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Tuesday practice report: Wright update, kicking battle, Calais and the NFL

Just left Greentree Practice Field and arrived here at the BankUnited Center for tonight's men's basketball exhibition against Barry University. I can't wait to see what Lance Hurdle and Edwin Rios look like at the point and how Anthony King looks back at center. Hurdle will start tonight alongside Jack McClinton, Brian Asbury, Jimmy Graham and Anthony King. I'll have live updates during the live Q&A over at Canespace tonight.

As for football practice...

-- Quarterback Kyle Wright is obviously the big story this week considering how Kirby Freeman looked last week. Kyle said today he "should be ready" to start against Virginia on Saturday night. But Kyle also told me he still experiences plenty of pain on his injured left ankle and knee. The pain is something he expects to play with the rest of the year. I asked him point blank if it was going to affect his mobility. His response: "There were a few times I had to move and slide a little bit and that's really what's going to happen this weekend. They play 3-down lineman and rush real hard and really try to spy you. I'm going to have to slide around and find some throwing lanes. It's just something I'm going to have to deal with and push through."

-- If quarterback is the No. 1 concern on this team this week, kicker isn't far behind. Coach Randy Shannon said he has "opened the kicking battle way open this week." That means punter Matt Bosher, who was brought in to kick field goals, will have a chance to win the kicking job for the first time in his career and Francesco Zampogna will have a chance to win the job back from Daren Daly, who took it from him the Florida State game. I asked both Bosher and Zampogna about having to compete for the job week in and week out and whether or not it takes a toll on the them mentally. I got two totally different answers. Who sounds like they can handle it?
Zampogna: "Some people would think you would lose confidence and stuff. Yeah, it does kind of break you down mentally sometimes when your job on the line. But just like anything, its the job in the workforce."
Bosher: "It makes you feel like you have to work hard and earn your spot -- and that's a good thing because it keeps you on your toes."

-- Spoke with special teams coach Joe Pannunzio for a bit, first about the kicking battle, but the more thing I learned was how Shannon and Pannunzio are disappointed with the return game. As you know, there's been a handful of guys who have gotten a crack at the punt return and kick return job -- from tight end Richard Gordon to freshman running backs Shawnbrey McNeal and Graig Cooper. Pannunzio said he's surprised Cooper hasn't broken one yet and said UM is making it a high priority to find a game-breaking kick returner next season. I've learned through other sources that person has already been distinguished as Booker T. Washington receiver Thearon Collier, a current recruit, and potential recruit Travis Benjamin of Belle Glade Glades Central.

-- I put defensive end Calais Campbell on the spot about the NFL. His response: "I have not made a choice yet. I have to do a lot of heavy considerations. Its going to be hard for me to leave here. There are a lot of considerations I do for next year. With the type of guys we have coming back and coming in, there's a chance to win a championship. Its definitely a big possibility [I return]."
I've checked out several NFL mock drafts online and Campbell and safety Kenny Phillips, another junior, have both been projected for the most part to be taken among the first 10 picks. It's going to be interesting to see how this develops, but I think the fact Campbell has struggled a bit this season -- he's got 71 tackles, 5 sacks and a team-high 18 QB pressures -- has little to do with how the NFL feels about him. One NFL insider told me Campbell's body and ability will make him a Top 10 pick no matter what he does this season.

-- Defensive end Eric Moncur (concussion) and running back Shawnbrey McNeal (sinus infection) were both practicing this afternoon. Moncur told me he was still "a little cloudy" last week and had to sit out. McNeal said he's fine and will be back in the rotation competing for his job. Not that Derron Thomas is ready to give up any of his carries. I spoke to Derron for a few minutes about what that 54-yard run did for his confidence. He's among about 14 interviews from today that I'll be uploading to Herald.com after the basketball game.

-- I also spoke to freshman receiver Jermaine McKenzie, who has been back on the practice squad for the past two weeks. McKenzie is a guy the coaching staff was very high on before his car accident this summer. We talked about how he feels, how he's been doing during drills and how he and roommate Robert Marve have been building chemistry. Definitely an audio interview for you to check out.

