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Hurtt: "We got to find o-linemen"

On my way out of Canes camp Thursday, I ran into defensive line coach and UM recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt. The Big Hurtt has been relatively quiet since fall camp began, but he and I have a pretty good relationship when it comes to talking about recruiting. He never talks to me about specific players -- he's not allowed to by NCAA rules -- but he has been candid in the past about what Miami is looking for in terms of numbers per position and the type of players they are trying to land.

Clint_hurttThursday, he told me flat out "We got to find some offensive linemen." The Canes currently have 10 commitments in their 2009 class. None are officially classified as offensive linemen. Three have the potential to be -- Fort Myers' Stephen Plein, Fleming Island's Cory White and Lake City Idaho's Billy Sanders. But all three have played tight end at one point or another in high school and will have to put on size upon arrival if they will play on the line.

"It's been a huge challenge trying to get linemen to come here because the best ones usually want to play in the Big 10 or the Big 12," Hurtt said. "Around here, we've had to take guys who are little undersized or don't have too much experience and coach the hell out of 'em. Coach Shannon, myself and the rest of this staff are really going to be busting our humps trying to find guys over the next couple months. We'll hit the Houston area, we'll scour down here and try to find the best we can. We need to."

UM signed two offensive linemen in its 2008 class, but only was able to sign one (Ben Jones). Brandon Washington, who was considered one of the nation's top five offensive guards, is in prep school and will have to go through the recruiting process all over again (which means UM could lose him). Since 2006, UM has signed five players who have played on the offensive linemen. But only one who has cracked the starting lineup, left guard Orlando Franklin, was a truly highly-touted pure lineman. Starting left tackle Jason Fox was a tight end coming out of high school and Joel Figueroa, a 2-star recruit, was considered a project coming out of North Miami High. Both are in Miami's starting rotation. Backup guard Harland Gunn (2007 signee) has shown the most potential of the remaining signees, while Ian Symmonette and Tyler Horn are far down on the depth chart.

Miami has gone after some big names in the '09 class, but have struck out so far. They still, however, have a shot at a few big names. According to Rivals.com, UM has a shot at the nation's No. 2 offensive tackle Xavier Nixon (who lists UM with LSU and Florida). Washington DC area offensive guard Peter White, ranked fourth by Rivals, lists UM high with Oregon. Locally, UM has a shot at Plantation American Heritage's Jared Wheeler. But Wheeler's sister attends the University of Florida and I believe the only way Miami gets Wheeler is if Florida declines him.

> Over the last two nights, I've been out watching several local high school football games including Killian's big upset of highly-touted North Miami Beach 35-20 on Thursday and Miramar's 23-9 win over a very, very good Monsignor Pace team on Friday.

4184338900embeddedprod_affiliate56Running back Lamar Miller had a huge night with 227 yards rushing and three scores on 25 carries for Killian. Miller is a kid Miami backed off of a bit after landing Mike James and Bryce Brown. But it would be foolish of the Canes to let Miller get out of town. He has tremendous explosion and speed in the open field. Killian, by the way, has a pretty solid group of young players. My favorite is 6-2, 215-pound defensive end Arrington Jenkins. He's only a sophomore. But he's a beast in the making.

At last night's game, Pace's Keyvon Webster impressed me with his ability to make plays. Although he had a big drop -- for what would have been an important touchdown right before the half, he came back later an caught a touchdown between two defenders. I don't think I saw Webster leave the field once. He was relentless on defense, making tackles and big hits and chasing after Miramar quarterback Eugene Smith (who had Gators representatives watching him) all night long. Miami is hoping to land Webster, who in my eyes could be a solid strong safety in UM's defense. The Canes have to get him. To me, Webster is by far the best defensive player I've seen in Miami-Dade County. As for Miramar, I was impressed with a hustle play receiver Stedman Bailey made chasing down a defensive player who had a recovered a fumble for Pace and was headed up field for a score. Bailey trailed Sterling Griffin by 20 yards, but caught up and made the tackle. Miramar junior linebacker Jamal Bass was also impressive. He's a 2010 kid Miami needs to watch closely.

Comments

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Good stuff, Manny. Great stuff. You may have the greatest job ever.

