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Weekday leftovers

Who said leftovers weren't good? Well, it's going to be a busy weekend at the University of Miami. The men's hoops team hosts Virginia Saturday in the first of two virtual must-win home games. Spring football practice moves forward with a Friday morning special of NFL Timing Day for the guys headed to the pros. And the undefeated Canes baseball team will host the hated Gators.

Before we turn our attention to all that, I wanted to feed you the last bit of leftover notes and thoughts I had from the week. I also wanted to remind you to check out Tuesday's and Wednesday's practice reports as well as the collection of audio interviews I recorded for your listening pleasure. But first, some quick hits...

* Miami's loss at Clemson Wednesday night could be blamed on the 21-point hole Frank_haiththe Hurricanes dug for themselves early on against the Tigers. And, it could also be blamed on the nearly 10 hours it took for the Hurricanes to get from South Florida to South Carolina the night before the game. According to my buddy Brian London from WQAM, the Canes left campus at 9 a.m. Tuesday. But because of delays at the airport and having luggage lost in Atlanta, UM's buses didn't pull up to the team hotel until 6:30 p.m. Maybe that should have been one of the few flights the Canes' penny-pinching athletic department should have considered chartering?

* Football coach Randy Shannon officially announced last week his desire to put the names of players on the back of jerseys again. Then, we learned this week that players that did not see the field last year would have to earn their "U'' decals on their helmets. I know some of you have gotten bent out of shape about Randy's tactics. But I kind of like what he's done here. The funny thing would be if one of the new guys didn't do enough from now until the start of the season to earn one. Would Randy send them out on the field without a U?

* There's no doubt the four new Northwestern kids are not only talented, but they're loaded with personality too. In two practices, I've already collected better quotes from Marcus Forston, Jacory Harris and Aldarius Johnson than I did from any other trio on the team a year ago. They're refreshing. And trust me, they got that old-school Cane attitude. Harris laughed at Nix when he asked this week if he was nervous. Johnson said what we were all thinking when he said Cannon Smith "was a bit short." Forston made his own funny when he exaggeratted how close he and his fellow Bulls were, saying "we all take showers together and go to the bathroom together." I'm all for being serious at the right time. But college football is supposed to have a little fun in it too, right?

MR. QUOTE MACHINE: When I first met Kayne Farquharson last season and drove down to his home in Homestead and met his mother, I knew the Canes were getting a throwback, trash-talking wide receiver. Farquharson, though, made it a point last season to keep his mouth shut for the most part and let the veterans do the talking. So far this spring, though, Kayne has done a pretty good job raising his voice and the level of his play.

Kayne_farquharsonThrough the first two practices, he and sophomore Leonard Hankerson are considered the first team receivers, ahead of freshman Aldarius Johnson and junior Sam Shields. Farquharson said "It’s been a glorious few days." But that wasn't the only thing the Mouth of the Canes was talking 'bout. I asked him to give us the Kayne Farquharson assesment of UM's trio of young quarterbacks, his thoughts on new receivers coach Aubrey Hill and more.

"We’re going to start with Cannon Smith, the money man -- shout out to Fed Ex," Farquharson said Wednesday. "Cannon has been doing a good job of throwing the ball very accurate. Jacory Harris. I helped recruit him myself. I see a lot of things with Jacory. He’s a smart guy. He goes through his progressions. For a high school kid, you don’t see that a lot. And then we got Robert Marve, last but not least, the son of an NFL linebacker. Great genetics. Strong arm. All three of the quarterbacks are very accurate. It’s been a good two days for all three of them."

So, what about Hill? "So far, so good," Farquharson said. "He leads with an iron fist. He lets us know if we do good he’ll give us a compliment. But I also know he's got a doghouse. Nobody has been in the dog house yer. I hope everybody stays out of the dog house."

Redshirt freshman Daniel Adderly has been seen making plays during practice. Farquharson's take: "6-6 got some hands. I call him 6-6. I call him Plaxico sometimes," K-Far. "He’s a raw guy. Once he gets his game downpack, I think he’ll be a very good receiver."

Farquharson once told me he was interested in asking Cane great Michael Irvin for his No. 47 jersey. Wednesday, he told me he gave up on the idea and decided to stick with the number they gave him -- 82. Why? "Because there’s 82 ways to the end zone."

