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Props Slaps
 10 years ago '06        #1321
DEDOS 120 heat pts120
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you know willie williams trying to throw dirt on our name

:rasta:
 04-17-2007, 12:24 PM         #1322
Hurricane Ra 
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If Shaw has any questions about the UM program, he won't have to look far to get answers. His line coach at Pace is former Miami offensive lineman Joel Rodriguez.

And fu*k Willie that rat bastard, crying cause we wouldn't start him.
 10 years ago '04        #1323
Playnogames305 
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April 16, 2007
Position Breakdowns: LB
When Micheal Barrow took the job as Miami's linebacker coach the first thing he did was sit down with film of last season's games and evaluated the play of the group he inherited as if he were an NFL scout.

The former UM and NFL standout took note of their strengths and their weaknesses from that film, then challenged each to improve their game in one specific aspect during the spring. When it was all over Barrow said he's positive he got the desired results.

"This spring all of them have been doing good, not just [Glenn] Cook and Colin [McCarthy]. Spencer Adkins has picked his game up. Eric Houston has picked his game up. So has Tavares Gooden. I'm really satisfied with all of them," Barrow said. "I'm sad for Demetri Stewart because he got hurt, but before then he was getting better."

Outside of Cook, who is the quarterback of Miami's defense, there is no lock for a starting spot in that unit. And even Cook's starter status is written in pencil, especially if he doesn't add some physicality to his smart play. But Cook's too valuable to Miami's defense to keep off the field because he gets everyone lined up in the right spots, which makes him the all important coordinator on the field.

Where Cook plays - middle or outside - will be determined this spring based on the progress of McCarthy and Darryl Sharpton, who missed the spring because of a lingering shoulder injury he had repaired.

Without question missing practice time will slow down the redshirted sophomore's development. While Sharpton started off last season slow in the productivity department, and was even a liability at times when he initially became the starting middle linebacker, he finished STRONG, recording 23 tackles in UM's last three games. But that doesn't guarantee he'll inherit the starting spot in the fall.

"I expect all my guys to compete. We didn't sign you here to be a backup. I expect all my guys to come in and compete for a starting spot," Barrow said. "If you don't have that mindset then you are at the wrong place. When I was here if a guy even goes for a water break you were in danger of losing your job. Our whole thing here is everybody has to prove it everyday you step on the field. Practices need to be harder than the game so everybody has to bring it everyday."

McCarthy, a true sophomore, is pushing for a starting spot on the outside. From what I'm told he probably would have started at some point last season if he didn't hurt himself in the Duke game. McCarthy is a fast learner and has a high football I.Q. He was working alongside Cook in the nickel package this spring, and as I've explained to U that's the most important group on defense because they play about 50-to-60 percent of the snaps.

"I feel more confident than I did last year. Last year I was just trying to pick up the basic stuff. Now I'm trying to get more in-depth as far as knowing my job and the other jobs to make myself better," McCarthy said.

I initially expected Gooden, a senior, to lock-down that nickel spot alongside Cook this spring, returning to the starting position he held in 2004 when he recorded 83 tackles, which was third best on the team. But something continues to hold the former St. Thomas Aquinas standout back. Gooden suffered minor - but problematic - injuries during the spring but continued to push through them because he knows how important this last year is for him.

He's the most athletically blessed linebacker of the group but I'm told he needs to improve his film study habits, which will help him become more instinctive. He runs a sub-4.5 in the 40 but plays like a 4.7 athlete because he spends too much time diagnosing the play. UM fans better hope Barrow can help him become a finished product. But Barrow is a rookie coach so there will be plenty of learning to do. But the upside is there.

"I'm happy they listen to what I say and are coachable....I told them as a player I always had this mindset of C.O.B.T.B. I got it from Alonzo Highsmith when I was here and it means committed on being the best. As a coach I say, 'I'm C.O.H.Y.B.T.B. Committed on helping you be the best that you can be,'" Barrow said. "What I want guys to do is come in, be hard workers and be committed on being the best. If they have that attitude then good things will happen."

When asked why he's so surprised at how receptive his players been considering his college and NFL credentials, Barrow said not everyone is as receptive to learning and receiving guidance as he's been throughout his career.

