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Refresher course: The "Hands" Team

It's another day closer to the start of fall practice and time to take another look back and ahead to what is in store position-by-position for your Canes.

Today, I try and cover UM's receivers and tight ends, who for lack of a better word did a pretty job covering themselves last year by dropping passes and failing to make big plays time and time again.

RECEIVERS...
> Who is gone:
Darnell Jenkins (leading receiver last season); Lance Leggett (graduated); Ryan Hill (moved to cornerback)
> Who is back: Sam Shields, Jr. (6-0, 180); Kayne Farquharson, Sr. (6-2, 185); Leonard Hankerson, So. (6-2, 218); Khalil Jones, Sr. (6-2, 200); Jermaine McKenzie, R-Fr. (6-2, 173)
> Who is new: Aldarius Johnson, Fr. (6-2, 217); LaRon Byrd, Fr. (6-4, 205); Tommy Streeter (6-6, 200); Travis Benjamin, Fr. (5-11, 160); Thearon Collier, Fr. (5-9, 165); Davon Johnson, Fr. (5-11, 165), Kendall Thompkins, Fr. (5-10, 170).

> What happened in '07: Miami's receivers took another step back in 2007. The passing game, which finished dead last in the ACC, saw not only poor quarterback play, but inconsistency Darnell_jenkinsfrom receivers yet again who often dropped balls when they were rarely open and never really showed much separation to get open. If you want to know what type of season it was, realize Jenkins (who led the team with 31 catches for 619 yards and 2 scores) earned MVP honors in what would have been an otherwise average season at Miami. Leggett, hailed by Rivals.com as a 5-star recruit, was the biggest disappointment among the wide outs. He managed only 15 catches for 238 yards and one touchdown his senior year. Shields, who often found himself in coach Randy Shannon's doghouse, had brief moments of stellar play including a six catch, 117-yard effort against Texas A&M. The rest of Miami's receivers did little. Farquharson, Hankerson and Jones combined for 16 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns. McKenzie missed the season after suffering serious neck injuries in an auto accident right before the start of fall camp.

> Spring recap: Johnson, an All-State performer and star at Miami Northwestern, was the only freshman receiver get into school early. Although he didn't exactly blow up in the 030408_receiversspring game (he dropped the only pass thrown his way), there was enough talk about him from new receivers coach Aubrey Hill to believe the experience Johnson gained will propel him into a starring role at some point in the very near future. Other than that, there wasn't a ton of positivity to come out of the spring. Receivers still dropped a ton of passes, some deep down field. McKenzie, who most were hoping would finally get on the field and peform, missed the team's opening scrimmage and game with an apparent leg injury. Farquharson had five catches for 51 yards in the team's first scrimmage and led all receivers for catches in the spring game with 4 for 29 yards. He, Khalil Jones (2-16) and Hill (1-14) were the only receivers to catch balls in the game itself.

> The Big Question: There isn't a bigger question on the team than who emerges at wide out. Most Sam_shields_big_catch would say Shields should develop into the go-to receiver. He is the fastest wideout on the team and who has the most experience. But when you take into account his off field issues and the rumblings about his academic issues this summer, you can't count him for sure to become that player. After Shields, word out of the 7-on-7s this summer suggest Hankerson and McKenzie (who was a 7 on 7 star before his car accident) will become Miami's other starters with Jones and Farquharson in the rotation.

> What to expect: The unexpected. If any of the freshmen come in and wow during the fall, look for them to quickly climb up the depth chart. There isn't a 022608_ajohnsonposition on this team in more dire need of talent and consistency. Shannon himself admitted there were times last year where they were looking for Jenkins to save them. After signing seven receivers in February, some one is going to break out. And word is Johnson, Byrd, Streeter and Benjamin are the most likely to do so. Having watched Johnson and Streeter closely in high school I can tell you both have type of go-over the middle toughness Miami's receiving corps has lacked. I think if Shields doesn't screw up, he'll be the go-to guy. But with or without him, by the end of this season there is no doubt in my mind Johnson, McKenzie and Hankerson and a few other freshman will be part a solid young core for the future.

> The Kool-Aid Quote of the Spring: Offensive coordinator Patrick Nix on the play of the receivers: "A lot of times wide receivers are blamed when it’s a bad throw or they might have not the protection. We might have to throw early. To the average spectator they think it's all the receivers fault or something like that when it could be a lot of different things. But the receivers had a good spring. They all did very good. We have a lot of depth, so that's a very good thing. They made a lot of big plays all spring."