-- Oh, almost forgot. Also check out the interview with Kayne Farquharson, who has forged a friendship with Miami rapper Luther Campbell. Kayne was on Luke's new show a couple weeks ago. Campbell refers to Kayne as the new 47 -- that would be code for Michael Irvin. Many of you might not know it but Farquharson injured his groin after his big game against Duke and his been limited. I say many of you might not know because I didn't find out until today.

-- See you at the Live Q&A at 8 p.m. at Canespace. Leave me a few questions here before 7:30 if you like.

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What Up Manny, With All Of Nuke's (Darnell Jenkins' Sucess As Of Late Do U Think That He Can Be A Sleeper Into The 1st Round Being that NFL Teams May Feel He HAs Been Limited Throughout the Years With The Quarterback Play??

hey manny navarro, how'd your blog do in october?

No. 2 on the herald website, tied with Dolphins In Depth. We had 120,000 hits. Dave Barry is our usual No. 1.

scout.com is reporting another qb commit from a prep school can you report on this????

Heard today that there was a sign up on UM campus saying Welcome Cannon. That would be Cannon Smith, a prep school quarterback whom UM recruited last year.

Not going to report it until I speak to the kid. But yes, I believe its true UM has landed another QB recruit.

Cannon Smith!!!! YEAH! QB recruits coming our way baby!!

Check out this write-up on SCOUT.COM

Top Post Grad QB Makes Commitment


Cannon Smith By Scott Kennedy
Director of Scouting
Posted Nov 6, 2007


Cannon Smith, the #1 ranked prep school quarterback, made the trip to Chatham, Va. this year to play on Robert Prunty's post grad Hargrave Tigers. The quarterback from Memphis has made his decision on where he's headed in January to continue his football career.

Cannon Smith is the #1 ranked prep school quarterback in the country by Scout.com, and he's made his decision on where he'll be continuing his college career.

"I chose to go with Miami," said Smith moments ago. "I took an official visit there last January. I really enjoyed it when I was there. When I took my official visit, though Coach Patrick Nix wasn't there yet, so since then, I've been getting to know him and building a relationship with him."

Smith saw a lot to like while he was there on his official visit last January, and he checked out the Canes this summer as well.

"I went down there on an unofficial visit, and I got to watch them doing workouts and practice. I got to hang out with a lot of the guys there, and I really liked it."

There isn't a lot of free time while at Hargrave Military Academy, but two weeks ago, Smith got to sit down with his family and make a decision.

"I got to be with my family, and we all feel real good about my decision. I love the staff down there, and I just feel real good about the choice."

Smith has gotten a good look at Miami's offense this year, and he sees a good match with his skill set and the various sets that the Hurricanes like to run.

"I feel pretty good about it," said Smith about the Miami style of offense. "I've seen them do a lot of different things. I've seen them go under center, and into shotgun, and I've seen them do a lot of things, and I think we can have a real nice balanced attack."

Smith was a full qualifier out of high school, so he'll be eligible to enroll at Miami in December in time for winter workouts and spring practice. He feels his time at Hargrave has been well spent and will help prepare him for Miami.

The thing that you're going to build here at Hargrave, whether you like it or not, is a lot of mental toughness," said Smith with a laugh. "There's a lot of stuff to go through, and I'll be a lot better prepared for anything that's thrown at me. I've enjoyed my time up here, and my time up here with Coach Prunty."

Hargrave Head Coach has a lot of praise for his signal caller.

"What Miami is getting is a guy with an exceptional arm, that's very intelligent, and he can read the defense," said Prunty "He's not going to make a lot of mistakes on the field. In the end, you've got a great competitor that's very savvy. He can drop back and he can run. I'd sum it up by saying they got an athletic

Here's a more on CANNON SMITH's PERFORMANCE:

"Threw for 2,400 yards and 34 touchdowns for olive Branch. Added 500 rushing yards."