WORKING HIS WAY BACK: Few players have had to endure the hardships junior Anthony Anthony_reddick Reddick has had to endure during his time at UM. After making six starts as a freshman in 2004, he tore his right ACL 22 plays into his sophomore season. The following year, he was limited by injury before being suspended for the fracas with FIU. Last April, he tore his left ACL in a pickup basketball game and never got on the field. Surprisingly, the 6-foot, 208-pound senior seemed pretty chipper this week, sporting a smile when reporters talked to him Wednesday."You appreciate it a lot," Reddick said of getting a chance to return and play this season. "While I’ve been out I’ve been thinking about a lot of things."

Reddick said he's turned to two former Canes who have suffered his same pain -- cornerback Glenn Sharpe and running back Frank Gore. He said he's spoken to them frequently for support. "They said once you work hard everything will work out, [the knees] will be perfect. The first one [his right ACL] is feeling 110 percent. The other knee, yeah, I'm still not there. But It just takes some hard work. Frank is a prime example, he had both knees. It’s something you got to fight through."

He admits his timing is still not back. He said the same explosion he once felt in his left knee has not returned yet. But he's optimistic it will. "It's just about reacting a little faster, just doing it and not thinking about it," Reddick said. "It will come."

SPECIAL TEAMS TALK: I got a chance to speak with special teams coach Joe Pannunzio and kickers Joe_pannunzio Matt Bosher and newcomer Jake Wieclaw this week and came away with the idea that not only will the return game remain unanswered until the fall, but also who ends up handling the kicking duties. Pannunzio basically blew me off when I asked him if he had some sort of idea of who he might want to use in the return game. "It’s way to early for that," Pannunzio said. "The one thing that’s good is that probably for the first time since I’ve been here there is a true list of about 15 guys we can choose from. We’ll work through the spring and have a guy that will surface." When asked who those 15 guys were, Pannunzio said "It's the same list of guys you have in your head."

If I'm right, then the best return guys probably won't surface until they arrive at UM in the fall. Chavez Grant, Damien Berry, Ryan Hill, Shawnbrey Hill and Lee Chambers have all been seen this week working on punt and kickoff returns along with freshmen Aldarius Johnson and Jermaine McKenzie. But the truth is the vets all had chances to compete in the return game last year and didn't do enough to impress. Most experts have told me they expect true freshmen receivers Thearon Collier, Kendall Thompkins and Travis Benjamin to make a strong push for the duties in the fall. One thing is for sure, Pannunzio is tired of the: Can UM find another Devin Hester talk? "Everybody wants to compare Devin Hester," Pannunzio said. "I don’t know if there’s another one of those guys here or coming here. Devin is Devin. That’s unfair to compare them to that."

Matt_bosherAs for the kickers, most expect Matt Bosher to retain the punting duties considering Wieclaw's specialty is kicking. But Bosher told us this week he believes he could end up handling all three duties -- punts, kickoffs and field goals. So far, Bosher said the team hasn't done any live field goal kicks during practice and that the kickers "are working from 40-45 yards in." Pannunzio said Bosher has the stronger leg of the three competitors, including former Miami Gulliver Prep standout and walkon Alex Uribe. "Right now we’re just working on keeping it close because you don’t want to be missing anything within 40, 45 yards," Bosher said. "We’re keeping it close and making sure we’re consistent and accurate."

CAN'T WAIT FOR BRANDON: Defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff said Wednesday he's spent most of his time early on in the spring preparing guys for "emergency situations" in case of injuries. He's Brandon_harris_u had two safeties -- Anthony Reddick and Randy Phillips -- working at corner while expected starters DeMarcus Van Dyke and Bruce Johnson have been out with the track team this week. Truth is, McGriff can't wait for another corner to join the team soon -- highly-touted recruit Brandon Harris of Miami Booker T. Washington. McGriff said he was impressed with the way Harris was used in high school -- rotating from corner to safety and even playing receiver and quarterback. But when he gets to UM, McGriff said he believed Harris will be "a solid corner."

"He’s got a tremendous football background," McGriff said of Harris Wednesday. "We can’t wait until he gets in here and learns the scheme. He’ll have an opportunity to play early basically because of our depth chart. Unfortunately because it’s collegiate sports, we could have some injuries. But we’re excited about him, his athleticism, his speed, his maturity. We’re excited to have him and have him be on campus."

OJOMO 'LOVING IT': Redshirt freshman Adewale Ojomo earned himself the Defensive MVP on the scout team last season and although he isn't on the first team depth chart this spring, he says he's enthusiastic and hungry. "I’m loving it. I’m enjoying it. I’m going to savor every moment of it," Ojomo said Wendesday. "I’m with the second team rotation. I’m behind Eric Moncur. We’re the right side soldiers."

