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Draft analysis, baseball talk

I couldn't help but wince Sunday night when I realized only three Canes had been selected over the weekend. Sure, Kenny Phillips kept The Streak alive of first round picks (albeit with the final pick of the first round). But the other streak (which means a lot in itself too) of having at least five players chosen in the draft since 2000, came to a crashing halt when linebacker Tavares Gooden turned out to be the final UM player chosen with the eighth pick in the third round.

To me, Sunday's draft results tells us not only was UM's 5-7 football team bad, but it without question Kennyphillips
lacked more pro talent than any of the previous mediocre Hurricanes teams. And for all the hype the 2003 and 2004 recruiting classes received, they never came close to living up to their billing (the '03 was rated fifth by Rivals and the '04 class was fourth). Remember those 5-star blue chip recruits in Kyle Wright and Lance Leggett? Undrafted. How about 4-stars Darnell Jenkins, Vegas Franklin, Willie Cooper and Tyrone Moss? Ditto. There are several ways you can look at what happened and place blame. One, the kids were overrated to begin with and never developed. And/or two, Miami coaches not only failed in making those players better when they got here, but UM's staff made huge mistakes in the recruiting game by even bringing those guys in.

One thing should now be clear and without debate: Randy Shannon's team was worse this year in part because it simply wasn't as talented as those UM teams previous to it. The two previous Larry Coker coached teams had a combined 14 players worthy of being drafted (including four first rounders, three second rounders and two third rounders). Say what you will about coaching. But the bottomline is you need the horses to get the job done. And even when you look at this team going into next season, finding horses among the upperclassmen is still an awfully hard task. Up to this point have any of the 2005 recruits honestly lived up to their hype? Has Reggie Youngblood performed like a 5-star recruit? How about those four-star guys in that class? Dajleon Farr (no longer on the team), Spencer Adkins, Richard Gordon, Courtney Harris, Randy Phillips, Christopher Barney, Bruce Johnson, Demetri Stewart (no longer on the team), AJ Trump, Luqman Abdullah and Antonio Dixon? How about the 2006 class which featured these four-star guys as the best in class -- Ryan Hil, Tervaris Johnson, Kylan Robinson, Dedrick Epps, Josh Holmes and Sam Shields.

Right now, the only UM player in either the 2005 or 2006 class (those eligible for the 2009 draft) even on first round radar is running back Javarris James. Left tackle Jason Fox should be. Linebacker Colin McCarthy eventually could be. So, too could Reggie Youngblood and a few other seniors with really strong, breakout seasons. But the point is Sunday's draft, as well as next year's, should only further emphasize just how big of a hole this program has been in of late and how much it needs to improve to get back to the level it once was when the NFL was beating down the door to get Canes players. Like many of you, I'm confident the newest guys Shannon has brought in the last two seasons are going to be a lot like the studs this program used to turn out a few years back. Allen Bailey, Sean Spence, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Arthur Brown, Marcus Forston, Aldarius Johnson, Graig Cooper, Orlando Franklin are all guys you should be really excited about. But they are all young. As much as I want to be optimistic UM will be a lot better next season, its hard to imagine those talented young players being good enough to make UM much better than it was two, three seasons ago. For UM -- and any program for that matter -- to be special, it needs its juniors and senior classes to have some first round talent and dependable studs. And right now, Miami's junior and senior classes have a lot to prove.

By the way, my money is on Jason Fox to extend the streak to 15 years in '09. NFL teams are always looking for good left tackles and he's played like one since he walked in the door.

CANES SWEEP VIRGINIA: Got to give Jim Morris' boys another pat on the back for bouncing back from their loss to FIU on Wednesday by sweeping a solid Virginia team at home this weekend. UM is now an impressive 36-5 on the season and should still be the consensus No. 1 team in the country despite its hiccup against the Golden Panthers.

That being said, I think one of the best stories of the season -- outside of how Yonder Alonso and company Chris_hernandez
have been tearing the cover off the ball -- is just how good freshman left-hander Chris Hernandez has turned out to be. I know he was the star Friday with his 11-strikeout, 8-inning performance in UM's first ACC shutout since the 2006 season. But maybe we ought to consider him the MVP of this season.

In 10 starts, he's 7-0 with a 2.77 ERA, 71 strikeouts and 14 walks. He's pitched 65 innings -- 19 more than anyone else on the team. He's also picked off five runners. And without question, he's more than picked up the slack for an injured Eric Erickson in the Friday night starter role. Miami has won all 10 times it has played on Friday nights.

