Miami Hurricanes

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 9 years ago '05        #5321
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 madness said:
i dont see how this makes him a bi*ch, barrow's gettin more responsibility than he had before....this move basically makes him the DC in waiting
hes a glorified special teams coach he doesnt really have any responsibility
 9 years ago '04        #5322
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Union coaches reunite in Miami
Hurricanes' coordinators were together for Dutchmen long ago

First published in print: Saturday, February 21, 2009
Mark Whipple had just landed the first big break of his career. Hired as the offensive coordinator for Union College in 1980, he packed what he had – everything except the clothes on his back went into his duffel bag – and drove his only other possession, his car, to Schenectady from St. Lawrence University.

John Lovett was already there, having been hired as an a.ssistant coach in 1978, although he, too, had little in the way of experience or luxuries. Both men were bachelors in their early 20s, getting acclimated to the frenetic world of football coaching.

"They were lively, to say the least," said then-Union head coach Al Bagnoli, now the successful head coach at the University of Pennsylvania. "They enjoyed themselves. They worked hard and they played hard. They didn't get much sleep."

Whipple and Lovett worked alongside one another for three seasons — two at Union, one at Brown University — before going on their separate ways in 1984. They kept in touch, but never counted on coaching together again.

"We've always stayed close," Whipple said. "Both of us have always been passionate about the game and shared the same goals."

Now, a quarter-century later, they're preparing to pursue those goals together, one more time. They'll manage opposite sides of the ball for Randy Shannon and the University of Miami this coming fall. Whipple was introduced as the Hurricanes' new offensive coordinator in January, and Lovett as the defensive coordinator two weeks ago.

"It taught me how to build the foundation of a winning program," Whipple said of his time at Union. "It was a great building block in my career. It had a lot to do with my success."

Since those days at Union, both have married and become familiar with the itinerant life of a football coach. This year in Coral Gables will be Whipple's 10th coaching job in 29 years, and Lovett's 14th in 33.

"They're all different, but they're all kind of the same," Whipple said.

Whipple was one win away from a Super Bowl appearance as an offensive a.ssistant for the Philadelphia Eagles this past season.

While with the Eagles, Whipple lived a few blocks from Bagnoli, the man who hired him at Union.

"Talk about a small world," Bagnoli said. "He lived down the street. We played golf together all the time."

From 2004 to 2006, Whipple served as the quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was instrumental in developing Ben Roethlisberger into a two-time Super Bowl champion.

Before that, Whipple was a highly successful head coach at the University of Massachusetts from 1998 to 2003, winning a Division I-AA national championship and two conference championships.

Lovett has been a defensive coordinator at several high-profile schools, including Auburn, Clemson and Bowling Green.

He was the special teams coordinator and a defensive a.ssistant for North Carolina in 2007 and 2008.

"John's a great guy. He loves the game and loves to coach," Whipple said. "We've both been that way since Union and we're still that way now."
 9 years ago '04        #5323
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Defensive story lines aplenty for Miami Hurricanes this spring
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Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Sam Shields, left, is being converted to cornerback at coach Randy Shannon's request.
Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Sam Shields, left, is being converted to cornerback at coach Randy Shannon's request.

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Several defensive story lines to watch when UM spring practice begins Tuesday:

• Secondary: The most intriguing is receiver Sam Shields' move to cornerback, which coach Randy Shannon requested. UM believes he has the speed and instincts to do it. ''Sam is excited,'' father Samuel Shields said. ``They will still use him at receiver, too.''

At cornerback, Brandon Harris and bulked-up DeMarcus Van Dyke are front-runners to start -- one UM person said Van Dyke lost confidence last year but coaches expect him to come back strong. There's competition from Chavez Grant, Ryan Hill (switching from safety) and early arrival Brandon McGee, who is drawing raves from players. ''We played a little timid,'' Grant said of the defensive backs last season. ``I was afraid of being beat. That takes away from making plays.''

A second player said new coordinator John Lovett also will emphasize not getting beat deep. Lovett will keep most schemes used by predecessor Bill Young.

At safety, UM sees star potential in Vaughn Telemaque -- he could start opposite Randy Phillips or JoJo Nicolas, with Joe Wylie, C.J. Holton and Jared Campbell behind them. UM expects Ray Ray Armstrong to make a big impact when he arrives this summer.

• Defensive line:Clint Hurtt likes the improved depth here. Allen Bailey, moving from end to tackle, will play a lot -- as will tackles Marcus Forston (coaches believe he's ready to break out) and Joe Joseph. They will be pushed by Josh Holmes, Micanor Regis, Jeremy Lewis and early arrival Curtis Porter. (Hurtt said Porter is good enough to play now.) Shannon said defensive end Steven Wesley will play tight end -- where UM is depleted -- only in the spring. Eric Moncur and backup Courtney Harris might miss spring ball. But Marcus Robinson and Adewale Ojomo will battle to start opposite Moncur at defensive end, and UM wants to see more of Andrew Smith, Gavin Hardin and early arrival Olivier Vernon.

• Linebacker: Lovett also will coach linebackers, with Micheal Barrow switching to a defensive a.ssistant role and a bigger role on special teams. Arthur Brown, who will open spring behind Darryl Sharpton at middle linebacker, struggled to learn the system as a freshman, and one UM person said there remains uncertainty about whether he will meet expectations. Brown, UM's top-rated 2008 recruit, did well in practice at middle linebacker late last year.

With Colin McCarthy out this spring, converted running back Kylan Robinson (a gifted athlete who has done little in three years here) will get first-team outside linebacker snaps opposite starter Sean Spence. But watch for Jordan Futch (who impressed coaches before a concussion last season) and Ramon Buchanan to push for time.
 9 years ago '04        #5324
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The defensive line is deep. For the first time in quite some time, the 'Cane have the true ability to rotate. Of course, this is considering they don't have any excessive injuries at any point, but at the present time, the Miami defensive line should be as strong as it has been in quite some time.

At both defensive line positions too.

The 'Canes should be able to rotate three strings of linemen at defensive tackle and defensive end.

So what should the rotation look like this Spring?


Defensive End - 8

Defensive end, the 'Canes will have some serious battling going on for playing time.

The 'Canes return starters Steven Wesley and Marcus Robinson, not to mention Adewale Ojomo, Gavin Hardin, Courtney Harris, Eric Moncur and Andrew Smith.

Moncur received a redshirt season which could prove to be big as he could be the senior leader the 'Canes need at defensive end, but the reality is, he might not even start with the wealth of talent returning at defensive end.

It will be hard to keep Robinson off the field as he truly emerged as the best defensive end on the team as the season wore on.

His ability to shoot around the edge and get to the quarterback was better than any defensive end on the team and his ability to chase down ball carriers from behind and never give up on a play was top notch.

Hardin is one that brings plenty of intrigue. He has a passion and fire that people could see simply from his behavior on the sidelines. You saw him in tears in certain games because losing bothered him so much. And he wasn't even playing. That kind of fire is hard to keep off of the field.

