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Catching up with DVD & more

With the 2007 football season officially behind us, I wanted to take a look at what some of the current young Canes are doing to prepare for 2008. So, I caught up with an old friend of mine, freshman cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke earlier this week. 

Q: So, what have you been doing since the end of the season?
A: Been lifting weights, doing routes, going down to school and watching a little bit of film.

Demarcus_van_dykeQ: Have you put on any weight since the end of the season?
A: I haven’t jumped on the scale since the end of the season, but I’m hoping to gain about 10 pounds. I’ve been packing up on mom’s Christmas dinner. I was weighing about 174. I put on about 12-15 pounds from high school to the end of my freshman year. I want to get to about 185 by the spring.

Q: Who have you been hanging out with?
A: Mostly my old high school teammates, friends. I've been having a good time.

Q: I heard your friend from Monsignor Pace, UM safety Lovon Ponder had thought about possibly going to the pros, leaving school early. Have you spoken with him lately?
A: I haven’t spoken to him in a long time. I heard he was thinking about going pro, but he backed out and said he was coming back for one more year. I was happy about that.

Q: You still rooming with Allen Bailey? How is he doing with his weight? I know people thought he was pretty big when he came in and if he put on any more weight he might not be able to play linebacker.
A: He’s doing good. I talked to him yesterday. He’s been working out, doing a lot of running to stay in shape, stuff like that.

Tim_waltonQ: What was your reaction to Coach Time Walton being let go of as defensive coordinator? I know you guys still don’t know who your next defensive coordinator is going to be. Are you hoping its somebody on the current staff? Are you excited there are going to be some changes?
A: At first I was kind of shocked when I heard about it. But I understand it was a business decision for coach and the team. Whatever he does is good with me. Hopefully he brings in a great coach like coach Walton was.

Q: Have you been able to catchup with any of the incoming freshman? I know they should be coming in soon and I know you are close to some of those Northwestern guys?
A: Not really. They’ve been playing in those All-Star games. But I talked to Marcus Forston today and he asked me what to bring in for the dorm. I just told him to bring some sheets and stuff like that.

Q: What advice do you have for those new guys coming in? I guess there is 11 in all? And who are you closest with?
A: First of all, it’s a huge advantage for those guys coming in the spring. You can get a jump on the playbook, the game plan, the spring time and the academic part of it as well. It’s going to be an exciting time for all of those guys. I guess if I know any of those guys the best its Jacory Harris and [Marcus] Forston. I haven’t talked to Jacory in awhile because he’s been rehabbing his knee. But I hope he gets better soon because it’s going to be a great competition between he and [Robert] Marve at quarterback and Cannon Smith and the kid from Texas, Taylor Cook.

Q: Have the guys talked much about what happened at the end of last season? I know it wasn’t the way you guys wanted to finish out. But are there positive emotions? Are guys excited about next season?
A: A lot of guys coming back are really excited about next year’s team. We know we have a lot of great players coming in, great athletes. Coach Shannon is going to play the best guys this year – it doesn’t matter if they are freshmen or not. So, we should win at least 10 games this year.

Q: I know you were among the freshman to get a lot of playing time, but any of the other guys that were redshirted that came in with your class that are doing real well now?
A: Adewale Ojomo and Jermaine McKenzie, those guys are beasts man. Had those guys played this year it would have been a huge impact. They took their redshirts this year, but next year they are going to be Freshmen All-Americans. Ojomo is just one of those guys that goes hard every play. You watch him when he works out, he goes hard. Jermaine is one of those guys that runs routes by himself on the outside. He’s getting himself back together like he was in high school.

Q: Have you gone up against Jermaine lately, maybe during some 7-on-7?
A: Oh yeah. Jermaine in every 7-on-7 last summer he was on fire. Then we he came back from his injury he was doing the same things. He beats you off the line, runs good routes. He picked up where he left off.

