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Big UM recruiting loss; Fins check out Gators, Noles; Wade speaks out; UM/NCAA news

A quick Wednesday morning update before we get to the Wednesday buzz column below:

UM basketball suffered a recruiting setback minutes ago when its top target - Brandon (Fla.) PF Demetrius Henry - announced he will sign with South Carolina instead of UM, which was his other finalist. Henry said coach Frank Martin is the biggest reason he chose South Carolina.

Henry would have stepped into departing PF Kenny Kadji's slot if he had signed with Miami. The Hurricanes desperately need to add quality size in the next few months, but most of the really good recruits already have signed elsewhere. As it stands, Tonye Jekiri will start at center (Jim Larranaga said he could end up being the best big man UM has ever had) but undersized 6-6 Erik Swoope could end up starting at PF.

Point guard Shane Larkin must decide by Sunday whether to leave for the NBA. ESPN says he is strongly leaning toward leaning pro, though Larkin and his father have said no decision has been made. 

### As colleague Armando Salguero noted earlier today, the Dolphins and Chiefs have resumed trade talks for offensive tackle Branden Albert. Decent chance this gets done, but not certain. Fins wants to make sure they can't get one of elite tackles in draft. And Chiefs have to be willing to accept pick No. 54. Fins hadn't received permission to give Albert a physical as of this morning, but that could change at any minute. Fins could always wait until Friday to see how first round plays out Thursday night.

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WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN

Fins draft chatter:

### Not even the Dolphins know for sure if they will be drafting any state players this week, as they did last April with UM’s Lamar Miller and Olivier Vernon. But besides liking the skills of FIU safety Jonathan Cyprien, the Dolphins also have been showing interest in several Gators and Seminoles.

Permitted to bring in 30 non-local players for visits at team headquarters, the Dolphins have used three on FSU offensive tackle Menelik Watson, UF linebacker Jelani Jenkins and UF tight end Jordan Reed.

Also, Miami has shown interest in FSU defensive end Tank Carradine; brought in UF safety Matt Elam to meet with team executives last week; and sent their special teams coach upstate to audition Dustin Hopkins (FSU) and Caleb Sturgis (UF) – two of the draft’s best kickers.

The Dolphins have spent more time with Watson than any other tackle in the past month, sending their offensive line coach to audition him in Tallahassee and then summoning him to Miami to meet team officials. He's an option - if Miami trades down lower in the first round or if he slips to 42 - but only if Miami doesn't trade for Branden Albert, which remains a possibility.

A native of England, Menelik never played football before August 2011. He played right tackle at FSU but NFL Network's Mike Mayock said he could be a natural left tackle. “It’s mind-boggling how much upside this kid has,” Mayock said.

Miami also is intrigued by Carradine, a potential second-rounder who had 11 sacks last season before a November ACL injury. The Dolphins haven’t spent as much time with FSU end Bjoern Werner, though he’s also on their radar.

“Werner’s stock has dropped” to the 30s, Kiper said. “He didn’t test out as well as people thought. A little raw. Great motor.”

Since the Combine, the Dolphins have spent significant time with two UF linebackers projected for the middle rounds: Jenkins, a potential mid-round pick who was limited by a foot injury last year but played well in 2011 (75 tackles, two sacks), and middle linebacker Jon Bostic (6.5 sacks, two interceptions).

“Bostic is one of the highest risers in the draft – could go 60 to 75,” Mayock said, adding Jenkins is a fourth- or fifth-rounder.

Kiper said Reed’s stock “has dropped a bit. Maybe he’s a fourth- or fifth-round pick. He’ll help a team.” Elam – a potential second-rounder - has good range, but he’s on the small side (5-10) and he has struggled in coverage at times. "He will play a lot of years in the league," Mayock said.

### Miami couldn’t be more serious about finding a challenger for Dan Carpenter. Besides auditioning Hopkins (25 for 30 in field goals last year) and Sturgis (24-28), the Dolphins sent a coach or scout to privately audition Nebraska’s Brett Maher, North Carolina’s Casey Barth, Oklahoma State’s Quinn Sharp, Fordham’s Patrick Murray and Houston’s Matt Hogan – all on the their campuses. UM’s Jake Wieclaw worked out for the Dolphins at their facility.

### Besides liking tight ends Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz, the Dolphins recently summoned Michigan State’s Dion Sims – a potential mid-rounder who averaged 13.2 yards per catch - to team headquarters.

CHATTER

### So what does Dwyane Wade think of Bucks guard Monta Ellis saying earlier this season that he’s as good as Wade, but without all the wins and championships? “I looked at it and I chuckled in a sense,” Wade said in a private moment Tuesday.