So the kid can also run pretty well....

CANNON SMITH RATED THE #1 PREP QB IN THE COUNTRY!!!!!!!(by scout.com)

He's enrolling this DECEMBER, in time for winter and spring work-outs....

He's already had a couple of years playing prep ball-- giving him an advantage over MARVE i think...

HE MIGHT be our QB for 2008...

#1 QB IN THE USA!!!!

SO HOW'S RANDY SHANNON'S RECRUITING SKILLS NOW YOU RS-HATTERS???

MORE CANNON INFO (older info but mention's Shannon's recruiting interest):


Robert Prunty does not dole out compliments to his players unless they are well earned. That makes it even more impressive when Prunty praises one of his prospects and tells you how impressed he is with him, as is the case with Cannon Smith.
Smith’s off-the-field incidents are well documented as they made front page headlines, of course most media while being quick to tear down a young man they often fail to follow-up the story, especially if it has a positive ending. Scout.com spoke with Coach Prunty about Smith recently to find out if the often talked about Smith has turned things around for himself.

“Cannon Smith has been great since he has been at Hargrave,” Coach Prunty exclaimed. “He has already earned the rank of lieutenant. His interactions with the players have made him a leader. He really was born to lead. I really feel that he has flourished in his time at Hargrave Military Academy.”

College coaches have been taking notice to Smith’s rebound as well, according to Coach Prunty a big offer is headed his way.

“He is being officially offered by Miami this week,” Prunty said. “I spoke to Coach (Randy) Shannon two nights ago and he said he’d be faxing the offer to me. “Miami is doing a great job of recruiting him,” Prunty expounded. “Coach Shannon and (Joe) Pannunzio have been great. In my opinion they have set themselves apart.” Miami is not the only school showing interest in Smith. He holds offers from Ole Miss, Middle Tennessee State and Memphis as well. He has also received interest from Wake Forest and Arizona State.

“We started sending out his film and the interest was pretty overwhelming,” Prunty stated. “He will likely take an official to Miami when we have an off week and Miami is at home. He will probably be taking officials to most of the schools that offer him.

“He is having a great season,” Prunty said. “We spread out and he really zips the ball around. I think he’d do well in a spread offense. His athleticism is really better than I thought. When he came here I figured he was a 4.8 type of kid, but he is more like a 4.65. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”

Prunty is quick to tell you that it’s the competitiveness that sets Smith apart from others.

“He is a competitor,” Prunty explained. “When he came here you could see it right away. If you’re playing checkers or cards, he just wants to win no matter what it is. That is what sets him apart. Whoever gets Cannon Smith is getting a competitor who will compete no matter what. I have had some good quarterback’s here, but none have been as competitive as him.”

Prunty will not sugarcoat things just because a young man is in his system and he takes pride is seeing someone turn their life around and getting them back on track. He is very proud of what Cannon Smith has accomplished at Hargrave.

“The growth I have seen in Cannon Smith physically and mentally since seeing him last year at Olive Branch is remarkable,” Prunty said. “If you see his film and you’ll see what the buzz is with him. Plus he has benefited from having some great wide receivers like DeAngelo Benton and Dwight Jones. Cannon has not been any type of problem here at Hargrave he really has flourished.

“Right now, he is right around 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds and he is more athletic than what people think he is.” Scout.com will have more on Cannon Smith once he starts taking his official visits.


Manny,

You might have a shot at number one if you used spell-checker and if you actually proof your posts before you put them on line.

It's pathetic that you cannot even write one day without sounding like you are writing in a junior high paper.

What the hell is Calais talking about? Why is he talking about the players coming in?

YOU HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT IS IN FRONT OF YOU.

Don't worry about next year, anything can happen and many of them are out of his control. Right now, let's control Virginia.

It is one play at a time for every possession during each quarter in 2 halves for 60 minutes.

If they can follow that they can win.

