Badgley is ACC Specialist of Week; Canes earn ACC honors

Badgley ACC Specialist of Week

     Sophomore kicker Michael Badgley was named ACC Specialist of the Week after kicking five field goals Saturday in Miami’s 29-24 win at Pittsburgh. Badgley connected on field goals of 33, 48, 23, 45 and 29 yards, and made his two extra points to account for 17 of UM’s points. He finished the regular season with a school-record 25 field goals.


    Six Hurricanes were selected to the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association’s 2015 All-ACC team, but none made the first team.

   The honorees: cornerback Artie Burns (second team), receiver Stacy Coley (third team), quarterback Brad Kaaya (third team), kicker Badgley (honorable mention), tailback Joe Yearby (honorable mention) and safety Deon Bush (honorable mention).


November 29, 2015

Butch talk getting louder, but we'll just have to wait a bit longer...

So, the Butch talk is getting louder -- and more coaching vacancies are out there, as former UM quarterback Mark Richt was fired today from Georgia. LSU came to its senses (more likely was shamed into it) and kept Les Miles. Richt reportedly is coaching Georgia in its bowl game. Don't know yet about him in regard to Miami.

It's hard to keep up with all the vacancies, but they'll no doubt be filled pretty quickly.

 Now up to 15: Georgia, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Mizzou, North Texas, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Toledo, Tulane, UCF, ULM, USC, UVA

This is what I wrote yesterday and updated this morning:


Also Saturday, ex-UM coach Butch Davis — an expected candidate for UM’s coaching vacancy and seemingly the people’s choice — did not make his usual appearance for ESPN as a college football analyst.

His absence fueled rampant speculation on social media that he might be interviewing with James for the Miami position, especially when ESPN’s Robert Smith tweeted, “I’m solo in studio today on ESPN2, no Butch Davis. Hmmmmn’’

Davis and his agent Jimmy Sexton declined to comment Saturday on whether Davis had interviewed.  

When asked if Davis was interviewing for the job Saturday or Sunday, James said Sunday in a text message that he was "not discussing the search."




November 28, 2015

Larry Scott discusses what's next for the Canes and himself on Saturday


University of Miami interim football coach Larry Scott fielded questions Saturday morning following the team's final regular season game and 29-24 win at Pittsburgh on Friday.

Here's what was discussed: 

** On Brad Kaaya's play since returning from the concussion in the loss to Clemson... "He came back and stepped right back in the saddle, did a great job with the game plan. He did a great job trusting the receivers -- all of them. He hasn't just been locked in on one guy either. He's done a great job putting the ball where it needed to be put, spread it around. He's come back really strong."

** On Joe Yearby getting close to 100 rushing yards on Friday and why he hasn't hit the 100-yard mark in a game since the loss at Cincinnati... "Joe's pretty close to reaching the 1,000-yard mark, which would be awesome for us as a team. The offensive line has been young, had some injuries. To still get him close to 1,000 yards is a feat for us all."

** Assuming UM goes in another direction with coach, how will Scott handle the next few weeks? "We're going to move forward with the recruiting calendar and do our job. Right now we're in a position to continue moving the program forward. It starts with recruiting, with a contact period that starts tomorrow. We're going to continue to move forward and sell the brand and what the University of Miami has to offer."

** What have the last 24 hours been like for Scott personally... "It's actually been fun, rewarding to watch the kids respond the way they've responded. They've been resilient, they've stayed together, they've kept working and kept feeding off what we were giving them. It was good to see them push through it and have the finish at the end of the year we talked about having and working so hard to do it. It's pretty emotional for me."

** What is the talent-level on this team for next year? It seems like this team can play with anybody.. "There's definitely talent on this team, and there's guys that are some really good players. One of the things we keep stressing to them is once your effort meets your talent level on the field it makes you a pretty formidable opponent. There is some talent on this team, some really good young players that are returning. And we're going to continue to recruit and build the talent level across the board from top to bottom."

** On if there is some personal pride about what he and the staff have done over the last five games... "We've been talking to the kids about having pride and what we're doing. Around the room there was a really high pride factor about what we were able to accomplish and that we were able to accomplish it all together. It wasn't perfect. But it was a fun ride. As coaches we needed to be out front, be the leaders and they followed."

** On what Scott says he tells recruiting commitments... "Even if things weren't in the circumstances they are in, what you always put out deep in front of the recruiting process is what is tangible. It's academically, athletically and socially what the University of Miami has to offer. That's tangible. The rest of it is intangibles."

