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First practice impressions

Football season has officially started at the University of Miami. I just got back home from Saturday morning's first practice of the fall and have plenty of thoughts and notes to share with you.

I took my new video camera out there and filmed plenty of practice, stuff I'll post as the year progresses (Note: Today's practice was the only one open to the press or public this season). In case you missed it, I posted a few video interviews yesterday with Jason Fox, Marcus Forston and Glenn Cook. There was also another video done on the quarterbacks by Emily Michot. I'll have more video up later today from practice including interviews with freshmen Brandon Harris, Laron Byrd, Jordan Futch and center Xavier Shannon.

To the highlights...

> The first noticeable difference in my eyes with this team -- there are playmakers at the wide receiver position. Even though the guys were just wearing helmets and shorts, the new arrivals made quite the impression. No one bigger than 6-4, 211-pound, No. 47-wearing LaRon Byrd. He was the first player Randy Shannon mentioned in his post practice meeting with the press.

Laron_byrdByrd, who comes from a little town called Boutte, La., can certainly be entertaining like the last famous No. 47 at The U. Byrd is a fast talker and you can see he loves being in the spotlight.

"We're very excited about him, the way he's progressing and things like that," Shannon said. "He stood out. We threw a tight end option route where Laron ran over the corner and that as a big play for us. He has great size, he's blocking, he's doing those things. You don't come in and teach a freshman to do that. It's just natural."

Consider it a big deal to hear Randy say what he said. Shannon rarely singles out players for what they do in practice. (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO WHAT SHANNON SAID AFTER PRACTICE)

> Byrd (whom Herald recruiting guru Larry Blustein insisted to me months ago would make an instant impact this year at UM) wasn't the only freshmen to make me say 'Wow.' Freshman Davon Johnson of Booker T. Washington had a nice catch down the sideline, then stopped to avoid a cornerback before scoring a touchdown. Former Northwestern receiver Kendall Thompkins also scored a TD on a long pass from Taylor Cook during 11 on 11 drills. I also liked what I saw from Travis Benjamin and Thearon Collier, who look like they will be battling it out with Johnson in the slot.

> After dodging the question Friday, Shannon finally told us exactly which freshmen are still waiting to get into UM: Defensive back Joe Wylie, defensive tackle Jeremy Lewis, safety C.J. Holton, linebacker Gavin Hardin and Brandon Marti. None, obviously, were at practice Saturday. But they could be as soon as Monday. Ultimately, the wait could be a bit linger longer. As long as they report before the third day of school, they can play this season.

> For those of you worried about the depth of the defensive line, I saw something Saturday that might make you even more queasy. Defensive end Eric Moncur was unexpectedly held out of practice and was busy working out on the sideline with a trainer (he was tossing one of those weight balls while running side to side). Allen Bailey and Josh Holmes (also out with injuries) were also participating in the drills.

It might be good news that they're working out, but it wasn't good to see a few other guys leave. During practice, Dwayne Hendricks eventually made his way to the sideline (not sure if it was cramps or not) and defensive tackle Joe Joseph was carried off the field with cramps late. The good news, a leaner Antonio Dixon once nicknamed "2 Play Dix" was able to complete practice. As you know, Miami is already without Courtney Harris for the season and Holmes could miss significant time. Shannon insisted Saturday Moncur (who he says missed 5-6 weeks of workouts this summer) will be back for the start of the season. But to me, these are obviously not the kind of signs you want to see from a defensive line that lost so much and has been riddled with injuries. Also of note, freshman Marcus Robinson, who was recruited as a linebacker, was playing defensive end Saturday (call it out of necessity).

> As far as the quarterbacks are concerned, I thought both Robert Marve and Jacory Harris looked exceptionally well. Both did a great job during seven on seven drills, rollouts and connecting on deep passes. I still say both are better than Kyle or Kirby right now even though they still haven't thrown a pass in college.