Smith had a solid freshman year. Many people thought he'd never play, but he surprised many and had a pretty good freshman campaign.

Ojomo is the guy that has to get his act together. All the talent and physical skill in the world, but too often Ojomo finds himself in the doghouse for whatever reason. He's been suspended from games, he's been benched. He's come off of big games one week and then not play the week after.

If Ojomo can become steady with behavior, he can be extremely dangerous on the field.

True freshman Olivier Vernon's reps should be limited with so many defensive ends in front of him. Expect him to redshirt.

Defensive Tackle - 7

Defensive tackle will be a strong position. Marcus Forston returns to lead the unit as Allen Bailey moves over from defensive end to tackle in the Spring.

Joe Joseph also returns and should be one of the leaders on the interior.

Joining them are a young group of defensive tackles in Josh Holmes, Micanor Regis and Jeremy Lewis.

Forston learned last year that it wasn't as easy as it was in high school as he was essentially an undersized college defensive tackle in comparison to the massive offensive linemen he had to battle.

A year under his belt, we should an incredibly improvement from year one to year two simply because he's learned a lot.

Bailey should be the starter next to him, but it is a key that Bailey remains healthy to continue to get experience at a new position.

Holmes also has to stay healthy while Regis and Lewis need to provide that needed depth.

True freshman Curtis Porter will need to lose weight to be effective at defensive tackle, but it will be a good experience for him to play in the Spring.
 9 years ago '04        #5325
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When Miami recruited its class of 2008, it a.ssumed that the linebackers would be a stronghold for quite some time.

That was the wrong a.ssumption as the 'Canes class of nine linebackers essentially dwindled down to four linebackers who are actually still on the team.

Running the names off down the list, they are as follows: Sean Spence (on the team), Arthur Brown (on the team), Ramon Buchanan (on the team), Jordan Futch (on the team), Marcus Robinson (playing defensive end), Gavin Hardin (playing defensive end), Brandon Marti (arrested, off the team), Zach Kane (never made it), Antonio Harper (never made it).

Even Buchanan was tried out at safety when he first arrived in Coral Gables. Essentially, the 'Canes have a serious lack of depth at linebacker.

So what's going to happen this Spring?


Linebackers - 7

Spence, Daryl Sharpton and Kylan Robinson are expected to start the Spring as first team linebackers as Colin McCarthy is expected to miss Spring practice.

That will leave plenty of opportunities available for Brown, Futch and Buchanan to make their presence felt early and often.

Quite frankly, linebacker is a position of weakness on this team and if the 'Canes suffer any kind of injury problems, it could become a major problem at the position.

Currently, Spence and Robinson would start on the outside with Sharpton in the middle.

Brown would likely be the back up at middle with Futch and Buchanan as back ups on the outside.

However, a player like Futch could emerge in the Spring and make a name for himself. He could very easily overtake whoever is in front of him and earn a starting position when the season begins in September.

While the defensive line has been padded with depth and there are now 15 overall defensive linemen currently on the roster with a number of them able to flip flop between end and tackle, linebacker is a position where injuries cannot happen for the 'Canes to be successful this season.

And injuries definitely cannot happen in the Spring. Realistically, incoming freshman Ray Ray Armstrong may want to be a safety, but he'd be the most likely candidate to move to linebacker if the unit was ever hit with injuries in the Fall.

C.J. Holton would probably be next on the list to move to linebacker if the need presented itself.
 9 years ago '04        #5326
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Spring football is one day away and that means one thing.

The Jacory Harris era will officially begin at the University of Miami.

After starting quarterback Robert Marve transferred following last semester, this team is now Jacory's to lead and guide back to national prominence.

This team is now--beyond a shadow of a doubt--Harris' to lead.

"I enjoy being the guy that has to bring Miami back to where it was," Harris said at a press conference in late January. "I basically learned to take on stuff like that because I have to take on stuff for my family too. I don't play football just to play it. There is more that you play football for. There is a lot of people counting on me."

Harris started two games for Miami this season and received action in every game. He finished the year completing 60 percent of his passes for 1,195 yards and 12 touchdowns with just seven interceptions.

This spring will be crucial for Harris and the rest of the Miami offense as they learn a new playbook and adjust to new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. Harris said he doesn't expect the learning of the new offense to be difficult and likened it to learning the UM offense last spring.

"Last spring I did the same thing with coach Nix," Harris said. "Now I am going to have to do it all over again and it is not a problem for me. I learned the whole playbook and signals within the spring. Summer and two-a-days was there to sharpen my knowledge."

Because Harris can process a playbook so quickly, he feels like his role this spring will be to help his teammates learn the offense as much as he can.

"People will come to me and ask me what plays we are running and how this play goes and what are the reads and things like that," Harris said. "I got a lot up there in my head. I am a visual learner so if you put it on the board I will learn it. I see my role as being a teacher [this spring]."

Even though the offense will be different this year, Harris says he doesn't view this spring as a total starting over process for his unit. Miami is returning most of their key players on offense this spring and that will be a big factor for the offense's success this season.

"I don't think that we are starting over because the nucleus of the team is here--the players," Harris said. "As long as the players are here, we have the mindset that we want to be great no matter who is here to coach us. We will just do what they tell us to do and perform."

Harris talked about what he wants to improve during this spring after evaluating his freshman season.

"I think I could have been better on my reads and completing the easier pass," Harris said. "Even though I had completed passes deep downfield, I could have dumped it down to the running back and let the playmaker make plays. I would miss guys that were shorter when I went for the deeper route. I just want to make smarter decisions."

Overall, Harris says he is excited about the outlook of the next month of spring football as this young Hurricanes team develops.

"This spring is bright for us," Harris said. "Basically we have the whole team coming back. It should be something that ignites the UM nation and we are going into the spring and have fun. We just want to loosen up a little and just take over."
 9 years ago '07        #5327
KingOnSlaught 1 heat pts
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thank you for the updates
 9 years ago '04        #5328
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Jacory's Time: Miami QB Harris used to spotlight

Shandel Richardson |
4:16 PM EST, February 23, 2009

Jacory Harris

Miami quarterback Jacory Harris looks for an open receiver during the third quarter against Georgia Tech on Nov. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/John Bazemore / November 20, 2008)

CORAL GABLES - Jacory Harris' opening moment as the headliner began with disappointment.

Last month, he met with reporters for the first time as the starting quarterback for the University of Miami. No more entering on the fourth series. No more swapping.

This is now his team, a day he's dreamed about since childhood.

Yet Harris buckled at the podium during an awkward silence as he waited a few seconds before taking his first question.


Related links

Jacory Harris: A look back Jacory Harris: A look back Photos
Spring Practice kicks off: What to watch for
Recruting 2008 - Jacory Harris Video

"You know any jokes?"

"I ain't got no jokes," Harris said, with a laugh. "I'm not a comedian. No jokes."