** On what the players schedule is going to be moving forward... "Their schedule is going to give them a few days of being students, spending time with their families. We put them on a plane and took them away for Thanksgiving. So we're going to give them a couple days to catch up with their families, let their bodies heal. So we'll focus on academics as we get closer to exam time. Really it's the other side of what they do. Being an 18, 19-year-old and enjoying friends and family and being students. That's what the schedule will be for a couple days before we get into the bowl schedule, lifting and running and those type of things."

** On if there is a date in mind as far as when the team will get back together... "No. We've got a couple different [bowl] scenarios out. Once we get a little closer we'll lay that schedule out."

** On if he's had a conversation yet with athletic Blake James about keeping the job... "I have not and really because of what the focus was, it was just on the kids and moving the kids forward and getting them well prepared to each week. It's just been really a narrow focus by us. I have not [spoken with Blake James about being interviewed for the job]. Those are the things I'm not in control of. We'll kind of just take it day-by-day as far as those things unfolding."

** This is the time of year kids are thinking of leaving early. How is Scott handling that? "That's definitely something we're looking into and looking at with some of our kids, just preparing them and making sure they understand and are armed with all the information through this process. They have a team of people on this side that always make sure they represent them and their families in their best interest. It's an educational process you have to walk them through and help them deal with. When you have those situations come up that's always going to be a topic of conversation at some point."

** Have any underclassmen approached Scott yet about leaving... "No. But we've had communication with guys that those opportunities may present themselves. But I haven't been approached by any player per say."

** If Scott is retained is he looking for a head coaching job at another school? "It's one of those funny things you have to take it day-by-day and kind of explore whatever options present themselves and then look at it. I'm always going to make any decision I make with my families best interest at heart. I don't know how this thing is going to unfold. That's the uncertainty you're faced with. Those things will kind of take care of themselves as they unfold."

** Generally speaking do Scott feel pretty good about the opportunities the rest of the staff will have to find a job? "Every guy that went down this process were pros about it. When we first started out this thing we were asked to reevaluate and look back and reflect on why you got into coaching. They're all pros and really good football coaches. We all know the nature of the business, how it works."

November 27, 2015

Another suspension for Miami Hurricanes at Pittsburgh today...


  PITTSBURGH –  …but it’s one of the two players that were suspended last Saturday for the Georgia Tech game at Sun Life Stadium.

     Sophomore wide receiver Tyre Brady was suspended for the third time this season – this suspension likely connected to last week’s suspension for violating an undisclosed team rule.

     Last week, junior tight end Standish Dobard also was suspended for the Georgia Tech game. But he was back Friday for the Pitt game.

  Brady’s first suspension was announced just before this season’s opener against Bethune-Cookman.

  Brady has nine catches for 112 yards and a touchdown.

  Dobard has eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.



Gameday blog: Miami Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Panthers

Live Blog Miami Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Panthers: Nov. 27, 2015

November 24, 2015

Some more info on UM's underclassmen contemplating draft...

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Artie Burns, Corn Elder, Stacy Coley and Al-Quadin Muhammad (pictured above on right, next to linebacker Juwon Young) are the four Miami Hurricane underclassmen contemplating turning pro. Click here for story in today's Miami Herald.

Cornerbacks Artie and Corn and receiver Stacy all talked to us yesterday. 

Outside linebacker Al-Quadin Muhammad declined to discuss the subject after UM's win over Georgia Tech on Saturday.

So, last night I checked, used by As I said in my story none of the four Canes are listed among 41 underclassmen listed by

As for individual rankings by position, the site had  Burns rated 19th among junior cornerbacks in the draft class of 2017 (following the 2016 season),  Elder ranked 38th, Coley ranked 14th among wide receivers in that class and Muhammad ranked 18th among projected defensive ends in the 2018 draft class (Unless something bad happens, no way he'll last until 2018 draft).

Not sure how accurate those rankings are, but I do know that Burns is considered the most NFL-ready. And goodness knows you can understand if he declares for the 2016 NFL Draft, considering the recent death of his mom and that he's father to a 1-year-old boy and has two younger brothers still in school.

With Brad Kaaya as quarterback, I think Coley should definitely stay another season and keep improving and increasing his draft stock.He could have huge numbers next season. I most strongly think Muhammad should stay, because he could go from anything but a sure thing to a really dominant player next season (as well as proving he's mature enough not to make bad decisions outside of football). Corn has so much talent, but I feel his stock will increase also. He's just not physically imposing, although he is a phenomenal athlete. Another strong season would help him.