--> FYI... for those of you wondering what I've been up to of late since I've been a little lost, I'm working on laying the groundwork for The Herald's new and improved recruiting coverage which will begin next month. Aside from Larry Blustein's weekly columns, we'll have plenty of stories on other players and high school teams. And I'm going to be a big part of that. So, my plan is to pop in here and continue writing blogs on hot new stuff when it is warranted, but I'm also planning on spending a lot of my time over the next couple months on recruiting before college football picks up iat the end of July and the beginning of August. I'm still planing on doing my spring recaps and all of the other stuff we've talked about it including chats and doing podcasts. But the next couple of weeks I'll be busy with recruiting.

Comments

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where did kyle wright sign?

First? That's a first.

Wright signed with the Vikings as a Free Agent.

great article Manny.

Where is everybody getting free agent signee info?

Manny I agree on Fox. I think he's a top 10 pick with improved run blocking - top 15 without it.

Kyle Wright signed? That is nothing short of a miracle. then again, Brock is on an NFL roster!

I agree with Manny- people, and even the players have used the lam-o excuse of "bad coaches couldn't coach the 5 star recruits". hey, Kyle wright was THE gatorade BEST football player in the USA coming out of high school. He must have been all that right? Right? WRONG! Like Manny said, He was overhyped, and if a blame falls on the coaches is only that they bought into the hype, and did a crappy homework job dissecting his flaws. Same with Kirby Freeman. Same witth Lance leggett. Wow! Tyrone Moss was hurt. can't fault him other than he could have worked as hard as McGaheee or Gore, and may have done better. But think about it-Tyrone Moss was THE best rb in broward, probably all of so fla, and the top 5 in the country-what happened? These 5 stars need to show why they are so hyped. None of these did. KW certainly had his chance and blew it. I only hope the latest class of recruits pans out and these superstars are not what their predecssors were: over-hyped under-achievers!

"By the way, my money is on Jason Fox to extend the streak to 15 years in '09. NFL teams are always looking for good left tackles and he's played like one since he walked in the door." MNavarro

Manny...interesting call on Fox. I think many here will agree with you. My money is on James having a breakout season and announcing early.

Your buddy bg1906 just wrote a blog for our site where he states that he believes "The Streak" may be over. It will run later this week. We will see who's right!

"I'm still planing on doing my spring recaps and all of the other stuff we've talked about it including chats and doing podcasts. But the next couple of weeks I'll be busy with recruiting." MNavarro

Manny...whenever U are ready to resume the LIVE chats here and at The Space let us know. The bloggers are hungry and need to be fed! We are always here to support you.

GO CANES!!!

The biggest problem under coker was he forgot about south florida and used it as a fall back instead of his main base. This decision hurt this program big time and you see it in players not panning out. It's alot easier to watch kids playing in your back yard and to scout them to see there flaws then some kid from california.I know dorsey had trouble qualifying academicly but these are kids miami always got from south florida who left and played elsewhere under coker. It was a coaching philosiphy to recruit nationally first and locally as last resort that killed this program given time i hope he gets randy will have this program up there with usc and ohio state in 3 years when marve and company are vets with experiance.

We are not developing these guys and that's the problem. First look at the strenght and conditions where numbers are very low for a major D1 program. 2nd Our players attitude seems to be just being at the U you are automatically NFL material. When in fact those guys before them such as reggie wayne, santana moss, ray lewis, portis, work their tails off from the time they stepped on campus. 3rd coaches must make an effort to stay up these kids a** becuase they not as responsible as the great UM player before them.

I am going to be trowing the biggest Hurricane Party at my house. Everyone is invited. details to come shortly. If you are near Orlando, you will want to be there!!!

Posted by: 86Cane | April 28, 2008 at 04:02 PM

Me and mrs. 86Cane want to show our fans who has the best blog in town!!! I think you all know who it is. Yupp, you guessed it!!! 86Cane!!!

Posted by: 86Cane | April 28, 2008 at 04:05 PM

Cat--Did you pass out?If not cut out the middle man and go directly to the bottle.
(drinking out of a glass is for quitters
just like betty ford)
Question of the day cool-cat here we go.

If you could read my mind?---you would already know the singer and I would not
have to ring the church bells 29 times.
Who am I?This is a easy one.

