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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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hi i made it over here. but this is my first and last post

Howard S is so old he wears depends on the field. Randy S. would break the old man. The Ibis could easily kick the Owls arse. FAU couldn't beat Miami Dade Community College's intramural team.

FAU=Community College.

FAU in 07 8-5
UM in 07 5-7

DOORMATS

FAU in 07=community college

"UM is one of the elite college football programs." - FIU Fan

Um is not an elite program by ANY stretch of the imagination. No one respects UM deservedly so. The whole program has eroded badly and continues to erode (read: homeless) The institutional changes that UM has made will ensure that miami will remain an also ran In the ACC. They didn't look too elite giving up 48 points to a very mediocre Virginia a mere 5 quarters ago. The coach couldn't get a mention amongst the elite if he paid. The fan base is a sagging impatient whining bandwagoners, The conference they dwell in is NOT elite. ACC ranks near bottom in way too many categories. So what's elite about UM's program?

NOTHING

FAU in 07 = Division 1 team that actually made it to a bowl game and proceeded to spank opponent. How'd that bowl game work out for you last year UM? Randy couldn't coach up puppies.

i actually graduated from FAU... it was the only college that would accept me... been to a couple of football games... they were giving away tickets... seriously... they are borderline even keeping the football program in d1 because of attendence... Schnell would probably kill his wife to coach UM again... so talk about living in the past, the only thing that guy gets ANY credit for is UM's first title some 25 years ago... relying on preseason polls to conduct your boasting is all the evidence anyone needs to see where your program is which isn't obsolete because to become obsolete would mean that it had relevance in the first place... and to suggest that Lockhardt is a better stadium than Dolphin Staduim shows just how dellusional you really are... and regarding respect... FAU could go undefeated this year and not even get a sniff of a BCS game unless it's to wash jock straps at the half... while UM could lose 3 or 4 and get a BCS bowl game... so get off the sauce and come back to the blog when you are sober...

" while UM could lose 3 or 4 and get a BCS bowl game.."

GLUE SNIFFER

i would imagine that means that you concur... and it upsets you so...

Here's a free tip Cane037. Try winning your sorry DIVISION in the sorry ACC before gettin smacky about a BCS game. Most experts have you guys sliding in 3rd in the acc COASTAL division this year. Your limping team is FULL of holes. Come back in 2010 when you might win the COASTAL division and then get smacky. Until then continue to have a homeless team that quits on its bumbling coach and gives up 48 or 51 or 44 points. UM SUCKS

what conference is FAU in again? i can get smacky about a BCS game BECAUSE... UM can lose ALL of their games and still have a better chance of getting to one than FAU...

how many FAU football players in the NFL?

and thats a very realistic possibility. CANES SUCK.

how many FAU football players in the college HOF... NFL HOF?

ACC doormat

sorry coach

homeless

swiss cheese depth chart

NO offense

no defense

no special teams

NO fans

UM sucks

While the rest of the ACC is kicking your sorry teams arse, they won't really care about the "HOF" you MORON. What does the coastal division 3rd place trophy look like anyway?

Sun Belt calling ACC weak
IRONIC

Larry wasn't such a bad coach. You could fire Shannon now and rehire the kryptkeeper. YOu'll still get whupped in the lowly ACC though.
CANES SUCK

ACC doormat

FAU begins dominance has literally posted something every 20 minutes. Go get a job loser!

literally? wow. more like every 5 minutes

CANES SUCK

ACC doormat

FAU=Duke

Is this "fau begins dominance" retard bragging about an 8 & 5 season? He's sounds like a little kid who knows nothing about football. Thanks for the laugh, IDIOT! You're a class A retard.

fawho is crap they r bad and r not going anywhere owls suck penises

it was a response to a retarded canefan bragging about the BCS on the heels of 5-7

canes really suck top to bottom

Marve is your new turface. He'll be running for his life for the better part of 08. Harris will look to transfer. Shannon will get the axe. Thin d-line will limp all season. Wayne might paint thug u at midfield if you're lucky. At least UM has great special teams....oh wait...UM special teams SUCK.

