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Props Slaps
 03-02-2007, 12:12 PM         #1021
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March 2, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

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Jon Beason left early for the NFL, but otherwise the linebacker corps returns intact.


And there will be fierce competition throughout the spring as players try and solidify starting jobs heading into the fall.

Coaches want to get the best three linebackers on the field together and strive to teach each player multiple positions. So don't be surprised if there's a lot of movement on the linebacker depth chart throughout the spring.

And there's plenty of experience here.

It appears two of the likely starters will be Darryl Sharpton and Tavares Gooden.

Sharpton had 41 tackles last year, four for losses, and showed improved play as the season went on. With some more work on his mental game he can be a monster in the middle for the Canes -- he started five games at middle linebacker last season, including the bowl game. He has tremendous athletic ability and speed.

Gooden returned from a shoulder injury suffered in 2005 and had 41 tackles, five for losses. He will likely remain at the strongside spot.

Who might emerge as the starting weakside linebacker with Beason gone?

The early favorite is Glenn Cook, who arguably knows the defense better than any other player on the roster. He had four tackles for losses last year and could play any of the linebacker spots.

And don't be surprised if Spencer Adkins or Colin McCarthy sneak up and steal the job. Adkins backed up Beason last year, and McCarthy showed his explosive ability on special teams and in spot duty at linebacker last year. He's got a ton of talent.

McCarthy is starting the spring at weakside with Adkins at strongside.

Romeo Davis also returns, and he has starting experience. Davis had 21 tackles last year but must step up his game if he wants to get on the field with some talented youngsters vying for playing time.

Eric Houston enters his junior year trying to make an impact, but he has only seen limited action in his career.

Another project is Demetri Stewart, who saw action off the bench at the end of the year when injuries depleted the linebacker corps.

"We're all interchangeable, can all play more than one [linebacker] position," Cook said. "I don't even know where they're going to put everybody."
 03-02-2007, 12:12 PM         #1022
Hurricane Ra  OP
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March 2, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

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The defensive line loses a lot of talent from last year, and Calais Campbell, Eric Moncur and Teraz McCray are the only returners with any sizable experience.


Campbell returns as one of the nation's best defensive playmakers. He had an outstanding sophomore year with 20.5 tackles for losses, 10.5 sacks and 17 quarterback pressures. At 6-foot-8, once he gets past the blockers he uses his long wingspan to harass quarterbacks. He is a surefire NFL first rounder if he keeps up this kind of play.

Moncur had a sack and nine quarterback pressures last year. He has not shown he can be a consistent force at end yet. McCray has suffered injury problems throughout his career and had two sacks and five tackles for losses last year at tackle.

So who will step up and show they can be consistent playmakers alongside Campbell?

Coaches hope that question is answered in spring ball.

On the interior the team will miss Kareem Brown's team-high 11 sacks. McCray will start out as a first-teamer, and Antonio Dixon is likely to get the first shot at the starting job opposite him.

McCray is a force against the run -- at barely 6-foot-0, he is like a rock in the middle of the line. Dixon has struggled with some conditioning issues but has shown he can do a good job in limited playing time. A big key to the fortune of the defensive line this year is how well Dixon steps up his game.

After Dixon and McCray there is not much experienced depth at tackle.

Perhaps the most intriguing of the players hoping to get into the two-deep at tackle is sophomore Richard Gordon, who made the move from tight end last season. Gordon is a physical specimin with tremendous speed and athleticism. If he shows this spring that he's ready to handle the mental load, he'll likely position himself for plenty of playing time next year. He also could fit in at the end position, as he has excellent speed for a big man.

Of the other tackles, Luqman Abdallah has yet to make an official tackle as a Cane; Dwayne Hendricks has only seen time off the bench so far in his career; Josh Holmes redshirted last year as a true freshman; Joe Joseph has never found a niche and played in just one game last year; and Chaz Washington redshirted last year.

The big question at end is who will step up behind Campbell and Moncur, who is almost certain to start a.ssuming he continues to make progress.

The most likely candidate to get an increased load would appear to be Courtney Harris, who saw action in every game last year and can get after the quarterback.

Other players hoping to crack the rotation include Vegas Franklin, a senior who saw action in nine games last year as a role player; and Steven Wesley, who redshirted last year as a true freshman.
 11 years ago '04        #1023
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Others trying to get on the field are Joel Figueroa, a mammoth of a man who redshirted as a true freshman last year
hope my n*gga gets to see that field next year. Damn... but i wish he wasn't as lazy as he was in high school, he coulda been even more dominant..
 11 years ago '04        #1024
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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Barry Jackson | Nix's new offense creates excitement among Canes
By BARRY JACKSON


With spring practice opening Tuesday, several University of Miami skill-position players last week were talking up the offense and raving about changes made by new offensive coordinator Patrick Nix. ''The scheme he put in is incredible,'' receiver Darnell Jenkins said.

Of course, we heard similar optimism last year when Rich Olson replaced fired Dan Werner. UM promptly averaged its fewest points (19.6) in more than a quarter-century.

Questions abound. There's an open competition at quarterback ( Kyle Wright vs. Kirby Freeman, who are off limits to reporters for now). Tight end Greg Olsen is gone, replaced by some combination of DajLeonFarr, Chris Zellner and Dedrick Epps. The offensive line is in flux, with changes including guard Derrick Morse moving to center.

But running back Javarris James, off a terrific freshman season, cites reasons for hope, including speedy new running back Graig Cooper, who already is drawing raves. James, meanwhile, says he's faster, stronger and leaner (he lost five pounds to 210). And what about Nix's offense?

''Coach Nix and Olson are totally different,'' James said. ``We have a lot of formations, more concepts than Rich Olson [now at Arizona State]. We've got a lot of I-formation and pro-style offense, like the Hurricanes of old. Coach [ Randy] Shannon couldn't find a better coach.

''The running game is going to be more downhill, more inside running, like I did in high school. The running backs will catch a lot more balls. I'm very confident the offense'' will be better.