Harris would have gotten the early hook in most comedy pubs, but he knows that's no longer the case on the field. After a year of playing in a two-quarterback system, he is solely in charge.

"Right now, I really don't believe it's my team just yet," said Harris, a 6-foot-4 sophomore. "I'm just trying to be a leader right now and help make this my team."

That process begins Tuesday with the start of spring practices. The 15 workouts, which end with the spring game March 28 at Lockhart Stadium, give Harris time to get acclimated in the new role. He takes over after last year's starter, Robert Marve, decided to transfer. Harris refuses to discuss Marve, who left because of differences with coach Randy Shannon.

Instead, he prefers to talk about the importance of this opportunity.

"To be the starting quarterback at the University of Miami, that's every kid's dream," said Harris, who played at Miami Northwestern High. "You grew up looking at UM on television, the swagger they had, the NFL players they had. It's just something that's so special that you just want to be a part of it."

Harris played in all 13 games last year, completing 118 of 194 passes for 1,195 yards and 12 touchdowns. His turnaround came on Oct. 18 when he threw for four touchdowns and ran for another in a comeback victory at Duke. At the time, Harris said he was struggling with playing-time issues after being the starter in high school.

"That's kind of the reason," Harris said. "I would listen to everyone around me, outside of the team. That's when I went off course. When I got back on course, just sticking with my team, that's when I realized it's a bigger picture than me."

Harris did start twice when Marve was suspended, including a 24-17 loss to California in the Emerald Bowl. He had a late fumble that led to Cal's winning touchdown. It was the first time he lost as a starter since the seventh grade, a span of more than 40 games.

"I learned everybody is not perfect," Harris said. "…Sometimes, it takes a loss to realize where you're at in life and realize where you need to go. That's what I learned from that bowl game: that I need to get better."

The first step was regaining health. Harris aggravated a shoulder injury in the bowl game, but says he's 100 percent for the spring. His weight, always a concern, is up to 186 and he hopes to gain 10 pounds before the start of the season.

Harris has already convinced teammates he's ready for the role of leader.

"He's been talking, getting guys to come out there every Wednesday on the field to run little routes," linebacker Sean Spence said. "He calls the defensive guys to come out there and [guard] them and give them a look. He's actually taken that leadership role."

The biggest key for Harris is transitioning under new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, who replaced the fired Patrick Nix. Harris said he had a solid relationship with Nix, but says he will have no problem adjusting.

"It's going to be a fun experience, a new experience," Harris said. "Everybody is basically starting over on a new slate. … I really don't think we're starting over. The nucleus of the team is here, and that's the players. As long as the players are here, we have the mindset that we just want to be great no matter who's here to coach us."
 9 years ago '04        #5329
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Spring Practice kicks off: What to watch for

Shandel Richardson | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
4:20 PM EST, February 23, 2009

Key position battle:

Wide Receiver - It's the deepest and arguably the most talented unit on the team. Sophomores LaRon Byrd, Travis Benjamin and Aldarius Johnson remain in the nix. There's also junior Leonard Hankerson and freshman Tommy Streeter, who redshirted last year.

On the spot:

Tight end Richard Gordon - With starter Dedrick Epps out during the spring and possibly the season with an ACL injury, Gordon moves into the starting role. He has to produce because there's not much experience behind him.

On the rehab:

Defensive end Eric Moncur and safety Randy Phillips - Both were granted a sixth year of eligibility after season-ending injuries. They are likely opening-day starters, but the coaching staff is counting on their leadership.

Freshman to watch:

Guard Brandon Washington and cornerback Brandon McGee - With depth problems on the offensive line, Washington could have his number called early. McGee is an extreme talent, and could find playing time at one of the team's most inexperienced positions.

Spring game: March 28 at Lockhart Stadium.
 9 years ago '04        #5330
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Shannon Owens: Miami Hurricanes are right in not retiring Sean Taylor's number

Shannon Owens | Sentinel Staff Writer

Seminole senior Ray Armstrong wants to be the next Miami football player to wear No. 26 says his high school football coach Mike Cullison.

As a lot of Floridians know, the late Sean Taylor wore that number during his playing days with the Hurricanes where he helped the team to a national championship in 2001.

Surprisingly, the number has not been retired since Taylor, playing for the Washington Redskins, was slain in his South Florida home.

Senior Anthony Redd*ck last wore No. 26 last in the 2008-09 season. And it doesn't appear the school will make the number unavailable.

By contrast, the Redskins haven't reissued his No. 21 since and probably won't ever again if not for a long while. I actually agree with Miami on this one. What purpose does it serve to retire anyone's jersey? Isn't that a nice way of forgetting someone?

The best way to honor someone's legacy is to keep it going. I wrote a column a few years ago about a similar situation regarding FAMU alum Henry "Killer" Lawrence. His Rattlers jersey was being retired years after he collected three Super Bowl rings with the Oakland Raiders (wow, seems like a lifetime ago).

While he was flattered, he actually preferred to see his number on the backs of future generations. He worked too hard in that uniform to see it go away.

People tend to forget history.

We remember Taylor now because the tragedy is still fresh. But how will generations of athletes later remember what kind of player Taylor was or even who he was if the jersey gets buried in a dusty old hallway?

Good for Miami to keep Taylor's number. It only heightens the sense of duty for those who wear it.
 9 years ago '04        #5331
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Eye on Spring Football: The Storylines

Spring football practice begins Tuesday at the University of Miami. In order to prepare you, I've compiled a list of important story lines and players to follow throughout camp, which ends March 28th with the BankUnited Canesfest at Lockhart Stadium.

Randy Shannon This year, unlike the previous two under coach Randy Shannon, the media will be allowed to watch some of what goes on behind the scenes as the first four practices (Feb. 24-25, 27-28) will be open to the press. Two practices will be open to fans (the spring game March 28th, and a scrimmage at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami at 6:30 p.m. on March 12th). The team will sandwich some time off from March 13-23rd for spring break, but will basically practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On the days I'm in town (and not following Frank Haith's basketball team) I'll be around to provide updates from football practice.

One thing I think needs to be understood about spring football (and all of the reports you'll be reading in the next few weeks) is that this time of year is really used by coaches to create depth and to experiment with their players more than anything else. Anything you read in the next couple of weeks should be used simply as a progress report heading into the fall. In nearly every case, it's fall camp where positions are really won and lost. So, just because you might hear Randy Shannon say Kylan Robinson is practicing with the first team at outside linebacker should by no means be taken as Robinson is going to be a starter in the fall. A lot of what is said by coaches this time of year is used to feed their players motivation (not only for the guys healthy and who have served as backups for most of their career, but for the guys who are hurt and need a little push when they return in the fall).

Anyway, here are the important storylines/questions the U will be trying to solve during the next few weeks of spring practice.

