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Remember me?

LSU won the national title Monday night and I bet you might have remembered some of those faces on stage accepting the national championship trophy.

How about defensive MVP Ricky-Jean Francois, who made the game-changing play Monday when he blocked a field goal. Jean-Francois? Sounds familiar? Oh yeah. The Herald's two-time Athlete of The Year in Dade. The guy who played in front of Kenny Phillips and caused havoc for Carol City's vaunted defense. The Freak wanted so badly to come to UM, he held off on signing his scholarship to LSU for eight days. He sat at home crying, wishing UM would offer. The Hurricanes never did.

How about All-American linebacker Ali Highsmith? Remember him? He signed with UM out of Miami Central. He had issues with his grades and ended up at LSU, heartbroken just like Jean-Francois that he couldn't be a Cane. Yes, that's Highsmith, the cousin of former UM standout Alonzo Highsmith.

How about receiver Demetrius Byrd? You probably never heard about him because the Hurricanes never even bothered. Another academic casualty who signed with FIU before going the JUCO route. He was the third-leading receiver on the team this season and led the squad with 7 touchdown catches.

I hate to bring up the painful past. But these guys were right here in UM's backyard. And now they are national champions -- somewhere else. Another reason to shake your head today Canes fans and hope none of these other superstars in South Florida get away.

By the way, I was having a little fun tonight during the game. Since I figure it is going to take UM another season to get these young talented recruits ready and productive on the field, I started jotting down what a possible BCS UM starting lineup might look like in 2009. Remember this was just for fun...

QB: Robert Marve, R-Jr. or Jacory Harris, So.
RB: Graig Cooper, Jr.
FB: Patrick Hill, Sr.
WR: Sam Shields, Sr.
WR: Jermaine McKenzie, R-So.
WR: Aldarius Johnson, So.
TE: Dedrick Epps, Sr.
LT: Brandon Washington, So.
LG: Harland Gunn, R-So.
C: A.J. Trump, R-Jr.
RG: Orlando Franklin, Jr.
RT: Matt Pipho, R-Jr.

RE: Adewale Ojomo, R-So.
DT: Marcus Forston, So.
DT: Jeremy Lewis, So.
LE: Allen Bailey, R-So.
WLB: Sean Spence, So.
MLB: Colin McCarthy, Sr.
SLB: Arthur Brown, So.
CB: DeMarcus Van Dyke, Jr.
CB: Brandon Harris, So.
SS: Damien Berry, Jr.
FS: Ramon Buchanon, So.

P: Matt Bosher, Sr.
K: Jake Wieclaw, So.
PR: Davon Johnson, So.
KR: Travis Benjamin, So.

* I'm guessing sophomore Jason Fox ends up going pro after his junior year.


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manny, thanks for reminding us-- for real. this is why we've got to keep cheering shannon on as he and his staff reclaim the recruiting momentum in s. florida. he's off to a fast start this year. a couple of more years like this one and we'll be okay.

speaking of-- any word on spence? i heard he was considering a trip to gator land?

Brandon Harris - from your lips to God's ear.

i couldnt be happier that OSU got curb stomped tonight, it made the next few months less depressing...

i couldnt be happier that OSU got curb stomped tonight, it made the next few months less depressing...

that's a mighty impressive 2009 lineup.


As always great comments. It's funny when a player refuses to come or it's not welcomed into the U, that player's caliber diminishes in front of fans (ie. Patrick Johnson, Matt Patchan). Ricky Jean-Francois was chastised by tons of fans and look at him now. By the way Manny who was the Defensive Coordinator at UM at that time?.

you really think Colin McCarthy will be our starting MLB?

after reading ur list i'm a bit more optimistic about Miami's future, they could have a pretty good team by 09, but that's if the juniors stop leaving early like they have been doing

XCane do you really think that Randy had a "say so" as the Def. cordinator when it came to dishing out scholarships?