"I'm a little different. I'll listen to a high school guy that's doing well. If I see anybody that's doing well I'll humble myself. I don't go in with the attitude I'm Mike Barrow, I played 13 years in the NFL," he said. "I can learn from anybody. If anybody is doing something effective, I don't care what level you are on I don't have a problem asking you, 'How do you do this, can you explain something to me.' I'm always trying to learn and that's what I tell my guys. If you go in with a humble attitude and are always committed on being the best....Every day you are either going to get better or worse. You will never remain the same."

I suspect Romeo Davis won't play this season because he's got a redshirt year to burn and a serious knee injury to overcome. ACL tears usually take at least 11 months for an athlete to get back on track and if that's accurate Davis won't be ready to play until mid-October so why waste his final year. But then again, you never know.

A year ago about this time I heard that Sharpton and Adkins were ready to turn the corner. While Sharpton did, Adkins didn't, and I'm not sure how much of that has to do with him missed most of last season with a leg injury. He had a quiet spring, but could turn it on in the fall.

Everyone else in that unit is a mystery, and probably destined to be a career special teamer. But you never know who can resurrect themselves like Darrell McClover did in 2003, especially now that there's a new position coach. You saw what happened when Marcus Maxey was given a fresh start.

For the record, I'd like to admit I was officially wrong about Miami's plans for Georgia signee Allen Bailey. Despite the fact he's somewhere around 6-foot-4, 260 pounds the Hurricanes PRESENLY plan on playing him at linebacker - middle linebacker at that - because of his supposedly "off the charts athleticism."

I initially thought Bailey was TOO BIG for the position but have been told he would be if he wasn't such a "freakish athlete" and "doesn't play stiff." However, there must be some concern amongst the coaches about how much weight Bailey will put on in his freshman season. UM can't expect the guy to be on a diet his whole career, but the bottom line is he's an athlete the Hurricanes are REALLY excited about having, and experimenting with come the fall.

G.A.G.T.G.
 10 years ago '05        #1324
Y2Luda 5 heat pts
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 P. Dedos said:
thats really all you've gotten down here in the last 5 years and that players was from jacksonville, so you really robbed him from florida

im not saying your not a force down here but it is what it is

good luck with shaw, im happy with the O line we have/projected to get

We aren't a force by any means, but the only players in 5 years?

'04:

#24 WR Albert Dukes. Should see time this year....

'05:

#19 RB Maurice Wells. Our #2 RB behind the #1 rated Chris Wells of two recruiting classes ago.

...and a couple others in '06 (too early to tell how big of a recruiting coup that will be)....and the '02 class had Santonio and Nate Salley.....

Again, we aren't a force by any means....but we seem to get a few "diamonds in the rough" and then every couple of years we snag a "bigger fish" like this year when we get Michael Brewster.
 10 years ago '06        #1325
DEDOS 120 heat pts120
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good luck with that
 10 years ago '04        #1326
C.R.I.P. 3 heat pts
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Film on 07 Recruit Kayne Farquharson




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 10 years ago '04        #1327
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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April 18, 2007

Matt Shodell, CaneSport Magazine

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Coral Springs (FL) Academy TE Bo Reliford is a new name to Hurricane recruitniks.

But not to the University of Miami staff.

Reliford received a verbal offer last year from former coach Larry Coker.

And a month ago he says he received a written offer signed by Randy Shannon.

He planned to commit on the spot, but he didn't have the football office phone number.

And it's a good thing, because after talking with his family he decided to hold off on making anything official.

"My mom said to wait and hold off to the end of the year and see what happens then," Reliford said. "Miami, that's where I plan on going. My mom always wanted me to go there and it's closer to home, so it's more convenient for everyone. I like the school a lot."

Reliford lists other offers from Mississippi, Alabama and Wisconsin.

A 6-foot-7, 220-pounder, he didn't play high school football until last season. He played only basketball as a freshman and sophomore, and he averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds last season.

Reliford spent his first two-and-a-half years at Chaminade-Madonna, transferring to Coral Springs Academy for this past semester.

He plans to be back at Chaminade-Madonna for his senior year.

"I'd played football when I was younger but then I was over weight [limits]," Reliford said. "The [Chaminade-Madonna] coaches said I should come out and play football, asked if I played before. I said when I was younger –- I tried out and found out I liked it."

He began last year at tight end but, after learning the offense, moved to receiver by Game 4.

He projects as a tight end at Miami.

Last year he had seven touchdown catches.