TIGHT ENDS/H-BACK...
> Who is gone:
Dajleon Farr (transferred to Memphis).
> Who is back: Dedrick Epps, Jr. (6-4, 255); Richard Gordon, Jr. (6-4, 260); Chris Zellner, Sr., (6-2, 247)
> Who is new: Daniel Adderley, R-Fr. (6-6, 220) and Tervaris Johnson, R-So. (6-2, 220) who moved over from receiver and safety respectively this offseason.

> What happened in '07: Not a lot if you came to Miami thinking you were going to follow in the footsteps of Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow and Greg Olsen. The tight end Dajleon_farrposition basically became obsolete last season with Zellner, Epps and Farr getting very little action at all. Zellner, who played more of an H-back role, caught 13 passes for 105 yards and 1 touchdown to lead UM tight ends. Epps had eight catches for 83 yards and 1 touchdown -- the lone highlight of the season for UM tight ends, the game-winning touchdown catch against FSU. Farr, who came in as the nation's third best tight end according to Rivals in 2005, caught all of six passes before opting to transfer to Memphis. Gordon, who originally started at tight end, moved back there after moving over to the defense. He caught one pass for 8 yards.

> What happened this spring: The three remaining tight ends each got a few balls thrown their way in the spring game. Zellner caught 2 for 16 yards, Gordon caught 1 for 5 yards and Epps caught one for 4 yards.

> The Big Question: Will Miami even bother to develop a tight end like it once had when Shockey, Winslow and Olsen were dangerous weapons down the middle of the field? And is he available right now? Or, will Patrick Nix phase the tight end -- outside of blocking -- out of the offense until help arrives in the form of recruiting and let his receivers do the heavy lifting?

> What to expect: For Epps, Gordon and Zellner to continue doing the little things like blocking Dedrick_eppsand making a catch or two in dump off situations. Right now, neither of the three players have any skills remotely similar to what Canes fans are used to at tight end. Although Gordon, who once returned kickoffs early last year, has the speed and big frame to possibly be used as a real weapon in the passing game, he has struggled to to pick up route running and there are long odds he ever will. Instead, Epps will most likely be the guy who leads this group in receptions and production near the goalline. He showed the most improvement in the spring.

> On The Recruiting Trial: So, who exactly is the staff looking at to be the next great tight end at Orson_charlesMiami? The Canes are trying hard to land Rivals' No. 1 tight end in the '09 class, Tampa Plant's Orson Charles (who is reportedly expected to visit UM this weekend with his family). Charles (6-3, 216) is the playmaker Canes fans covet. Miami also has three other commitments who play tight end -- 6-6, 240-pound Stephen Plein of Fort Myers, 6-4, 225-pound Cory White of Jacksonville and 6-4, 235-pounder Billy Sanders of Phoenix. White is being recruited as an offensive lineman. Charles should already be adored by Canes fans. He's the kid who broke the Gators' crystal national championship trophy when he accidentally knocked it to the floor on his visit.

Comments

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First! And great stuff as usual manny

2nd! Wuz good Manny!

keep it coming... Warming up to the first game...

Charles should already be adored by Canes fans. He's the kid who broke the Gators' crystal national championship trophy when he accidentally knocked it to the floor on his visit.

I like him already!!!

Great job as always Manny...

Go Canes

Way to go Charles!! Already making big hits for the Canes. Keep it coming Manny. Go CANES!!

In preseason polls, the FAU Owls are picked well above UM. It's a good thing Miami is dodging FAU. The Owls roster is packed with Florida talent. Rusty and Cortez would roast Miami's soft D. FAU is loaded.

Miami is dodging FAU? I don't know where you get your information but FAU turned down Miami's offer to play.

Phil Steele ranked FAU higher than Miami, but Athlon and Lindy's ranked Miami higher than FAU. Big deal.

FAU begins dominance, lol...what has FAU ever done? They won their bowl game last year. Congratulations! Bravo for FAU! When FAU plays in a BCS bowl game then you'll have something to brag about.

