« A Feel Good Spring | Main | Spring practice report: Day 2 »

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