Brandon_harrisQ: Are you helping to recruit any of these local guys? I know there are a couple local guys who could end up at UM but are on the fence – Brandon Harris, Corey Liuget.
A: I’ve been talking to Brandon Harris a lot. I call him and tell him together we can bring The U back to the way it used to be. He’s a great kid and a great athlete. I saw him play on Saturday in the Under Armour All-American game. He was shutting guys down all game. They couldn’t do anything against him. I told him he’d be a great asset if he came here next year.

Q: How has Robert Marve looked? Have you seen him throw the ball lately?
A: His arm is strong man. Before we left he’d throw a pass 65, 70 yards downfield on the money. He hit McKenzie in stride a few times on those deep ones. He’s special.

PODCAST UPLOADED: I know some of you have been clamoring for a new podcast. I finally recorded one Wednesday, more than 60 minutes worth of recruiting talk with two of the best in the business Larry Blustein and Charles Fishbein. Blustein and I covered a lot of topics: the high school all-star games, the top players in the country including quarterback Terrell Pryor, I got his reaction to Matt Patchan and Patrick Johnson going elsewhere and I got his thoughts on the impeding QB battle at UM. Fishbein, who was at the NCAA coaches meetings in Anaheim this week, talked to me about what he was hearing out there on the defensive coordinator front (don't worry it's nothing earth shattering), plus his thoughts on highly-touted defensive tackle Corey Liuget and what he saw from him at the Offense-Defense game last week at the Orange Bowl. Enjoy.

-- I'm sure most of you read Barry Jackson's Buzz Column this week which touched on how the Canes have done up until now in recruiting and what they plan to focus on in the next four weeks leading up to National Signing Day. He did a great job. But I've got some more for you based on my conversations with Blustein and some other experts on the outside as well as a few guys on the inside at The U.

-- Cornerback is without question the one area I think Miami needs the most help at. While the Canes have landed three/four defensive backs in this class (it depends on how you view Ramon Buchanon), none of them are natural cornerbacks. C.J. Holton, who is the most talented of the group, is the one player who I've been told could be converted to corner if need be. But Joe Wylie, C.J. Odom and Buchanon (who could be an outside linebacker) are all safety prospects. As it stands now, Bruce Johnson (Sr.), Carlos Armour (Sr.), Chavez Grant (Jr.) and Van Dyke (So.) are the only DBs on the roster now who are natural corners. Harris, whom Blustein and UM coaches absolutely love, could potentially come in and be the best on the team right away. If he opts to go elsewhere, the Canes could turn to Aaron Hester, T.J. Bryant, Victor Johnson and Vaughn Telemaque. Hester, Johnson and Telemaque are all scheduled to visit UM the weekend of Jan. 18-20 (a big weekend for out of town recruits). Another possibility, which Blustein hopes happens for Miami, is that the Canes give local Archbishop Carroll standout George Baker a chance. Blustein believes Baker could be a star at UM. Baker it appears is waiting to hear more, though, from the Canes.

-- Hialeah High defensive tackle Corey Liuget has moved up the recruiting charts all season much the way his weight has. When I first saw Liuget play last season as a junior, he was a slim Corey_liuget_herald_photodude about 6-3, 220. He played quarterback, tight end, defensive end. Now, he's lining up with the big boys in the trenches and tipping the scales at 270. Fishbein tells me seeing him play in the Offense-Defense bowl last week was impressive. He believes Liuget could potentially be as good if not better than Cane commitment Marcus Forston, who is considered the best defensive tackle in the country. Consider Liuget and Harris the prime two targets for UM down the stretch. Get them, and the Hurricanes likely have the best defensive class in the country.

-- Rumors keep swirling about who else could potentially end up transferring from the current roster. Running back Charlie Jones, who was supposedly entering the NFL Draft, has now opted to transfer to another college program according to my source. Tight end Dajleon Farr is also expected to end up at Memphis (where Tim Walton is now defensive coordinator) and Doug Wiggins is likely headed to Western Michigan (although I'm still trying to confirm it with his high school coach).