“But if I’m a bar for somebody, I don’t mind that. Monta is a talented, talented guard. But obviously, I feel my game is a little bit different. I’m not just a scorer. I do everything on the floor, my whole career I’ve done it. That’s where I separate myself from others…

“[But] I look at what Kobe Bryant does. I know I need championships to be where he’s at, to even be in the category with him as a player.”

### Behind the scenes, Ray Allen has been challenging LeBron James all season about his shooting, to the point “that he gets tired of me talking about it,” Allen said. “Every day we talk about it. I told him he could be a 50-40-90 guy in the playoffs.”

That means 50 percent from the field (he shot 56.5 during the season), 40 percent on threes (40.6) and 90 percent from the line (75.3). “Free throws have been his nemesis,” Allen said. “I tell him all the time he can shoot over 80 from the line. That’s what I want from him.”

### Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez’s transfer to UM drew closer to reality Tuesday. “Miami is where he wants to go and they are interested,” said Art Alvarez, his coach with the Miami Tropics. “It looks very promising.”

Rodriguez, second-team All Big 12 last season, could not play in 2013-14 - unless he gets a waiver on the NCAA transfer rule because of family hardship - but would have two seasons of eligibility left. He is transferring to be closer to his mother and two brothers, who live in Puerto Rico.

Alvarez, who expects Rodriguez will have to sit out next season, compares his game with NBA guard J.J. Barea’s.

UM received his release from K-State today.

Meanwhile, UM is one of several schools pursuing physical 6-9 forward Tarik Black, who is graduating from Memphis and is eligible to play for another college this coming season.

### Remember how UM quietly accepted it when the NCAA threatened to believe Nevin Shapiro’s claims if former players didn’t agree to be interviewed by the NCAA? Miami is now protesting that, and with good reason.

“The enforcement staff attempted to coerce former student athletes by sending them correspondence in November 2012 indicating that if they failed to cooperate, Shapiro’s jailhouse tales about them would be established as true,” UM wrote in a motion to the NCAA’s infractions committee. “Such intimidation is yet but another example of the enforcement staff’s desperate and unprofessional” actions.

We hear about a half dozen players spoke to the NCAA as a result of the threat, but their testimony wasn’t very damaging. Former safety Randy Phillips told people he spoke to the NCAA because he didn’t want to be barred from UM’s training room while rehabbing an injury and trying to get back to the NFL.

Former receiver Jason Geathers spoke to the NCAA “but had nothing to give them,” said his agent, Daniel Rose. “Jason said, ‘Larry Coker warned us about this guy.’” Ex-Canes linebacker Carl Walker also told people he spoke to the NCAA. 

### Some of the NCAA’s mistakes in the UM case are laughable. In one 2012 e-mail to UM obtained by The Herald, since-fired investigator Abigail Grantstein wrote about trying to determine whether “Durand Scott’s and Reggie Mitchell’s eligibility have been jeopardized.” There is no Reggie Mitchell. It’s Reggie Johnson.

### Please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments

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Coral Gables '81

Hope Miami does well in the draft tomorrow. There are some talented guys from some of these Florida schools who can really help them going forward.

Jojo

Phins should end up with a bevy of good players starting with the NFL Draft tomorrow.There absolutely will be an infusion of very good talent and athleticism to be had.Looking forward to who ll be selected.Heat were out of sync in Game 2 and their ball movement was only average.The NCAA is a joke and believe it......things won t be as bad as the haters wish it would be.They ll be crying because Miami won t take excessive abuse from the NCAA fakers.

Reality Bites

Why didn't the Fins bring in any former cane players to try out, why is there no interest in any canes? They even brought in an FIU guy, and still no canes in the radar.
Go Heat.
More whining about the big bad NCAA and it's dirty tactics. Take some responsibility Mr Homer, they wouldn't be investigating U if you were clean.
The truth, obtained by any means, is still the truth.
I cheat, yet I still cannot win. So sad.
Go Heat.

WGT22

There's some really, really nice mid.4th. to late 7th. round in State Talent that I hope the Fins will tap into as backup and special team depth. Seminoles-Canes-Gators-Bulls-Knights-Panthers-Whatever. Nice Players All.

FSU-

***Should be a Solid 3-4/4-3 NFL Starter***
Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 251.
Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
Projected Round (2013): 3-5.

***Experienced Big-Time College Football BEEF***
Everett Dawkins, DT, Florida State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 292. Arm: 32.68.
40 Time: 5.06.
Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

*** BIG TIME PAYOFF SLEEPER- Sub-4.4 BURNER Slot/slip-screens/Returnman***
Chris Thompson, RB, Florida State
Height: 5-7. Weight: 192. Hand: 9.28.
Projected 40 Time: 4.40.
Projected Round (2013): 7-FA.
3/23/13: The speedster Thompson was having an impressive senior year for the Seminoles before another season-ending injury. He tore the ACL in his left knee. Thompson averaged 7.5 yards per carry in 2012 for 687 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 21 receptions for 248 yards through the air. Thompson said at the ACC Championship Game that he is ahead of schedule in his rehab.

