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Getting them in early

The University of Miami has done well for itself this season in recruiting despite the team's current record and struggles. The Hurricanes have netted more than 20 early commitments since the summer, including many of the top local players from the nation's No. 1-ranked high school team at Miami Northwestern.

The goal now for Randy Shannon and his staff? Getting as many of those recruits to enroll early as possible. The Hurricanes will have the maximum alloted 25 scholarships to use on National Signing Day in February. But if the Canes can manage to get a few to sign in December and enroll in classes by January at the school , it will only open up more spots for this team because none of the scholarships would go toward the maximum 25 in February. Those scholarships used in December would be counted against this past season. My understanding is the team has as many as eight open slots they could use for potential recruits in December.

“Huge," said UM recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt when asked how important it was for the Hurricanes to sign more kids in the early period. "We need to get in as many guys in here as quickly as possible. We have a certain number we can bring in at midterm. That’s something we’re working on now. There’s no doubt about it. We can bring in as many as we can. We’re going to have a lot of guys here in January. You can write that up just like that."

The early targets -- the kids who have the grades to get in -- include Northwestern quarterback Jacory Harris, defensive tackle Marcus Forston and linebacker Sean Spence are all players who could potentially enroll early at UM. Same with Ely cornerback Patrick Johnson and another current non-UM commitment, Booker T. Washington cornerback Brandon Harris.

As for Miami's image in the eyes of recruits following the last two losses, several recruits told me Tuesday they actually feel more encouraged to join the program. Hollywood Chaminade High linebacker Jordan Futch, a UM commitment, told me he's spoken to current UM targets who now seem more eager to attend UM because they've seen freshman play this season and the potential to play next year.

“They all feel like they’re going to be the ones to bring us back," Hurtt said when asked about the way recruits are reacting toward him and the program. "It’s almost like they’re creating a union among each other. Guys from Dade, Broward and Palm Beach – all those guys are recruiting each other. They’re saying we got to get things back together and get the rings back on. We got some talented guys now. But we need to be 85 strong."

MORE NOTES...
- For those of you wondering what's going on with Miami's defensive line and linebacker issues, the Canes are basically in trouble right now. They've been mauled by injuries at defensive tackle. Hurtt joked Tuesday about trying to sneak into a uniform. Right now, the only healthy Canes at defensive tackle are Teraz McCray and Joe Joseph. With Antonio Dixon not expected to return until the end of the season or a bowl game, Dwayne Hendricks out for the season and Josh Holmes dinged up, Miami will rely on undersized Vegas Franklin to rotate in at defensive tackle as the No. 3 man. Luqman Abdullah and Steven Wesley could be used in emergency situations. But that's it.

- As for linebacker, Colin McCarthy's return this week should help. McCarthy has done a good job on the strong side. But Miami needs Daryl Sharpton, who is starting at weakside, to be in better positions to make plays. Eric Moncur told me coaches spent a lot of time Tuesday "slowing things down" in practice so guys knew where they had to be in running lanes. The Hurricanes gave up a combined 450 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in their last two games. Before that? A total of 485 and one touchdown in the previous five games combined.

- Some of you have pondered if freshman Allen Bailey could or would be switched to defensive line. Hurtt told me UM's coaches promised Bailey he'd stay at linebacker and the only way he would play defensive line is if Bailey asked for a switch. Of course Bailey, who is 6-4, 270, could eat his way into moving into the line. Shannon hinted Tuesday that Bailey needs to maintain his current weight: "If he goes up to 320, he won't be a linebacker."

- Javarris James' recent struggles in the backfield (he's had 16 carries for 21 yards in the last two games) could possibly be the result of a neck injury he suffered against Duke. UM running backs coach Tommie Robinson said James has been "a warrior" and will continue to practice and will play this week. James did some extra running Tuesday because of his fumble against Georgia Tech. Shannon said he plans to use a three-man rotation -- James, Graig Cooper and Shawnbrey McNeal -- for the remainder of the season.