Here's an easy answer/example for you. Just try to picture (ex D.Cord.) Walton or Nix dishing out a ship without Shannon's approval. It just doesn't work that way.

Wow...can you believe how bad a recruiter Larry Coker was? I hate that guy. Well, at least Randy is not going to let that happen. He's locking down the talent is South Florida.

Well it's not like LSU could ever win a title with just a bunch of Louisiana recruits. Also next time we get a 5 star recruit from Louisiana, let's trade him to LSU for a 2 star Florida recruit and we'll be good. :)

As much as I'd love to believe that 2009 will be the year the 'Canes get back into the BCS bowl picture, I must admit that I'm skeptical. For '09 I think I'd be happy with a trip to and loss in the ACC title game followed by a solid bowl win in the Peach Bowl and a top 10 finish to the season. The only reason I say that is because I looked up and down your lineup and believe that consistent improvement this year and in '09, coupled with continued recruiting success, player development, and coaching staff continuity leaves us with only the following holes to fill for the 2010 season....

RB: Graig Cooper, Jr. (if he turns into Clinton Portis)
FB: Patrick Hill, Sr.
TE: Dedrick Epps, Sr.
MLB: Colin McCarthy, Sr.
CB: DeMarcus Van Dyke, Jr. (unless he does an Ed Reed and hangs around)
SS: Damien Berry, Jr. (unless he turns into Ed Reed)
P: Matt Bosher, Sr.

Think about the Miami teams from 1985-1993 and 2000-2004. During those stretches, we stocked up on playmakers at RB, TE, MLB (especially), and DB. If all goes according to plan, we'll be doing just that over the next few years. As long as we stop losing to teams like UNC and GT, I'm ok with losing to teams like VT and Oklahoma...and even BC (just not to UF and FSU) over the next year or two as long as we see continued improvement and can develop these young guys. I would LOVE to see your proposed lineup take us to the BCS by 2009, but if I have to wait until 2010, it won't kill me.
Happy New Year, Manny. Keep up the great work!

great job manny , 2 add a footnote 2 ur story d. byrd wanted 2 come 2 um also he even sent tape. ( no reply), when he went 2 juco he tried again but the coaches told him they dont recruit in mississippi. lsu houned him so he went ther. mind u he was a 5stap wr at the juco level, at miami central he was the man also. who is 2 blame 4 this bs coker?

great job manny , 2 add a footnote 2 ur story d. byrd wanted 2 come 2 um also he even sent tape. ( no reply), when he went 2 juco he tried again but the coaches told him they dont recruit in mississippi. lsu houned him so he went ther. mind u he was a 5stap wr at the juco level, at miami central he was the man also. who is 2 blame 4 this bs coker?

Manny, I love you man, but have you ever seen a national championship team with so many underclassmen, especially on the defensive side? I still think RS was right about the whole needing lots of Jr's and Sr's (and depth). If this were the big-10, I'd say you're right about it, but there are still recruiting giants in blacksburg and tallahassee and not to mention that UM is still at least 3 years away from getting back that swagger. BCS contender, probably, but let's see what happens in the Spring first.

On recruiting, Patchan and Johnson can stick it. Johnson the flip-flopper and Patchan the bad-mouther. I'd rather see team players commit to UM, not guys who just want to punch their ticket to the NFL (like the Coker classes). And honestly, about those LSU guys who left UM, they're idiots. If they really wanted to play for the Canes, they coulda spent a little more time getting the grades. I'll give Coker that, he did graduate guys. That's as important to the overall view of UM as winning national championships. That's why Dennis Erickson is at ASU now...because retards and reject valley girls can get it in!

Also, why has everyone ruled out the possibility that Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith will challenge Marve and Harris. Not to criticize either guy, but Miami isn't exactly notorious for having outside the tackle box, running QB's. Just look at Freeman (ok, maybe a bad example). I know Nix had his guy at GT, but I don't think that's really the style of offense he wants to run. If you asked me right now, I think Cook will redshirt next year, but I wouldn't rule him out as challenging the following season (plus, he fits the stereotypical QB-U physique).