> Cannon Smith, who I spoke to one-on-one Friday at Media Day, looked better than he did in the spring. Shannon told us his arm is stronger and I found out why. According to Smith, he was still recovering this spring from a separated shoulder. He said he couldn't throw the ball as hard as he wanted to. "I don't know what percentage I was at, but I know when I was throwing the ball, it wasn't all there," Smith said. "But now I'm back and after working hard with coach Swasey during the conditioning drills I feel I'm back to where I want to be." We'll see if that means in the race for the starting job with Marve and Harris.

> Shannon told reporters Friday that the team's fourth quarterback, Taylor Cook, was too far behind to compete for the starting job this fall. You saw why Saturday. Although, he showed some good arm strength and did connect with Thompkins for a touchdown, Cook looks like he'll need some coaching from Patrick Nix on his mechanics. He throws the ball sidearm and at times doesn't appear to be really stepping into his passes.

> Several player said they couldn't sleep last night before the start of practice -- including Byrd and Xavier Shannon. Shannon said he woke up early and was at UM early enough to still see the moon, "It was strange coming out here and still seeing the moon." Shannon, who has some great stories to tell about his father, said Randy recently called him at 6 a.m. on his day off a few weeks ago to ask him if the movie National Treasure 2 had been released yet. "He didn't ask me how I was doing or anything," Shannon said. "Just, 'Did it come out yet?"

> There were a few visiting recruits among the spectators and fans in attendance. I saw highly touted tight end Orson Charles from Tampa Plant, Northwestern safety Tevin McCaskill and Pace defensive back Kayvon Webster. I was told Cane commitment Stephen Plein of Fort Myers was there. Highly touted Plantation High defensive back Brandon McGee (who will announce his decision Aug. 11) was also reportedly there. I also spotted Booker T. Washington running back Eduardo Clements (Class of 2010) on the way out.

> The following is by no means an official depth chart, but it was where I filmed guys practicing at Saturday. Consider just a starting point for discussion as the fall progresses.

Offense (first team | second team | third team)
QB: Robert Marve or Jacory Harris | Cannon Smith
RB: Javarris James or Graig Cooper | Derron Thomas or Shawnbrey McNeal
FB: Patrick Hill | John Calhoun | Eric Houston
WR: K. Jones and K. Farquharson | A. Johnson, L. Hankerson or J. McKenzie | L. Byrd
Slot: Sam Shields | T. Benjamin, D. Johnson and K. Thompkins
TE: Dedrick Epps | Chris Zellner or Richard Gordon | Daniel Adderley, Tervaris Johnson
LT: Jason Fox | Tyrone Byrd | Ian Symonette
LG: Chris Barney | Orlando Franklin
C: Xavier Shannon | Tyler Horn
RG: Joel Figueroa | Harland Gunn
RT: Reggie Youngblood or Chris Rutledge | Ben Jones

Defense (first team | second team | third team)
DE: Steven Wesley (since Bailey was out) and Adewale Ojomo (since Moncur as out) | Marcus Robinson
DT: Joe Joseph and Antonio Dixon and Marcus Forston | Dwayne Hendricks, Micanor Regis
SLB: Darryl Sharpton | Arthur Brown | Jordan Futch
MLB: Glenn Cook | Spencer Adkins | Romeo Davis
WLB: Colin McCarthy | Sean Spence | Kylan Robinson
CB: Bruce Johnson and Chavez Grant | DeMarcus Van Dyke, Carlos Armour and Ryan Hill | B. Harris
S: Lovon Ponder, Anthony Reddick, Randy Phillips | Jojo Nicholas, Jared Campbell | V. Telemaque

Comments

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Always remember: UF 28 - National Champions 3
U will never know if you would have won the rematch. 2nd in the state of Florida is pretty good. All time losing record in the OB...Oh it got demolished....maybe you can start a new record:)

U have done well recently..How is it playing in a conference as opposed to having weekly scrimmages:)? Injuries tough on U. UM fans are the ones who used to say they could beat the Detroit Lions:)

Looks like "R" is one of those interwebs tough guys.

Hey DUDE, you might want to proofread that K R A P before you hit "post". I'll forward it to a hyroglyphics expert for further analysis.

