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The Day After

Well, the madness is over -- for now. National Signing Day has come and gone. The Hurricanes netted 33 signees -- the exact number I was told way back in October was the target number.

I got to say I'm a little surprised and impressed with how well UM did yesterday overall. I figured Miami would get Booker T. Washington cornerback Brandon Harris. But I thought after all the uncertainty surrounding Northwestern receiver Tommy Streeter and the switch safety Ramon Buchanon made to Florida, it was going to be awfully hard for Miami to land those guys yesterday. But Randy Shannon and his staff got them. Those three turned out to be the big gets Wednesday.

All in all, Miami lined up a class every scouting service in the country basically rated in the Top 5. But what do you think of it overall? What kind of grade would you give the Canes? Do they still have holes they wanted to fill and didn't get to in your eyes? Where are you most impressed with the job Miami did? I want to hear your thoughts below.

SO HOW MANY GET IN?: OK, so 33 was the number Miami wanted to get and did. But how many of these guys actually get into school and are on this team in the fall? That became a point of contention yesterday during Shannon's press conference. When asked how UM was able to sign more than the maximum 25 scholarships allowed per year, things got kind of confusing. Shannon said the team could bring in all 33 of the current signees under the rules even though he admitted there are only "29 to 30'' slots open. He said Miami simply couldn't go over the limit of 85.

"It's in the book - as long as you can get under 85 you'll be OK. Four to five count as last year's - you're banking and then you get ahead, so you can get over the 25. We didn't sign four or five last year, so you're banking those. You bring those up, that gives you 29 or 30."

So what happens to the extras? ‘‘Some of them may have to go to prep school, some may not, we may sign all 33." I guess we'll have to stay tuned.

SHANNON'S TAKE: One thing is for sure, Shannon, a veteran of this recruiting game, won't be Randy_shannon sweating it. He told us Wednesday afternoon he wasn't nervous during the final tense moments of national signing day like his assistants were. But he was definitely thrilled with the finish. "I don't get all crazy about it. You win some, you lose some. That's part of it. I've been around where I thought I was going got get a kid -- Hey, we got this kid.' You talk to him about 8:58, he's all ready to go - `Coach, I'm going to sign the papers.' Then, 9 o'clock he goes in the back, comes back out and goes to another school. It happens, so I don't get too emotional about it."

FOUNDATION OF PLAYMAKERS: Shannon called this class "a foundation" for the future. It has to be. Although Shannon wouldn't project how many of these guys would make immediate impacts, he talked about the needs Miami filled. Obviously to me the biggest are at linebacker, receiver and quarterback. Shannon talked about what we've all known -- how badly UM needs receivers and playmakers that can make a move and get downfield.

"Last year we had a lot of one-on-one opportunities and we couldn't make anyone miss. That was the biggest emphasis. We had to find guys that could run after the catch. You see guys at Northwestern and Central, Pahokee and Belle Glade, they make someone miss, that becomes phenomenal. If you look at the receivers we have, Aldarius [Johnson], LaRon [Byrd] and Tommy Streeter, those are big receivers. The next tier is Davon [Johnson] and Travis [Benjamin]. They're 5-11, 6-foot guys that can play in and out, make some plays. Then you have slot guys, which are Thearon Collier and Kendal Thompkins that can go one-one-one they can win. They're quick and exciting and can do some returns. All those guys, from Davon Johnson down, have return ability. Those guys plus the guys we have now it's exciting because when injuries come you can always put somebody back in there."

RECRUITING MVP -- DONNA SHALALA?: Shannon called his recruiting MVP UM President Donna Shalala during his press conference. OK, while I'd like to believe that, is he serious? Apparently so.

"When parents come in, their No. 1 concern is education and safety for their kid," UM recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt said. "And those are the things she drilled home with parents. When kids came on unofficial visits, she meets with them. And its not a thing where it's 15 minutes. She sits down with them in her office. She gets to know them and asks them questions. And the one thing they all say when they leave after the visit that impressed them the most is that conversation with Shalala. And she deserves her due for that."

