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Some former Canes in for "rude awakening"; plus Fins, Heat, Marlins

WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN

Eight UM players will participate in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis beginning today, and they have a lot to prove. Green Bay Packers scout Alonzo Highsmith, the former UM star, said several Canes underclassmen made a mistake by turning pro.

"A lot of these kids are in for a rude awakening,” he said. “Maybe parents are telling them what they want to hear. I don’t think they’re getting good advice. After watching film, it was rather disappointing. I watched the Virginia and Boston College tape and I didn’t see many good players. Lamar Miller shows flashes of dynamic speed and ability, but that’s all I saw.”

Draft analysts Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock project Miller to go in the second round, and nobody is criticizing him for turning pro. But evaluators have questioned Marcus Forston and Olivier Vernon for leaving early. Tommy Streeter and Brandon Washington could go in the second or third round, but Highsmith said both could have used another year.

“Forston is always hurt and he didn’t have a body of work,” Highsmith said. “Vernon maybe has the potential, but I didn’t notice him that much. If you’re a second or third-round pick, you should be able to get off a block on third and seven.”

Streeter didn’t play much until last season. And Highsmith said, in general, “History shows one-year players with one-year stats are often busts in the NFL.”

Highsmith said, “I’m all for kids coming out if they can make money. But to be a sixth- or seventh-round pick, I don’t understand it. Some guys don’t want to work and think pro football is easy. You’ve got to be tough to play for Al Golden. If you’re not willing to put in the time, the easy way out is to leave. But do you know how hard it is to make an NFL team?”

One current player said besides financial incentive, some players simply didn’t want to go through Golden’s offseason conditioning program again. But UM was puzzled that all the underclassmen turned pro before getting their assessment back from the NFL’s draft review board.

### Highsmith likes senior Sean Spence, who could go in the second or third round. Among some other seniors, Kiper sees Travis Benjamin as a fifth-rounder but says Jacory Harris will go undrafted. Mayock expects Micanor Regis, who won’t be at the Combine, will be a mid-to-late round pick…. UM’s eight players in Indy: Miller, Spence, Washington, Vernon, Benjamin, Forston, Harris and Streeter.

### One NFC personnel man said his philosophy is to draft players who can help his team win a Super Bowl and he sees only two departing UM players that he feels strongly could – Miller and Spence (as a special teamer, and nickel package player).

Kiper said Forston “is going to drop significantly down” and Vernon is “way down the line as far as the defensive ends.” He said Streeter “could be a second-round pick if he tests out well from a speed standpoint.” The Patriots already have called Streeter to express interest, but the Dolphins haven’t, his father said.

Kiper said Washington, rated his third-best guard, played inconsistently at tackle in 2011 but “can end up going a little higher than he’s graded” because he can play either spot.

### FIU receiver T.Y. Hilton, projected in the fourth-round range, will be at the Combine but won’t do drills because of a quadriceps injury.

CHATTER

### Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, whose quarterback opinion carries great weight with GM Jeff Ireland, thinks highly of Green Bay’s Matt Flynn and Miami has interest in him if they don’t get Peyton Manning. But here’s a precautionary note pointed out to us about Flynn’s signature game (480 yards, six touchdowns against Detroit on Jan. 1): A lot of his damage was done against two defensive backs ranked in the bottom quarter of the league (Chris Harris and Alphonso Smith) and a cornerback (Chris Houston) who was limited that day because of injury. Plus, the Packers had 223 yards after catch. As expected, the Dolphins have shown no interest in re-signing free agent Chad Henne. Matt Moore will return and is due to earn $2.5 million.

### A coin flip with Carolina, scheduled for 7 a.m. Friday, will determine if Miami picks 8th or 9th. NFL Network will air it on tape, but the league says there's no live coverage and no media permitted to witness it…. Though Bengals safety Reggie Nelson is very much on the Dolphins radar, keep in mind that Cincinnati wants to keep him and has $60 million to spend in free agency.