Reliford is still working on qualifying academically –- he lists a 2.4 grade-point average but says he got a 3.6 this past semester. He hasn't taken the ACT yet. He says he would like to play two sports at Miami but is not currently being recruited for basketball by the Canes.
 10 years ago '04        #1328
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April 18, 2007

Gary Ferman, CaneSport Magazine

Related Links:
Matt Patchan bio

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Seffner (FL) Armwood High School OL Matt Patchan has plenty of college options already.


[pic - click to view]


He currently lists 61 scholarship offers. And he's narrowed it down "to about 15."

He says after spring practice he will whittle the list down to five or seven lucky schools.

He says Miami "has very good odds" of being among the final five.

He lists his current top schools as Miami, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, USC, LSU and Georgia.

What factors are going into his final decision?

"I want to make sure I have a good relationship with my position and strength coach, make sure there's a lot of talent around me on both sides of the ball, O line and D line," Patchan said. "And I want to be looking for a national title and I want to play both ways in college."

That last part is a bit unusual, of course.

But Patchan wants to make sure he attends a college where the coach is willing to let him play offensive line as well as defensive line in games.

"The way I want to do it is earn my spot one way and work in the other way in third down situations, whatever it is," Patchan said. "I want to get to the point where depending on who we play I would work in and do the whole series vs. that team and do as much as I could, take a breather and then come back in."

Patchan says schools are offering him scholarships for offense and defense.

"LSU wants me at defensive end; Miami, Florida and a lot of others are looking at me as an offensive tackle," Patchan said.

Last year while playing at Tampa Freedom High School, Patchan had 99 tackles. He begged his father, who is the team's defensive coordinator, for that extra tackle. It didn't happen.

"I reviewed every tape and counted them all up again and it was 99," Patchan said.

He also had eight sacks, 21 tackles for losses, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

On offense he graded out at 94 percent.

The next best on the team?

Sixty-seven percent.

Patchan's father is a wildcard that could help swing Patchan in Miami's favor down the road. Matt Patchan Sr. played offensive line for Miami from 1983-87. He has a pair of Hurricane championship rings at home.

"He's looking at the colleges trying to decide which one is best for me, too," Patchan said. "He said he played with a bunch of great guys at Miami."

Patchan Sr. was coached by Art Kehoe, who left UM on bad terms. And Patchan Sr. and Kehoe are still in regular contact.

"Coach Kehoe thinks Miami is one of the greatest programs there is," Patchan Jr. said. "He was just caught up in the wrong time with the wrong system."

Patchan is being recruited by new UM line coach Jeff Stoutland.

"I like coach Stoutland," Patchan said. "He's great technique-wise and I've been talking to him and like him.

"And I like coach (Andreu) Swasey also. He's a good coach."

Patchan says he talks to a coach at Miami "at least once a day."

He says he's also in regular contact with coaches from other schools.

How does he find any free time during the day?

Patchan has a simple answer.

"I don't," he says.
 10 years ago '04        #1329
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Draft preview: Miami linebacker's height only slight
Clark Judge April 17, 2007
By Clark Judge
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Clark your opinion!

The NFL likes linebackers with size, speed and tackling ability, which means some teams in the NFL won't like Miami's Jon Beason.

Beason has speed and he's one of the surest tacklers among this year's draft-eligible linebackers. Plus, he played at a school that has produced a litany of NFL linebackers, most of them good ones.


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Jon Beason has all the tools to be an impact linebacker in the league. (Getty Images)
But it's his size that's the problem. At 6-foot, 237 pounds, he's considered short for an outside linebacker –- and that's not me talking, it's NFL scouts combing through prospects for flaws.

With Beason, they didn't have to probe.

"It's going to take a perfect place with a perfect system to fit him," said one scout. "Someone like Tony (Dungy) or Lovie (Smith) would be ideal for him. They like smaller guys who are fast. (Bill) Belichick would find a place for him, too. But he may not fit some clubs, particularly those playing a 3-4."

Beason is at or near the top of this year's linebackers. It's not a deep group, but there are three potential first-rounders, and all of them have holes in their games. Florida State's Lawrence Timmons has one year of starting experience. Penn State's Paul Posluszny has trouble shedding blockers. And Beason doesn't have ...

Never mind. We get it, and so does Beason, who is used to defending his size by now.