Does UM have any upward momentum on the offensive line?

NO

You STILL haven't seen the bottom cane fan.

Bottoms Up! When my salad is wilted I throw it in the trash. The bottom was last year, this year it's a one loss season and then a BCS bowl matchup with the Gators!

Da U!

Thanks Manny. Yo, its that season again on NCAA 09. Check out my latest homage to you in my game report! LOL

http://www.maddenmatrix.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1119

Yo....Manny as always great job. Check out a kid from Miami Springs named Wright (i believe). A junior WR.....looks damned good. Caught their game before this last one. He looks very good. later.

Marve showed the poise we have been lacking for years at the quarterback position.

Expect Derron Thomas to have a big day vs. the Aggies.

It's only a matter of time that Aldarius, Travis, Laron Byrd, and Collier take over the show and start stretching the field play after play!

Enough said about the defense! Without a couple b.s. calls at the end of the game, we had the former Heisman Trophy winner looking over to the sidelines for guidance.

Tebag is a crybaby and I hope we run the table in the ACC and meet them in a BCS Bowl!

I.G. is an Urban Liar lover! He goes home throws on a pair of jean shorts, with a Tebag jersey and imagines his sister naked like all the other inbreeds who call Gainesville home!

- Blake Brito

Miami has to do a better job in getting the best OL talent in Dade county to stay at UM. Jones will be good and maybe Washington if he decides to come back next year, but I would be interested to see where the best O linemen in Dade county have gone to school over the past 3-4 years and how they are doing at the prospective schools.

Way too many Nix bashers out there this week. It is way too early to judge him, and Miami needs consistency at OC, not a change every year or two because of a lack of talent and lack of execution.

That said, I hope that Randy and the guys have been working on the following things to fix in the upcoming game:
1. Kickoff and Punt coverage. Put fastest and most athletic players out there only.
2. O Line needs to man up in run blocking. For a group that was considered to be a strength and experienced group. totally underperformed two games in a row. Communicate, block, and open up some holes for the running game.
3. Wide receivers please block someone downfield for more than a second. Give the backs and person with the ball a chance to make some serious yardage.
4. DBs eliminate blown assignments. There wer a bunch against Florida, and errors seemed to be mental rather than physical/speed errors.
5. Coach Shannon: Keep this team focused and excited and get them ready to play early against A and M.

go canes

How about the Maryland Cal game? Looks like the ACC is on it's way back!

Through two games, no turnovers by quarterbacks. I believe there were quite a few in two games last year.

I agree with TXCane tht lst year was certainly the bottom, maybe even a combination of last year and the year before. Not so sure about the 1 loss prediction. The Canes certainly have the ability to beat any and every team on their remaining schedule but they need more time to develop the consistency needed to make such a run. I was just thinking to myself earlier today of how intriging a bowl match-up with the Gators would be. If the Canes are able fight their way to the top of the ACC I wouldn't be surprised to see that match-up happen. It would be big for college football in this state. These two teams really need to play more often.

Manny, what are the chances of B. Washington sticking with his prior commitment to UM? It would seem from the way Hurtt is talking that the chances would be good. Not that he's speaking specifically of Washington, but when you have a program like Miami that will come out and say that they need you and they need you to contribute early, that usually has some sway. It doesn't hurt that so many of the MNW kids are here and are having success. One other question, and forgive my ignorance on what type of blocking scheme the Canes currently run, but considering the type of lineman that Miami tends to be choosing from would it make sense for them to incorporate something of a zone blocking scheme a la the Denver Broncos? Again, I don't know if that's something they already incorporate in some way, but it seems to be one of the best ways to utilize O-Lineman who may be a little undersized and since certain NFL teams run that scheme it could still serve to prepare kids for that next level.

manny do u ever take a break ?? wow kid ur all over the place. LOL!!!

David:

Good point on the zone blocking scheme, we've usually have pretty good cutback runners who would benefit from the scheme. It can also negate a lot of the run stunts that teams run with their D-line.

Its a shame that Ian Symonette hasn't been able to get on the field, thats one big boy.

We've got to go everywhere to find linemen. We're in trouble if we can't control the line of scrimmage. We should recruit in the midwest....give Jim Tressel some of his own medicine.