Jenkins and James said Nix is experimenting with numerous formations. ''The plays are going to be better,'' receiver Sam Shields said. ``We're taking out stuff that wasn't working.''

As Shields spoke, receiver Kayne Farquharson shouted ''[That's] the best [soon-to-be] sophomore in the nation!'' Farquharson must complete a junior-college class to enter UM, but expects that.

Though UM won't have its four new receivers this spring, several in that group (including Jermaine McKenzie, Leonard Hankerson and Farquharson) will have a legitimate chance to push Jenkins, Lance Leggett, Shields, Ryan Hill and Khalil Jones. Still, there's no clear-cut No. 1 target.

''I'm really excited about Hankerson,'' receivers coach Marquis Mosely said. ``And [6-6 signee Daniel Adderley] can't get here soon enough. To have a 6-6 guy matched up against a 6-foot defensive back, let's play jump ball in the end zone.''

Of course, so much rests on quarterback play, which must improve. ''Kyle's got more physical ability than me,'' Cleveland Browns backup and ex-Cane Ken Dorsey said. ``He's got a cannon. He's got to trust his arm and anticipate throws.''
 11 years ago '04        #1025
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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UM prospects show pro potential
Greg Olsen wasn't the only Hurricanes product to make an impression as 11 draft-eligible players worked out for NFL scouts.

BY SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN


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Hurricanes tight end Greg Olsen may be the only University of Miami player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Barbara P. Fernandez
Hurricanes tight end Greg Olsen may be the only University of Miami player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Greg Olsen did his part Saturday on home turf to ensure the University of Miami would continue its NFL-record string of having at least one player drafted in the first round the past 12 years.

But there were other Hurricanes -- running back Tyrone Moss, receiver Ryan Moore and defensive end Kareem Brown -- who made impressions with their new, trim look, clearly trying to obtain better results.

Most NFL teams were represented by scouts, who watched UM's 11 draft-eligible players lift, run and perform agility and position drills. Some, such as Olsen, did limited work, using results from the combine in Indianapolis.

Moss said he weighed 226, down 19 pounds from his playing weight. Moore said he was at 214, down 12 pounds. And Brown, exhausted and craving a cold shower, said he dropped 30 pounds to get to 290.

'I just have to do my job to change [analysts'] perception,'' said Brown, criticized at times for a lack of intensity and discipline. He ran a 5.2-second 40-yard dash Saturday and is projected as a second-day pick. NFL.com listed his times Saturday as 5.39 and 5.41.

''He was very fluid and athletic for a big guy,'' UM defensive line coach Clint Hurtt said. ``He is motivated but you have to stay on him. Most linemen you have to push a little harder. They're big guys.''

Moore, whose season was marred by an arrest (the charges were dropped after pretrial intervention) and suspension that limited him to five games, said he has explained a lot to NFL teams.

''I made mistakes and I let them know,'' he said. ``I told them the truth. I understand it's a business and players are an investment. I'm not a bad person. I graduated college in 3 ˝ years. I've been taking care of my business.''

On Saturday, Moore ran the 40 in 4.59 and 4.63 seconds, according to NFL.com.

And Moss (a 4.65 40 on Saturday), who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in late 2005 and also is projected as a late pick, said, ``I'll be a steal in the draft.''

Olsen improved his vertical leap from 35 ˝ inches to 37 ˝ and his broad jump from 9 feet, 6 inches to 9-11 ˝. ''The kid didn't hurt himself in any respect,'' said Lawrence McCutcheon, director of player personnel for the St. Louis Rams. ``Nobody was disappointing today.''

Edwin-Pierre and Edrick Pata, brothers of deceased UM player Bryan Pata, indicated recently they were upset because the school would not allow them to work out alongside UM players Saturday. But athletic director Paul Dee called Edwin-Pierre's agent, Arles Carballo, on Friday and made a concession.

The brothers worked outside separately, but were permitted to use UM's weight room to do strength and other tests. ''This means the world to them,'' Carballo said.

• Former receiver/defensive back Rashaun Jones and defensive end Rhyan Anderson are off the team for unspecified reasons.

• Offensive tackle Jason Fox has an injured left Achilles' tendon and will miss spring practice. He is expected back for the season.

• Safety Brandon Meriweather, who used a gun to allegedly defend himself last summer, praised coach Randy Shannon's new rule prohibiting guns off campus.

''That's a great thing,'' Meriweather said. ``Guns don't do nothing but get you in trouble. . . . I'm looking forward to showing people I have changed in every way.''
 11 years ago '04        #1026
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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Miami Destroys Nebraska
 11 years ago '04        #1027
madness 12 heat pts12
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Dan Le Batard | Irvin embraces being the eye of the Hurricanes

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A Hurricane. Capital H. A capitalized storm. Michael Irvin is still that, even in midlife. A Hurricane of personality, of appetites, of charisma, of laughter, of swagger, of polarization, of desires, of flaws and of excellence. Booed nationally, beloved locally -- just like all the best Canes.

Irvin comes into a room, then the room comes to him. He still leaves a wake. He put the ''Me'' in the ''U.'' Good luck finding any one player anywhere who more represents everything his collegiate program has been over the past two decades, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, than Irvin represents the University of Miami.

PERSONIFYING UM

He is the face and smile and sins of a program, but it is more than just his outsized personality. Charles Barkley has that, and nobody really links him to Auburn. It is an understanding and appreciation for home, warts and all. Doesn't matter how much poison gets spat at that home from outside those walls. Irvin understands what is inside better than most, and he loves it as much today as he did when he was running out of that tunnel through the smoke. Irvin, the original Playmaker, begat Randal Hill and Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp and Lamar Thomas and Jeremy Shockey and Santana Moss and Ed Reed and Edgerrin James and Kellen Winslow and Devin Hester. He is the godfather of a style, a musical genre.

''I've had great success against Deion Sanders,'' he shouts, still ribbing a Florida State Seminole. ``But, of course, I've had great success against everybody.''

