« Rios, Graham uncertain for Thursday | Main | A team to root for »

Off to Orlando

I'm leaving to the land of mouse today for the state high school football championships at the Citrus Bowl and I've got to say this is probably the most excited I've been about covering football all season.

Northwestern, St. Thomas and Booker T. Washington have a chance to do something special as teams. But what's most exciting to me will be seeing this amazing collection of talent -- many of  them future Canes -- play their final high school games. The past couple of months, I've grown to get to know these kids, like Jacory Harris, Marcus Forston, Sean Spence and Brandon Harris about as good as I did guys like Kenny Phillips, Bryan Pata, Dwayne Bowe and many others while I was on the high school beat for six years.

This group of seniors is about as talented and as special I've ever been around. Not only are they amazing on the field, but they have tremendous character and personality off it. And they're all smart kids too, who don't want to be around trouble. I spent four hours at Northwestern on Tuesday watching Forston and Spence break down film, then chucked it up with the guys during practice. With the exception of Streeter, whom I'm still convinced is 50-50 on the Canes, I think all of the best players on the Northwestern and Booker T. rosters will end up Canes.

Not that other coaches aren't trying to stop that from happening. Forston and Spence told me North Carolina's Butch Davis stopped by last week. Florida assistant Doc Holliday was there on Tuesday when I was at there and Andre Fernandez spotted Tennessee coach Phillip Fullmer there on Wednesday. On Tuesday, I saw Holliday take Spence and Forston into Billy Rolle's office for 10 minutes alone.

But Canes fans have no reason to worry. Behind the scenes, I get the sense these Northwestern kids are simply having fun with this recruiting process. But what about the rumors? The players are just having fun with the people who call them everyday to bother them about where they're leaning. The biggest thing is they're trying not to be rude to these college coaches -- or those recruiting reporters -- who stop by their schools to see them. When Holliday left, Forston rolled his eyes and told me, "That guy doesn't quit. But I guess he has to because if not he'll get fired."

Forston, who is slowly becoming a bit of a UM fan favorite through this recruiting process because of some of his comments, hit me with some great lines Tuesday when I asked him about what opposing coaches were telling him to try to sway him from The U. Forston said many opposing coaches are trying to put down Miami's facilities, they bring up safety, the shooting deaths of Pata and Sean Taylor, the current losing going on and the future of Randy Shannon as coach. Forston, though, isn't buying any of it. And he's even got a nickname for Holliday -- "Snake Eyes."

"Like I said before and I'll say it again even though they don't care, I'm committed to the Hurricanes. That's the first thing I tell them. The things the tell me is how big their facilities are. How they got a stadium on their campus. How they got an academic building inside the stadium. But that doesn't matter to me. It's the coaching staff around you and the work ethic that's built in you that's going to get you to the next level, not no facilities. The University of Miami might have two whirlpools and the next one might have six, but it's still doing the same job.

"The worst thing anybody said was how Miami is not a safe environment. But they don't know where I stay at. I live in the Pork 'N Beans projects, Liberty City housing. It can't get no worse than that. So, I tell them, if I can stay out of trouble around there, how am I going to get in trouble in Coral Gables? You can take me to hell and I'll find a way to get out of that."

"Another thing, people have been saying, 'Oh its not the old Miami. They're finished.' But I'm going to prove them wrong. Once you're a great program, you'll always be a great program. Everybody has a bad season... they had a group of young guys. Now, we come in, guys from Northwestern and Booker T. who have played together for a long time and things will change."

Forston said he expects for him and Spence to be roommates when they enroll in classes in January. Although, Forston told me he's still waiting on his test score to return before he can enroll. "I'm going to be there," he promised me. "Don't worry about that."

- As for quarterback Jacory Harris, who told me he liked Oregon last week and caught slack on websites for saying what he said, he told me Tuesday that after a day or two he realized it was crazy to think about leaving South Florida. Jacory, though, did tell me his feelings were hurt a bit by some of the comments he read online from irate fans. "People we're saying on your blog, we don't need Jacory. Forget him. We got Robert Marve. That's messed up man." Can't say I didn't warn you guys.

- As for Spence, he told me he did like his trips to North Carolina and Tennessee earlier this year, but like Harris realized "there's no place like home." Spence, who is close with cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, said he had conversation with linebacker coach Michael Barrow that made him feel better in the recruiting process and "sealed the deal." He said he and Forston love the fact UM players have been treating them "with open arms."

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Thanks for the updates Manny. Despite a disappointing season and no bowl game, Shannon certainly appears to be putting together a special recruiting class. These guys seem to have a true Hurricane attitude and I feel there's another National Championship in their future.