"You look at Zach Thomas and London Fletcher," he said. "Those guys are 5-9. If there were one thing I could change it would be my height because, supposedly, they think that has something to do with playing linebacker. But, to me, it doesn't matter how big you are, it's all about getting your job done. If you can get the job done you should be the first guy chosen."

Beason is a terrific athlete, playing linebacker, strong safety and fullback at Chaminade-Madonna Prep before starting his career at Miami as a fullback. That experiment lasted one season before he switched to defense, where he played all three linebacker positions and led the Hurricanes in tackles last season despite missing one game and most of another.

There isn't much Jon Beason can't do, and the evidence was there prior to the 2006 season. He joined the Miami track and field team and finished 18th at the ACC indoor meet with a season-best 6.50 meter long jump.

"Of all the outside linebackers in this draft," said an NFC scout, "this is the best football player. He's a leader. He's smart, he's tough and he makes plays. Plus, he's a good person."

So what's missing? As if you need to ask. The ideal outside linebacker is 6-foot-3, 240-250 pounds, someone along the lines of, say, Joey Porter or Julian Peterson.

"I don't want to be considered a linebacker," said Beason. "I want to be considered an athlete who plays linebacker. A guy who can cover ... with good ball skills ... chase the football and still play hard ... but still strong enough to shed blocks."

Beason's best position is weak-side linebacker, a position he played the past two seasons. Last year he produced a career-high 76 tackles -- including 51 solos -- despite missing time with a bad knee and playing the season finale with a soft cast to protect a left thumb injury suffered the week before.
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Some draft projections have him going to New England with one of its two first-round draft picks or to Indianapolis at the 32nd spot. I know of one other team in the bottom third of the draft that covets the guy, too, but it's trying to reconcile how someone of Beason's size could fit its system.

I have an idea.

Ask Jon Beason. He'll tell you what matters, and it's not height.

"I really, truly believe I have an advantage (coming from Miami)," he said. "When you come to the University of Miami ... you have some big shoes to fill. It puts pressure on you, but it's a good thing.

"We have a huge family at UM. Micheal Barrow was just named linebackers coach there. (Jonathan) Vilma is always back. D.J. (Williams) is always back. I'm good friends with Jessie Armstead. It's a repeating cycle. They come back and help us out and get you ready for the league."

Get ready for Jon Beason. He's the next Miami linebacker to join the NFL, and one thing we should've learned by now: Hurricanes' linebackers seldom come up short at the next level.
 10 years ago '04        #1330
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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This one is kind of old but i don't think it was posted...

Making accountability count
April 13, 2007

Matt Hayes

It's South Florida-hot, and Randy Shannon is annoyed. Wait, he's ticked. Lance Leggett catches a pass and celebrates. Khalil Jones catches a deep ball, scores and throws the ball in the air.

So now they run after practice.

Funny how something so simple can illustrate something so defining. Play the game, do your job, focus on team. Barely four months into his tenure as coach at Miami, Shannon has things where he wants them. Which is to say, where they haven't been in years.

"I wouldn't say guys fear him," says defensive end Calais Campbell. "But I've seen some wide-open eyes."

If last season's results -- six losses and a bowl game in Boise -- didn't shake the senses, the changes this spring will. The Hurricanes have 17 starters returning, and not one had a position locked up when spring drills began last month. There's the uncertainty of a quarterback controversy on the field and no room for interpretation of ground rules off it.

"You have to be accountable for who you are," Shannon says. "There are no excuses."

It would be easy to blame Miami's fall from the college football elite on former coach Larry Coker. Easy to say a players coach ran things loose and gave his team too much leeway. At this point, what's the sense? All that matters is Miami went from a team that won 34 straight from 2000-02 to a team that's 8-8 in its past 16 games. From a team that carried a big rep to a team embarrassed by it on a regular basis



That all changed quickly when Shannon, 41, was hired. Here's a guy whose father was murdered when Shannon was 3, who has lost three drug-addicted siblings to AIDS, whose brother once stole his identity -- and who managed to find a way through it all both professionally and personally. It's no wonder that the coach who wasn't the school's top choice -- shoot, he wasn't No. 2 or 3, either -- walked into his interview with a detailed description of where things were headed and how they'd get better.

"I've never seen a more prepared person," Miami athletic director Paul Dee says.

This is why Miami soon will be Miami again. Why Shannon -- the architect of one of the game's best defenses this decade as the Hurricanes' coordinator -- has everyone in Coral Gables believing again.

