|7 years ago||'06 #7121|
$57,730 | 12278
we might be getting one of those 5 stars that everbody was b**chin about in the 2010 recruiting season after all
this kid is a beast :rasta:
Last edited by DEDOS; 02-25-2010 at 10:17 AM..
|7 years ago||'05 #7122|
$12,896 | 290
When Shayon Green opened spring practice as the University of Miami's first-team middle linebacker Tuesday, it was notable because he hasn't played in a college game and never has played middle linebacker.
Green, a redshirt freshman, said he was a defensive end and an outside linebacker at Tifton County High in Georgia.
``Very surprising,'' Green said of opening with the first team. ``Now I've got to show them what I can do.''
Green impressed coaches last August before sustaining a serious knee injury in practice.
``It was very frustrating, but I'm over it,'' he said. ``I don't even know how it happened.''
Green's elevation is partly the result of his skill set and partly a result of the Hurricanes being depleted at linebacker, where they have only six healthy players on scholarship.
Jordan Futch (knee) and Ramon Buchanon (shoulder) -- who are out for the spring -- had been expected to compete for the third starting job, alongside Colin McCarthy and Sean Spence. But Green, 6-2 and 235 pounds, gets first crack. He said he has been spending as much time studying his playbook as doing homework.
His strengths? ``I can run and get to the ball,'' he said.
If Green doesn't win the job, McCarthy could move to middle linebacker in August.
``It will take time before you can find out what [Green] can and cannot do,'' coach Randy Shannon said.
Green said he came to Miami partly because his grandmother lives in Homestead. He visited as a youngster and went to UM games at the Orange Bowl.
ODDS AND ENDS
• Defensive tackle Marcus Forston isn't healthy enough to participate in spring practice, Shannon said.
• Allen Bailey said UM will use him primarily at defensive end, not tackle. Defensive coordinator John Lovett has said he prefers Bailey at tackle, but UM likes its depth there without him.
• Quarterback Spencer Whipple said he amuses teammates with an imitation of his father, UM offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.
``He might not know,'' Spencer said of his father.
|7 years ago||'05 #7123|
$12,896 | 290
Lying in bed with his jaw wired shut, using a straw as his lifeline and his mom, dad and sister as his caretakers and faith-builders, Adewale Ojomo knew he had to get back to the football field.
And finally, after two surgeries and six months of healing from a punch that shattered his jaw and his dreams of a special season, the University of Miami defensive end has gotten there.
``It was hard [being away], because when you've got a passion for the sport it takes a lot from you and makes you see things a lot more clear when you come back,'' Ojomo said Wednesday after the second day of spring football. ``You have much more love and respect for the game when you realize it can be taken from you at any point in time.
``It's fun to play football.''
Ojomo initially lost 25 pounds from his 6-4 frame and gained 45 back to get to his current weight of 260. He talked to reporters for the first time since the locker-room incident last August.
Though it was widely reported that Ojomo was ``sucker-punched'' by a walk-on teammate who later left the program, the redshirt junior respectfully declined to discuss the incident.
``I was instructed by the university and Coach [Randy] Shannon and [UM president Donna] Shalala really not to get into details of it because it's an in-house issue and I really can't talk about it.''
``Are you over it?'' he was asked. ``Any anger from it?''
``I let all my anger out on that field right there,'' Ojomo said. ``That's where I let all my anger out.''
UM's intensely imposing right defensive end is one of the most fiery Hurricanes. The son of a former Nigerian professional soccer player and Homestead-born certified public accountant, Ojomo was known to extend his long, muscular arms and roar to the sky when he made a huge play. He is a first cousin of Dolphins linebacker Akin Ayodele.
``Nigerians by nature are very confident people,'' he said during his 2008 season. ``The game is played with emotion and there's something in my soul and my heart I feel when I'm on the field.''
Shannon said other than gaining maturity, Ojomo is still just as passionate.
``He's back to the same Ojomo,'' Shannon said. ``Loud, aggressive, playing with a lot of energy. His weight is up, . . . his strength is up. He's looking big and lifting weights like he was.
``It's the same old Adewale.''
