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Props Slaps
 10 years ago '04        #1881
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He was a former walk-on.

He had his scholarship taken away before his senior season.

He was an un-drafted free agent.

Now, Tanard Davis is a Super Bowl Champion.

Davis, a former Hurricane cornerback, has fought through adversity to earning a Super Bowl ring in his first season with the Colts.

“It was a great experience,” Davis said. “I really enjoy the players and the coaching staff. I couldn’t ask for nothing better. Being on a historical team with the first black coach winning, it felt pretty good.”

Davis earned a spot on the Colts practice squad last season after being invited to camp as an un-drafted free agent.

“It’s like it was like Miami,” Davis said. “It was the same thing, but I was just getting paid for it. It’s fun going against Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne every day. I’ve learned a lot as a player even though last year I hit a rookie wall, not in terms of playing, but with waking up in the morning and doing the same thing every day. It was kind of like a broken record.”

Making an NFL roster was a long shot for Davis, who was primarily a practice squad player at UM and generally only played when the games were already decided.

“It’s hard to explain,” he said on his accomplishment of making an NFL roster and being a Super Bowl Champion. “It’s bittersweet because you work so hard to make it and when you make it, you try to cherish it.

“I stay humble with it and I work hard. I worked hard even though I didn’t play at UM, but I kept my mouth shut because I knew if I had any shot of making the NFL, I didn’t want to have any problems with the coaches.”

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound cornerback is best known for his speed and the Colts wanted to see if he could transition his speed onto the field and make plays.

In a preseason came last year against the New Orleans Saints, Davis forced a fumble on a kickoff return.

“I don’t play very much so when I do, I try to make a player every time that I am out there,” he said.

His speed has always been there as he came to UM on a track scholarship. He eventually earned a football scholarship, but in the spring of 2005, as he prepared for his senior season at Miami, Davis had his scholarship taken away.

He tried to transfer to Howard to finish his career and his hopes of making an NFL roster, but that didn’t work out.

The UM staff reconsidered their initial decision to let Davis go and decided to bring him back on scholarship for his final season of eligibility.

“It hurt me when they were taking my scholarship away,” Davis said. “But I always still go back out there to see everyone.”

Davis could easily have bitter feelings with his situation at UM, but he does not let it bother him. It was a tough situation he went through, but he has turned it into a positive.

“Even though things didn’t work out with me and the coaches at Miami, playing wise, I still respect the coaches,” Davis said. “They have to do what they have to do. I always felt Coach Shannon taught me the business side of football. He told me when coaches make these kinds of decisions, it’s not personal. At the end of the day, it’s business.”

Currently Davis is dealing with a strained calf muscle, which happened in a scrimmage on Wednesday and did not travel with the team to Dallas last night to play the Cowboys, but anticipates being able to practice on Saturday.

The Colts are expected to keep seven cornerbacks on the roster and Davis is f!ghting for the fifth spot.

“It’s looking pretty good for me,” he said. “My calf has set me back, but I am hearing good things about me. If they wanted to cut me, they would have done it by now.”
 10 years ago '04        #1882
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In another edition of The Top 5 we talk about the cornerbacks on the University of Miami. This is the most hotly contested position and will certainly have a big time battle for the next two weeks of Fall practice going into the season opener against Marshall.

Many people seem to think that “Old Man River” Glenn Sharpe (just playing Glenn) has a spot locked up, but I disagree and believe that both spots are pretty much wide open.

So I will take a look at each corner and talk about what each brings to the table and rank them based on basically one thing, my opinion. Don’t quote me on it of course as I don’t make the final decision as to who will be the starters, but who knows, maybe I will be right.

5. DeMarcus Van Dyke

DeMarcus Van Dyke is only a freshman, but he’s been quite impressive to coaches and players alike already. He knows he is small, so he has to figure out other ways to lock down opposing receivers. But getting the jam at the line is big for Van Dyke because he can run with just about anyone. He just can’t allow the receivers to get off the line without a jam. He is already working with the second unit and will more than likely get some work in the nickel package, but I think it will be tough for him to have a real spot in the rotation with five bigger and more experienced corners currently on the team.

4. Glenn Sharpe

I am just not totally convinced that someone with two completely reconstructed knees can ever be back to normal. Not everyone is Willis McGahee who experienced one blowout in high school and then another in the gruesome Fiesta Bowl hit by Ohio State’s Mike Doss. Unfortunately for Sharpe, he’s most remembered for the pass inference call in the end zone that gave the Buckeyes another chance. He’s a very good cover corner, but there are younger guys who have more time in the program and unless he’s markedly better than them, I think you have to go with the younger guys that will be here for another few years.

3. Carlos Armour

Armour is most physically imposing of the ‘Canes cornerbacks. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Armour a physical specimen. He’s the most aggressive of the group and is a great match up for big receivers. He also has plenty of speed. One of the big knocks on Armour is that he commits a few too many penalties, i.e. pass interference. If he can avoid getting those called on him, I’d look to start him. I personally love big corners because the prototypical receiver is getting bigger, not smaller. Armour is a banger. He physically matches up and he can run with the smaller ones too.

2. Chavez Grant

He was very impressive as a freshman and should crack the starting line up this year. Only a sophomore, his potential to get better and better is great. Grant has great instincts and great hands. He saved the game I like to call the Boise Bowl last year to save the ‘Canes 21-20 win over Nevada. Grant has great speed and has swivel hips. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and will be a big time playmaker for the ‘Canes this year on defense.