OK, while Shalala had an influence, truth be told the guys who were in the trenches deserve a lot of credit for Miami's success yesterday. And those are namely two guys in my eyes -- Hurtt and linebackers coach Micheal Barrow. I got a chance to talk with Hurtt for about 10 minutes after Shannon's half hour press conference and this is what he said about Barrow, who was responsible for swaying Buchanon back, getting Arthur Brown out of Kansas and a few other notable kids in the class. "I thought everyone on the staff did a great job, but I'm particularly excited for coach Barrow. It was his first year ever doing it and he did a bang up job. He's very passionate about it in staying on top of kids and building relationships with families."

One thing Hurtt pointed out is that Miami doesn't recruit kids with only one recruiter. He said its a collective team effort. "We staff recruit. We like to double up and triple up on guys."

EARLY WAKE UP CALL: One of the funnier stories of the day came from Hurtt who told a small collection of reporters how he was so distracted he was by national signing day woke up in the middle of the night Wednesday, took a shower, got in his car only to find out it was a little too early. "I've been battling the flu. So, I took a Z-Pac and went to sleep at 7:30. I got up, took a shower got in my truck and saw it was 1:30 in the morning. I said 'What the hell am I doing?. I came back home, layed down for about threee hours and got back up and got in about 5 in the morning."

RECRUITING EACH OTHER: Hurtt said Miami's great, early start nabbing commitments was the key to building the momentum to UM's great class. He credited defensive tackle Marcus Forston and linebacker Jordan Futch for being key recruiters themselves. "Great players want to play with great players. So they were big. Any time one of them was floating, or thinking about going somewhere else, they'd pull each other back in. Jordan Futch, he drove by Jeremy Lewis' house. Sat down with him and reaffirmed his commitment here."

SWEATING IT OUT: Ultimately, Hurtt said Miami was sweating out four players going into the final day -- Detroit King's Nick Perry, Jacksonville Trinity running back Jamie Harper, Tallahassee Lincoln cornerback T.J. Bryant, and Melbourne Palm Bay's Ramon Buchanon. "Ramon was the first one we got back. So, that was the one we knew about. But with the other three we felt from the get-go Nick Perry was a longshot. With Harper, I built a close relationship with him. His dad called me to tell me he was going to Clemson and it was hard. But in the end, we wished him the best. All in all, we were still very happy with how things turned out."

WHAT NOW?: Now, it's time to turn the focus toward spring football, which will begin Tuesday, Feb. 26. Shannon said all of those practices will remain closed to the public except two including the spring game at Lockhart Stadium on March 29th and UM's practice at Traz Powell Stadium, which has yet to be determined.

Wednesday, he said he expects an intense battle at quarterback between Robert Marve, Jacory Harris and Cannon Smith. "Those three guys will get a lot of reps."

* Guys who will not be getting reps due to injuries are linebackers Romeo Davis and Colin McCarthy and offensive lineman Orlando Franklin. Shannon said defensive end Courtney Harris will also probably miss the spring.
* It's been rumored for awhile, but Shannon finally announced that Allen Bailey will be switching from linebacker to defensive end. Bailey, a sophomore, has a monster-sized body and I expect him to be a force there.

RECRUITING FUTURE: I know national signing day is 364 days away. But here at Eye On The U that's still less than a year, which means its still important. Today, I'll be visiting Miami Killian High and meeting with Miami-Dade top's recruit in '09 -- running back Lamar Miller. Be sure to check out the story soon.

As for UM, Shannon and Hurtt both said yesterday UM's focus in '09 will be targeting offensive lineman and tight ends. I'd throw running back in there also. Tonight, I'm planning on recording another recruiting podcast with Larry Blustein to wrap up '08 and to look ahead to '09. Larry already has his list of the state's top 500 recruits ready to roll.

