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Spring practice report: Day 1

The first practice off the spring is over. What did we learn? Which freshmen are already practicing with the first team? How did Miami's young quarterbacks Jacory Harris, Robert Marve and Cannon Smith look? Here's a quick collection of notes I gathered...

* BAILEY TALKS SWITCH, HEALTH: Allen "Big Boss" Allen_baileyBailey said he was given a couple of weeks to decide whether or not he wanted to make the move to defensive end. Ultimately, he said he wanted to do what was best for the team "with seven linebackers here and seven linebackers coming in and a weakness at end." Bailey said he still has to learn "pass rush reads and learn a couple moves." Bailey said he missed about a month of workouts after having surgery to remove a bone spur from his left bicep muscle. He said he was practicing with the second team Tuesday behind Steven Wesley and Eric Moncur. He said Antonio Dixon and Josh Holmes were on the first team at tackle.

* EXPECTING A TIGHT ARMS RACE: UM coach Randy Shannon didn't come out and say the fight for the starting job is only going to be a battle between Robert Marve and Jacory Harris. But he basically hinted at it. Other players did, too. Senior linebacker Glenn Cook said "They both have their advantages. They both are talented. They both want to win. It's going to be a battle, it's not going to be easy for either one of them."

* LINEBACKER DEVELOPMENT: Cook also said freshman linebacker Arthur Brown, the most highly-touted recruit in the 2008 class, is "real raw." "I don't think he got a lot of coaching in high school," Cook said. "So, he's still learning technique. I think he'll be alright. He's a real talented kid." As for freshman Sean Spence, Cook said "He's a great athlete whose picked it up a little bit faster. He's a real smart kid. He'll have a chance to play early. I think he's a little more ahead [of Brown]."

* NEEDS WORK ON THE FUNDAMENTALS: Brown, meanwhile, said he realized there was a lot he Arthur_brown thought he was doing right and now he learned he was doing wrong playing the position at Wichita East High. He said he thought he had his fundamentals down tackling, but has now learned he'll have to make some adjustments. Brown said he's gained nine pounds and now weighs 228. He said he's playing at strongside linebacker on the second team beind Sean Spence, who is on the first team with Cook at middle and Daryl Sharpton on the weakside. Brown said Kylan Robinson is backing Sharpton up at weakside and Spencer Adkins is the backup in the middle.

* SURPRISED FIRST TEAMER: Spence, who played weakside in high school, said he's gained nine pounds and is now up 202. He said he's spent a lot of time with linebackers coach Michael Barrow to pick up the defense and believes that's part of the reason he's moved up on the depth chart. "I was very surprised. I was looking forward to second and third team, learning what I have to do. But they threw me out with the first team. I’m excited about it."

* CONFIDENT JACORY: Quarterback Jacory Harris, whose weight was thought to be an issue coming out of high school, said he's gained 10 pounds since he first arrived at UM last month and is now Jacory_harris_2 listed at 6-4, 178 pounds. He sounded confident when answering questions with the media today -- just like in high school -- and said he plans to compete hard for the starting job. "Pressure busts pipes," Harris said of dealing with the pressure of being a true freshman quarterback. "If you [struggle with] pressure, you shouldn’t be out here. I just come out here and have fun. I’m never nervous. Coach Nix asked me that before practice. He said 'I bet you're nervous.' I said, 'No, I’m not coach.'

Marcus_forston* HARD FIRST DAY OF WORK: Freshman defensive tackle Marcus Forston said the biggest adjustment for him on day one has been learning to practice at a fast pace. "I've never worked like this in my life. In high school, we would practice 3-4 hours. We were out here for 1 hour, 45 minutes. The tempo -- you never stop running. Every station you go to you run to. You tie your shoe? You got to run or you are behind." Forston said he's behind Josh Holmes on the second team on the right side at tackle. He said he's playing next to Joe Joseph.

AUDIO LINKS: Click on the names of the following players to hear their interviews... Quarterback Jacory Harris; Running back Shawnbrey McNeal; Receiver Aldarius Johnson; linebacker Glenn Cook; defensive tackle Marcus Forston; cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke; kicker Jake Wieclaw; linebacker Sean Spence; linebacker Arthur Brown; defensive end Allen Bailey.

WHAT WE GOT TO SEE: We got to watch the first 10 minutes of practice as the guys worked out about 200 022608_qbsyards away from us -- way over on the other side of the field. Quarterbacks Jacory Harris, Robert Marve and Cannon Smith worked with their receivers for several minutes of long toss. I shot some photos below (just click on them to see larger versions).