And remember this: The Canes aren't devoid of talent. They have more than enough to compete for an ACC championship and possibly much more.

One of the first things Shannon did when he was hired was rearrange the locker room. In previous seasons, defensive linemen were placed together. So were offensive linemen, receivers, quarterbacks, etc. Now there is no setup, only players learning how to change the way they think and react.

"The little things," Shannon says, "become the big things."

Something so simple can be something so defining.
 10 years ago '04        #1331
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Found this nifty video in the Gary Ferman discussion board... hope you guys enjoy it...

(this is for those that are pumped when we play Oklahoma.)

[code]http://youtube.com/watch?v=lTIfTXDPvpc[/code]
 10 years ago '04        #1332
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Interview with Meriweather


Posted by Mike Garafolo April 17, 2007 11:13AM
Categories: Draft
Miami (Fla.) safety Brandon Meriweather arrived in town yesterday for a two-day pre-draft visit with the Giants. He had dinner last night with secondary/safeties coach David Merritt and was scheduled to meet with GM Jerry Reese, coach Tom Coughlin, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and others this afternoon before leaving for a visit with the Titans.

Meriweather is in the middle of a busy interview/visit schedule that will include at least 10 teams before draft day. That's a lot, considering the average draft-eligible player makes about five visits or so. The reason for the extra stops is Meriweather has raised a few red flags for teams for two incidents: His firing a gun at an a.ssailant who shot his roommate and his role in the Miami-Florida International brawl when he was caught stomping and kicking opponents. Both incidents have led a sure-fire first-round pick to slide in many mock drafts - all the way to the middle of the second round in a few. Teams obviously want to know who he is and what they'll be getting if they draft him.

I sat down with Meriweather last night for a 25-minute interview in which he spoke about the public's perception of him and what teams might be thinking. He said some fascinating things about being stereotyped as just another "Miami thug" - something he claims he isn't. In fact, he said he no longer owns a gun because it "only leads to trouble."

I can tell you Meriweather didn't seem like a "thug" to me. He was actually soft-spoken, thoughtful and willing to talk about his mistakes, which he said were lessons from which he's learned.

We'll soon be running a story in the Ledger on Meriweather's character concerns and what they might mean to his draft status in light of the recent suspensions of the Titans' Pacman Jones and Cincinnati's Chris Henry. For now, here are a few snippets of Meriweather's thoughts on the Giants and his playing style:


MeriweatherMG: "Do you look at the Giants and think, 'Wow, that's a great place for me to play?'"

BM: "Everyone pretty much plays the same coverages. One team might be Cover 2 or Cover 3, but in reality you can only play so many coverages. Everything they do I've already seen. It's just a matter of getting adjusted to the terminology."

MG: "Are you familiar with what the Giants do?"

BM: "Coach Merritt described it a little bit. He didn't go into too much detail because I'm not here yet. You can't tell me everything about your defense because if somebody else drafts me, I would already know your defense."

MG: "Do you look at the draft process like 'I would fit well with this team but no so much with that team?'"

BM: "There are a lot of teams I think I'd fit well with, but I don't want to speak up to that because it's not like college where teams are recruiting me. It's more like me trying to recruit teams now. The roles have kind of reversed. I can't go into a situation like 'I fit great there.' It has to be more about if I like the coaches or if I can get along with this person or that person."

MG: "What were your impressions of Coach Merritt?"

BM: "He's a great guy. He's somebody I would love to play for. From the little time we spent together, it was great. I had fun and I'm sure he had fun. We talked about everything from childhood to football to adulthood. He told me some things I can take with me in life. He understands where I'm coming from because he played down in Miami (briefly with the Dolphins)."

MG: "What was it about him that leads you to call him a great guy?"

BM: "He's a man of God. I think people that are men of God are strong by their word and are people you can trust. That's my biggest issue right now - finding people you can trust. From my first impression, I feel Coach Merritt is someone you can trust."

MG: "Why is it so important for you to find people you can trust?"

BM: "Because I don't trust very easily. Because I feel like people let you down so therefore I don't trust people easily."

MG: "Where does that come from?"

BM: "I was raised by my grandmother who was very old school. You had to earn her trust. Nobody was just given it; you had to earn it. That's something I learned from her."

MG: "What do you expect to do (today)?"

