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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."

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Matk Light Field @ Alex Rodriguez Park

35-36 15m

42-47 11m

47-51 7m

Don't worry Jacory...once you start winnin it'll be nothin but love.

51-56 4m

54-56 3m

57-56 2m

60-58 1m

Jack McBadAss!

Go CANES!

62-58 :29

McClinton has 20 points this half....

Great success!

64-58 :28

64-58 F

Top 25 Respect Finally?

Jack McMoney

9-0

We're currently "26th" -- I can't see how we're not ranked by Monday. Big win on the road. Possible we'll end up undefeated in non-con play?

Great game, Canes. McClinton is clutch!

It's great...to be...a Miami Hurricane!

Ghosts of Tim James, John Salmons, and James Jones!

Huge Win. Cant wait for the GT game when we are going for 15-0. That should actualy bring a crowd.

James Jones was a senior in HS during Time James last year, but I get it. Not quite the Hemsley, Bland, Jennings team, but close to maybe as good as the Salmons, Jones, Rice team. They started out 14-0, got a number 5 seed, and got thumped by Mizzou on Thu at noon, before most people even filled out their bracket. This team is tougher. Maybe not a 5 seed, but barring injuries we have depth to go to tourney and advance. Point guard is the biggest concern. Rios better grow up fast.

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I'd put money on 14-0 before going into ACC play - our remaining non-conference schedule looks relatively easy (but I don't know much about college basketball, so maybe I'm wrong).

I'm glad the Canes basketball is doing well - it's great to follow a team that's winning. I'm having a good time paying attention to recruiting and getting to know the basketball team. It may not be football season, but it ain't bad...

It's great to be a Miami Hurricane!

ACC tix on sale tomorrow!

Dear Jacory,

On behalf of ALL true Canes fans, i apologize. We welcome you with open arms. We also welcome Matt Patchan. Matt, i was there in the OB when your father and Walsh and Irvin and Sullivan and Blades and Stubbs and Shannon and Bratton and Hawkins and Mark and Mira Jr and Bain and McDowell rocked Notre Dame 24-0 in 87. It was the absolute most entertaining football game that i have ever seen and i've seen quite possibly thousands of them. Come on down and lets do it all over again... forgive us our frustrations because we are spoiled by the ghosts of past glory... what those other fans are trying to imply is that we don't expect you to be the absolute savior... we simply look forward to you coming to UM and continuing the tradition of dominance...

Yeah, it feels nice. We beat FSU in Doak, B-Ball looks like it will be exciting the next few months, and (cross "U"r fingers) it looks like we are going to keep some of the best S.FL talent for the "U"... And tomorrow's Friday and just saw that the NW Champ game is on TV Sat. Night

Its great to be a Miami Hurricane!!!!!

I think some people got a little hot under the collar with Jacory because they misread his comments as trying to pit the U against other schools and get everyone to beg him to come here. I didn't see his comments as coming that way, but I could understand why some people would get upset.

When they were saying "we don't need you", they're really saying that don't need that attitude (if that's the kind of attitude you're bringing). Though many U players go on to become stars on Sundays, they're not hotshots in college. They're tight-knit players who work in gritty facilities to become champions. No individual is more important than anyone else on the team.

Jacory, if you're reading this: you can go be the next Dixon at Oregon if you want, nobody will hold it against you. I'll wish you the best of luck. But if you wanna grind it out in Miami and help resurrect a dynasty, I'll be cheering for you on Saturday regardless of the outcome of the game. Just play hard and be a true 'Cane.

Just to add: Forston gets "it". If he keeps that attitude and plays hard, he's going to be a integral player on the team. The Coker-era sucked a little bit of the U attitude out of the program, but Shannon and guys like Forston are bringing it back!

Thx Manny


Good Luck Jacory!!!!!

Im buying your jersey when you are assigned a number!!!!!!!!!!

Miami players are hotshots in college? Are U kidding? Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, Randal Hill?
Jacory needs to come here and bring the same attitude he's had in High School. That's what we've been missing.

I meant "aren't hotshots in college"

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.

Can't say I'm not embarassed by the way some of the "fans" have acted over the course of the football and recruiting season. I have been saying all along to let these young men take their visits so they can BE SURE this is where they want to be (that way they're FULLY committed and involved in the program and wont end up transfering). I apologize for the fans who hurt jacory and all the other guys wanting to make the most of their high school senior season. You boys clean it up in orlando this weekend! Go NW and BT! AND GO U!