### Yet another reason to admire Udonis Haslem’s relentless effort: Of the NBA’s top 15 players in rebounds-per-48-minutes, Haslem (14th at 14.9) is the only one shorter than 6-10. Coach Erik Spoelstra says he’s actually 6-7, not the listed 6-8…  

### The Jeremy Lin effect: Ticket of America’s Michael Lipman said courtside seats for Thursday’s Knicks-at-Heat game are selling for $6000 behind the basket, with one sideline courtside seat going to a rapper for $12,500 – both double what Lakers-at-Heat and the Celtics-at-Heat home opener commanded. Those sideline courtside seats cost $1500 to $2000 for most games. One went for $20,000 in the NBA Finals.

### Spoelstra insists he doesn’t “think the average fan sees” Joel Anthony’s value: “He does some things very few centers in this league can,” including on pick-and-rolls. The Heat allows two points less per game, over 48 minutes, with Anthony playing compared with when he's not. Because he's often on the floor with The Big Three, the Heat averages three points more with him in the game -- despite his serious offensive limitations.

### Marlins reliever Edward Mujica, a friend of Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez), said Oviedo doesn’t expect to receive a visa to return to the U.S. until after March 1. The Marlins won’t be surprised if he’s suspended by commissioner Bud Selig after he gets a visa. If they can’t trade him shortly after his reinstatement, they believe he will have value near the July 31 trade deadline, despite his $6 million salary… Perennial disappointment Sean West, once the top lefty prospect in the Marlins’ system, is the only borderline roster candidate who’s out of minor league options, meaning if he doesn’t beat out Wade LeBlanc for the No. 12 job on the pitching staff, another team could claim him.

Comments

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Knickerbocker

The reason why all these UM kids are leaving is because the ship is sinking. Although they are all mediocre talents (much like the school they are leaving) they know the NCAA hammer is coming and don't want UM's continued downward crash to further hurt their draft chances, as bad as it already is. Even if the hammer doesn't drop as hard as predicted, the program is a joke and not one school is threatened by duh U no' mo'.

Hammercock

Knickerbocker is a joke. Long live the U.

TinSouthMiami

Thanks for moving the Marlins stuff to the bottom
Barry I appreciate it

U-4=Life

What a moronic..Biased comment by this MORON Knickeridiot!!!!...They are leaving because other than Spence and Miller..They are a bunch of Lazy no good Bum's...Vernon might stick but all others are lazy!!

sflafan

Knickerbocker. Get ready. You have less than 48 hours until your filthy Knicks get blasted by the Heat, and your little Linnie phenom gets a dose of true superstardom. The Heat are going to be sure they press for 48 minutes, no mercy. It's time the hype is placed back where it belongs, and that is South Fla.

And by the way, hate all you want, toss the mild sanctions in our face, but the U is back on the rise and in a big way. Now that we are finally rid of all the LOSERS who were poisoning this program, and Coach Golden has brought in some Golden character kids and an actual "program", the skies the limit once again.

RALO

I'm glad those losers left. They were uncommitted anyway. After three to four years at UM I can't understand why JH didn't gain weight, and he always looked emaciated. But it was because he didn't have a work ethic. Simply, I'm glad they're gone!

Joe

Actually.......it was roll call.Everyone SAW why Miami was mediocre.All the lazy ones wanted to leave early when no one thought they were even really very good anyway.Miller has a good chance with his speed to go fairly high.Spence too.Benjamin is good and the rest who were juniors........had a heightened sense of self....to be sure.Not too many fans thought as highly of their talent as they themselves did.Forston was a bust.Washington was erratic and lazy.Overstreet was good only last year and needed more grooming.No one else was making any NFL teams salivate....that s for sure.We still got Ray Ray and Telemaque who were widely acclaimed prior to coming here too but both have also been a bust.We need big,bad Defensive,nasty linemen...like Wilfork.FSU got a bunch of em this signing period.THAT is where Miami s next 5 or 6 recruits need to come from.We need D linemen......ASAP.GO CANES.

TEDLIZZIE

GEE, DOES ANYONE ELSE SMELL A LITTLE "GATOR POOP" COMING FROM THAT JERK "KNICKERBOCKER?

CANETILLIDIE....DH

This article about the Canes underclassmen taking off to the pros is dead on accurate. In my opinion, none of the underclassmen should have left. Streeter had one good season, ONE! Miller would have had another 1000+ season and would definitely be a top 20 first rounder. Vernon missed too many games and didn't do so much according to numbers had he not been suspended. Forston should have gotten healthy, and move into the weight room. Washington would have been the oldest on the Oline and would have been the leader had he stayed and been switched back, permanently, to guard instead of tackle. For the seniors, I say good luck. Honestly the only one I'm truly proud of is Sean Spence. That man left it on the field every game. He might have made some mistakes during the season (lack of development - RS) but he came to The U to work and it showed.