-- I know there have been reports to the contrary, but I spoke with incoming linebacker Jordan Futch Tuesday night who told me there's a chance the family of fellow incoming linebacker Arthur Brown will be moving to South Florida from Kansas. Brown, one of two current five-star UM recruits, has a younger brother, Bryce Brown, who is expected to be one of the most saught-after running backs in the country in 2009. Futch said his mother, who dabbles in real estate, is helping the Browns look for a house in Weston. He said Bryce would likely end up playing for coach Mark Guandolo at Cypress Bay.


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Damn manny, u ever sleep? Great stuff and great work. Keep it coming!!

Thanks for the update Manny. God Bless the Canes.

amazing that Walton fire was said to be a "business" decision; guess both Shannon & Walton $-ck when it came to making adjustments. More amazing for the lack of words regarding a new DC. Last year, same black-out on info on the DC, then a mere cornerback coach promoted to DC. I dunno, but Michael Barrow is not a mere LB coach as he spent 11 years in the NFL, and should know a thing or two about calling & making defensive adjustments on the field. Manny, I got a question. Considering he was the major recruiter for this best LB recruiting in the country and his NFL LB game knowledge, could he just be promoted the coveted DC position?

DE Corey would be a beast to have... but since last year, UM seemed to loose on the truly outstanding recruits. The only one really coveted they beat other school out for was Bailey, this year, other than the NWA boyz, it was was Arthur Brown. UM is no Notre Dame with being able to on National TV every game! How can you recruit the best ballers while getting routed? In order to sustain these classes, they will have to win games next year. That tirade by Patchan was real, and probably one reason why PJ opted to be at LSU today, and Patchan to UF.

This class really has the potential to the best ever, but Brandon Harris is no doubt great, but what a class if UM can get some Jamie Harper! Well, UM is going after so many top talent, that it's just a numbers game that they can't loose them all, these top talents they are going after. What will the EE do in the spring, and how will they affect depth charts? Thanks on the article on DVD, but as far as I could recall there was a buzz about Cooper this time last year with sightings of him. Will there be such mystery on the 11-13 EE ballers or will you provide further info?

hey manny wow u do greatwork i told the higher ups realize how much of an asset u r.

Manny, I'm just going to shorten your name to "the man". Great interview. Man, if we can just get Liuget, Harris and Ben Jones, I think we are set. A tight end would be nice, but the only one on the radar is that kid from Georgia and that would be a tough get. If anyone can do it, though, Barrow can. He's the real deal. Jamie Harper would be some serious icing, but I've heard we probably entered the derby too late. Anyway, thank you for all your hard work and for being one of the voices of reason during Smackdown '08 last night on the 'Space...lol.

Manny, your the man... Thanks. Enjoyed the podcast and very informative.

There is only a few weeks remaining and believe all of us need to be positive on all levels as they effect the recruits, players and coaching staff.

Rather then being negetive, let's put down our guard and accept Randy's decissions. Although I still would like to see Don Soldinger back on our staff.... and I wonder if it is possibe?


Manny, thanks for the time and effort you put in to keep "THE U" family up to date with everything going on. I really do appreciate it tremendously. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Manny, thanks U for all the hard work you do. Canes attitude all the way!!

Great work Manny. Please keep it up. I need to get my "U" fix everyday. Of course we won't know for a couple of years how good the recruting class is going to be, but it looks very strong. On the Patrick Johnson thing, I heard rumors that he wasn't ging to qualify at the "U", therefore he went elsewhere? is that true? That's the last thing I'll mention about that guy and I am done. Thanks bro.

Thanks for DVD interview and the great podcast. I see radio in your future. Also thanks again for your insight on Canespace Tuesday night. You kept me up until 2am! Way past my bedtime.


Great Work as always! Its also good to hear that DVD talks to incoming guys on a regular basis. Keep up the good work.

Any additional info on the Defensive Coordinator?

Great job Manny. Thanks!

Great job as always.

Tightwork Manolo!!