Manny, alot of talk about Lamar's grades not being up to snuff. Can you shine a light on this? If so that may be the reason why the U has cooled on him.

Hopefully, B.Washington sticks; Steven Plein should grow into a lineman,he's already 6'6 250 and Curtis Porter is a better offensive lineman than a defensive tackle.Xavier Nixon,Peter White,Steven Jacques,Eric Jacques,Jared Wheeler and Steve Bulluck should be the natural o-linemen we sign, but if the Houston area is hiding people"GO GET UM"

Hey Green, post a picture of U so we can criticize U too like U do to me! Here are mine:

http://canespace.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/09/08/uf_game_019.jpg

http://canespace.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/09/08/uf_game_030.jpg

What U got?

Many of the best O-Lineman are found outside of South Florida. Coach Solinger did a hell of a job finding linemen all over back in the day. McKinney came from PA and I believe Romberg was from Canada. Go where the talent is for the O-Linemen. We all know South Florida has the skill position players on lock!

Article from todays Sports Buzz, interesting that the players are having issues with the play calling.

Though none will say it for attribution, some UM players expressed frustration with the conservative play-calling against UF and said offensive coordinator Patrick Nix must trust them to take chances downfield. The young receivers need work on separating from defensive backs, but one UM receiver strongly disputed Randy Shannon's claim that ''nobody got open'' against Florida. . . . Several UM players are perplexed about why receiver Jermaine McKenzie, who's great in practice, isn't getting playing time. McKenzie, whose ankle had healed before the UF game, didn't play and drove himself there.

This can bring a team down!

Nix, if your reading this please turn on the USC game and take notes, they are ranked #1 and they actually pass the ball.

USC is a machine...look at the way the throw that ball downfield. Very few gimmicks too, you don't need to finess anyone when your O-line can block like that.

On the Nix thing....I thought Randy Shannon said he wanted everyone to be aggressive. That should include the coaching staff as well.

You've got to love these kids calling the coaches out like that. It can destroy a team if the coaching staff continues to be conservative.

What U got?

Posted by: 86Cane | September 13, 2008 at 08:38 PM

http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa73/alys_album/blackman.jpg

G86,

You look exactly the way I always imagined, A RETARDED WHITE GOOBER. You should've known better than to post those stupid pics on here. Aren't you the one whose always hating on Green for posting things that aren't related to Canes? HYPOCRITE!

By the way, yer wife looks like an old witch. Were you guys celebrating Halloween early?

manny

why are you so negative. everything you write there is an insinuation that it'll be bad for um, such as there is a chance they could lose ben jones or bryce brown might go somewhere other than miami or suggest that arthur brown isn't happy or suggest that vandyke could transfer or continue to pound nix for being conservative.

the truth is jones, the brown brothers and van dyke aren't going anywhere other than miami. nix
is in his 2nd year and hasn't had time to develop
an offense. he's has his best players for about 6 weeks.

do you really think miami would have stood any chance in a drop back game? if marve threw 50 times against florida and was intercepted 4 times
all the geniuses on this blog would be saying nix should have run the ball.

one of your posters said miami has all the talent
on offense. could you explain where that talent is and who it is? since they're mainly freshman how would anyone know after 2 games?

another said nix should watch usc and run that offense. is he serious? usc has been running the same offense for 8 years so they have continuity.

manny instead of fueling the speculaton fire why don't you offer some perspective and logic.

plain and simple miami is a young team that is a work in progress in every aspect. it will probably take 2 or 3 more years to be real contenders. this stuff doesn't happen overnight.
go ask steve spurrier.

Pretty good article.

UM good as anyone in ACC

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/college/hurricanes/sfl-mikeccol,0,5980420.column

WTF IS up with Barry Jackson's column, i think thats what everyone is wondering. open up the playbook!

bring back CHUD

Manny,

Wasn't the concern with Lamar Miller was having low "SAT" scores? I remember you mentioning that earlier. Will he have scores to get in Miami?

Manny Navarro- The best source for UM info outside of canesport and canestime.
Would like to see you take on Israel Guitierez in an ultimate fighting cage match. He deserves a beating.

The new motto for University of Miami football:

Just whine, baby.

