|7 years ago||'04 #7081|
$662 | 0
UM Offers WR Rogers, Takes Lead
Feb. 22, 2010
By: Nate Adelson
Northwestern wide receiver Eli Rogers was excited after receiving his first official scholarship from UCF on Sunday night.
The excitement stepped up a notch for Rogers (5-10, 170) when the Miami Hurricanes became offer number two on Monday morning.
“This morning, they called me into the office (at Northwestern) and I had a phone call,” Rogers said. “I talked to Coach McGriff and he said they were going to fax the letter to the school and Coach Hill confirmed it. The fax came in around 9:30 and they wanted to make it official that I have an offer. They said they want me to be a part of their family and join the team when I’m ready.”
Rogers, who had 35 catches for 551 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior, said he was definitely surprised that Miami decided to offer him so early.
“I was pretty surprised at first because when the people in the office called me down, I didn’t know what was going on,” Rogers said. “I walked down there and they told me to go in an office and answer the phone. The phone rang and Coach McGriff was on the line so I was excited. After he told me everything, I felt proud because it’s a big accomplishment for me.”
Rogers explained that the thought of making a commitment did cross his mind but he didn’t want to rush into anything with so much time left to go.
“I did think about it but I didn’t want to do it right away because I’m only a junior with another whole year to go,” Rogers said. “I should get more offers but they’re definitely in my top.”
In fact, Rogers doesn’t plan on having a decision at any time in the near future because he hopes to make his decision at next year’s Under-Armour All-America game.
Although he did not commit, Rogers does hold Miami higher than everyone else right now because they offer demonstrated how much interest they have in him.
“They’re above the other schools because they showed they have more interest in me,” Rogers said. “All the other schools send me a lot of letters but Miami called me and talked to me to see how I was doing. They offered me so that’s like more of a big thing.”
Rogers’ teammate Teddy Bridgewater is a high priority for the Miami coaches and the Bulls quarterback turned out to be in on the whole act.
“He knew they were going to offer me, he just didn’t want to tell me,” Rogers laughed. “When they called me into the office, he was already down there. When it was all said and done, he told me he was on the phone with Coach Shannon so that is how he knew.”
Rogers had taken an unofficial visit to Miami less than two weeks ago and he said that he definitely played a part in him getting an offer so quickly.
“I think that did help because they were happy to see me out there,” Rogers said. “The coaches were talking to me about the program and they were telling me that I got bigger from when they saw me before. I thought an offer might come soon but not this soon.”
With a Miami offer now in hand, Rogers is planning on attending a Cane spring practice this upcoming weekend.
|7 years ago||'04 #7082|
$662 | 0
Spring Preview: Offense
Feb. 22, 2010
By: Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat
Damien Berry has the chance to make the running back position his this Spring.
Going into the Spring, there are some spots on the offense that are up for grabs. Playing time will go to guys who earn it and prove that they really want it.
Who wants to be the guy that can be the difference maker on the 2010 team? The Spring goes a long way to showing that from the guys that are returning from the 2009 team.
So what's the breakdown on the offense?
The ‘Canes will have an opportunity to find out what it has behind Jacory Harris. Last year that didn’t happen with Harris taking approximately 99 percent of the snaps during 2009 season while leading Miami to a 9-4 record.
But right now, Harris is not available still recovering from an injured thumb.
With Harris out for the Spring, the the ‘Canes will have the chance to find out what A.J. Highsmith and Stephen Morris can do.
The reality remains if something happens to Harris and he cannot play, it will make for a long 2010 season. However, with a full Spring dedicated to the backups, hopefully, Randy Shannon will find something in either Highsmith or Morris. Hopefully, he’ll find out one of them really wants the job and will do what it takes to be Harris’ backup.
Highsmith got limited snaps in 2009 as a true freshman and was four for six for 53 yards and a touchdown. That’s the extent of his experience. Morris, who enrolled in January, has even less experience having most recently been the starting quarterback at Monsignor Pace.
Morris was 96 for 179 for 1,531 yards, 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions while being named 2nd Team All-Dade.
Both quarterbacks should get plenty of snaps. Whoever steps up in the Spring and separates himself from the other will likely earn the backup role in 2010 as there isn’t a thing either of them could do to win the starting position. The battle starts Tuesday.
The running back position will have another battle with Damien Berry expected to start the Spring as the top running back. People clamored for Berry to get more carries last season as he performed whenever he got the opportunity. Now, he’ll get his chance to really separate himself from the rest of the pack.
Berry averaged over six yards per carry and led the team in touchdowns. With Lee Chambers missing the Spring, that will leave Lamar Miller and Mike James as the other running backs who will get the carries.
