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Several UM 2013 recruits in jeopardy; Tidbits on UM's arriving class; Dolphins, Heat, Marlins

Quick 6 p.m. Wednesday update: UM got a big oral commitment today from Hialeah Champagnat's Travonte Valentine, rated among the nation's top 20 senior-to-be defensive tackles. Check back later for more on this.


Most of the incoming UM football class – the one that started with 16 players and just kept growing after Signing Day --- has arrived on campus. That’s the good news.

The discouraging news: Four key pieces to this class aren’t here because they have not qualified academically: highly-regarded tight end/receiver/basketball player Derrick Griffin and three defensive players needed to bolster a shaky pass rush: Defensive end Alquadin Muhammad, end/tackle Ufomba Kamalu and end/linebacker Devante Bond.

A UM official said Tuesday that though it’s still possible Griffin might qualify, it’s not looking promising and he still has a lot of ground to make up academically. Muhammad and Kamalu also are in jeopardy --- their former coaches declined to discuss their predicament --- and an academic official at Bond’s school said on the record that it’s very much unclear if he will make it to UM this year.

On the record, UM declined to speculate on the chances of any of the four, so this will remain unresolved for several more weeks, at least.

Receiver/tight end Ryheem Lockley didn’t achieve the needed test score and will attend Fork Union Military Academy this fall, then hopes to enroll at UM this spring.

On the flip side, several players who should help immediately have already enrolled. Looking at where the incoming class stands:

### Defensive line: With Muhammad and Kamalu in limbo, it’s a good thing former Wisconsin starting defensive end David Gilbert (42 tackles, four sacks last season) is planning to enroll at UM, pending finalizing of paperwork. He would be eligible to play immediately, and certainly talented enough to start ahead of Shayon Green, but his history of foot injuries is worrisome.

UM has been counting on Muhammad, Kamalu and Bond --- or at least one or two of them --- to provide immediate pass rush help, coordinator Mark D’Onofrio has said repeatedly, because “all three have shown they can rush the quarterback.”

But Gilbert’s arrival, health provided, would lessen the need for Muhammad --- whom Al Golden calls “one of the premier pass rushers in the country” –-- to play right away, IF he qualifies. Gilbert, Anthony Chickillo, Green, Kelvin Cain, Tyriq McCord, Dyron Dye (if eligible), Jelani Hamilton and new arrival Julio Derosier would be available at defensive end regardless of whether Muhammad gets into school this fall.

Kamalu, if he makes it, could play end and also tackle,where nobody has seized the No. 4 job behind Curtis Porter, Olsen Pierre and Luther Robinson.

### Linebacker: January arrival Alex Figueroa was the most pleasant surprise of spring ball and is a heavy favorite to start. Golden said he expected him to hit a wall at some point during spring practice, but it never happened.  

Jermaine Grace, ESPN’s 11th-best linebacker in this class, arrived in May and has a decent chance to earn time at a position depleted when UM parted ways with Eddie Johnson and Gionni Paul.

Grace -– whom Golden called “one of the two best linebackers in the state” -- had 140 tackles (20 for loss), nine sacks and two interceptions at Miramar High last season, and assistant coach Micheal Barrow calls him a “combination of Sean Spence and Denzel Perryman.” What's more, UM people have been raving about his character and leadership.

And don’t forget late addition Walter Tucker – a football and track standout at Plantation American Heritage. He’s a high-energy linebacker with superior speed to chase down ball-carriers. But not having Bond, who had 17 sacks in junior college last year, would be a big loss if he doesn’t qualify. Bond and McCord are ideal for the hybrid rush end/linebacker role.

### Cornerback: Artie Burns, rated ESPN’s 10th-best corner, arrived in May and will try to beat out Nate Dortch for the No. 4 job behind Ladarius Gunter, Antonio Crawford and Tracy Howard. “Burns is a superstar, a tremendous talent,” Golden said.

Northwestern coach Stephen Field said of Burns: “For a guy with all the speed he has, to be able to be physical at the same time is very impressive.”

### Safety: Jamal Carter, rated the No. 21 safety by rivals.com, arrived in May and likely will begin camp behind at least four veterans: potential starters Deon Bush and Rayshawn Jenkins and seniors A.J. Highsmith and Kacy Rodgers.

Former UM assistant coach Don Soldinger, who knows Carter well, said he has the potential to be “a great one.”

### Receiver: Stacy Coley, who enrolled last week, might be UM’s best recruit – he was ESPN’s fourth-rated receiver – but will be hard-pressed initially to crack a top five of Allen Hurns, Phillip Dorsett, Herb Waters, Rashawn Scott and Malcolm Lewis. But he could return kicks immediately, and his time at receiver will come eventually.

