|10 years ago||'04 #1103|
$16,857 | 1583
VanDyke adds 10lbs of Muscle
[pic - click to view]
DeMarcus VanDyke has been spending some time with his fellow Cane signees.
But not on purpose.
He ran into Kayne Farquharson and Adewale Ojomo at the county fair recently.
"We just said, `We're ready to get down there,'" VanDyke said.
And he's been in regular contact with Damien Berry, Doug Wiggins and Tavares Gooden.
"I talk to Damien every day," VanDyke said. "I met him in the summer at the Miami camp and we just bonded. He's real laid-back, cool. He's playing safety and I'm playing corner.
"I talk to Tavares on MySpace and he was saying get ready for (Andreu) Swasey."
VanDyke is doing just that.
"I'm 174 right now -- I was 165 during the season," he said. "I've been working out lifting weights and doing different drills. I've been drinking shakes after every workout."
He says he's learning a package of coverages he's received from UM.
"It's real complicated, hard, but I'll get it," he said. "I look at it every day for an hour after my homework."
He says he's learning to play the cornerback and nickel positions.
VanDyke last spoke with Cane coaches two weeks ago.
"I talked to coach (Tim) Walton," he said. "He was just asking how my grades are and get ready to work.
"My grades are fine."
VanDyke says he doesn't know what uniform number he will receive.
"I don't care what it is," he said.
He hopes to play right away.
"I hope I'll come in and play and help the team on special teams and in nickel and dime," he said. "I can do kickoff returns -- coach (Joe) Pannunzio told me get ready to do kickoff and punt returns. I had four punt returns for touchdowns my junior year."
He didn't have any this year as teams kicked away from him. He only had 12 total returns.
Last edited by C.R.I.P.; 03-19-2007 at 08:38 AM..
|10 years ago||'04 #1104|
$16,857 | 1583
McKenzie: I Bring Something Different to the Table
[pic - click to view]
The way Cane WR signee Jermaine McKenzie sees it, he'll have an advantage over the other receivers when he arrives on UM's campus in June.
That's because he feels he brings something different to the table than the other receivers already on Miami's roster.
"Coach [Randy] Shannon said my best physical feature is my speed and my height," the 6-foot-2 McKenzie said. "They're definitely missing a playmaker guy. He said I'm more dangerous to be an inside receiver matched up with a linebacker and that I also have speed and jumping ability to run the deep route. He said I bring a lot to the table."
McKenzie has gained five pounds since his senior season -– "I'm weighing in at 175," he said. "I'm working on my speed right now and my weight."
He has set a goal of arriving at Miami as a 185-pounder.
"I have a personal trainer I work out with three days a week," McKenzie said. "I've been doing power lifting and strength training. And I'm on the field two days a week doing speed and agility work.
"I feel a lot faster. During the season I was breaking a 4.39 [in the 40-yard dash], but I'll be getting tested soon and I'll be able to see how much faster I am. I know I've increased a lot."
McKenzie has stayed in regular contact with coach Marques Mosely.
"He's just been telling me to finish up my senior year strong, don't slip in the classroom and that he's pumped for me to come there and come in right away because they need me," McKenzie said.
McKenzie says he's more worried about his physical game than his mental game at the next level.
"Mentally I'm ready, but physically I don't think I'm ready yet, so that's what I've been working on," he said. "I'm definitely confident in competing with the guys and getting on the field."
McKenzie was supposed to throw with incoming QB Robert Marve last weekend, but he says their plans "got tangled up."
"We'll throw next weekend," McKenzie said.
Of getting to UM in the near future, McKenzie said, "I'm very exited. I just have to keep level headed, have to stay out of trouble, have to go in with a mindset that I'm going in there to work and take care of business and get a national championship."
He expects to wear uniform No. 85.
"I asked for that because I like Chad Johnson," McKenzie said.
|03-19-2007, 08:55 AM||#1105|
Over 250 players took part in the second Scout.com Combine of the year at the Miami Dolphins Training Facility in Davie, Fla. on Saturday. There was certainly no shortage of talent.
At a position that featured at least seven or eight legitimate Division 1 prospects, Winter Haven's D.C. Jefferson was the most impressive. With a 6-6 frame, Jefferson ran in the low 4.9's and threw the ball really well all day.
"He's just terrific," quarterbacks coach Jack Chapman, the head coach at South Plantation High, said. "He's got it all physically and he's a really good kid to work with. He has a real big future."
A couple of other quarterbacks really caught Chapman's attention.
