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The Hot Stove: The freshmen, the draft and Mr. Wiggins

Few topics have lit up Canes message boards more of late than the uncertainty surrounding freshman cornerback Doug Wiggins, whom coach Randy Shannon told reporters Wednesday has not been with the team for over a week because he had to deal with "personal issues."

DougwigginsRumors have swirled that the former North Miami Beach High standout and the country's No. 4 cornerback according to Rivals.com has been dissatisfied with playing time and is looking to transfer, and that he got into a fight with a teammate and was kicked off the team. In search of the truth, I spoke to several sources Wednesday, including Wiggins' former high school coach, and it appears there is some truth to the rumors -- just not all of the rumors are true.

Wiggins has not been kicked off the team, Shannon said that much Wednesday. Wiggins has missed practice because of a torn hamstring. Those unresolved "personal issues" stem in part from a run-in with a teammate, but not all of it. NMB coach Jeff Bertani, who is close to all of his former players, told me while Wiggins does wish he could have played more this season, that is not the issue bothering him. He says Wiggins does not want to leave UM and says he is hopeful Wiggins and UM coaches will sit down and talk things out.

I know Wiggins is a good kid from having followed him in high school. Whatever trouble he had with a teammate or a coach at The U is likely the result of his desire to contribute. Doug is a winner and wants to win all the time. He came to UM with high hopes and still has them.

He won The Miami Herald's Outstanding Senior Award in Miami-Dade following a season in which passed for 1,324 yards and 10 touchdowns and also played safety for a Chargers' team which reached the state semifinals. He arrived at UM early for spring practice and worked his way up at one point to second on the depth chart at nickelback. But somewhere along the process, a source told me Wiggins began to have a drop-off in effort (ala, Sam Shields and other players who have let down a bit in practice). I spoke to several teammates this week including Damien Berry who said they are hopeful Wiggins returns to the team. "He's one of our brothers," Berry told me. "He's one of us."

-- Of the 19 players who signed with UM in 2007, only two so far look like they could end be lost in the mix -- tight end Daniel Adderley, who hasn't been mentioned at all in practices and was seen on the sidelines not practicing Wednesday, and defensive tackle Chris Perry, a highly-touted lineman whose knee injury could be much worse than first anticipated.

Everyone knows about the headliners in the freshman class who are playing now: cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (who has started four games this season), running backs Graig Cooper and Shawnbrey McNeal, former JUCO receiver Kayne Farquharson (whose had his moments) and guard Orlando Franklin, whom has split time with Andrew Bain at left guard. But there are others who are doing extremely well in practice and on special teams and who should find themselves in more prominent roles next season.  The obvious is quarterback Robert Marve, who is likely the favorite to win the starting job considering coaches will likely be more inclined to go with a quarterback they can build toward the future with.
But others include...
- DB Damien Berry, whom defensive line coach Clint Hurtt told me reminds him of a young Antrel Rolle and who has excelled regularly on special teams.
Adewale_ojomo--OL Harland Gunn, whom Hurtt told me the scout team defense fears to go up against during one-on-one drills.
- LB Allen Bailey, who could potentially climb to the top of the depth chart at middle linebacker if he's not convinced to move to the defensive line.
- DE Adewale Ojomo, who has gained 35 pounds -- up from 212 to 247 -- since arriving at UM and who has been a terror on the scout team.
- WR Jermaine McKenzie, who has impressed coaches with his ability to go and get the football and make catches even after his return from his neck injury.
- And S Jojo Nicholas, who has shown flashes of brilliance and even made a diving interception at the start of the season.

Several of you have asked about the Hurricanes run of talent in the first round and if it will continue Tavares_goodenafter this season. The obvious answer is it will if either defensive end Calais Campbell or Kenny Phillips leave school after their junior seasons. But even if they return -- that's likely a longshot -- linebacker Tavares Gooden's improved play this season and his ability to score well in the combine, according to Hurtt, is likely to get Gooden to sneak up into the late first round. More than 20 NFL scouts were at UM last week checking out potential draft picks. Receiver Darnell Jenkins is another player likely to get taken on the first day with offensive linemen Derrick Morse, Andrew Bain and defensive tackle Teraz McCray all capable of being second day draft choices.