Manny, great job and tremendous insights! Thanks again. Ignore Tony. Miserable people tend to have the loudest mouths. Great info!

Manny, great job and tremendous insights! Thanks again. Ignore Tony. Miserable people tend to have the loudest mouths. Great info!

Manny, thanks for all the dish over at Canespace tonight. Tell your bosses that OGV says you deserve a raise. Or just show them this post.

Manny...saw you at the bball game from the loaded student section haha. What were you thoughts on the game? Collins and King could do some damage down low with their athleticism

Manny...saw you at the bball game from the loaded student section haha. What were you thoughts on the game? Collins and King could do some damage down low with their athleticism

Manny...saw you at the bball game from the loaded student section haha. What were you thoughts on the game? Collins and King could do some damage down low with their athleticism

Thanks for the Q & A, Manny. You always have great information to share with your fellow Canes fans!

I'm really glad everyone has posted these things that you can just read for free from scout.com. Why not just post the link?

Anyway, I was thinking about the Campbell and Philips issue about whether they stay or go and I have one thing to say about that: I don't care if the record streak for first round picks out of college is broken if Miami can get back to a BCS game because they stay!

What Up Manny, With All Of Nuke's (Darnell Jenkins' Sucess As Of Late Do U Think That He Can Be A Sleeper Into The 1st Round Being that NFL Teams May Feel He HAs Been Limited Throughout the Years With The Quarterback Play??

Posted by: REAL CANE | November 06, 2007 at 06:54 PM


Are you crazy? Jenkins will be lucky to get drafted.

Manny, just wanted to thank and compliment you on your guest-appearance at Canespace and on all your audio uploads. It's great to be able to hear these young men speak and not just watch them play. It makes a much better connection to them as young men and people.

Thanks for all the work.

I agree with the above sentiment about focus. Where is the focus on this team? Who is keeping this team focused on virginia and game prep for virginia? every week, we hear comments from players talking about the acc championship after fsu, talking about a conference championship after texas am, about fsu after the unc game with two games ahead of it...now we get campbell talking about the pros and recruits for a great year next year...experts of college football realize and know that sometimes this game has more to do with emotion and focus and motivation than with talent. where is this teams emotion? What is this teams motivation? and who in the hell has or is supposed to have this team focused on the task at hand?

Listen Here Robert Or Whateva Ya Name Is, I Was Talkin 2 Manny, Not Yo Punk A**!!!! Darnell Jenkins HAs a Lot Of Potential And If He Doesn't Get Drafted In The 1st Round He HAs The Skills To Get Drafted!!! I've Been Saying This For Years but HE Just Didn't Have The Quarterback to Showcase His Talents!!! And I Happen to Know Him Personally So I Know He Has a Bright Future on da Field!!! So Keep Ya COmments 2 Yourself Youngin!!!!!!

Great statement on Campbell! He has struggled all season and Georgia Tech ran the ball right at him and I like all those sacks he said he was gonna have against FSU. Campbell is overrated and overhyped!

REAL CANE YOU HAVE A GOOD EYE FOR TALENT! JENKINS WILL NOT BE GOING IN THE 1ST ROUND OR EVEN POSSIBLE DRAFTED THIS YEAR DUMMY! BIN LADEN WILL TURN HIMSELF IN BEFORE JENFINS GOES IN THE FIRST ROUND. CAUSE YOU KNOW HIM HE SHOULD DRAFTED JUST FOR THAT. ANOTHER DUMB CANE FAN YOU ARE!

If Campbell & Phillips stay yeah you guys will go to a BCS Bowl game. SURE! Those guys are overrated plus the lack of coaching they are getting I am sure UM will be in a BCS bowl game with a freshman quarterback. Another dumb Cane fan.

Oh yeah Cannon Smith is the #1 quarterback in prep schools. There is less than 10 prep schools in America. He is short, has a weak arm but his dad has a lot of money and I believe is high ranking in FED Ex. At least Coach Shannon can ship his coaching materials to his next job for free.