On another note, I don't think you have to keep promoting the UM basketball team. The people who read these posts everyday waiting for something new from you understand that this team is probably a low-mid NCAA caliber team right now. I for one am really excited about it and wish I could be back down at the BUC to see them! I think an 8-8 conference record gets them a double-digit seed in the dance, and I think that's a very doable task. Go Canes!

Great work Manny, that lineup looks real good, and the best part is next year we might land another Athur Brown or Marcus Forston as fast impact guys. The future looks bright with recurting kids that are hungry to win, and to start a new era at The U.

How about bowl-eligible and no off-field incidents in 2008? I mean, a guy can dream right?

I am pretty sure Ricky-Jean Francois wasn't going to qualify for UM. Also, you failed to mention every Cane that we got out of LSU's backyard. Ed Reed for starters.

Also, won't Marve be a redshirt So.?

I just did that on the herald blog...
a week ago or so..anyway, why no interviews with the recruits who would make this class the possibly the greatest ever...
brandon harris and Ben Jones?? Also, what's the latest on those other recruits we really need to fill in the class. like Jamie Harper and Nick the DE from Out of State??

Matt Pipho at RT? Please do your homework Manny. He is not a RT and he is the least likely of all the lineman to play. Picking names off of a list is not great reporting. Why don't you talk to the players and coaches and find out who is up and coming on the team.

RE: Adewale Ojomo, R-So.
DT: Marcus Forston, So.
DT: Jeremy Lewis, So.
LE: Allen Bailey, R-So.
WLB: Sean Spence, So.
MLB: Colin McCarthy, Sr.
SLB: Arthur Brown, So.
CB: DeMarcus Van Dyke, Jr.
CB: Brandon Harris, So.
These will be the heart of the defense. We get this lineup, and we will be bowling in 2009.

Highsmith was not the fault of the staff. He could not get into Miami. There are kids every year like this and if they don't want to go to prep school they are left with no other option except to go to a school with lower academic standards.
Never understood why Jean Francois wasn't recruited, but he missed 12 games because of off field issues. I think he was a high risk recruit and Miami had enough of those that year.

I'm a little concerned about Shields and Marve and whether or not they're knuckleheads. Felt like Shields was getting benched every other game last season and Marve's little fun and games with the cops in Coconut Grove makes me wonder if he's disciplined enough to play for Shannon.

I'm not sure who I wanted to win the NC last night. While I can't forget what happened with OSU back in the day, I also can't overlook sooo many of the recruits we have interest in have either been contacted or are actually considering going to LSU. If Harris was interested in OSU, maybe last night did something? Wishful thinking after I thought the Citrus Bowl (Florida vs. Michigan) would have an impact on Patchan. I agree we have to lock down South Florida, but it would also be a great feat to add California and Texas (two other major recruiting states we've had before) to our list of pipeline prospects. And speaking of Patchan, I dont see him playing OT. Unless he's lost significant weight from his bout with mono, I see him with the frame (and speed) of being either a DE or possibly a TE (if it's in Meyers arsenal). Keep us posted as info comes out!

Manny, wait a minute. I'm no huge defender of the Coker regime, but if HIghsmith and Francois (or is it Jean-Francois?) didn't make the grades in high school, then they didn't make the grades in high school. That's it, end of story, move on to the next guy.

UM has academic standards, and if we lose an athlete or two because of that, then so be it. I'm fine with that, and any real fan of COLLEGE sports should be too.

Chris H
UM class of '86

Manny good blog post.

I gotta bring up Pipho like Robert did but for different reasons. I just don't see him ever starting for us - currently 3 guards on the team that are better than him and younger in Orlando Franklin, Gunn and Figueroa. Franklin slides to LT or RT in '09 and the other two start.

Kinda looks like PJ's new team is pretty deep in talent. He should see the playing field maybe in 2010. LOL.