Here's some of what defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio said yesterday about Muhammad: 

"Think about some of the great players that have come through here and then count how many starts they had before they left. He’s got seven starts. Who doesn’t need more than seven starts? You need to have in the 30s if you want to be a really truly great player that leaves here with accolades and is able to be in high regard at the next level I think you need to do it for quite a while. He’s done a good job. He’s had a good year and he’s continuing to improve. But I think he understands he’s got quite a ways to go.

"Every part of his game he knows he needs to improve on. He’s a hard worker. He invests hard every week. He studies tape. He does the things that he has to do to go play well. He’s been pretty consistent with that since he had an opportunity to start. To me that’s it. At the end of the day there’s only one way to continue to improve, that’s work hard on the field and study the game off the field. There’s no shortcut."

 That said, the risk of injury is always present. But UM does a good job of taking care of these kids physically, and risk always is present when you play football.

I wish them all the right decision, whatever that may be. This Canes team could be really good if they all return next season, but I'm thinking at least two leave. We'll see.



November 23, 2015

A little bit of Larry Scott at weekly presser Monday before Pitt


***Larry Scott on his football practice today: "The guys came out and had a lot of energy.. They attacked the day. They did it with a lot of spirit and a lot of energy. Love where we're at right now."

"Excited about... finishing the season the right way."

*** On Ejuan Price, DE of Pittsburgh and ACC Defensive Lineman of the Wee
k, had five sacks last week: "He's a guy you better be aware of. You better know where he is. I watched the film. He makes a lot of plays defensively, gets after the quarterback. You better know where he is and make sure you've got some plays to neutralize him.''

How will Larry Scott and his players celebrate Thanksgiving? "Together in a hotel getting ready to play Pittsburgh." Scott said those are the times you want to play football, when families are gathered together around the TV watching the games.

*** Larry Scott said WR Rashawn Scott "had a good day today. He's ready to rock 'n roll.''

*** S Rayshawn Jenkins (in yellow, limited jersey) is just sore... S Jamal Carter (also in yellow)  "same thing. He was in all the things. Didn't miss a drill.''

*** What's Larry Scott thankful for? "I'm thankful for the opportunity to still be here.. and for "family" of course. "Through it all we're still very fortunate to do what we do at such a great institution.

***Scott said he loves basketball (UM is ranked 15th by the AP, its highest November ranking ever) and can't wait to get out there to watch some games. His son keeps bugging him about it.



UM hoops No. 9 in CBS poll

The UM men's basketball team made a major statement with nationally-televised back-to-back double-digit victories over preseason Top 25 teams at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament.

The Hurricanes won the tournament title after crushing Mississippi St. 105-79 and then knocking off No. 16 Utah 90-66 and No. 22 Butler 85-75. Miami improved to 5-0 and surely will break into the AP Top 25 -- possibly the Top 15 -- on Monday afternoon.

UM is ranked No. 9 in the latest CBSSports poll.

ESPN college hoops guru Andy Katz said during the UM-Butler broadcast: "If they hold on here, they're not just going to be in the Top 25, they could be in the Top 10. Right now, it's how you look, and they look great.''

ESPN commentator LaPhonso Ellis, who was working the game, said: "I think they're a Top 10 team. I've seen almost all the Top 10 teams in action, and Miami is deeper and more balanced and has so many scoring threats. How many teams can go to their bench and not have any drop-off?''

Where will the Canes land in the latest AP poll? We'll find out soon.

This could be a very interesting year for UM basketball (women are 4-0 and also receiving votes). Wonder if those 5,400 season-ticket holders will show up Friday at 4 for the game against Northeastern?

See you at the BUC  -- Michelle Kaufman.

November 22, 2015

Here's what I remember most about Les Miles...


  Another coach reportedly on the hot seat. Surprise. Surprise.

  Pretty soon losing any games will not be an alternative.

   Here's what I remember most about LSU coach Les Miles, who according to reports, could soon be on his way out of Baton Rouge:

   He beat the Hurricanes so thoroughly and ferociously that for me, it's almost like my coverage of Miami is delineated by "UM before the Dec. 30, 2005 Peach Bowl" and "UM after the Dec. 30, 2005 Peach Bowl.''

    At least it still feels that way to me. And it definitely felt that way to the coaches, who fell like dominoes three days after a Les Miles-coached LSU humiliated the Hurricanes 40-3 (the worst bowl loss in UM history), and were fired, one by one, by head coach Larry Coker.