- Former Canes receiver Lamar Thomas passed by camp Sunday and spoke to the team according to players. He isn't the only alumni who has been calling and trying to contact the Canes. UM safety Kenny Phillips says he's been receiving phone calls from former Canes John Beason, Brandon Meriweather and Ed Reed telling him "they're embarrassed" by the way Miami has played lately. Hurtt said he's received phone calls from Dan Morgan and Damione Lewis who want to know "what the heck is going on."

“Guys are frustrated and that’s because how high the bar was set – especially a lot of them that played with me," Hurtt said. "The guys know what we went through in the mid 90s, late 90s. I’m letting them know we’re going through growing pains. Ain’t nobody accepting. And that’s what former players are getting frustrated with. They don’t want to see anybody expecting it. They’re like what are you guys going to do about it? Are we playing the guys who are willing to go the extra mile that need to do what they need to do to put us back to where we need to be?”

- Speaking of Kenny Phillips, he spent the final moments of the loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday standing in the back of the end zone as the teams met at midfield to shake hands. Afterward, he declined interviews with reporters.. But on Tuesday, I caught up to him after practice. Phillips said Miami's struggles are hurting his soul and that he's physically sick of losing. Check out the complete audio interview in our audio section (I've got a lot of good ones, including a good one with Derrick Morse).

- Shannon said Tuesday running back Charlie Jones and linebackers Romeo Davis and Glenn Cook would all miss the remainder of the season. But when asked if any might return next year, he was non-committal.

- Shannon was asked Tuesday to point out which freshmen aside from Shawnbrey McNeal he thought have played well thus far. His response: "Lee Chambers was coming around then he got dinged up. DeMarcus Van Dyke is coming back around. He had a lull. Damien Berry has been unbelievable on special teams. Orlando Franklin – he’s playing half with Andrew Bain. He’s playing a lot better than a freshman is. Hankerson started the season off well and hit that lull but he's coming back."

- Shannon said punter Matt Bosher has to kick the ball better in games. "In practice its 50 yards, he gets in the game, he gets nervous. He’s not a freshman anymore. He needs to step up and accept that job. If he does a good job this week, we’ll have a great chance to win this game."

Comments

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This recruiting class is the most important ever at UM and this article has me FIRED UP!

Great Job Manny! Keep this up cause you are smoking my other favorite blog (SS).

Thanks Manny!

Great info!

My wife attended the last Colt's luncheon. She said Reggie Wayne expressed his disappointment as well.

I think the coaches know that Bailey will gain weight and end up at DL. It's only natural for an 18 year old to keep physically maturing.

I am sick of all the hype with recruits. If starters are hurt and the coaches cannot find a sophmore or freshmen to insert in the mix then those recruits arent very good at all. If guys arent playing by their Sophmore year get rid of them!

Another thing I have seen is guys like Houston, Wesley, Adkins, Sharpton, Randy Philips, Leggett,Farr, Epps, Willie Cooper Carlos Armour, Deron Thomas,Freeman, Wright, etc have done absolutely nothing productive for this program. Look as their profiles and who they were recruited by. Those are to many guys that are busts for this team. Can anyone disagree with that???

http://tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007710170342 f$u's chuck amato: "the team that controls South Florida, wins." NATRUAL RESOURCES

Thanks for the update Manny!

(typo) NATURAL

Hollywood (localnewswatch.com) - Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley are determined to expand their clan. The former The Fugees singer is reportedly pregnant with Marley's, the boyfriend, fifth child.

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/10/14/Sports/There_are_so_many_rea.shtml usf tackle walter walker: "... we want to build our rivalries with phenomenal teams. I want to have a rivalry with Miami, a big-time game." ONE-SIDED

To everyone saying recruting is overhyped and these coaches stink because of their schemes and player development, I point to two things:

Rich Olsen, Arizona State: He coordinates an offense that averages 37.5 per game on a team that went 7-6 last year and is currently 7-0. Last year, same scheme different players at the U, he ran an offense that averaged 19 points per game and a team that went 7-6. I despised the man last year, thought his play calling was terrible, but it's not like he or Erickson have recruited anyone at ASU. It's their first year. It's the players who make the scheme, not the other way around.