Ah, the ego and the vanity. Irvin embraces it, which has always gotten old Canes in trouble. When asked if the story is true that he once stood nud3 in front of a locker-room mirror, arms spread, and asked how he could deny women that kind of body, Irvin laughs and says, ''I don't know if it is true. But it sounds like something I'd say.'' He used to welcome Dallas rookies by preaching to them while nud3 that they should aspire and work to have his perfect body even though they would surely fail.

SPEAKING THE TRUTH

''Why do people have a problem with the truth?'' he asks of his greatness at football. ``Call it ego. Call it confidence. I call it the truth. I'm in the Hall of Fame. Humility? What about truth?''

Truth is, he has brought shame and glory to the area he most loves, the area where he grew up the youngest of 17 children. He does not hide from his decadent past but says he has been reborn spiritually. Says he spent the past 40 years of his life taking, so it is time to spend the next 40 giving. He admits he has an addictive personality, so here's hoping he attacks generosity with the same zeal he does everything else that lures his passions.

He doesn't need the letters ''ESPN'' anymore. He now has ''HOF.'' That'll help him sell his story and his spirit from bookstores to the church. He is such a human immortal. He admits it isn't easy for him to push back the dark temptations his body craves, but he nonetheless tries to stay in the light.

''Football was my god,'' he says.

``When football came around, nothing else had a hold of me. I was serving the game. I was serving football. Baby, don't you come up against football because football is going to be around and you aren't. Even my Mom. Football gave me an identity when I didn't have much. Once I started catching those footballs, you are working on my self-esteem. People acknowledge this catching-this-football thing. Of course, I went on to catch it better than anyone in the world.''

Found him plenty of trouble, too. He says he prayed for Tim Hardaway recently, seeing him chased by the media behind the gates of his house.

''Been there,'' Irvin says. ``Mine was much worse than that. Helicopters over the house. Can you imagine what I was going through -- the thoughts -- while driving home, all the TV stations and helicopters at my house and my wife is waiting? The drive home was the hardest thing in the world.

'What am I going to say. How am I going into my own house? What are my first words? I got ready to open my mouth, not knowing what I was going to say, and my wife says, `Don't say a word to me. Go make your peace with God.' ''

Irvin laughs, exhales in an exaggerated fashion and slumps into his chair by the hotel pool.

''That's a woman for you there,'' he says. ``That's a woman among women.''

She is married to a strong man, too, despite his weaknesses.

But, as fans of the University of Miami know better than most, it isn't always easy being wedded to a storm.
 11 years ago '04        #1028
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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ahhh that good ol' swagger ^^ we need that back.

Damn all this talk makes me wanna start my own football season.

oo btw does anyone have that 2001 championship game?? i would fu*kin pay to get that video on my hard drive.
 03-04-2007, 01:45 PM         #1029
Hurricane Ra  OP
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March 3, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

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There will be some interesting battles in the secondary this spring.

A strength of Miami's defense will be the safeties, and it will be interesting to see how things shake out this spring with Kenny Phillips entrenched as one starter and the talented Lovon Ponder and Anthony Redd*ck battling for the other job.


Sharpe got a sixth year of eligibility
All three players are ball hawks and hard hitters.

Before a broken bone in his hand cost him the final three regular season games last year, Phillips was one of the most productive Canes. He came back for the bowl game and finished with 71 tackles, six for losses. He also was responsible for four of the team's 11 interceptions. He enters next year as one of the nation's top returning safeties.

Redd*ck was suspended for his role in the FIU brawl, but he showed as a freshman that he has a world of talent. And Ponder finished last year with 53 tackles and seven passes broken up. He also proved he's capable of making the big play with a 43-yard fumble recovery, two forced fumbles and an interception.

The loss of Brandon Meriweather shouldn't be too much of a factor with the talent that returns at safety. And Willie Cooper provides some decent depth here as well along with sophomore Tervaris Johnson.

The biggest question is whether the cornerback play will improve. Miami's corners had several costly breakdowns last season, and finding quality cornerbacks should be priority No. 1 for Cane defensive coaches this spring.

Player with experience include sophomore Chavez Grant, junior Bruce Johnson, junior Randy Phillips and sixth year senior Glenn Sharpe.

Because of the three- and four-receiver sets many ACC teams employ, all four players must step up their games and become shut-down corners.

Grant started three games as a true freshman and showed a good knack for playing cornerback. His biggest play of the year was his first interception as a Cane -- he picked off Nevada quarterback Jeff Rowe late in the fourth quarter to ice the bowl game for the Hurricanes.

Johnson started two games in nickel situations but has pretty much been an average cornerback. He must begin to earn more confidence from the coaches.

Randy Phillips has good size for a cornerback and started six games, but he was benched after allowing some big plays. He must become more consistent in his technique.

Sharpe had a disappointing 2006 season. He allowed several big plays, and perhaps the most notable was the 96-yard touchdown against Maryland where he let his man get two steps behind him. Sharpe must step up his play to help shore up the defense.

If the foursome with experience don't show improvement, look for Carlos Armour or freshman Doug Wiggins -- who is on campus and will participate in spring drills -- to work into the two-deep. It will be interesting this spring to see if Wiggins is ready to play ball as a freshman at the next level.

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 03-04-2007, 01:46 PM         #1030
Hurricane Ra  OP
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March 3, 2007

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The Hurricanes held NFL Pro Timing Day at Greentree Practice Field today, but there were no head coaches or coordinators on campus.


Meriweather hopes to work his way into the first round
It was a gathering of approximately 50 scouts, a.ssistant coaches and player personnel directors.

They saw several UM players perform well.

Including TE Greg Olsen, who had already wowed at the NFL Combine with a 4.45-second 40 time. Olsen did 23 reps of 225 pounds today and improved his vertical and broad jump numbers from the combine. He had a 37.5-inch vertical and a 9-11.5 broad jump (that's a two-inch improvement on vertical and 5.5-inch improvement in the broad jump).

Olsen also did position drills with his brother, Chris, throwing him passes. Olsen expects to go in the middle of the first round.

"I think between the combine and today, I answered all their questions," Olsen said. "It was a good day."