Comments

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1st

Great stuff Manny

Super Job Again Manny. When will you get a chance to interview Nix and Young? I am very curious about what type of schemes they run knowing we got very speedy receivers, accurate QB's and fast LBs and linemen that can put pressure on the opposing QB. Also, having two lockdown corners, he blitz a lot more with single coverage.

Damn u SK8!!! I've never been first.

This class is way better than any of the other highly rated classes. We've got studs everywhere.

Okay serious comment this time. Must say kudos to the entire staff for the 2008 class. We have "potential" playmakers at every position. Just don't want to put the cart before the horse. We've been down this road before. Fans get all excited about high school athletes, but fail to recognize it's not what you did that's important, but what you can do going forward that counts.

Realistically I'm looking at 7 to 9 wins next year. We will have a lot of young guys playing and I hate to put my trust on Freshman. Sure they are talented, but there's a big difference between high school and college. You have grown azz men going up against 18 year old kids.

But more importantly I want to see better execution. The QB, whoever wins out, needs to be able to follow his progression and not lock on just one WR. The RB need to be able to identify the blitz and pick it up. The WR need to just catch the ball. I'll worry about YAC later. Just do the simple things and bigger things will eventually happen.

Now on defense I want to see the coaching staff adjust on the fly. Don't know how many times last year I was able to predict the play before the opposing team ran it, but still our defense couldn't stop them. Or let the same play beat them over and over again. We have enough depth on the roster. If a player can't identify his responsibilities, then let his back-up play and get the job done.

Canesjunkie - It's all good. I saw an opportunity and took it. Canes Baby - All Day - Every Day!!!!

Seriously, 8 linebackers, and what 2 OL? We've been consistently weak on the OL, why didnt they load up more there. And what about all the safeties, shouldnt we have used one of the scholarships for another lockdown CB.

Obviously, I'm thrilled witht he recruiting rankings, someone just needs to explain the #'s at the positions for me.

I am thoroughly impressed with what Coach Shannon did. Everyone, including myself, wondered how good he would in recruiting. We all wanted Butch Davis or Greg Schiano, but none of them could have pulled together this type of class. This is by far UM's best class since 83'. I now look forward to seeing how Coach Shannon develops this talent and what kind of effect the new coaches will have on the team. Let's keep the ball rolling into 09'.

I predict UM will go about 9-3 next year. We lost to the Carolinas, Virginia, Boston College, and GaTech which totaled 5 losses. Those are winnable games next year. With the emergence of a quality QB plus playmakers there should be no reason why we can't win those games. I believe we lose to UF, VaTech, and someone else. FSU still has no QB and we should pull that one off too.

Regardless we should be in contention for a BCS game in 09' and a NCS in 2010. One more thing ... "It's all about the U"

I think what miami did best was get alot of players at postions of need. We needed wr's that can make a play and can take a hit. Lbs dt's and qb's and we got alot of each. Randy understands some players don't make the transition and built in a fail safe by getting as many players at positions of need he could. If say sean spence fails he has arthur brown and ramon buchanon and the list goes on. Dt got so injured last year and we were undersized and he went and got 3 big dts in lewis, regis and forston. Qb though is where this class will fail or succeed if harris, smith,and cook can push marve and we can get the qb play we haven't had since dorsey this team will be back in a couple years to national title contender.

Awesome job as usual Manny. Welcome to the Family Recruits of 2008

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/410539.html
per Michelle Kaufman, Kirby Hocutt AD.
BREAKING NEWS

http://ohiobobcats.cstv.com/genrel/hocutt_kirby00.html
Kirby Hocutt AD

I think Harris might have 50/50 of starting, he has an edge, Harris is taller , a proven winner. I love Marve too great competition. Next season will depend first on Young to bring the D together then Nix to get some explosive system in place, with Shannon helping them everyone and doing a lot with special teams. S.Teams should be a huge jump in production. I hope young uses a lot of 3-4 , use the top talented players.

What a great class. I grade it an A+. I think we got substantially better over last year's talent. We filled multiple position needs, great depth, great size overall and importantly, kids who play with heart.