Before people think that Berry is simply a power back, he recently told InsideTheU.com that he clocked in at 4.42 in the 40, so with his power, he also has excellent speed.
Lamar Miller will likely be his biggest competition for carries. Miller is a spectacular talent who redshirted last season, but has a chance to go the distance every time he touches the ball with his blazing speed and power running.
The rest of the carries, albeit limited, will go to early enrollee, Storm Johnson.
At fullback, Patrick Hill is expected back and John Calhoun will split time.
The wide receiver position remains the deepest position on the team. Leonard Hankerson, surprisingly decided to return even though he likely would have been drafted in the first three rounds after a great junior season that saw him catch 45 passes for 801 yards and six touchdowns, clearly making himself the team’s number one receiver.
With Hankerson returning, it will be interesting to see if Aldarius Johnson can return to the form of his freshman year. If he can do that, it should make the ‘Canes very dangerous at wide receiver.
Laron Byrd returns for his junior year. His junior year needs to be the year he shows the kind of receiver he can be. He did an okay job as a sophomore with 33 catches for 460 yards, but he caught only one touchdown. He has all the skills to be a great receiver, but he has been steady, not great.
If he doesn’t step his game up, he could find himself losing reps to Tommy Streeter who has to get more opportunities. Streeter is a true deep threat. While he doesn’t look like he’s flying down the field, he has a ridiculous stride that gives him serious separation with defensive back down the field.
Travis Benjamin returns as well coming off of a season with 29 catches for 501 yards and four touchdowns. He remains a big play threat down the field, but Benjamin is going to have to be more of a threat on shorter routes to make himself more effective down the field.
In the slot, Thearon Collier returns and while he had a decent sophomore year with 18 catches for 250 yards and a touchdown, what Kendal Thompkins does this Spring could be huge. Everyone expects big things from him. One player told me, Thompkins is the best player who isn’t starting which bodes well for Thompkins in the Spring.
That leaves Davon Johnson who has failed to get really any opportunities to date. If there is someone who could find himself flipping to corner, it would be Johnson, but truthfully, he’s not a corner.
Have fun Richard Gordon. He’s the main tight end for the Spring and hopefully he remains healthy throughout the Spring. He doesn’t have to worry about competition until the Summer time, but he could do himself a great service if he performs well. Talent has never been a problem for Gordon. It’s been everything else. So here’s his chance to step up and be the man that people expected him to be coming out of high school.
Joining him is redshirt freshman Billy Sanders who will also get a chance, but how many reps he gets will probably be based more on Gordon’s performance than anything else.
The wide open line is the thing that people are wondering about more than anything. Losing three starters to graduation has opened up three spots on the line. And with Joel Figueroa out of the Spring, it makes it even more wide open.
Orlando Franklin will likely be moved to left tackle. Tyler Horn should be the starter at center. Shane McDermott will snap the ball behind him. Then there is right tackle. There will be a battle here between Jermaine Johnson and Ben Jones. At guard, Brandon Washington is expected to start at one spot with Harland Gunn at the other. Jared Wheeler will probably back up anyone at guard and could also see time at center. Ian Symonette, Stephen Plein and Cory White could see some chances at offensive tackle.
Malcolm Bunche will probably get chances all over the line. Can he make the impact that ‘Canes need quickly? We’ll see.
One thing is for sure, if you want a position bad enough on the offensive line, here’s the chance to make it happen. Rarely will one ever ever see an opportunity like this.
|7 years ago||'04 #7083|
$662 | 0
Miller Excited to Compete for Starting RB Job
Feb. 22, 2010
By: Christopher Stock
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The 2009 season was difficult for Lamar Miller, who watched his teammates from the sidelines.
Now Miller, who redshirted in 2009 due to depth at the position, is ready to compete for the starting tailback job with the graduation of Javarris James (30 career starts) and the injury to Graig Cooper (20 starts) as spring practices begin Tuesday, February 23.
"I'm excited. I'm ready to show what I got and prove my point," said the 5-foot-11, 209-pound Miller, who has changed his number to No. 6 from No. 27. "I'm just trying to compete for a starting position."
Miller, who rushed for 1,719 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior at k!llian High School, will be competing with a stable of talented backs this spring including Damien Berry (616 yards, 8 TDs in 2009) and Mike James (46 yards, 1 TD). Miami's top signee Storm Johnson is also on campus and will be looking for playing time. Lee Chambers (153 yards, 1 TD) has been ruled out this spring due to an ankle injury.
"I feel that it is open and I'm just going to compete for the position," Miller said. "I know the other guys are competing so it's going to make me better personally and may the best guy win."
Miller says he has improved his pass protection and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield since getting on campus.