1. Randy Phillips

Randy Phillips has had his ups and his downs in his career at UM. He wanted to be a safety at first and really seemed more adept at being a safety, but now is playing cornerback and accepted the role. He’s also started to flourish in the role. Again he had some good games and some not so good games last year, but Phillips is a very physical corner in comparison to Armour and likes to bang. Phillips is quite fast a well, so he brings the combo that I love in a corner. He also has a lot to play for emotionally this year. His younger brother passed away a few weeks ago and he is without question, inspired. With Armour being my third guy, I need at least one real physical corner in my starting line up and that is Randy Phillips.
 10 years ago '04        #1883
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MIAMI, Fla. -- Before I begin, it’s obvious which high school team is the No. 1 team in the county. It’s the same team that is No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in the country in numerous national prep football polls.

Even so, we’ll take a look at the top five football teams in our opinion and give you a few tidbits on the local high school football teams that we consider the contenders.


[pic - click to view]


5. North Miami Beach Chargers –

The Chargers are possibly one of the best coached teams in the county year in and year out. The reigning Dade County Football Coach Jeff Bertani lost a lot from last year’s state semifinal team that dropped a tough game to Northwestern, probably the toughest game the Bulls had all season. Namely, he lost do-everything Doug Wiggins who was his quarterback, corner back, punter, return man, water boy, bus driver and anything else you can think of who happens to be a freshman corner at UM now. Returning though is Wiggins’ right-hand man Aaron Winchester, one of the best running backs in Dade County, if not, the best back in the county. Winchester is a little truck that explodes through the hole and will be the man expected to carry this team. New quarterback, Nico Flores will take over for Wiggins. Although, not as good of an all-around athlete as Wiggins, Bertani says that Flores is a better passer than Wiggins. The Chargers though, of course, continue to deal with being the most undermanned team in the county with around 30 players on the team, which is the least among any 6A school in Miami-Dade and probably in the state.

4. Dr. Michael Krop Lightning –

The Lightning are about the least expected team to be in any top five, but this isn’t the regular Krop team of past seasons. This team is loaded with high major Division I talent led by middle linebacker Etienne Sabino who leads what will be one of the best defenses in the county. Alongside him is a nasty linebacker in junior Quan Fletcher who is going to be a high major prospect in 2009. The defensive backfield is led by cornerback Travis Howard who has an offer from Miami and the defensive line is led by NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor’s son, in junior tackle Brandon Taylor. Offensively, this Krop team will be better also. The Lightning has a bad boy quarterback in junior Victor Marc who is built like a truck. Senior running back Ammar Bahr is the starting running back and had a very good spring game against Jackson. But this team will be led by Sabino, the fifth ranked linebacker in the country. Coached by former Florida State linebacker Lamont Green on the defensive side of the ball, this team will be extremely aggressive and do a heck of a lot of blitzing. I expect nothing less than a district championship from Krop this year with its game against NMB being the difference.

3. Miami Central Rockets –

The Rockets were dealt a major blow when Billy Rolle picked up and left to take over at Northwestern, but the reality was, it was not really a surprise to them when the Bulls job became available that the Rockets would need to start searching elsewhere. They didn’t look far, no further than their own staff in Emanuel Martin who played for the Buffalo Bills earlier this decade. In most counties, the Rockets would still be the best team around, but not in Dade. They Rockets were 11-2 last year. Both losses came to Northwestern by a combined scored of 80-12. This year will be no different for the Rockets. They’ll be the District Runner-Up to the Bulls and then lose to the Bulls in the Regional Final, but they will probably be undefeated otherwise and have another 11-2 season. Led by sophomore quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey who transferred over from Edison, the offense is expected to be pretty potent. He’ll have a pretty good target in wide receiver Ben Kearse who caught the winning pass in the Rockets 7-6 spring game win over Norland on the final play of the game. Defensively, they’ll be led by defensive tackle John Williams who is a pillar on the inside and linebacker Matt Darden-Sims who is one scary cat at linebacker. But unfortunately for the Rockets, they will finish short of their goal once again.

2. Miami Booker T. Washington Tornadoes –

The fun and gun shotgun offense is back and in full effect for the Tornadoes who bring back a slew of high major Division I prospects including UM commitments Davon Johnson and Thearon Collier who lead a potent wide receiver corps that make a lot of big plays. Cornerback Brandon Harris, who we expect to commit to UM as well later on this Fall, leads the defense, but he may also be the team’s best wide receiver as well in all reality. Senior quarterback Sancho McDonald returns after an up and down junior year, but with a year of experience under his belt, coach Tim “Ice” Harris expects big things from his offensive leader. The Tornadoes will put up plenty of points and have a big trip to South Carolina on August 25 for their season opener on ESPN, but regardless of what happens in South Carolina, the Tornadoes have one true goal and that is to win a state championship. The track team coached by Harris was co-Class 3A state champion last year and the leaders of that team all play football, including Harris, Collier and Johnson. They want a football championship. They have fallen short each of the past four years losing in the state semifinals 44-14 in 2003 to Seffner Armwood, 36-35 in 2004 to Seffner Armwood, 37-34 in 2005 to Seffner Armwood and 20-15 last year to Robert Marve-led Tampa Plant. In every game but the game in 2003, the Tornadoes led in the final quarter and in the last two games against Armwood, they led in the last two minutes only to have their hearts broken. Will the story change this year? We shall find out in December if they can finally mend their broken hearts and win that elusive state title.