Offensive line coach Art Kehoe, running backs coach Don Soldinger, linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves and offensive coordinator Dan Werner -- gone in a Miami minute.

Coker was fired at the end of the next season, giving way to Randy Shannon.

That was Les Miles' first bowl game with LSU (and he won it with backup quarterback Matt Flynn starting because JaMarcus Russell was injured), and reports today are that Miles could soon be a goner himself, despite a 110-32 overall record since his first season there in 2005.

Miles started out this season 7-0, but his Tigers have since dropped three consecutive games to Alabama, Arkansas and Saturday at Ole Miss.

He just turned 62 and won the BCS National Championship in 2007 and was National Coach of the Year in 2011 -- but lost to Alabama in the BCS National Championship game, finishing 13-1 that season. 

Miles' reported buyout is $15 million plus another $2 million for his assistants, but The Times-Picayune ( reported today that the buyout should not be a problem, citing a "high-ranking source.'' Read it here.   Other reports have said likewise.

Scott Rabalais of wrote a good column today about Miles' situation. Read it here.

  According to Rabalais, Miles' critics say he's too conservative offensively and runs the ball too much. "Pair that with the habitual problems with penalties, delay of game issues, and this year's special teams breakdowns, and it's a recipe for dissatisfaction, on the verge of changing over to apathy,'' Rabalais wrote.

  This coaching search is about to get very interesting. 

   Les Miles at Miami? Who would be interested? The Canes? Miles, after coaching in the most stressful (and competitive) league in college football? Will he actually even be gone?

   Stay tuned. There likely will be more names to throw around soon enough.




The morning after: On who might be pondering turning pro... and more


Some thoughts after yesterday's 38-21 victory over Georgia Tech:

***The Canes will likely lose some players early to the NFL Draft, and the ones probably pondering are good ones, too.

   The players who might be pondering their future football careers are redshirt sophomore linebacker Al-Quadin Muhammad, junior cornerbacks Artie Burns and Corn Elder and junior wide receiver Stacy Coley. I also think junior weakside linebacker Jermaine Grace is a tremendous talent, but he should be a major force next season while he continues to bulk up a bit. Besides, Jermaine seems to be really devoted to the school, and I just see him sticking around.

If all those guys stayed, this team could be very good next season. But I don't think they'll all stick around.

Muhammad, who was suspended all last season from the university because of a fight he got into after the 2014 spring game, was basically asked after the GT game if it would be his last time playing at Sun Life. "It's never about me,'' he said, standing at the lectern with Juwon Young (great game by the way, with 13 tackles and a forced fumble). He went on to say that he plays for his coaches and the seniors and his son.

  He was then asked, ''Do you know about what you want to do after the season?" Muhammad, after pausing: "I don't want to talk about it now. Sorry.''

  Muhammad had a career-high 11 tackles last night, his team-high fourth sack of the season and a forced fumble and three tackles for loss.

  As for the others: Burns is tied with Boston College's Justin Simmons for first in the ACC with five interceptions and has eight passes defended; Elder has 11 passes defended and nine passes broken up, with two interceptions -- and on special teams, a touchdown on a punt return and a touchdown on a kickoff return.

   And after early-season hamstring issues, receiver Coley, in only nine games (as opposed to 11 for Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters, for instance) leads UM with 600 yards receiving. That's good for third in the ACC. He averages 14.6 yards a catch and 66.7 yards a game. He has three touchdowns.

   My take is that Muhammad should stay for next season, which would technically be his junior year. With a new coaching staff, and likely a more aggressive defense, he should dominate next season and significantly improve his draft stock. He could also prove for one more season that he's a team player and stay focused on school and his responsibilities and not wander from that path.

  Would be great if they all stick around, but not sure how Artie is feeling with his mom's passing, and being the father of a little one. He also has a couple younger brothers still in school here, so... Just not sure on that. He'd be tremendous next season, as would the others.

 *** Joe Yearby has quietly had a very solid season, and is 160 yards away from 1,000 yards. Yearby is tied for third in the ACC with 36 plays of 10+ yards rushing. He's tied for second with 13 plays of 20+ yards. He's sixth in the ACC with his 76.3 yards a game rushing. He averages just under five yards a carry.

 *** Freshman Mark Walton is getting progressively better and now has 819 all-purpose yards -- 419 rushing, 156 receiving and 244 in kickoff returns. He has also scored a team-leading nine touchdowns.

