidify the Canes at the top of his list.

"Miami's No. 1," he said. "I'll probably make a decision next month, probably the middle of the month.

"I talked to coach (Wesley) McGriff [last week]. He was just talking about how I feel about Miami, things like that, talking about it's a great opportunity if I was to come down there. He was saying how he wants me."

Robinson has hammered out a top 10 of UM, Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina, Stanford, Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia, UCF and Wake Forest.

He says Clemson is No. 2 on his list behind Miami.

"Miami's really high on my radar right now," Robinson said. "They open a lot of opportunities for me with playing time, and the academics are good and the environment down there is lovely."

Robinson says he was particularly impressed by how he saw the team interacting while he was at UM - he went out with a couple of players, Darryl Sharpton and Randy Phillips.

"I just like the family atmosphere and how everyone gets along," Robinson said. "When I was down there we went out with some of the players and I saw the relationship they have regardless if they're freshmen or seniors. Everyone bonds, loves each other. They talk about life in general with each other, not just football."

Johnson says at the latest he plans to have a decision in place before his first practice Aug. 1.

As a junior he finished with 43 tackles, three interceptions and 10 passes broken up.

He says where once he planned on attending the same college as teammate Michael Taylor, that may no longer be the case.

"At first we were going to the same school, but lately it might be different," Robinson said. "We may be going to the same or different schools.
 9 years ago '04        #4967
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QB Joseph Brennan names top 3


New Jersey quarterback Joseph Brennan has several early scholarship offers to look over and recently added two more to his list. The 6-foot-4, 178-pound Brennan, who attends Camden Catholic High School, gave us the latest on his recruiting.

"I think it's pretty much down to Stanford, Miami, and Wisconsin," said Brennan. "I've been to all three schools and I'm hoping in the next two weeks I'll have my decision."

Brennan, who claims no favorite at this time, hopes to sit down soon and make his choice.

"I'm not leaning any one way yet," Brennan said. "I'm just going to go over it with my family and my coach and look at the pros and cons of each program. They're all great schools and it's just whether I've got that gut feeling there or not."
 9 years ago '04        #4968
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WR Allen Hurns names top 5

From Rivals Recruiting

There are many big time wide receiver prospects from south Florida. One of the best is Allen Hurns from Miami Carol City. Last season as a junior Hurns hauled in 23 receptions for 450 yards and eight touchdowns.

"I have good speed and I run track," Hurns said. "I run nice routes, have good hands and good hand placement. I just need to keep working."

According to Hurns he currently has scholarship offers from Miami, Pitt, Central Florida and Florida International. Several other teams are showing interest and recruiting him hard.

"I would say other possibilities for me are Western Michigan, Florida, Kansas State, Purdue and West Virginia. They are all recruiting me.

"But right now my top five would be Miami, Central Florida, Florida, West Virginia and Pitt."

This summer Hurns has already camped at both Miami and Pitt.

"I did well at the Miami camp. I always liked UM as a kid. I don't think there's any pressure to go there. I will do what I want to do. I am just open with everything.

"That was my first time up to Pitt. It was a good camp and I liked the city. It's a Steelers city. They also have great facilities and the coaches are cool. That's a school of interest for me."

Hurns has also made (unofficial) summer visits to Florida International and UCF. He plans on camp at Friday Night Lights in Gainesville next month.
 9 years ago '04        #4969
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f!ght for No. 1 beings in FV Top 100

Michael Langston

After countless hours of evaluation, from camps and combines to spring games and state championships, FV's staff brings fans what they've been waiting for. We give you our top 25 2010 prospects. The decision for the no. 1 spot was extremely difficult and wasn't actually selected until just last week. The five finalists up for the top spot were Christian Green from Tampa Catholic, Matt Elam of Dwyer, Lamarcus Joyner from St. Thomas Aquinas, Jeff Luc from Treasure Coast and Corey Lemonier from Hialeah.

Our no. 1 prospect simply destroys running backs out of the backfield and has an extremely quick ability to read any offense. This young man already has the physical tools to make a big impact as one of the hardest hitters in the state of Florida. All the prospects were quick, but the most college ready player and consistent performer has been Treasure Coast LB Jeff Luc.

"I've put a lot of work into being the best. I think overall it just came down to me taking football seriously the past two years and that's the biggest transformation with my game," explained Luc.