1. Miami Northwestern Bulls –

Like there was any doubt about which team is the top team in Dade. The Bulls are simply on another level than every single team in the county. The only team that can beat Northwestern is Northwestern. Even last year the Bulls couldn’t beat themselves. For most of the year, they averaged 15 penalties a game and still destroyed everyone. The same will probably happen this year and they will still blast everyone. It’s almost unfair. Seven straight shut outs. Scoring over 600 points with a ridiculous offense and a starting defensive unit that was absolutely dominating, the entire crew is back led by UM commitment quarterback Jacory Harris who may go down as the best quarterback in Miami-Dade history. He has the two best targets on the planet in UM commitment and Dade County record setter Aldarius Johnson and another potential Hurricane in Tommy Streeter. That doesn’t include his two other quality targets in Kendal Thompkins and Robert Demps. He has a monster offensive line in front of him led by Brandon Washington, another future ‘Cane. Defensively, the Bulls are loaded. UM commitments Marcus Forston and Sean Spence lead the Bull rush on a defense that now has the insight of defensive guru Billy Rolle who took over for Roland Smith following his and his entire coaching staff’s dismissal in July by Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Rudy Crew. Quavon Taylor joins Spence in the linebacker unit and laid a monster shot on the Glades Central quarterback in the spring game and is expected to be a major player on the defense as well. But the biggest beneficiaries of Rolle’s presence will be in the secondary. The Bulls have a big test, maybe their only test of the season on September 15 when they travel to Dallas to play Southlake Carroll in a No. 1 v. No. 2 match up of the two of the best teams in the country, so the real goal for the Bulls isn’t so much a state championship which is almost a foregone conclusion as it is going to Texas, whipping the Dragons (I expect a three touchdown win) and going undefeated and winning their first ever mythical National Championship.
 10 years ago '04        #1884
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TOP 5 IMPACT FRESHMEN

5. CB DeMarcus Van Dyke

There is one reason why DeMarcus Van Dyke is on this list: the dude is FAST. At 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Van Dyke may not be physically ready to play many downs during the year, but he just oozes with speed and you just can’t keep speed like DVD’s off the field. In high school, DVD was reportedly clocked at a 4.26 40-yards before his senior year. The spot where DVD will most likely have the greatest impact is on punt returns. Van Dyke will figure to at least get a look returning punts and the Miami native from Pace High School will make the most of his opportunity. Van Dyke will also probably see time as the fourth cornerback in four receiver sets. The attribute that excites me most about DVD as a corner: he has the confidence and swagger needed to put a bad play behind him.

4. WR Leonard Hankerson

Miami signed four wide receivers in their 2007 class and I believe Hankerson will have the most impact of the bunch. Hankerson has HUGE hands and physically he is more advanced than most freshmen receivers at 6-foot-3, 199 pounds. Hankerson isn’t going to explode past anyone for long gains, but he will grind out receptions of 10-15 yards and has the mentality to make the tough catch in traffic. During his junior and senior years in high school, Hankerson averaged 21 yards per catch and scored 28 touchdowns. Wide receiver coach Marquis Mosely has said the Hankerson will definitely see playing time this season. Hankerson is most likely only going to see time during the four or five wide receiver sets.

3. S Joseph Nicolas

Nicolas is the surprise of this group. According to cornerback Randy Phillips, Nicolas has been the best our of all the freshmen in the secondary. Nicolas gained 20 pounds to his 6-foot-1 frame bringing his weight to about 200 pounds and looks extremely strong for a freshman defensive back. His continued progression could prove to be extremely important to UM with projected starting safety Lovon Ponder currently sitting out practice with a nagging injury. Nicolas, out of Homestead High School, could see significant playing time this season if injuries continue to mount and he is able to continue his rapid progression. In the very least, Nicolas will be a strong performer on special teams coverage.

2. RB Graig Cooper

The Memphis Fastman should have the greatest big-play impact a freshman running back UM has had since Frank Gore ran for 575 yards (9.1 yards per carry) in 2001. Cooper is so good he may be the starter, overtaking sophomore Javarris James, by the end of the season. Cooper is probably already the most explosive player on offense for Miami. The coaching staff will try to get the ball in Cooper’s hands anyway they can—as a running back, kick returner, and he may at times line up as a receiver. Expect Cooper to touch the ball 10-15 times a game and pay immediate dividends on offense for UM.

1. OL Orlando Franklin

The fact that Franklin is listed ahead of Cooper proves how big of an impact the 6-foot-7, 320 pound Franklin will have as a freshman. Franklin has played with the first unit at left guard from day one and he should start the first game of the season versus Marshall. Franklin is simply a physical specimen who is the most physically impressive lineman to come to UM since Bryant McKinnie. Franklin is a solid 320 pounds and arrives at Miami already as one of the strongest players on the team. Franklin is considered the top impact freshman this year because he will receive the most playing time and will fill a considerable void along the offensive line.
 10 years ago '04        #1885
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CORAL GABLES Fla. -- With senior linebacker Glen Cook missing at least the first game of the season with a foot injury sustained this week, Miami has a large void to fill at linebacker.

Cook, UM’s most experienced returning starter at linebacker, could line up at all the linbacker spots for the defense. His absence means a linebacking group will be that much more inexperienced and have to go through some growing pains as a new linebacker learns the position.

Linebacker is the most important position on the field because they are expected to do a little bit of everything: cover passes, stuff the run, rush the passer, and call out plays to the rest of the defense. It is no coincidence that Miami’s highest ranking in total defense since 2000 came during the 2003 season when Jonathan Vilma and DJ Williams were in their final seasons at UM.

The purpose of this article is to outline who I think should be starting at linebacker for the Marshall game. Here are my picks for the starting three linebackers when the ‘Canes take the field in their first game September 1.

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER

Colin McCarthy

McCarthy’s primary responsibility as the strongside linebacker is to cover the opposing team’s tight end and be a solid run stopper. McCarthy’s greatest strength is his field awareness and ability to cover the tight end on pass defense. During the spring and the first week of preseason practice McCarthy has shown he has a great ability to pick off passes intended for tight ends; either by jumping a route or dropping back in coverage. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, McCarthy is tall enough to cover tight ends in pass coverage. Though he may be a little thin at this point in his career to be effective against a tight end in the running game, if he can effectively shed blocks he will be a productive strongside linebacker.