   Both those guys play very hard. Yearby, who has six touchdowns rushing, has 273 receiving yards and great hands.

*** Who doesn't think tight end David Njoku is a star in the making?

*** And quarterback Brad Kaaya next season? Forget about it. He just keeps getting better and better and better. He leads the ACC with 275.8 yards a game, and his timing on those big plays is impeccable. He has 14 touchdowns to four interceptions.






November 21, 2015

Two Miami Hurricanes suspended for Georgia Tech game today


I guess they weren’t all in.

 The news today before the kickoff between Miami and Georgia Tech at Sun Life Stadium: Hurricanes wide receiver Tyre Brady and tight end Standish Dobard have been suspended for the game.

 Don’t know yet if either of the suspensions will continue into next week.


 Also don’t know why they were suspended, although it’s obviously for violating some type of rule.

 This is not Brady’s first transgression, as his first suspension was announced just before this season’s opener against Bethune-Cookman – also at Sun Life Stadium.

 Brady, listed as 6-2 and 205 pounds, is a sophomore out of Homestead South Dade High. He wears No. 82. He has caught passes in three games: Nebraska, Cincinnati and last week at North Carolina. His numbers this season: nine catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. His best game was five catches for 54 yards at Cincy.

 Dobard, listed as 6-4 and 262 pounds, is a junior out of New Orleans Edna Karr High. According to UM, Dobard has played in nine games, of which he started seven. He has eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. He has been underwhelming.

 Bottom line: their suspensions should not affect the way UM plays today. But it might affect the way they are viewed by their teammates.



November 19, 2015

NCAA honors former Miami Hurricane great Russell Maryland

This just in from the University of Miami...

Maryland Honored with NCAA Silver Anniversary Award

 CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Legendary Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Russell Maryland was recognized by the NCAA today along with five other former student-athletes with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for his collegiate and professional achievements.

 The Silver Anniversary Award annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers. Representatives of NCAA member schools and conferences, along with a panel of former student-athletes, select each year’s recipients.

 Joining Maryland as 2016 recipients are Abby Cheng, Chris Howard, Joé Juneau, Dikembe Mutombo, and Steve Smith. The NCAA will recognize the honorees at the Honors Celebration during the 2016 NCAA Convention on Jan. 15 in San Antonio.

 Maryland earned the recognition following a memorable collegiate career where he led the Hurricanes to a 44-4 record during his career. He helped the team set the NCAA record for consecutive home football victories at 58. The two-time national champion was named the defensive Most Valuable Player in the 1991 Cotton Bowl, where he had nine tackles and three sacks in a 46-3 victory over the University of Texas at Austin.  

 Following the year, was selected as a consensus All-American and became the first Miami player to win the Outland Trophy, which goes to the best interior lineman in college football.

 In the spring of 1991, Maryland became the first pick of the NFL Draft and was selected by the Dallas Cowboys. 

 He went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, including five with the Cowboys, who won three Super Bowls during that time.  He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1993, and over the course of his career, he recorded 375 tackles, 24.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, one interception and one touchdown.

 He retired from the NFL in 2001 and continued work on the Russell Maryland Foundation through 2004, providing educational resources and recreational enrichment, free football camps and clinics, and scholarships to Chicago area youth.

 Since 2010, Maryland has been a member of the Cotton Bowl Board of Directors. He also became a spokesperson and member of the board of directors for the C5 Youth Foundation of Texas.

 He recently worked as an assistant director of player engagement for the Cleveland Browns, providing professional and personal development resources for players and their families, before working with the Dallas Cowboys at their 2015 training camp.




November 18, 2015

UM men's basketball signs top 30 national recruits, Dewan Huell, Bruce Brown

How big of a day was it for UM men's basketball recruiting?

The Miami Heat gave the Canes props on Twitter for their 2 huge pickups today as they signed Miami Norland power forward Dewan Huell and Massachusetts guard Bruce Brown.

Link to Heat tweet:


Here's my story on Dewan Huell's signing ceremony.....

By Andre C. Fernandez

Dewan Huell said he felt "stress relief" Wednesday afternoon.

The University of Miami men’s basketball team probably just felt pure joy.

Huell gave the Hurricanes plenty to be excited about when Miami Norland’s versatile 6-10 power forward signed his letter of intent to play for UM at a ceremony at the high school.