BM: "I'll probably meet everybody, including the GM and coach, and I'm looking forward to that. I sat down with them at the combine for about 15 minutes. It wasn't a lot of time to get to know them. They tried to get to know my personality a little bit and I joked around with them a bit."

MG: "How did you joke with them?"

BM: "Just being me. I'm a laid-back person. I like to joke around until it's time to get serious."

MG: "The Giants have a lot of Miami connections: Jeremy Shockey, William Joseph, Sinorice Moss and even Plaxico Burress who didn't even go to Miami but trains there. What have those guys told you about the team?"

BM: "Not much. William Joseph probably talks about the team more than anybody and even he doesn't say too much. When you're down there it's more about personal time. You try to get away from football a little bit while you work out."

MG: "Have they told you anything about playing in the New York market?"

BM: "The only thing they've really said is it's a great place to play because it's where all the major decisions are made. You have Wall Street and everything here. It's a great place to be."

MG: "Talent evaluators and draft gurus have sometimes drawn a comparison between you and (former Miami safety and current Redskin) Sean Taylor. What are your thoughts when you hear that?"

BM: "Wow. Sean Taylor is a phenom. He's one of the best players I've ever seen play the position. For me to be compared to him and to (former Hurricane and current Raven) Ed Reed, it's shocking. I think everybody has their own game. Ed Reed, he's great with the ball and Sean Taylor loves to come down, hit you and blow people up. Brandon is Brandon because he can do everything. I might have some similarities to those guys, but I like to consider myself somebody who has his own game and isn't trying to imitate anybody."

MG: "Do you see yourself as more of a hard-hitting strong safety or a ball-hawking free safety?"

BM: "I'm more of a DB. I like to consider myself an all-around DB - not just a safety but also a corner at times, a nickel guy, a dime guy. Just a DB. I think I could play all over the place. A lot of teams like my versatility. And when you have that versatility you last in the NFL a long time."

MG: "So are you more of a hitter or coverage guy?"

BM: "Both. I think I have great ball skills and good blitzing skills. And I like to do both."
 10 years ago '04        #1333
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April 18, 2007

John Talman
Recruiting Analyst

Talk about it in Football Recruiting Board
There has been a big change in the recruiting process for Sugar Land (Texas) Fort Bend Dulles cornerback Ugo Okpara.

[pic - click to view]



Ugo Okpara says that Miami, with their offer, has taken the lead.
Okapra, the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder, found out this past week that an offer had come in from Miami. After speaking with coach Tommie Robinson and Wesley McGriff, it appears that the Canes have taken over the top spot with a possible decision on the horizon.

"Well I got an offer from Duke and then I recently found out about the one from Miami," Okpara said. "I'm real excited about Miami. I was looking for a big college football program and I know Miami has that. I also knew coach McGriff because he was my brother's coach at Baylor."

Okpara had Oklahoma State as his one time leader, but the new offer from Miami has changed that.

"Oklahoma State is a great place to play, but I'd have to say Miami is on top more than likely," Okpara said. "That's an opportunity that would be hard to pass up. Basically I'm still narrowing it down though right now."

Though the Houston-area prospect says that he's still looking at a number of different factors before committing, he didn't rule out an early decision possibly in the near future.

"It really depends on when I get a chance to talk to the Miami coaches again and depending on how that goes, I could decide in a week," Okpara said. "If not then, I know for a fact that I'll decide before our season starts. It all depends on how things go talking with the coaches over the next couple of days."

Okpara had also picked up scholarship offers from Virginia, Rice, and Baylor.
 10 years ago '04        #1334
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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UM recruit to leave behind quiet life on Georgia Island

By Andrea Adelson
Orlando Sentinel
Posted April 18 2007

SAPELO ISLAND, Ga. · The ferry rides home are usually quiet. Allen Bailey loves the quiet. He stares at the water, silent.

After a few minutes, he turns around and sees his 14-year-old cousin, Kyle. Bailey knows what's coming next.



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"Allen, are you going to be a starter next year at Miami?"

"I don't know."

"I know you ain't gonna be a starter. So I ain't wastin' my money drivin' down there to go and see you when you ain't gonna be playin."

Bailey shakes his head and laughs.

"How long is that drive anyway?"

"About seven hours."

"Seven hours? I ain't goin'."

His cousin goes on for almost the entire 20-minute ferry ride from mainland Georgia, past the marshes, past the birds dipping into the water to catch fish.