PHOTO CAPTIONS -- Above: Robert Marve (left #9) and Jacory Harris (right #12) take snaps on Tuesday as offensive coordinator Patrick Nix watches. Below in order: Redshirt freshman Daniel Adderley (#19) runs after the catch; Freshman Aldarius Johnson (#4) hauls in a pass from Jacory Harris; Adderley (#19) goes skyward to haul in a Jacory Harris pass; Nix and Marve (#9) talk during practice; Running back Javarris James (#5) runs after making a catch; Defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks (#93) jogs off the field to begin participating in individual workouts; freshman fullback John Calhoun (#43) makes a catch on a pass from Jacory Harris; redshirt freshman Jermaine McKenzie (#15) stretches out to haul in a long pass from Jacory Harris; Shawnbrey McNeal (#33) does a set of pushups in fron of Randy Shannon.  022608_adderley 022608_ajohnson 022608_adderley_catch
022608_nix_marve022608_jjames 022608_hendricks022608_jcalhoun 

022608_mckenzie022608_shannon

Comments

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First?

Awesome, my first first post on here. Good to finally see these freshman wearing the U colors. Good job Manny. Keep us posted!

Second!! :)

GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nice job Manny! You're ON it!

Go Canes!!!

Hooray...Canes are playing football again!

Hooray...Canes are playing football again!

Great shots Manny

7th... gotta play mega tonight
7,2,26,8 and mysecret #

Great stuff Manny

Wow, WR's going after and actually catching the ball.

Damn, that is some good stuff Manny. Needed my football fix. Hooray!

Great Stuff Manny!!!!!
Thanx for the Fixx.....

Manny do your thing bro. We are dyin for something, anything!!

Thanks for the updates and all you do bro!

GO CANEZ!!!!!

New commit from out west, a TE. Anybody got anything on him?

What is the TE's name? From where out west? More info Bomber...

Manny any chance Adderley may switch to TE
since we are laded at WR?

r u talking about

Billy Sanders
(Brophy College Preparatory)
Phoenix, AZ

????

Manny, what do you know about this?

-e

Couldnt read yet again without giving you props Manny.

Great job

spence is going 2 be a beast...

Here yah go...

Brophy Prep (Ariz.) High School TE Billy Sanders received a Hurricane scholarship offer last Thursday.

And he didn't take long to accept it.

Sanders called Cane coaches today and committed.

"I talked to coach (Joe) Pannunzio and (Clint) Hurtt," Sanders said. "I told them they just had a great recruiting class and that I want to be blocking for (fellow 2009 commitment) Bryce Brown."

Sanders played tight end in his first game this season and had three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. But then, at the request of coaches, he moved to defense. He finished with 70 tackles and 8.5 sacks.

"He's a big, fearless guy," Brophy Prep coach Scooter Molander said. "He has great hands. If he played (full time at tight end) he'd have had 40 catches.

"He's so big and strong, has a big frame and will be able to put on more quality weight. His hands are strong, but he has good dexterity and he's fearless in terms of catching the ball. He'll go up and get it."

Brophy Prep played a spread offense and has won two state titles in the last three years. Sanders was on both championship teams - he moved up to varsity at the end of his freshman season.

Sanders has good bloodlines – his father, Bill Sr., was a tight end on the New York Jets' injured squad for two years in the 1980's.

"Billy's excited to be a Hurricane," Bill Sr. said. "He was also really excited to find out they had a film/cinematography major."

That's right, that's the subject Billy plans to study when he's not on Greentree Practice Field.

He does film work at his school and even created a movie that was broadcast over the school's channel – "It was a horror movie and I was the actor/hero," Sanders said.

Sanders has family in Florida, including two aunts. And he visited the campus last year, meeting with Pannunzio.

"I saw the coaches' offices," Sanders said. "Everything was great."

A big Jeremy Shockey fan, Sanders always dreamed of playing for Miami.

And now he has that chance.

Sanders expects a chance at early playing time because there will be so few tight ends on the roster next season.

But he expects competition.

"They'll bring in two or three tight ends in this class," he said. "That's fine. I'm ready for the competition."

Sanders says he was told that Oregon and Nevada will be among schools offering him scholarships. But he says any offer that comes in now will be too late.

"I'm committed, and I'm not taking any other visits," he said. "That's what `committed' means."

Let the Shawnbrey McNeal era begin!!!!

"I'm committed, and I'm not taking any other visits," he said. "That's what `committed' means."

At least someone gets it.