I really never post but i always read your columns and blogs. I want to thank you for the time and effort you put into this.

Manuel, great job as usual. A little disapponted of news on the DC after the coaches' conference in Anaheim. The longer we wait the more I think RS and Barrow CO DC and then hire position coach or assistant. This is a very special defensive class of recruits. The DC, whoever it is, will make a name for himself for long time.

Go Canes!!!!

Can we get Q Taylor instead of Marti, I'll take a LB with almost the same production as
Spence than a LB from a smaller classification school anytime.

I hope B Harris can see that if he comes to the U, he'll probably be starting next year.

Just listened to the Podcast. Solid work again, man. I'm really enjoying 'em.
-- Balto

Great work as usually Manny, thanks for the info.

great Job Manny!! your the best in the business in covering the Canes in my opinion! Keep doing your thang man

LSU payed PJ to attend their school and he has been seen driving around in a new escalade since!!!

Hmmm... Sounds like another Reggie Bush situation to me...

I think this situation neeeds some serious investigation and would be awesome to see play out... ESPN should be made aware of this so they can do there intensive investigations and bring both LSU and PJ DOWN baby!!!

Congrats to Jacory Harris....this years Mr.Florida Football! Go Canes

ESPN has the U with the #1 recruiting class!!!!

Yo serious news if you haven't heard...Blake Ayles Best TE in the country throwing up the U in a pic with Spence Aldarius and BHarris over on Canespace. Wonder if there is anything to that...that would be insane

Great work Manny.


Does having #1 recruiting class really matter? I would rather have players like Reed, Dorsey, Portis, Gore, McGahee and others and not ranked anywhere near #1.

Great point Drudge. We need football players, not paper "Tigers"

We'll never know the impact that J-Mac, Reddick, Marve, and possibly Ojomo could have had in 2007... But I think we can all speculate it would have been somewhat significant - each would have added playmakers and depth at KEY positions.

The sliver lining - all (four (barring injury) are ready for '08, we have numerous fast/talented/hungry football players (not just athletes) coming in, we have a coaching stuff a year wiser that can review all the on-the-job-training mistakes...

Remember this - last year Ilinois was 2-10, Kansas was 6-6, and UVA was 4-7. All three played on New Year's day and finished with a combined 29-7 record (30-9 after the bowls). The year before Wake went 11-3 and went to the OB, they were 3-8.

All this doomsday dribble that the Canes are 2-3 years away (even Manny said this) is rhetoric and speculation. It might take 2-3 years and it may not. Who knows. But there's no reason it has to. If Marve is the real deal (or Jacory, or Cannon) and the other pieces come together...the Canes can be good (very good) in a hurry.

Just ask Kansas, Illinois, Mizzou, Wake, UVA, etc.

Recruits: Miami will play Ohio St, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Florida during your time here...
Bring us Back.

bv is right...and thats not counting the bowl games. Once we win the ACC, there isn't a bowl that wouldn't love to have us face USC, LSU or Georgia.

Great, great work Manny.

Thanks as always.

When is the Herald's Ad department going to get with the times and use side banners like everyone else????

I like the canes chances of winning the ACC next season! I think Colin McCarthy, Courtney Harris, Adewale Ojomo, "baby J" and Coop all have a big year! I can't wait till the first game! Miami will definately fly under the radar next season. Nobody will see the Canes coming! It's to bad that Kenny Phillips and Calais Campbell opted for the NFL but I completely understand!

I hope we get Rutgers to open the season. That would be a great game! I also have a good feeling about next season. I think we'll all be really pumped by the end of next season.

awesome work again Manny

Hey Manny, I don't know if you heard about Walton going to Memphis as their DC. You mentioned this at the conclusion of your podcast.

Awesome Podcast! Have to get beer in hand next time.

We need to improve on the O-Line if we are to win. It all starts there. A good O-Line will give the QB time to hit his receivers and open holes for the Runnning backs...