NO FAIR !

Israel Gutierrez flat out slams DuhU in his recent article “Hurricanes Bordering on Irrelevant”. He could have at least done like FOX News does and put a question mark at the end of the headline. But NOOOO. He flat out STATES it. He just hates on the canes like everyone else. There is clearly a “U” bias because we intimidate people.

Why does I.G. talk about Randy being ranked 66th on the list of ….well…..66 BCS coaches? Randy is a great guy. Mr. Integrity you know. He showed great integrity when he knew 25% of his class wouldnt qualilfy. That’s just good recruiting you haters.

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/columnists/israel-gutierrez//story/626771.html

Read it for yourself. Clearly he’s intimidated by all the swagger and stuff like that. He knows Randy is locking out everyone else.

Hey, real fellow Canes Fans don't sweat the ass clown that seems to be an SEC fan (CANESRULE). I mean can U blame the poor guy that one he has no life, other than to repeat every thing that I and the rest of us canes say. Two the SEC always whined and cried that they were shut out of the National Title games by no one other than themselves that is. And third in the last 25 years no one has 5 National Titles oh yeah except that one team that is called the MIAMI HURRICANES, U know our team. I mean the SEC teams must have some really boring blogs unlike that of ours that he feels the need to leave those loser boring SEC blogs and come to ours. I mean who wouldn't want to be on the Canes blog we have 5 National Titles UF has 2 nice little titles they got when we were on probation and the other when Coker wreaked what Butch built. LSU the same way 2 national titles when we were sabatoged. And Tennessee please they won theirs just the way UF won their first and when they had a chance to play the Canes what did they do? they threw the SEC title game to LSU who had a QB who could only run a draw play. So when the Canes get back to full strength in a year or so and are beating the hell out of everybody including your beloved SEC teams don't go run and hide like everyone does thats not A REAL CANE back to your little hole.

The Canes are at full strength. The Canes are done until 2010 plus.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/sports/epaper/2008/07/22/a1c_acc_0723.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=46

In the past three years, the ACC leads all conferences in players picked in the first round (25) and overall (115) in the NFL Draft.
-- jorge milian

athens
auburn
baton rouge
columbia
gainesville
fayetteville
knoxville
lexington
oxford
starkville
tuscaloosa

SEC = ONE-HORSE TOWN APLENTY

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t1natudoc_brief.php

SEC = COUNTRY BUMPKINS

http://www.sportsline.com/columns/story/10255471

The SEC is to cheating what Superman is to comic book heroes. The best. Just about every school in the conference has a major infraction.
-- mike freeman

SEC = DIRTIEST CONFERENCE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD

http://espn.go.com/page2/s/grant/031208.html

Sylvester Croom becomes the first black head football coach in SEC history
-- alan grant

segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever
-- george wallace

Canesrule:

Yes, I agree. I can't imagine how Miami would do vs the mighty SEC. There's no way we'd have success. Especially when you consider that we're only 22-9 vs the entire SEC since 1980. That's only 28 years of dominance every time we play an SEC team. What were we thinking? With a 28 year run like the following, I have no idea why we'd think we could win in the SEC:

vs Ala

90 W 33-25 Sugar Bowl (Nationa Title)
93 L 13-34 Sugar Bowl

vs ARK

87 W 51-7 @ Little Rock
88 W 18-16 HOME
91 W 31-3 @ Little Rock

vs AUB

84 W 20-18 Kickoff Classic

vs THE MIGHTY GATORS

80 W 31-7 @ GAYnesville
81 W 21-20 Home
82 L 14-17 @ GAYnesville
83 L 3-28 @ GAYnesville
84 W 32-20 TAMPA
85 L 23-35 HOME
86 W 23-15 @ GAYnesville
87 W 31-4 HOME
01 W 37-20 Sugar Bowl
02 W 41-16 @ GAYnesville
03 W 38-33 HOME
04 W 27-10 Peach Bowl

vs LSU

88 W 44-3 @ Baton Rouge
05 L 3-40 Sugar Bowl

vs Miss State

80 L 31-34 HOME
81 L 10-14 @ Starksville
82 W 31-14 HOME
83 W 31-7 @ Starksville

vs South Carolina

86 W 34-14 @ SC
87 W 20-16 HOME

vs Tennessee

86 L 7-35 Sugar Bowl
02 W 26-3 @ Knoxville
03 L 6-10 HOME

vs Vandy

80 W 24-17 @ Vandy
81 W 48-16 HOME

Total VS SEC since 1980 = 22-9

What were we thinking!?!?