The decision was difficult with all four prospects under consideration. Hialeah Corey Lemonier claimed the second overall spot and heavily challenged Luc for the overall top ranking. He is a prospect that has more upside then any prospect in Florida. The key now for Lemonier is putting all the tools together. The 6-foot-4, 225 pound monster is an incredible effective pass rusher who uses his hands very well and has a motor that never slows down. He has a big time burst off the edge and is much improved between the tackles.

Following Lemonier is another highly rated athlete in Tampa Catholic big star Christian Green, who most believe will end up as a receiver in college. The key aspect that has your jaw dropping is the fact that here's a kid that is 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, and despite the 'heavy' weight, he is elusive out in space. His top end speed has been measured in the 4.4 range has college scouts drooling everywhere. Right on the heels of Green is Florida Gator commitment and one of the best overall and versatile athletes in the state in Dwyer safety, Matt Elam. While Elam isn't the top overall prospect this time around, he's going to be tough to hold off when you consider that he is a five star tool player who can be the top player at three or four other positions in the state of Florida. Elam showed that off earlier this year in the National 7-on-7 event where he led the Palm Beach All=Stars to a title. The top five was rounded out by one of the most dominating athletes around the state in Lamarcus Joyner. The 5-foot-8, 165 pound speedy athlete to sum up quickly, is a top five player who has special athletic abilities that many of the top athletes around the nation aren't blessed with. It's very scary in how good Joyner could be once he hones down his skills and technique as a cornerback.

South Florida area dominating the Top Ten?
We covered the top five prospects, but now we cover a few surprises and talk about the total domination from South Florida prospects in the top ten. How dominating? How about the fact that out of all the top ten prospects, only two were from the Central or Northern Florida. One of the huge risers in that top ten is Bradenton Southeast DB Jonathan Dowling. We absolutely love Dowling's high ceiling of skills because of the amount of ground he can make up even if a mistake is made. Closing speed is what separates the good ones from the great ones, and Dowling is one of the best in Florida.

Take one look at St. Thomas Aquinas RB Giovanni Bernard and probably your first response would be yeah, he's alright at a camp setting. That all changes when you take a quick glance at the talented back in live action. Bernard last year helped put the Raiders firmly on the map as being the best offense in the nation. Everyone knew about the fantastic three of Dwayne Difton, Duron Carter and Gabe Holmes. But it was Bernard that really opened up those routes rushing for 1,528 yards and 18 touchdowns. The difference between Bernard and a lot of backs is that he has the speed, quickness, and strength to be a top back anywhere in the country. We have other top backs that are certainly strong in different areas like either power or speed, but not the complete package like Bernard.

Quick strike athletes make a move
What's that saying, speed k!lls? The state of Florida has two of the best in Pahokee WR Chris Dunkley and Cape Coral athlete Jaylen Watkins. Not surprisingly, both prospects could eventually end up the University of Florida - a speed factory of their own.

Watkins, who is already committed to the Gators is expected to do his damage in college. However, it isn't just his speed, but more along the lines of the first three steps off the line of scrimmage that has college scouts shaking their head in disbelief.

Dunkley on the other hand, is a receiver the whole way, but is as dominating as they come. He has big time speed, quickness and has good size. The best comparison of Dunkley would be a bigger version of Nu'keese Richardson, but a stronger upper body and probably a tad tick down on speed compared to Richardson. The one difference with Dunkley though is he has the speed and quickness, but he's also one of the best leaping wide receivers around the state.

Miramar WR Ivan McCartney, who many know by the nickname of "Sticks" is also a receiver who projects extremely well to the college level. He has great hands and the route running, a big improvement from his junior year. The ability to shield his body and being a tough one-on-one match-up because of his size makes McCartney one of the biggest weapons at the wide receiver this year in the sunshine state.

Benedict and Green on top of their game
Although Brandon Linder from St. Thomas Aquinas holds the top spot as the best lineman in the state of Florida, we can't overlook two other talented lineman in Florida, Chaz Green and Georgia commitment Brent Benedict. Just a few weeks ago, Benedict ended his college recruitment by picking the Georgia Bulldogs. The imposing feature of Benedict is impressive enough, but watching him run block is comparable to a bulldozer destroying an old building that was coming down regardless of what you put in front of it.