Manny, awesome job on this piece. There's too much great stuff in there to really even comment, but I have to mention that I loved your section about Recruiting MVP. Very insightful and honest. Thanks for all your work on helping us follow this whole recruiting process this year. I know others have said it, but I just can't tell you how much it means to those of us who no longer live in the 305 to be able to get such great insight and in depth reporting on our beloved 'Canes, especially in such a tough year. Hopefully we'll have a lot more to feel positive about ON the field next year!

As for my thoughts on this class: I really hope and believe that we got a lot of quality people as well as athletes. It will be dissapointing if more than a couple of these guys are not able to qualify. I really think Randy and his staff know what they are doing there, so I doubt it will be much of a problem.

As far as the athletes and positions we were able to get, I have heard a lot of people complain about not getting enough of this position or that position. I have a lot of thoughts on that, but will try to keep it brief. First, we got 33 new players! That's close to 40% of the entire roster. And the positions we bunched up at (WR,LB) were clearly positions of desperate need. Don't complain that we were essentially able to get everyone we wanted at these spots. It would have been nice to get a RB, but the guys took a shot at what they thought was the best one and missed. Word is Clemson used some dirty tricks on that too. But, there will be some studs next year and Randy and crew will lock them down. As for OLine, I also think the guys saw two quality guys that they felt they could get and locked them down early. You have to realize how much time these coaches must have put in with all the different recruits they were working on. These guys probably worked at least three times as hard as the GaTurd staff did to get their 18 or whatever it was. We really need to show appreciation for just how much persistence and hard work went into putting this class together. Also remember that there are scholly limits. You've got to prioritize at some point.

I hope Streeter can be switched to TE and embraces that. He could be a real stud there and fill a position of need for us. Bailey is going to hurt some people at DE. Can't wait to watch that kid wreck some offensive game plans.

Next year, we need to grab a couple stud RB's, Arthur Brown's brother looks pretty good, eh? We also need to stock up on Oline, DE, and CB, plus grab one or two at every other position so that we can build some consistency across the roster.

This team is going to be good, quick. The biggest question to me is at QB. How quickly can these guys step up? We need to consider playing more than one guy early on, and not just if one struggles, I mean as part of the game plan. That's the only way to really find out who is "The Guy".

We've got to hire a full time QB coach. Can we get Dorsey to retire from holding his NFL clipboard to come home and help us out?

bleedin Orange and Green all over MD

Don't worry people Randy has a plan. He looks to the future. No DTs last year because there were three we were getting this year. Two O-linemen and no TEs this year probably because he's got some lined up for next year. Same with the RBs. Still a little thin at CB and DE but we are almost to the point of grabbing just a couple of guys each year.

I thought all eight EE counted towards last years 25 limit. I have heard that Martavious Odoms is coming on a track scholly. CJ Odoms/CJ Holton and B. Washington might not qualify academically, just what I heard.

Any word on a couple of big JuCo O linmen from California?

Now that we got all these great prospects, are we going to be able to see their names on the back of their jerseys?

I know it's not the most important thing, just curious.

I seriously doubt we will see the names back at the beginning of this year as a "reward" for the 5-7 season of last year.

I think it could be a while until we see those names back, but that is going to be a great day when it happens. It will mean that Randy has brought us back from the brink to the National stage where we belong. I for one don't want to see them back until they have been earned on the field.

http://espn.go.com/
ESPN.com splashes U on their home page ...
LIKE OLD TIMES

I think the numbers are perfect, and the positions we didn't fill are generally because we are not desparate for those positions and we really needed some others. Remember, Coker recruited 1 real receiver the last two years. We had the punter trying out for a receiver spot. At the same time, Coker brought in about 150 running backs, and we had so many, and were so depleted at linebacker, that Shannon was forced to move poor Kylan Robinson, a 4-star running back in high school, over to play linebacker. The OL needs some help but has young talent on campus already, so 2 recruits is about right there. We had a couple big-time OL recruits the last couple of years, so better to go overboard on our positions of need. I agree with the guy above, if you're really desperate for receivers like we are, you can't just bring in 3 or 4, because a couple may not pan out, may get hurt, etc. You bring in 7, and they're all studs, and now you have a lot of depth and much better odds of someone coming in next year to wax the gators...er...do well. Same with linebacker. We signed 1 QB the last 4 years, and he was so impressive he was asked to leave despite being the only QB to take a snap on this team. You can't just bring in 1 QB this year...to little room for error. You need 3, and more next year, and now it's likely one of them will have a Sam Bradford type freshman year.