In 2008, his redshirt freshman season, Ojomo started in three of his 11 games and had 22 tackles, with four tackles for loss and three sacks. He said he wants more in 2010.
``I expect nothing but total domination on the field,'' he said.
Fellow right end Olivier Vernon said Ojomo's return has motivated everyone -- Andrew Smith and Dyron Dye are also on the right side, with Allen Bailey, Marcus Robinson and Steven Wesley at left end. ``Hopefully it will be a lot of help for the D-line,'' Vernon said. ``He's a real competitor and gets the whole D-line hyped up and ready to go every practice.''
Much of the six-month ordeal following the incident was a struggle. He was on a liquid diet for six weeks -- ``Carnation milk, Muscle Milk, milkshakes, soups, sauce, clam chowder, different things I blended up and ate, like purified meatloaf. But it didn't really even sustain me. When you don't eat meat it puts a strain on your body. You're much weaker.''
Ojomo said he has two ``microscopic plates'' in his face, one on the bottom of his chin and the other on the right side of his face. A long scar runs along the right side of his neck, parallel to his jawline.
He said he spent a week in the hospital, two more weeks off and then began to work out with his teammates.
``Nobody made me do anything,'' he said. ``I was in the weight room on my own with the team, running with the team and training with the team the whole time.
``I didn't fall off at all.''
|7 years ago||'05 #7124|
$12,896 | 290
Whipple not your ordinary scout team QB
Spencer Whipple can't remember how old he was the first time he peeked into his father's playbook. But the 6-2, 210-pound junior knows his desire to learn how to beat defenses began long before he followed his father to the University of Miami last August. It probably started in his mother's womb.
"When I was little, I watched a lot of football. I always understood what was going on, who was winning. When I got a little older is when I started asking my dad questions," said Whipple, whose father Mark, a veteran NFL quarterbacks coach, has been UM's offensive coordinator since last year.
"He started talking to me more about offensive schemes, why teams run certain offenses. When he was [coaching in] college [Whipple was at Brown and UMass from 1993 to 2003], I'd hang around the practices, go to the meeting and just listen. When he was with the Steelers [2004-2006], I'd look at the playbooks, the schemes, X's and O's. I feel like I've learned a lot just being around my dad."
Truth is, Whipple (6-2, 210) is not your ordinary scout team quarterback. Set to turn 21 next month, he's been exposed to a lot of football in just three years at the college level and his grasp of different offensive schemes expands beyond what he learned just from his dad. While his father was coaching for the Steelers, Whipple led his high school team to an undefeated season. After receiving offers only from Football Championship Subdivision schools [formerly Division I-AA], he decided to walk on at the University of Pittsburgh as a freshman.
There, he spent a season learning from Matt Cavanaugh, a veteran NFL offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach now with the Jets. A year later, Whipple transferred to UMass where he learned an entirely different system. Now, a year after transferring to UM, he's on scholarship and learning from dad once again.
"I look at it as being fortunate because I've learned so many different schemes," Whipple said. "Everybody likes to teach different things. I'm hoping I can put them all together so one day if I become a coach, I'll have all this past experience with different coaches, different playbooks and be able to pass it on."
Whipple, last season's Scout Team Offensive MVP, is already doing some coaching with his young UM teammates. Even though he's competing directly with true freshman Stephen Morris and sophomore A.J. Highsmith for the backup job, Whipple said he often "slows thing down" for Morris and Highsmith if they struggle to pickup what his father is teaching them.
"Whenever they see something different than what my dad wants them to see, I'll point it out to them," said Whipple, who got in for one series (three plays) at UMass and completed his only pass attempt for 16 yards. "But I don't want to be on them every second because I know how that is. I just let them know I'm always there for them if they want to learn something or if they have to ask me something or need some help."
How much Whipple will be able to really help the Hurricanes remains to be seen. But there is no reason to think the left-handed quarterback can't win the backup job. He definitely believes he has a chance and that he can provide the Hurricanes with a steady hand if needed.
"I just try to pride myself on being a leader, controlling the game, making some plays with my arm and making some plays with my feet," Whipple said. "I might not have the biggest arm, but I know my plays and can make all the right reads."