Green on the other hand is a 6-foot-6 monster that is equally dominating in the trenches, but probably even more so then Benedict in pass blocking situations. Green is extremely flexible and has solid footwork that can easily translate to the college level in a big way. Everything we hear points Green to the Florida Gators. When you talk about consistently being at the top of his game with pass and run blocking, there's aren't too many that can handle the Tampa Catholic standout, which is why he made such a big leap towards the top 15.

Another prospect that graded and projected well for college might be a surprise to some fans but comes in at the no. 15 spot in the FV Top 100 rankings in RB Brandon Gainer from Miami Central. When you look at players with the best size and pretty good quickness, Gainer has to be considered one of the top backs in Florida, maybe even the best some of our staff argued. He has very good hands out of the backfield, although we would like to see that more. Gainer has exceptional speed for a back his size. Most of time he looks like he's running downhill because of how quick he gets between the tackles and hits his top end speed. His teammate QB Jeffrey Godfrey is another Rocket high on the list of the Top 100 moving inside the top 20. Hard throwing quarterback with solid touch on the deep ball.

The only knock on Godfrey has always been the height factor, but when you consider that he's such a threat both on the ground and through the air, it's easy to see why some of the top schools in the nation are already salivating over the hard throwing quarterback.

Finally, the ranking wouldn't be complete without one of the most dominating defensive tackles around in Miami Northwestern DT Todd Chandler. You can question his size at 5-foot-10 or 5-foot-11, but you can't question his production over the past two years. The bad news for the opposition is that Chandler is fully healthy and if he can keep his health in check, a 20 sack season is certainly a possibility before heading over to the Miami Hurricanes.

That's a quick look at some of the top 25, but don't take our word for it look over the entire Top 100 to see where your favorite star emerged in the top 100. Also, stay tuned as more news names breakthrough in the coming weeks as our next rankings will return midway through the high school football season. In the meantime, stay tuned, in a few weeks we will release our position rankings.
 9 years ago '04        #4970
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Other schools going after Chandler

Miami Northwestern High School DT Todd Chandler remains a Hurricane commitment.

But he says visits to Georgia and Tennessee have him thinking things over.

"I went to a camp at Tennessee, and after that we went to Georgia," Chandler said. "Both those programs, what I saw they opened my eyes to a lot of things."

He says that could make for a tougher final decision.

"I'd say Miami, they set the bar for me," Chandler said. "I'm judging schools by what Miami showed me. Miami's still pretty high on my list, but after I did go to Tennessee, their coaches all told me some real good things.

"Coach (Ed) Orgeron was telling me how me and Warren Sapp have some of the same qualities, and he coached Sapp at Miami. That really showed me some things. And Georgia showed me good things about their depth chart, how I can get in and play early. And their players were showing me around the campus and I saw a lot of good things."

Chandler adds that "Miami is in front, but Tennessee and Georgia, they're up there."

Coaches Clint Hurtt and Wesley McGriff are recruiting Chandler to Miami.

"They're two pretty cool guys," Chandler said. "They always have something positive to tell me, and if they have to tell me something negative they will, too. We have a big brother relationship - they come straightforward out with everything they have to tell me."

Of what he is working hardest on improving this summer, Chandler said, "I'm working on my wind, so I can go hard longer. And I'm working on my strength, trying to get as strong as I can get."

Chandler says he plans a full slate of official visits.

"My first two will be Tennessee and then Georgia, and then LSU and FSU," Chandler said. "I might take an official to Miami or I might go to USC (and visit UM unofficially), I'm not sure yet."

Chandler currently lists 32 scholarship offers.
 9 years ago '04        #4971
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McCartney: I'll decide when I'm ready

Miramar (FL) High School WR Ivan McCartney has plenty of schools hot on his trail with 25 scholarship offers, including Miami.

And he is taking a wide open approach to his recruitment.

"Everyone has a 50-50 chance," McCartney says. "I haven't narrowed things down at all yet. I want to do it by the beginning of the season, probably the middle of September. I want to narrow it to about 10 schools."

He won't say yet if UM will make that final list.

McCartney says he last spoke with Cane coaches two weeks ago.

"I talked to coach (Tommie) Robinson," he said. "We were just catching up, talking about football."

Of what is most important to him in a college program, McCartney said, "Education is most important, and the relationship between the players and the coaches, the offensive style, how long the coaches have been coaching there, their experience, the campus lifestyle, things of that nature."