> 1. Does UM have the talent on the team right now to patch up the holes on its offensive line? According to the coaches I've spoken with the answer is yes. Here's what UM wants to accomplish this spring: find an everyday center, at least two solid rotating tackles to start alongside and backup captain Jason Fox and find at least three guards to rotate in the interior. That's not an easy task for position coach Jeff Stoutland, who really got average at-best performance out of Xavier Shannon, Chris Rutledge and Reggie Youngblood last season before they graduated.

Orlando Franklin will start at left guard, but if others emerge he may be given a shot to move to right tackle The center job will most likely fall to senior A.J. Trump (6-3, 300), who is more experienced and more talented than redshirt sophomore Tyler Horn (6-4, 289). Trump, who has plagued by injuries most of his career, started nine games at guard last season and is definitely considered one of the top five linemen for UM behind Fox and junior Orlando Franklin. So, if Horn were to emerge at center, there is a very good chance he would move back to guard and remain in the starting lineup.

As for the interior, Franklin will begin the spring at left guard, where he started 11 games last season. But the ideal place the 6-7, 328-pound behemoth would like to play is at right tackle (where he could get a shot if others step up). The question is will they? Redshirt sophomore Harland Gunn, highly-touted freshman Brandon Washington and 6-9, 351-pound junior Ian Symonette will all be given an opportunity to show what they've got inside. Washington, a former standout at Miami Northwestern, is the most likely to emerge although Gunn will reportedly begin with the first team at right guard with junior Joel Figueroa (shoulder surgery) out for the spring.

The right tackle position will begin with a battle between senior Matt Pipho (6-7, 307) and redshirt freshman Ben Jones (6-5, 310). But as I said earlier, ultimately, Shannon wants the best five on the field come the fall. Look for prep school freshman Jermaine Johnson, slated to backup Fox on the left side, to get a shot in that rotation too.

Is Demarcus Van Dyke (up to 180 pounds) ready to play like an everyday starter? > 2. Who will emerge in a secondary loaded with question marks? Ask Shannon to give you a depth chart at cornerback and safety and he simply can't. There is no area with greater unknowns on the team than here where every starting position is really up for grabs heading into the spring. While six veterans return with defensive back playing experience, each has plenty to prove. At corner, sophomore Brandon Harris, junior Demarcus Van Dyke and senior Chavez Grant will be joined in competition by seniors Ryan Hill (moving down from safety to corner) and Sam Shields (moving over from receiver) and true freshman Brandon McGee.

At safety, senior Randy Phillips is back after missing nearly all of last season, along with junior Jojo Nicholas among the veterans. But the name everyone expects to see a lot from is redshirt freshman Vaughn Telemaque, whom Shannon compared to Ed Reed at the end of last season. Those three are likely to be in the mix with the first team while redshirt sophomore Jared Campbell, redshirt freshmen C.J. Holton and Joe Wylie compete behind them. While more help will arrive in the fall in the form of players like Prince Kent, Ray Ray Armstrong and Jamal Reid, it's often very hard for true freshman to see the field immediately and beat the guys who have been competing since the spring for starting spots. But in this case, where so many guys have yet to prove they are the man, I would be surprised if it happened this year.
 9 years ago '04        #5332
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3. Whom, besides sophomore Sean Spence, is going to prove he is worthy of playing time at linebacker? Say what you want about the lack of big-time playmakers in UM's secondary last season, I thought the bigger problem was finding guys at linebacker who could make the basic plays (like tackling and stopping scrambling quarterbacks from carving the Canes defense). With John Lovett taking over for Micheal Barrow (who is now classified simply as a defensive a.ssistant), task No. 1 will be finding guys who not only consistently wrap up, but have the speed and ability to make those special plays. The talent is said to be there with sophomores Arthur Brown, Jordan Futch and Ramon Buchanon, but we'll have to see how much they've really grown.

As it stands, the loss of Glenn Cook, Spencer Adkins and Romeo Davis means UM only has Spence (weakside) and senior Darryl Sharpton (middle) as healthy players on the roster this spring who have played actual real minutes at linebacker in games. Shannon said seldom-used junior Kylan Robinson (strongside) will get an opportunity to compete on the outside along with the young guys. The ideal goal for UM is finishing this spring knowing they've got playmakers behind Spence, Sharpton and Colin McCarthy (when he returns from his shoulder injury in time for the fall).

> 4. Will Richard Gordon get his act together or will the tight end position at The U disappear until real help arrives? Since the day he arrived at UM all we've heard about Gordon is what an athletic freak he is. At 6-4, 260-pounds, he's been used just about everywhere. He even handled a job as a kick Will Richard Gordon emerge at tight end? returner for a few games two seasons ago. The bottomline is Gordon simply still hasn't found a place to contribute. This spring, with Chris Zellner gone (graduation), Dedrick Epps out until September at the earliest (torn ACL) and Tervaris Johnson battling injury woes, Gordon will have every opportunity to work with the first team and try and impress a new coordinator. When he needs some rest, sophomore Daniel Adderley, a recruiting bust, and Steven Wesley, who could move over from defensive end, are expected to share the snaps at tight end. Still, it's Gordon who is the only healthy Cane who has any of the ingredients to be a legit tight end. Last season, he had only three catches for 24 yards. Gordon's biggest problem according to position coach Joe Pannunzio has been route running. There's a chance new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple could devise an easier way to utilize Gordon. But if that doesn't happen, I seriously wonder if UM might just go into the fall deciding to abandon the tight end position until real help arrives.

> 5. Who will take a step forward as the backup quarterback to Jacory Harris? A year ago we went into the spring knowing Robert Marve would likely go into the fall with Harris as his backup. This year with Robert Marve gone, we know who the starter for The U will be for the next two seasons. But one of the biggest keys according to Randy Shannon this spring will be finding a backup to Harris. The candidates are the two guys who were red-shirted last season as freshmen, 6-7, 225-pound Texas native Taylor Cook or 5-11, 200-pounder Cannon Smith. Most expect Cook, who has the stronger arm and ideal size to emerge as the frontrunner to backup Harris heading into the fall. But we'll have to see how far along he's come since last year when the former option quarterback looked like he was struggling with his basic mechanics. For what it's worth, Smith actually took a few snaps last spring before getting injured on the scout team in the fall.

Posted by Manny Navarro at 03:29 PM in Randy Shannon, University of Miami Football, University of Miami Sports
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 9 years ago '04        #5333
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University of Miami begins spring football practice Tuesday
The Hurricanes open spring practice Tuesday, and the search for a No. 2 quarterback will be a top priority.
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Texas product Taylor Cook, above right, will be in competition with Cannon Smith for the Canes' No. 2 quarterback position behind Jacory Harris.
Texas product Taylor Cook, above right, will be in competition with Cannon Smith for the Canes' No. 2 quarterback position behind Jacory Harris.

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Now that there is no quarterback controversy at the University of Miami, fans can start talking about the next best thing -- the backup quarterback.

Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon said Monday that he expects a better 2009 than 2008, and among the top three items on his to-do list: Secure that backup.

Also on his wish list as Day One of the 15 days of UM spring football practice kicks off Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in Coral Gables: Beef up the offensive line and linebacker corps.

''I don't know if you'd call those three things question marks, but it's important we develop those three areas this spring,'' Shannon said, ``Who is going to step up and be the No. 2 guy between Cannon Smith and Taylor Cook?''

Smith and Cook played on the scout team during last season's 7-5 campaign. Cook, from Eagle Lake, Texas, is 6-7 and 232 pounds and will be a redshirt freshman. Smith, a 5-11, 200-pounder, played in the 2008 opener against Charleston Southern and completed his only pass for two yards. He also ran once for 2 yards. Shannon said Smith had a leg injury last season. He is expected to be granted a redshirt for 2008 and have four years of eligibility remaining.

''I haven't seen much,'' Shannon said of the quarterbacks vying to play behind Jacory Harris. ``They've been in one-on-one meetings with coach [Mark] Whipple, learning the offense and doing film work. We'll soon find out how they are on the field.''

Same goes, respectively, with the linebackers and offensive linemen. The Canes need a new center and right guard, and Shannon said he is hoping players such as Tyler Horn (backup center), Harland Gunn (temporary right guard while Joel Figueroa recovers from shoulder surgery), Ben Jones (backup right tackle to begin spring) and Ian Symonette (backup left guard) ``step up this year.''

Shannon said he expects Darryl Sharpton to ''finally come on'' at middle linebacker, and Jordan Futch, Ramon Buchanan and Kylan Robinson to help build depth at the position.

Shannon said sophomore Arthur Brown will play in the middle, but Futch will be on the outside.

Other issues Shannon discussed Monday:

• A possible contract extension on his two remaining years: ''No, not yet,'' he said. Is he concerned that will scare away recruits? ``No.''

• How he feels about his job security: ``I don't worry about it.''

• The range of new defensive coordinator John Lovett's control: ''He'll have total control,'' Shannon said.

• UM's first four games at Florida State, against Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech and against Oklahoma: ``If we win the first four games we can be in the top 10 real quick.''

• Lack of tight ends, with Dedrick Epps recovering from major knee surgery: ``Richard Gordon is going to get a big opportunity to show what he can do, and it's about time for him to show it.''

• UM fans: ``I don't worry about them.''

• The type of player that turns him off most: ``Guys who are very talented and don't work hard. I don't like guys with a gift who just ease through it.''

• The type of player that impresses him most: ``Guys who don't have the most talent but outwork the ones who have it.''

Except for a 6:30 p.m. scrimmage March 12 at Traz Powell Stadium in North Miami and the BankUnited CanesFest at 9 a.m. March 28 at Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium, the Hurricanes' spring practice sessions are closed to the public.
 9 years ago '04        #5334
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Top recruit Bryce Brown might not visit the University of Miami
Top national recruit Bryce Brown's father said the running back might switch his last official visit from UM to LSU.
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Wichita East running back Bryce Brown still plans to choose a college March 16, his father said.
Wichita East running back Bryce Brown still plans to choose a college March 16, his father said.

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Top national football recruit Bryce Brown will continue his well-orchestrated plan for choosing a college to attend, his father, Arthur Brown Sr., said Monday.

But because the University of Miami apparently is losing interest in the running back, Arthur Sr. said, the Browns are ''leaning heavily'' toward making this weekend's trip to LSU the player's final official recruiting trip.

Arthur Sr. said a UM a.ssistant coach called him and Bryce Thursday afternoon at separate times to relay the school's concerns.

''They said they were very, very concerned about the media circus around his recruitment,'' Arthur Sr. told The Miami Herald. ``I think they pretty much wanted him to make a decision immediately without him going through his plan. Bryce told them he would have to talk to his family about that and that we would call back at 7 p.m. Thursday.

``We called back at 7 p.m. and left messages with [running backs coach] Tommie Robinson and Randy Shannon. We told Coach Shannon on the message that [Bryce is] going through his original plan and that Miami is in that plan and he would take his visits as planned and make his decision March 16.''

Neither Shannon nor any coaches have called back, the elder Brown said. Shannon might not be allowed to initiate a personal call to Bryce, 17, because of recruiting limits, Arthur Sr. said, but Shannon can take a call from Bryce.


Does Arthur Sr. interpret UM's lack of response as a loss of interest in Bryce?

''Pretty much,'' he said. ``But unless it comes from Coach Shannon, it's all rumor and speculation.

``In all fairness to Coach Shannon, I have to kind of say I understand where they're coming from. This thing has turned into something we never anticipated.''

Bryce Brown's father, whose other son, Arthur Jr., is a linebacker at UM, said he regrets the way this saga is ending. Now it seems likely there won't be an official visit to UM on March 3 during spring practice, as Bryce wanted. Instead, all things point to LSU being the final official visit.

UM is not allowed to comment on specific recruits. On Monday, in an interview with The Miami Herald, Shannon said UM has ``three or four scholarships left, and at this present time we're not looking at anybody. But if somebody pops up that can help us, we'll evaluate him and look at him carefully. You can always carry over the scholarships you don't use from one year to the next.''

Bryce Brown, of Wichita, Kan., has made official visits to Missouri, Oregon, Clemson and Tennessee, and an unofficial visit to Kansas State. He is rated the nation's No. 1 prospect and has until April 1 to choose a school. National Signing Day was Feb. 4.

''It has gotten to the point where this whole thing should have been avoided and could have been avoided,'' Arthur Brown Sr. said Monday. ``If we could do it all over again, there are a lot of things we should have and would have done differently. For Bryce, I'd say regardless of how you express the need to make additional visits, if that's your plan, then don't commit. Don't commit. Also, you should keep a very frequent communication with the coaches -- Coach Shannon and the other coaches.

``If you have that time constraint, then keep in mind that [the coaches] have time constraints, too, and you should be sensitive to that.''


Should Bryce not visit UM, would that keep the Hurricanes out of his decision-making process March 16?

''No, not at all,'' Arthur Sr. said, 'unless we know they definitely don't want him. Come March 16, if he feels like he wants to be at UM, he'd get on the phone and call Coach Shannon. If Coach Shannon said, `Yes,' he'd go to UM. If he said, 'No,' he wouldn't. He'd do that privately.''

Arthur Sr. reiterated that Arthur Jr., who will be a sophomore, loves UM.

''This won't affect Arthur in the least,'' his dad said. ``The only thing Arthur is concerned about is that Bryce prays on it and does what's right.''

Arthur Sr. was asked if the process has affected the Browns' relationship with Shannon.

''No,'' he said. ``He's family.''
 02-24-2009, 11:55 AM         #5335
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Opening statement: Today will be the first day of practice, all shorts, no hits, no collision. It'll be seven on seven with receivers, defensive backs, no quarterback pressure. It's more of a fast-paced walkthrough for the first two days. On Saturday we'll be in shoulder pads.