Adewale_ojomoOjomo, who stands 6-3 said he's gained three to four pounds since the end of last season to hit the 250-pound mark, said he doesn't care if he's starting because he said he knows he will be in UM's four-man rotation. "It's exciting to be out here because you’re competing for a job. You have to learn plays. It’s not just showing you were a card tells you to go anymore," Ojomo siad. "You got to learn plays and go hard every play."

Ojomo said defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, who was shorthanded most of last season by injuries, is "serious about our health." "He makes sure we all get tape on our hands," Ojomo said. "He doesn’t want no jammed fingers or no injuries. He's serious about that."


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I read this, SS and the canespace blog everyday but never write in so I am loving this... Manny I am a soldier from Ft Lauderdale but I am in Iraq right now and I swear you are my lifeline, "I love you man!" thanks for what you do. And thanks to all you blobbers for making me laugh sometimes, I love when you all start arguing on the net, that sh@t is funny. While I am at it y'all can add me in as a 12%'er

Coldcane we should ALL be thanking YOU for your service to our great country. It is guys like you that allow the awesome Manny Navarros to go about their work in peace and safety. God Bless you!!!

go canes!!!! fuck iraq

coldcane, you are an American hero. You may not get a parade when you come back, but you (and everyone who serves our country) deserves one. Hopefully by the time you return to the US, you will be celebrating a Hurricane National Championship on the gridiron.

Thank you coldcane! Hope you can come back and see some games soon.

Reddick says he can't explode off of his left knee and we're trying him at corner....shows how thin we are at that position. He was a great safety his freshman year, hope he makes it back 100% for this season.

God Bless America and THE U!!!!!!

I hope we get rid of Pannunzio. He is an A$$, disrespectful, cant coach or recruit. Please Randy get rid of him!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coldcane, Yo! Bum rush the show!!

Coldcane thank God for the 'net. I left the Army in 1993, pre internet. I was in Germany and they had one English TV station. The 5 years I was there I saw my fair share of 'Cane games, but this technology helps out so much. There was another service member (Navy I think) that we had to give him the play by play when UM beat FSU in 2000. Be safe, watch our for your buddies and come back home safe.

God, I love to hear what's going on at the U. How can you not be excited....Only one way to go....Up.......It's a CANE thing!!

I wonder about Pannuzio as well. Does he not get it? Hester was just one of many greats the 'Canes have had like Roscoe, Moss, Buchanon, K-Dub, T-Mack ...the list goes on. There was a tradition of dominant special teams at Miami and its crumbling. I used to laugh when the media would mention "Beamer Ball" while at the same time VT would be ranked behind Miami in special teams scoring. Hopefully the athletes coming in will provide that spark thats been missing.

Thanks for your service coldcane.

Coldcane. Thank God for you and all our soldiers. I appreciate all of you for allowing us to have these freedoms. Stay safe over there and Stay Blessed!!!

While I am at it y'all can add me in as a 12%'er

Posted by: coldcane | February 29, 2008 at 05:28 AM

coldcane...U got it. I'll put you at the top of the list! Thanks for your service to our country and GO CANES!

Manny...your audio interveiews are beyond awesome. Keep up the GREAT work!

Don't forget about Canes baseball.

digged? wtf?

Coaching staff has to step it up this year. Nice job recruiting--now comes the real work. Pannunzio has to be on thin ice because special teams were atrocious last year. He should be extra nice to everyone around him and stop blowing off beat reporters, lest he find a Greyhound out of Coral Gables. Walton was let go for poor performance on D. Pannunzio was kept on for recruiting only because it simply could not have been for coaching. We need more out of him and that aspect of our game.
Step it up coach and be respectful. Donors like myself do not like to read about coaches being aloof and dismissive of the very people who cover our beloved team. Manny does a great job and keeps Cane Nation well-informed.

Manny, you are the best.

What a disgrace Pannunzio is. Out of all the coaches out there i think he should be the first one with some sort of a depth chart. Not walking around the practice field lost in space and giving people attitude cause they ask you about the job your SUPPOSED to be doing.

i smell b. c. s.

Manny, you are the shiznit. Keep info coming

Manny, thanks for answering my request for an update on Reddick. It would be nice to see him return to the field.

Get rid of Pannunzio and bring back Don Soldinger to coach the special teams!!! When he was here our special teams were great!!!

thanks manny good info and quotes

Pannunzio is just towing the line for Coach Shannon... they find the media to be their enemy instead of what the media really is, i.e., the communications line to the fans. This is what I've been talking about all along, the coaches at UM have circled the wagons and they are treating us like their enemies... that's why they've closed practices and don't let the players or coaches talk to the media (except for a few token moments here and there). What a shame.