He visited UM's campus in April and says, "I liked it. It was a nice campus, not too many students, so that gives me an opportunity to learn better. Everything was great."

McCartney did not tell coaches he was coming to campus - he simply took a tour and then returned home without checking out the football facilities.

"I just went on my own," he says.

McCartney says he has no set time line in mind for making a final decision.

"It'll just be when I'm ready," he says.

For now, he lists the schools he knows the most about as Miami, Florida and West Virginia.

He took a trip to West Virginia last weekend for a team event.

"It went great," McCartney said.

He says he has no other visit plans this summer.
 9 years ago '07        #4972
Kinglew88 14 heat pts14
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my god you are getting propped
 9 years ago '04        #4973
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props to cap, booie, and everyone else
 9 years ago '04        #4974
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$5,471 | Props total: 2024 2024
Yeah mad props to Cap's for that is breaking down each game the Canes will play this season. Game No. 5 is at home against Florida A&M Oct. 10.


The Rattlers return 18 starters this year, including two All-Americans and seven All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference performers from last year's 9-3 team that just missed making the NCAA FCS playoffs.

Second-year head coach Joe Taylor is hoping for a league title and an NCAA playoff berth this time around. The only starters gone from a year ago are tight end Taj Jenkines, linebacker Vernon Wilder, DB Jason Beach and punter Will Platt.


The offense is led by senior quarterback Curtis Pulley, a former Kentucky transfer who was a first-team All-MEAC performer last year when he threw for 1,382 yards with 17 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He was also a major threat running the ball - he led the team with 885 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns.

Pulley's top target is also back - Kevin Elliott was a first-team all-conference pick in 2008 after totaling 58 catches for 817 yards with seven touchdowns.

Tailback Philip Sylvester also returns after tallying 717 yards and eight scores a year ago.

The line returns all five starters, including All-American right tackle Robert Okeafor and seocnd-team all-conference left guard Anthony Collins.


The Rattlers return the entire starting line from a year ago, and the leader here is senior tackle Cameron Houston, who was a second-team All-Conference pick last year.

At linebacker there is returning talent - Bryan Parker (68 tackles, eight sacks) and Alvis Graham (66 tackles, six sacks) are both back.

The secondary is led by second-team All-MEAC cornerback Curtis Holcomb, who had five interceptions in 2008. Qier Hall also had five interceptions last year. The team is also helped out by the return of safety Michael Creary, who started in 2007 but sat out last year due to a preseason injury.


Coming off four very tough games to open the season, the Canes will get somewhat of a breather with the MEAC's Florida A&M Rattlers. FAMU finished last season with a 9-3 record playing teams like Alabama State, Delaware State, Norfolk State and Hampton.

The last time the Rattlers defeated Miami was 30 yeas ago, 16-13.

Miami should be able to overpower the comparatively undersized Florida A&M team on both sides of the ball, so a close game would be a disappointment.

On special teams the Canes will have to be wary of LeRoy Vann, who was an All-American as a return specialist - he took back three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2008. Sophomore kicker Trevor Scott is back after hitting 12 of 20 kicks a year ago.
 9 years ago '04        #4975
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$5,471 | Props total: 2024 2024 is breaking down each game the Canes will play this season. Game No. 6 is at UCF Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m.


UCF finished last year with a 4-8 record and returns 10 offensive starters and six defensive starters from that team. The Knights played UM tough in Miami last year, falling 20-14.


The offense has a first-year coordinator in Charlie Taaffe, who ran various offenses during his CFL coaching career. Taaffe inherits a group that lost just one starter - first-team All-Conference USA left tackle Patrick Brown.

At quarterback, true sophomore Rob Calabrese threw for 664 yards with seven touchdowns last year while starting eight games.

Tailback Brynn Harvey will get the bulk of the carries after rushing for 519 yards last season. There is also plenty of depth behind him.

The receiving corps will be helped by the return of A.J. Guyton and Rocky Ross, who both suffered season-ending injuries last year. Guyton is a speedster who is a former Cane recruit.

UCF returns players who accounted for all but three of the team's receptions last year. The team's top receiver in 2008 was Brian Watters, who had 42 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns.

The offensive line is more experienced after starting four first-year players a year ago, including two redshirt freshmen.