> GUNN TRUMPS BAILEY: If there is one thing defensive end Allen Bailey took pride in off the field last year it was his dominance in trainer Andreu Swasey's weight room. The 6-4, 288-pound senior was more than happy about having four of his photos hanging from the Canes' famed Strength and Conditioning board.
But according to Bailey, after Swasey's first round of testing for the 2010 season (the Hurricanes will test again after spring football) he's now owns just three of the six categories in the offensive line/defensive line division. Blame junior offensive lineman Harland Gunn. According to Bailey, Gunn overtook him recently in the squat when he raised his maximum weight up to 620 pounds. Bailey said he still owns the power clean (405), the bench press (415) and 20-yard shuttle and plans to retake the title in the vertical leap (he won it last year with a 38 1/2 inch jump).
> The Hurricanes will begin hitting this afternoon, but will still be wearing shorts. The real hitting in full pads begins Saturday.
|7 years ago||'05 #7125|
$12,896 | 290
|7 years ago||'04 #7126|
$662 | 0
Breaking Down the RBs with Coach Cassano
Feb. 26, 2010
By: Christopher Stock
From left to right: Damien Berry, Mike James, Lamar Miller, and Storm Johnson.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- There is a lot of attention on the running backs this spring.
A talented group of backs are competing for the starting job after the graduation of Javarris James, who started 30 games in his career at UM, finished his UM career with 2,162 rushing yards ranking seventh on UM's all-time list in addition to senior Graig Cooper, who is fifth on the all-time list with 2,218 yards, who suffered a torn ACL in the Champs Sports Bowl and will not be ready until sometime during the season.
Damien Berry, Mike James, Lamar Miller, and Storm Johnson are the four backs competing for carries at tailback during the spring with Cooper and junior Lee Chambers (ankle) are out for the spring.
“The one thing they understand is that the best guy is going to play,” said first-year running backs coach Mike Cassano. “Whether it’s by committee or one guy steps to the forefront, we’ll make those decisions what’s best for the offense and the team.”
Regardless of who emerges as the top back, it is unlikely that player will receive a bulk of the carries as the last time UM had a back carry at least 200 times in a season was McGahee, who also is the last UM back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark when he rushed for a school record 1,753 yards.
Team Leaders in Carries Since 2002
2002: Willis McGahee (282), Jason Geathers (68)
2003: Jarrett Payton (182), Tyrone Moss (107)
2004: Frank Gore (197), Tyrone Moss (102)
2005: Tyrone Moss (137), Charlie Jones (123)
2006: Javarris James (175), Tyrone Moss (66)
2007: Javarris James (159), Graig Cooper (125)
2008: Graig Cooper (171), Javarris James (68)
2009: Graig Cooper (134), Javarris James (103)
Cassano said: “The days of being able to have one back are over. The game is too fast, too physical. If you look at a lot of the great teams—(USC’s) Lendale White and Reggie Bush, (Arkansas’) Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, you go on and on about these two-back systems. It doesn’t mean that they can’t get 1,000 yards. I know that’s been a big thing—the elusive 1,000-yard season is looming for next year that hopefully we can get a guy out there that can get that.”
The University of Miami has produced a number of talented running backs currently in the NFL including Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, and McGahee.
“They really want to be great players and they know the tradition of running backs here at the University of Miami, which is as rich as anywhere in the country,” Cassano said.
Cassano coached at UM from 2004-06 as a graduate a.ssistant and volunteer coach before being the running backs coach at FIU from 2007-09.
“I want to help make this thing a monster and bringing it back to where it belongs back on top of the national map,” Cassano said.. The foundation has been laid and we have a great foundation to get this thing back on top of the rankings. The guys around here are doing a great job and I just want to be a part of thing. I love the direction Coach Shannon is taking the program and I’m excited to be a part of a championship.”
Breaking Down the Running Backs
#20 Damien Berry, Senior, 5-11, 217
Punish or Be Punished, Berry f!ghting for RB Job
Stats: 93 carries, 616 yards, 8 TD, 6.6 avg, 5 receptions, 68 yards in 2009
Strengths: Toughness, Power
Cassano Says: He’s a hard hat and a lunch box type of running back. He’s a tough, physical guy that’s got deceptive speed. He’s got a subtle shake in space, he’s got the ability to make people miss, but he’ll get those tough yards. He’s a hard-working kid that has really, really tried to become the leader of this group because he’s a little bit more of a veteran. He’s really embraced that role and we’re looking for that leadership plus obviously the production on the field.