A paragraph that speaks more truth than anything about these underclassmen...

""Highsmith said, “I’m all for kids coming out if they can make money. But to be a sixth- or seventh-round pick, I don’t understand it. Some guys don’t want to work and think pro football is easy. You’ve got to be tough to play for Al Golden. If you’re not willing to put in the time, the easy way out is to leave. But do you know how hard it is to make an NFL team?”""

These players leaving early are in for an extremely rude awakening. I see some of them walking on for the dolphins pretty soon. One thing I have noticed is that teams with more Hurricane players on it do better on average than those without. Dolphins should invest a little bit into that. Jimmy Graham, Sam Shields.... These are pretty good examples of under-developed players that are producing for their respective teams in the pros.

Dolphins have one hurricane, one, Vernon Carey. We need play makers. I say go after Streeter, Benjamin, Washington, Vernon. Pick these guys up late in the rounds and develop the hell out of them. Vernon on one side and Wake on the other will be interesting to see. Washington can lineup right next to Long and hold down the left side. Streeter can stretch the defense which will open up the midfield for Bess or Hartline. Benjamin can be on special teams unless he puts on 25lbs (don't see that but you never know) and turn him into a receiver.

Who knows.


GO CANES!!!!!

CANETILLIDIE....DH

hey Barry J.


Excellent article.

Hit it on the head.

Keep it up.

GO CANES ALL DAY EVERYDAY!!!!!

SS

Good idea, CANETILLIDIE.....DH. They may be a bunch of lazy underachievers, but they were lazy underachievers for your U, so sure, the Dolphins should definitely draft them all and "develop the hell out of them." Of course they'll never help the Dolphins because they're lazy underachievers from a truly mediocre U team, but if it's good for your U, that's all that matters.

Esteban

Ken Dorsey never gained weight either tho. Was he uncommitted? Jacory had 1 bad year. Sophomore year was pretty good for a first time full time starter. Freshman year he should have been the full time starter cause he played better than the starter. Senior year he was solid outside of that BC game. Yeah he never cracked 200 lbs but he probably gained a good 30 lbs while at UM. Just was extremely skinny coming in. also, he took to much blame during his time. its part of pros/cons of being the QB - too much credit and too much blame. He could have done more - like win bowl games but it is what it is.

and I don't blame Forston for leaving cause he doesn't fit the current system. Plus while Kiper doesn't think much of him others like Wes Bunting think he's a potential 2nd/3rd round pick cause not many other DTs coming out this year can get penetration. Short supply means more demand for those who have that quality.

Same for Streeter. Look at the big WRs coming out this year. Not many have good speed. He's going to be the fastest big WR and it might not be close. 6'4/6'5 running a 4.3/4.4...those guys never last long even if they only had one good year. Shoot Matt Jones was a QB but was 6'5 and ran 4.4. Was a first round pick. People are focusing on why it was a poor decision instead of why it was a good one. Just look at history and it makes sense why he went pro.

Vernon surprised people but with how he was used last year after coming off suspension I might have turned pro too. I would have waited for the NFL feedback first, but ultimately he's going to be a guy who kills it at the combine so his stock's going to rise. Might have been better off coming back, but might end up in a real good situation so just gotta see how that turns out.

rboud

Most players who decide to leave early without getting their NFL draft evaluation obviously have decided they no longer want to play at their school. It's obvious Vernon never had any intention of getting a degree from UM. If these guys did not want to deal with Golden's "get tough approach", it's good that they are gone. Whoever among them gets left out can only blame themselves.

202canefan

I'm sorry, but bashing kids is pretty much gay. I could care less if they are lazy or not, its their life. If they decided they didn't want to play for Al anymore--so be it. I highly doubt any poster here confirm their decisions w/the players that left--so why should you care about theirs? Good luck to them!

SickCaneFan

I would never wish any former UM football player anything but good luck and health. I believe that Streeter could eventually become a top reciever in the NFL.