UCF returns six starters from a front seven that helped the Knights lead Conference USA in rushing defense (126.08 yards per game) and passing efficiency defense (107.46 rating) while ranking second in the conference in both total defense (333.75 ypg) and scoring defense (24.08 points per game). This is a team that ranked third in the nation last year in tackles for loss per game, averaging 8.17.

Leading the charge are All-Conference USA selections Bruce Miller (17 tackles for loss, seven sacks) and Torrell Troup (12.5 tackles for loss).

The linebacker corps is helped by the return of Cory Hogue and Jordan Richards, who both missed most of last year due to injury. And Lawrence Young is back at outside linebacker after totaling 10.5 tackles for losses last year.

The secondary was hit hard, graduating all four senior starters - Joe Burnett, Johnell Neal, Sha'reff Rashad and Jason Venson combined to start 183 career games and had 50 career interceptions.


UM can't overlook a UCF team that struggled with a young group last year but still played the Canes tough in Miami. This year's game will be at UCF, and UM can't go into this expecting it to be an easy win.

The Knights have playmakers on both sides of the ball. When Miami's on defense a big emphasis must be on getting pressure in the backfield. UCF isn't a team that is going to explode for many long touchdowns, so a tackle for a loss here and there will help end drives.

On offense if Miami doesn't turn the ball over and wins the battle up front, which it should, then this game will be a victory. And UCF's inexperienced defensive backs could provide some big plays for the Canes' talented receiving corps.

On special teams, punter Blake Clingan is a three-year starter who averaged 40.5 yards per kick last year for UCF. Placekicker Nick Cattoi made four of six field goal attempts while sharing time last year.
 9 years ago '04        #4976
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$5,471 | Props total: 2024 2024 is breaking down each game the Canes will play this season. Game No. 7 is vs. Clemson Oct. 24.


Clemson returns 15 starters from a team that went 7-6 overall last year - the Tigers didn't face UM in 2008.

There were a lot of graduation losses for this team. The biggest - All-ACC WR Aaron Kelly, CAT Michael Hamlin and RB James Davis.

The team has a pair of All-ACC players back: running back C.J. Spiller and center Thomas Austin.

The general consensus is that this is a team in rebuilding mode. This is, after all, a squad replacing the top ranked receiver in its history (Kelly), the No. 2 ranked rusher (Davis) and the No. 2 ranked passer in terms of efficiency (Cullen Harper).


C.J. Spiller will carry a big load on offense for Clemson. He has a nose for the end zone and ran for 629 yards and 11 touchdowns last year when he was sharing carries with James Davis, who had 751 yards. This year, with Davis gone, Spiller will handle many more snaps, and he is a pre-season Heisman Trophy candidate.

Spiller has gained a school record 4,907 yards in three years thanks to his all-around abilities as a runner and receiver. Last year he had 436 yards receiving - the second-best season total in Clemson history for a running back.

With starting quarterback Cullen Harper gone, the team is hoping Willy Korn can get the job done. Last year he hit on 26 of 38 passes for 216 yards. But this position won't have a starter shored up until the fall.

Clemson also loses starting receivers Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham, who had 58 starts between them. The team has a returning threat in Jacoby Ford, who had 710 yards and four touchdowns.

The line returns all of its starters from a year ago, but this group struggled in allowing 34 sacks in 2008. The group is paced by all-conference center Thomas Austin.


The returning starters up front are end Kevin Alexander and tackle Jarvis Jenkins - Jenkins had 10 tackles for losses last season.

The linebacker corps returns intact, led by Brandon Maye (87 tackles) and Kavell Conner (a team-high 125 tackles).

With both safeties graduating, the team has experienced corners in Chris Chancellor and Crezdon Butler. The pair have 56 starts between them, and each had four interceptions a year ago.


With a team that many believe will be in a rebuilding mode, the Canes will no doubt spend a lot of attention in this game on slowing down C.J. Spiller. If he can't erupt for a big game, it's hard to see another player on the roster that is going to light up the scoreboard. This is also an offensive line that was very susceptible to the blitz last season, so UM defenders should be chomping at the bit for sacks in this game.

The Clemson defense doesn't have an obvious area of weakness, but the line and secondary don't have the same kind of quality as the linebacker corps. There are definitely plenty of yards to be gained against this group, and look for Mark Whipple to find some holes in the line and in the secondary.