Thanks for the insightful (and depressing) reminder of what's gone wrong during the last 5 years.

All academic casualties who ended up at LSU because the NCAA doesn't have a map to Baton Rouge. You can't have it both ways which makes your article inane.

All academic casualties who ended up at LSU because the NCAA doesn't have a map to Baton Rouge. You can't have it both ways which makes your article inane.

Based on Francois' behavior at LSU, the Canes made the right choice in not signing him.

In fairness to the staff (and I rarely, if ever, defend the incompetent Coker staff), both Highsmith and Jean-Francois were recruited by the canes.

The staff loved both of those kids, but we just couldnt get them academically admitted. Highsmith actually committed to us; he only left to LSU after it became apparent that he wasnt gonna get in for the fall. Jean-Francois is another story. The kid was an absolute beast, and the coaches knew this, but without denigrating the kid lets just say he didnt have what it took to get in to UM. I mean come on, the guy was academically ineligible at LSU this past semester. If that doesnt tell you all you need to know I dont know what will.

I dont recall Byrd's recruitment, but if he indeed went the JUCO route its safe to say he wouldnt have gotten in to Miami.

Regardless, though these arent the best examples, the fact remains that Coker's shoddy recruiting is a big reason we're in the whole we're currently in. Shannon is changing this, but its not gonna happen overnight.

And Manny, Pipho at RT?!? Come on bro, you know better than that.

Manny these are academic standards issues not coker mistakes. Living in Dallas , I just read that SMU changed their academic requirements in order to Get Jones from Hawaii ( plus $2 mil a year for 5) Is that true? What can the canes do their academic rules to prevent losing players? PS If Jones didn't come they would have gotten the Coke.

Manny - while I agree that the previous staff let a lot of blue chip recruits and diamonds in the rough get away, the examples you give here aren't very good. Highsmith and Byrd both couldn't pull their weight in the classroom, thats why they weren't Canes - not b/c Coker and Co. didn't recruit them. Also, Jean-Francois has had off-the-field issues at LSU and character has been a big issue for us in recruiting since the probation years. Guys like Myron Rolle at FSU and Deonte Thompson who escaped to UF, those are much better examples of top recruits we missed out on from S. Fla.

Please don't stir the pot just for the sake of agitating the masses.

I would put Ben Jones at RT for 2009
and the QB will be Harris, for some reason I do not believe Marve will be here after next year.

And for AZCaneDude Cook will be moved to TE.

As for the Highsmith's and Jean-Francois' Coker only recruited highly rated players instead of recruiting players that fit the system ala Shannon and Davis. If I recall correctley Ed Reed was a 2* playes, wasn't he?

Manny, How different are the admission standards between UM and FSU or LSU? There was some rumor earlier, that Preston Parker went to FSU because he would've had to do some extra work to get into UM. How about Notredame? We need to know all of the details before blaming the coaching staff.

Congrats to LSU and speed kills to OSU. Both of these teams stole recruits this year from the U.

It is true if we can get back to recruiting UM ball players we will be fine. We need to offer all dade county prospects early in the process like a day after signing day. This will ensure quality and true canes. California & Texas are laced with talent.

Yo manny I hate when kids says Um is his dream school and signs elsewhere is Ludacris. How can you call UM your dream and sign with another school unless you do not qualify GPA, SAT & ACT* Fully.

I think it is time for Uncle Luke to start hanging out with the quaterback club.... LOL.....

We do not cheat, but other programs out there have taken advantage of the problems @ UM and won National Championships.

Dade County is our bread and butter and we should spread the love wide through monroe and broward counties.

I am not sure if MArve and Shields are knuckleheads but they better get their head out the their asses before the need blood comes in. Jacory Harris is gonna fight Marve till the end and Sheilds has a whole crop of receivers lining up ready to shine. I can't wait until the spring it's gonna be a show of competiotion,.


Preston Parker-Star Offense of FSU
Patrick Robinson-Star Defense of FSU

Both of them were victims of the stupid "Ivy League" wannabe's that LC and Shalala tried to implement here.