"I had thought about putting this off until the spring, but to be honest, I wanted to get this done," Huell said. "I called coach last night and told him, I’m ready to commit. I barely slept just from the excitement."

Huell capped a huge day for UM basketball recruiting, which also saw the Hurricanes land Massachusetts 6-4 shooting guard Bruce Brown, the No. 30 overall prospect by ESPN.

Huell, ranked the No. 21 overall prospect nationally by ESPN, chose the Hurricanes after careful consideration between them, Florida State and South Carolina.

"His athleticism and his toughness and his ability to rebound will allow him to jump in and play right away," Norland coach Lawton Williams III said. "I don’t know if he’s ready now to score on that level yet, but there are other things that will let him compete at that level next year.

"Each year on this team, his role change and he adjusted to it. A 6-10 kid that can jump like him is a skill set you don’t often see. He’s been pretty special."

Huell averaged 19.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game last season for Norland, and has played since his freshman season and been a part of three state championships for the Vikings, who have won a Miami-Dade County record four in a row. Norland is attempting to tie for the state-record for consecutive state titles if it can secure a fifth this season.

Huell, named The Miami Herald’s Class 8A-6A Player of the Year and a two-time All-Dade first team selection, is the first five-star recruit for the Hurricanes since DeQuan Jones in 2008.

"With all that stress off my back, I can focus on making my team better," Huell said. "I’ve worked my butt off for this and the opportunity to play basketball so I’m happy to play here in [Miami]. From talking to the coaches, I feel in my heart that I belong."

An agile big man who will join a talented UM recruiting class that includes 6-11 four-star center Rodney Miller from Oak Hill Academy, Huell impressed college scouts by starring at several prestigious events including the Under Armour Elite 24 this past August in Brooklyn.

The event included some of the nation’s best including Canadian Thon Maker, ESPN’s top prospects such as Josh Jackson (Michigan) and T.J. Leaf (California) and highly-rated juniors DeAndre Ayton (San Diego) and Troy Brown, Jr. (Las Vegas).

"UM was on him since his freshman year and they kept pressing and pressing and they got him," Williams said. "It’s great. I can see him in practice and games and I’ll be there for him."

Huell said he is looking forward to playing in arguably the top conference in college basketball.

"The ACC is the best conference there’s going to be a lot more talent on every team we play," Huell said. "I’m definitely looking forward to that."

November 17, 2015

Huell expected to sign with UM

Wednesday could be a huge day for UM men's basketball. While the Hurricanes are in Puerto Rico preparing for Thursday's opener of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, 5-star recruit Dewan Huell of Miami Norland High is expected to announce his college of choice. And word from a few sources is that the 6-9, 220-pound power forward will pick Miami over South Carolina. FSU was also in the mix, but he apparently eliminated the Seminoles from his list in the past few days.

Huell had a big summer impressing scouts, and is rated anywhere from No. 20 to No. 25 nationally depending on the recruiting site.

If you've never seen him play, here's a preview...


posted by Michelle Kaufman. See you at the BUC.

Fans taking advantage of Twitter to let Jon Vilma know their suggestions for head coach


Step right up and get your suggestions for the next Hurricanes' head coach in to @JonVilma51. It's becoming a trend.

 Former University of Miami linebacker Jonathan Vilma, a Coral Gables High graduate and member of the UM Sports Hall who played at UM from 2000 to 2003, is becoming more popular than ever among Hurricanes fans.

   On Monday, Miami athletic director Blake James announced that Vilma was one of two former players on the football head coach “search advisory committee’’ that will “provide James with input on the process and candidates.’’ The other is former Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde.

   “Thanks for the support everyone, can promise ALOT of hours are being put in to get this right. #Canes,’’ Vilma posted Tuesday on Twitter.

   Some of the dozens of tweets to Vilma by UM fans: “We believe in you Villllllmmmmaaaaa,’’ and “As you know by now many of us want Butch Davis back, is the rumor true about him being a last option?’’ and “Cristobal!!


November 16, 2015

Miami Hurricanes announce football head coach search committee. Search advisory committee includes Vinny Testaverde and Jon Vilma

University of Miami athletic director Blake James just announced "the retention of a search firm and the formation of a search advisory committee'' in UM's seeking of a new head football coach to replace Al Golden.

Included on the advisory committee: former Canes linebacker Jon Vilma and former Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde, the father of UM sophomore quarterback Vincent Testaverde.

The firm: Korn Ferry, "one of the world's most respected search firms with vast experience in coaching searches has been retained and will assist the University in all aspects of the search process,'' according to a written release by UM.