USF: Laden with fifth year seniors, a team that has been building from 5-6 to 8-4 to 9-3 to this year. In a lot of ways, they are similar to Miami in 2000 except they don't approach the NFL talent that team had. Still, those seniors have had five years with the same coach, same schemes, same stadium. They were 5-6 in their first years with that same coach. You cannot expect Shannon in his first year to have his players where USF's players are.

I had no idea that Olsen was the O-coordinator at ASU until recently. It really has changed my view on this team and just where it sits talent-wise (and I already had a fairly bleak view).

I am sick of all the hype with recruits. If starters are hurt and the coaches cannot find a sophmore or freshmen to insert in the mix then those recruits arent very good at all. If guys arent playing by their Sophmore year get rid of them!

Another thing I have seen is guys like Houston, Wesley, Adkins, Sharpton, Randy Philips, Leggett,Farr, Epps, Willie Cooper Carlos Armour, Deron Thomas,Freeman, Wright, etc have done absolutely nothing productive for this program. Look as their profiles and who they were recruited by. Those are to many guys that are busts for this team. Can anyone disagree with that???

green you think the way the U is playing this year will make it one sided? USF is for real this year. it would be an interesting rivalry and the only time we have played them (that i saw we won) but w/ the talent down here in florida i would be only minorly supprised if those secondter schools beat the big 3.

but i do agree w/ what chuck amato says he who controls s. fla rules Florida. but i would take it one step further. he who controls the state of florida "should" control the CF world. we already have seen this year that our HS are better than all the others

http://www.chroniclet.com/2007/10/17/bernie-kosar-brings-arena-football-league-team-to-cleveland/ UM alums Bernie Kosar & Jim Ferraro buy arena football franchise ...

green you think the way the U is playing this year will make it one sided? USF is for real this year.

Posted by: CJ | October 17, 2007 at 10:29 AM what do usf football & dexys midnight runners (come on eileen) share in common? one-hit wonders : )

lol but you cant deny the fact that florda has probably the most talented young players in the states. which says to me why if we all have the top talent in the states. would you be ablt to say that usf is a one hit wonder when they have the ablility to recruit good s. florida/ florida kids?

If South Florida maintains this level (which it won't...they're this years Rutgers), it will be at the expense of FSU and Florida, not Miami. Every coach but Coker knew how to get the local talent, and Shannon obviously knows how to do that as well. I was very happy to read about how these kids are recruiting each other and taking pride in their home. Miami should get what it needs, and FSU and UF get the rest (which is hardly a step down, but it is why UM usually beats them with a real coach at the helm). If South Florida rises, it will be because it gets the recruits that normally travel up to Gainseville and Tallahassee. But it's silly to think they're anything but a flash in the pan. They're having a great year, but they have no 3+ star recruits coming in yet. They have built a great team through experience, and will be able to do that every 4 years or so and have great seasons. But the Big Four? Please.

If South Florida maintains this level (which it won't...they're this years Rutgers), it will be at the expense of FSU and Florida, not Miami.

Posted by: ChicagoCane | October 17, 2007 at 10:53 AM usf threatens fu & f$u not U ...

... geographic isolation is our friend : )

do you guys forget that UM did not build its name on 4 and 5 star kids but on 3 and 2 star kids that wanted to work their buts off. remember there are kids under that 4 or 5 yr seniors that are on USF and alot of teams recruit like that when one guy leaves the next steps up... sounds like the U of old. im not a USF fan but what they do gives me hope for my school lol

btw just a suggestion dont take my head off but how many of you would want to see the very last game in the orangebowl? how many of you would want to see a south florida team send the OB a winner?

the Larry Coker error woke the sleeping giant ...

here is thinkin that all supporters of the OB go out on Dec. 1st to watch a s. florida team play a texas team. possibly help a brother school get a win and send the OB out with victory. and what better victory than against a hot bed rival like a texas team?

come watch the FIu N. TExas game on Dec. 1st at 7 in the OB. you dont have to like FIu to understand what i am saying just to send off the Orange bowl in a winning way. im dead serious and know i will be subject to ridicule but the truth is i like all UM fans love the OB and want to see the old girl go out a winner

do you guys forget that UM did not build its name on 4 and 5 star kids but on 3 and 2 star kids that wanted to work their buts off. Posted by: CJ | October 17, 2007 at 11:14 AM false. U took off when all-stars Lester Williams, Alonzo Highsmith & Melvin Bratton committed ... GENESIS

remember there are kids under that 4 or 5 yr seniors that are on USF and alot of teams recruit like that when one guy leaves the next steps up... sounds like the U of old.