Q: What is Micheal Barrow's role?

Shannon: Coach Barrow is more of our special a.ssistant on defense and offense, special teams. His role is a.ssisting everyone on defense. Most people think it's a demotion. It's not a demotion. It's giving him more responsibilities to keep going and further his career. It's a big change for us.

Q: With two new coordinators, how much have they installed?

Shannon: Coach (Mark) Whipple, he's been here the longest, we get to meet twice a week with the kids. They've installed a lot. Defensively it's a little easier because you just want your basic overages in, the concepts. Offense you have your four receiver sets, two back sets, one back sets, three tight ends in the game, a lot of different sets and formations you have to install. That takes a little bit longer. It's in, but now they actually have to do it on the field now – the movements and shifts, get the timing down. That'll be more than anything (the biggest adjustment).

Q: Before the bowl game you said those 15 practices were a head-start for spring ball. Did you lose that edge with the coordinators leaving and players leaving?

Shannon: Not really. The thing is terminology (that is new on offense). It's concepts a little different on defense. For Arthur Brown, those 15 practices of middle linebacker helped him tremendously. Now it's the same, he just has to get terminology.

Q: Arthur Brown going to the middle, why that move?

Shannon: For four years we had Tavares Gooden at outside, he wasn't productive. We put him in the middle his senior year, he was. You have to move guys around and eventually they'll show what they can do. I think by (Bown) moving in the middle he seems more comfortable, quicker reacting, can diagnose plays faster than before.

Q: Will you know by March 28 who your starting MLB is?

Shannon: We'll try to come out at every position a first clear-cut guy. Now, it depends how the summer goes, how they're working out. Are they really competing in August?

Q: Did the hype around Brown weigh on him?

Shannon: It always weighs on guys like that. When DJ (Williams) first came in, he had a lot of accolades. Arthur had a lot of accolades. The guys how come in with ratings, a lot of people look at `You need to come out and start now.' He was a great special teams player for us, helped us win some games. Now he's taking the next step.

Q: How did he react to not playing a lot last year?

Shannon: He was fine. He was still happy, made some plays on special teams, especially kickoff. Against Virginia the first kickoff return was a reverse. If Arthur Brown doesn't beat everyone down there it's a touchdown. He happened to beat his guy, run down and hit the guy.

Q: Is there anything out there right now distracting Arthur?

Shannon: No. He's fine. He's happy to be here, excited and ready to go.

Q: Why start spring practice so early?

Shannon: We wanted to get six weeks of weight lifting in. We have to get those guys strong in the weight room. When spring football is over we have a month to get back in the weight room, then finals after that. If we backed it up we might have got seven weeks of lifting; when spring football is over you're down to one week of being in the weight room because you have reading time, finals. So there was an opportunity to really lift hard in the weight room and get spring practice in.

Q: What is April about for these guys?

Shannon: Getting stronger. When spring football is over we have to increase (weightlifting) numbers. soon as April is over with you have down time (because of rules from) the NCAA. You don't want to just maintain. When you get that lull in May and June it's hard, because the weight room is not involved – it's more voluntary. It's not a scheduled workout with your team (per NCAA rules) until July.

Q: What excites you the most about what Whipple brings to the table?

Shannon: Coach Whipple brings a lot to our offense, developing quarterbacks. We have young quarterbacks, and he's proven he can develop young quarterbacks. When he was at UMass and Brown, the offense scored points. Sometimes you have to outscore people. That's something coach Whipple has always been able to do.

Q: He has a lot of different formations, has lined up five receivers on one side.

Shannon: Everybody uses different formations. Sometimes you line up five guys on one side and motion a guy back just to give you a chance on defense to screw up. If they see that weakness they'll get you on a big touchdown. Those are things you have to use as a setup.

Q: What do you see for a successful pro style offense?

Shannon: Get the ball out quick. When Dennis Erickson was here it was pro style, getting the ball out quick. It's more using talent around you – that's the one thing you have to do now. You have talent. If you can get receivers or a quarterback throwing for 3,000 yards, two running backs rushing for 1,000 yards, tight ends getting 400, 500 yards, you're going to be successful. That's a pro style offense – using everyone in your offense. It's using everyone in your offense to be successful. Some of the best offenses I've been around you always had a tight end, receivers and a running back (doing well).
 02-24-2009, 11:56 AM         #5336
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Q: Richard Gordon only has four catches in his career. Do you think he can develop into more than a good blocking tight end, be a good receiver?

Shannon: I told Richard it's his time now. We have guys out that are out, are going to come back in the fall. This is his opportunity to put his stamp on the tight end position – you're big, fast, can run, now it's up to you to get it done. He's been fine catching the football. How many balls are thrown to him?

Q: Do you want him also in his special teams role?

Shannon: This spring we want him to be a tight end. Spring ball is the time to get players' mindset on what we are trying to get done offensively and defensively.

Q: What's an ideal number of touches for Graig Cooper in a game to conserve his body?

Shannon: Don't really know. We're going to use him this year on kickoff return and punt return. (Last year) we had to pull off (because) Javarris (James) was hurt. Lee Chambers was out, got back healthy. You wanted to keep using Cooper (as a returner), but we didn't have the depth because of injuries. Toward the end we put him on kickoff and punt return. He's going to get more of an active role in that and will also get carries at tailback.

Q: How important are the early enrollees?

Shannon: Last year early enrollees helped us out a lot. I think they'll help us out. It's 15 days of practice they wouldn't get in the fall. Spring football is more physical than summer football. Spring is two days on, one day off, two days back on. Summer you get more time (between practices). Spring football is brutal. They get accustomed to that and also going to class which is very key.

Q: How much of the Florida State game gets installed this spring?

Shannon: You don't do it. We have enough time the summer.

Q: Did you put some things in for Florida in the spring last year?

Shannon: No.

Q: You played a lot of receivers last year. Would you like to see more separation this year?

Shannon: It's up to those guys. You have (Leonard) Hankerson playing two or three positions, Kendal Thompkins playing two or three positions. Everybody's playing two or three positions. Those guys are older now. Last year you couldn't get guys to learn two or three positions. They know now what to get done.

Q: Daniel Adderley you said was going to leave. What happened with him?

Shannon: He felt he wasn't able to play at Miami. I was honest with him, said right at this point in time the things you're doing, you're putting yourself behind the eight ball. He came back maybe three weeks ago and said, `Coach, I'm going to give it a shot, see if I can really play at Miami. I'm going to force myself to do the things you said I have to get done to be at Miami.' He said he appreciated me being honest with him, telling him those things. He's out there working out. We'll see how he's feeling. He told me, `Coach, I'll find out this spring if I want to be at Miami or not. I'm working to be a Miami player, or I'm just going to leave because I'm not that type of player yet.'

Q: What seniors have a chance to really shine now?