The committee will help James by providing advice and input on candidates.

"Members of the advisory committee include Board of Trustee members Hilarie Bass, David Espstein and Steve Saiontz; deputy athletic director Jennifer Strawley and former UM standouts Jonathan Vilma and Vinny Testaverde,'' UM wrote in the release.

Said James in the release: "We are well underway in our search process and, as expected, there is already a tremendous amount of interest in The U.  Additionally, we are reaching out to a number of UM constituencies to engage in dialogue and to hear their thoughts and vision.  We will work diligently to find a great fit for Miami and I want to thank in advance the members of the advisory committee for their dedication to our University.”




November 14, 2015

Can the Miami Hurricanes pull off another huge win in North Carolina?


    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Getting ready to drive a few miles to the Hurricanes at UNC game at Kenan Stadium.

   Temperature before noon is 55 degrees and will be in the low to mid 40s at the end of the game. Sounds like great football weather.

   The other interesting number before we head into kickoff: 13 -- give or take a half-point. That's about how much North Carolina is favored by today.

   I completely understand that point spread. UNC has won eight consecutive games after losing its opener to South Carolina, and it has a very talented quarterback in senior Marquise Williams. He threw for 494 yards and accounted for five touchdowns last week against Duke. He can obviously throw well, but he also is very dangerous with his legs.

  Williams is just the fifth quarterback in ACC history with at least 2,000 career rushing yards and also has the UNC record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, with 28.

   UM (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) has won the past four of five games in this series, but this one will be really challenging against a fast-moving, big-play-making Tar Heels (8-1, 5-0) team. UM's defensive line has to put some pressure on Williams, and then if (and probably when) he scrambles loose and starts running, he must be stopped. The Canes would help out their cause considerably by forcing some turnovers.

  UM's runners somehow must find a way to prevail to take pressure off Brad Kaaya, as UNC has the No. 3 pass defense in the nation.

  Last time I said the words "upset alert" before a game was Clemson at Sun Life Stadium. OUCH! 58-0.

   I'm not feeling those words today, which probably is good for Hurricanes fans. 

   Can the Canes pull off another big one in North Carolina? If Miami is to achieve its goal of winning the Coastal Division, it has to.


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I'll get this in my notebook for tomorrrow:


    Miami sophomore slot receiver Braxton Berrios, a four-star recruit and Under Armour All-American when he graduated early his senior year from Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, is the only Hurricane who grew up near University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

    Earlier in the week, Berrios seemed thrilled to be making his second homecoming in three weeks to North Carolina. Two weeks ago he was there for the Duke game in Durham.

   “It’s a blast,’’ Berrios said, “especially because this one is not on Halloween. I should have more friends and family there. It’s weird at first, because where we stay in the hotel is right across the street from my mall, and where we went to the movies is the movies I went to growing up – a mile from my house and a mile from my high school.’’

    Though Berrios had 21 catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns last season as a freshman, an early-season injury plus increased production by other pass-catchers have resulted in a more meager season for him in 2015. He now has nine catches for 70 yards.

    His attitude, however, remains positive.    

   “You’ve got to stay in the moment,’’ Berrios said. “The fact is there’s one ball and we have a lot of good receivers, we have good running backs, we have good tight ends and we have a pretty good quarterback, too. You’ve got to take it in stride. Each week is a new week and that’s how we take it.

   “Everybody goes through it. Everybody in high school was that guy.’’

   Berrios is that guy in the classroom. Majoring in entrepreneurship, he has a 3.98 grade point average.



November 13, 2015

Kamari Murphy suspended

By Michelle Kaufman

The University of Miami men’s basketball season got started with bad news two hours before tipoff Friday.

Junior forward Kamari Murphy, an Oklahoma State transfer expected to be a major contributor, was suspended for the first three games for a violation of team rules, the school announced as the Hurricanes prepared to host University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley at the BankUnited Center.

Murphy will return to the team Nov. 20 for the second-round game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

Murphy sat out last season per transfer rules, and entered this year with high expectations. He is a tenacious rebounder and defender, and a vocal leader. Teammates and coaches raved about him in the past few weeks.

Teammate Sheldon McClellan called Murphy “a junkyard dog,’’ a tireless worker and among the team’s most respected leaders.