#5 Mike James, Sophomore, 5-11, 220
Stats: 15 carries, 46 yards, 1 TD, 3.1 avg; 15 receptions, 105 yards in 2009
Strengths: Vision, Awareness
Cassano Says: He’s very natural. He’s a very, very natural runner and very smooth and is deceptively fast as well. He’s another guy with great size. He’s a very deceptive runner whether it be size or speed and also his elusiveness as well.
#6 Lamar Miller, Redshirt Freshman, 5-11, 205
Miller Excited to Compete for Starting RB Job
Stats: Did not play in 2009 (1,749 yards and 22 TDs in 2008 at k!llian H.S.)
Strengths: Speed, Size
Cassano Says: I’ve only had Lamar in meetings because he’s been in track, but I can’t wait—just like you guys—to see him. I love his track times, I’ll tell you that. He’s been great in meetings and I like guys when they’re able to do two sports. It keeps them competitive year around. We’ll get him ready to go (for football). He will be ready to play in the fall.
#24 Storm Johnson, Freshman, 6-0, 212
Stats: First year at UM (1,937 yards and 31 TDs in 2009 at Loganville (Ga.) H.S.)
Strengths: Power/Speed Combination, Strength
Weaknesses: Catching, Experience.
Cassano Says: He hasn’t even been to his prom yet. He’s guy that’s 17 years old, great kid, hard-worker, with a tremendous amount of ability. He’s a big kid with a great combination of size and speed and that’s going to translate on the field.
|7 years ago||'05 #7127|
$12,896 | 290
Streeter out to make WR rotation more crowded
by: Shandel Richardson February 25th, 2010 | 8:51 AM CORAL GABLES _ UM’s already overpopulated wide receiver position is expected to grow even more crowded.
The Hurricanes return everyone from last year, but have several f!ghting to crack the 4-5-man rotation. Travis Benjamin, Leonard Hankerson, Aldarius Johnson, LaRon Byrd and Thearon Collier were mainstays in 2009, but just who is the biggest threat to shake things up this year?
That honor goes to redshirt sophomore Tommy Streeter. After a slow start to his career, Streeter appears ready to make a leap.
“I feel like I can bring a lot to this offense,” Streeter said. “I feel that the coaches knows so and they’re going to put me in a position to do so.”
The 6-foot-5, 209-pound Streeter was a highly-rated member of the famed 2008 recruiting class, but is one of the few yet to make impact. He missed his freshman year because of a broken wrist. Streeter returned last season, but felt behind the others because he was still learning the offense.
He said things “began to pick up” late last season and feels his “mindset” is right.” He now says he’s able to identify defensive coverages at the line of scrimmage.
“I’m able to tell if it’s Cover Two before the snap,” Streeter said. “How [the cornerback] lines up gives a lot away. I just feel comfortable.”
Streeter also said he’s improved on blocking technique in the offseason. If all what he says is true, it has the makings of him becoming the Hurricanes top deep-ball threat. Last year he caught five passes for 114 yards, including a 47-yarder against Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl. The play was designed for Streeter because the coaching staff, mainly offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, realizes his big-play potential.
”I wasn’t surprised,” Streeter said of the play. “Coach Whip told me I was one of the better deep ball guys. Coach said he’ll give me the opportunity. Going into the bowl game, that play was designed for me. I had worked on it the whole week in practice, so I knew when that play was called, they were coming to me.”
It seems a lot more plays may be coming Streeter’s way this season.
A few thoughts:
–Unlike last year, UM coach Randy Shannon is taking it slow before naming a backup quarterback. After last spring, he selected Taylor Cook only to have the competition between Cook and Cannon Smith continue through fall. Both quarterbacks decided to transfer before the first game.
Shannon said he won’t choose between A.J. Highsmith, Spencer Whipple (now on football scholarship) and Stephen Morris until fall practices near an end.