"Jacory Harris (Miami Northwestern) was probably the next best guy," he said. "He's raw, but he is a tremendous quarterback prospect. After that, I'd go with (Ohrian Johnson, Boca Ciega High). He's a tall, skinny kid with a big arm, and he throws a really nice ball. He's a very good athlete who will only get better. Another kid I liked is the (Mike) Matthews kid from St. Thomas, who came down from New York."
Lake Worth's Star Jackson, Coral Gables' Christopher Gordon, and Cardinal Gibbons' David Blackwell, who will likely play wide receiver in college, also impressed.
There were plenty of good ones on hand Saturday, but perhaps none more impressive than Hollywood Hills standout Chris Anderson, who was Broward County's leading rusher last season. Anderson ran in the high 4.5's.
"He was probably the top kid today," said running backs coach Ray Biscemi, a long-time coach in South Florida who has seen his share of great players over the years. "He has quickness, great hands, runs good patterns, all of it. He was real impressive."
Anderson wasn't the only player who caught Biscemi's eye.
"The kid from Ely (Dominique Grooms) was real impressive catching the football," he said. "I also liked (George Baker, Archbishop Carroll High). He's real fast (4.38/40) and makes a lot of people miss."
Armwood's Eric Smith, who at 226 pounds is better suited running between the tackles instead of running routes against linebackers, was also on hand. Smith, one of the state's top running back prospects, ran in the high 4.6's. Lake Howell's Chris Perry turned in the fastest 40-time of the day with a 4.35.
It was going to be difficult for this event to top what we had in Jacksonville earlier in the week at this position. Still, there were some attention-getters.
George Jenkins receiver Lemar Griffin, who's just as good on defense, ripped off a 4.40/40 and showed the ability to make plays. Miami Northwestern's Aldarius Johnson, one of the state's most talented players regardless of position, checked in at 6-2/193 and ran in the low 4.5's. Physically, there aren't many players anywhere in the entire nation at that position with more upside. Booker T's Thearon Collier, Bartow's Malcolm Johnson, and American's Maqruise Law also had impressive showings.
There were a few standouts but none more impressive than Hialeah's Cory Liujet. At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Liujet ran in the mid 4.8's and looked very impressive catching the football. Ocala Vanguard's Jeff Hawkins, 6-foot-4 and close to 250 pounds, also ran in the mid 4.8's and looked very good. West Boca's Nathan Nord and Cardinal Gibbons standout David Williams both looked very natural at catching the ball and turned in good times.
Perhaps the strongest position at the camp, the offensive linemen were a deep and talented group. The two headliners were Armwood's Matt Patchan and Edison's Brandon Washington. Patchan, 6-7 plus ripped off a blazing 4.70/40 and then showed why he'll be an All-American this fall during drills. He constantly went up against the best defenders and won most of his battles. He's definitely looking at five-star status when the rankings come out later this spring.
Washington was equally impressive. He was playing on both sides of the ball.
"He's a monster and dominated people out here," said line coach and Scout.com analyst Bob Lichtenfels about the talented guard who already has nearly a dozen offers.
Lake Worth's Joe Looney, Palm Beach Central's Danous Estenar, South Plantation's Richard Ceres, and Boyd Anderson's Littbarski Blackwood also showed good things on Saturday and proved why they're legitimate Division 1 prospects.
Switching over to the defense, it was a pair from Miami Northwestern that led the charge up front. Marcus Forston (6-2/303 with a sub 5.0/40) and Benjamin Jones (6-6/280/5.22) were outstanding. Jones wasn't 100-percent because of a knee injury he's still recovering from that forced him to miss the entire 2006 season, but he showed why he already has some offers. Forston, as expected, was extremely dominant and showed why he'll likely be a five-star prospect this year.
Homestead's Marcus Robinson, who ran a 4.47 and jumped 37 inches at 6-1.5 and 210 pounds, had to leave early, looked outstanding in testing. He is among the state's top prospects, as is Clewiston's Delvin Hughes who also had to leave early.
Miami Northwestern's Sean Spence ran a 4.75 and covered people very well in drills. He looked very good. Armwood junior Petey Smith showed why he is among the state's top prospects in 2007. Coral Reef's Malcolm Monroe (4.69) and Dr. Krop's Etienne Sabino (4.65) both ran very well and looked excellent in drills.
Coach Don Cox was told before the event that Ely's Patrick Johnson (who ran a 4.44/40) is a big time player.
