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Dolphins bring in several interesting names; Heat, Canes chatter; Bad news for Marlins

FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN 

Seeking defensive backfield help, the Dolphins quietly have been summoning several cornerbacks to visit team headquarters, as well as some sleeper offensive players.

We hear the Dolphins, who never disclose visits publicly, have brought in at least three cornerbacks to meet with team officials: Alabama’s Dee Milliner (expected to be gone before Miami’s pick at No. 12), Boise State’s Jamar Taylor (possible option at 42, but could go higher) and Southeast Louisiana’s Robert Alford (Mel Kiper’s pick for Miami at 54).  There are others cornerbacks Miami likes, but those are the three with whom Miami has spent the most time since the NFL Combine.

CBS draft analyst Rob Rang said “scouts have been buzzing about Alford” and compares Taylor – a good scheme fit for Miami – to Tampa five-time Pro Bowler Ronde Barber. Miami also tried to book FSU’s Xavier Rhodes for a visit, but he has declined so far because of scheduling conflicts. Rhodes, a first-round talent but not an ideal scheme fit for Miami, hasn’t ruled out a visit here.

Using one of Miami’s two second- or third-round picks on a cornerback makes sense, but general manager Jeff Ireland said Thursday: “You can find [corners] in the fourth, fifth, sixth round. I don’t think it’s a position you have to take high.”

### Also, we hear UF tight end Jordan Reed visited the Dolphins on Thursday (along with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o), and Rang compares Reed (45 catches, 559 yards in 2012) with ex-Gator Aaron Hernandez in that Reed “creates receiving mismatches against linebackers and defensive backs similar to what Hernandez has done in New England.”

The Dolphins haven’t booked visits with the draft’s two top tight ends – Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert and Stanford’s Zach Ertz – but appreciate Eifert’s skills and told people they really like Ertz. Ireland has spoken about taking a core position player at No. 12 and admitted tight end “hasn’t necessarily been a core position.”

### Even beyond Eric Winston, Miami hasn’t pursued the other top remaining free agent offensive tackles (such as Bryant McKinnie and Tyson Clabo) because they want to see if they can fill the need in the draft… Same with defensive end: They have not told John Abraham, who’s interested, that they’ve ruled him out, but have not pursued him recently after initial conversations…

And same with running back, where the Dolphins believe they can find depth to supplement Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas with a player such as Andre Ellington, Giovanni Bernard, Montee Ball, Le’Veon Bell or Eddie Lacy. But Miami has shown interest in taking a look at Titans free agent Javon Ringer (4.0 average on 120 career carries) when he is fully recovered from a knee injury.

### Teams can bring in 30 non-local players for visits – Ireland said Thursday “I have a lot of interest in some” of them and not much in others – and one of Miami’s is being used on sleeper junior college receiver prospect Courtney Gardner, who has size (6-3) and speed but couldn’t enroll at Oklahoma because of academics and has had two misdemeanor arrests, including possession of alcohol as a minor.

Harvard tight end/fullback/H-back Kyle Juszczyk (52 catches, 706 yards last season) also is visiting. A good blocker, he is poised to be the first Harvard player drafted since Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2005.

Workouts are not permitted on the 30 visits. Players with South Florida ties were allowed to visit and work out for Miami on April 3.

### Check back Sunday for more Dolphins' draft nuggets. And, by the way, I'm finally joining Twitter officially in the next few days --- three years after the rest of the world. Please follow me at @flasportsbuzz.... Now onto other topics: 

CHATTER

### With the Heat set to play the winner of the No. 4-No. 5 series in the second round, keep in mind that Chicago would win a tiebreaker with Atlanta if both teams finished tied for fifth. The Bulls lead the Hawks by a half game after beating the Knicks Thursday night.

The preference from a Heat perspective would be for Atlanta to finish fifth, because Atlanta and No. 4 New Jersey would be Miami’s most favorable second-round matchups. Though Miami will be favored in any Eastern Conference series, Magic Johnson insists the Knicks “are a legit team to beat the Heat.”

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo told ESPN New York: "I don't think [the Heat] are head and shoulders above everybody else."