I can't wait for Feb 26. I know the practices are closed, but I'm sure Manny will find something to tell us.

Go Canes! I'm so excited I could burst.

http://wqam.com/
Hurricane Hotline 7p-9p ... followed by the high school gridiron report with Jordan Futch, CJ Holton & Vaughn Telemaque ...
GOOD RADIO

Thanks for plugging the gridiron report Green. I forgot to post it above. My friend Larry Blustein has those three as well as a number of other interviews up on WQAM's website.

Canes fans should definitely check it out. I've got a smaller collection from what I gathered on my trips out to Northwestern, Booker T. Washington and UM yesterday including Shannon's press conference. It's all available in The Herald's UM audio section. Check it out.

First thanks to Schiano and Davis for turning down the job, it was a blessing in disguise that it landed in Randy's lap.
Second, WE'RE BACCCKKKKKKKK!!!!!!

Great piece Manny. I'm new to your blog and so far it seems to be much better than its competition. I'm not too worried about the apparent over-load at the LB and WR positions. If there's anything this offense needed it was WR. If I remember correctly they've only signed 3 WRs in the past 3 classes combined (Shields, Hankerson, McKenzie). Ryan Hill came in as a CB and made the switch due to a lack of scholarship players at the position. He may not be the best fit there. Shields I'm very much pulling for b/c I think I've seen potential in that kid. Legette (who was worthless in my opinion) and Jenkins are gone as well so there's a big void at that position. 2 or 3 of the '08 recruits will probably redshirt as well. Defensively there wasn't a single play-maker out there last year if you ask me. There were probably only a handful of starters that I would consider solid players and two of them are in the draft. Frankly this was a bad defensive team last year and I think they've brought in soem guys who will change that. I really see A. Brown being the next D. Brooks type LB. Brooks is probably a first ballot HOFer so I don't want to get carried away, but Brown reminds me of him. It seems like Shannon needed just about every position on the field and he loaded up with as many play-makers as he could find.

As for next year's offense, I still feel the strength will be at RB. I look fo rthem to keep it fairly simple early in the year and allow the QB (most likely Marve) to have time to develop. They need to pound it w/ James and off-set that w/ Cooper. Mix in some short to intermediate range crossing routes and screens to Benjamin or D. Johnson and they should be fine. I just hope they get away from the gimicky stuff like the direct snaps to Cooper inside the 10. Don't be afraid to just line up and run it at them straight up. As w/ any offense, it'll stand or fall based on the O-Line.

Why u cry babies still bit*hin bout da OL...da OL was a strength last year and will be stronger this year. Coach Shannon is right, next year is the year they will concentrate on da OL...calm yah nerves bout da OL...we got a top 5 class and some want to bit*ch bout signing only 2 OL (once again...a position that was a strength last year)...U fake fans need to keep it movin...Da U don't need fans who are always negative bout er'thing...

Thanks Manny,
Nice article
Of the multitude of players you have interviewed this recruiting season,which players have you built the strongest personal friendships with?

Will you be working for Tommy Streeter when he is running ESPN in ten years?

peace


I just wanted to say that my job has me going from jobsite to jobsite all across the tri-county area. I was constantly trying to get NSD info anywhere on the radio without success. I came across the "Boog Sciambi Show" hoping to get some info on my beloved Canes. Not only did he not entertain the subject of NSD, but after being prodded by his producer on air,"Boog, there's a lot of people out there that want to know about this", he, Sciambi, proceeded to say; "Dude, I'm not going to discuss if Joe Schmoe, a 300lb. lineman from Wisconsin is coming to Miami ! I immediately switched stations back to WQAM where Jason Jackson then gave a little bit of information.
I just want to go on record here to say that I will never listen to the Boog Sciambi show again. You are dead to me !
GO CANES !!!!!