Throughout the fall, he was praised by his teammates for his production on the scout team, but head coach Randy Shannon elected to redshirt the talented back as opposed to using him sparingly such as at kick returner.
"In practices, I was just trying to get better since I got redshirted and take advantage of my opportunities," Miller said.
More on Miller: Miller Time Will Come in 2010
Miller Impressed Jacory, Javarris
Quarterback Jacory Harris will not be participating in spring practices, but that doesn't mean he won't be paying close attention.
Harris will be paying particularly close attention to Miller, who impressed him during fall practices.
"I really believe Lamar Miller is going to be a running back next year that makes a big impact on this team," Harris said. "I believe his first carry, he is going to hit it. Now he is adjusted to the college life and ready for what is being thrown at him."
Harris, who threw for 3,352 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, says Miller has a good combination of speed and power.
"Our scout team goes against our first team defense and the things he does against the first team defense is amazing," Harris said. "Sometimes he makes things happens himself. He is a very shifty and fast guy. What a lot of people think he doesn’t have is power, but he will also run you over."
James, who finished his UM career with 2,162 rushing yards ranking sixth on UM's all-time list, thinks Miller will be a surprise in 2010.
"I think the guy who is really going to surprise everyone is Lamar Miller," James said. "He is starting to understand the pace of the game and all the little things here and there. He is as smooth as a Cadallac and is real fast and explosive. I think he is really going to show up next year."
Miller Enjoying Track Experience
Miller along with five other football players are busy participating on the track team during the indoor season.
It is the first time Miller has competed in the 60-meter dash and has responded with a respectable 6.83.
"I'm trying to keep my time down for the ACC championships so I can win it all," Miller said. "I'm trying to get at least a 6.72."
Miller thinks he can improve on his times in the 60, which also include a 6.88 and 6.94 at two meets this season, if he improves on running the full race at top speed.
"She keeps telling me that my blocks are good, I just have to have great turnover because I slow down halfway through and then I try picking it back up," he said. "I just have to keep driving through the whole race. When we watch film I look at myself and i see myself slowing down a little bit, but this next track meet, I'm going to try to f!ght through it."
Miller was clocked at a 10.7 in the 100 meters during high school, but says he likes short distances better.
"It's a great experience," Miller said. "I like it because it's a short race and outdoor it's 100 meters, and I'm better with shorter distances."
During the football season, Miller said that he was unsure if he would do track and that it depended on how he was doing in the classroom. He says things have been going very well for him academically.
"I'm doing good in and out of the classroom," Miller said. "I stay in the study hall with my mentor and my tutor so I'm trying to stay focused with that."
Miller, who is considered by many as Miami's fastest running back, is determined to keep improving on his speed.
"I was thinking about it and I've been running track since middle school," Miller explained. "I wanted to continue to do track to get my speed up. It helps me a lot and when you go against other fast people, you get faster and it gets my form right for the football field."
His speed on the football field will be fun to follow throughout spring practices as he competes for the starting job
|7 years ago||'04 #7084|
$662 | 0
WR Benjamin Looking to Take Next Step
Feb. 22, 2010
By: Christopher Stock
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Wide receiver Travis Benjamin is looking to take another jump in his development following his sophomore season.
Benjamin finished second on the team in receiving yards with 501 on 29 receptions including four touchdowns.
"It went pretty good," Benjamin said. "I improved from my freshman year and every year I look to improve."
This comes after a freshman season in which he caught 18 balls for 293 yards and three touchdowns.
Benjamin has had a full year under his belt with strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey since arriving in Coral Gables from Belle Glade, Fla. where he starred at Glades Central High School.
He battled through an injury last spring causing him to miss part of spring practices, but is healthy now and ready for spring ball, which begins Tuesday, February 23.
"(The spring) will help me polish up my routes, competing with my teammates, and looking forward to the summer to get better," Benjamin said. "The main thing I want to work on this spring is run blocking, I just have to stay on my man."
The spring has already been a busy time for Benjamin, who is one of six football players competing on the track team.
Benjamin has ran a 6.78 in the 60-yard dash during the indoor track season, which is better than last year when he was in the 6.9 range.
"I got a full year with Swasey and then I came out here with Coach Deem and I learned some more techniques to come out faster and finish strong," Benjamin said.
He's looking to get down to the low 6.7/high 6.6 range. He's already known for his speed on the football field, but participating in track continues to help him on the football field.
"It helps me a lot," he said. "It helps me with my quickness and helps me with my form because in football you don't use that much form because you are running routes, but it helps get your feet down faster."
He'll participate in spring football practices, but is looking forward to the outdoor track season later this spring.