ACC doormat

Posted by: Cane037:::
You are the type of alumni we don't want to represent FAU.
Why are you rooting for the U. Didn't you attend FAU.
You could use some personality and don't jump on the bandwagon with some UM fans that did not even attend UM. I invite you to come to FAU and see for yourself the campus. It has changed a lot.
You would be surprised.

GO OWLS!!

i was born and raised in Boca so there is no need for that... UM had a football program when i started liking football and just so happened to become legendary... my first UM game was in 1979 so there is not jumping on any bandwagons for me unless it would be to jump on a very small and barely visible FAU bandwagon... i only attended FAU because i felt that i had no other options... not really something to be too proud of but hey... it's a degree...

seriously FAU dom. ya need to calm down.. your giving the rest of the belt a bad name. our conference is finally starting to develop strength. starting to get noticed, pulling upsets here and there. no point in goin somewhere else to rub it in.. when in reality your program has had i think 2 very solid years. last year and the year you were in D II where you went to the semi's. thats a start but nothing to hang your hat on. keep building your program. tradition builds over time not by parading your 2 accomplishments around infront of other schools on down years. your program is up and coming. let who wants to be in denial. you tell them once and thats all need be said. then you prove it over and over and over. dont deminish anything your program has done by being a fair weather fan you claim other programs to have. thats the true way to show your schools prestige. to sum up... SHOW SOME DAMN CLASS.

Cane037 = HUGE bandwagon rider

get lost. move to cg with the thugs

i never tried to be any representation of FAU either... i graduated from there... that's it... end of story... wouldn't recommend it to anyone that could possibly go somewhere else...

Just like all those classy cane fans. GOOD ONE!

Canes think they are still elite. JOKE

Canes have worst coach in conference FACT

Canes are rental tenants in fish house FACT

Canes are also rans in soft ACC FACT

FAU friend where does it say you must root for the school you attend early. i am loud and proud and FIU fan even in these bad times. and while root for them no matter who they play. but just b/c i go to FIU does not mean i have to throw away what i was raised on. i was raised on the U and barring another meeting b/w them and FIU i will still root for the U. in that sense i dont see why you are calling for Cane037 to stop going for the U?

FAU dom... dont you all still rent at lockhart? you cant use that argument till you get your own stadium which as far as ive read, you dont have it.

FAU you don't know the difference between fact and opinion just like you don't know the difference between a fish and a dolphin<--mamal

UM has more N.C.s than FAU has winning seasons.

FAU your argument is pointless till the season starts. UM lost 3 games that where within 6 points or less. Yes UVA made us look like fools but pay back is a b i t c h just like most UF fan's and now FAU fans. Please stop boasting about going 8-4 in the sun belt conf that like beating up a retard either way you still look like an a s s. FAU has no clout and hardly any accolades I would say your irrelevant about first you have to actually have been relevant. Like I have said before I will take one bad year over a quarter of a century of great years any day of the week. What has FAU done in the last 25 years?

Why even respond to this guy? He doesn't speak for FAU fans, if you notice he's the only one on here. Stop being all defensive and ignore the guy, he'll go away. The vast majority of UM fans I have spoken to also highly respect FAU because of the Howard connection.

Cane037: The only reason I would attend UM is for Medicine or Law school. The rest of the programs are just average and way too expensive. Visit FAU campus in Boca and you would be surprised how bigger we are than UM in size and how cool the educational facilities are. Don't come here to say that you would not recommend anybody to attend FAU. You are a disgrace to FAU when you talk sh*** about our school. Yes UM is older, private and has a great athletics program, but remember that UM is 40 years older than FAU and it was the only school in south florida back in the days; therefore, students did not have other choice other than to attend UM or go up north. Nowadays, pre-med students start at FAU and get transfered straight to UM. I don't know if you knew about UM/FAU partnership! FAU is growing at a fast pace because the population in North Broward and Palm Beach counties have grown and students realized they have a great institution to attend to in their backyard. In terms of football, UM is way more powerful than us, but we have not met yet for different reasons, so we don't know the real outcome. When did you graduate? Don't get me wrong dude because I am not your enemy, but give FAU its credit.

GO OWLS!!