"You were right on that one," Cox said. "He's every bit of that. He's a big time cover corner who could even play free safety. He has great hands, great jamming ability, great hips, great closing speed, and he was fun to watch. He lived up to the hype, that's for sure. He's gonna be a real big time defensive back at the next level."
Johnson wasn't the only standout player in the secondary.
"I also liked (Donald Warren from Boca Ciega), (Robert Sands from Carol City), and (Travis Cox from South Plantation) a lot," he said. "(Warren) can cover with the best of them. (Sands and Cox) are very athletic safety types."
Hialeah's Yvener Lisca came in under the radar but thanks to a 4.40/40 and a tremendous day, he is one to watch.
"He's real smooth and covered everyone out here really well," Cox said. "I liked working with him. I also liked (Edison's Judah Linder) a lot. He's a real good cover guy who can play corner or safety."
|03-19-2007, 08:56 AM||#1106|
South Florida 2008 Rankings- ...
1. CB/ATH Patrick Johnson, Ely
2. WR Aldarius Johnson, Northwestern
3. DT Marcus Forston, Northwestern
4. WR Martavious Odoms, Pahokee
5. OT Brandon Washington, Edison
6. DE Delvin Hughes, Clewiston
7. CB/ATH Brandon Harris, Booker T Washington
8. DT/OT Micanor Regis, Pahokee
9. LB Jordan Futch, Chaminade-Madonna
10. WR Tommy Streeter, Northwestern
11. OT Greg Shaw, Monsignor Pace
12. CB/ATH Janoris Jenkins, Pahokee
13. WR Travis Benjamin, Glades Central
14. LB Sean Spence, Northwestern
15. DL Ben Jones, Northestern
16. DB Lorenzo White Jr, Dillard
17. QB Jacory Harris, Northwestern
18. DB/LB Karnell Hatcher, Atlantic
(Hatcher clips are 3:30 in)
19. WR Thearon Collier, Booker T Washington
20. RB Chris Anderson, Hollywood Hills
21. ATH Bruce Stone, Dwyer
22. LB Marcus Robinson, Homestead
23. RB/ATH Jeremiah Harden, St. Thomas
24. TE/DE Bo Relaford, Chaminade-Madonna
25. WR/CB Davon Johnson, Booker T Washington
26. ATH David Blackwell, Cardinal Gibbons
27. OG/DT Joe Looney, Lake Worth
28. QB Connor Kempe, Benjamin
29. LB/RB Jake Walker, American Heritage
30. DB Tyrone Williams, Edison
31. ATH Justin Feagin, American Heritage
32. LB/DE Darrin Davis, Dillard
33. ATH Robert Sands, Carol City
34. DB Judah Linder, Edison
35. WR Kendal Thompkins, Northwestern
36. DT Calvin Francois, Hollywood Hills
37. DE/TE Corey Liuget, Hialeah
38. ATH Chris Bynes, Boyd Anderson
39. WR/CB Harry Adams, Dillard
40. QB Sancho McDonald, Booker T Washington
41. DT Jeremy Lewis, Palm Beach Lakes
42. RB/ATH Shawn Williams, Coconut Creek
43. QB Star Jackson, Lake Worth
44. DB Kevin Claxton, Boyd Anderson
45. FB Terrance Covin, Coconut Creek
46. ATH Willie Armstrong, Clewiston
47. OG Andrew Datko, St. Thomas
48. LB/SS Chris Thompson, St. Thomas
49. RB Adrian Bushell, Monsignor Pace
50. DB John Lejiste, Atlantic
|10 years ago||'04 #1107|
$12,861 | 0
Shannon: UM will be great
UM football coach Randy Shannon isn't about to downplay expectations. That was obvious Sunday when he addressed a crowd of about 200 Hurricanes fans at Smokey Bones restaurant in Fort Lauderdale to complete the Hurricane Club spring tour.
''We are going to be a great team. We're going to dominate. We're going to win championships at the University of Miami,'' Shannon said. ``We are going to be a team to be reckoned with this year. . . .
``We're phenomenally fast. We're going to be fast and tough and physical. You're not going to see [players] run out of bounds.''
Of the seven stops on the UM tour in the past week, five sold out -- Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale. Only the stops in Atlanta and Hope Sound did not sell out. Last year, none of the stops sold out when Larry Coker was coach.
UM resumes spring practice Tuesday.
-- BARRY JACKSON
|10 years ago||'04 #1109|
$16,857 | 1583
U have survived a week without football talk while the school was on spring break and have become a better Hurricane fan for it, but now it's time to get down and dirty because spring ball is finally shifting into second gear.