The Tigers will have an all-new kicking game with placekicker Mark Buchholz and punter Jimmy Maners both graduating.
 9 years ago '04        #4977
$662 | Props total: 0 0
Cooper Wants 1,000 Yards
Jul. 8, 2009

By: Christopher Stock

Graig Cooper rushed for 110 yards against North Carolina last season.
Junior running back Graig Cooper wants to be the starter and wants to run for over 1,000 yards this season.

"It would mean a lot (to rush for 1,000 yards)," Cooper said. "Everybody wants to run for a 1,000 yards. That's one of my goals this year, to rush for 1,000 yards and play a big part this season."

With senior Javarris James, the team's leading carrier in 2006 and 2007, Cooper wants to be the starter.

"I want to start, everybody wants to start," Cooper said.

Cooper has led the team in rushing in each of his first two seasons with 682 yards as a freshman and 841 yards last season.

"My freshman year, I was just worried about getting on the field," Cooper said. "My second year, I just wanted to play my role. This year, I want to become a leader and do whatever I can to win games and take leadership."

Cooper is sitting at a steady 203 pounds after playing last year at 198. He's faster than he was a year ago by running a 4.37 in the 40 during spring testing, noticeably faster than the 4.56 he ran the previous year.

"I'm working harder than I've ever worked before," he said.

Cooper's first two seasons at Miami haven't gone as planned as the team has went 12-13 with one bowl appearance and he has put up good numbers, but not great numbers.

"These two years haven't been so good for me as far as the wins, but I still love the 'U', I breathe it, I respect the 'U' and I don't regret anything I did," Cooper said.

After one season at the Milford Academy in 2006, where he rushed for 1,327 yards and 15 touchdowns, Cooper had high expectations for himself and the team when he arrived at Miami in January 2007.

"I came in after we just won the bowl game in Boise and I always told myself I wanted to be a part of the team that brought the 'U' back," Cooper said. "We still working on that. Success don't come overnight. We are just taking it one step at a time and getting better and better.

The team needs leaders to step up and have productive seasons and hopefully Cooper can be that guy.

"I'm a junior now, I aint no baby no more," he said. "I've got these young guys that's playing behind me. I'm not going to be here forever so I have to show them how to take over."

While he could have entered the NFL Draft after last season, his third year out of high school, he insists he's not paying attention to the draft this year.

"I'm not worried about the draft," Cooper said. "I have two years left. I'm not worried about the draft. I'm worried about getting this 'U' back."

YouTube Videos

Running backs coach Tommie Robinson gave Cooper a video of Ladanian Tomlinson's 2006 highlights during the off-season.

Since then, Cooper has watched the video and has been intrigued by watching more highlights so he spends a lot of time watching YouTube clips of NFL running backs.

Some of the guys he's watched include: Walter Payton, Natrone Means, Chris Johnson, Reggie Bush, Adrian Peterson, Knowshon Moreno, and Lesean McCoy.

"They say that if you watch things enough it sinks in," Cooper said.

Summer Workouts

The team has been participating in off-season summer workouts with strength coach Andreu Swasey.

"The team now is more mature and a bond like I've never seen before," Cooper said. "People are respecting each other and we have leaders stepping up."

While everyone says they are working harder than the previous year, Cooper believes there is a difference.

"Everybody always says (they are working harder), but we have not been through what we have been through this summer," Cooper said. "We are putting in a lot of work. We have to sweat and f!ght off the field before we can on the field so that's what we're doing."

2009 Schedule

Miami opens the 2009 season at Florida State on September 7. Last year, FSU defeated Miami 41-39.

"We have been talking about Florida State since I don't know when," Cooper said. "We are getting ready for it."

Following the FSU game, Miami hosts Georgia Tech before traveling to Virginia Tech and hosting Oklahoma. It's arguably the toughest opening four games for the program in history.

"Everybody is talking about the first four games, but we still have eight more games after that," Cooper said. "I'm not worried about the first four games, I'm taking it one game at a time because you will be shocked if you lose to the worst team. I'm not worried about the first four, I'm worried about all 12 of them."

While Miami has not been to a BCS bowl game since 2003, Cooper insists teams still respect the 'U'.