### Even if the Big Three novelty has worn off, the Heat has never been more popular. Consider this: More than 100 people recently were waiting in a San Antonio hotel at 2 a.m. to greet Heat players and ask for autographs when they arrived from New Orleans.

### Marlins TV ratings have been dreadful, with the first two home games this week generating a 1.8 and 1.5 – numbers comparable to daytime game shows – followed by Wednesday’s embarrassing 0.8 – equaling .8 percent of Dade/Broward homes with TV sets. Conversely, opposing Heat games on Tuesday and Wednesday drew a 9.4 and 6.7...

And then there’s this: You have to go back to the 2004 Montreal Expos to find the last team to achieve either of the Marlins offensive “feats” so far: Four shutouts, and 16 runs or fewer, in their first nine games… The bright side? Jose Fernandez pitches Saturday. “He reminded me of Josh Beckett” in Sunday’s start against the Mets, Marlins special assistant Jeff Conine said. “Big fastball, big curveball, his presence on the mound.”

### What UM players most improved this spring? Al Golden rattled off 12 names, with running backs Dallas Crawford and Danny Dillard, tight end Asante Cleveland, and offensive linemen Danny Isidora and Jared Wheeler at the top of the list. The others: Herb Waters, Kelvin Cain, Antonio Crawford, Tracy Howard, Jordan Tolson, Nantambu-Akil Fentress and defensive tackles Olsen Pierre, Cutis Porter and Luther Robinson.

### This would be funny if it weren’t so ridiculous: NCAA president Mark Emmert told ESPN that even though his former investigator, Ameen Najjar, shouldn’t have written a letter on behalf of Nevin Shapiro to his sentencing judge, “it’s not a critical misjudgment.” You must be kidding, Emmert.

### UM this weekend hosts its top recruiting target, Brandon (Fla.) Faith Baptist four-star power forward Demetrius Henry, who would step immediately into Kenny Kadji’s role if he signs. His coach said it’s a tossup among UM, USF and South Carolina, with a decision due April 24. Miami also is expecting to land a skilled European point guard.

 

Comments

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TinSouthMiami

Welcome back!

Im calling it right here:
Ireland is going to draft Manti Gay'o

rboud

Emmert has really exposed himself throughout this ordeal. I guess it really does show how poor the NCAA really is when the guy at the top continues to make statements that reflect so poorly on himself and his organization. I guess denial is his only avenue of defense at this point. The NCAA will talk tough about the UM case as it transpires , but the Canes are benefiting.

Quijote

FIU'S Jonathan Cyprien continues to gain draft traction, now expected to be a FIRST ROUND DRAFT pick by ESPN, Bleacher Report, Rivals, and Sports Illustrated.

I personally see him as a safe second round pick, but this will be the third year that FIU players are taken in the draft.

Last year, TY Hilton was stolen by the Colts in the 3rd round. He went on to become one the league's top rookies, and was the second highest all purpose yards player in the entire league.

But of course, none of this is mentioned in the Sports Buzz that has Florida Sports teams covered. Barry, enjoy the move to Doral, aka Panther country.

Panthers on the RISE.

Barry Jackson

Quijote, I mentioned Cyprien in a previous column and will again before the draft. There will be draft material in every column before the draft.

Dfins006

Thanks Barry for covering our local football players. They need all the exposure they can get to make it to the next level.

Reality Bites

In the 2013 draft there will be a player from FIU, one from FSU and another from UF taken in the first round.
Again the canes get shut out.
Why do you think this is?

Lt. Lois Einhorn

TY Hilton was 34th in the league in all purpose yards and not close to one of the league's top rookies (maybe top 20).

Alfred Morris was an actual star player as a rookie but you don't see fans of that irrelevant school crying about the media coverage.

Keep swinging at windmills Quijote, don't let real life get in the way of your delusion.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

An alleged "Gators fan" is giving props to their actual rival FSU in order to trash talk UM on the internet.

Why do you think this is?

Because you're not a football fan. You're a fan of internet trolling.