They say sol doesnt recruit with these young kids. I say who cares that he wont text and kiss ass. When he shows up at your house with a portfolio of the davis brothers, edge, magahee, portis, gore and company you best bet theyll listen to the man. sol is the man.

any news on canes pro day?

305 and cubancane you wouldn't know pannuzio if hit you with a helmet. he doesn't have to tell manny who the return guys are going to be on the first day of spring. pannunzio is the best recruiter on the staff, responsible for marve and mcneil.cubancane go ask the marve family if they think pannunzio is a disgrace. the marves would probably return the volley to you. pannunzio also has great contacts in sec country.
also you don't think he tried every trick in the book last year. lets see a fake field goal for a td vs fsu. a reverse vs nc that almost won the game. ya thats it lets fire a coach because he won't give you an answer in the spring. get a life.

I'm on the fence with Pannunzio. Part of me agrees with simon7777, and the trick plays were effective. but also, he doesn't make adjustments. however, we have had no speed burners to return, but I think he should have did more with cooper returning punts. the reverse against north carolina was awesome, but he never found blockers for cooper. i will credit under Coker, starters played special teams, even andre johnson and kellen winslow. that doesn't seem to be the case with shannon. i think starters should play special teams, especially punt block and punt return. i'll give pannunzio one more year to prove himself. otherwise, the italiam hoagie gets FIRED if we don't house at least 4 punts or kicks and block at least 2. reasonable standards?

Simon777, well said. I don't know why fans think coaches are supposed to kiss their azz and tell them everything they want to know when they want to know it.

I think Pannunzio's been handcuffed as much as anyone else by Medioker's pizz-poor recruiting. We'll have a better idea of what he can do this year.

ColdCane, be safe and get home and drop us a line at CaneSpace if you can. We get a little wild over there and we like to know we keep people in stitches. lol

Fortay, we're so spoiled at the U with STs TDs. We forget most schools think that stuff is a gift from heaven when it happens. We expect it to happen at least once every game. LOL.

This year's still not enough to evaluate Pannunzio. He'll have Davon Johnson, T. Benjamin, T. Collier and B. Harris, and a handfull of legitimate guys already on campus, like Chambers and MCNeal. So we should expect improvement.

Don't expect instant Hester, Parrish, Kevin Williams, Sean Taylor or Buchanon though.

ColdCane...Thanx for all you do for us...I'll put one in the air for you cuz...GOD bless you and the rest of your brothers and sisters over there...

As for returners...that lil dude Kendall Thompkins looks special...hard to contain...and leave Pannunzio alone..we'll find out who's doin what when we find out...meantime yall stay up and GOD bless you and yours.

cavaleer, thanks. you're swaying me, but i don't think those things are gifts from heaven. in college ball, if you really game plan and put the right players in place, you can regularly block punts and return them too. its just takes a bunch of factors combining together, and it all starts with the special teams coach. my other gripe about pannunzio is he is the TEs coach, and our TEs have sucked under him. There is something with this guy that rubs people the wrong way. but, i'll give him the benefit of the doubt and see what happens this year.

The future is ours, UM is taking over. The true powerhouse in Florida is back and I can't wait until next season to watch us dominate again. The calavery has arrived and the football program that put Florida on the football map is now here. We have more championships then the gators and seminoles combined. To all the haters, just sit back and watch us win more championships.

Yo Coldcane, thanks for the service and thank your fellow soldiers also, stay safe and God bless. I had to listen to the 2001 National Championship game on the Armed Forces Network while deployed with the Navy. I read Manny's post every nite, but I don't blog that much, some of the post keeps the laughs coming. Once again GOD BLESS AMERICA & GOD BLESS THE "U"

Cavaleer put it best. The bad recruiting crushed our special teams. That is why we went after so many LBs and DBs because these freshmen/sophmores that don't see the field at these positions will rock on special teams. The return game requires more than just a return man. You need some blocking, even if your Hester.

I was at a practice last week (former player)...and Harris and Marve looked good...but I think it's Marve's to loose. He has a stronger arm and his passes are lazar accurate...Harris ball seems to float a little on the underneath routes, but I'm sure will improve as he gets stronger...but still throws a great deep ball...and had too many near miss INT's....anyway, Spense looked great...didn't see much of Forston (my fault). But I'm excited about what the Canes have instore over the next couple years!!!

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