“Stacy is a No. 1 receiver,” UM receivers coach Brennan Carroll said. “He’s got ridiculous transition ability, great hands. We’re going to throw balls to him in the end zone and he’s going to score touchdowns and he’s going to tell you about it.”

### Tight end: Beau Sandland and Standish Dobard arrived in January. Sandland, a one of the top junior college tight ends in the country last year, is ahead of Dobard, and will enter camp trying to hold off Jake O’Donnell and Dobard for the No. 3 job, with the hope of overtaking Asante Cleveland, who finished the spring ahead of likely starter Clive Walford.

“I was impressed with Beau because of his natural talent,” tight ends coach Larry Scott said earlier this offseason. “There’s still an adjustment for him. You’ve got to be able to handle being moved around.”

Before leaving for Alabama’s staff, Mario Cristobal dubbed Sandland “the Shock-Meister” because of his similarities to former Canes great Jeremy Shockey. “Every time he has a chance, he’s looking to run somebody over,” Cristobal said.

UM loves Dobard, because of his speed and how difficult he is to bring down. But UM’s depth at tight end will give him time to develop.

### Running back: UM is eager to see Gus Edwards, who enrolled last week, and will compete with Dallas Crawford and Eduardo Clements (if cleared medically) for carries behind Duke Johnson. Former UM running backs coach Terry Richardson, who left for the Jacksonville Jaguars in February, said Edwards reminds him of former NFL standout Eddie George.

UM coaches love that Edwards barrels over defenders and doesn’t run out of bounds.

One of UM’s post Signing Day additions, Corn Elder, arrived last week and will play basketball, too. He was Tennessee’s Mr. Football in 2011 and 2012 and is quick, shifty and can also play in the slot, where UM will consider using him at times.

UM is listing Ray Lewis III as a running back, but he can also play defensive back if needed. The Canes will decide within the coming months where he best fits.

### Quarterback: Kevin Olsen figures to redshirt and some around the program make him the favorite to beat out Ryan Williams for the starting job in 2014, with Gray Crow and 2014 recruits Brad Kaaya, Alin Edouard (if he sticks) and Malik Rosier also challenging. Preston Dewey is still on the roster, too, but unlikely to get on the field.

### Offensive lineman: Tackle Sonny Odogwu arrived in January and impressed coaches but is still viewed as a developmental project. At least two of the young tackles --- Odogwu, Alex Gall and Hunter Knighton -- could end up redshirting.

### Punter: Pat O’Donnell, a May arrival, will replace Dalton Botts after ranking 57th among 118 in puting average for the University of Cincinnati last season, at 41.8.


### To his surprise, the Dolphins haven’t made a multiyear offer to defensive tackle Randy Starks since slapping him with the $8.45 million franchise tag – which happened after Starks rejected a multiyear offer that wasn’t remotely close to his asking price. But we hear Starks, who sat out most of the offseason program, has a good attitude going into camp and won't complain about his contract.

The Dolphins also haven't talked to 2014 free agent Paul Soliai about an extension. Miami likely will choose between Starks and Soliai next spring. 

### The MGM Grand and 11 other Nevada casinos have changed the Dolphins odds’ from winning the Super Bowl from 50 to 1 to 60 to 1; only 11 teams have longer odds. So the enthusiasm about the team locally isn't necessarily mirrored in betting trends in Las Vegas.

And despite losing Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots’ odds were changed from 10 to 1 to 8 to 1 this week because there was so still much money coming in on New England. As one MGM sports book official said, people are still convinced the Patriots will be Super Bowl-quality because of Brady/Belichick.

### The Heat showed zero interest in UM’s Kenny Kadji, who joined Cleveland’s summer league team and also passed on Reggie Johnson, Julian Gamble and Trey McKinney Jones, who are still looking for jobs.... Undrafted Gators guard Kenny Boynton joined the Lakers’ Summer League team.

### Among the players on the Heat's summer league team is forward Ricky Sanchez, a Puerto Rico national team member that Miami received in the Dexter Pittman trade with Memphis. Sanchez, who was in Argentina this past season, has played overseas, in the NBDL and in the CBA since Portland drafted him 35th in 2005. Though he has never played in the NBA, he has the distinction of being traded for three players who have (Pittman, Jarrett Jack and Sam Young)... Tough break for center Justin Hamilton, the Heat's second-round pick out of LSU in 2012. After leaving a foreign team earlier this season because he wasn't paid, Hamilton now will miss summer league because of a hamstring injury... Please see the last post for Miami's full summer league roster.

### The Padres left town raving about the Marlins’ pitching staff. “It reminds me of the Josh Beckett, A.J. Burnett staff,” catcher Yasmani Grandal said.