"Hopefully we can put together a good 4x100 team with me, DeMarcus (Van Dyke), Lamar (Miller), and probably (Brandon) McGee," Benjamin said.
He says the team is excited for spring practices to begin.
"We are very excited," Benjamin said. "Everybody is looking forward to coming back and getting back into football."
The Hurricanes are coming off a 9-4 season in which they finished 19th in the final AP Poll.
"As a team it went pretty good because we won more games, but we need to do way better than what we did," Benjamin said. "We lost to people we are not supposed to lose to."
The loss to Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl was a disappointment, but Benjamin says the losses to Virginia Tech, Clemson, and North Carolina were just as disappointing.
"It was every loss, not just the bowl game, the three losses before the bowl game were disappointing," he said.
The Hurricanes will be without starting quarterback Jacory Harris (hand surgery) during the spring and will be led by sophomore A.J. Highsmith (53 yards, 1 TD in 2009) and freshman Stephen Morris.
"They are pretty decent quarterbacks," Benjamin said. "Jacory is going to teach them the plays, teach them the system and as long as Jacory is out there on the field, then everything will go smooth."
|7 years ago||'04 #7085|
$662 | 0
My grandma just ask me" son why are you so into the film and into the weight more than ever and who is the pryor fellow you talking bout" all i said is grandma this game depends on if ima get us out the projects. im humble and respect him as a player but he coming cross a player who dont care i have 9-10 years of anger... built up cuz yall cheated i was only 11 now ima man lets get it. leaving for the gym im out
|7 years ago||'06 #7086|
$56,885 | 10136
i feel ya im still angry as f**k too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|7 years ago||'04 #7087|
$12,861 | 0
Kevin Nelson is a G :applause:
He's probably the most outspoken player on UM's roster. I wouldn't be surprised if he came with some Kellen Winslow "Soldier" comment during a media conference
I think that character is what the team needs. Somebody in the locker room who ain't afraid to say s**t that's how Miami dominated in the 80s and early 2000's.
|7 years ago||'04 #7088|
$662 | 0
Spring Practice Report #1
Feb. 23, 2010
By: David Lake
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Miami Hurricanes football team held their first practice of the spring on Tuesday afternoon.
The team was in jerseys and shorts and practiced for two hours underneath partly cloudy skies with an occasional light rain.
“It was a typical first day of spring practices with no pads, guys were just flying around,” said fourth-year coach Randy Shannon. “Some of the veteran guys know the tempo and some of the guys who came in January started off a little slow. It was good tempo for the first day, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of excitement.”
The team will hold 15 practices this spring including the annual spring game on March 27.
Former Hurricanes in Attendance
Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen, professional boxer James Bryant, Darnell Jenkins, Javarris James, Sam Shields, Randy Phillips, Khalil Jones, Dedrick Epps, Dwayne Hendricks, A.J. Trump, and Tervaris Johnson were at practice.
News & Notes
• Sophomore QB A.J. Highsmith, who changed his jersey to number 11 from 19, was the first-team quarterback as Jacory Harris watched on.
• Freshman QB Stephen Morris connected with WR Kendal Thompkins for a long gain today in practice, but it did not result in a touchdown. Morris also threw a nice ball to WR LaRon Byrd on a comeback pattern, which resulted in a touchdown.
• Junior QB Spencer Whipple, the son of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, who transferred to Miami from Massachusetts during last season, now has a scholarship after first being a walk-on. It comes as bit of a surprise considering the team has already oversigned putting the roster over 90 when the maximum scholarship guys is 85, which means there could be more subtractions to the team other than Ian Symonette, who left the team following the season.
• As a unit, the quarterbacks “didn’t do anything wrong,” Shannon said. “You don’t know until you watch tape. They executed some of the things on offense that we wanted to get done, which is good.”
• The first team offensive line was LT Orlando Franklin, LG Harland Gunn, C Tyler Horn, RG Brandon Washington, and RT Ben Jones.
• As expected, RB Damien Berry was the first-team running back. Berry is the frontrunner to be the team’s featured back after a breakout season in 2009 when he led the team with eight touchdowns.
• When the team went through a hurry-up offense at the end of practice, the four receivers on the field were: Leonard Hankerson, LaRon Byrd, Aldarius Johnson, and Kendal Thompkins.
• DT Marcus Forston, who was listed as a player who would be limited during the spring, has been ruled out this spring according to Shannon. It’s another setback for Forston, who was shut down last season with minor injuries.
• According to players, sophomore RB Mike James looked very good today in practice and looked fast. James has been moved back to tailback after playing fullback last season. He’ll be Berry’s top competitor during the spring until Lamar Miller gets on the field and top freshman signee Storm Johnson adjusts to the college game.