Bailey, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker, is sure to miss all this jabbering once he leaves for the University of Miami, where the Hurricanes hope he can become their next great defensive player.

When the ferry stops, Bailey walks to the lower level and says goodbye to his father, Alford, the first mate on the boat. He follows his cousin onto the dock. No one is here to greet them. They are home, yes. But only 70 people live here, on land once home to hundreds of slaves.

The desolate island, 49 miles south of Savannah, has been the perfect place for Bailey to grow up. But soon, his whole life will change.

In June, Bailey will leave the peace and quiet of the island for loud and wild South Florida. He is the first from Sapelo Island to get a full athletic scholarship, but he is just the latest in a long line to leave. Most never come back, leaving the community in a serious crisis because it cannot hold onto its youth. Bailey says he wants to return here when his football days are over, but he is just a kid. Nobody really knows if he will ever come back.

Bailey finds the rusted family van and starts it up. The windows are down a smidge. The radio is on, and Bailey puts the car in drive, pulling away from the dock and onto the one-lane road that will take him home.

This road happens to be paved, though not particularly well. As another car approaches, Bailey pulls off to the side to let it pass. He waves at the driver. Everyone here waves as they pass. The van rumbles along, and about the only thing to see are the trees surrounding you on each side. First Bailey heads to the Reynolds Mansion, once owned by tobacco magnate Richard J. Reynolds. Bailey's mother, Mary, works there as a cook for the guests who stay overnight on the sprawling grounds.

Mary grew up on the island and has never wanted to leave. She met her husband, Alford, when she was a teenager after he came over to play basketball with her brothers. Allen is the second youngest of their seven children.

The Baileys and most everyone else living in their 434-acre community are Gullah/Geechee, descendents of West African slaves who worked the island. They have maintained a unique way of life. They go fishing or clamming for food. They learn how to make sweet grass baskets and have come to rely mostly on what the island can give them. The Baileys have a garden where they grow watermelon, corn, peas, potatoes and okra.

There are no grocery stores here, no Wal-Mart, no Starbucks. Residents must take the ferry over to the dock at Meridian to shop for food, see doctors, buy clothes and go to school. To get onto the island, you must be a resident, know someone who is a resident, or be a part of a tour group.

Bailey attends McIntosh County Academy in Darien, about a 15-minute drive from the mainland dock. During football and basketball season (he was the starting power forward), he would stay with a friend in Darien during the week because he could never make the last ferry back to Sapelo at 5:30 p.m.


continued on next post...
 10 years ago '04        #1335
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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Continued from Bailey...

"You do things different than most people," Bailey says. "Being on both sides, it's more peaceful, more quiet on Sapelo. I prefer growing up there."

Whenever they need time alone, Mary and Alford go for long rides around the 10-mile island, looking for hogs, deer and armadillo. There are no traffic lights. The couple ends up at the ocean, watching the waves crash against the deserted beach.



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It begs the question -- isn't Mary worried about her baby boy leaving such a small, sheltered place for Miami, where trouble can find anyone?

"I don't think it's going to be too bad," Mary says. "He knows what to do and what not to do. We don't worry too much about him."

Allen says goodbye to his mother and starts heading home. There are no more paved roads. Instead, he drives on dirt paths made of packed-in clay. A sign appears.

Welcome to Hog Hammock. Pop: 70.

The community on the south end of the island got its name from Sampson Hogg, a slave who raised hogs in the area. It is the only community left on the island. Back in the early 1900s there were several more, including Belle Marsh and Raccoon Bluff. But when Reynolds bought the island, he made everyone living in the other areas move to Hog Hammock so they could be concentrated in one spot.

The Baileys live in a doublewide trailer painted white with green trim. Allen does most of his own cooking; his specialty is fried chicken.

There used to be more people here, but there is not much to keep them on the island. There are few jobs, and even fewer opportunities. Two of Bailey's sisters live in Brunswick, about 17 miles south of Darien. His second-oldest brother, Alford Jr., joined the Marines and is stationed in California. Residents are selling their property to outsiders, dwindling the population of people who have family ties here even further.

"I worry one day I'll wake up and I'll be the lone dissenter and everybody around me will be in condos and this will be another Hilton Head," said his aunt, Cornelia Bailey, resident Sapelo Island historian and author. "I'll be like the lady in New York who had this small loft that people were offering her millions and millions of dollars for and she would not sell. Like Charlton Heston said, `They're going to have to pry it out of my cold dead hands.'"