Where shall we start?
Maybe Randy Shannon's goals for his team.
"You come to Miami because you know you have the opportunity to win it all. If you settle for less you're going to become less," Shannon told a packed house Sunday at Smokey Bones restaurant in the final stop of the Hurricanes spring tour. "We are going to be a great team. We're going to dominate. We're going to win championships at the University of Miami. We're going to be a team to be reckoned with this year."
Shannon said anyone who doesn't expect to beat Oklahoma in UM's second game of the season better not get on the plane because the Sooners put their helmets, pads and jocks (I found that word choice interesting) on "just like we do."
It was the tough talk UM fans want to hear, but that's the stuff you usually get at a booster prep rally, especially when the program is in a fund-raising sprint to raise $7 million so the athletic department will at least be on par facilities-wise with the rest of the ACC.
However, there was plenty of insightful stuff coming from Shannon, who I must admit has been more personable than I EVER thought he could be, but still needs a bit of refining.
Want a sampling.
He said the Hurricanes are closing in on a few commitments for the 2008 signing class already and said he's putting an even greater premium on prospects with good athletic ability, academic achievements and high moral character. His focus is to not bring anyone to Miami that could potentially harm the reputation of the school, and his tone on this subject leads me to believe he doesn't plan on taking many, if any risks.
On a side note, I attended last weekend's national high school All-Star combine and left impressed with what I saw from a number of the state's best prospects, like Hollywood Hill running back Chris Anderson, who told me to ignore the rumors that he's planning to transfer to another school and said he's leaving the state with Minnesota presently his front-runner. Ely cornerback Patrick Johnson looks like, and tested out to be a stud. I convinced Northwestern receiver Aldarius Johnson that there was no need for him to scratch his 4.52 40-time. That's fast for a high school kid who hasn't been taught how to run a 40-time. I saw the mythical Jacory Harris for the first time and was amazed at how thin he is (maybe a buck-65), but saw plenty of potential for him considering he's got a big man's arm. I was blown away by an unknown named Lemar Griffin, whose conservatively clocked 4.38 40-yard dash time (I was standing right there) caused a great deal of controversy.
But enough about prospects. (Thanks to Mike Bakas and Don Zoloty for all the hospitality at what was a great event). It's too early for me, and U (but not Shannon and his staff) to be paying attention to high school juniors. Let's wait till they at least finish spring ball O.K.
Back to the present day Hurricanes.
How about The Boss calling UM's offensive line "fat and big," and putting them on a twice a day workout this spring, which included a 6 a.m. wakeup call for conditioning work.
Shannon said he still doesn't like what he's seen from the offensive line thus far, but he likes the progress. He said most of the linemen have trimmed between 10 to 20 pounds. One has even gone from 345 to 320. I'll make it my mission this week to find out who the biggest loser is.
As for freshmen coming in and playing immediately: "If they can physically and mentally handle it they will play."
This isn't a new philosophy however, but UM fans have to understand the mental part not only involves understanding the concepts and strategies on the field, it deals with handling their class load without plenty of hand holding.
As for the first week of practice, Shannon warns that he's been torn with his new a.ssignment as a head coach because he's used to rooting for the defense. When they beat down the offense, which they usually did, he'd feel good about himself and the job he'd done. Now, when they beat down the offense he gets concerned, but is yet happy. When the offense shows signs of life, breaks a big play, he's thrilled, but yet alarmed.
And according to the Boss there were big plays in the final practice of the first week. Sam Shields caught a deep ball for something like an 80-yard touchdown pass. Dedrick Epps caught an intermediate pass up the middle and out-sprinted the defense for something like a 50-yard TD, and Ryan Hill popped off a slant route for a 60-yard TD. All of that of course was sprinkled in between plenty of defensive dominance. But Boss Cane admitted the signs of a pulse on offense was refreshing.
I've heard the most impressive play of the spring so far has been a screen pass Graig Cooper took to the house. In a Randy Shannon unfiltered you'll get later this week The Boss talks about how Edgerrin James told him his cousin, projected starter Javarris James, should be playing behind Cooper if he doesn't pick it up because, "That's Miami Hurricane football."
"When things go bad somehow someone's got to step up and make a play. That's what Miami football is about," Shannon said.
The Boss wants this team to build an identity of it's own, but he said his brand of Hurricane football is going to be: "fast, but a tough physical team."