• The six players, who are participating in track: CB Brandon Harris, WR Travis Benjamin, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, RB Lamar Miller, DT Micanor Regis, and CB Cory Nelms—did not practice today, but watched from the sidelines.
• The team is further ahead from a year ago at this time according to Shannon, which is encouraging to hear considering the strides they made from 2008 to 2009.
• Next practice is Wednesday afternoon and will be in jerseys and shorts again.
|7 years ago||'04 #7089|
$662 | 0
Green Excited For MLB Opportunity
Feb. 23, 2010
By: David Lake
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- With two linebackers out this spring with injury and another linebacker transferring, redshirt freshman middle linebacker Shayon Green has been thrust into playing with the first team defense.
Green, who sat out the 2009 season with a knee injury he sustained during fall camp, says it was hard to watch last season from the sidelines, but he is happy for the opportunity to earn playing this spring.
“It was shocking at first and I was nervous, but when the practice started I just tried to step up to the plate and do my best,” Green said of the first day of spring practice today. \
“I think I did ok for the first day. You always get those first day jitters, but I did ok.”
Green says he is still rehabbing his injured knee, but at this point he has not felt any affects from the injury.
“The injury was frustrating, but I am over it now so I am going to leave the past behind me,” Green said.
Green (6-2, 235) played outside linebacker and defensive end at Tifton County (GA) High School and finished with 125 tackles, two sacks, and five forced fumbles his senior season.
While Green did not play last season, he says he learned a lot while watching practices and games from the sidelines and watching Darryl Sharpton play the middle linebacker position for the Hurricanes.
“I just watched everybody practice with me not practicing and then I knew what I needed to do to get better,” Green said. “[From watching Darryl] I learned that if you give it your all then it will come to you. You just have to practice hard and know your stuff.”
“I learned a lot of stuff on the sideline like how to anticipate the plays, what calls to make, and how to make the calls.”
Now Green is working with senior linebacker Colin McCarthy, who is occasionally playing middle linebacker this spring in passing situations.
“We watch film together and he helps me if I need help with anything,” Green said.
Green says he knows the responsibility of the middle linebacker is to be the leader of the defense and he welcomes that leadership role.
“I know the middle linebacker is the leader of the defense and I know I need to step up,” Green said.
Green has been studying the playbook ever since the coaches approached him and told him he would be the first team middle linebacker this spring.
Miami linebackers coach Micheal Barrow has told Green that he just wants to see him play full speed through every whistle.
“He just wants effort,” Green said.
|7 years ago||'04 #7090|
$662 | 0
Spring Preview: Defense
Feb. 23, 2010
By: Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat
It will be exciting to see Adewale Ojomo back on the field this Spring.
University of Miami head coach Randy Shannon announced Monday that he expected this Spring to be very physical as there is a lot more depth on the team. His expectations are much higher from the recruiting class of 2008 that is now going into its third year.
While the added depth might be true on the defensive line, the depth at linebacker and in the secondary is far more limited. In fact, it’s an injury or two from being virtually non-existent and there’s no doubt that injuries that have already been suffered at linebacker have made an impact as to the rotation before the Spring even started.
So what’s what the story on the defense?
Depth is a plenty on the defensive line. The funny thing is, last year, the same could be said, but injuries hit the defensive line like a ton of bricks and the deepest unit on the team ended up having to shuffle players around in order to make due, namely Allen Bailey.
A big return to the defensive line is Adewale Ojomo as he returns after missing 2009 with a broken jaw suffered courtesy of a sucker punch by a former teammate. Ojomo is the fire to the defensive line and the defense surely missed not having him. He was arguably the team’s best pass rusher and never saw a down in 2009. He is back and ready to go which is exciting to see. Hopefully, he can bring that spark to the defensive line that was clearly missing last year.
It’s clear as day though if you want to play at defensive end, you better be ready to go. The ‘Canes have eight defensive ends entering the Spring: Dyron Dye, Steven Wesley, Bailey, Marcus Robinson, Andrew Smith, Gavin Hardin and Olivier Vernon.
At defensive end, there are arguably five starters with Ojomo, Bailey, Robinson, Vernon and Wesley battling for reps. That could make it hard for guys like Hardin, Dye and Smith to get reps, but with the depth at the defensive end position, it’s an exciting problem to have. As we learned last year, you can never have too much depth on the defensive line.
At defensive tackle, there is a little more concern. Marcus Forston will be limited, but there are four defensive tackles that will be ready to go in Micanor Regis, Josh Holmes, Curtis Porter and Luther Robinson. The concern is that Bailey could find himself moved back to defensive tackle which wouldn’t be in his best interest.
But the competition on the defensive line will definitely be fierce in the Spring.