TO FAU BEGINS DOMINANCE:Wake up dude.Go to your schools trophy case and check how many national championships they have won.ZERO.When your school actually wins something,dont talk smack because it just makes you look like an idiot.Your disrespect for one of college footballs most successful programs ever, lets everyone know that you know absolutely nothing.The U would lose money if they played a third rate program like FAU.Do you think they would willingly kiss goodbye a few million to play the hooties rather than an established, traditional power? The only thing I like about FAU is coach Schnell.who is still a king in Miami and will always be. As far as your knowledge of college football and your disrespect for the U, your opinion is worthless.

FAU would own miami's soft defense. Rusty and Gent would get Randy his walking papers. Sam Shields is supposed to be your go to WR?...BWAHHHAAhhaaaaha. Good one. Miami's depth chart looks like swiss cheese. 6-6 in 08 at best. MIAMI SUCKS. Fau would hand you your sorry lunch. Better offense, better coach..Better STADIUM..bwahahahaa.

NO ONE respects sorry UM "erik the blue(balls)". Respect is something UM has to EARN. BC doesn't respect you. Virginia doesn't respect you. Oklahoma doesnt respect you. sorry ass north carolina and GT don't respect you. Go fondle your dusty trophies and keep living in the past. Since joining the SORRY ACC you guys have slipped further down. NO ONE RESPECTS YOU.

Who cares, FAU. Now run along and go play.

And word is Johnson, Byrd, Streeter and Benjamin are the most likely to do so.

MY PICK IS JOHNSON.

Having watched Johnson and Streeter closely in high school I can tell you both have type of go-over the middle toughness Miami's receiving corps has lacked.

PLEASE LET THESE WORDS RING TRUE!

Any news on the DL recruit we just signed?

hiring RS is the worst chapter in UM history(still playing out) Everyone knows that when your team is floundering at the bottom you don't hire from within. UM had no choice in hiring that guy, no one else wanted to coach a homeless team with terrible facilities and no fan base. UVA hung 48 points on you. You are what your record says you are.

NO RESPECT for ACC weak sister UM

In preseason polls, the FAU Owls are picked well above UM.

Posted by: FAU begins dominance | July 29, 2008 at 08:39 AM
preseason polls released august ...
FORTUNE TELLER

who's phil steele?

OBSCURE

It's a good thing Miami is dodging FAU.

Posted by: FAU begins dominance | July 29, 2008 at 08:39 AM

UM offered to play FAU in football in 2009 at Dolphin Stadium, but FAU athletic director Craig Angelos said it probably wouldn't happen because FAU needs a big guarantee
-- barry jackson

The Owls roster is packed with Florida talent.

Posted by: FAU begins dominance | July 29, 2008 at 08:39 AM
tier-3 talent for a tier-4 commuter school ...
SCRAPS

Looks like the learning lab at someone's daycare center just got a new computer for the toddlers to use. Too bad they gave them internet access.

FAU is loaded.

Posted by: FAU begins dominance | July 29, 2008 at 08:39 AM
the NFL sneers ...
NO-NAME

fau can't be bothered with weak payday from playing weak UM in empty fish house. We prefer to play teams with respect and get some exposure that way. UM doesn't have anyones respect. Lowly virginia hung and UNANSWERED 48 on your soft arse. PATHETIC

FAU has upward momentum. Miami's had downward momentum for years and it will continue. Dominance will begin NOW.

UM has the worst coach in the entitre ACC. He will be fired sooner than later.

WE GOT HOWARD you LOSERS. Enjoy playing in that empty fish house.

FAU begins dominance = cross-dresser

Way to bring your A-game Manny...this is great information.

What is an FAU?

FAU, Better stadium? you talkin bout lockhart? i know you guys are buzzing about your belt championship. and you all will soon have your oncampus stadium... but as of right now i would rather play at Waynes place. it would be a good game b/w you and the U. ill give ya that... if you caught them early.. i wouldnt be suprised if you pulled it off. but i think the U is headed for a turn around. that being said we'll see ya in the belt. cause FIU is up and coming. good luck on your stadium. now as for that kid charles. major props on "ACCIDENTALY" breaking their NC trophy he saw Urban's lies and was like "F this" funny as hell story.

Once again, nobody responds on the decimation and exodus of quality players on the UM baseball team. What is happening?

Fall practice starts this week, that's what's happening. Sorry, but I doubt you'll get much baseball talk until next Spring. I'm sure Coach Morris know's what he's doing.