–I wouldn’t make much of a big deal about redshirt freshman Shayon Green starting at middle linebacker. Remember, Kylan Robinson and Arthur Brown started last year’s spring game because of injuries to Darryl Sharpton and Colin McCarthy. Neither Robinson or Brown played significant minutes during the regular season.
|7 years ago||'05 #7129|
$12,896 | 290
CORAL GABLES _ Mike James seems almost like a forgotten man these days.
Remember him? The running back fans praised so much last year during spring workouts. A move to the less glamorous position of fullback took some of the spotlight off him. Now, the message-board discussions are about Damien Berry and Lamar Miller.
But guess what?
James is back at tailback and should be once again on your mind. While Berry is the favorite, expect James right there in the mix when the competition for the starting job heats up.
“It’s wonderful (being back),” James said. “I love it. I’m glad I’m back. I get to run the ball more.”
James, who switched from No. 22 to No. 5, moved to fullback when Pat Hill suffered a season-ending ankle injury early last season. James said he learned a lot during the move, such as blocking and route-running.
“When they did that it was just one of those things where they needed me somewhere,” James said. “I just got in there and did what I had to do.”
What James lacks in experience is made up for with work ethic. We’ve heard of his practice habits, but what about on his days off? He joins A.J. Highsmith and Lamar Miller at Greentree Practice Fields, so they can simulate an entire practice.
Just the three of them.
They run sprints, execute passing drills, hit the dummy sleds.
“Basically, we just go through all of it,” James said.
That alone should make him a key figure in the running backs competition.
A few thoughts:
–Running back Storm Johnson said he was timed at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash. According to UM, Tommy Streeter now runs a 4.4. That says something about Johnson’s combination of size and speed.
–Coach Randy Shannon said there was a noticeable decline in running production last year when Hill was injured. Hill is 100 percent, and should bolster the running game.
–Tight ends coach Joe Pannunzio said the biggest difference in senior Richard Gordon is maturity. Gordon now takes notes during team meetings. It’s a sign he’s realizing this is his last opportunity to make an impact.
|7 years ago||'04 #7132|
$662 | 0
Spring Practice Report #4
Feb. 27, 2010
By: David Lake
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Miami Hurricanes held their fourth practice of the spring Saturday morning.
The team practiced in full pads for the first time this spring in a practice that featured some hitting.
Miami will hold 15 practices this spring including the annual spring game on March 27.
The Hurricanes will return to practice on Tuesday.
Read here for the latest news and notes coming out of practice.
Click here to view photos
NOTABLES IN ATTENDANCE
Class of 2010 signees RB Eduardo Clements of Booker T. Washington was in attendance.
RANDY SHANNON OPENING STATEMENT
“We kind of kept it the same team tempo. We didn’t do any scrimmage work. We did one full speed live drill. By the NCAA rules, only so much of the percentage can be full speed. Guys are a little sore now because it is the first week back. They haven’t put on a helmet and shoulder pads in two or three months. We had a lot of good work today. We did some blitz drill full contact and some inside run stuff that was full speed.”
NEWS & NOTES
• WR LaRon Byrd was highlighted by Shannon as a player who had a good first week of spring practices. Now Shannon wants to see how Byrd will respond during week 2. "I think LaRon Byrd had a good week of practice and did a lot of great things in practice," Shannon said. "After watching the tap on Monday, he has to move forward. He can’t dwell on this past week. Sometimes you have success and you tend to dwell on it and I think that got us, because we were feeling good about ourselves. That is going to be a big emphasis besides finishing and being tougher. Once you finish that week, you have to look to the next week and not go in that rut."
• Shannon said it is hard to judge how the offensive line did today in the first day of pads because they didn't do much pass protection and the defense ran a basic scheme. “Inside run is just working on run plays," Shannon said. "There aren’t any pass plays and no blitzing and no movement. You line up man on man and see if you can knock somebody off the ball and see who can get off blocks on defense. It is really a toughness drill. We went about 18 plays to see who would really tough it out and it went both sides, which is good.”
• CB Brandon McGee says he has noticed a big improvement from Byrd this spring as well. "He has gotten a lot better," McGee said. "His routes are a lot more crisp and he looks the ball into his hands better. He looks better than he did last year."