Golden's infrastructure and capacity building has been impressive, but we have to wait until next December to evaluate the results. With NCAA sanctions and such a young team I beleive a ACC championship is unlikely. But I am hoping for the best... Let's GO CANES!!!

5>3>2

We can still express our opinions here, and here mine

Esteban, i disagree. Jacorry had more than just one bad year. If you considered last year a good year, i really dont know what your bias is. He had a chance to win 3 bowl games. Cal, wisc, and nd.mand he stunk in all three. He chucked balls up for grabs, he threw ints into triple coverage, and if you think BCs defense with the exception of kuechly, is nfl caliber, wait till jacorry sees nfl caliber linebackers and safeties. For 4 yrs he was unable or unwilling to read defenses, read coverages and check down. He had one guy in mind he was going to throw to and took way too long to get rid of the ball.

Sean spence excepted, these players are the garbage we needed to get rid of. Lamar miller is lamar miller. Hell do fine. Next.

Currentplayers and recruits: if you want to make it into the NFL via NFL U, bust your behinds, 2, 3 or 4 yrs, and youll get their bc desoite ums problems, it ismalways looked at as one of the top 5 schools to produce nfl caliber players. Dont believe me, look at nfl rosters....still!

Sam washington

My cousin is a NFL Ass GM and he thinks Streeter sucks - plays like he runs 4.7, poor hands, plays small, not tough.... Brandon Washington is stiff , not physical and blocks nobody... He wants to know who keeps putting these kids in the 2nd - 3rd and based on what? Can't be film or play on the field... Miami has two real players Spence, Miller....

Reggie Carrillo

To 202Canfan...this aint bashing kids, it's a NFL PRO SCOUT giving an assessment. Real life is about real talk. Your warm and fuzzy is what's gay. GET REAL and deal with life on life's terms chump!

Ray Rich

where do these clowns like knickerbocker come from ?

GatorsSuck

Outside of Spence and Streeter, Tommy got nearly buried by the moronic coaching staff we had. All those players are lazy, NW kids were leaders in the locker room even if they didnt start. No heart.......good luck to all and thank god the garbage is being picked up again at the Hecht Center. Congrats to Golden on a great Recruiting Class

UGoCanes2

Approach, attitude and coachability...are key factors at the next level.

If you do NOT have it in College how is the miraculous transformation taking place in the NFL going to occur?.
It isn't, with few exceptions.

Dollars make people do things, but reality is a kick in the face.

Spence and Miller, but that is it.

The only way to make it in the NFL is as Ray Lewis says be the baddest and best at your position on that field..taking plays off and going through the motions doesn't cut it.

Coach Al is there for advice, but I doubt that mattered in many instances, most of these guys were moving on..

Highsmith thanks for calling it like it is...the NFL is based solely on performance over and out.

Go 'Canes

UMike

UMMMMMM...did UM's baseball team play last night?

OH, right, they did...I traveled to the game in Ft. Meyers vs FGCU...over 2,000 people there, more than half were UM fans.....by the way, UM the game 3-0, spectacular pitching by Steven Ewing...giving up one hit over seven innings, and NO WALKS.

Nice coverage, El Herald of La Republica de Banana!

MORONS!

Joe

"One current player said besides financial incentive, some players simply didn’t want to go through Golden’s offseason conditioning program again."

And there it is....the truth. You know what....lazy players is what got us into this mess....thank God they have left the building.

Larry

Right on the money Joe. Coker was too easy on the players and was afraid they would not like him. Ditto for Shannon who of all people should have known the hardwork required to succeed. The players of the last 8 to 10 years were mostly lazy and had a different agenda. Micheal Irvin has often stated what Alonza has said. These other posts that keep trying to dis the "U" do not fool anybody as they are just trolls from the UFelons and FSU Criminoles.

DJ DirtyWhite

Tommy Streeter has the same skill set as Randy Moss and would flourish with the Patriots. Lamar Miller could be very good if he gets more aggressive in his running style. I felt he got tackled way to easy at times. Travis Benjamin will be a good situational wide out who can take the top off of defenses and should contribute on special teams as well. Sean Spence in the right system will succeed but much like Zach Thomas will need big defensive tackles to contain blockers so he can do his thing. I would not draft Forston. Vernon will test well but not much tape on him. He will probably go higher than he should because of potential. Washington will play and be solid for 8-10 hrs. GO CANES

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