Manny, is there enough talent at LB that the defense could take on some 3-4 with Forston as the big man in the future? It sure sounds to me like Marcus has Wilfork potential, and if that's the case, I would think he's big and strong enough to eventually take on the tackle duties by himself, especially if there's not much depth at the position for rotation.

Committed - I was committed but LSU made a last minute car oops call, so I changed my mine.

Glen Cook better shut up about A. Brown. He is already a better LB than Cook, who is so slow he couldn't start for Northwestern!!!!

MAnny- Great insight--again!

Hey what was the deal with calis at the NFL combine:

5.0 forty, showd up overweight at 290, slow, poor workouts. Did this guy think that he was a lock for a 1st round pick? who was advising him? The same guy who told him to go pro after a dismal year?

Does he want it bad enough? what the heck!

These kids better bring it. They need to bust their butts. Pete Carroll at USC and Mr nerd tressel at OSU are probably bust they kids butts right now. I aint kidding. I'm tired of excuses. I'm tired of let's wait and see. I'm tired of reasons:

QBs need to be leaders and win games when the games are on the line- that means winning drives, etc etc.

RBS need to hit the dang holes and break some.

RBS need to block

wrs ned to catch the dang ball and break a few

blocking blocking, tackling!!!!!!

Great stuff, Manny! You're a life saver for a Cane fan here in Gator/Nole country Jacksonville, FL. Thanks again!

Great stuff, Manny! You're a life saver for a Cane fan here in Gator/Nole country Jacksonville, FL. Thanks again!

Manny...thanks for the updates.

Canes fans appreciate it. Keep it coming!

Great Job Manny,

Poor Glenn Cook guys speaks the truth and get's lambasted. If Cook says Brown is raw and even Brown talks like it's the first time he put on cleats then it must be true.

Lest we forget these are only freshmen. I know we, myself greatly included, were all jacked up on our recruiting class, but we all should get used to the fact sooner than later that no matter how highly ranked this class is, that most if not all of the incoming freshmen at this point are not better football players than the team we fielded last year. Some of them may be better athletes but that doesn't mean they are better football players.

Football history is littered with great athletes who couldn't make it or were just mediocre football players.
Skeets Nehemiah, he of the sub 4 second 40 yard dash made Featherstone from Necessary Roughness look like Jerry Rice.

Roy Williams is 10 times the athlete that Ed Reed is but I rather sign Ed Reed to a long term deal even if he blew his knee out tomorrow than Roy Williams.

If great athletic ability meant you were going to be a great football player, then Devin Hester might of started a game at cornerback the past 6 years instead of making his quarterbacks look back when he forgets to go in instead of out.

If Glenn Cook played at Northwestern last year he would have been the top recruit in the country.

You guys see Ali Highsmith, the should of been Cane at the Combine? Ran the same time as Calais only didn't look like he suffered a hernia doing it. Wonder how he looked like Ray Lewis during senior year when he runs like he has a broken leg?

Might have something to do with Football IQ.
Same reason Sammie Smith the perfect physical specimen for a running God ever created is probably selling cars right now and Emmitt Smith who ran about as fast as Ali Highsmith became one of the all time greats.

Very rarely does the football IQ equal the athletic ability. Ryan Moore, Lance Leggett, Kyle Wright, Charlie Jones, Bobby Washington are just a few examples who can attest to that.

When it does though you get something real special. Willis McGahee, Andre Johnson, Clinton Portis, Ray Lewis, Jesse Armstead, Darrin Smith, Michael Irvin, Stephen Maguire, Rusty Madearis, The Tez, Russell Maryland, Tremain Mack, Melvin Bratton, boy the list of Hurricane Greats is long and endless. Haven't even mentioned guys like Bryant McKinnie, Leon Searcy, Antrell Rolle, Vinny and one of my favorite Cane's of all time Leonard Conley, remember him, I still say he didn't fumble that ball on the goal line.

The truth of the matter is that the jury's still out on all our freshmen. I hope Marve, Harris and Smith don't turn out to be like Kenny Kelly, and I hope Brown, Spence and Marcus Robinson turn out to be Darrin Smith, Michael Barrow and Randy Shannon, but the truth is that if we get 10 guys out of this class who turn out to be college stars then it will be a jackpot, and if we get 5 guys who can make significant impacts this year then it will be the greatest recruiting class in the history of college football.

Think about it. How many players were stars as freshmen, even redshirt freshmen in UM history? Dorsey, Kosar, Ray Lewis for the Orange Bowl in his first year as an injury replacement. Can't really think of anyone else and we truly have fielded an all NFL team the past 25 years.