Also helping himself today was DB Brandon Meriweather. Meriweather ran a 4.50-second time at the NFL Combine with 11 reps in the bench press. He again had 11 reps today, and scouts were impressed with his work in position drills. He tested at 9-6 in the broad jump, but he didn't test in the 40 -- he's relying on his combine result.

Meriweather may also sneak into the first round.

LB Jon Beason is another Cane expected to go high in the draft –- most project him as a second-rounder. But he did not perform today due to a tweaked knee. He had run a mid 4.6-second time at the NFL Combine.

DE Baraka Atkins' stock continues to go up as he had a 33-inch vertical and a 9-4 broad jump today. He did not do the 40 or bench press (he ran a 4.6 in the 40 with 22 reps at the NFL Combine). Scouts say Atkins is expected to go somewhere around the third round.

DT Kareem Brown is hoping to go ahead of Atkins. Brown said he has lost 30 pounds in the last two months to try and move his way up the NFL Draft -– he is down to 290 pounds.

"I feel better at this weight -- more fluid, more athletic," he said.

But that didn't help his speed much today.

He ran the 40 in 5.2 seconds and did not do the bench press because of a shoulder bruise. He had a 28-inch vertical and 8-5 broad jump. He says he expects to go high in the second round, but some scouts project him going a couple of rounds later.

WR Ryan Moore and RB Tyrone Moss entered today hoping to prove they are worthy of being drafted. Moore ran a mid 4.5-second time today and did not do the bench, vertical or broad jump (he is relying on his results from the NFL Combine in those events).

"When I get to somebody's camp, they'll see (what I can do)," Moore said.

Moss was timed at close to 4.6 seconds in the 40. Other than that he only did position drills today. He said he has trimmed down to 226 pounds after playing at 245 pounds last year.

"I tested out (well)," Moss said. "I showed that I could move."

The other Cane seniors are expected to be free agents.

Alex Pou is among those players. He is hoping to work his way into the end of the draft -– he ran a 5.1-second 40, verticalled 27.5 inches and had a 7.6-second shuttle time today.

Another anticipated free agent is center Anthony Wollschlager. He ran a 5.4 40 with a 27-inch vertical and 23 reps of 225 pounds.


* In injury news from the current team, sophomore OT Jason Fox was watching on at Pro Timing Day with a boot on his left ankle. Fox was asked about the injury but said he was told by coaches not to discuss the specifics.

A source close to the situation said the injury is an Achilles' strain.

"I'm sure he'll be ready for next football season," the source said. "I'm not sure he'll play this spring, though."
 03-04-2007, 01:46 PM         #1031
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March 4, 2007

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Miami's special teams in 2006 were abysmal top to bottom. The kicking was inconsistent and the return game had absolutely no impact.


Daly takes over for the graduating Brian Monroe
This area will get a tremendous amount of scrutiny this spring in not just the return game, but also with punter Brian Monroe and kicker Jon Peattie graduating.

Coach Randy Shannon has bemoaned the fact that the team didn't take any kickers or punters in this year's recruiting class, and the bottom line is that redshirt freshman kicker Matt Bosher and junior punter Daren Daly -- who is in his second year at UM -- must step up.

Bosher was a highly regarded prospect coming out of high school but is untested in game action. It will be interesting to see how he responds in some pressure situations this spring.

Daly got action against Duke this year when Monroe was suspended, but he shanked a punt in that game and coaches used Peattie at the end to be safe. The good news is Daly has shown a strong leg with a long punt of 56 yards against the Blue Devils.

Daly is also likely to handle kickoffs -- he had one touchback in four kickoffs last year.

The return game will be a focal point this spring, as UM is looking for more explosive returners. The longest punt return a year ago was 25 yards by Bruce Johnson, and the longest kickoff return was 34 yards by Johnson.

Don't be surprised if newcomer Graig Cooper emerges as the primary returner, although it will depend on what he shows this spring. There will also be some newcomers in the fall that will try to show they belong as returners. If Johnson is again the Canes' returner this year, that will not bode well for the big play return game.
 11 years ago '05        #1032
Clutch City Kid 135 heat pts135
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^^ i really really hope we can turn the return game around instantly!!! that used to be a given at the U!!! its so much easier to move the O when your not sittin on your own 20 or worse...who do yall think will be our KR and PR this season?? i think changes have to be made
 11 years ago '04        #1033
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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Defensive Overview


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Many pundits said the 2006 Hurricane defense was championship caliber.

And there's plenty to support that claim.


This is a group that only allowed an average of 67.8 rushing yards per game, a school record. Opponents averaged just 255.5 total yards and 15.5 points per game ... and that was despite UM's defense being on the field more than past defenses with a shaky offensive attack that couldn't eat up the clock.

So what does the 2007 defense return?

Based on the starting lineup from the bowl game, this is a team that needs to replace two quality defensive linemen (end Baraka Atkins and tackle Kareem Brown), and the team's top two tacklers (Jon Beason, who had 92 tackles, and Brandon Meriweather, who had 91).

There will be fierce competition for open jobs this spring, and the good news is there's a lot of quality depth ready to step up.

Even better news is that the team returns Calais Campbell, who is one of the nation's best playmakers at defensive end, as well as safety Kenny Phillips, who is one of the nation's top safeties. With a little tweaking this spring, the defense can enter the fall expecting to be just as good if not better than the 2006 unit that shut down most opponents.

There are two key areas that need addressing: Cornerback and defensive tackle.

At cornerback the team returns its talent from a year ago -- including Glenn Sharpe, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility. But it was talent that had a lot of breakdowns. If this group can make some strides this spring, that would go a long way toward helping UM again have one of the nation's best defensive units.

At tackle the team is looking to Teraz McCray and Antonio Dixon. Both have suffered knee problems in the past, and it remains to be seen how healthy they can remain. The depth at the position is also a concern, with inexperienced players trying to fill in the rotation.

"The only part that's going to be a little young is at defensive line with Antonio Dixon and Dwayne Hendricks getting a little more experience and Eric Moncur actually starting at end," linebacker Glenn Cook said. "At linebacker we're pretty experienced. At cornerback we're going to be pretty experienced, a little bit more mature.