Posted by: BOFACane | June 21, 2008 at 10:32 AM

the SEC elite has played just five road games against ranked opponents since 2002. Can't blame them, really. No need to seek real tests outside the SEC when everyone assumes the SEC is such a test — even if its teams rarely are forced to show it against the best from other leagues.
-- sunsentinel's michael cunningham

AN ISLAND UNTO HERSELF

if you tell a big enough lie, and keep on repeating it, in the end people will come to believe it
-- josef goebbels

canesrule: what is this fascinationa nd obsession with the sec?

The sec doesnt win NCs, teams/schools do. As such, UM has played in three conferences (indep, Big East, ACC), and if tomorrow they played for the WAC, but won an NC, I could give a crap, and I wouldnt cream my pants over the sec, sec, sec. In fact, the sec now, has been built partly on UM teams from the past: Mark Richt ws a Um qb 0n the 9-2 1981 UM team, and auburn's coach-what'his name, coached UM to 2 national championships as an assistant.

Canesrule= you and your loser sec wannabes wish you had 5 national championships in football, 4 in baseball. You just dont. Ok ok, maybe if you total all of them between all of theschools.

You also have had the likes of Teddy Dupay- cheater, rapist
Ryan Periloux- criminal
Alabama team- recently taken out of sanctions
Auburn recently sanctioned.
LSU---graduation rate? ha ha ha

you are a loser.

Green- great posts. It's amazing how sometimes facts get in the way!!!

Yes the sec is an island unto herself.

The only sec team thati would give kudos to is auburn- who has had the ba--s to travel to usc (as a number 1 or 2 team) a couple of years ago and got bushwahacked!

Also, I wanted to confirm is the Memphis Melrose HS coach the Hubbard Alexander who was an asst. (?TE) coach under Schnellenberger back from the good old days?

Posted by: JCane | August 02, 2008 at 10:02 PM

Yes, U are correct, it is the same person.

More on Hubbard Alexander:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/aug/23/s23melrosenu2/

I have the radio broadcast of Bluestein saying that about Byrd in February. I doubted how he would cause more of a stir than the other kids UM got, but after watching him on Saturday...Nice Call, LB...Nice Call...You are on top of recruiting - All over the place.

canesrule never had a chance. Nothing to work with with any great substance.

He is just taking his shots while he can.

Nothing like a common enemy to unite against..LOL

talking about Israel Gutierrez... read what someone wrote in this blog about him

http://www.allcanes.com/blog/

yo manny this will make you look pretty good because he praises you in it as the best miami sportsblogger... if some of you don't read this blog it doesn't post daily but when he does post they are great posts... start reading it, it's pretty legit

" I'll have more video up later today from practice including interviews with freshmen Brandon Harris, Laron Byrd, Jordan Futch and center Xavier Shannon."-Mannita

"As we inch closer to the start of fall practice Saturday, I wanted us to take a quick look back to last year, look at what is currently in stock and take a peak forward at each position for your Miami Hurricanes."-Mannita(Refresher Courses)

"Well, with the start of fall camp (Aug. 2) and Canes media day (Aug. 1) a little more than a week away now, it's time for me to get back to work."- Mannilo

Rally round da family....With a pocket full of LIES.

Looks like "R" is one of those interwebs tough guys.

Posted by: Robert | August 02, 2008 at 11:08 PM

And it looks like you're one of those "interweb" p ussies.