Solid recap Manny, things are looking good again, finally. I havent felt this good about the program in a long time.

Im anxious to hear about your interview with Lamar Miller. Make sure to put in a good word for us!

As much as I would have liked to land Jamie Harper, the possibility of snagging Miller (and Bryce Brown), along with Clements and Gore in 2010 mitigate the loss.

I too would like to see Manny do an interview with Pat Nix, and Bill Young, but then again, I'm not so sure. I'll give Young the benefit of the doubt (because he's new), but I feel like Nix is going to just give the BS to get the fan base hyped. He gassed us up last year, telling us how great our QB's were, and how they were interchangable. And lets not forget his early praise about Lance Leggett, and his sideways comparison to Calvin Johnson. I know it wouldn't be good on his part to have said that our QB's suck, or that LL is not that good, but it still leaves my kinda suspicious that if he gets asked about our offense, he's gonna turn into a hype-man. So the challenge is on you, MANNY, if you get with him this spring for the interview about the offense...You gotta get the real deal out of him. I have no suggestions on how thats even possible, but you're pretty good at what you do, so MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Mandingo awesome write-up. You are the man!

Great Job Manny!!!!
Thanx!!!

Manny great job bro!

I gotta ask you for an early two deep. Give it a shot bro.

GO CANEZ!!!!!!

I hope Hurtt meant getting 1 or 2 legit TE for 2009. I am happy to hear the OL need will be addressed. Someone please tell him that we also need CB!!! (not S). CB!!!!

I agree with Manny, let's start recruiting Miller and Brown NOW!!

Booh Shitbe (schimbi) is lost, he only knows how to talk crap. When he comes on I switch to 560 or put on music.

Fantastic job by the coaching staff to keep all of the commitments from leaving our fold. I am so proud of the fact that these kids are buying into the program. The U will always be the U, but there is no place like it when we are winning. Glad to have all of you young men on board. Welcome to the University of Miami, the home of champions, past and future.
Help us build the next dynasty.
Manny, you have been clutch with great reporting and thanks to all of the great posts from everyone keeping Canes Nation in the know. We are back! Go Canes!!!!!!

Manny...Great job on the recruiting front. And this blog was awesome, nice work!

This class is top notch but as far as I am concerned it is expected and demanded by the staff, the university and the fans. There is no reason, year in and year out, UM should not have these types of recruiting classes. It just goes to show how far Larry Coker brought this program down to the depths and what it is going to take to bring it back. Great job Randy and GO CANES!!

canesjunkie: Our new DC will adjust, I promise you. He did a great jov with less talent a KU. I expect our D to be back to our glory days. This guy can coach.

Names on Jerseys? Gotta think rollin em out to the players in the locker room at Gainesville right before the game would stir the Canes up a bit.

From Rivals Gary Ferman...


I heard from multiple sources that Harper was set to come to Miami and Clemson coaches called him and told him that if he didnt come to Clemson they were pulling the scholie offer for his friend and teammate, Daniel Andrews.

Andrews has a parent, not sure if mom or dad, that is very sick and dying. Andrews mom wanted him to go to Clemson.

Apparently Miami told them they would still take Andrews too, but Andrews couldnt go to Miami per his parents so they went together to Clemson.

Manny great article this is shaping up to be a great year. The Boss has put together a great class. Im excited to see how things look in spring. Go Canes!!!!!