MIDDLE LINEBACKER

Darryl Sharpton

Sharpton, if healthy, is the only logical choice at middle linebacker. The middle linebacker must be a great communicator—with coaches and teammates—and know the a.ssignments of all the plays on the field. It is usually the middle linebacker’s responsibility to make calls in the huddle. The versatility of the middle linebacker is key because he is expected to defend the run and pass, as well as make plays sideline-to-sideline. The coaching staff believes Sharpton has all the tools—smarts, speed, athletic ability—to be a good middle linebacker at Miami. Sharpton started five games last season with his productivity improved steadily throughout the 2006 season. In his last two starts versus Virginia and Boston College he totaled 17 tackles.

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER

Spencer Adkins

Choosing Spencer Adkins over Tavares Gooden is the toughest call to make on the unit. Gooden normally plays strongside linebacker, but it appears McCarthy has the job locked up there, moving Gooden to compete for the job on the weakside. I chose Adkins over Gooden because he has the better makeup of what a weakside linebacker should be. The weakside should be the fastest of the three linebackers and is usually called upon to drop back into pass coverage or rush the quarterback. Though Adkins’ pass coverage skills may be suspect, there is one thing the 5-foot-11, 230 pound linebacker can do: rush the quarterback. Adkins, who ran a 4.31 40 recently, has great burst off the snap and would be a scary pass rusher coming off the edge. If Adkins can prove to be solid in pass coverage, he has the physical tools to be a prototypical weakside linebacker
 10 years ago '04        #1886
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DB Campbell Learns from Brother

CORAL GABLES Fla. -- Freshman safety Jared Campbell thought he was used to seeing his older brother Calais as the big man on campus. As a freshman in high school, Jared witnessed everyone on the football team and in his high school gravitate toward Calais.

Now, both brothers are at the University of Miami together and really nothing has changed. Calais is still the big man on campus.

“It really is strange,” Jared said. “I went through it a little bit in high school, but coming out here Calais is a leader. He was like that in high school too, but this is a much bigger program. He is just like he is in high school being a leader on the team and he’s a guy you can go talk to if you make a mistake and talk to him on the side.”

“Calais, of course, is my big brother, but he is like a big brother to all the other freshmen too. He will pick up some of the freshmen when we have free time and take them out in the city. It is great having a brother here who cares about me and I appreciate that.”

It was because of Calais that Jared was recruited by Miami in the first place. Calais recommended his little brother to then head coach Larry Coker and his staff, but received little interest. When Randy Shannon was hired to be the head coach, Calais told him about Jared and told him to look at his film.

“He helped push the coaches my way,” Jared said. I wasn’t getting recruited very much by Coach Coker and his staff, but when Coach Shannon was given the job, Calais told him that he has a brother who works hard and really wants to come here. He saw my highlight tape and gave me an offer to come here.”

“Having Calais here was a big influence on me coming to Miami,” Jared said. “A lot of people say we act the same and have similar personalities. There really aren’t many differences between us besides height and position. When they offered me, it was my dream school and there was no question about it.”

During the recruiting process, Jared’s highlight film gained momentum and created some buzz because of the hard hits he would lay on opponents. He attributes his physical style and hard hitting ability to playing running back as well in high school.

“A lot of people come out here and tell me, ‘you better hit people like you did in high school’ so I am going to try and make sure that I make the tackle or if I don’t I want to hit somebody on the play,” Jared said.

“Because I played running back, I know what the running back is thinking when I am running at them,” Jared said. When they meet you in the open field, you have to break them down, get in the proper position, and use your technique to wrap him up. As a running back, when you are getting hit, you kind of have to learn how to hit back.”

Now that Calais and Jared are together again, they are as close as they were growing up together in Denver, Colorado. Calais has given Jared an informal tour of the city of Miami and taken him to some of his favorite places to eat: Taco Rico, Chicken Grill, and Marino’s.

“We were real close growing up,” Jared said. “When he went to high school he kind of branched out and got some more friends, but we used to go to football practice together. He played in the upper division. We played video games and always played at the park when we were growing up, so we are real close.”

“When I got here earlier in the summer he showed me around the city and as far as the football team goes he showed me what not to do—not to be late and all that. He told me about all the punishments. The things he had to learn he told me already so I wouldn’t make those mistakes.”
 10 years ago '04        #1887
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Practice Report: 8/11 Morning

Randy Shannon
OPENING STATEMENT

“This morning was the first practice of our two-a-day today,” head coach Randy Shannon said. “I feel like we got some things accomplished as far as four-minute offense. I think offense and defense did a good job on both sides of the ball. The receivers came out today and really played hard and did a lot of good things for us. The last couple days they had been down, but they have picked it up and I was impressed with what they are doing today.”

NEWS AND NOTES

* Shannon is putting a greater emphasis on special teams this year because he believes games can be won and lost on special teams.

“I believe in special teams you can win most games,” Shannon said. “If you look here at the past at Miami we have won games on blocked-punts, blocked field goals, and a couple of punt returns have been big for us. We have to emphasize those things and if we are going to win games we have to do it.”

“I don’t talk about (putting an emphasis on special teams). Everybody just kind of knows it. When we start turning on film and we start seeing stuff we have done, they see the punt return and defensive touchdown and a fumble caused. Those are things we emphasize all the time.”

* LB Darryl Sharpton returned to practice today after missing a few days with an minor injury. “He practiced today,” Shannon said. “I can’t say (how he looked), he was out there flying around, but you don’t know as far as coverage and that stuff. He made a couple plays today which is good.”