Takes time to learn, let's just go easy on them in the press while they are learning.
I hope when, and it's when not if, Marve or Harris or Smith throws 3 interceptions next year in a game we all don't start branding him a bust like Brock, who just happened to be one of the most highly recruited quarterbacks in high school history nationwide. We all tend to forget that. In college it's all about the coaching. The talent is important but it truly is secondary to the coaching.

Well said wayne

Kyle and Kirby were highly touted out of high school just like Brock, and just like Brock they sucked!

If Glenn Cook played at Northwestern last year he would be the oldest recruit in the country! Cook spent last season on the sidelines wearing headphones now he thinks he's a coach! He needs to worry about securing a posistion and future of his own! And don't give me the sad freshmen song. Georgia's entire starting roster was made up of mostly freshmen, including Knowshon Merano!

yeah...but atleast brock got us into bowl games while he started...

and he beat the gayturds!!! Whats up Savitza. Go Canes!!

Manny, you are awesome.

Brock Berlin won a BCS game and went 5-0 versus UF and FSU. That doesn't suck.

A) Wayne, well said. That's why Shannon came out and said he wants more veterans (e.g. juniors and seniors) and that's why he's building right now.

B) When I first started at UM the year after the '01 championship, I remember people not liking Dorsey and he turned out to be the last UM great. Then, Brock came around and everybody hated on him and called KW the next big UM QB. Then KW sucked and everyone thought that KF was finally gonna bring it back. What's different now? Those guys are all long gone and so is Coker. I have respect for Coker because his #1 goal was to educate and graduate his players, and he certainly did that (yes, even Brock graduated!). But he recruited bad football players and slackers. Randy Shannon WILL find a good QB and Miami WILL win games (just be patient). I just hope that he continues the educational success as well.

Thanks Manny! Good news about that tight end we landed. I love the attutude: "I'm committed, and I'm not taking any other visits," he said. "That's what `committed' means." AMEN! What a breath of fresh air. Like Patti Labelle--these new Canes havea new attitude. Hearing about Arthur Brown's rawness is a reminder that we can't pin unrealistic expectations on these freshmen. We are building up to something great, but we still need veterans to step and lead the way. Hopefully the renewed enthusiasm from the last two classes will breath some life into our upperclassmen.

On a side note, I'm not surprised CC is not impressing at the combine. Other than being tall and racking up a lot of sacks as a sophomore he really never impressed me. He always looked a little slow and a little too content when not shedding a block or getting to the ball carrier. Make a play: smile. Miss a play: still smiling. Not enough fire in his belly. Just my opinion. I would take T Good over him in a heartbeat.

What's up with all the hating on Brock Berlin?

Let us recall, Brock made SEVERAL last minute come back wins, not the least of it was that incredible come back to beat the gayturds! I'll never forgetthatgame. It was like winning the NC.

He was undefeated vs UF and FSU and played a good game in the Peach Bowl. He beat WestVa, even though they were running all over our defense.

He did lose a couple of stunners bc he didn't show up, but overall he wasn't bad. NOT KW or KF bad. Never that bad.

Glenn Cook: You aint'a coach son. If you had played or if the UM defense had not laid a giant egg last year you could sit there and talk smack about recruits. As far as I am concerned, none ofthe UM LBs looked any better than an incoming freshmane last year except Tavares. Evryone else played in spurts and son, THAT AINT GOOD ENOUGH!

MAnny: What do you think Glenn Sharpes' chances are to make a roster? He claims he ran a 4.4 at UM, even after the knees were fixed. I love the guy. He made that play against Ohio State. Seems like an eternity ago but he made that play. It wasn't his fault that the referees were corrupt. That gae was a friggin sham! Maurice Clarett, sitting in an orange jumps suit now, was totally ineligible to play, yetthe NCAA swept it under the rug. Let see what they do about Reggie Bush. My guess... NADA!

I saw a pic of Sean Spence at pratice and I could tell he gain some good muscle weight. He might be the real deal next year.

Yes, Let's remember Brock for that great win against the Gators, Kirby for the win last year at FSU and Kyle for a tremedous game and win against Texas A&M - best of luck to them all - they're still 'Canes!

Manny,
Who do you predict will be the suprize of the spring offensively and defensively? Thanks

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
C-A-N-E-S....CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I can't hear ya ATLCane!!!!!!!!!!