I figured at some point the idiots making rash comments would backfire at some point. I wish people understood that while they have a right to complain about recruits, the recruits have computers and internet access and read the same blogs you do. Recruiting might be the only time when the fans actually have a say in who their team adds to the roster.

I hope these young men do not think all of the Miami fans act like some on the blog's and chat rooms beating on recruits. IMO, most of those that say the same thing anytime a recruit makes a comment about Miami and another school, they are not TRUE fans. They are "come lately's". In Jacory's case, I think he will be a BIG part of our future and he had the right to visit other schools and enjoy the trip. Jacory, do not listen to all the negative from some of these posters, there are lots and lots more fans that do not rip players./

From a 904 Bull, I wish the west the best of luck. We will be there to support you guys!
As for the negative comments about the recruits, I want those young men to know.First and foremost, your families will be proud for going college period!
The real die hard U of Miami fans, will support you guys period!
We need you all to stay committed, because Randy knows what he is doing, he just doesn't have the talent there to do it, because some other coach could not recruit!
In 2-3 years we'll be in either Tampa, or Charlotte to watch THE U, finally bring the A.C.C championship home, and you guys will be the reason that happens!
GO BULLS

Good stuff Manny...thanks

There are a lot of dumb people in this world. Saying we don't need Jacory is like saying we don't need Shannon. Whoever made those comments must not be a TRUE CANE fan. Jacory, good luck to you in Orlando, and bring back another championchip.

These idiots so called fans who claimed that we have Marve and don't need Harris are "IDIOTS". True Canes love the west, True Canes love Jacoby. It is true that we got Marve but it does not Hurt to have to good Quaterbacks. As a matter of fact I think Jacoby can be a great one. We need to turn this place back into the quaterback U. Jacoby you're a true Cane. I'm now a bulls fan and that's coming from a Miami Central Grad.
Rockets for life, I love the bulls too.
Rockets + Bulls =Cane

Canes C/O 2003

Most of the negative stuff that was being said about Jacory was by ignorant fans that don't know what the hell they were talking about, if you read this blog then you"ve read Jacory that I picked you to be the starting QB next year, I've followed your play this year and I beleive that you will be the most talented QB to come from the U. Also I want to wish Jacory, Marcus, Sean, Aldarius, Kendall, Brandon, Tommy and the rest of the Bulls all the best and may they play their finest game so we can finally have a team from South Florida win a National Championship since my Alma Matter did it last. The same goes to the Canes from BTW, Davon, Thearon and Brandon. I look forward to watching these kids play on Sat's at the U next year I think this recruiting class will be most special at the U. THANK YOU.

It is nice to see some young men, from a ruff area, get's a chance to accomplish what many others will never get a chance to and in the future, help their families. I wish you all the best at the U. I will become a season ticket holder for the first timne (was never interested the last few years) just for the fact that we are getting those character players that eventually will change the face of the U on the football field and off the field. Harris, do your thing man, i like Marve, and you both are the future of this program. Remember a QB is the center piece of any football program, whether it's at the high school level, college or NFL level.

To the Northwestern Bulls CANES Committs -YOU WILL SOON SEE THE DIEHARD MIAMI SUPPORTING FANS THIS SAT IN ORLANDO, I TOOK OFF WORK!!! IM SURE OTHERS WILL?

Manny your an IDIOT. Harris' feelings were hurt by what 5 people said???? So out of the over 1 million CANE fans in South Florida he got hurt by what .0001% percent of the population thinks about him. TO make things worse you all more fuel to the fire and make it a real big deal (Typical reporter). THe vast majority of Cane fan's are welcoming these kids with open arms, they know trips are part of the process. So Harris get over it, everyone loves you guys. Manny, stop being an idiot and blowing things out of proportion.

Good luck this weekend to the NW team. To all the Canes fans out their that keep talking smack every time a potential recruit takes a trip or makes a comment, shut up please!!! Let RS do the recruiting and if they sign great if not they are not true Canes. You loose some you win some that's life, so don't bash these kids if they look somewhere else. The class we have coming in this year will be the start towards anther championship.

If I were a recruit, I would visit as many colleges as possible just to have the experience.

How many college football fans would love to visit Norte Dame, Michigan, Texas, Florida...all the historic stadiums and colleges. I know I would, especially if someone else is paying the bill. These are kids, let them have their fun.

Jacory Harris has the RIGHT to travel where ever he likes. If he chooses Oregon, so be it. If those cowards had any guts, go up to him and tell him in his face how you feel. I bet you wouldn't.

Awesome write up Manny, I mean it!!!!!

I wish all 3 teams luck this weekend but then onto bigger and better games and championships.

I think all these kids are the "new breed" of Hurricane. With the talent coming in they will be a force in the very near future. Playing in big games in a big town on the highest level is tremendous.