***Top-3 Kicker***
Dustin Hopkins, K, Florida State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 190.
Projected Round (2013): 5-7.

***Nice F/A Depth***
Everett Dawkins, DT, Florida State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 292. Arm: 32.68.
40 Time: 5.06.
Projected Round (2012): 6-FA


Florida-

***Cut The Mizzou TE Dead Weight. Immediate upgrade***
Jordan Reed*, TE, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 236. Arm: 33.08. Hand: 10.08.
40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2012): 2-4.

***Solid Leader/Backup and Special Teamer from Day 1***
Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 245. Arm: 33.08.
40 Time: 4.61.
Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

***Very Good Football Player. Could Be A Star in the NFL***
Josh Evans, S, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 207.
40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2013): 3-5.

***Gillislee is quicker/faster, more durable and a far better Football Player than Daniel Thomas. 5th. Round Gold***
Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
Height: 5-11. Weight: 207. Arm: 30 3/4. Hand: 8 3/4.
40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2013): 3-5.

***Worth a 5-6 Round Look***
Jelani Jenkins*, OLB, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 243. Arm: 32.28.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2013): 4-6.

***Athletic, Smart and Healthy- Nice 6th.-7th.Rd. Value***
Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida
Height: 6-6. Weight: 321. Arm: 33.48. Hand: 10 1/2.
Projected 40 Time: 5.19.
Projected Round (2013): 4-6.

***Top 3 Kicker and Value to hold onto. Great value in 6th. 7th. rd.***
Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida
Height: 5-11. Weight: 184.
Projected Round (2013): 4-6.

*** Quick, Smart and High Character. More BEEF in 7th.rd.***
Omar Hunter, DT, Florida
Height: 6-2. Weight: 290.
Projected 40 Time: 4.93.

***Played All OL Postions during Career and Strong as an Ox. Solid Top $ F/A***
James Wilson, G, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.07.
Projected Round (2013): 7-FA.

Miami-

***Nice Speed/Size. Could be a Solid Backup-Special Teamer as a 6th-7th. Rdr.***
Brandon McGee, CB, Miami
Height: 5-11. Weight: 193.
40 Time: 4.40.
Projected Round (2013): 4-6.

S.Fla.-

***Not Tall or Fast, but very Strong as 6th-7th. rndr.***
Corey Grissom, DT, South Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 306. Arm: 32 1/2. Hand: 9 1/8.
40 Time: 5.31.
Projected Round (2012): 5-6.

FIU-

***Likey 2nd. rounder, but very possible if he slips to 3rd. rnd.***
Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
Height: 6-0. Weight: 209. Arm: 30 1/2. Hand: 10 1/8.
40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2013): 1-2.

WGT22

3rd.-7th. Rounders are where ALL Top teams hit over the years to become dominant and are the backbone of any good playoff team. What the Fins have done in those rounds over the last 10-15 years has been nothing more than just plain bad. Hopefully that changes now.

TRADE DOWN to early 2nd. rnd. and get Two-2's, a 3 and 2 5's !!! That's the Patriots Blueprint. Let's try it and stockpile some nice early/mid round talent.

green

SEC/ESPN press conference to announce SEC Network rescheduled for noon May 2 in Atlanta
-- brett mcmurphy

NET AGAIN

AnonymousCane

They say "cream rises to the top"....so what does that say about the NCAA and all their fired & incompetent investigators, the firing of and the resignation of director of enforcement and ultimately their failed leadership under Emmert?

What is it that "sinks to the bottom?"

green

The Fave Sport from Northeast and Atlantic Coast: its basketball. Interestingly, the numbers run for a ACC network have as much if not more to do with ACC Basketball.....in fact, the number crunchers (source) is that the $$$ for basketball on an ACC network may be huge...okay staggering.
There is no doubt that the ACC Conference adding 'Cuse, Pitt, Notre Dame and belatedly Louisville, will be the premiere basketball conference....lets not forget that the new Big East just signed a contract north of $5,000,000 per team....and the value of ACC basketball is going to be significantly higher...no longer is basketball going to be 20% of the TV deal...and why should it be...multiply the # of games by approximately 3X...and in a geographic footprint that likes basketball as much as football.
Stay tuned....$$$ are going to be large.
-- arbitragegls

WE'RE TALKING BASKETBALL

jmike

WGT22, your comment on your selections are pretty lame.

jmike

WGT22, the more I read them the more naive they sound.