Posted by: CJ | October 17, 2007 at 11:14 AM easier to build than maintain ...

green agreed its easier to build than maintain. im not syaing they are to dominate from here on out but no one seems to give them credit for what they are doing calling it a whim. i just happen to think otherwise

CJ: why celebrate mediocrity?

Manny great job. Why does South Florida breed such talent? Is it the beach?

mediocore? the OB. i dont think the OB is mediocore. right now i know fiu is. and im sure thats what your refering to. but as UM fans i would believe you all have some emotional tie to the OB. the Virginia game will be rocking. for sure. but after UM throtals Virginia out of pure emotion. facts are there are still 3 more games in the stadium. i dont want her lose that vibe

CJ: usf

CJ: allegiance to U

i wasnt expecting much w/ my question just thought there were some fans out there that didnt want to see the OB go down like that. and wanted a few more chances to say goodbye. and green CJ: FIU not USF... usf just gives hope to new programs. what they are doing is incredible.

CJ: false hope

remember there are kids under that 4 or 5 yr seniors that are on USF and alot of teams recruit like that when one guy leaves the next steps up...Posted by: CJ | October 17, 2007 at 11:14 AM easier to build than maintain ... Posted by: green | October 17, 2007 at 11:30 AM ... like you said easier to build than maintain. no false hope.

great info. manny. It makes me feel more hopefull. Thnx.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071013/SPORTS06/710130307/1048 freepress's drew sharp: "The Big Ten had the exclusive national window noon-3 p.m. Eastern on ESPN or ESPN2. That window is now shared with the Big East and the Atlantic Coast Conference."

http://wqam.com/index.php?page=497&sid=ug4od9j6h9phm2et1aom1b64a0 view Coach Shannon's f$u presser ...

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2007/10/15/daily18.html stone, tile & wood flooring for our NEW home ... CAN'T WAIT

usf has talent and good coaching. the talent will take a big hit after this year when both their starting CBs (nfl caliber guys), their MLB, and probably Selvie all are gone next year. But offensively Groethe, Ford and their WRs will be back. So they still put points on the board. And Leavitt is just a good coach. USF will probably be at the top of the Big East next year, too. I doubt they'll be top 10 rated next year, but for being a 10 year old program the are still ahead of the curve. Just more competition. Nothing wrong with that. More fun watching UM beat a good team than a sorry one.

green nice house... wheres the stadium though. sounds to me zinga is remodeling his house not his stadium. esteban makes good points.

it's not the beach,whoever asked that question...it's places like liberty city and the muck.alot of these kids are fast,but what makes the ones that actually get to the college level great is their determination.these kids are forged through fire and hardship.not the beach.when U have nothin goin for U in ur life,then find a way out,u put everything inside U into that out.that out just so happens to be football in miami.that is why there is so much football talent in miami in my opinion.

While I agree some players just haven't been True Cane types, some of the name mentioned here have left sweat, blood and tears on the field. They played hard but unfortunaely fell under the coaching of LC. I think it's wrong to call some of these guys out. They shouldn't be free of blame but they shouldn't be butchered either.

some guys leave everything on the field but just don't have the goods that are needed.

USF will probably be at the top of the Big East next year, too.

Posted by: Esteban | October 17, 2007 at 01:37 PM summer school valedictorian ... WHOOPEE

does esteban pray for the gaturd, too?

Green, that's the same summer school we were King at.

and you can't argue the points so you throw insults at a fellow cane fan for acknowledging that another team in florida is good. weak.

Green, that's the same summer school we were King at.

Posted by: Esteban | October 17, 2007 at 02:46 PM no UM. no vatech. no bc. a shell of its former self ...


do you salute the gaturd, esteban?

Worry about those players next year. I don't see how they are going to help Miami beat FSU.

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