• WR LaRon Byrd and WR Leonard Hankerson had touchdowns during red-zone drills.
• During red-zone drills, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke had an interception and S Vaughn Telemaque nearly had an interception.
• Shannon said he was pleased with the first week of spring practices, but he really wants to see how players respond in week two. “I look at guys with what they do each week," Shannon said. "Each week you have to improve on some phase in your football game and not stay stagnant and stay the same.
• With Matt Bosher out this spring with an injury, Jake Wieclaw is UM's only kicker this spring. Shannon said next week the team will start to do live extra point drills and they may work on kickoffs later this spring as well. "Jake kicked some field goals yesterday in practice and he will go live on [Tuesday] doing extra points and as the weeks go on we may do some kickoffs so we can see the improvement he has made in that.”
• With Brandon Harris and Cory Nelms participating in track this week, sophomore cornerback Brandon McGee is getting a lot of reps at cornerback in the first week. McGee says he never came off the field during practices this week. “A lot of reps will get you better," Shannon said. "He is going to make some mistakes, but then you make mistakes and then you get better.”
• WR Aldarius Johnson says his weight is down to 210 pounds and he says he feels quicker with his new weight.
• Early enrollee freshman Shane McDermott is working with the second team at center right now and learning more every day. "Coach Shannon said to just go out there full speed, we know you are going to screw up, but just go out there full speed and get the job done."
• Turnovers has been a big focus this spring by coach Shannon. “Coach Shannon emphasizes turnovers a lot more this offseason," cornerback Brandon McGee said. "Whether the offense turns the ball over or not, that depends on how many gassers they have to do. If they turn the ball over, that is a gasser for them."
|7 years ago||'04 #7133|
$662 | 0
RB Johnson Shows Off Speed
Feb. 26, 2010
By: David Lake
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- It didn’t take early enrollee freshman running back Storm Johnson long to make a big early impression at the University of Miami.
Before spring football started, Johnson ripped off a blazing fast 4.38 time in the 40 at 218 pounds when all the early enrolled freshmen were going through their timing drills.
Johnson, whose full name is Westleigh Storm Johnson, says that time just shows that he can be a well rounded running back.
“I am a big back that can do little back things,” Johnson said. “I am just working hard now on running downhill and being an all-around running back where I can block and catch.”
Through the first three days of spring practices, coach Randy Shannon said he has been impressed by Johnson’s size-speed combination.
“He is a big, fast guy,” Shannon said. “He can make plays and make people miss in the open field. When you have a guy like that you always want to have him as a part of your football team.”
Newly hired running backs coach Mike Cassano is also excited about the potential Johnson brings to the position.
“He hasn’t even been to his prom yet,” Cassano said. “He’s a guy that’s 17 years old, great kid, hard-worker, with a tremendous amount of ability. He’s a big kid with a great combination of size and speed and that’s going to translate on the field.”
The biggest adjustment to the college game for Johnson at this point has been learning the UM playbook, which some players have said is a couple inches thick.
“The playbook is real big,” Johnson said. “We have only been though three days of installments and the playbook is huge, so just repping and getting it all in your head is good and getting the jump start into college life and the academics.”
“I am trying to study hard and learn all the little steps it will take to get right. I would say right now I know 85 percent of the playbook.”
Johnson is part of a deep stable of talented running backs that currently includes Damien Berry, Lee Chambers, Graig Cooper, Mike James, and Lamar Miller. Johnson says all that depth at running back will only push the unit to be better.
“We push each other all the time,” Johnson said. “The competition level is very strong and we always get on each other if we don’t do something right. We are a big family and families argue, but we get it cleared up and we will be ready to go the next day.”
“I know Miami has something to prove and we are going to work hard day in and day out and that is the type of team I want to be a part of.”
Johnson chose the Hurricanes over Kentucky, Penn State, Oregon, and Michigan State. He rushed for 1,937 yards and 31 TDs in 2009 at Loganville (Ga.) High School.
|7 years ago||'04 #7134|
$662 | 0
McGee Getting All The Reps At Corner
Feb. 27, 2010
By: David Lake
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- With cornerbacks Brandon Harris and Cory Nelms running track this week, sophomore Brandon McGee has received a lot of reps during the first week of spring football.