Shanon: Darryl Sharpton, Javarris James. You go back to Javarris' first year, and I told Javarris this, he was hungry. He came in as a true freshman, wanted to play. He had 800 yards. Then the next two years null and void. Did he slack off his work habits, doing the little things? I told him if you want to be the great running back here this is what has to happen. Now if you don't, we always bring in guys to have competition. He knows I care for him, but he understands the big picture is if you want to be a great football player what did you do as a freshman and what do you need to be doing now? If you go back to those ways, we're going to be a great football team. Darryl, it's time for him to be the Jon Vilma, DJ, Ray Lewis. It's Darryl's time, and that's the reason we recruited him.

Q: What do you want from Jacory Harris this spring?

Shannon: Learn the offense, get control of it. It almost seems he's the frontrunner as far as the leader of this football team because of the way he carries himself. It's been very good for him so far. We're excited about him.

Q: Do you limit Harris' reps?

Shannon: I don't think we don't have to limit him. He's going to get his reps; the other two guys (Cannon Smith and Cook) will get equal amount of reps. Eventually one of them will emerge as the No. 2 guy.

Q: Can Harris get more done now that he's not a No. 2 guy?

Shannon: That stuff never bothered Jacory last year. Last year was a situation where we had to get depth on the football team. If we lived and died with one quarterback we could be in a situation where we're starting with a guy that never took a snap again. This year is different. Jacory's been there. We have to build depth still on who is the No. 2 guy.

Q: Talk about Taylor Cook's arm.

Shannon: He really does have a strong arm. He's 6-7, gets back, good rhythm, and when he releases it now it has a lot of velocity on it. His short throw are nice touch passes. When he wants to throw it downfield he can throw it downfield.

Q: Can he move around a bit?

Shannon: Yeah. In high school he was a free safety and tight end. He has that ability. And he played basketball. He's an athlete.

Q: When Taylor came in there was talk he could be a tight end. How is his development as a quarterback?

Shannon: Taylor was on scout team last year, has a live arm. Yes, he'll be a punter if he wanted to be a punter. We're excited about him being a quarterback right now.

Q: Who are some players that redshirted that you expect big things from?

Shannon: Expect Vaughn Telemaque to do some good things at safety, Gavin Hardin at defensive end is a very explosive guy, Joe Wylie is big, physical at safety. Jeremy Lewis, Micanor Regis – those 300 pounders look in better shape than when they got here. We're excited about the way they've been running around.

Q: Colin McCarthy could practice this spring?

Shannon: He probably can go through some things this spring, but we won't let him. Colin has played both weakside and strongside, so now (it's about) learn middle linebacker. We know come fall he'll be at the outside position unless something happens at middle linebacker.

Q: How is everybody academically?

Shannon: No problems.

* Shannon said he sees Kendal Thompkins as a slot receiver. Shannon also says he wants to see Travis Benjamin improve his technique instead of simply relying on his speed.

"This is an opportunity for him to get better this spring," Shannon said.

* Benjamin, Davon Johnson and Brandon Harris are in track and won't practice this week. Eric Moncur is among injured players who won't be participating this spring.

Shannon said Moncur is working to lose weight.

"Eric needs to lose about 15 pounds, be at about 245, 250," Shannon said. "He knows it, has been working at it to get it done. He's about 265, 268."
 9 years ago '04        #5337
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Spring football is a time when the best go against the best, first team against first team and the competition is high on every play.

The position battles in spring lay the foundation for the upcoming season and give the players a glimpse on how far they have come from the previous season and what they need to improve to move up or solidify their spot on the depth chart.

The following five position battles will be the most important areas of competition as the Hurricanes continue to develop for the 2009 season.

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

Defensive Tackle

This spring will be a time for Allen Bailey and Marcus Forston to fulfill their vast potential and become difference makers for the defensive line. Veteran Joe Joseph also returns and Josh Holmes will have an opportunity to prove he can be a consistent contributor after battling injuries throughout his career. Also key this spring will be the development of Micanor Regis and Jeremy Lewis--both of whom are big athletic bodies that could add needed depth at the position. The talent ceiling for the defensive tackle position is very high for Miami and this group could be dominant if they develop.

Wide receiver

The wide receiver position is always going to be a battle with the seven freshmen that were brought in with the 2008 recruiting class. The big question with this group is which players will make a big jump in their development this offseason? Aldarius Johnson, Travis Benjamin, LaRon Byrd and Thearon Coller all showed during their freshman season in 2008 that they have a chance to be very productive players if they continue to progress. Redshirt freshmen Tommy Streeter and Kendal Thompkins will also get an opportunity to work their way up the depth chart. This spring will be a big opportunity for some receivers to separate themselves from the pack and become primary targets for quarterback Jacory Harris.


This position battle will be interesting because it will be a bunch of young players pushing veterans. UM's starters appear to be solidified with Sean Spence, Colin McCarthy, and Darryl Sharpton, but the coaching staff likes to rotate the linebackers which will give Arthur Brown, Jordan Futch, and Ramon Buchanan an opportunity to gain some playing time. All three of the young linebackers are extremely talented and don't be surprised if one of them pushes a veteran for a starting job. Look for at least one of the bunch of Brown, Futch, and Buchanan to make big strides this spring and shoot up the depth chart this spring.


This position returns DeMarcus Van Dke, Brandon Harris, and Chavez Grant from last season--all of whom received significant playing time. These players have shown flashes of strong play throughout their careers at Miami, but each must show more consistency if they are going to raise their game to another level. This spring will be key particularly for the development of Harris and Van Dke. Both players have all the ability to be very good corners, but they need to use this spring as a time to build some confidence to play on an island. Because of Miami's lack of depth at the position, early enrollee freshman Brandon McGee will get a legit opportunity to crack the playing rotation. Sam Shields will make the move from receiver to cornerback and will get a chance to carry over special teams success to the defense.

Right Tackle

Of all the positions battles this spring, this one could be the closest. Senior Matt Pipho will get the first crack at the starting job. Pipho stepped in and played tackle admirably at times last season against Virginia and Virginia Tech. Now he will have to show he has the consistency to be a starter. Redshirt freshman Ben Jones, and junior Orlando Franklin are going to push Pipho for the job. Both Jones and Franklin have more physical upside at the position, but will that be enough to overtake the more experienced Pipho? No matter who wins the starting job at right tackle, Miami will need to develop somebody who they can rotate in at the position and add depth. Look for freshman Jermaine Johnson to also get some reps at the right tackle spot and push for a starting job.
 9 years ago '04        #5338
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The University of Miami hasn't felt so confident at kicker in quite some time.

Although it would be nice for Matt Bosher to have someone take over the punting duties so he can simply concentrate on kicking field goals and kickoffs, Bosher is as solid the 'Canes have been at kicker since Todd Sievers booted field goals for the 'Canes earlier this decade.

As a sophomore, Bosher had an exemplary season.

He was 18 for 20 kicking field goals and averaged 40.3 yards per punt.