"We're going to make sure we punish you, and the next time you come to tackle me you're going to second guess it."
Hold tight because I suspect it'll be a fun and interesting three weeks leading up to the spring game.
Come back Tuesday for the first part of Randy Shannon unfiltered as I accept RDub's challenge. If you've got a question you want addressed I'll try my best to find an answer for U.
|10 years ago||'04 #1111|
$16,857 | 1583
RANDY SHANNON Q&A: Tuesday March 20th
Opening statement: It was the first day back and guys flew around a little bit, but we have to get better as a team. There were too many fumbled snaps and a couple of big plays on defense that shouldn't have happened. We have to keep working.
Q: Some of the bigger players on the team started off January getting up at 6 a.m. every day to work out and lose weight.
Shannon: That lasted for three weeks, and they worked out in the weight room and ran, extra conditioning, on top of their regular workouts. They dropped 10, 15, 20 pounds and they look good and feel better. Some of them tell me they feel better even though they are working more than they normally do. They have to understand this is what it takes to get it done and be more physical. They have to be in shape so they can go the entire time.
Q: Would you rather athleticism or size for an offensive lineman?
Shannon: Toughness. You give me a tough offensive lineman that has a little bit of athletic ability (and) you can do just about anything.
Q: How has Matt Bosher been performing?
Shannon: He's done a nice job of getting the ball off, making extra points and field goals. During the course of this spring we're going to put him in key situations where we say `Hey, we need a field goal to win it,' and he has to go and execute it. We're going to try him and Daren Daly, we're going to try all of them to see who can do it under pressure.
Q: How do you stand on one player doing both kicking and punting for the team?
Shannon: It's like anything, if guys can do both of them you let them do it. But you really don't want it as a coach. You have to make sure you get the best people on the field at that time. I remember one time we had Jon Peattie doing both. We have to make sure we find depth at that position.
Q: Are you giving out more early scholarship offers than in recent years?
Shannon: No, it's all the same. It doesn't matter if you give early offers. You still have to recruit till February. Someone could commit; two days later he could commit to someone else. Those things don't really mean anything.
Q: Talk about wide receivers Sam Shields and Ryan Hill.
Shannon: They're doing a whole lot better. It's maturity. It's a more physical game in college. Those guys are starting to turn it on.
|10 years ago||'04 #1112|
$16,857 | 1583
Bosher see's Improvement in Accuracy
[pic - click to view]
With Jon Peattie gone, the placekicking job appeared all but locked up for redshirt freshman Matt Bosher entering this season.
But coach Randy Shannon's philosophy is no player has a secure job on the team.
So Bosher is getting competition from walkons as well as punter Daren Daly.
Walkon Chandler Cleveland is competing for a kicking job and Dave Strimple is competing for a punting spot.
Bosher is also working on punting. Shannon says he would prefer Bosher only do punting or kicking during the season, but hasn't ruled out the possibility that Bosher or Daly could do both.
"Everyone's trying everything; it's open competition," Bosher said. "I'm giving all three a shot (including kickoffs)."
What is he best at?
"I don't know," he says. "Right now it's a tossup. I'm doing well at all three, but everyone's doing a great job at everything."
Bosher says he's spoken with Peattie about doing both punting and kicking. Peattie had a couple of times in his career where he did both in games.
"Whatever coach Shannon wants me to do I'll do," Bosher said.
Bosher says he considers his field goal range to be around 50 yards. And he says his accuracy has improved from last season.
What is he working on most this spring?
"My overall consistency," he said. "Making sure I get the ball off quick enough, get good height. That's all I really want to work on right now."
* Bosher kicked with a gold shoe in high school. He's changed that up in college.
"The gold didn't really work with the uniform, so I had to go with the black," he said.
|10 years ago||'04 #1113|
$16,857 | 1583
OL Injured, RB makes Huge Play in 11 on 11
[pic - click to view]
* Center Derrick Morse is day-to-day with a leg injury, and with him out Matt Pipho took the majority of the snaps today. Andrew Bain also took some snaps.
"He's just a little sore, will probably miss another day or two," coach Randy Shannon said of Morse.
Graig Cooper broke free for a 60 yard TD in today's 11-on-11 work
* The play of the day today came courtesy of freshman tailback Graig Cooper. Cooper took a pitch in 11-on-11 drills, was bottled up and then reversed field. He broke free and outran the entire defense untouched for a 60-yard touchdown.