* CB Glenn Sharpe practiced with the injured players today. Shannon said he is “a little sore” and “will be fine tomorrow and maybe this afternoon he can get some work.”

* Shannon on first two-a-day of the preseason and the current rules mandating a certain amount of two-a-days. “This isn’t two-a-days any more, we really just have one-a-days. This is like regular spring football so there is really no soreness. They have 24 hours to rest and they are used to it; it’s easy.”

* Shannon on dealing with injuries and working guys in with different unit personnel on offense and defense. “I am always thinking about game time. You are going to have injuries, and nicks and busted chin straps and things like that. We have to put guys in situations where they are going to work with different guys. You always do it in practice because if you do it in game time they may be shocked.

“We have been doing it for the last six years on defense and now we are doing it on offense and defense. Even on special teams we are looking at different guys each time. The more we do that the better we’ll be.”

* Shannon said he will evaluate the film for the morning practice before deciding if this afternoon’s practice is in full pads or shells. Practice begins this afternoon at 3:20.

* NFL scouts from the Patriots, Ravens, and Jaguars watched the morning practice.

Kickers In Beginning of Practice

Daren Daily: 3-for-3.

Francesco Zamponga: 2-for-2

Matt Bosher: 1-for-2. The miss came on a long field goal which was blocked by cornerback Carlos Armour, who was coming off the edge.

Injured Players

CB Glenn Sharpe, DT Teraz McCray, DT Chris Perry, S Lovon Ponder, RB Charlie Jones, DT Josh Holmes, LB Romeo Davis, and S Anthony Red*ck,.
 10 years ago '04        #1888
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It’s a wide open battle, a battle that will probably be wide open until the week of preparation for the opener against Marshall.

The position I am talking about is wide receiver.

There are at least seven players who are legitimately vying for time. They are Darnell Jenkins, Lance Leggett, Khalil Jones, Ryan Hill, Leonard Hankerson, Sam Shields and Kayne Farquharson, but more than likely, only four or five will be regulars in the rotation.

That being said, it’s wide open. It’s good that there is competition, but is also quite a scary proposition because no one has even come close to truly separating himself.

If the ball kicked off today, my guess is that the starters would be Lance Leggett and Sam Shields. Darnell Jenkins would be the third receiver with Ryan Hill and Leonard Hankerson filling in the four and five spots. Now, imagine Jermaine McKenzie hadn’t been in the car accident that’s essentially ended his season. Many players were saying that McKenzie had a legit chance to start.

But what is now may not be in the next two weeks.

Looking at each of the receivers, we’ll give a few comments about each.

Darnell Jenkins – He is the old man of the group and the most experienced, however, Jenkins has not exactly had what one would call a successful career at UM. Coming out of Miami Central, Jenkins was all-world. But since he’s arrived at UM, mediocre at best would be the word to describe how he’s played. Dropped passes have plagued Jenkins as have injuries. He’s been inconsistent throughout his career. I don’t know what makes people or coaches think some miraculous change will come about, but there seem to be a rejuvenation to Jenkins after a period of time spent away from the team. We’ll see what happened.

Lance Leggett – Clearly the most physically gifted of the receivers, Leggett’s career has been similar to Jenkins although he’s been more productivity. Expectations of Leggett have been huge as he was rated as one of the best receivers in the nation in high school. He runs like a gazelle and can fly. He’s supposed to be able to stretch the field, but effort has seemed to be an issue with Leggett in the past, as have a case of the alligator arms. He’s not the strongest as he has a slim build, but Leggett has the tools. It’s a matter of concentration and simply wanting it more.

Sam Shields – Physically strong and very fast, Shields brings a lot to the table. He can motor down the field and has pretty good hands, although, he’s had issues catching the ball at times too. Shields came in as a highly touted receiver, but the vision that people still have of Shields following his freshman year was the drop in the fourth quarter against Florida State. Shields is having a good fall camp and right now is probably the best of the group.

Ryan Hill – A cornerback coming from Tallahassee Lincoln, Hill was converted to wide receiver and he did a pretty good job. He may be a little bit behind in terms of experience as a receiver in comparison to the rest of the guys as he was one of the best corners in the country coming out of high school. Hill is very fast, but he’s not very big although he has gained weight and strength and is around 200 pounds. Hill does have a lot of potential to keep on getting better.

Leonard Hankerson – Just a freshman, Hankerson is expected to get a lot of time this year. He’s physically really big, at 6’3, 210 pounds or more. He’s got huge hands and catches just about everything. For Hankerson, it will be about picking up the playbook quickly because a lot is expected of him. Hankerson has tremendous hops so he will definitely be a receiver that the quarterback wants to go especially in the red zone with the fade patterns.

Khalil Jones – Now a junior, Jones is someone that really hasn’t gotten much burn. He’s physically strong and has good speed, but he’s not really been given a chance. Having seen him play in high school, he simply did not play on a team at Northwestern that threw the ball very much at the time. The Bulls are completely opposite now chucking it all over the field, but when Jones was there, it was primarily a running team. So he may have been a little bit behind, but at the same time, he’s not done enough to make you say wow.

Kayne Farquharson – Sometimes it’s better to be unknown than it is for everyone to know your name. That’s what Kayne is suffering through now. Unidentified teammates had made comments about Farquharson prior to Fall practice that he did a little too much talking and not enough producing during the summer. That has since changed as he has quieted his tone a bit and is maybe starting to realize that it isn’t just about him, but his production on the field in practice hasn’t. The fact is for all the hype of the JUCO All-American, he was expected to make an immediate splash and he’s not come close. But the other reality is that he still never played a down of football in high school, so he has got to be a late bloomer no matter how great he was in JUCO. A dropped touchdown pass in Thursday’s scrimmage surely didn’t help his cause. The concern here on Farquharson though is that with Aldarius Johnson, Thearon Collier, Davon Johnson and potentially Tommy Streeter joining in next year, if Farquharson doesn’t get burn this year, the coaches may lose him mentally.