I think it was a blessing Butch did not come back, Schiano wanted no part of us.

Coach Shannon is the best thing that happend to the U since Butch. Without him we would have no chance of keeping these kids home. He knows them, where they are from how they live We The Best and the entire country knows it. I cant wait to see you guy in the orange jerseys.

As for Jacory Harris we love you man. We understand how coaches and recruiters come to town talking big stuff. The reason why they talk big stuff is because they know the U on an upswing. Dont buy into the hype, stay focused and beat Robert Marve out for your position. True hurricane fan were hurt buy your comments and the O skully you wore on your campus and forming the U into an O that is a no no.

I can not wait until signing day or the US ARMY GAME. There are going to be so many U's being thown up it will seem like 2000 again. Guys get us back to the top because it is too crowded at the bottom.

*************PATRICK JOHNSON is must we have to keep this kid home he is a superstar***************

None of us know these kids personally, so when people say crap about them it shouldent matter. We just want the best players to play at the U, especially if their from Miami.

Awesome Manny, I wish I could watch that NW Boone game! Man, how many times Does it happen when three loaded HS teams go to battle for Miami or South Florida against all comers? Hope Boone makes it interesting for a half.

Jacory, common man, it is like a family thing. The real U fans love you and when they see you just looking at the neighbor's backyard they will bark about it... no worries man -- to a man we think you and Marve and Hill will bring back the U to glory.

Good luck in Orlando.

Depth. Depth. Depth. Come one, come all. Miami needs players and there's plenty of room for them. All the NW and Booker T. guys are players and more than welcome to the Hurricane fraternity. Like Forston said, there will be some guys who sway because of the facility issue (which has been around for over a decade now), but one thing is still true about Miami: it's the NFL highway for these guys. Just look at Philips and Campbell. Both guys are top 15 picks in a 1st round, whether next year or the year after, and Miami the last 2 years has been a very mediocre 12-13. If this class stays committed, plus last year's ok class, miami should be back to the tops very soon. I really think that Shannon will do his job with HIS guys. This past year's team was still Larry's, and the didn't take to Shannon's styles. Go Canes!

And, how about those basketball boys?! Whoosh!

Good Luck Teams

The problem with fans are they hang on every word these kids are saying. Try to think back to when you were 17 or 18. If schools came after you and said they would fly you to Oregon or LA to see their campus you would go to. Hell Marve went to Hawaii on a visit. Just know that the kids that pick UM are picking it because they want to be canes. I like the way this class is looking and I can smell a championship in 2 years, 3 at most.
Flroida GAYTURDS are snakes. They should saty in the murky waters in that hell hole they call a school. Where do you go in to relax up there TGIF? Never had a champioship team that went undefeated which means people had to vote them in. Not one of their titles are people saying they were the best.

People...we should be careful with the comments on these blogs. These are just kids, most don't have the ability to brush off comments like the ones made by some fans. Its not like these are professional football players (though they might be one day).

If you want to go off on someone...go to the Dolphins blog....there's plenty of targets....like Cam...what a complete idiot that guy is.

I shouldn't have to say this but I will anyway. For people to blow up at a kid who is about to make a life changing decision is plain ignorant. If your emotions are banking on the choosing of a school by a teenage scholar athlete then there is a great need to look in the mirror and decide what you are getting out of life. I understand the Miami Hurricanes is a sense of local pride but take pleasure in other things please: friends, family, religion whatever. But to ridicule a kid because he may want to see what the rest of the country has to offer is asinine.

To Jacory, please do not get hurt at the remarks of a few people without a passion for their own lives. Enjoy your college visits as you have earned the right. If you end up at Miami then great and I look forward to watching you on Saturdays lighting it up. And if you choose Orgegon then burn in he... jk. I'm sure you'll enjoy Eugene and the Pacific NW and maybe I'll even drive down from Seattle and watch you quaterback a win over OSU in the Civil War.

Manny thanks for the inside info and go canes

==============================================
Man, if I'm a high school football player, I'm gonna take as many recruiting trips as possible. How can you blame a guy like Jacory for wanting to get out and see Oregon? I sure as hell would love to take a trip like that for free.

But I'm definitely beginning to feel like this is a real special recruiting class. C'mon Jacory, Brandon, Marcus, Sean, Patrick - bring us a national championship! WE LOVE U GUYS ALREADY!

==============================================
IT'S GREAT...TO BE...A MIAMI HURRICANE!
RIP #95...RIP #26

==============================================
Man, if I'm a high school football player, I'm gonna take as many recruiting trips as possible. How can you blame a guy like Jacory for wanting to get out and see Oregon? I sure as hell would love to take a trip like that for free.