McGee says he doesn’t come off the field during the recent practices and he looks at it as an opportunity to get better.
“I am pretty much out there every play,” McGee said. “I have been taking all the reps pretty much with the safeties rotating in for like two plays every once in a while and then I will get back out there. It is kind of bittersweet because you are out there all the time and tired, but you have to f!ght through the pain. When you get tired in the game you just can‘t come out, so it has been a good thing.”
Coach Randy Shannon says the extra reps will only help McGee in his development this spring.
“A lot of reps will get you better,” Shannon said. “He is going to make some mistakes, but then you make mistakes and then you get better.”
As a true freshman last season, McGee primarily played on special teams, making two tackles in 10 games.
McGee talked about how he feels like he has improved since last season.
“My feet are quicker and I am a lot looser in my hips,” McGee said. “Me and Ray Ray Armstrong do a lot of ladder drills and footwork drills in the offseason. I definitely think my feet have gotten quicker.”
“I am looking to contribute to the team whether it is special teams or defense. I just want to do what is needed and expected of me and try to exceed that.”
One player who McGee leans on for advice during the football season is junior cornerback Brandon Harris. McGee says he hopes he can make the same type of jump Harris made in his second season this year. Harris finished his sophomore season with two interceptions and 15 pass breakups.
“Brandon Harris helped me a lot last year with giving me insight on what it would be like my first year and how I should respond my second year,” McGee said. “I am definitely taking advice from him and looking to make a big impact next season.”
A big area the Miami secondary is looking to improve going into the 2010 season is getting interceptions. Last year the UM secondary finished with just five interceptions and McGee says improving that mark has been a key this spring.
“Coach Shannon emphasizes turnovers a lot more this offseason,” McGee said. “Whether the offense turns the ball over or not, that depends on how many gassers they have to do. If they turn the ball over, that is a gasser for them.
One player who has impressed McGee this spring is wide receiver LaRon Byrd. McGee says he has seen a big improvement from Byrd this spring.
“He has definitely gotten a lot better in his routes,” McGee said. “His routes are a lot more crisp and he looks the ball into his hands better. Me and Byrd workout against each other a lot and we compete a lot. He looks better than he did last year.”
“He is pretty tough to cover. He has a big frame and he is a fast guy with quick feet that is quick off the line. I know when I go up against him in practice, I will never see that type of guy in a game. I am pretty sure I will never go against a guy like LaRon Byrd in a game, so that is good.”
|7 years ago||'04 #7135|
$662 | 0
McDermott Going Full Speed In Center Competition
Feb. 27, 2010
By: David Lake
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The one goal for freshman early enrollee center Shane McDermott this spring?
To go full speed and not worry about making mistakes.
McDermott is adjusting to the speed and terminology that is required of him while working as the second team center this spring. He understands he is going to make mistakes, but he’d rather make mistakes going full speed than slowing down his play by thinking about what he needs to do.
McDermott will better his understanding by repping at full speed.
“I have just been playing hard and having fun,” McDermott said. “It is college football. I talked to coach Shannon and coach Barrow before practice and they just said to go full speed. They know I am going to screw up, but I just need to go full speed and get it done.”
McDermott is battling with junior Tyler Horn for the starting center job. He talked about how he is approaching the battle for the position.
“I am just approaching it saying I am going to come out and play my best and do what I do,” McDermott said. “I know the results are going to be good if I do that. Coach Stoutland has been on me and I like that because he has taught me a lot so far.”
Horn along with Joel Figueroa have taken McDermott under their wing to help accelerate his learning curve. McDermott says he appreciates the tips the older players give him.
“Right now I am second string. Right behind Tyler Horn,” McDermott said. “He has really helped me out a lot along with Joel Figueroa with the playcalls and getting used to the game. We have been working very hard and hopefully next year I can compete with Tyler for the starting job.”
The toughest adjustment for McDermott through the first week of spring practices has been the speed of the game and learning the terminology McDermott will have to use when he calls out plays at the line of scrimmage.
“It was very tough and it is so much different than high school,” McDermott said. “The terminology and the speed is very hard to get in touch with, but after our first practice in shells I started getting used to it. Getting used to the speed and the terminology down is what I am trying to do right now. I have been going into the study room, studying a lot and getting to know the plays so hopefully I can compete for a starting job.”