The good thing about Brock is something we all forget: he's an NFL quarterback and on a roster. I loved him at UM. I felt the same in the 4th quarter being down as I did when Steve Walsh was leading a 4th quarter drive. We all remember the great UM quarterbacks but my favorite of all time was Frank Costa. Our O lines were horrible and we've never had a qb who took a beating like Costa but he hung in there and was a good college qb. Just tough and Gutsy.

Everyone acts like Coker recruited a bunch of stiffs, where in reality he always had a good if not great recruiting class whereas Jimmy and Erickson and Butch never had a highly ranked recruiting class they just recruited football players. We had Jesse Armstead as a top recruit before, but our teams were made with guys that were not highly recruited. Russell Maryland, Steve Walsh, all of those kick ass receivers, then Coker comes in and starts getting top guys like Kyle Wright, Ryan Moore Lance Leggett, Kenny Phillips, Devin Hester. I remember when he got Charlie Jones, Bobby Washington and Derron Thomas 3 of the top running backs in the country, and none panned out. We all thought it was like getting Portis, MaGahee and Gore at the same time.
We had more recruiting talent in the past 7 years than we've ever had in the past but for some reason the players never panned out. A few did and I believe that's what is the norm. The majority, for whatever reason, never realize their potential.

As for Brown, he will probably be great because he has the athletic ability to be a superstar and the humility to realize that he can't get by on that alone. If he does try he turns into Willie Williams, another top recruit Coker signed. Brown seems like a modest superstar athlete, which alone makes him a rarity and one of my favorites, and will probably be great after a redshirt year and another year on the bench learning the position. It's different for these kids from outside South Florida.
I live in Colorado and my niece went to school with this top linebacker recruit Jon Major who signed with the University of Colorado. He plays at a high school with a no cut policy so there are girls on the football team, and he's the biggest, strongest and fastest kid in the county, but when he went to the Army All Star Game he was the weakest, slowest linebacker there. Might have something to do with the fact that his school has 4 black guys in it and the one on the football team is a backup qb who can't throw the football 20 yards without heaving it up high and hoping the wind takes it.
If Jon Major signed with UM he would come in like Brown with a huge reputation, but would probably sit the bench for a majority of his time just trying to learn and adjust to a level of football that is a quantum leap from what he is used to.

Most of these new kids have been the top athlete for most of their young lives and their coaches haven't needed to coach them that much. You know like this, "Johnson fly on the right, Streeter deep post and Thompkins 5 yards and slant, and Jacory just heave it to whoever you think is open" and it works because their athletic ability takes over, but in college it is the best of the high school best, and though athletic ability is important it is football IQ that tells the true tale of the tape.
Willie Williams is a perfect example. Big strong and fast, but big strong and fast running one way when the play is the other way doesn't do any good whereas Randy Shannon was small, average strength and average speed but was always at the point of attack.

The one kid I'm really excited about other than Fortson and Regis is Futch. From everything I've read he seems to get it. Working out hard, film study becoming a student of his position and the game and he has the natural athletic ability. Wouldn't surprise me if he became a Vilma clone.

Coach em up Randy and we will be winning a Championship within the next 3 years.

C-A-N-E-S CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where is the update for day 2? Come on, Manny...you're slackin'!!! Just kidding...just getting a little restless to see how it went out there today.

Keep up the good work, Manny!

I'm sick and tired of everybody sucking Brock's c**k! Brock did'nt do jack shit! Why don't some of U start giving credit where credit is due, to the real stars like Kellen W, Gore, Parrish, Moss, K.Everette and Hester! That is why those guys are pro-bowlers and guys like Brock were just lucky to get called up from the f*cking practice squad! And stop giving Freeman credit for FSU this year as if he beat them single-handedly! Nobody ever gives Epps credit for the catch that would have clearly sailed out of bounds if he did'nt possess the ability to reach up and grab the pass, just like Winslow did against W.Virginia after Brock threw one of his many f-uped passes! And for once give C-Mac credit for sealing the deal with the fumble recovery/td! How can anybody call themselves a true Canes fan and defend these losers? That is why I spend most of my time on CANESPACE!

Manny:
How come nobody ever mentions Rusty Meaderis as a hurricane great ???
Would you do an article on him to see where he is at ?? he was a great player for the U before he got hurt. He and Stephen Mcguire are forgotten. They dont remember who carried the ball vs Notre dame and FSU when the game was on the line. They dont remember who had the !2 plus sacks as a freshmen. Those guys were "true" Canes!!!

I am excited, maybe a little over optimistic, but I think this is the year the bleeding stops...We can come back, we are the U for god sake. It will not be long!!!

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