Screw those reptiles. We got a new stadium, a BOWL trophy(remember those?) , Howard, Actual fans, a respected conference, Massive amounts of florida talent, player development(remember those days um?),

UM will stumble around for a while longer until people wake up and axe that terrible RS. You're going nowhere with that guy. He won't have roster spots and scholarships to dole out next year. UM has no idea how to develop players anymore. Nice long list of underachievers you have is because of lame coaching staff.

FAU dominance begins NOW .

i've been saying Hank goin to be the man. he got bigger and faster (4.51 40 now). will have him pushing guys around like he did to Macho Harris last year.

A BOWL trophy, WOW! And massive amounts of Florida talent too! Maybe Miami should get one of those and start recruiting in Florida also. I think I'll forward that suggestion to Randy Shannon and see if he thinks it would be a good idea to get a massive amount of Florida talent too. Maybe if he likes the idea, we can get one of those BOWL trophy's too!

Once again, nobody responds on the decimation and exodus of quality players on the UM baseball team. What is happening?

Posted by: M. kesselman | July 29, 2008 at 10:00 AM
36 straight postseasons ...
PAST IS PROLOGUE

Don't bother Monty (nice 50's name) RS won't be around long enough to heed your advice.

Howard aint available.

Doesn't FAU have a blog or forum you can go to where all the Owl's can gather and talk about their dominance?

Green...
Before I say anything..did you just post on the space?

UM is not dodging the Owls (LOL Great mascot btw), they are simply waiting to fry bigger fish (like Notre Dame). FAU had a decent team last year and beat Minnesota, WOW!! Last place team in the big ten. UM had an up and down year and had we had someone at QB with a little hair on his chest we would have been bowl eligible.

Wishful thinking on the owls part though, keep it up ... LOL.

We prefer to come here and discuss how we will be dominating U.
Who will coach duhu when randy gets the inevitable axe?
Nobody wants that job as shown by the hiring of 4th choice coach.

Miami = doormatt in ACC

We just got another commit.

Before I say anything..did you just post on the space?

Posted by: Cat5 Cane | July 29, 2008 at 11:25 AM
put two and two together ...
FAU begins dominance aka canesrule aka gaturd incognito aka cross-dresser impersonates me ...
WOULDN'T BE CAUGHT DEAD

Miami's paper thin d-line will be abused by the ACC. Cane fan wants to carry on about being "back baby" . You guys will get your arse kicked regularly in 08. Bad decisions by your child QB will cost a couple of games. D-line getting pushed around will cost a couple of games. UM's special teams are horrible. That'll cost a couple of games. 6-6 best case scenario you FOOLS.NO ONE RESPECT DUHU.

DOORMATS

FAU fans- I actually do root for FAU as I love to see how infant programs develop and grow into success, love Howard S and lived in Boca for some 18 years. However, u better start worrying about your real rivals like FIU and Troy which are the real inhibitors to FAU success this coming season. There's no issue with wishing big, just do it with more class as that will help your credibility and level of embarassment if FAU should stumble along the way.

Just heard the UM ticket promo on 790. Way to promote the ThugU mentality UM marketing department. MORONS !

Is this FAU fool serious?

Though it is amazing how the smaller schools such as USF, FAU, UCF and FIU are developing at a much faster pace than the more developed programs, which would still not constitute any base for trash talking towards any program especially the U.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/umblog
elgrancane77 & GOLD: gaturd agent provocateur spams UM blog with nonsense ...
MISTAKEN IDENTITY

The only amazing thing is how FAR Um has fallen. Also amazing is the rise of FAU. One program headed down, the other up. UM is the doormat of the ACC and will continue to be just that. NO ONE respects UM.

Sorry FAU Begins Dominance, but you are way out of line.

UM is one of the elite college football programs. FAU might be there...one day...just like I hope FIU will be there...but right now, UM is still a force.

One good season is great for a 6-year old football program, but the U is the U. FAU still can't hang with programs like UF, UCF and UM.

The truth is the truth. But keep rooting for your team...just do it with more class.

FAwho please are you guys even a D1 football program?

Green
GOT...IT

Thanks...
Cat

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/umblog
FIU Fan & AtlantaCane: seen this movie before ...
gaturd agent provocateur trashed pbpost blog ...
RERUN

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