"I think we'll be alright. Once we all get a feel for each other I think we're going to do some damage."
 11 years ago '04        #1034
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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Offensive Overview

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Linebacker Glenn Cook hopes Miami's offense puts up some big performances against the defense this spring.

The way he sees it, that would be a good sign of things to come.


"When I came to Miami, I heard `The offense makes plays in practice, the defense makes plays,'" Cook said. "Even if the defense dominated, the offense still made plays because they had talent.

"The offense hasn't consistently made plays [in practices the last few years]. You see it and are like, `Why don't they do that all the time?'"

Now the offense hopes to do it all the time.

And it will be with a new man at the helm.

A lack of offense has cost two offensive coordinators their jobs the last two years.

New coordinator Patrick Nix hopes to take UM's playmakers and do what past coordinators promised to do -- put them in position to make plays.

It sounds easy.

But there will need to be a tremendous amount of work this spring to turn this group from the turnover-prone, inconsistent group of a year ago into something that resembles the offensive attack of the Hurricane past.

What has to happen here this spring?

For one, either Kirby Freeman or Kyle Wright needs to step up and show they are a consistent playmaker on offense. If this team heads into the summer without a starting quarterback, that would prevent the offense from becoming cohesive. But the Canes won't name a starter if no one proves they deserve it.

At tailback the most intriguing part of the spring is a newcomer, Graig Cooper. Not only will he factor in as a returner, which is a sorely needed area, but he also very well may emerge with significant action this season. How well he can show he knows the offense and pick up blitzes will go a long way to how much coaches will trust him to help out returning starter Javarris James next season.

The receiver position is, quite simply, a mess.

When your best returning receiver, Lance Leggett, is a guy who has a history of dropping passes and committing foolish penalties, that's not a good sign. Which is why it wouldn't be surprising if sophomore Sam Shields emerges as the team's go-to guy this spring. If Shields can become a big-time playmaker that would take pressure off other receivers. The bad news is none of the other receivers other than Leggett have much experience.

Of the other scholarship pass catchers on the roster this spring, one has moved to offense from defense (Ryan Hill), one is still gimpy after a pair of ACL surgeries (Terrell Walden), one is coming off a torn PCL (Darnell Jenkins) and the other two have seen very little playing time (George Robinson redshirted as a freshman last year and Khalil Jones has never worked into the mix much).

A problem for the offense is that the tight ends likely won't be able to pick up much of the slack for the receivers. With Greg Olsen gone this group has its own issues.

Miami hopes either DajLeon Farr or Dedrick Epps can show they are ready to fill in Olsen's shoes. Look for the only other scholarship tight end, former defensive end convert Chris Zellner, to remain at H-back.

At the final position, offensive line, the question isn't experience. It's chemistry. There are expected to be wholesale changes to the positions at which players started last year, including the move of Derrick Morse to center. The good news is players like Reggie Youngblood and Jason Fox (who is expected to miss the spring with a strained Achilles') are as solid as they come. If young players like Joel Figueroa and Ian Symonette can step up, this position should be solid entering the fall.
 11 years ago '04        #1035
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Coach Randy Shannon Interview



[pic - click to view]




With spring practice set to kick off tomorrow, Coach Randy Shannon addressed several areas of the team today.


Romeo Davis is among numerous players who will miss the spring due to injury
Including who won't be on the field for the 15 practice sessions due to injury: Jason Fox, George Timmons, Luqman Abdallah, Tyrone Byrd, Romeo Davis, Tervaris Johnson, George Robinson, Darryl Sharpton, Ian Symonette and A.J. Trump.

"[It's] injuries and maintenance work and different things like that," Shannon said.

Shannon did not get into specifics on the injuries.

Asked what he meant by "maintenance work," Shannon said, "Maintenance work is trying to get him back healthy. You will not see them in a scrimmage, 7 on 7, unless a miracle happens and someone gets healthy real quick. I don't see those guys coming back for spring football."

Asked if they will be back in the fall, Shannon said, "Oh, yeah, all those guys will be back for two-a-days."

Shannon also confirmed a previous CaneSport report that Rhyan Anderson and Rashaun Jones will not be on the team this year.

Shannon said "we are going to a.ssist both of them transferring to a different school."

Here's what else Shannon was talking about:

Opening statement
: Another wonderful spring practice is about to start. The thing we're going to try and get done is build a team chemistry here with this team. We do not have any individuals. We do not have a starting lineup. We have to find a nucleus of 11 guys that can play offense, defense and special teams. That's going to be our big major factor right now just because of the problems that always occur in football that you don't have enough guys, enough receivers, running backs, defensive backs, the limitations also prevent you from having numbers at 85 scholarships. So we're going to find the best guys offensively and defensively so we can establish a team mentality more than individuals. We're going to keep the pressure on everybody. Every day someone will be moving up, moving down. We don't have a depth chart at this particular time. The quarterback situation, everyone always has a concern about that. We don't have a quarterback situation. I don't know who is going to start right now. We have three walkons, two scholarship guys all competing to vie for that position. We're going to get those guys the best chance to win games for us and be accountable in practice -- not just Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman, but also the walkons. We want those guys to have a team mentality, not `Who has done this? How many passes have you thrown?' I'm trying to build a team mentality. The Tuesday before we play Marshall we'll decide who is going to be what on this team, the starting defensive tackles, quarterbacks, who are going to be the running backs. We're going to let it all go at that time. Sometimes individualization can destroy a team. I've seen that happen a lot of times when you focus on one thing (and) the big picture is forgotten about. The big picture is we have to build a team that can win games at the University of Miami.

Q: When can the quarterbacks talk to the media?


Shannon: After spring they can talk, when the season starts with two-a-days. I'm trying to build a team chemistry right now. When two-a-days come you can talk to them all you want to. Let us get through this spring.

Q: How have the off-season workouts gone?