"I don't think anyone has fell asleep on Miami, that's why everyone brings their 'A' game when they play us," Cooper said. "Just where we've been this couple of years, it's been bad, but people still respect us, not as much as before, but they still do."
 9 years ago '04        #4978
$662 | Props total: 0 0
Bunche Picks Milford, Vows to be a Cane
Jul. 7, 2009

By: Christopher Stock

Miami 2009 signee Malcolm Bunche did not qualify academically at UM this semester so he is headed to Milford (NY) Academy.

According to Bunche, he did not have the necessary SAT score to make to UM.

"My grades were good, but my SAT scores were not so good," Bunche said. "UM is a private school and they have higher standards than the NCAA. I believe I would have been accepted at another school."

Although he believes he would have gotten in to another university, he remains sold on being a Hurricane.

"I'm definitely still going to Miami," Bunche said. "That's where I always wanted to go. My mind hasn't changed about going to Miami."

Bunche, who is 6-foot-6 and weighs 318 pounds and is expected to play either offensive tackle spot, was a standout at Newark (Del.) High School. He was previously a verbal commit to Rutgers, before committing to Miami in late January.

"I'm very disappointed," Bunche said. "But I'm reporting to Miami in January and I'll be ready for spring practices where I'll be vying for a starting position."

Bunche picked Milford in favor of Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy, both of which have prominent prep school football programs.

"It's just something I decided to do, I wanted to go there," Bunche said. "It was either there are Hargrave, but I've been to Virginia a lot, so I decided to give upstate New York a try."

While Bunche is disappointed, he remains optimistic about the change of events.

"I'll get playing experience and it's another year of maturing and just working out," Bunche said. "I'll improve my athletic ability, speed, and conditioning. It's going to work out for the better."

The Miami coaches, particularly offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, have been offering Bunche words of encouragement.

"They are keeping it positive," Bunche said. "Some of the coaches are saying you're not the only one and to stay strong. It's only a bump in a road. It will be a little tough for me, but not to get down on myself."
 9 years ago '04        #4979
$662 | Props total: 0 0
Fox Focused on Florida State
Jul. 8, 2009

By: David Lake

Jason Fox
University of Miami junior offensive lineman Jason Fox has his mind on Florida State.

Fox admits that since the schedule came out during the offseason he hasn’t stopped thinking about opening the season against the Seminoles.

“Ever since the schedule was released, I have been thinking about that,” Fox said. “It is exciting and we were all over at my house last night and we were talking about Florida State. It is in everybody’s minds right now.”

“That is in everybody’s minds right now, but everybody has the right attitude about it. We have a big start to our season and we know we need to get ready for it.”

Fox says he prefers opening the season with that tough four game stretch because it allows for the Hurricanes to make a big mark early in the season when the team will be most fresh.

“It is an opportunity to have people respect us and the second thing is that guys feel best at the beginning of the season,” Fox said. “Most teams have tired legs at the end of the season and it is the end of the semester. At the beginning of the season, you have everything going and that is when you want to play big games.”

One major reason why Fox is looking forward to the upcoming season is the offensive scheme coordinator Mark Whipple is installing.

Fox says that Whipple is putting in a scheme that will be more aggressive and will keep defenses on their heels.

“I love coach Whipple’s play calling and even more than that I love his whole mindset behind it. He says we are going to do what we are going to do and you try and stop it. I like that and I am excited to have him calling the plays.”

“I know we have a good offense, but after the spring was over we sat down for meetings and the graduate a.ssistant put together a highlight film of the big plays from the spring and there was a lot of 40 or 50 yard plays. It was exciting to see that big play potential and the ability to score from anywhere on the field.”

Fox says he expects for Miami to play better football this year because of all that young players that have matured and been in the program since last year. Fox says that the difference in a player’s development from year one to year two is a big one.

“We have a lot of young guys coming back and they feel a little more comfortable now,” Fox said. “With my first year as a freshman, you get caught up in not trying to make a mistake and you don’t get out there and try and make a big play. You have all your nerves going with your first year, but now you can go out and relax and play.”

With a veteran group of offensive linemen leading the first unit in Fox, Orlando Franklin, A.J. Trump, Joel Figueroa, and Matt Pipho, Fox says he is pleased with how the unit has come together this offseason.

“We don’t have too many offensive linemen numbers-wise, but I think that the guys we do have are quality because they care a lot about football,” Fox said. “We are just trying to bring each other along. Even the young guys in Jared Wheeler and Cory White are just trying to learn the offense and give all they got.”