Opinion – My opinion overall is that the starters should be Shields and Leggett with Jenkins being the third guy. However, I’d be quite tempted to get Hankerson in there a lot along with Hill rounding out the top five. Either way, it’s going to be very competitive and hopefully it can only help make the team better.
 08-11-2007, 05:27 PM         #1889
Sh0wty  OP
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Is the Report from this Afternoon Available?
 08-12-2007, 07:53 PM         #1890
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Coach Shannon: A Lot Of Things To Fix


August 12, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

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RANDY SHANNON Q&A AFTER SUNDAY'S PRACTICE

Opening statement: Today we had some situational stuff. Some goal line, some two-minute drill, stuff like that. It went back and forth. The defense did a great job, then the offense turned around and picked it back up. So it was about 50-50 today. Guys flew around, practiced with a lot of enthusiasm. Coming off a two-a-day practice you expect them to be sluggish, but they weren't. They were flying around pretty good, so that was exciting to see those guys do that.

Q: You're a third of the way through the fall. Do you say anything to guys as far as some days they may have off days or some days they may be better?

Shannon: No. You just have to get them mentally focused. That's the one thing about when you go through summer workouts – mentally guys shut it down. You've always got to keep them (focused on) the big picture instead of the small picture. Always be positive, never be negative, because once you're negative they're going to always keep going down. You always want to be positive. No matter if the worst things happen you're positive and good things will happen eventually.

Q: You gave a little pep talk today at the start of practice?

Shannon: I just told them what we expected in practice today. That's it. (I do that) every other day, three days, when I feel like talking to them a little bit.

Q: Are you where you want to be at this point in the fall?

Shannon: We've still got a lot of things to fix and work on. It's always a working process. But we'll get there. If the guys keep working the way they're doing we'll be fine.

Q: What has surprised you the most so far this fall?

Shannon: I don't know if anything has surprised me, because the expectation is always high in practice. I don't get surprises very much. I may get a little down if a guy comes out loafing around a little bit, but otherwise I don't get surprised because we expect those guys to come out and compete every day.

Q: Is it beneficial when you have a defense with so many returning players – does it make the offense better?

Shannon: I think competition makes you better. You can have a lot of talent, but you can lose a lot of games if you're not going to put forth the effort and work hard every day. I think the work ethic and guys competing against each other every day, that's the biggest thing we have to do.

Q: How are the young linebackers doing?

Shannon: They're doing fine. You throw them in the fire, coach them and keep going. Coach them like they're going to be a starter and they're going to be starters.

Q: You are selling the family thing. Do you think players buy into that?

Shannon: I don't know if it's a buy into it (thing). I think they want to win games, and the only way you can win games is if everybody's on the same page and has faith and trust in each other.

Q: Is it easier to get your message across to this group than you thought it would be?

Shannon: I don't think about it. I really don't. I just try to, every day, come out here and we practice. You see something, you've to correct it and make sure guys understand the big picture and not the small picture.
 08-12-2007, 07:54 PM         #1891
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Sundays Practice News And Notes


August 12, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

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With Glenn Cook out for at least the first several games of the season, the battle at weakside linebacker is heating up.

Both Spencer Adkins and veteran Tavares Gooden are receiving first team reps there.

Gooden is also filling the every-position role of Cook, working in for depth at strongside linebacker and even middle linebacker.

"I just want to play, just help out the team wherever need be," Gooden said. "I can't be selfish. I know coach (Randy) Shannon know what he's doing. Whatever the plan is, that's what I'm going to do."

Even if Gooden doesn't start, he seems a.ssured of plenty of action at any of the three positions.

"I play everything, I'm doing all three," Gooden said. "I play middle with the one group (with Darryl Sharpton still somewhat limited due to injury), and at outside I play mostly with the two group.

"I have to stay positive and just keep playing, try to learn it all in case someone goes down in the linebacker corps."

Of how Adkins is progressing, Gooden said, "He's holding it down, is going out there and flying around to the ball, playing hard. He's going to be a player for the team."

* Coach Randy Shannon gathered the team around at the start of drills and spoke for about five minutes.

"The thing he emphasized the most is go out there and play like you played when you were a little kid," receiver Lance Leggett said. "You didn't worry about how hot it was. You went out at 9 o'clock in the morning and didn't want to come in until it was 6 o'clock at night. So that was the mindset – everyone was thinking about being like little kids."

* Safety Kenny Phillips says he's impressed with the corps of true freshmen.

"The freshmen are doing pretty well," he said. "They're all making plays on the offensive side, are getting to the ball on the defensive side."

He singled out safety Joseph Nicolas, saying, "He's playing a lot right now, is doing a pretty good job."

* In injury news, Lovon Ponder returned to workouts today and had an interception.

DT Teraz McCray was also back with the defense.

"He's getting back in drills and we'll go step by step with him," Shannon said.

* H-back Chris Zellner limped off the practice field at the end of the day's work favoring his left knee. There was no immediate update on his status, but it did not appear serious as he was not being attended to by trainers as he left the field.

* The team holds its second two-a-day tomorrow.
 08-12-2007, 07:54 PM         #1892
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Offense Has Nose For End Zone In Sundays Pratice



August 12, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

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Fifth-year senior WR Darnell Jenkins has seen the Cane offense's decline over the last four years.

And he says he's sure that decline will end this season.