Shannon: There have been a couple of situations where I've had to get on a couple of older guys because a couple of younger guys were really being competitive and stepping up the way we wanted them to. And there's been some older guys pushing younger guys, and that's what we're trying to build. Nobody's in a comfort zone here. There's been times I've jumped on seniors about how they're participating in workouts, and there's been a couple of times I've got on a couple of younger guys how they're participating – sitting back in the back and letting the older guys go. I need you guys to come up and push these older guys. And I need these older guys to not be in a comfort zone. So every time I see that a younger guy is basically running harder or competing harder or doing anything better than older guys, I'm going to make sure everybody knows that on the team. Because this is a guy we can depend on to win these games. That's the biggest point between winning and losing – competition. And you have to build that team atmosphere. If you don't do those things … for example, everyone says Kenny Phillips will probably plays safety here. I don't know what Kenny is going to play. I know we're going to play the best four defensive backs. We may end up with Kenny, Lovon Ponder and Anthony Redd*ck as our top three defensive backs. Well, one of them has to go play a different position. So that's why I don't want to name guys as having positions right now, because you never know. We have a chance to do a variety of different things on defense, a variety of different things on offense with the addition of Graig Cooper. There's a lot of things we can do on this team that will make us a better team. We have to find the chemistry on this team that best fits us, and the best way to do it is the competition level has to step up. That's the one thing that's going on right now, the competition. Now, if you're not competing, I'll make sure everyone on the team knows you're not competing. It's not about embarrassing the kid, it's letting everyone know we can't win with this type of mentality.

Q: What is the relationship like with the players getting on the same page?

Shannon: You'll see this during the season. We mix our players up now. We don't have just an offensive side and defensive side. When they come in this meeting room it used to be just offense and defense. Now it's offense and defense mingling together. You go in the locker room, it's the exact same thing. You can get in a comfort zone. With any corporation, any business – finance people like to hang around finance. Defense likes to hang around defense. D-line likes to hang around D-line. Well, you don't get to know what's going on in human resources when you're in finance because you don't mingle with those guys. The more you mingle with guys the more you'll lay it on the line for guys you don't know. If I'm a defensive player sitting by an offensive lineman and right next to me is a kicker, I'm going to lay it on the line for those two because they're sitting by me. Before I may just be sitting with the D line and that's all I care about is these guys. The biggest thing we've done and are changing is getting everybody to know each other and making sure they understand that everybody works hard. Now when it's time to lay it on the line I can't let you down, you can't let me down.

Q: Kyle and Kirby will split reps this spring?


Shannon: All the quarterbacks will split.. I really don't know. Seriously. Because here's the thing: Everyone says it should be Kyle or Kirby. I remember being at Miami when I was a player. What happened one day, we had all these kickers on the team that were missing chip shots left and right. Jimmy [Johnson] says `Kid, come here, you make this kick you're the starting kicker.' It was Carlos Huerta. He was a walk-on. All the rest of the guys were missing chip shots for three days. He kicked it, made it, he was the starting kicker. So you never know who will be the starter for you. You have to give everyone the opportunity to play.

Q: So Matt Perrelli will get a chance to show he should start?

Shannon: He's going to get opportunities. Competition is the one thing we need to have. There's been a lot of walkons in different programs that have prospered. Coach [Patrick] Nix has this great system we're going to use at the University of Miami that will give us the best opportunity to win. It's just like he said: If you need to find an offensive lineman to play quarterback, find an offensive lineman to play quarterback, the person that gives us the best chance to win games. That's what we need to get at Miami, to win games.

Q: What are you looking for at quarterback?

Shannon: Not just at quarterback, but the whole team. I need guys that that are going to be winners and leaders, not just at quarterback. I need team, team, team guys. We don't need `I' guys on the team. We need guys that are team-oriented. As a defensive coach I always tried to preach the team aspect. It goes all together. If the quarterback is doing great, the offensive line must be doing great. It's got to go hand in hand. That's why it's always the team aspect. You're not looking for the quarterback to be the frontrunner everyone wants him to be. We want the whole team to be frontrunners where we can all depend on each other and be leaders at every position. Steve Walsh's first time starting was as a redshirt freshman. He ha had a surrounding cast around him. Was he the leader at that time? No. He had a great surrounding cast and we won a lot of games that way. When I was with the Dolphins we had Damon Huard, we were 7-1 at one point in time. He did exactly what it took for us to win games. We had surrounding guys around him. That's what we want. Guys that are winners and guys surrounding with the same goals.
 11 years ago '04        #1036
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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Q: What do you have at kicker?

Shannon: We worked a lot with Matt Bosher last year of doing some punts. We know he can kick off, but we're doing some punting. We also have some walkon guys that have to step up, see if they can compete for the kicker's job like Bosher is. They have to come do what Bosher's doing, or Bosher's going to do both. If we have somebody to step up and take the load off him or will take the punting job away, we'll take that. But we'll have competition every day in practice … hey, you're up, see what you can do. we may be in the middle of practice having a scrimmage. Next thing I'm going to say is `Field goal, P.A.T.' I want to see if that guy can come off the sideline and kick it under pressure with everyone watching. That's how we're going to get those guys ready for games. We have four or five kickers (including walkons).

Q: Word is you have tougher rules for the players – like they have to have a 2.5 grade-point average and be a junior or senior to live off campus?

Shannon: It's not tougher. You have to be on campus two years minimum. It's making guys accountable for what they need to get done. Why should a guy live off campus who has got a 1.9 (grade-point average)? Are we doing a disservice to him? We're an academic institution. We have to make sure we give those guys every opportunity to succeed academically, not just football-wise. It's not a tough rule. You have to be on campus two years (before living off campus).

Q: So you're a junior and have a 2.4 GPA, you have to live on campus?

Shannon: You're on campus. That's your choice. You chose to not get your GPA to where it's supposed to be. I didn't do it. I tell those guys I didn't put them in that situation, they put themselves in that situation. It's not hard.

Q: What about study hall?

Shannon: It's always been mandatory depending on your GPA. Academics do a great job here making sure the structure's right. If they think there needs to be structure for study hall, they'll make structure. That's academic support. We have structured study hall – if you're not doing well and I don't think you can study on your own, I'm going to get you every time. At 11 o'clock you're out of class, you're in study hall. You go to class at 12, 1, 2 – at 3 o'clock you're back in study hall. That's what it means by structured.