One the biggest surprises this season has been the fantastic play of Miami's offensive line. But with Morse, Bain and Jon Rochford -- the three starters in the interior -- leaving after this season, I asked left tackle Jason Fox and Morse this week to let me in on the possible replacements. While Orlando Franklin is a lock to get the spot at left guard, one surprising name both players emphasized was redshirt freshman Joel Figueroa, who wasn't very highly touted coming out of North Miami High. "Fig, he has the physical part down, he's fast, he's big and strong and can block with the best of them. He's still young and has the mental issues to work out, but he'll be there." The oft-injured A.J. Trump will get a chance at center, but don't be surprised if Gunn or Tyler Horne works their way past him.

- Next week's finale at the Orange Bowl is expected to get crazy for fans in Vilma_jonattendance. But before hand, there are going to be plenty of events including a party at the Mayfair Hotel thrown by former Canes linebacker Jonathan Vilma the Friday before the big game. With the help of AllCanes.com, the party will get started in the hotel ballroom at 8 p.m. and will end at midnight. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Former Canes expected to attend include Craig Erickson, Lamar Thomas, Yatil Green, James Jackson, Carl Walker, Jason Geathers, Andre Johnson and Russell Maryland.


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Manny is by far the best!

Helluva blog. Very informative. Nice work, Manny. Appreciate u promoting the party. Everyone come on down. More info availabme at www.allCanes.com. Check it out.

Good eats, Navarro...appreciated.

I know - or at least think - you didnt mean it this way but Chris Perry's knee shouldnt cause him to be lost...

he's injured -- hopefully coaching gets him through the loss...

And Wiggin's isn't on your list? Excellent -- let's hope he gets thru his personal stuff...

My hope is that by next tuesday you (or someone) can give us an update on who is responsible for NOTHING happening in the investigation for Pata's killer or even better ID the guy who did it (that would be pulizer material)...

Whatever happens

...peace, love and Hurricanes...
#95 --- we salute U!!!

CANES, baaby

FYI... Michelle Kaufman is writing a story for us on Pata on that very subject. Look for it soon.

Do you sleep?

I just got home from a party, and you're still writing blogs.

Isn't the blog voluntary too?

Damn. Killin' it Manny. Keep up the good work. It's appreciated.



Thanks Manny!

I back up my post from the previous blog about Wiggins. Good riddance! The last thing this Miami team needs now is some jerk bitching about playing time and getting into scuffles with teammates. Wonder if he's eyeing Louisville?!

Be in Miami tomorrow night barring any changes in the forecast for Noel. Everyone in South Florida, do us all a favor and at 10 AM tomorrow morning, turn to the east and blow as hard as you can! Spread the word.


Manny you are by far the best man! keep up the great work we appericate your information as Cane fans.

Great Job Manny.
Keep up the good work.

I hope that Wiggins stays and gets his stuff together. Was real excited when we signed him last year.
Still don't get the Allen Bailey at LB. I know that he is a mountain and only 6% body fat or whatever, but is he REALLY fast enough to play LB??
Especially with all the LB's coming in next year I think they need to move him to DE and think he could be a stud there.

Thanks for more great work Manny! I hope Wiggins' situation works out for the best (regardless of where he is attending school). Being a freshman in college, living on campus, juggling classes, and not to mention the added stresses college athletes experience is a lot to deal with. I like the fact so many of Shannon's freshmen are beginning to take shape and contribute to the progress the Canes are trying to make. I can only imagine how Miami will look 5 years from now when he has a full roster of his guys. I'm not a UF fan, but let's not forget Meyer won that championship with Zook's boys. Now look at where UF is heading. Anyways, keep up the great work Manny. Is there ANY possibility Campbell, McCray, Gooden, or Philips will stay for their senior year? If so, who would and why? How's the assistants doing on the recruiting trips they're on?

Whats the big deal with Wiggins not playing this year? I am glad he is upset about playing time because nobody should be satified with that, but what would transfering do to help him? He would have to sit out another year, He comes in next year bigger, stronger, smarter and becomes an all american as a redshirt freshmen.


Thanks for the update on Wiggins, Manny... good stuff on the freshmen, too.

BBrinkey, Gooden and McCray are both seniors.

Thanks Manny!
Is Jacory still enrolling early? I havent seen him play except for the game on espn but it seems his presence wil raise the level of all the qbs.

Do you think he can play under center?