* DajLeon Farr said he is the only scholarship player currently playing the tight end position full-time. He said Dedrick Epps and Chris Zellner are primarily getting reps at H-back. James Bryant and Jerrell Mabry are playing fullback, which is similar to the H-back position.
Mabry says he has dropped 12 pounds from last season and is hopeful he can emerge as a factor this year.
He says he currently weighs 278 pounds.
"It's coming along well," Mabry said. "I've lost a lot of weight."
Is there more of an emphasis to lose weight under coach Randy Shannon?
"Coach Shannon, he told me I need to lose weight to be the best football player I can be," Mabry said. "He stays on me. He's just staying on my side, him and coach (Andreu) Swasey."
* Line coach Jeff Stoutland says he was happy to see most of his linemen come back from spring break without putting on any excess weight.
A big emphasis this spring with the linemen has been on keeping their weight down to help with agility and prevent injuries.
"The first minute (they got back from break) we weighed them in on a scale and there are guys a pound or two underweight from what they left at –- that's pretty good," Stoutland said. "That tells you they took ownership, giving of themselves to their teammates. Don't be selfish and do whatever it is you want to do. There is no one guy that's more important than the team. That's really my message to those guys."
Stoutland added, "We have to get in better condition –- that's a major issue right now and I've seen improvement already."
What does Stoutland think of his line group overall at this early stage?
"(It's been) good," Stoutland said. "I think every day has got to become progress. I don't want to ever see a setback, see it go backwards. We haven't done that, even with the installation (of the new offense) the way it's been. This is a fairly intelligent group, so they stayed with it and are making progress. I'm happy with it so far."
Stoutland said more than half of the linemen are working on snapping as the team seeks an answer at the center position.
* Asked how the offense looks compared to this time last year, Jarrell Mabry said, "It's a good offense. Compared to last year, they're putting a lot in and staying with us and helping us learn it. The scheme things, it works. We're making a lot of plays, more than we made last year, two to three times more than last year. The defense is coming along well also. We're going back and forth in practice."
* The preliminary watch list for the Lombardi Award was released today and Hurricanes defensive end Calais Campbell was one of 43 players listed. Last season, as a sophomore, Campbell had 10.5 sacks and was fourth in the nation with 20.5 tackles for loss. He ranked third on the No. 5-ranked defense in the country with 85 total tackles. Michigan defensive end LaMarr Woodley won the Lombardi Award in 2006.
* The Hurricanes will practice again at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday. Three remaining practices (all scrimmages) will be open to the public: 10 a.m. Saturday in Coral Gables; 6 p.m. Friday, March 30 at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami; the Spring game at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 7 at the Orange Bowl.
|10 years ago||'04 #1115|
$16,857 | 1583
Top Florida WR Speaks
[pic - click to view]
Record-setting wide receiver Aldarius Johnson, part of a loaded crop of rising seniors at Miami's Northwestern High, is one of the top overall prospects at his position nationally in the Class of 2008.
Aldarius Johnson could be one of the top prospects in the country.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, who has been hand-timed as fast as 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 3.9 seconds in the pro shuttle, claims early written scholarship offers from three schools, Miami (Fla.), Florida and North Carolina.
"I have no leader right now," Johnson said. "With Florida, it's a good program and I like how they run their offense. With UM, it's the same thing. I like their system and their facilities. I don't know much about North Carolina, I just saw the offer."
Florida State, Alabama and a host of other schools are interested in Johnson and written offers could be forthcoming from those programs, as well as others.
Johnson will be taking multiple aspects of a program into account before he makes his final decision.
"I will be looking at everything, including playing time," Johnson said. "I haven't really thought about a time frame."
Johnson caught 70 passes for 1,312 yards and 19 touchdowns during the 2006 season, leading Northwestern to a perfect 16-0 record and the Florida Class 6A championship. He set Miami-Dade County records for receptions and receiving yardage in a season. He hopes to pass those marks in 2007 and has set several academic goals for himself.
"In school, I want to get my G.P.A. up," he said. "And I also want to do well on the test (S.A.T./A.C.T.). In football, I want to beat my records."
Johnson compares himself to the likely top receiver taken in this year's NFL draft.
"I compare myself to a college player, Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech," he said. "We are the same person."
Aldarius Johnson is a Rivals100 to watch member for the Class of 2008. He is part of one of the top groups of prospects at any high school in the country as defensive tackle Marcus Forston, linebacker Sean Spence, wide receiver Tommy Streeter, defensive lineman Benjamin Jones and quarterback Jacory Harris, among others, all are potential BCS conference-level recruits from Northwestern.