Marios

Sounds like Shane Larkin is going pro and I believe it is the right decision. Coach Larranaga is good enough for another winning season even if he starts from scratch, but I doubt we will be at the top of the ACC and make the tourney next year. It will be a rebuilding year but I believe sooner than later the Canes roundball team will be a aperenial top 20 team if Coach L stays. With coach L and Golden the U is on it's way to the top again. Can't wait.
Oh I'm also an FIU grad but the moves by their AD leave a lot to be desired, getting rid of Mario C was a ridiculous move unless you think you're Ohio State.

green

but this will be the third year that FIU players (Anthony Gaitor 2011 7th round, T.Y. Hilton 2012 3rd round) are taken in the draft.

Panthers on the RISE.
Posted by: Quijote | 04/11/2013 at 11:12 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Miami_Hurricanes_in_the_NFL

The University of Miami's football program has set multiple records in producing players who go on to the National Football League. The Hurricanes hold the record for most players selected in the first round in a single draft (6, in 2004), most first-round draft picks in a two-year period (11, from 2003 to 2004), most first-round draft picks in a three-year period (15, from 2002 through 2004), and most first-round picks in a four-year period (19, from 2001 through 2004). For a 14-year period, from 1994 through 2008, Miami had at least one player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The Miami Hurricanes are also 10th overall on the NFL's all-time number of draft picks with 307.

As of the 2012 NFL season, UM had the most players active in the NFL of any university in the nation, with 53, including players on NFL Practice Squads and Injured Reserves.
-- wiki

PERENNIAL BLOOM

green

Panthers on the RISE.
Posted by: Quijote | 04/11/2013 at 11:12 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE41V5fnDZg

with a 75-year head start ...
catch us if you can't ...

PUFF GOES THE SOUFFLE'

green

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Special-Content/2013/04/SEC.aspx

The SEC and ESPN plan to formally announce the creation of an SEC channel on Tuesday.
-- sportsbusiness daily

KENTUCKY FRIED

green

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/jeremy-fowler/22036780/notre-dame-grows-acc-revenue----more-than-1-million-per-school-annually

The ACC is currently considering a 24-hour sports channel with ESPN, which is gathering information and will return to the league with an assessment. If ESPN makes an offer the ACC likes, plans for a channel might commence.
-- jeremy fowler

I still find it interesting that Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick (after talking for months about both) has suddenly gone into complete radio silence about the NBC renewal (usually done by now in past contracts) that expires in 2015 and about the stand alone, digital "Irish Network" that is one of his pet projects.

ND to ESPN?

ND's Irish Network subsumed into an ACC digital network?
-- TerryD

LOOK OUT BELOW

green

The Louisvlle/Michigan NCAA Tournament National Championship Game drew a 14.0 rating and 23.4 million viewers on CBS Monday night, according to Nielsen fast-nationals, up 14% in ratings and 12% in viewership from Kentucky/Kansas last year (12.3, 20.9M)

The telecast ranks as the highest rated basketball game of any kind (college, pro, or Olympics) since Game 7 of the Celtics/Lakers NBA Finals in 2010 (15.6), and the most-viewed since Game 6 of the Mavericks/Heat NBA Finals in 2011 (23.9M).

Excluding the NFL, Louisville/Michigan ranks as the #2 sporting event of the past year. Only the Alabama/Notre Dame BCS National Championship Game on ESPN (15.1, 26.4M) drew more viewers.
– smw

HOOPS HYSTERIA

green

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbK535vSpaE

“One Shining Moment 2013″

Coach L is the star of the video…lasting memory for the program. My god we came a long way this year.
– magicbenton

SQUATTERS RIGHTS

green

too funny ! aka the curse Says:
April 10th, 2013 at 11:55 am
You have the worst fans in the country

http://www.news-record.com/home/1041321-63/georgia-tech-miami-see-largest

This season, Georgia Tech and Miami each saw increases of more than 40 percent in average home attendance from 2011-12, according to figures from TheACC.com.

Miami (45.9 percent) saw the largest bump from last season.

The Hurricanes packed an average of 7,294 fans into the 7,200-seat BankUnited Center for league games, or 101.3 percent of the building’s capacity.
– news-record

WORST TO FIRST

green

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_Lir_QTdiw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Jaw-dropping @Caneshoops season highlight
-- chris freet

NEVER FORGET

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