Padres manager Bud Black said Jose Fernandez has “one of the best breaking balls I’ve seen all year.” Outfielder Mark Kotsay raved about the movement in Jacob Turner's pitches -- “he commands all four of them” and said Nathan Eovaldi is unique in that “not many starters can stay above 95 miles per hour six innings" into a game. 

Batters are hitting .177 off Eovaldi, .193 against Fernandez and .229 off Turner.



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Hopefully this is the end of people claiming that UM's unnecessarily high admission standards for student athletes are not costing us recruits. How many of these 4 players will now attend UF or FSU?

Bobby Luie

"Curiously, the Heat showed zero interest in UM’s Kenny Kadji"


You must be kidding. It's a wonder how the Heat have achieved at such a high level while "curiously" ignoring local wannabes and stiffs and no-talents.


UM has always been handicapped recruiting players due to higher academic requirements than state schools. Unfortunately, if you "kant reed, kant spel, kant sipher them numbers" then UF or FSU is the place for you.


Is Julio Derosier a 2013 guy? Don't see him on the roster is he reporting in the fall?

Barry Jackson

Derosier is a 2013 guy, presuming he makes it academically. UM said it expects him to be here.

u foosball

lots of ?'s

Reality Bites

if you "kant reed, kant spel, kant sipher them numbers" then UF or FSU is the place for you.

Not so fast my spurned cane crybaby, UF is THE flagship University in this state and has as high standards as any other top school in the nation. You wannabes keep repeating the same lies to make you try and look better than you are.
So the sorry canes are counting on a bunch of freshmen to field a competitive defense. Lots of them are ineligible and others come with injuries and baggage. Que up the excuses for another dismal defensive showing.

The best team in the sorry history of cane basketball only placed one guy in the NBA and no one else on that mighty cane team could stick. Meanwhile the Gators placed two more players in the NBA. Gator dominance lives on.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Posted by: omaximus | 07/02/2013 at 11:03 PM

Who says they're eligible for UF or FSU?

Mr. Jackson, do you have any idea what UM's requirements for athletes are or how they compare to the major state schools?

Lt. Lois Einhorn

PS - UM is ranked 10 spots higher than THE flagship University in this state in the US News rankings.

And that's not how you spell "queue".

raymond roy

That's telling him, Lois. Here's some reality, Mr. Reality Bites: We've beaten you in football 6 of the last 7 times we have played.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Except after I posted it I realized I have no idea if the saying he was looking for is "queue up" or "cue up". Both kind of fit.


UM is currently rank 44 in the nation among all universities and is the only school in florida ranked in the top 50.

Reality Bites

Since 1985, UF has been a member of the Association of American Universities, the higher-education organization comprising the top 62 public and private institutions in North America. UM is not a member.

UF is also ranked higher than Um in the ARWU.org rankings.

Bottom line is both schools are very good academically, only jealous cane crybabies say otherwise.

Posted by: Lt. Lois Einhorn
I accept your correction sir, I did mean to say "queue"

Posted by: raymond roy
You are too funny Ray, " you tell him Lois, attay boy, you really gave it to him"
Now come in to the 21rst century, where the canes haven't beat anyone of note. Living in the ancient past is not good for you.


mr reality there were three players off this years basketball team making pro teams.larkin(mavs)scott(spurs)and kadji(cleveland).i believe that would be one more than your might gators.


hey reality bites.......one question for your flagship school............

GOT NINE ??? .......
Don't even think your halfway there yet ....

For those of you gayturds that cant count....
that's nine titles in major sports (football/baseball)......

Gators Eat Boogers

UF and the $EC are allowed to drag a sack of $$$$$$$ through every terrible neighborhood in the country and pick the biggest gangster types they can find, regardless of grade or personal issues. (Hernandez is the latest example). The NCAA turns a blind eye to this obvious rule-breaking because they make a ton of money off these chicken-fried. dumb-as-dirt schools. It's just ridiculous how bad this has become. College football is unwatchable because of it.


Oh yeah and if you really want to get into who are the smarter ones.....

Gayturd boy Aaron Hernandez is going away for murder....

Meanwhile Ray Lewis is celebrating a Super Bowl b/c he was smart enough to get away with it.....


Worried about Canes DL and LBs.
Our offense looks great, as long as Coley doesn't screw it up.
As for the Gators, why bash them when we have ESPN doing a great job reporting how the
-UF coaches and lawyers hushed Hernandez victim (the bouncer) that he punched in the back of the head.

-Gainesville cops didn't file assault charges for some reason and saw no problem that a 17 year old Hernandez was drinking at a club before the assault.