The same cannot be said for the linebacker position. The crazy part of the situation at linebacker is that based on the fact the Shannon has announced that Colin McCarthy will continue to play outside linebacker, one can a.ssume that Arthur Brown would have entered the Spring as the start middle linebacker.
Now, it will by Kylan Robinson and Shayon Green at middle linebacker to start the Spring. After being hurt as a freshman, Green will finally get a chance to show what he can do. Sean Spence will line up at outside linebacker as well. C.J. Holton will be a back up and freshman Tyrone Cornelius probably picked the best time ever to enroll early because he’ll get plenty of reps this Spring which can only help him and the team in the Fall.
With McCarthy staying out outside linebacker, it will be interesting to see which side McCarthy lines up at. McCarthy played weak side linebacker last year which affected Spence negatively. Spence is clearly a better weak side linebacker than he is a strong side linebacker.
But of course, with the limited numbers at linebacker, one has to hope that the unit doesn’t suffer any injuries.
Reps will be aplenty for the Miami corners in the Spring. With only Brandon Harris, Brandon McGee and Demarcus Van Dyke as the corners on the roster, they will rotate with each other throughout the Spring. The guy that will get the opportunity of a lifetime is Corey Nelms, a walk-on who has impressed on Special Teams.
If Nelms can be good, it would be huge because it wouldn’t force any of the incoming freshman corners to have to make an immediate impact. They would simply be a backup plan rather than having to make an immediate impact. Ryan Hill will be limited in the Spring so don’t expect too much from him.
At safety, the ‘Canes seem pretty set with Ray Ray Armstrong and Jared Campbell penciled in as starters, but even at safety there are concerns. JoJo Nicolas is limited in the Spring leaving the ‘Canes with just one backup at safety, that being Jamal Reid.
So while there is depth on the defensive line, it’s clear that is not the case everywhere on defense.
|7 years ago||'05 #7094|
$12,878 | 256
Feb. 23, 2010
Coral Gables, Fla. - The University of Miami football team opened its 2010 spring practice schedule Tuesday with a two-hour afternoon session at the Greentree Practice Fields. The players practiced in helmets and shorts under the direction of fourth-year head coach Randy Shannon.
Six freshmen – OL Malcolm Bunche, LB Tyrone Cornelius, WR Allen Hurns, RB Storm Johnson, OL Shane McDermott and QB Stephen Morris – that enrolled this spring joined returning players and coaches as the team began preparation for the 2010 season.
The Hurricanes spent time working on several offensive and defensive position drills before wrapping up practice working on inside run, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team drills.
Temperatures again held consistent, ranging from 74 to 77 degrees throughout with a brief light rain shower that lasted roughly five minutes.
The Hurricanes will return to the practice field Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
A Few Practice Highlights
ˇ Steven Wesley recovered a fumble in 11-on-11 action.
ˇ Spencer Whipple hooked up with Tommy Streeter for a nice gain of over 40 yards.
ˇ Miami’s defensive backfield had several pass breakups in 7-on7 drills.
ˇ Running backs Damien Berry, Mike James and Storm Johnson had some nice runs between the tackles
ˇ Aldarius Johnson made a couple of impressive catches including a nice diving catch on an A.J. Highsmith pass in 7-on-7 drills.
After practice, head coach Randy Shannon and several players met with the members of the media. He discussed how his first day of spring practice went …
It was a typical first day of spring football, no pads. Guys are just flying around a little bit and doing some good things. The guys who came in January started off a little slow, but as time goes on you will see those guys pick it up and start running around a lot. It was a good tempo for the first day, a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. But you're not in pads yet, so you don't really know what's going on or what you can really do and cannot do.
On being more physical overall: You won't know till you get in pads, but what we're trying to get done in practice is more fast-paced, a lot of run game emphasis and things like that to force the guys to use their hands and technique. When you've got that kind of mentality, it works out for the best.
On the play of the quarterbacks on day one: They didn't do anything wrong. You don't know until you watch tape, but they executed some of the things on offense that we needed to get done, which was good. You see the guys stepping up.
On being along further than last year in spring with the same coordinators: Everyone knows the offense and defense except the new guys on campus, so you're going to be ahead offensively and defensively. That's a positive.
Quarterbacks post practice
With starting quarterback Jacory Harris out of spring practice, sophomore quarterback A.J. Highsmith, junior Spencer Whipple and true freshman Stephen Morris are sharing reps. Here is what the three had to say after practice Tuesday …
"It's a good opportunity, but I'm trying to take everything the way I did before. I'm still working hard on and off the field, just trying to get better every day."