Miami beat Ole Miss, Memphis & Middle Tennessee for Cannon Smith? Wow Randy Shannon how did you out recruit those powers. I guess UM won that battle cause they were the only school with a winning record who offered him. Lucky he committed this week cause next week the Canes won't have a winning record. I hope Smith starts at UM cause that means Shannon is fired. I can't wait for that day. Go Virginia!

Suge, Cooper was the #1 Prep Rb in the country last year. He is doin pretty good this year? Agreed? So Cannon being #1 sounds fine by me!!

hey tony, do you work for the competition?

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_college_hurricanes/2007/06/dear_um.html omar kelly (jun 5): "My company has done a study to figure out what makes my blog so successful in their efforts to replicate it and they determined it's because we're a community." omar kelly cornered Canes market ...

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_college_hurricanes/2007/06/who_got_u.html
omar kelly (jun 11): "Right now there isn't a clear front-runner to take over my old job, but I'm sure you guys are being kept in mind because whoever inherits this blog will inherit The Legion." OH REALLY

http://blogs.herald.com/random_evidence/2007/07/im-back-wilt-st.html
herald's greg cote (jul 7): "The Miami Herald blog report for June indicates a fierce battle for sports-blog leadership between the Dolphins blog (29,389 page views) and our little Random Evidence thing here (29,019), with no other sports blog close." manny navarro's blog used to labor in obscurity ...

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2007/07/rr-tatum-transf.html#comment-78069456
Manny, I have no idea who this GREEN character is doing all this ranting. I've never seen his name at Canespace. Maybe he's just a mole trying to sow some ill-will.

Posted by: Cavaleer | August 01, 2007 at 02:08 PM

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2007/08/the-orange-revo.html#comment-79043806
Green, Canespace folk, rest of the Eye on The U Crew.. just an FYI: I'm going to be out this weekend. I have my sister-in-law's wedding tonight and family in for the weekend.

So, I'm taking the weekend off to refresh myself before getting the ball rolling again on Monday and for good.

Posted by: Manny | August 10, 2007 at 12:26 PM


http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2007/09/canespace-speci.html#comment-81632881
Manny ... Your blog was really rocking today! 121 comments in a couple hours. But here's the question everyone wants to know: Who the heck is GREEN on your blog?

Posted by: 86Cane | September 04, 2007 at 08:29 PM

TALK IS CHEAP, I AM SICK OF READING PLAYERS QUOTES ESPECIALLY FROM KIRBY FREEMAN AND KYLE WRIGHT, THOSE GUYS SHOULD NOT EVEN BE GIVEN THE HONOR OF TALKING TO REPORTERS, IT SHOULD BE GIVEN TO PLAYERS WHO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING FOR THIS TEAM AND PROGRAM.

WHY DONT WE HAVE LESS TALKING AND MORE PLAYING.

A REAL CANE TALKS A BIG GAME AND PLAYS AN EVEN BIGGER GAME!

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2007/09/canespace-speci.html#comment-81633857
A: Good question 86. I have no clue.

Posted by: Manny | September 04, 2007 at 08:41 PM

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2007/07/ask-not-what-yo.html#comment-78070324
AND WHO THE BLEEP IS GREEN, at Manny's blog

Posted by: Cavaleer | August 01, 2007 at 02:16 PM

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2007/07/ask-not-what-yo.html#comment-78072138

Yeh, who is that Green dude?

Posted by: USAFCane | August 01, 2007 at 02:34 PM

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2007/07/ask-not-what-yo.html#comment-78072494
don't know who green is either. I think he's someone we know, trying to give props to canespace. 86 said he won't post here, making it harder to find out who he is.