RS came in and requested this stupid higher standards to be eliminated. Late last year the adm brought the standards back to the sliding scale. We should of had the two above in our class.

Manny... your post is so true about recruiting but there were other extenuating circumstances the contributed to the real fall.

Canes slide since 2004.
The Canes slide is so easy for me to see, now, looking backwards. IMO There were 3 major factors causing the slide to the current record status. Quality and quantity of recruiting since 2004, and the early departure of our best players to the NFL since 2003. That said, It is so easy to see that our problem is due to the fact that we have been playing musical chairs with our couching staff since Rob Chudzinski (OC and TE coach) and Stoops (DB Coach) resigned in January of 2004.

In January 2004 Coker announced that current Miami assistant Dan Werner, the Hurricanes' quarterbacks coach since 2001, has been promoted to offensive coordinator and QB coach, replacing Chedzinski. He also announced that Tim Walton has been hired as the new defensive backs coach and Mario Cristobal has been hired to coach the tight ends.

2005/2006, Coker does the unthinkable! Larry Coker dismissed four assistant coaches in January 2006. Replacing Art Kehoe (OLineC and Assist HC) with Stoutlandas as (OLC). Then Replaces Werner (OC and QB coach) and Soldinger (RB and Special T) coach with Rich Olsen acting as both OC and also RB coach., leaving vacancies at Special Teams, Maybe Olsen? Then Replaces Hargrove (LB) coach with Randy Shannon already DC and now LB coach. Then Replaces Gregg Mark DL Coach by Adding John Palermo and adds Clint Hurtt to assist. Then Adds Todd Berry as the new QB coach. Then Curtis Johnson resigns Feb 06 as WR Coach… and is replaced by Marquis Mosley.

2006/2007 Larry Coker is replaced with Randy Shannon (DC coach for the past 6 years), leaving vacancies at DC and LB.
Randy replaces Rich Olsen(OC, RB and Special T coach) with Patrick Nix as the new OC, leaving vacancies at RB coach and QB coach.
Tim Walton becomes the new DC coach, leaving vacancies at DB coach
Wesley McGriff becomes the new secondary DB coach
Tommy Robinson is brought in as the new RB coach.
Micheal Barrow becomes the new LB coach.
Mario Cristobal is replaced by Jeff Stoutland as the new O-Line C.
Joe Pannunzio was named the tight ends/Special teams coordinator.
Clint Walker becomes Secondary Coach

Randy replaces DC Walton with...?

In a capsule, there is nothing more to say then the above. Except with the recent hires of Pannunzio and Mosley as maybe weak for their position and too early to evaluate the others.

The bottom line is that we need stability and continuity.

As an overview, it is no wonder that recruiting has taken a nose dive during 2004 and 2006.

Sorry... Correction: Clint Hurtt (not Clint Walker) becomes the new secondary coach in 07

I'm having a hell of a time with Clint... sorry again, he is the D-line coach

It was bitter sweet to see OSU get spanked again in the NC game. When will the BCS learn that OSU does not belong in the NC game, they played one of the weakest schedules I can remember for a team in the national title game and it showed. Any recruits thinking of going north just remember that OSU may look good on paper but when it comes to big time games they can not win, unless of course its a Big 10 game, enough said. The U needs all its local talent to stay around and bring the pride back to south FL, we have the best talent in the nation playing locally. The NFL is loaded with superstars from the U that light it up every Sunday. One thing about the U when we get a swagger going we will destroy teams like the old days. We may be down now but we are reloading in a big way, 2009 or 2010 its on!!!!!!

Very small point, but Byron Rolle is from Jersey, not So. Florida. He was used as a "better example of players lost from So. Florida" to FSU.

Can Stoutland recruit?

Why was Greg Mark fired? I don't remember.