"auburn's coach-what'his name" - jaime

DUHHHHHHH U

"UM has played in three conferences (indep, Big East, ACC), and if tomorrow they played for the WAC, but won an NC, could give a crap" - lost in translation

Exactly you idiot!!! As per the evidence (not anyone's opinion) Duhhhh U has yet to do squat in a mildly competitive conference.

As per you own ex-coach's statement (Butch Davis), in comparing the ACC to the Big East.....there were many years that he only had to prepare the team for one game a season, the rest was a cakewalk.

PULL OFF A SINGLE CONFERENCE TITLE

"And third in the last 25 years no one has 5 National Titles oh yeah except that one team that is called the MIAMI HURRICANES" - cj

If your gonna live in the past, why limit yourself?

BAMA = 12 TITLES

"No need to seek real tests outside the SEC when everyone assumes the SEC is such a test — even if its teams rarely are forced to show it against the best from other leagues." - puke green

The SEC is 11-4 all time in BCS bowl games, and last year's seven postseason victories are the most by a conference in NCAA history.

I know it's been awhile since Duhhh U has played in a relevent post-season game so I can see why it slipped your mind.

BCS GAME DOMINANCE

"The only sec team thati would give kudos to is auburn- who has had the ba--s to travel to usc (as a number 1 or 2 team) a couple of years ago and got bushwahacked!" - jaime duhhhh sports genius

40 - 3 ring a bell?

DEFINITION OF BUSHWHACKED

"Broken Beyond Repair"
http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1006688/index.htm

DUHHHHHH U = DIRTIEST TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD

"If UM can get past UNC in its first ACC game Sept. 27, it has as good a chance as any team to get to the ACC title game Dec. 6 in Tampa." - Miami Herald Staff

"If you tell a big enough lie, and keep on repeating it, in the end people will come to believe it" - green giant, king of the copy & paste quotes

TRUTH BE TOLD

"No need to seek real tests outside the SEC when everyone assumes the SEC is such a test" - green boogers

You mean like the 2007 National Champions only two regular season losses (both to teams within the SEC) by a combined 8 points, prior to spanking OSU?

I know U understand what a challenge the Buck Eyes can be.

FACTS ARE NOT ASSUMPTIONS

"About the only time UM draws capacity crowds now is when it plays a significant game -- on the road (such as last year's crowd of 85,357 at Oklahoma). Otherwise, there are a lot of empty seats." - Miami Herald Staff

To attend or not attend? Depends on if they keep dropping ticket prices.

WHICH WAY IS THE WIND BLOWING

canesrule s---k my di---k

I said the past 25 years, you dip stick.

canes rule- this is why you are a dumba$_ you cant even get your facts straight:
Consensus NCs:
1-ND 13
2-Alabamy 10. Not 12 you waste of sp--m you.
3-USC, Mich 9
4-Ohio State, Ok 7
5-Minn 6
6-UM that's right, Nebraska, Pitt 5

If youcan count, there is only one "sec" team up here amongst 10. How is that dominance?

Also, in the state of florida, there are two ACC teams, One Big East, One C-USA, and One SEC- ok ok let's rank them.
ACC- 7 national championships
SEC----little ol' 2

ok let's go further-
Um is 24-14 against SECteams since 1975 and have played 8 different teams. ha ha ha ha. the last 6 times, Um is 4-2 against SEC teams.
Um is 28-25 all time against the gaturds

Um has a better medical school than the dump at Shands
All that, despite being about 3 times smaller.

Just shut punk, your brain is no match for mine.

And even though I concede, chances are UF will probably beat Um this year, take it because it wont last. There is a storm brewing in the gables and it is headed straight up yo a!!!!!

Canesrule... and all the other "SEC fans" make me laugh. I don't know about anybody else, but I hate all the rest of the teams in the ACC (and used to hate everyone in the Big East). This reverence SEC fans show towards each other is bordering on homoerotic! Pick a team and stick with them, don't pick a whole conference. You're bound to find success in the history of any major conference's teams.