-Gainesville cops ignored an exact description Hernandez in a 2007 double shooting and didn't follow up.
What a great institution of higher learning, if it wasn't for the Gainesville cops and Urban Meyer Odin Lloyd might still be alive today. They taught Hernandez that if you score TDs you can do whatever you want.
Somehow UF football players still got arrested by the dozens.



The ACC made a forward-thinking decision to hold its welcome celebration in New York, while also sending a message to its dear old friends in the Big Ten. The largest media market in the world is waiting to be turned into the largest college sports media market in the world.
-- andrea adelson


Reality Bites

What a great institution of higher learning, if it wasn't for the Gainesville cops and Urban Meyer Odin Lloyd might still be alive today.

Marios are you really this dumb or is your jealousy so intense it just numbs your tiny brain?
If it wasn't for Meyer, Hernandez woulda gone off his rocker a lot sooner than he did. It was Meyer, Tebow, the Pouncey twins and others who tried to help Hernandez while he was in Gainesville. Now it is obvious they failed and could not compete with the gang culture he was a part of in Bristol and that he delved back in when he went to the Pats. Why not blame Belichek or Kraft? Because the only one to blame is Hernandez.
Gainesville cops will arrest any athlete for even the most minor infractions that would not raise an eyebrow in Miami.
Then there is the other cane clown celebrating that Ray Lewis got away with murder. You idiots are really sick and desperate.

Gators got 5 you dummy, basketball is much more important than baseball. And all ours are in this century. Again stop living in the past fools.



The ACC tournament is scheduled for its traditional home, Greensboro, N.C., the next two seasons, but after more than a year of internal discussions about New York, Commissioner John Swofford is eager for resolution.

A decision “needs to be made reasonably soon,” he said, “because you’ve got to be reserving arenas and maybe, in terms of the timing, you’ve got to be reserving hotel space.”

ACC coaches prefer Madison Square Garden, and sources said they voiced that opinion forcefully during the league’s annual May meetings.

“If we go to Madison Square Garden, it will be the greatest exposure we’ve ever gotten as a league in the New York metropolitan area, where the recruiting ground is very fertile,” Miami coach and New York native Jim Larranaga told me last season. “Playing in the Mecca of college basketball, Madison Square Garden, is a thrill for every college player.”

“It’s not just coaches from the Northeast,” North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried told the ACC Digital Network. “When you look at a strategy of staking a claim that you are the best basketball league, you can’t replace the Garden and the media market of New York City. …

“I would like to see it happen. I like being in North Carolina. I like playing it one hour away. Selfishly, for me, it’s better to be in Greensboro. But I think all of us in the league, we have to look out for what’s best for the league. … I want to recruit the best players in the country, not just along the eastern seaboard. New York can change that. Being on that platform, on that stage, could potentially be something very strong for the ACC.”

I’m not sure what the right answer is, or if there is a right answer. But I do believe the tournament needs to be in New York and, regardless of venue, should play its semifinals Friday night and championship game Saturday night instead of the current Saturday afternoon semis and Sunday final.
-- david teel


dennis preslar

Reality Bites is to blame for Hernandez and all the other criminals a UF..He sits in the stands and cheers ..He visits websites and lauds his criminal gayturds..


Reality Bites is so far from reality. Now ESPN is doing a story on the renegade Program Urban Meyer ran at UF. Get out of denial you fool and accept Florida for what it has become, a rogue Program where the Coach and AD turn their back on everything happening around them as long as they win.


Reality Bites says I am dumb and Meyer tried to help Hernandez, dude you are delusional. Read below from ESPN story titled "Tebow tried to stop Hernandez fight"
According to police records obtained by the newspaper, Tebow said he witnessed the dispute and tried to "help resolve the conflict." The report noted that Tebow and Hernandez told police they had notified then-coach Urban Meyer of the incident.
Taphorn initially told police he wanted to pursue charges against Hernandez but he later had second thoughts, according to the report. Taphorn said he had been contacted by legal staff and Florida coaches about a possible agreement in the case.

Reality Bites

Posted by: dennis preslar
Don't know if you are trying to be a wise ass or are just a retard but this is funny.

Posted by: rboud
I'm the one far from reality, and you come up with this gem: "the Coach and AD turn their back on everything happening around them as long as they win."
Then I wonder why Janoris Jenkins was kicked off the team in 2011, who needs a top 5 corner in the nation?
Why was very promising and talented TE AC Leonard let go?
Go ahead and pile on fools the reality is the Hernandez case has nothing to do with Muschamp and UF.
Only jealous wannabes like you want it to be so. It ain't.
Go investigate Meyer, it won't make a difference.
Go investigate Bill Belichek, nothing there.
Go get a life.

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