"This isn't the same offense because everyone's coming in with a positive attitude, a must-do attitude," Jenkins said. "It's either you get it done, or sit down. We're competing, and it just looks like a race out there. Everyone's nervous because everyone's playing so well, and no one knows the decision that's going to come from coach (Randy) Shannon the week before the game (on the starting receivers).

"I think all the receivers are doing the right thing, and the quarterbacks, whatever his read is, with everyone running the right routes it opens it up for everybody. We're having fun – the O line, receivers, quarterbacks, everybody on offense. We've come together as a whole."

The offense certainly had some big plays today, following on the heels of a strong afternoon practice yesterday.

In three overtime drills today the Cane running backs punched the ball into the end zone each time – Javarris James, Derron Thomas and a walkon fullback had the touchdowns.

"The offensive line picked it up, went at the defense," receiver Lance Leggett said.

And there were big plays in the passing game throughout this morning's work. First-year WR Kayne Farquharson had the play of the day with an 80-yard touchdown in 11-on-11 work (he had a 60-yard score yesterday).

Of his touchdown today, Farquharson said, "The corner blitzed and the safety stepped up. The quarterback threw it over the safety's head, I caught it and pulled away."

Farquharson says he's currently a second-teamer, but he says he's not thinking about playing as a true freshman.

"I'm just going to work hard and we'll see what happens," he said.

Jenkins had a short touchdown today in red zone drills. That score followed on the heels of his three touchdowns in yesterday's workouts (Jenkins says he, Sam Shields and Lance Leggett are primarily sharing first team reps right now).

Khalil Jones also found the end zone today in 7-on-7's.

"We're having fun out there," Leggett said.

It wasn't total domination by the offense in today's work.

The defense stopped the offense completely in goal line work.

"They didn't get a yard," defensive back Randy Phillips said.

And there were two interceptions – Lovon Ponder, who is off the injured list (he had an ankle injury), had one, and Tavares Gooden had another. Gooden also had a fumble recovery in red zone work. Ponder had another chance for an interception but couldn't handle the pass.

* Leggett says he had a good practice today.

"I had struggled for three days," Leggett said. "I was just stressing myself. I'd miss one pass, then was just getting down on myself. But coach Shannon and coach (Patrick) Nix were talking to me, said to just keep f!ghting, that you're going to have days like that."
 08-12-2007, 07:55 PM         #1893
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Swasey Weights In: The Freshman Numbers



August 12, 2007

CaneSport.com Staff

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Strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey says he's "overly pleased" with how the team is doing in the weight room and conditioning-wise this fall.

And he was impressed with the numbers the true freshman class put up when they reported over the summer and into fall drills.

Here's a rundown on the freshmen numbers:

BENCH PRESS

Harland Gunn, 390
Allen Bailey, 365
Chris Perry, 330
Adewale Ojomo, 315
Tyler Horn, 300
Damien Berry, 265
Joseph Nicolas, 275
Jared Campbell, 275
Lee Chambers, 255
Daniel Adderley, 245

POWER CLEAN

Allen Bailey, 352
Harland Gunn, 300
Tyler Horn, 242
Joseph Nicolas, 242
Daniel Adderley, 220
Jared Campbell, 220
Adewale Ojomo, 220
Demarcus Van Dyke, 176

SQUAT

Harland Gunn, 525
Allen Bailey, 500
Tyler Horn, 375
Adewale Ojomo, 365
Jared Campbell, 345
Joseph Nicolas, 345
Lee Chambers, 325
Daniel Adderley, 300
Demarcus Van Dyke, 275

VERTICAL

Lee Chambers, 39 inches
Joseph Nicolas, 37
Adewale Ojomo, 36
Allen Bailey, 34
Kayne Farquharson, 34
Leonard Hankerson, 33
Demarcus Van Dyke, 33

40-YARD DASH

Demarcus Van Dyke, 4.34
Lee Chambers, 4.40
Kayne Farquharson, 4.46
Joseph Nicolas, 4.50
Daniel Adderley, 4.59
Jared Campbell, 4.68
Leonard Hankerson, 4.71
Adewale Ojomo, 4.90
Allen Bailey, 4.93

5-10-5

Joseph Nicolas, 4.28
Lee Chambers, 4.31
Daniel Adderley, 4.32
Leonard Hankerson, 4.53
Jared Campbell, 4.55
Kayne Farquharson, 4.56
Allen Bailey, 4.65
Adewale Ojomo, 4.76

BODY FAT %

Demarcus Van Dyke, 2.7
Lee Chambers, 3.8
Leonard Hankerson, 4.4
Joseph Nicolas, 5.0
Jared Campbell, 5.2
Kayne Farquharson, 5.4
Damien Berry, 5.6
Daniel Adderley, 6.1
Allen Bailey, 7.5
Adewale Ojomo, 11.0

- Robert Marve's numbers from before his car accident: 285-pound bench, 285-pound squat, 242-pound power clean, 4.59 seconds in the 40, 33-inch vertical, 6.2 percent body fat. Jermaine McKenzie's numbers: 33.5 inch vertical, 4.68-second time in the 40, 4.6 percent body fat.

- Note that numbers for true freshmen Shawnbrey McNeal and Orlando Franklin (other than that he ran a 5.03-second 40 and has 22.9 percent body fat) were unavailable. The numbers of Doug Wiggins and Graig Cooper were included in a weight room report CaneSport.com ran in the summer (they reported in January). To review that information CLICK HERE

Swasey says of the freshmen, as a group, that "In the weight room their strength, they came in with a good base, especially Harland Gunn and Allen Bailey - you can tell there are some guys that can develop real well. They're not obese, not overweight. You look at Harland, he's coming in being able to play for us, Tyler Horn is the same way. It's definitely promising looking with our freshmen that we have."