Q: Did you ask players to get rid of firearms, even if they're legally obtained?

Shannon: There is a zero tolerance firearm policy at the University of Miami. You get caught with a firearm, you're dismissed from football team. When you have a firearm, there's a 50-50 chance you get hurt. Road rage, next thing you know a weapon comes out (and) someone's going to get hurt. Like I told Teraz McCray – I said, `Teraz, you have a son.' `Yes I do, coach.' Imagine you have a gun in your apartment and he comes over for the weekend and he finds it and picks it up. There's a 50-50 chance that somebody's going to get hurt. I say don't put yourself in those situations. Make it 100 percent chance you don't get hurt.

Q: So a guy owns a gun legally, they're off the team?

Shannon: They're gone. That's it. They know the rules. I call it `Do right things.' And make sure you do the right things. Don't put yourselves in those situations. They understand.

Q: What are your feelings about possibly moving from the Orange Bowl?

Shannon: The Orange Bowl is one of a kind. Those are things I cannot control. That's up to the powers that be to decide where we're going to be. I know this year we're playing in the Orange Bowl, so that's the only thing I can worry about.

Q: Is the Orange Bowl a selling point for recruits?

Shannon: I don't know if it's a selling point. Everyone has a stadium. It's the Orange Bowl. It has some heritage, history to it. It's unique. But selling point? I don't know.

Q: Derrick Morse will play center?

Shannon: We can't name a lineup. It's not just going to be Derrick Morse. We're going to try different guys at center, not just Derrick Morse. There's going to be guards playing tackle, tackles playing guard. We have linebackers that are going to play different positions within the linebacker group, defensive backs playing different positions —safety to corner, corner to safety. We have to find the best chemistry to win games. After two weeks of spring football there'll be some position changes. I'm not taking anyone from defense and moving them to offense or from offense to defense.

Q: What position is Ryan Hill playing?

Shannon: Ryan is a receiver.

Q: Where does Richard Gordon start off?

Shannon: He'll start off at defensive end. Maybe later in the spring we'll put him at defensive tackle. He has capability like Baraka Atkins – about the same size, same height, explosive. And they're great athletes. We don't know what we're going to do with Richard right now.

Q: What do the new coaches bring to the table?

Shannon: They're good guys. The thing we tried to hire is good chemistry. If you can teach, you can coach. That's the easy part, the teaching. It's the chemistry within your team, within your staff, within the building [that is key]. When I go out and my coaching staff goes out, they have to work with these guys. So the biggest thing is X's and O's, see how they can relate things from putting it on the board to putting it on the field, but then also you want to see how they interact just being themselves. We don't want any `I' guys, any `me' guys. We have a bunch of recruiting coordinators on this staff. All the guys on the staff have recruiting coordinator experience. I think that's going to be a plus because everybody understands when you become recruiting coordinator everybody's going to be on the same page instead of one guy running it. We won't have any egos about who we're going to sign, will do it as a group, do the right things that are best for the University of Miami.

Q: What is Corey Bell's position?

Shannon: He's a.ssistant director of football operations.

Q: How involved are you on both sides of the ball?

Shannon: Myself and coach Tim Walton and the coaches on the defensive staff will come up with a great game plan. And it'll be the same with Patrick Nix and the offensive coaches. I got a lot of praise because we played great defense. But I always tell guys it comes from the coaching staff you have, that trust and believe so you can be successful. We're all going to work together offensively and defensively [as a staff]. It may be a defensive coach goes and talks to an offensive coach, `Hey, what about this protection? What is the best way to attack it?' The same thing vice versa. We're going to all play a vital part of helping each other in some way or fashion. I'll be involved in special teams like I was for six years. I like coaching special teams. It's fun. There's a chance you can make plays and run around and do some good things.

Q: When can the public watch the team practice?

Shannon: There's three scrimmage days, and those will be open to the public.

Q: How do you turn this team around?

Shannon: When we recruited the [players] out of high school they were good players. We have to coach them to be the best they can be. I learned from Jimmy if you treat a player as a first rounder, he'll be a first rounder. You have to treat that person as what you want him to be, not as what he wants to be. You never let an athlete settle for less. You always make them settle for what they need to accomplish, go after.

Q: You only have five healthy receivers on scholarship this spring. And there have been receiver injuries in past springs pretty regularly.


Shannon: We have five on scholarship, have had five linebackers before going into the spring. So to me it makes you build character, build toughness. And that's a part of growing a team and getting team chemistry, seeing who will f!ght. And you have to push those guys to be the best they can be. Now, there's a difference between hurt and pain. Hurt is you see a doctor, you're done. Pain is I'm sore, I don't feel like practicing, I want to convince myself I can't do it. It's our job as a football staff to make sure they understand the difference between pain and hurt.

Q: With Sharpton out, what happens with the linebacker depth?

Shannon: Glenn Cook can play anything. He can play safety if we needed him to. That's a valuable guy. Tavares Gooden, he's an older guy. He's got to learn more. We need older guys to learn more and younger guys to play simple. Like Chavez Grant played nickel last year, that was the only position he played. Now he has to learn the corner position.
b
 11 years ago '04        #1037
madness 12 heat pts12
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i heard richard gordon is moving to defensive tackle
he's a freak of nature and should contribute immediately
 11 years ago '04        #1038
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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 madness said:
i heard richard gordon is moving to defensive tackle
he's a freak of nature and should contribute immediately
coach said they were gonna start him out at DE.

which is scary dude is 6-4 270 lbs probally right about now and runs a 4.5
 11 years ago '04        #1039
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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 C.R.I.P. said:
coach said they were gonna start him out at DE.