Its funny though, about three years ago when I and many others were trying to convince a bunch of Coker lovers that Larry was a terrible coach and an even worse recruiter, I emailed Manny Navarro and asked him what his opinion was of Cokers recruiting. It was obvious then that we were getting beaten to the punch on players in our own back yard and and I guess I was just trying to get Manny to say what was obvious..... I was bowled over when he returned my email saying he thought Coker was an excellent recruiter.

It made me angry. I figured he was just another Coker apologist. Some were just slow to figure out the obvious. But thanks for what you do Manny, maybe you COULDN't say anything bad(or even state the obvious) about Coker. For whatever reason. Im glad he's gone, now we just need to get rid of Dee. Shalala too. The crash happened on both their watches and both were culpable.

Greg Mark was fired midseason (just before the 05 VT game in Blacksburg) because he was not doing his job, but apparently was focussing on one of his wife's business ventures (a Montessori School or something) after the passing of his wife.

I tend to think the talent evaluation by the coases was way off the last few years. Why didn't we go after good QBs instead of just being happy with Brock Berlin. It was painfully obvious the five and four star QBs we had were big busts. Also, we recruited guys like Lance Legget who had great speed, but no football ability at all. Reggie Youngblood is supposed to be one of our best OL, but he has literally been an open gate. So, we have had more than our fair share of busts, perhaps because the staff got lazy and didn't evaluate talent properly. It bothers me greatly, that not only KWright and Freeman were busts, the other guys we recruited like Derek Shaw and Pat Devlin etc. who bailed out on us, turned out to be busts to wherever they went. The talent evaluation left a lot to be desired too.

I saw that new Escalade Patrick Johnson is driving today. DAMN! I wonder what USC and Ohio St give their players if LSU gives out Caddys! I bet he's saying it's "His Father's" car! That works everywhere else. Darren McFadden got caught at a dealership in Arkansas with an agent(Mike Conley Sr.) buying an Escalade 2 1/2 months ago and after all the media broke the story he said that the Agent was merely a "family friend" and the Escalade was "A Gift For Darren's Mother!" Gotta love how you can always "bend" rules!

I have a question.......

Who made the decision that the FOX network gets to broadcast every sporting event known to man. They have the worst broadcast coverage and signal quality of any station but yet any sport of interest HAS to be on fox. This is BS. Why can't I watch a championship game on ESPN? Why do I have to listen to Whiny Joe Buck during every baseball playoff game? Why do I have to listen to Phil Freakin Simms and Troy Aikman every freaking Sunday?

Next Year I don't care if a team in the Big Ten goes undefeated they shouldn't be allowed in the BCS championship no matter what! This is 2 years in a row that they make it to the NC and get blown out! Face it, THE BIG TEN IS WACK!!!!!! Jesus Christ, You could pick 6 ACC schools that would have made this a good game! The "Computer's" should've learn after UM lost to app st that THE BIG TEN IS WACK AND OVERRATED DUE TO ESPN BIAS!!!!!

Look at what Illinois did with USC. Damn I'm so sick of sitting down on a saturday afternoon and having to see a triple-header on espn or espn2 that goes like this.

noon- Minnesota vs Purdue
3:00- Illinois vs Northwestern

and the primetime game of the week on ESPN

7:00- Indiana vs Ohio St.( Usually with Kirk Herbstreet as Analyst)

I know we say it every season, but when you look at how horrible this year's bowl games have been, how can you make any argument what so ever for the current "BCS" system? WE NEED PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!! PLEASE TAKE THE BIASED MEDIA OUT OF THE EQUATION!!!!


Nice speculation Manny but I'll be slightly more pessimistic and give that lineup or most of it anyway for 2010 and hopefully in the BCS title game. Wow that 2009 lineup has such a lack of senior leadership its mostly the kids that are coming in next year. Didn't have to count but I'm guessing 18/24 regulars (Punter and kicker included) are Sophmores. Wow--- to the future! Heck while we're at it lets speculate and put Jamie Harper, Brandon Harris and Ben Jones on that roster as well!

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