And by the way, bringing up that old SI cover story "Why The University of Miami Should Drop Football." Does anyone know who wrote that? A basketball writer. Here's SI's own bio description of that guy.

"Alexander Wolff has been a member of the Sports Illustrated staff since 1980. Although his primary focus has been basketball, he has also covered a variety of sports, including tennis, cycling, football and several Olympic Games."

Football is listed after tennis and cycling.

Had a guy up top say how well UM has done against the SEC since the 1980's. Did not know those #s, but he sure did prove Canes would never one a NC if in the SEC.

His #s state 22-9 during that time....what was your record out of the SEC:)? I am sure good enough to get you a NC or 5:)

Try playing in the SEC every game wanker boy. Your team will get your 1 game a year chance soon enough:)


From the complete dork, Jamie somewhere above... He states,

"ok let's go further-
Um is 24-14 against SEC teams since 1975 and have played 8 different teams. ha ha ha ha. the last 6 times, Um is 4-2 against SEC teams.

Maybe you will get it eventually dorky... 24-14 wins 0 national championships if that is your winning % in the SEC....about as good as Kentucky (just a guess:))

Try to make yourself look better next time pp brain.

Hey Yoo-Hoo (U_Who):

You said: "24-14 wins 0 national championships if that is your winning % in the SEC....about as good as Kentucky (just a guess:))"

That's not exactly true. If a team were to go undefeated one year, but lose 3 conference games another year, you can't average that out over time. For example, if Miami goes undefeated this year, you can't assume they won't win a title because they were 5-7 last year, even though they would have only an 18-7 record over two years. Averages don't always tell the whole story, especially over time.

"There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics." -Benjamin Disraeli

Your boys posted the stats little man.

Averages do tell a story: "They tell what one will do on average".

Good luck in the future:)

Listen yoohoo- that's a chocolate milk, and that is very masculine.

You can distort the stats anyway youwant but your fascination with the sec (as alll sec fans are) is bizarre and quite a study in psychology- you sissies must validate yourselves because you can't and won't play anyone outside your inbred conference.

Inbred. I said it- just like all you all in canesville. Fcat is, I saw one of you in the movie "I am Legend"

See, yoohoo, canesrule and the other sec punks- the reality is Um has played anyone anytime- and as I said- and will repeat, one pure example was 1987 when Um stomped on 3 SEC teams on the way to the NC- yet also played OK, ND, Maryland FSU and VTech-

when pleaaaaase tell me when have the gayturds played that much outside of the comfy sec?

I must say I hate Notre Dame, and dont like USF- but at least the y play outside. USF went to Oklahoma a few yrs ago. HWen was the last time UF played a top Big Ten team?

My pointis, chocolate milk lover, in order for you dumba$$es to even talk, you need to put up the stats to back it up- I never said that in the last 5 years the sec was not dominant but then again- look at the stats over 10-15-20 years and you would have seen UF, Alabama, tennessee and Auburn on probation. LSu's last NC before 2004 was in 1958!

So now my question- why do you sec girls talk about the sec like it's a team? Like my friend above said- I hate evryone in the ACC, I hate the noles, and especially VTech- They can go 0-12 for all I care.


correction- Top big 12 and not in a bowl I must say.

From the complete dork, Jamie somewhere above... He states,

"ok let's go further-
Um is 24-14 against SEC teams since 1975 and have played 8 different teams. ha ha ha ha. the last 6 times, Um is 4-2 against SEC teams.

Maybe you will get it eventually dorky... 24-14 wins 0 national championships if that is your winning % in the SEC....about as good as Kentucky (just a guess:))

Try to make yourself look better next time pp brain.

Posted by: U_Who | August 04, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Wow, when you call someone out you are supposed to write something intelligent, you dumb son of a b itch. Yeah, that record wouldn't win any national championships but when you factor in who they were playing:
2 games vs Alabama
1 vs Auburn
12 vs UF
2 vs LSU
3 vs Tennessee

That looks a little more impressive now doesn't it? You stupid m0therfucker. Learn some more about sports before you open your mouth, @sshole.

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