which is scary dude is 6-4 270 lbs probally right about now and runs a 4.5
goddamn...:wow:
 11 years ago '04        #1040
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2007 SPRING ROSTER
  • No. Name Class. Pos. Ht. Wt.
  • 1 Kenny Phillips Jr. S 6-foot-2 202
  • 2 Graig Cooper Fr. RB 6-foot-0 195
  • 3 Kyle Wright Sr. QB 6-foot-4 220
  • 4 Glenn Sharpe Sr. CB 6-foot-0 187
  • 5 Javarris James Soph. RB 6-foot-0 210
  • 6 Randy Phillips Jr. CB 6-foot-0 195
  • 7 Kirby Freeman Jr. QB 6-foot-3 215
  • 8 Darnell Jenkins Sr. WR 5-foot-10 190
  • 9 Lance Leggett Sr. WR 6-foot-3 188
  • 11 DajLeon Farr Jr. TE 6-foot-5 248
  • 13 Ryan Hill Soph. WR 5-foot-11 188
  • 14 Jake Byrne Jr. QB 6-foot-4 198
  • 16 Matt Perrelli Jr. QB 6-foot-3 232
  • 16 Benny Fernandez Jr. TE 6-foot-4 212
  • 17 Daren Daly Jr. P 6-foot-1 173
  • 17 Jorge Fernandez Jr. QB 6-foot-4 212
  • 18 Dedrick Epps Soph. TE 6-foot-4 234
  • 20 Doug Wiggins Fr. DB 5-foot-11 180
  • 21 Derron Thomas Jr. RB 5-foot-9 200
  • 22 Bruce Johnson Jr. CB 5-foot-11 177
  • 23 Tervaris Johnson Soph. DB 6-foot-2 220
  • 24 Chavez Grant Soph. DB 5-foot-11 174
  • 25 Matt Bosher R-Fr. PK/P 6-foot-0 170
  • 26 Anthony Redd*ck Jr. S 6-foot-0 205
  • 27 Carlos Armour Jr. CB 6-foot-3 199
  • 28 Willie Cooper Sr. DB 6-foot-1 211
  • 29 Terrance Thomason Soph. WR 6-foot-0 170
  • 31 Gabriel Diaz Sr. FB 6-foot-0 214
  • 33 Ryan Lacedonia Jr. WR 6-foot-2 201
  • 33 Joe Tolliver Sr. WR 6-foot-2 199
  • 34 Charlie Jones Sr. RB 5-foot-10 218
  • 35 Lovon Ponder Jr. S 6-foot-0 207
  • 36 Kylan Robinson R-Fr. RB 6-foot-1 215
  • 37 George Timmons Jr. RB 5-foot-11 207
  • 39 Grant Brown Sr. P/PK 6-foot-2 190
  • 40 Brian McNeil Jr. WR 6-foot-3 216
  • 40 David Strimple Sr. PK/P 5-foot-10 174
  • 41 Jerrell Mabry Soph. FB 6-foot-1 266
  • 41 Chandler Cleveland Sr. PK 6-foot-5 182
  • 43 Alex Uribe Jr. PK 6-foot-1 160
  • 44 Colin McCarthy Soph. LB 6-foot-3 222
  • 45 James Bryant Sr. FB 6-foot-3 250
  • 46 Eric Kirchenberg Jr. TE 6-foot-5 230
  • 46 John Rochford Sr. TE/C 6-foot-2 275
  • 47 Vegas Franklin Sr. DL 6-foot-3 255
  • 48 Spencer Adkins Jr. LB 5-foot-11 233
  • 49 Courtney Harris Soph. DE 6-foot-3 260
  • 50 Darryl Sharpton Soph. LB 5-foot-11 227
  • 51 Romeo Davis Sr. LB 6-foot-3 229
  • 52 Tavares Gooden Sr. LB 6-foot-2 238
  • 53 Joe Girardi Jr. OL 6-foot-2 298
  • 54 Teraz McCray Sr. DT 6-foot-1 300
  • 55 Glenn Cook Sr. LB 6-foot-0 215
  • 56 Luqman Abdallah Soph. DT 6-foot-3 312
  • 58 Demetri Stewart Soph. LB 6-foot-3 210
  • 59 Eric Houston Jr. LB 6-foot-2 228
  • 61 Joel Figueroa R-Fr. OL 6-foot-5 335
  • 64 Jason Fox Soph. OT 6-foot-6 265
  • 65 Matt Pipho Soph. OL 6-foot-7 290
  • 67 Tyrone Byrd Jr. OL 6-foot-5 295
  • 68 Ian Symonette R-Fr. OL 6-foot-9 380
  • 69 Jonathan Teske Sr. G 6-foot-0 255
  • 70 A.J. Trump Soph. G 6-foot-3 294
  • 71 Derrick Morse Sr. G 6-foot-4 326
  • 72 Andrew Bain Sr. G 6-foot-3 330
  • 73 Cyrim Wimbs Sr. OT 6-foot-3 335
  • 75 Chaz Washington Soph. DL 6-foot-4 305
  • 76 Chris Rutledge Jr. OL 6-foot-5 325
  • 77 Reggie Youngblood Jr. OT 6-foot-5 305
  • 79 Chris Barney Soph. OT 6-foot-5 340
  • 80 George Robinson R-Fr. WR 6-foot-0 185
  • 81 Calais Campbell Jr. DE 6-foot-8 282
  • 83 Sam Shields Soph. WR 6-foot-0 177
  • 84 Richard Gordon Soph. DT 6-foot-4 254
  • 86 Ross Abramson Sr. LS 6-foot-0 219
  • 87 Khalil Jones Jr. WR 6-foot-2 218
  • 88 Chris Zellner Jr. TE 6-foot-2 238
  • 90 Steven Wesley R-Fr. DL 6-foot-3 235
  • 91 Joe Joseph Soph. DT 6-foot-3 295
  • 92 Josh Holmes R-Fr. DL 6-foot-2 270
  • 93 Dwayne Hendricks Jr. DT 6-foot-4 280
  • 94 Eric Moncur Jr. DE 6-foot-2 260
  • 96 Antonio Dixon Jr. DT 6-foot-3 335
  • Daniel Warren Soph. DB 6-foot-0 190
  • Chris Kimball Jr. DB 5-foot-9 190
  • Chris Hayes Soph. DB 5-foot-9
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