McDermott says Stoutland has been tough on his through the first week, but McDermott likes that type of attention so he can know how to get better. He talked about the areas Stoutland wants him to work on during spring practices.
“He wants me to work on my footwork, getting used to pulling out of the center spot, knowing my calls, and gelling with my line so everybody can trust me. I am just a freshman so it can be hard to trust me sometimes, but I am trying to build that up.”
|7 years ago||'04 #7136|
$662 | 0
Aldarius Johnson of old returns?
by: Shandel Richardson February 27th, 2010 | 1:34 PM CORAL GABLES _ As UM offensive coordinator Mark Whipple was exiting the practice fields Saturday, he had to do a double take.
Whipple was stunned to see junior receiver Aldarius Johnson conducting an interview with a group of reporters. Johnson has never been one who enjoys the media attention, but everyone wants to know how he plans on bouncing back from last year’s disappointing season.
His sophomore year was marred by a nagging hamstring injury. He went from leading the team in receiving as a freshman to an afterthought. Now healthy, teammates are seeing the “old Aldarius.”
“He’s not banged up or anything,” senior Leonard Hankersonsaid. “He’s working hard and making plays in practice. He’s the old Aldarius right now because he’s hungry for it. He wants to make plays and get back on the field.”
Johnson, who caught jut 16 passes last year, said he has no concerns of falling behind at the Hurricanes’ deepest position.
“Last year was last year,” Johnson said. “I’m just trying to focus on getting right for this season and helping my team. That’s it.”
Johnson is five pounds lighter at 208. He says he feels better at that weight, and teammates have noticed a new attitude. Hankerson said Johnson was obviously affected by being so limited last year. Hankerson should know because he missed playing time in 2008 after suffering an ankle injury.
“It affected him a whole lot, being nicked up the whole season,” Hankerson said. ”I know he was frustrated a whole lot by not playing. I know he wanted to make more plays and help us out.”
Now, Johnson is back to normal. He’s among the trash-talk leaders in practice, showing the confidence that made him an impact freshman.
“He’s pumped up every day,” Hankerson said. “He saying stuff, talking trash to the defensive backs and getting things going.”
A few thoughts:
–Left tackle Orlando Franklin said practices are easier now that the offensive line has depth. After being so limited in numbers the past two seasons, the Hurricanes are overloaded at the position. It means less reps.
“You have a full two groups going in the spring and you’ve got a whole group coming in the summertime,” Franklin said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Franklin said there’s even a possibility of extending the rotation. Last year they only used six, and sometimes five, linemen during games. It really depends on the development of guys like Shane McDermott, Cory White, Jared Wheeler and Malcolm Bunche.
“If they come in and learn their stuff, why not,” Franklin said. “I’m all for it. `Ten guys, and being fresh all the time. You’re going to be fresh all the time if you’re going against defensive linemen that are tired. That’s better for us. But at the same time, it’s a very hard position to come in and learn. Thank God, these freshmen are here early.”
-Franklin says the move from guard to left tackle makes him “feel like a freshman all over again,” but he’s been waiting for the opportunity since his UM arrival.
-Here’s a look at who’s playing where on the offensive line:
LT: Franklin, White, Stephen Plein
LG: Joel Figueroa (injured), Harland Gunn, Jared Wheeler
C: Tyler Horn, McDermott (and some Brandon Washington)
RG: Washington, Malcolm Bunche
RT: Jermaine Johnson, Ben Jones.
-UM coach Randy Shannon said Jake Wieclaw is handling the kicking duties, but is unsure if Matt Bosher will do all three once he returns from injury in the fall. A decision won’t be made until the fall.
-Redshirt freshman safety Jamal Reid will most likely not play for the baseball team this spring because of a minor offseason knee scope. Reid said he’s been working second-team at free safety.
-In an unrelated football note, fullback Pat Hill’s son, Pat Jr., is the reason for the SpongeBob SquarePants craze last season. Pat Jr., is often around the team in the locker room and meetings. One day, Hill put the cartoon on the television for his son and the players took to it.