I am a lifelong UM fan that went to FAU and now I am at FSU...go figure. I root for all three teams, except when they play each other. FAU above all others, the Miami, the FSU. Its works well...And all that talk about us not going to a BCS game if we went undefeated...you know thats not true right? If we beat Texas and Michigan State and they went on to have the seasons that are predicted of them, there is no reason we shouldnt be ranked in the top 12..We are on the rise and it hurts that my Canes are weak right now, but lets all focus on who we really hate.. THE GAYTORS of FLOR-DUH.

I've been a college football fan my entire life. I was born and raised in Florida.. This is the first time I've heard that FAU's team is called the Owls. How telling is that? FAU. Worthless.

Tells me you aren't much of a college football fan, John.

Not to mention that the team has only been around since 2001.. Nonetheless your ignorance that the FAU Owls were only 1 of 2 in-state teams to win their conference (with UCF) as well as the only team to win its bowl also reaks of ignorance.

Oh yeh and they played USF, UF, and FIU this past year so either you don't follow college football in the state or you are oblivious.

GO OWLS, BEAT TEXAS!

Nonetheless your ignorance that the FAU Owls were only 1 of 2 in-state teams to win their conference (with UCF) as well as the only team to win its bowl also reaks of ignorance.

Posted by: SeminOwl2006 | July 29, 2008 at 09:27 PM

BUSH-LEAGUE

Not to mention that the team has only been around since 2001..

Posted by: SeminOwl2006 | July 29, 2008 at 09:27 PM
but for strong-arming unsuspecting students thru obscene activity fees, fledgling florida atlantic football would die a lonely death ...
DON'T GIVE A HOOT

John: Only you believe in that comment of yours. Yeah right! you've never heard of the Owls before. Do you really follow college football? Do you know Howard Schenelly?
Please man! I've lived in the states for 10 years and followed football for the past 5 years and I know all 120 D1A teams and some D1AA teams
Let's all focus on our teams and let actions speak !
Good luck to all florida teams this year.

GO OWLS

FAU will soon be playing in a shiny new 30,000 seat stadium.

UM got kicked out of their urine soaked house and now RENT. NO stadium will ever be built for the bumbling U. This is a new era in coral gables. No, it's not a few down years , its a NEW ERA ! UM football will never regain the prominence it once had . There are a myriad of reasons that support this. UM is just like those fools in Tuscaloosa that think ALABAMA is on its way back. FOOLS.

The new state of cane football is , low paying coaches salaries, NO stadium, dwindling fan base, heavy recruiting competition, a move into a conference that just knocked the formerly soft scheduled canes down another notch, loss of the win at all cost/thugU approach, antiquated football facilities, a 30 minute drive to see HOME games, and now you get to pay Wayne to park.

It's a new ERA UM. this isn't a down time. This IS Miami football.

hahaha...

"Canes are rental tenants in fish house FACT"

Nice one FAU Dominance Now.

FF..II..UU....FIU!!!

Why are FAU fans and Miami fans in a pissing match? they haven't even played a game. we should all support South Florida teams except when they're actually playing against the team you prefer. if someone wants to talk garbage about how bad Miami is, let them. no sense in living in the past bragging about how many trophies we have, because that just opens the argument for OSU, ND and USC to prove how much better they are than Miami. The only measure for how good your College football team is, is how good you are right now. you have to earn the respect. The Canes will earn this respect, they might not do it this year, but they will do it again. the bottom line is the canes are in a different caliber than FAU and FIU. That's not to say that FAU can't beat the canes (any given Saturday!), but they are in a different class. Yes, the Canes will be Renting a stadium, just like they have been forever... and yes, FAU will be able to play in front of their 30,000 fans. but I'll take a sold out Dolphin Stadium when Miami takes the field against FSU in front of 76K fans as evidence enough that these two teams are in different leagues. But until they play each other, Go Schnellenberger, Go Owls, but most importantly, Go Canes!

Hey!
Does UM campus have the space to build a new stadium?
When Howard Schenelly was the head coach, he advised to get a stadium on campus. The athletics program did not listen, eventough, Howard gave UM the first national title right after the football program was about to be canceled.
UM has the fan base, tradition, success and wealthy people related to the school, so why UM can't get a stadium?

not enough land, egress or students to build an on-campus eyesore ...
NIMBY

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