“Love him,’’ UM coach Jim Larranaga said of Murphy a few weeks ago. “Last year, I thought there were two areas we needed to improve and give attention to. Kamari Murphy does both very well. He is an outstanding defender and rebounder. He can guard one through five. That’s how quick he is…Once he’s settled in, maybe 10 games in, he’s going to be really, really good.’’

Added Angel Rodriguez: “Kamari brings what this team needed – somebody else to be very vocal, what I call a dog. He not only gets himself going, he gets everybody going.’’

November 12, 2015

UM hoops signs 6-11 center

Some basketball news on the eve of season-opener (7 p.m. Friday vs. University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley)

Rodney Miller, Jr., a 6-11 center, signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the University of Miami, Head Coach Jim Larrañaga announced Wednesday.

Miller is a native of Laurelton, N.Y., and plays for Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He is considered a four-star recruit, and is ranked No. 15 among centers by ESPN. He chose UM over Connecticut, Florida, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Seton Hall.

“Rodney Miller, Jr., impressed us from the very first time we saw him play with his size, rebounding and shot-blocking ability,” Larrañaga said. “He has a lot of raw potential and we expect that he will improve dramatically in our program. He has learned to compete at the highest level in high school by playing for one of the very best college prep schools in the country.”

See you at the BUC -- Michelle Kaufman

November 11, 2015

Miami Hurricanes' Wednesday practice report for UNC week

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   The Canes looked good to go once again during the first 15 minutes of media viewing at Wednesday’s practice. Only one player – true freshman receiver Lawrence Cager (sprained ankle) wore a yellow (limited) jersey.

   Offensive tackle Trevor Darling (bruise on top of foot) practiced again, in addition to the others who were tended to during the Virginia game.

   “For this time of year where we’re at we’re – (tap-tap-tap on lectern) – in pretty good shape,” UM interim head coach Larry Scott said at Tuesday’s press conference. I’m very encouraged with our health right now. You’ve got to treat yourself. You’ve got to understand that this time of year is vital that you’re taking care of your bodies.”

      Defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said this week that defensive end Chad Thomas “really didn’t practice very much last week…We were light Chad.

    “We only used him on third down and two-minute, so he didn’t get any of the physical Tuesday and Wednesday practices. So, we felt like with them trying to run the ball on the perimeter and do some of the things they were doing the best place he could help us was on third down and two-minute, so he did that. Now he’s back healthy.

   “That just gives us the rotations we’ve had all year. I’m pleased with their play.’’

 *** Four refs were at practice again, in order to help the Canes alleviate some of those brutal penalties. Miami entered the week worst in the nation in “fewest penalties per game,’’ averaging 9.63 penalties a game.

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    They are 124th of 127 teams ranked in the FBS in “fewest penalty yards per game,’’ averaging 86.7.

   However, last game against Virginia, the Hurricanes were flagged seven times for 52 yards.


November 10, 2015

Just happened: Larry Scott at weekly Miami Hurricanes press conference

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Larry Scott Tuesday afternoon press conference (picture above is from after Virginia game at Sun Life) just took place.

He says this time of year you've got guys banged up, bruised up. Part of winning this game is taking care of your body..

"We're up for it," he said of UNC. "You embrace these type of challenges.

"They're all fired up and have the right approach and mindset.''

He said he has spoken with his coach when he played at USF, Jim Leavitt, for advice on coaching tips. He has also gotten advice from former USF coach Skip Holtz.

Larry Scott on some of the things he has realized being a head coach: "You're the spark plug. You come in every morning, you lay out the plan. They're looking for the guidance, looking for how we're going to attack this thing... when you come in you've got to be ready to go.''

On UNC offense: "They're explosive. They execute the system very well. Up-tempo and they take shots. They present definitely an explosive challenge for our team."

 How impressed are you with Trent Harris adjusting to different spots on the field?

“It’s amazing. You watch the film and you say, ‘Huh? He was just the SAM, now he’s the MIKE, now he’s the rush. It’s a testament to him and the way he prepares, the way he works, the way he applies himself in every meeting, in every walk-through and in every rep that he gets. He’s a coach on the field. He’s competitive, he’s smart and he’s a leader in the way that you want guys to lead – through his play and through the way he works.  He’s everything you want when you’re out recruiting and trying to build a program - you want kids that are like that. That’s what you want.”

On TE David Njoku: "His future is very bright." 

Injury-wise, Scott said WR Lawrence Cager has a "slight ankle sprain" and OT Trevor Darling has a "big bruise on top of foot.. Both did very well [today]. Both involved in practice. For this time of year, I'm very encouraged.''