The one thing I really enjoyed hearing from Coach Shannon when he was on ESPNU was how our depth addresses the special teams. I was on message boards every night for months enjoying the process leading up to NSD and reading all the posts. I must say of the bazillion posts i read questioning if we were recruiting too many linebackers, safeties, or wide receivers I rarely saw anyone mention how this kind of depth with great athletes makes such a huge positive impact on special teams.

so many of the great coaches of the game have made this area of football a priority including our beloved Jimmy Johnson. it was great for me to hear that it is a priority for Shannon as well.

Manny, your last statement summed up how I feel about the only weak part of the recruiting by UM: O-line and TE's. I think one or two of those receivers can probably be converted and add some weight. I only question their ability to pick up blocks or catch on to the blocking audibles. UM did bring in two offensive linemen that should immediately add to the depth, but I don't think will have an impact in the freshman season.

On another note, nice to see things back to normal with the basketball team sucking it up, but the football recruiting being successful. Still wouldn't mind seeing the basketball team maybe pick their games back up though. Never wish bad on any Canes!

The only other weak spot, I thought, was maybe at the kicker spot. Granted, Miami was looking very late in the game for a kicker or two, but that should be something to address next year as well, unless Wieclaw ends up being a stud or Bosher wakes up.

That being said, I felt like this was a pretty monster class. It wasn't just the stars that impressed me, or the grades, but the ability to fill needs. On offense, the QB's and WR's should automatically add depth and hopefully a playmaker or two will step up. The added competition at the QB role should prevent the disaster from last year repeating, but it's still a project working with such young guys.

Overall Grade: A to A+

Obviously a standout class. Not a solid A+ due to the weakness at the o-line and tight end positions, but high school guys sometimes come in and bulk up or change positions (Bailey is a good example of that). I'll be interested in 3 years to see how this class begins to fair in the NFL draft.

GeneralCane that has to be total BS

Lamar Miller is da real deal...dat kid is super fast (4.32 forty) and quick...check out his film on rivals...he is a must get along with Bryce Brown...

Realistically I'm looking at 7 to 9 wins next year. We will have a lot of young guys playing and I hate to put my trust on Freshman.
Posted by: SK8 | February 07, 2008 at 03:32 PM

SK8...you made several good points in your earlier posts. Just wondering which one is it: 7 or 9 wins? I only ask because those numbers produce two very different seasons.

Manny...your work on the recruiting front for Canes fans over the last 30 days, but especially on NSD, has been nothing short of phenominal. Your work sets the standard by which all others are measured.

Thanks for the LIVE chats here and at Canespace. Having Larry on at the same time was awesome!

GO RANDY, GO CANES!!!

OL rarely play their Freshman year. Jason Fox was a rare exception and Franklin wasn't really a freshman (he was one year removed from high school)...nevertheless, OL dont normally play their Freshman year (thats why u normally see most of the 5th year seniors being OL)...Here is a list of our OL for the next 2-3 years and tell me if this is a weakness (* denotes starter, possible starter or in OL rotation):

*Fox, Jason (will be JR)
*Franklin, Orlando (will be SO)
*Youngblood, Reggie (will be SR)
*Figueroa, Joel (will be a RS SO)
*Rutledge, Chris (will be SR)
Gunn, Harland (will be RS FR)
Horn, Tyler (will be RS FR)
Symonette, Ian (will be RS FR)
*Trump, A.J. (will be JR)
*Barney, Chris (will be a JR)
*Pipho, Matt (will be JR)
*Byrd, Tyrone (will be a SR)
Jones, Benjamin (FR)
Washington, Brandon (FR)

Looks like a solid OL to me for the next 2-3 years or so and the RS FR may surprise us this year and win a starting job or see significant PT (same for the FR)...after this year we only lose Byrd (who is only a role player if dat), Figueroa (he might have 1 more yr of elligiblity) and Youngblood (who may also have 1 more yr of elligiblity)...OL do not leave early for the draft (at least I haven't seen or heard of any)...

So please stop complaining about our OL...next year coach Shannon will bring in another 3-5 OL (thats my guess)...relax, we're gonna be fine...

TE on da other hand we need to definately address next year...we need to sign us a stud or 2 or 3...