Mary and Alford Bailey feel the same way. On their property deed, there is a line that says their children are not allowed to sell. Still, there is construction all around them from "interlopers" as Cornelia calls them. But there is not much she or the others who want to stay can do.

"Everybody's not going to be Allen and go to college. Even the ones who are unable to do that don't have a choice of saying I want to stay home and work because there's nothing here for them to do," Cornelia says. "We're running out of options of how to keep the young people home."

Her kids have moved away, too.

Now it is time for Allen to move away. He started playing football in seventh grade because his brothers played. By his sophomore year, he started dominating. Georgia, Florida, Miami and other schools started showing interest.

Even though he comes from a small place, it is easy to spot Allen on a football field. He is a force at linebacker. On his favorite play this past season, he ran over an offensive lineman and running back on a blitz. He likes to find the clip on the Web at school and replay it over and over again.

He says he isn't worried about being so far from home, or island life. Or being in a very loud, very busy place.

"I don't know how it's going to be," he says. "We'll have to wait and see. It's a culture change. I'll try to fit in as much as I can."

He picked Miami because he liked the smaller campus, and the area reminded him a little of the island. His parents went with him on a visit and approved. New Miami coach Randy Shannon toured the island during the recruiting process and got a better appreciation of where Allen was reared.

He thinks Allen will be able to handle the changes.

"By him being on the mainland for a long period of time, he was around a lot of things, and he came to Miami three or four times, so that was big," Shannon said. "He got to understand Miami and what he wanted, and I think that was great for him."

It is almost time for Allen Bailey to push off on his next journey. Maybe one day, it will lead him back home.

Special correspondent Andrew Carter contributed to this report.
 10 years ago '04        #1336
madness 7 heat pts
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this cat bailey's gonna be straight up disgusting, even if he grows into a d-lineman, which i think he will
 10 years ago '04        #1337
Cap Peeler 7 heat pts
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well i can't find anything new for the day guys, i'm gone drinking. I'm tired posting
 10 years ago '04        #1338
madness 7 heat pts
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 Cap Peeler said:
well i can't find anything new for the day guys, i'm gone drinking. I'm tired posting
good lookin out pimp
 04-19-2007, 12:37 AM         #1339
Hurricane Ra 
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 Y2Luda said:
We aren't a force by any means, but the only players in 5 years?

'04:

#24 WR Albert Dukes. Should see time this year....

'05:

#19 RB Maurice Wells. Our #2 RB behind the #1 rated Chris Wells of two recruiting classes ago.

...and a couple others in '06 (too early to tell how big of a recruiting coup that will be)....and the '02 class had Santonio and Nate Salley.....

Again, we aren't a force by any means....but we seem to get a few "diamonds in the rough" and then every couple of years we snag a "bigger fish" like this year when we get Michael Brewster.

Pretty sure you guys got Chris Gamble from down here
 04-19-2007, 12:30 PM         #1340
Hurricane Ra 
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April 19, 2007

Gary Ferman, CaneSport Magazine

Related Links:
Ronnie Tubbs bioVideo highlights

Talk about it in The Storm Center
Never miss breaking news on Miami sports and recruiting. Sign-up for CaneSport.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!

It's a good news-bad news situation for Yazoo City (MS) High School WR Ronnie Tubbs.


The good news is he says he recently scored a 20 on the ACT, which qualifies him academically per NCAA standards.

The bad news is he wants to attend Miami, and UM doesn't blindly accept anyone who is NCAA qualified.

He knows he needs to raise his grade-point average, which he currently lists at 2.27.

"I've been talking to coach (Joe) Pannunzio, and he says as long as I keep doing what I'm doing that I should be all set," Tubbs said. "He's doing everything to work it out right now."

Tubbs says he doesn't expect to hear whether UM will extend an offer until after his high school graduation May 25. UM coaches likely will try to find out from the admissions office if Tubbs will be accepted before extending an offer.

Tubbs says his plan is still to attend Miami. If he doesn't raise his grade-point average sufficiently for admission he says he'll attend Southern Miss.

The chances he winds up at Miami when everything is said and done?

"Real big," he says. "Miami, that's a school I've been wanting to go to ever since I was little."

Tubbs finished his senior year with 54 receptions and 16 touchdowns.

"My coach says I remind him of Jerry Rice," he says.
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