On defense Fox says he is looking for Adewale Ojomo and Allen Bailey to put together big years.

“I think Ojomo is going to have a great season,” Fox said. “He has always been an athlete and he has put in the time to get better. I think Allen Bailey also will have a big season on the interior.”

Overall, Fox feels very good about the team going into the 2009 season. He feels like Miami is in a good position to have a successful season.

“I think every year I have been here, I have seen the group get closer and closer together,” Fox said. “I think the pieces are in place now and it is exciting and we just have to put everything we have into it and hope it comes together at the right time.
 9 years ago '04        #4980
$662 | Props total: 0 0
Phillips: We Have Weathered The Storm
Jul. 8, 2009

By: David Lake

Randy Phillips
University of Miami safety Randy Phillips is returning for his fifth season at UM and he is excited about the young talent he sees at Miami.

After playing in just two games during the 2008 season because of an injury, Phillips was granted another year of eligibility.

Phillips says he is grateful for his extra year of eligibility and he feels like this season will be the perfect storm for a strong season by Miami.

“We have weathered the storm,” Phillips said. “The Hurricane came in and swept us and got us and we weren’t stable because we weren’t built from the ground up. Then coach Shannon came in and fixed everything. The Hurricanes are going to improve from last year. Just having all the young guys coming back and being stronger and more mature will go out there and do great things.”

With Phillips entering his fifth season at Miami, he says he feels a real confidence going into this season. He says he knows many people have forgotten about him still being at Miami, but he is ready for the opportunity to prove he is a force for the defense.

“If anything, I am more relaxed and calm going into this season,” Phillips said. “Everybody was on the bandwagon after my first two years cause I was playing real good. I would say now I am under the radar and that is a good thing. I just want to be a leader and a captain of this team and focus and play football.”

“I never want to get lacks. I always want to be in a situation where people don’t think much and I go out and play hard and do what I have been doing. I am not going to change anything, I am just going to keep working hard and good things will happen.”

Phillips believes UM is returning a good mix of veterans and young players from last year.

“We return a lot of great players too that didn’t play last year like me, Colin McCarthy, and Eric Moncur,” Phillips said. “Those are two and three year starters that we didn’t have on our defense last year.”

Phillips knows that a strong season starts with the tough four game slate to open the season against Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma. According to Phillips, everybody on the team is preparing for that tough stretch to open the season.

“There is a sense of urgency for our first four games,” Phillips said. “We have to approach the summer and work real hard. Right off the bat we have a tough schedule and right now the sense of urgency is high. We are doing what the strength coaches are telling us to do. We are keeping our bodies ready and prepared for when camp starts.”

“Florida State is a great rivalry. They are the first game and it is a rivalry, so of course people will get up for it, but as people get up I cool down a little bit because I have been there and done that before.”

Part of the confidence that Phillips has going into this season stems from the fact that Miami has a new defensive coordinator in John Lovett. Phillips says the defense has done a good job of picking up the new scheme.

“We are doing real good with learning the new defense,” Phillips said. “We meet on our own and go over it at my house. We are doing pretty good picking everything up.”

“He coached against Georgia Tech last year and they beat them. He knows in his head that he can beat that offense. The Wing T is something many teams don’t run. We hadn’t faced that in a long time. We are a lot better on defense with our coaching and talent.”

During summer workouts Phillips has been able to work with the secondary and against UM’s bevy of receivers. He says he has been impressed by two of Miami’s young receivers in particular in Kendal Thompkins and Tommy Streeter.

“He can fly and he can play,” Phillips said of Thompkins. “He is one of the best playmakers on the team already. Streeter can take the ball deep and he doesn’t drop the ball. Those two guys are two of the best playmakers on the team and they haven’t stepped on the field yet. We will get a lot of production from them this year.”

This year Phillips will be working with Vaughn Telemaque at safety and he talked about the type of player he can be for the UM secondary.

“I am impressed with his knowledge of the game and his range,” Phillips said. “He can cover a lot of ground quick. He has good ball skills too. He is getting a lot faster and understanding what he is doing. He does his job without making mistakes.”

Overall, Phillips feels good about the upcoming season and he sees big things for Miami for 2009.

“I came here to win a National Championship,” Phillips said. “I think we can do that and we are working real hard right now. It is going to be crucial that we can win games down the stretch. This is my last go around and I want to win more games than we have before.”


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