Posted by: Mcginns Ale | April 28, 2008 at 04:07 PM

It is going to be soo much fun! I will be having the party on the saturday of our first away game. food and Boos is on the house. you know how i like to do it!

Posted by: 86Cane | April 28, 2008 at 04:10 PM

Manny and chris strock both said they will without a doubt be there!

Posted by: 86Cane | April 28, 2008 at 04:11 PM

oops, chris Stock not Strock, my bad. fingers are not working today!

Posted by: 86Cane | April 28, 2008 at 04:12 PM

Sounds like a good time 86. Do you know who the singer is?

Posted by: Mcginns Ale | April 28, 2008 at 04:12 PM

Any requests for food or drinks??? You name it, I will get it. Maybe i will have the party on the one year aniversary of "the Space" as well! 2 parties is always better than 1!!!

Posted by: 86Cane | April 28, 2008 at 04:14 PM

Please post to let me know who is coming.

Posted by: 86Cane | April 28, 2008 at 04:15 PM

come over to the space for more info!

Sorry for the confusion but that is NOT the real 86Cane.

Click on the blue 86Cane and you will see what is written and know that is not me.

There is NO party in Orlando but there will be one at The Titanic on Ponce Thursday May 15th from 5-7 PM before the UM-UNC baseball game.

Sorry for the interruption...

Manny's article is interesting . But how do we compare with other perineal powers? This past UM class of graduating players were compared to past "great classes" from Miami. Can someone tell me how U of F, ohio State, LSU , USC or Virginia Tech did on the NFL draft?

Anybody have any updates on Tim "ice" Harris and his new job at UM????

I am going to boycott Manny's blog since you insist. I am also going to advise all Canespace Bloggers to boycott this blog as well.

Posted by: SOUP | April 23, 2008 at 06:51 PM
toothless boycott fizzled ...
like the wizard of oz, the curtain pulled back to reveal a little man with illusory power ...
UNMASKED

pay no attention to that man behind the curtain
-- wizard of oz

you have no power here
now begone, before somebody drops a house on you
-- glinda, the good witch of the north

Green...I just wanted to let you know that you make this blog so much better than it could be without you.

Now if you could post something even close to being Canes related we would all appreciate it. Like this:

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2008/04/draft-this.html

glinda, the good witch of the north

Posted by: green | April 28, 2008 at 08:44 PM

U talking bout witches? Yeah that's about as close to U have been to posting something be UM sports related?

Good work there Green! Still waiting for something Orange?

I HEARD VANILLA ICE IS GOING TO BE A WALK-ON QUARTERBACK.. BECAUSE HES WHITE WHITE BABY

ISAW MANNY GETTING A LAP DANCE FROM A STRIPPER AT THE ALLEY CAT IN CORAL GABLES

Manny the horses are comming, USC will get probabtion an lose some ships this fall and their recruiting class will fall apart. RS has south FLA on lock

sorry for the typo on coming

M
They did not have any spirit the past few years, no internal competition. You made an error and they pat your behind instead of kicking it. Offense predictable for many years, LBs overshooting instead of playing disciplined. I was a close witness to JJ's last year as a coach and boy did they play hard.

Hope you are right Manny about the streak continuing next year.

Question, how many players from Kansas got drafted this year?
Talib at #20, they also had a tackle and tight end taken I think. Take what you have and coach them up. No reason Miami should lose 7 games in a year. Ever.

Someone posted a message saying that Coker's recruits from '04-'06 came in thinking that they were going to go pro right away, and I AGREE WITH YOU 100%.

When guys like Lance Leggatt and Ryan Moore were seniors in high school, they saw the great Canes players like Winslow, Taylor, and Vilma be drafted in the 1st round and become studs in the NFL, and thought they would do the same.

I know Shannon won't let our new recuits think like this.

As for the streak, there are millions of Canes HATERS out there who doubt the streak every year. The streak will live on.

http://hurricanewarriors.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=2

Manny

Just want to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. I am a Miami native now living out of state, but your blog keeps me plugged into my beloved Hurricanes.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Just a question about Chris Hernandez. I have not had the opportunity to see him pitch, but he has been impressive so far this year. What does he throw (w/ speeds), and when is he eligible for the MLB draft? He's looking like a first rounder if he can keep this up next year!?

my money is on Moncur to keep the streak alive

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