"It's a competition, but that's what makes us good here. We have great quarterbacks. Jacory, when he goes down, we have guys that can step in. Stephen is adjusting real well. He did well today."
"I'm just going out and competing - every rep is an opportunity. I'm excited to be in the mix of it. I'm not trying to think of the big picture. Every day you have to just go out and try to do your best on each rep; study the play book on your off time and just be ready when your number is called."
On whether it’s harder to play for a staff that has his father, Mark Whipple, on it: “It's almost easier because he's there and he can talk to me. I've known him my whole life so he knows how to talk to me, settle me down when things aren't going right and when things are going well keep my mind right. It's just great to have him around and to be able to talk to him not over the phone, face to face."
"Being at the next level is just amazing and fun. It's a lot faster than I expected. Every time I come here (for practice) I know I have to get better. I have a lot to work on. Being here is just a great opportunity for me to learn."
"It's a completely different playbook and is a lot bigger than I expected. Coach Whipple helps me out and I have great mentors like Jacory, A.J. and Spencer who helps me out all the time.”
"Coach Whipple is great at mechanics and he helps me a lot. I'm a little antsy in the pocket once in a while. I'm going to get better at my footwork and developing the reads for coverages. I'm pretty comfortable with the playbook."
ˇ Former Hurricanes and current NFL players Greg Olsen, Willis McGahee, Phillip Buchanan, and Darnell Jenkins took in some of practice as did some of Miami’s 2009 seniors who are preparing for their Pro Timing Day including tight ends Dedrick Epps, Jimmy Graham, Javarris James and Jason Fox, who have all been invited to the 2010 NFL Combine. Linebacker Darryl Sharpton will also take part in it.
ˇ The `Canes will participate in 13 more practices leading up to the spring game on Saturday, March 27.
ˇ The Hurricanes will practice again on Wednesday and Friday at 3:30 p.m. and again on Saturday at 10 a.m. All practices are closed to the public this spring with the exception of a scrimmage on Mar. 11 and the spring game on March 27. // NoImage = NoSigImage// // NoImage = NoImageRes//
|7 years ago||'07 #7097|
$10,135 | 8
|7 years ago||'04 #7098|
$662 | 0
With Jacory Out, Other QBs Step Into the Spotlight
Feb. 24, 2010
By: Christopher Stock
Spencer Whipple (left), A.J. Highsmith (middle), and Stephen Morris (right).
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Starting quarterback Jacory Harris will not participate this spring due to off-season hand surgery, which gives an opportunity to sophomore A.J. Highsmith, freshman Stephen Morris, and junior Spencer Whipple to showcase their skills.
“We are going to be able to find out who our number two quarterback is with Jacory not participating. I think that is very key for getting ready,” coach Randy Shannon said.
Highsmith (6-0, 195) enters the spring as the favorite to emerge from the pack since he has the most experience although it wasn't much as he completed 4-of-6 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown last season.
"I learned a lot (last season)," said Highsmith, who changed his number to 11 from 19. "I talked to coach at the end of the year, he said he was real proud of me. I felt I learned a lot and know a lot more than I did so I'm getting better."
It looked like Highsmith would get a few more reps last year as Harris dealt with minor injuries in a number of games causing Highsmith to warm up on the sidelines to be ready in case he was needed.
"I warmed up a couple times, more than we probably wanted to, but that's the job of being the number two quarterback, you always have to be ready," Highsmith said. "I always want to play, but that's up to the coach."
Highsmith said the reps were even amongst the three on the first day of spring practices, which was held in shorts.
"It was fun, it's always fun getting back out there with guys flying around and getting back to what we love doing and that's playing football," Highsmith said.
All three players insist they are not worried about the depth chart:
Highsmith said: "My goal is to just be the best player I can whether that's first or fourth, it doesn't matter. I just want to be as good as I can and come out learning as much as I can."
Morris said: "My goal this spring is to help the team any way I can. I'm not saying who's starting, I'm not saying any of that. I'm just trying to help the team any way I can."
Whipple said: "I am just going out and competing. Every rep is an opportunity, so I am trying to not think about the big picture. I am just focused on doing good with each rep and study the playbook in my off time and be ready when my number is called."
Following Morris' first practice as a Hurricane, he said, "I was a little nervous, but after you get your first completion and you'll be fine."
Morris, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder who was the 49th-ranked quarterback in the country according to ESPN, graduated early from nearby Monsignor Pace High School where he threw for 1,531 yards and 22 touchdowns with six interceptions while completing 54 percent of his passes.
"I think it was monumental for me to get here early," Morris said. "The coaches really stressed it to learn the playbook, that's the whole point of the spring because the coaches go over the basics with you. That's great for me to learn and great for me to bond with the team so that way in the summer, I'll really be able to learn."