I think this class is the greatest recruiting class in University of Miami history!!! Definitely an A+. To explain why that is so, lets break it down in three areas.

Offense. In 2007, we outgained teams rushing the football with an average of 145.6 yards per game to 133.8 yards per game. So the offensive line was solid. It wasn't a position of need in recruiting. At RB, we return Greg Cooper, Javarris James, Shawbry McNeal and Derron Thomas. Those guys are studs. RB was also not a great need. Our biggest need was to improve the passing game. Three great quarterbacks added to Robert Marve. From the clips I have seen of Marve on U Tube, and the games I followed with Northwestern, both Marve and Harris are special talent. The other big area of need was reciever and tight end. We not only loaded up on recievers, we got Harris recievers he is already used to throwing the ball to. So when he is in the game, he doesn't have to worry that they won't be on the same page with him. And all those recievers were highly ranked. We returned to the days of a playmaker at UM. We did recruit John Calhoun who was regarded by some as one of the best blocking tight ends in the state. And I think Miami was already happy with their tight ends, they were just not happy that the QBs couldn't get them the ball. Plus, when you have little speed at the wideout position, it takes away the effectiveness of the tight end. Overall, a class that effectively targeted needs with very high quality recruits.

Defense. Run defense. Opponents averaged 3.4 yards per attempt, and 133.8 yards per game. Additionally, opponents had a time of possession advantage over us holding the ball for 31:54 per game. Opponents converted a whopping 39% of third down and fourth down conversions. In other words, the front seven defensively, didn't do the job. Three and outs were rare. This staff recognized the problem and solved it I think. Micanor Regis, Forston, Jeremy Lewis are all stud recruits on the D Line. Linsbackers? We recruited 7 of the top 10 linebackers in the country. But I think where we really improved the team was safety. Vaughn Telemaque and Holton will be the steals of this class. And they were need positions. We have some pretty good players on the team already, and these two will make the secondary outstanding. I am not worried about CBs. DVD played very well as a freshman, but we were killed last year by tight ends, not recievers. Look at the stats opponent completed 196 of 345 passes and suffered only 13 interceptions. That is almost a 60% completion percentage and that comes from throwing to tight ends and running backs. With speed at the linebacker and safety position, those days should be over. Again a class that targeted needs and brought in some of the best players in the nation.

The biggest weakness in my opinion during 2007 was the not so special teams. Consider the following. Here is the kick return yardage. We average 19.3 per kickoff return and opponents averaged 21.7 per kickoff return. We lacked anyone who could take it to the house. We had 1 47 yard return, in the BC game I think, but before that our longest return was 35 yards. And that was during a year when the kickoffs were moved back to the 30. For punt returns, not much better. We averaged 8.3 per return and opponents averaged 9.1 yards per return. Those numbers need to change and Randy says the guys he brought in all have the ability to do returns. So getting all these wideouts should help us find someone who can improve the special teams. Again, Randy addressed needs.

So overall definitely a class with unlimited potential which also addressed our needs. How can this class be rated anything other than A+?


Very well put VaCanesFan...I couldn't have said it better myself...now u are what I call a tru fan and student of the game...unlike some on here...

This is the best recruiting class I have seen the Canes pull down in years. In fact I do not recall the last time we pulled in so many QB'S and playmakers on both offense and defense. As it looks the Coker virus seems to be exiting thanks to an antidote of Formula R. Shannon (a real Cane) I can't wait to see these WR's go deep catch the ball and run away from the defense. As well as Michael Barrow like hits by these LB and Safetys and big Fortson, Regis and others stuffing the run like J Brown did. But I do feel as one of the other Canes said we definitly NEED A QUARTERBACK COACH!!!! I wish we would and could get GARY STEVENS back to do that. If not someone who just works with that position that understands what it takes to make a passing game go. Other than that Randy you and your staff did a wonderful job and I thank you all. Manny do you know whats up with Gary Stevens, would he come back and if not any other good QB coach possibilities?????

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