* Notes from the Writer*
- I'd say Miami or Florida is in the lead and because of where he is from, I'd say the Canes are the team to beat.
- He's not that easy to get in touch with. I have to say, though, that after speaking with him he seems like a good kid.
It's doubtful that Miami will pass on him as long as his grades are ok in my opinion.
|10 years ago||'04 #1116|
$16,857 | 1583
RANDY SHANNON Q&A from Wednsday's practice
Q: Did you like the intensity today?
Shannon: it picked up. It was our first real full day of full contact. The offense was moving the ball ... we did some nice things on offense. [They] were happy and excited. The defense made some plays. That's a part of it. You want to see guys compete.
Q: Who scored?
Shannon: I don't know who scored. I don't count who scored. I just know when guys make plays and we're moving the ball and stopping people. We had a little red zone today and two guys scored on red zone work. Blitz drill we had a nice pass to Lance Leggett. He made a nice catch, break on the ball.
Q: Were you happy with the offense?
Shannon: Yeah, they did a nice job today. They executed, ran the ball pretty well. The offense and defense made plays, but the offense stepped it up today.
Q: Jason Fox has his boot off. Can he practice this spring?
Shannon: I don't know. I doubt it because it's two weeks and usually when you get out of the boot it's a week of walking without the boot and another week of pushing on sleds and machines. So that'll take time.
Q: Glenn Sharpe is still out?
Shannon: He was out still.
Q: When might he come back?
Shannon: It depends when that ankle wants to heal.
Q: What was it like as the first day in pads?
Shannon: What always happens is guys get too excited, want to make big plays, knock people around. Then when those things don't happen it goes in a lull. Then somebody will make a nice hit or run or catch and then it'll pick it back up. The first day everyone wants to do well, but then when you watch film you have a lot of improvement (to do). You see a lot of urgency and excitement around.
Q: What will you do in the scrimmage on Saturday?
Shannon: It's just an initial scrimmage to see who can execute what we've been doing for this past week. You have to treat it like a game plan situation. You've been preparing all week for an opponent, now let's see if you can execute and do what we asked you to do on offense and defense, see what you can get done.
Q: What have you seen from Graig Cooper?
Shannon: He's been doing a nice job running the football and protecting. What's great about it, realistically, he's been stepping it up but all of them have been stepping it up because of the competition. They know it's not a deal where it's going to be five or six running backs traveling on the squad. The two deep, three deep guy and now you sit back and say, `Who is going to play special teams?' If you're not on the three deep and you're not playing special teams, you're not going to be able to travel. The competition is there now. It's easy to coach that way.
Q: Have you looked at Cooper for returns?
Shannon: We're using a lot of guys on returns. Anybody who has return ability in high school, we're using them.
Q: Talk about the offensive line's progress.
Shannon: They're doing well. We've been mixing and matching, moving guys around. We're excited about their progress but they still have a way to go. It's early.
|10 years ago||'04 #1117|
$16,857 | 1583
Wendsday's Practice Notes- Another Long run by Cooper
[pic - click to view]
The Hurricanes held their most extensive 11-on-11 work of the spring in full pads today. And the offense fared well, especially in goal line drills. In four situations from the three-yard line, the offense got into the end zone twice, once on a run and once on a passing play.
"Fifty percent against our defense, that's good -- the offense is looking good," offensive lineman Chris Rutledge said. "We put in our goal line stuff for the first time and did pretty well against our defense."
Linebacker Glenn Cook said of the defense's play that "We have a lot of things to improve on. We have the ability to be the best we can, but right now we're getting adjusted to coaches, have guys trying to step up and be more of an addition to the defense. We have to keep working, keep making improvements. We have a lot of improvements to make. A lot."
* Rutledge is working at right tackle and right guard this spring.
"Everybody's doing a lot of moving because we're short on guys," Rutledge said. "We only have seven right now, but we're tough and we're hanging in there, doing what we have to do to get the job done."
Rutledge says his goal this year is to be a starter.
"Right now we're just focusing on the spring and taking it one day at a time," he adds.
* Asked if practices are tougher under Randy Shannon, Cook said, "If you're not mentally strong, yeah. It's more mentally you just have to be fast. We're picking it up as far as the pace. We got in good shape before the spring, probably the best shape I've seen."
Cook, Tavares Gooden and Colin McCarthy are currently getting the most reps at linebacker.
* Graig Cooper said the transition to UM has been easier than he thought it would be.