Bosher was as close to an automatic as Miami has ever had kicking field goals and his leg was a big reason Miami won seven games in 2008.

The area of his game that needs to be improved is with his punting. While he had some real good games punting and had the ability to boom some kicks, he struggled at times with his drops forcing shanked kicks that were devastating for winning field position battles.

He simply had far too many shanked punts that cost Miami major yardage in games.

At the same time, he more than likely wore down as the season went on because his kickoff game struggled as well.

He loved to tackle and came up with big Special Teams tackles, but many times he was the reason he had to make tackles because of his inability to pin opponents deep on kickoffs. He especially struggled with getting touchbacks. He only had six in 69 kickoffs.

It would certainly be helpful for Bosher if Jake Wieclaw stepped up and handled the punting duties, but until that happens, Bosher will remain the lone active kicker on the roster.

The overall Special Teams play though was mediocre especially in kickoff coverage. Beyond the fact that Bosher struggled with kickoffs, the coverage was poor too often forcing Bosher to have to make too many tackles.

The 'Canes also need to get more from their kick returners. While Travis Benjamin showed a spark early in the season, as the season wore on, the 'Canes got little in terms of kickoff or punt returns.

Expect Benjamin to line up with Brandon Harris as the primary kickoff returners while Benjamin and Thearon Collier should handle the punt return duties.
 9 years ago '04        #5339
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It's a common theme on the University of Miami football team that depth remains an overall concern at almost every position.

Last year, cornerback was a position where depth was a major problem. A year later, it's still an issue, but at least the 'Canes have youth on their side as the two corners that are expected to start will return for at least one more season after 2009.

Now, the 'Canes need to start developing that depth. While they have recruited players they hope will provide that depth, only time will tell if the right decisions were made.

At the same time, the 'Canes have to be feeling good about what they have returning at safety, a position that has developed the depth necessary to become great again.

So who is lining up in the Secondary this Spring?


Cornerback - 5

Brandon Harris and DeMarcus Van Dke are expected to be the starters when Spring practice begins today with Chavez Grant as the third corner.

However, there remains a depth problem in the Spring so Sam Shields was moved to corner in hopes of providing some depth even though he hasn't played the position at all during his career in Coral Gables.

True freshman Brandon McGee is the lone corner who enrolled early which will give him a true chance to get a lot of playing time as a freshman.

McGee played safety in high school, but has the football mind, body and speed to play corner at the college level. He has leaderships qualities similar to that of Brandon Harris and it wouldn't be all that surprising if McGee cracked the rotation his freshman season similar to the way Harris did in 2008.

Safety - 6

At the safety, the 'Canes are a little more sure of what they have entering the Spring.

Randy Phillips and Vaughn Telemaque are expected to begin the Spring as the starters.

Backing them up will be JoJo Nicolas, Ryan Hill, Jared Campbell and C.J. Holton.

While Telemaque redshirted his freshman year, is talent is considered to be great. He has the potential to be a phenomenal safety.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Nicolas who started a number of games as a sophomore, but seemingly fell down the depth chart as the season progressed.

But the group is deep and they will all have a chance to play. Who steps up remains to be seen.
 9 years ago '04        #5340
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Randy Shannon said after the team's first spring practice that "You can't really tell much the first day. You're in shorts and guys are flying around, chasing the football. The offense is catching and throwing. That's really all you can do the first couple of days. Shannon pointed to a some newcomers as doing well. He said DE Olivier Vernon was an early standout, saying, "Olivier chased the football like he's been here already." Shannon also said DT Curtis Porter "did some good things, but he's a big guy so he's a bit tired right now." Shannon also said CB Brandon McGee was "fine" and that RB Mike James "for the first time did a nice job." Asked what he saw out of Taylor Cook today, Shannon said, "He threw the ball around, has a strong arm, did a lot of good things." * TE Richard Gordon knows, with a very thin depth chart at his position, that this spring is his time to shine. "It is my opportunity, and I just feel I have to do it on the field this year," Gordon said. Gordon says he's dropped 15 pounds since weighing 280 pounds last year. "That was a big problem on the field, moving," he said. "I dropped down to 265 right now, and speed-wise it's coming back around. Hopefully I'll just lose the weight like Randy (Shannon) wanted me to." Gordon had somenice grabs in practice today. "I've been catching with Jacory on the weekends, just get anyone to throw with me," Gordon said. Gordon says he's not disappointed with his lack of production in the past. "A lot of times they would just use me as a blocker," he said. "I feel I could have caught more balls." * Freshman CB Brandon McGee said his first practice "was definitely what I expected. The University of Miami, you come here to work hard, come here to compete and get better every day. "It was definitely exciting just to come out here." Of getting the early reps, McGee said, "It definitely helps me. I get to watch the first group and everything, learn from my mistakes when I come on the sidelines. The older players take me to the side, talk about some of the mistakes I made and how to get better at those things." McGee says going against Miami's receivers "gets me better every day I'm on the field." The biggest thing McGee has learned so far at UM? "Just being accountable for your own actions, taking responsibility with everything you do," McGee said. "You have to be here on time. Coach is real strict on that." McGee says he's getting reps at right cornerback right now. * WR LaRon Byrd says the team's goal this season is simple. "BCS, a national championship," he says. And that goal began today with the opening spring practice. "Everybody's a little rusty," Byrd said. "We have to put a little oil in the tank, loosen up. But I think we're going to progress." Byrd says he spent a lot of time throwing on his free time with Jacory Harris in the last two months. And he says he's impressed with how quickly Harris picks things up. "He's got a Peyton Manning mind with a Tom Brady arm," Byrd said. * The opening stretch depth chart: First team offense: TE Richard Gordon, WRs Leonard Hankerson, LaRon Byrd, Thearon Collier, QB Jacory Harris, RBs Javarris James and Graig Cooper, FB Patrick Hill, OL (from left to right) Jason Fox, Orlando Franklin, AJ Trump, Harland Gunn, Matt Pipho. Second team offense: TE Daniel Adderley, WRs Tommy Streeter, Aldarius Johnson, RB Damien Berry, FB John Calhoun, QBs Cannon Smith and Taylor Cook, OL (from left to right) Jermaine Johnson, Ian Symonette, Tyler Horn, Brandon Washington, Ben Jones (There's more than 11 because there was some rotating in and out) First team defense: DEs Steven Wesley, Marcus Robinson; DTs Allen Bailey, Joe Joseph; OLBs Arthur Brown and Sean Spence; MLB Darryl Sharpton; CBs Chavez Grant, Ryan Hill; Safeties Randy Phillips, Jared Campbell/JoJo Nicolas. Second team defense: DEs Andrew Smith, Adewale Ojomo; DTs Josh Holmes, Marcus Forston; OLBs Jordan Futch, Kylan Robinson; MLB Ramon Buchanan; CBs Brandon Harris,Sam Shields; Safeties Vaughn Telemaque and Joe Wylie


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