Morris, who is taking five classes in his first semester at UM, has been busy studying Mark Whipple's offensive playbook.
"The best thing about it is Coach Whipple will take it one step at a time," Morris said. "It's a completely different playbook (than high school). It's a lot bigger than I expected, but every day I ask Coach Whipple what's going on for the day and he helps me out single time."
Morris, who picked UM over Purdue, Northwestern, UCF, and FIU, says he'll be working hard to improve his footwork, mechanics, and reads during the spring.
"I just tried to follow A.J. and Spencer, they are great leaders," Morris said. "And I was asking Coach Whipple what play it was and try to figure out what the coverage was."
Harris has been a big help to Morris since his arrival.
"(Jacory has been) a major factor in my development here at UM," Morris said. "He's a cool cat and a great guy to learn from."
Spencer enters his second season at UM after transferring from Massachusetts during the season last year as a walk-on.
Following the season, in which he handled scout team duties, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior earned a scholarship.
Although he's the son of the offensive coordinator, he doesn't expect any favorable attention.
"My dad does a good job of being unbiased," Spencer said. "He does a good job of giving everyone equal reps and he is going to pay the best player and organize the depth chart accordingly."
Spencer says he is able to learn a lot from his father.
"It has been easier because I know he is there and I know I can talk to him and he knows how to talk to me," Spencer said. "It is great to have him around and be able to talk to him face to face."
UM is Spencer's third university as he also spent a year at Pittsburgh.
"It has been a new system each year, but I look at it as being fortunate because I can learn different schemes," Spencer said. "If I want to become a coach one day, hopefully I can have a lot of experience with different playbooks and coaching styles."
But for now, Spencer is worried about being the number two quarterback at Miami along with Highsmith and Morris.
|7 years ago||'04 #7099|
$662 | 0
DE Bailey Getting Stronger
Feb. 24, 2010
By: David Lake
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Its hard to believe senior defensive end Allen Bailey, Miami’s most freakish physical specimen, could get any stronger.
But Bailey says he made big strength gains in the weight room when he maxed out on Monday.
And the thought of Bailey getting bigger, faster, and stronger should be a scary thought for the rest of the ACC this year.
When Bailey tested on Monday, he says he improved his power clean five pounds up to 405 pounds, his bench press went up 25 pounds to 410 pounds, and his squat went up 10 pounds to 575 pounds. At 6-feet-4 and 288 pounds, Bailey also has a vertical jump of 39 inches.
“With the power clean and squat that is all power that comes out of your hips and that is the same type of power you use for football,” Bailey said.
Bailey currently owns the top numbers at bench press, power clean, and vertical for Miami. Bailey used to have the top squat number on the team, but Harland Gunn outperformed him on Monday.
“I have three of the top scores right now,” Bailey said. “I used to have four, but Harland Gunn squat 620 pounds.”
With spring practices starting at Miami on Tuesday, Bailey says he was pleased with the intensity and the focus of the team.
“It was good intensity and it went how I expected it to be so that was good,” Bailey said.
One noticeable difference for the Hurricanes as they started spring practices Tuesday was their practice attire. Instead of wearing their usual basketball shorts on the first day of practices, the team was wearing spandex shorts. Bailey said the new look for practice will take some getting used to.
“I don’t know about these shorts,” Bailey said with a smile. “I am used to the regular shorts. These shorts are alright. I guess they can help us run faster.”
Bailey is coming off a junior season in which he led the team in sacks (7) and tackles for loss (11) while playing both defensive end and defensive tackle. He also totaled 34 total tackles on his way to earning first team All-ACC.
“Last year was good, but I always want to do better,” Bailey said. “I feel like now that I have had some time playing on the defensive line for a while that I should be a lot more comfortable there and play better. I am always looking to get better.”
Bailey is primarily playing defensive end for UM this spring, but if any injuries occur at defensive tackle he can always slide inside.
“I am fine with playing defensive end,” Bailey says. “I just want to play where I can help the team most.”
Bailey will be working with newly hired defensive line coach Rick Petri this spring. Coach Petri has mentored players like Warren Sapp, Kenard Lang, Kenny Holmes, and John Abraham during his previous coaching stints and Bailey has the talent to be his next great player.
Bailey says he is excited to work with coach Petri.
“Coach Petri is a nice guy,” Bailey said. “I know he has coached a lot of guys that have gone on to the NFL, so I look forward to learning under him.”
Bailey chose to not enter the NFL draft following his junior season because he says he wanted to accomplish more at Miami.
“I just wanted to come back because I wanted to do more at Miami,” Bailey said. “I feel like we will have a pretty good team next year, so I am excited.”