THESE GUYS R KIDS IF NOT YOURS THERE SOMEONE ELSES. WE SHOULD LOVE THEM FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.LETS STOP YACKING AT THESE KIDS AND START SOWING LOVE AS BETTER UM FANS. WHATEVER A MAN SOWETH HE SHALL ALSO REAP. LETS PLEDGE AS FANS TO SOW LOVE FROM THIS DAY FORTH.AS WE BECOME BETTER FANS LETS SUPPORT OUR TEAM TO GET BETTER!!!!!!

Not only does UM badly need Jacory for it's future, but we badly need Jacory for THIS SEASON. Hell, we need him to be able to enroll early.

I believe that even if he doesn't beat out Marve this year he will still play a lot. He needs to be ready.

Anyone who wouldn't be upset about losing a high caliber QB like Harris is crazy. I can see why Oregon enticed him for a few days but he's a true Cane at heart.

Jacory if you read this: Oregon is a good program that will make a CFB star out of you, but they won't get you ready for the pro's. Their best NFL QB is....Joey Harrington. You could shine in that offense but you will shine in the UM offense as well. Plus you'll be more NFL ready coming out of UM's offense.

http://insidetheu.com/news/viewnews.php?v=47626e01081d6
Calais Campbell keeps U streaking. 14 straight years? 1ST-ROUND U

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/sports&id=5834880
duke hires david cutcliffe

the ACC Championship will alternate between florida & north carolina ... HUB

today, michelle obama stumps for the next POTUS in Coral Gables

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/college/hurricanes/sfl-flzobowl1214sbdec14,0,3547353.story
dreams inc. pres. ross tannenbaum: "Our goal is to have a flag football game (jan 26 at the Orange Bowl) between Miami Dolphins greats and University of Miami Hurricanes greats and the Dolphins will be led by Dan Marino." OLD TIMES

http://www.sportsline.com/spin/story/10528019
college cheerleader of the year? UM's Christina DeMaria

======================

Manny...Being a Canes Fan and tired of other schools throwing crap here on the 305 network, about the U....Thought I would throw in my two cents about recruiting problems at The University of Florida.

Florida new recruits of 2008 will have to wait in line. It appears Florida has a stable filled with star-power from 2005 and 2006 recruiting classes.

I started comparing best recruiting class over the past couple of years and Fla. is filled with talent, which means, new recruits of 08 will be shelved for now. As of(2007) Florida has 10 seniors and 15 Juniors on the team, that will leave or may jump to the NFL... now get this, out of a total of 115 players listed on the roster... 90 players are current Sophomores or Freshman and of those, 24 are red-shirted.

Gee,... I wonder why guys are leaving or transferring.... No-talent or too much competition or a good player tired of waiting his turn at stardom....Take your pick !

Ugly
Start the Dynasty (2008/2011)and become a legend on a National Level.

Go Canes

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami_dade/story/344275.html
waterfront art and science museums; 25,000-seat soccer stadium; $525M retractable-roof ballpark. circumventing the public's will ... WISH LIST

Christina DeMaria is hot as hell!!!! It is great to be a Miami Hurricane!!

Yeah....there are some real losers out there who need to get a life instead of ripping a young man for doing what is best for him and his family.

Jacory, that is not the majority of folks though. Remember that no matter where you decide to attend school, there will be haters. So, you may as well go with where you feel the most comfort level overall. Regardless, I would love to see any inner city recruit go to college and graduate. That's a great thing and you all have earned this. So, keep up the good work and ignore the haters.

Jacory, Marcus and Sean...if you are reading this we do need you, it is clear. We will always need upstanding athletes that get "The U" and understand. If the U can keep the best talent home we will always dominate, back to our roots. You are all winners...good luck in Orlando.

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HIGHLIGHT OF THE EVENING: Marcus Forston flashing the "U" before the snap while "Soulja Boy" is playing over the Citrus Bowl's P.A. system. WE LOVE U, MARCUS!

I think the people that are making stupid comments are doing it on purpose wanting these kids to go somewhere else, because they are either UF or FSU fans.

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