Typically Swasey will ask freshmen what they run in the 40.

When they test you can usually add .1 or .2 seconds to their times.

"Their high schools test them, they get tested at Nike, so now kids have a consistent time on them and know what they run," Swasey said. "And I test them myself. They're coming in pretty good."

Of how ready this freshmen class is to get immediate playing time physically vs. past classes, Swasey said, "It's a trend over the years on what is becoming more of a norm – everyone's starting to lift more. Now kids have better planning (in high school), know about nutrition. It's being monitored at kids' homes, some of them have personal trainers. It's just a trend, the way of the world in training to become a good athlete. If you want your kid to have an opportunity they can't be overweight, have to learn how to eat to give themselves a chance to compete for a scholarship and to play on this level at college."

- Swasey's reaction when he first laid eyes on Allen Bailey?

"Freak," Swasey said. "I mean, he's 278 pounds and verticaled 34 inches. That's amazing."

- Under Larry Coker the team would sit in rows and do stretching while they were seated on the field before practices.

Now the team does that toward the end of practice, warming up before practice with light running and standing exercises.

"That's always been in our arsenal," Swasey said. "Coach (Randy) Shannon starting out wanted to do a little changeup just to break the monotony. The thing with new change, you just want to give kids a little different changeup. It's a form of not doing the static stretches and doing mobility stuff and then doing the post-static stretching."

Swasey says the stretching they're doing now vs. the past can help eliminate tissue pulls.

And the team is also doing more warmup exercises that help reduce shoulder/rotator cuff injuries.

But there's still no stretch or strength exercise that will prevent a torn ACL.

"That's the one thing about our sport, I don't know how you prevent that – what are you going to do, train a knee?" Swasey said. "Small tissue pulls, cramping can be prevented with proper stretching, balance in how you train and hydration. But talking about knees – if I give you a direct blow on your knee, there's not much you can do to stop it if you're planted in the ground. We have had our misfortunes with some knee injuries, but at the end of the day you have to look at how they come back from it. Every one of our guys comes back from it, which is a credit to (Dr. John) Uribe and the rehab that our training room does and the strength phase (of Swasey's workouts)."

- Something else the team is doing for the first time: Continuing to lift after the first week of two-a-days.

"We never did it before for the full two-a-days," Swasey said. "Two-a-days is changing. It isn't the old two-a-days. (There's only three two-a-days this year) so, talking to coach Shannon, he brought it up that we'll try to lift more through this phase, continue to build strength. This is not a phase for us to down-load in the summer. This is the second stage of us getting into our competition phase. For me it's always been in the plan, but with coach Shannon starting new he's allowed me to move ahead and go full-force with it."

- Swasey's take on the strength and conditioning level of the team right now: "I think right now, with how coach Shannon is doing practice, this is the key – there's an acclimation phase where you get in football condition. In the summer you're not doing that. I'm excited. When you get in football shape on top of your great summer phase, now you're dealing with an explosion. I'm overly impressed with our practice. Coach Shannon has a great tempo with them running around and playing at full speed, and I think that's going to make a world of difference in games, especially in the fourth quarter.
 10 years ago '07        #1894
ttime236 38 heat pts38
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damn gunn is strong as hell
 08-13-2007, 01:17 AM         #1895
Hurricane Ra  OP
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Lee Chambers looks like an unreal athlete.. Hes gonna be one of those guys your gonna have to game plan to stop in the future. James, Cooper, Chambers and McNeal.. Gonna be scary
 10 years ago '04        #1896
madness 14 heat pts14
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we had no depth at RB at all last year. james was nicked up, moss was hurt/fat, but the biggest disappointment to me has been charlie jones, he broke county records in high school (which is amazing when u think of what running backs have come out of dade) and was a 5-star recruit, i thought he was gonna beast when he got to college

but we've got some good depth this year with different types of backs, we've got big, pounding runners (watch out for kylan robinson) and speedy, explosive backs who can really fly


Last edited by madness; 08-13-2007 at 01:51 AM..
 08-13-2007, 07:20 AM         #1897
Sh0wty  OP
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"(There's only three two-a-days this year)"

Hmm.. I thought it was five..

Guess i was wrong.
 10 years ago '04        #1898
KiNgJaMeS305|M 58 heat pts58
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 madness said:
we had no depth at RB at all last year. james was nicked up, moss was hurt/fat, but the biggest disappointment to me has been charlie jones, he broke county records in high school (which is amazing when u think of what running backs have come out of dade) and was a 5-star recruit, i thought he was gonna beast when he got to college

but we've got some good depth this year with different types of backs, we've got big, pounding runners (watch out for kylan robinson) and speedy, explosive backs who can really fly
charlie jones was never that great to begin with, even in high school. Seen him play a couple times, and he didnt break no records. Mr. Gore still got those
 10 years ago '04        #1899
KiNgJaMeS305|M 58 heat pts58
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August 13, 2007
POLL: Pick the Greatest Hurricanes
We invite you to select the greatest Hurricanes by position.

Our finalists are the most decorated, accomplished or otherwise notable football 'Canes ever. There's also a wild-card category in case we left anybody out.

This is preliminary voting. Advancing to the 12-man Finals will be the winners of the seven positions; the three other top vote-getters; the one player most unjustly ignored in the voting (my choice); and the "wild-card"-category winner (your choice), based on your comments.

Click the link to vote
 10 years ago '04        #1900
madness 14 heat pts14
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 KiNgJaMeS305 said:
charlie jones was never that great to begin with, even in high school. Seen him play a couple times, and he didnt break no records. Mr. Gore still got those
he ran for 348 yards in a game as a junior, a dade county record
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