"I thought it was going to be a lot harder, but prep school helped me out a lot," said Cooper, who attended Milford (NY) Prep last year. "I worked on getting faster, so that helped me out a lot. It was just working hard."
Of his long runs so far this spring, including a 60-yarder yesterday and another long run today, Cooper said, "I've been happy, but we still have work to do. That doesn't count. We just put in work, that's it."
|10 years ago||'04 #1118|
$16,857 | 1583
Cooper, James to share Same Backfield ?
[pic - click to view]
New offensive coordinator Patrick Nix has now had five spring practices to evaluate the kind of personnel the Hurricanes possess.
Javarris James along with freshman Graig Cooper could be a two-headed monster playing together in games this year
And while he's happy with some things he's seen, he says it's still too early to gauge just what this offense is capable of achieving.
"It's hard to tell because they're still learning the offense," he said. "They're still thinking instead of playing, so it's hard. I don't like to gauge guys until they can actually get out there and start playing because we've handcuffed them so much with the thinking part of it that we've been sort of unfair to them, to be honest. We've really put a lot in on them. They've handled it well, they really have.
"I've been impressed with them mentally more than physically probably just because of what we've put in on them and how they've handled it. Hopefully by the time we hit the fall it'll all be a reaction instead of trying to figure out what's going on and everything."
One offensive player Nix knows will have an impact: Tailback Graig Cooper.
Mention Cooper's name and Nix lights up.
"He's made plays with the ball in his hands, knows what to do," Nix said of Cooper, who has busted long runs in each of UM's spring practices. "He's done a great job in pass protection. He's been very, very physical, which for a freshman is usually the biggest problem. He's learning the offense. The great thing for him, I think, is it was new for everybody. He's walking in, it's not just a new thing for him where everybody's out in front of him and he's trying to catch up. Everybody's trying to catch up, which has been good for him. He's done a great job of learning it. He's not a typical freshman. He's very mature, very intelligent. I think that's the biggest thing is his mental capacity has been very, very good for a young guy. That should get him on the field as quick as anything."
Nix says the team will be using Cooper and Javarris James together in the backfield during games.
"Yes, there's no doubt," he said. "They've been on the field the same time this spring. We've done it several times. We did it last year at Tech (with two tailbacks on the field together). You can do anything with them. They can play wide receiver, running back. One plays fullback, one plays tailback. They're good enough athletes to where they can do a lot of different things. The whole point of this offense is to get the best players on the field and put them in position to make plays. Those are two of our best players, so they're going to be on the field a lot, sometimes together, sometimes not together.
"The great thing about them is they give you a lot of depth, give you a chance to have two guys running at you. When you have two backs it's always nice to have two guys that can come and stay fresh and keep working. A back in the backfield on a route, there's all sorts of different things you can do with them."
Nix also spoke about the quarterback battle.
He says both Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman are performing well.
"Both of them have experience, and there's great competition," Nix said. "It's been very healthy and very good; it'll continue to be healthy and very good. Both of them are competing really well, doing a good job. The guys around them are doing a good job. It's all about a team and a unit, and they understand that. There's a magnifying glass on that position and that's the way it is. That's what makes it special, makes it fun."
Nix said it's possible both Wright and Freeman will see action in games next year as part of the game plan.
"It's possible three of them (including incoming freshman Robert Marve) could play in a game," Nix said. "Who knows? There might be a walkon this summer that shows up. Who cares? The guys that make plays are going to play. I don't care who they are. I have one goal and one mission, and that's to win. I don't care if we line up in the wishbone, we just have to find ways to win. That's the most important thing. If that means we have two quarterbacks, it means we go back to the old [Steve] Spurrier system, run plays in with it. Whatever it takes to win is what we're going to do. Winning is the most important. Who plays and how much they play is extremely secondary to winning."
Nix worked with talented offensive personnel at Georgia Tech, including Reggie Ball and Calvin Johnson, who Nix calls "arguably the best player -– to me -– to ever play in college football."
So how does the Miami talent stack up with Georgia Tech's?
"There were great players there and we have great players here," Nix said. "Who knows? Time will tell. A lot depends on whether the quarterback will execute, whether the wide receiver will catch the ball, whether the line will execute. There are so many things that go into it that you never can tell, especially this early in the process."
* Marve was watching on during today's drills along with fellow Cane signee Orlando Franklin. Adewale Ojomo and Kayne Farquharson have also been visitors to Greentree Practice Field this spring.