Hey Manny:

If you're so smart, how come you make a stupid comment about how Perry's injury might be serious when he was practicing full speed last week? Quit writing so much garbage and try to find out what's going on.

Good stuff manny. Wiggins need to put his anger on the field and in the weight room. Canes are built on hardwork.

You're an idiot Bill...


Good stuff, once more. Keep up the good work bro. Late!

http://www.med.miami.edu/newimages/home/cedars_hospital.jpg Cedars Medical Center ... come to poppa

http://atticajailhouseballcaps.blogspot.com/2007/10/miami.html Miami marlins

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/291952.html herald's john dorschner: "Jackson Health System and Florida International University announced plans Thursday plans for FIU's new medical students to do their teaching programs at Jackson North, formerly Parkway Regional Medical Center. Jackson has had a long relationship with the University of Miami medical school at its main facility, Jackson Memorial, and the arrangement announced Thursday will allow the system to work with both schools through separate facilities." SEPARATE BUT UNEQUAL

Cedars Medical Center at night ... come to poppa

Whats the big deal with Wiggins not playing this year? I am glad he is upset about playing time because nobody should be satified with that, but what would transfering do to help him? He would have to sit out another year, He comes in next year bigger, stronger, smarter and becomes an all american as a redshirt freshmen.


How good would it be to have Allen Bailey as a DE, specializing in zone blitzes where he could drop back into coverage (which the U doesn't do a lot of but could start)? If he was down for that, I feel that would be an excellent way to use him . . .

florida international's 18,000-seat bare-bones boondoggle

ESPNU video: U #1

sunsentinel's michael cunningham: "... the SEC elite has played just five road games against ranked opponents since 2002. Can't blame them, really. No need to seek real tests outside the SEC when everyone assumes the SEC is such a test — even if its teams rarely are forced to show it against the best from other leagues." like north koreans, the isolated inbred crackers seldom venture outside ...

http://wqam.com/ Hurricane Hotline 7p-9p from the raucous rathskeller ... followed by the high school gridiron report

Hey Green,

Thanks for all the posts regarding the U.

Great info Manny! Keep it coming...

Great piece Manny. PJ vs. Wiggins vs. DVD in practice for playing time would be awsome competition.

Manny my man. Are you earning your 'Benjamins!??'

Keep it going strong regarding all the tidbits surrounding Hurricane football.


great info manny. can u tell us what happened with marve getting arrested?is it some rumor,if it's true what the hell happened?

Arrested? Who me? It was just a minor misunderstanding...

Signed...Ray Lewis

Great work Manny

As for Wiggins, football is a game of emotions. You've got to learn to PLAY WITH YOUR EMOTIONS, BUT DON'T LET YOUR EMOTIONS PLAY WITH YOU. You want to start, and so does everyone else. You think you're better than anyone at your position, only time will tell.

Miami is about to be Miami again. We're going back to the day when starters hated to miss practice, because they might never see the field again. Physically, you are a better fit at DB than Phillips was, but you didn't know the package. Not knocking of Phillips, but he is a better Safety and the FSU game shows it compared to the OU game.

Look on the bright side. It's a good thing that you went through this early in your career. In the real world, there is nothing worse than a demotion because of lack of consistent effort. Earning a starting spot is not the challenge when there is a level playing field physically, but a separation in the mental aspect of football. When that is the problem, that when the upperclassmen get the nod. What am I trying to say, just imagine being a Jr. or Sr. and losing your starting spot because you lacked the consistent effort in practice and the kid behind you is just as good as you are but you got the nod because of the number of years you've been practicing Miami style of football.

Truth is, that's what's going to happen when Miami becomes 85 strong. When Miami becomes 85 strong then they will no longer rebuild, but we will reload annually, and stock the NFL with first round talent.


I just want to comment on something that
was brought up a few days ago regarding Randy Shannon's dispostion.
This guy doesn't have the mental fortitude it takes to be a head coach in such a high profile gig. Look, a smaller program, maybe, but not here. If this dude already has an attitude, wait until he's playing his own recruits and doesn't run the table and win a NC.
He'll fold like a TV tray and make Mike Gundy look like an altar boy.
We should have hired Mike Leach. We just wasted another 3 uears on this guy. I hope I'm wrong but, I don't think so...