Posted by: miamimike01 | August 01, 2007 at 02:37 PM

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2007/07/fau-um-canes-ow.html#comment-77643240
I want to boost the herald blog just to stick it to the sunsentinel. they betrayed us; they're gonna feel our wrath : )

Posted by: green | July 30, 2007 at 10:34 AM

http://blogs.herald.com/random_evidence/2007/08/on-um-harmony-i.html
herald's greg cote: "BLOG REPORT: Herald stats are in for July. We were a strong second among all sports blogs with 52,776 page views, narrowly edged by Eye on the U, with Dolphins in Depth a ways back in third." PAYBACK'S A BITCH

http://dolphinsindepth.blogspot.com/2007/09/cleaning-out-notebook-of-all-tidbits.html
herald's armando salguero (sep 4): "A quick congratulations to you, the readers and contributors of this blog, for making Dolphins Indepth the most popular sports blog at The Miami Herald. Last month alone, this blog had over 108,000 page views which was the best month it has had since its inception. Only Dave Barry's blog is more popular at The Herald."

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2007/09/whats-up-eye-on.html#comment-83246695
Q: hey manny navarro, how'd your blog do in august? Posted by: green | September 18, 2007 at 08:09 PM

A: Thanks to you Green, the Canespace crew and all of my new readers, pretty high up on the food chain at The Herald. I think we actually finished second only to Dave Barry's blog and Dolphins in Depth. A credit to you Canes fans. Thanks.

Posted by: Manny | September 18, 2007 at 08:30 PM PAYBACK'S A BITCH

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2007/10/live-qa-starts-.html#comment-84892886
Q: hey manny navarro, how did your blog do in september? Posted by: green | October 02, 2007 at 08:35 PM
A: No. 2 on the Miami Herald site behind only Dave Barry.

Posted by: Manny Navarro | October 02, 2007 at 09:20 PM PAYBACK'S A BITCH

Listen Here Robert Or Whateva Ya Name Is, I Was Talkin 2 Manny, Not Yo Punk A**!!!! Darnell Jenkins HAs a Lot Of Potential And If He Doesn't Get Drafted In The 1st Round He HAs The Skills To Get Drafted!!! I've Been Saying This For Years but HE Just Didn't Have The Quarterback to Showcase His Talents!!! And I Happen to Know Him Personally So I Know He Has a Bright Future on da Field!!! So Keep Ya COmments 2 Yourself Youngin!!!!!!

Posted by: REAL CANE | November 06, 2007 at 11:45 PM

Obviously you don't what the hell you're talking about because Jenkins is just not that good. He is a very OK, college receiver. I don't give a f*ck who you know...the point is you don't know sh*t. 1st round?? lol..go watch some more football.

http://dolphinsindepth.blogspot.com/2007/11/no-news-on-ricky-williams-is-bad-news.html
herald's armando salguero (nov 6): "Armando's Note: Before I begin, let me congratulate everyone because Dolphins Indepth is again The Miami Herald's No. 1 sports blog, with over 120,000 page views in October. Eye on the U was second with 114,000 page views." PAYBACK'S A BITCH

REAL CANE YOU HAVE A GOOD EYE FOR TALENT! JENKINS WILL NOT BE GOING IN THE 1ST ROUND OR EVEN POSSIBLE DRAFTED THIS YEAR DUMMY! BIN LADEN WILL TURN HIMSELF IN BEFORE JENFINS GOES IN THE FIRST ROUND. CAUSE YOU KNOW HIM HE SHOULD DRAFTED JUST FOR THAT. ANOTHER DUMB CANE FAN YOU ARE!

Posted by: Suge White | November 07, 2007 at 04:25 AM

100% correct, Suge White. Another dumb@ss Miami fan. The amount of people that don't know sh*t down here is amazing. That's why everyone around the nation thinks our fan base is retarded.

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2007/11/tuesday-practic.html#comment-88976416
hey manny navarro, how'd your blog do in october?

Posted by: green | November 06, 2007 at 07:02 PM

No. 2 on the herald website, tied with Dolphins In Depth. We had 120,000 hits. Dave Barry is our usual No. 1.

Posted by: Manny | November 06, 2007 at 07:15 PM but for a bye ... JAW-DROPPING

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