Manny shout out from Iraq great interview. allen bailey will be a beast with arthur brown and marcus forston, i think the middle of our "d" will be alot better i just wish kenny phillips was staying, hopefully reddick can still run

Manny shout out from Iraq great interview. allen bailey will be a beast with arthur brown and marcus forston, i think the middle of our "d" will be alot better i just wish kenny phillips was staying, hopefully reddick can still run

I love hearing the positive bloggers talk about winning the acc next seson, etc etc

Look guys. With another year under their belts, I thought KW and KF were together, going to be good enough to take us to a BCS this year. I really thought that. Now, I am tired of wishful thinking , AND I WILL NOT GET MY HOPES UP UNTIL I SEE IT ON THE FIELD!

I MEAN, THIS IS total deja vu: After 97, 98, and 99, I had literally lost hope in the canes, despite EJs run against UCLA. What turned me was in 2000, when I saw that scrwny sophomore Ken Dorsey, get rattled in the first half at a very nasty place (Washington), but showed his true grit, skills, and composure and nearly brought us back--barely lost by 5 pt. I saw then, what we had, and was confirmed throughout the season, and sealed and delivered against FSU at the OB in a historic win!

My point is, lets wait. Players: Stop the talk, do the walk, Show us what you got but do it CONSISTENTLY! DONT BEAT TEXAS A7M AND THEN GO LOSE TO NC OR NC STATE. COME ON!

Manny- what the heck happened to Charlie Jones?????????

I mean, we've all lambasted Coker and the recent recruiting, but don't tell me that Kyle Wright, Kirby Freeman, Charlie Jiones, and evenRyan Moore werent NATIONALLY recruited!

On Charlie, what the heck?

I mean, he did let us down several times: The fumble against Louisville at the 2 yard line comes immediately to mind. But he was supposedly the next Clinton Portis. Are we seein gthe same in our bacth of rbs?

hey BlakkIce, coverorange & jjm1023, just post the link

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who won less than 2 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, said Thursday he wants a recount to ensure that all ballots in his party's contest were counted. The Ohio congressman cited "serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors" about the integrity of Tuesday results.

what's the likelihood ... all pre-election & exit polls amiss ... something's rotten in the state of new hampshire ... INFINITESIMAL

UM is no Notre Dame with being able to on National TV every game!

Posted by: speedwrecks | January 10, 2008 at 03:16 AM
ABC or ESPN or ESPN2 or ESPNU (our namesake) televised 11 of our games ...

How can you recruit the best ballers while getting routed? In order to sustain these classes, (UM) will have to win games next year.

Posted by: speedwrecks | January 10, 2008 at 03:16 AM
it would be nice ... but our blockbluster class speaks to the allure of the University of Miami ... IRRESISTIBLE

accselect.com to simulcast conference & tournament games ... forerunner of ACC-TV? FORWARD

Does anyone know how UMs academic requirements compare with the other top recruiting classes? Is it harder for student-athletes to qualify for UM than it is for UF, LSU, USC, Georgia et.al.?

If so, whats up with that? Football does a lot for the school, shouldn't we loosen up a little.


Just read your comment on not getting your hopes up until you see results on the field. I agree with you, but I wouldn't expect to see results on the scoreboard until later in the season. The team is going to be really young, especially at QB. The offensive system will probably looking different from last year (I'm expecting a spread formation passing attack), and we will have a new defensive coordinator. The begining of the 08 schedule is tough with games against Florida and Oklahoma. Both will be experienced teams playing in the same system.

I'd like to see a difference in attitude and intensity from both the coaching staff and the players. I'm talking about good fundamental blocking and tackling, execution, and creative playcalling. Leadership from some of the players, regardless of age. The special teams has to get a lot better, last year they were the weakest unit on the team.

If we can improve those things we will be in a bowl game next year.

Football does a lot for the school, shouldn't we loosen up a little.

Posted by: Canesjunkie | January 11, 2008 at 10:46 AM

academic rep trumps football rep

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