Woody...you're a hammerhead. The U wasn't about to pony up the money for Leach. Talk about a fish out of water...Mike Leach and the Miami media? Please, that guy makes Dave Barry look normal...

Oh yeah? Say what you want. Scoreboard. Texas Tech averages 40+ a game no matter who's under center.
As far as Leach's personality, nobody gives a ratsass as long as you win.
Dennis Erickson was no media darling either.

I guess so if you play the schedule TT plays. South Dakota Tech, West Texas Abilene, Idaho A&M Potatoeheads...Hell, I think they even played some school in Arkansas who still plays eight man football...both ways.

What are you guys twins?

Naw...just brothers. Die hard Can Fans. We both went to school there back in the late
70's. We played baseball for Ron Frazier. Well, I did. He sat on the bench and colored in the diamonds in the score book. HA!

Get a grip...you wish...0-fer life...

read your interesting article, i like the future of um..randy and the incoming class, but i must disagree with you on mavre, who is a nice prospect even though he's on the smallish side, about 6' and is arm is so so...tough competitor that is his best asset...i think there's no doubt he's in the running for next year's qb..so is the tall kid from texas...it will be a three man competition and in my opinion the winner is a class above these two and it's the miami kid at northwestern, jacory harris, good height, will put on a solid 15 lbs or more before spring, then another 15 before next fall, good speed, nice arm, his arm is exactly like kosar, extremely accurate, can throw it long, short, he has the best side to side and depth vision of a qb i've seen in 10 years, his eyesight is like brady's, and so is his composure, the best qb miami ever had was mira but he was a stubborn jerk and wouldn't listen to me and instead of signing with the afl ( he would've been the "namath of the afl, not namath" ) he said to me, "I want to play in the nfl, not the afl"...i said.."george you're going to sit on your ass if you sign with frisco as jack christensen will not bench john brodie, period"...the rest is history, this ruined his career....by the way, who's the only qb in history to have a winning record against the great green bay packers lombardi champions? mira started against them 4 times, he was 3-1 ....ok, so we have to rate miami qb's as kelly, 1, hall of fame, then kosar,2 who led browns to a couple of divisional title games that he should have won but his defense was as good as today's miami dolphins defense hence we never witnessed bernie in a super bowl.....but mark my words, jacory harris could be better than anyone, he's quicker than kelly and of course than kosar, very few qb's have the inate ability to buy time with their feet and instead of picking up a meaningless few yards running, realize his receivers are in the mode to break into the open, and once these receivers gain the confidence in jacory to find them, they'll begin to naturally continue to run routes and intangible routes to show jacory this marriage is going to light up the scoreboard..he's the best qb to come out of high school in ten years.....and if his grades hold up he intends to enroll in jan. so he can be part of the spring drills...his upside is just fantastic, i am sure he loves being the underdog to mavre entering spring drills....i watch his games and can't get over his buying extra time on key plays and then hitting his receivers in stride..wow, and he's a humble kid, just a winner....i think randy must concentrate from now on to fill in holes on both the offensive and defensive lines with oncoming frosh, he has 2 or 3 legit blue chippers coming in, he needs at least 3 more..he has plenty of lb's and cornerbacks...the kid from northwestern could dominate, i think his name is forston, or close to that, on the defensive line, but i'd put him at defensive end, he's so quick and it's tough to double up defensive ends on pass rush, they have a very good offensive lineman from pahokee coming in but he has too much body fat, yet his attitude is super so with a great conditioning program this kid could excell even as a freshman if he loses 40 lbs and reduces his body fat which he can do with a consistent program, i am guessing he must have awful eating habits right now...he's a winner....tell randy, we need more linemen..then lookout, miami could actually challenge next year with jacory and the new kids on the block for nat'l honors...

There is a thing called period. Get it. Please use them.

How bad are the Hurricanes when GT comes in our house and beats us? They look like a high school team last night against VT.
VT's going to kick our ass...
6-6. Shannon's an idiot. He'll get schooled again this weekend by O'Brien.

I did not see L. Hankerson's name in Manny's blog...I thought he had received some playing time this year at WR? Or I am mistaken?

I did not see L. Hankerson's name in Manny's blog...I thought he had received some playing time this year at WR? Or I am mistaken?

Hey Green,

Thanks for all the posts regarding the U.

Posted by: LilCane | November 01, 2007 at 01:34 PM you're welcome

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