Maria

Please don't sign Albert!

Vontae's Grandma

The whole UM investigation is a joke.

green

Jim Larranaga will drop the puck at Panthers' home finale tomorrow night.
-- tim reynolds

PUCK U

green

Orange Bowl - Permanent move to New Year's Eve?

Was just checking out http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com and noted that it lists the Orange Bowl as being played on 12/31 every year in the first three year cycle, including the two years that it is not hosting a semifinal.
-- orangefan

NIGHT SHIFT

IMAWriter

"Reality Bites"...
Yes, you do. So does UF.
BTW, Barry adds some welcome UM love, and a bit of balance, considering a GATOR covers the Canes.

Reality Bites

Writer, you aint.
UM love and balance?
Balance???????????
This is the home town newspaper.
This is where the homers live.
Barry has turned into a homer with all the "reporting" of the so called NCAA wrongdoings.
First U had Uncle Luke now U have Lil Luke
Decades of wrongdoing.
Time to man up and do your time.
Stop the whine
Drink some good vino instead, drown your sorrows.
Go Heat.
Fins will draft Gators, Noles or Golden Panthers, so will everyone else. Canes shut out. Why is that?

Reality Bites

Forgot to mention little green pea rambles on and on with the ACC network non news and talking up ACC basketball. Only sport played in that lousy conference.
Is it true that UM's top prized BB recruit spurned them?
Is it true that he chose an SEC program instead?
And Larkin will soon bolt to the NBA bench.
ACC basketball is good
Cane basketball had it's one year in the sun and no more.
Go Heat.

WGT22

Posted by: jmike | 04/24/2013 at 12:06 PM

Just passing along that there are quite a few lower level, good value talents within the States Football Teams in response to Posted by: Coral Gables '81 | 04/24/2013 at 08:47 AM. Just copied some of their stats and a sentence on each one. Wasn't going to write entire capsule about these kids. Wish there were more Canes to discuss, but unfortunately there isn't. Sorry if that ruffled your feathers jmike that there were so many compliments of Noles and Gators. I'm neither a Nole, Cane, Gator or any State school fan. Just bringing some lesser named kids to attention is all. Perhaps you, being a Cane fan, dealing with your bitterness that there will only be 1 Hurricane player drafted elicites such an emotional reaction. So enlighten us all as to your thoughts on...

"Hope Miami does well in the draft tomorrow. There are some talented guys from some of these Florida schools who can really help them going forward."

But as far as mid-rounders go, those are the State school kids.

Posted by: Coral Gables '81 | 04/24/2013 at 08:47 AM


Have a Nice Day.

Reality Bites

Well said WGT22, you have to realize these poor cane fans are so bitter and pathetic they are quick to attack anyone who just mentions the facts. Like no cane player will be taken in the first or second round, again.
It is what it is.

n[]_[]ff Said...

Projected State of Florida 2013 NFL Draftees.

Florida- 8-10

FSU- 6-8

S.Fla.- 2-3

C.Fla.- 2-3

FIU- 1-2

FAU- 1

[]_[]- 1

REALITY BITES BACK

AND YET THE U STILL, STILL! HAS MORE PROS IN THE LEAGUE YES STILL THAN THE GAYTORS LMAO

Miami Penguin

It's great that Ray Allen cares about free throws!

As for UM --- UM, next time, stand up for your alum from the get-go. That way, we'll all know that you genuinely care about them, and aren't using the situation to get ahead of the NCAA.

Yikes.

What a retard.

"solid 3-4/4-3 player".

"NFL beef" all under 300 pounds.

Infinity "top 3 kickers", whatever that means.

"Special teamer from day one" (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Steve B

Of course UM has few players in the draft this because they had a team of mostly freshman and sophomores. All the best juniors left last year when UM had more players drafted than either FSU or UF. SO the reality Mr DickBites is your a delusional Miami hater who trolls UM articles like a nutcase . I expect in the next few years your hatred will get more intense as UM becomes the powerhouse in football again. It will be fun to read your drivel then.

QUIJOTE

Thanks Barry Jackson for the FIU coverage. I'll just go ahead an update everyone reading your "FLORIDA SPORTS TEAMS COVERED" blog, courtesy of your Herald colleague Greg Cote.

Straight from the Herald's Greg Cote mock draft coverage: "...21. Cincinnati Bengals: Johnathan Cyprien, S, FIU —You heard right. A safety from Florida International, chosen 21st overall. No Canes in the first round. But a Golden Panther. Oy!..."

#SEISMICSHIFT #INEVITABLEREALITY

PANTHERS ON THE RISE

...cue the haters...

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