But I'm definitely beginning to feel like this is a real special recruiting class. C'mon Jacory, Brandon, Marcus, Sean, Patrick - bring us a national championship! WE LOVE U GUYS ALREADY!

==============================================
IT'S GREAT...TO BE...A MIAMI HURRICANE!
RIP #95...RIP #26

This is what it's all about. Growing up in South FL, playing with your boys for a Championship and bring it all to the U. It's not about facilities, we have the NFL's coming back to workout here whenever they can, it's about winning, becoming a man, and joining arguably the best fraternity in sports. If you are a real South Florida football player you go to the U. We are all excited because the core of the West and BTW are staying home for our enjoyment and to restore what it's ours. First things first though, go kick some behinds in Orlando and represent the 305 the way you've done it all year!! Good luck fellas, make us proud!

Jacory,
Remember Gator, Nole, and LSU fans come here posing as Cane fans to stir the pot. I know that for a fact because they've used my screen name before. Not everything you read here is from a Cane fan. Don't worry, we got your back no matter what. Your part of the family now.

Manny and all UM recruiting fans,

I am sick and tired of this whole soap opera that is called recruiting. Like every fan I track what players are going to the "U", whose visiting, and what they are saying. But I feel some of these early commitments (not just at UM) are worse than chicks. Craving attention, playing with the media, saying things just mess with fans and keep coaches on their toes.

Dont get me wrong , I believe a recruit should enjoy the whole process, take every visit he can, and if he is still not sure then drag it out until the end. But some of these kids know where they want to go but pretend that they are not interested just to keep the soap opera going. Enough is enough, if you do want to come here commit, if you dont dont commit!

I feel this whole process should be cut shorter.

Fans and Manny let me know if you are feeling the same way.

Regarding PJ:


I hope this does not turn into another Willie Wiliams, Fred Rouse, Avery Atkins etcc.. Type of scenario. If his father is listening to all this coaches "TELL THEM" bs and he thinks it will happen, he will be in for a world of hurt. (ASK Deonte Thompson and his family). I would like to apologize if RS is to honest and tells you that your kid will have to work and study hard, b4 he becomes a star, itis the TRUTH!!

If your boy loves UM, let it be!!

Is this why PJ was considering waiting until the fall? Could it be that he would be 18 by then and could enroll at UM w/o his parents signature??!!

If it is! PJ wait until the fall!! You do not have to sign any letter on national signing day in February. You can wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ill be there in orlando on sat with my U.M. gear!

All I can say is UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!! becuz after Jacory wins the starting spot from Rob Marve he is gonna win the damn Hesiman as a Freshmen. MARK MY WORDS Cory Harris hesiman 2008-2009. THE BEST Quaterback in the STATE as a SENIOR in high school. T-BOW aint got nothin on my dawg.Da University of Northwestern/ BTW

305tilliDie: are you and grassy's 305TILLIDIE one and the same?

These idiots so called fans who claimed that we have Marve and don't need Harris are "IDIOTS". True Canes love the west, True Canes love Jacoby. It is true that we got Marve but it does not Hurt to have to good Quaterbacks. As a matter of fact I think Jacoby can be a great one. We need to turn this place back into the quaterback U. Jacoby you're a true Cane. I'm now a bulls fan and that's coming from a Miami Central Grad.

Posted by: True Cane | December 13, 2007 at 09:13 AM
who's Jacoby, true?

despite harsh words, Jacory Harris reaffirms his commitment to U ... sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me : )

This message is to SABBATH JOSEPH. Dawg u should have been a Cane but u lucked out. USF we never get u ready to go to the league. when u get that in your head "U" will understand that the "U" is where it is at. Call me when "U" are in the NFL.(its not gonna happen) until then SABBATH JOSEPH try to transfer to a major University.
BECUZ ITS ALL ABOUT THE UUUUUUUUUUUUUU
UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

Gatorade National HS Player of the Year is a Junior.

Wow!

B-ball gametime.

not a fan of the black unis

http://wqam.com/

12-5

busy: black is bUtifUl

14-9 11m

i am a fan of the black if we play well

19-18 7m

21-24 3m

Yeah, I'm loving the black jerseys

25-28 :31

27-28 H

http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071210/FSU03/712100324
democrat's steve ellis: "(f$u) forgoing a Labor Day game for the first time in five seasons." forgo or forgotten?

great b-ball game.... I hope they pull it off, I need this really bad after this past Football season!

QAM to air Miami Northwestern v. orlando boone 7p 12/15

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0712/nfl.kevin.everett/content.1.html
Kevin Everett walks ... Miami Project Miracle

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez set another record for baseball's highest contract, finalizing his $275 million, 10-year agreement with the New York Yankees on Thursday.

1 2 »

The comments to this entry are closed.