Q: What constitutes running up the score on Miami?
A: Winning by 1 point.

All of you 'Canes apologists, just grow a pair already.

Hey Manny. What's going on with Jermaine McKenzie? Apparently he's been great in practice, was healthy for the UF game, but didn't play and had to drive himself to the game?


Is he in trouble or is he the next Sam Shields?

MANNY, I DONT GET A CHANCE TO SEE RECRUITS OR PROSPECTS PLAY BUT TO ME LAMAR MILLER LOOKS VERY SIMILAR TO BOBBY WASHINGTON, IF NOT WHAT SEPARATES THE TWO? AND DO YOU THINK THAT IS THE REASON MIAMI HASNT PURSUED HIM?

LET ME KNOW!

Canelaw...do not disrespect someones wife or mother!

Breaking down the FSU case

September 13, 2008

A look at some key questions in Florida State's academic-fraud case:

What did the NCAA find?
The NCAA found FSU failed to monitor its Athletic Academic Support Services department and said two former school employees behaved unethically and one gave one athlete improper assistance with academic work. The NCAA also accused the school of failing to review an internal report from the university registrar in 2006-07 that might have uncovered the fraud. No coaches were named in the report.

Does FSU agree?
FSU agreed with all the NCAA's findings regarding the failure to monitor, unethical conduct and cheating by student-athletes. FSU will argue that there is insufficient evidence to find that academic adviser Hilliard Goldsmith instructed a tutor to provide answers to athletes in an online music course. FSU also will argue that it would be unfair to convince athletes "to be forthcoming with the promise of a 30 percent reduction in games and then penalize the university for using an ineligible student-athlete earlier that season."

What did FSU report?
FSU discovered in the spring of 2007 that two former university employees within the office of Athletic Academic Support Services had enabled and at times encouraged athletes to cheat. In an internal investigation that concluded in February, FSU found 61 athletes in multiple sports had engaged in various degrees of academic fraud, most all the instances related in some degree to an online music course, "Music in World Cultures."

What penalties did FSU self-impose?
FSU on Feb. 13 submitted to the NCAA the university's final investigative report that contained several university-imposed corrective and punitive actions. Among them, FSU placed its athletic department on two years' probation. It also cut scholarships in affected sports and required all athletes with remaining eligibility who were enrolled in the online course to retake the class, regardless of their original grade. The school also told the NCAA that it made "significant changes" in the format and structure of certain online courses and restricted the AASS department, including several staff changes.

What is the breakdown of scholarships cut?
Here's a look at the scholarship cuts Florida State has imposed in 10 sports. To get the number of scholarships cut, FSU used this formula: (Student-athletes involved in case divided by total student-athletes on the roster) times the number of total NCAA scholarships times .30.
Sport (athletes implicated) Grants reduced Academic years
Basketball (M) (1) 1 '08-09
Basketball (W) (3) 1 '08-09
Football (25) 5 2 ('08-'09), 3 ('09-'10)
Baseball (1) 0.07 '08-09
Golf (1) 0.14 '08-09
Swimming (M) (3) 0.3 '08-09
Swimming (W) (7) 0.92 '08-09
Track (M) (7) 0.45 '08-09
Track (W) (9) 0.65 '08-09
Softball (4) 0.65 '08-09
So what happens next?
FSU is scheduled to appear before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions on Oct. 18 in Indianapolis. After that hearing, the committee will determine if it will accept FSU's self-imposed penalties or add additional sanctions. It could be several weeks after that before FSU knows the outcome.

Is Big Hurtt saying, "The reason we can't throw it down the field, is the blocking up front."

I hope not, because the OLine is supposedly the strength of the team.

I believe F$U...with the 1st 2 patsies, they played...will be in the top 20....

The offensive line isn't that great. I don't think they are the strength of the team. These guys can't hold their blocks downfield. Hawaii did a much better job of blocking Florida than we did. We didn't create many holes between the tackles.

I think the linebackers are the strength of the team.

Manny, what is Miami's fascination with recruiting safeties? There are at least 10 freshmen and sophomore safeties on the roster. Is it necessary to bring in more? There is a serious need for CB's, not safeties. And, with so many spread offenses, the need is even greater to have 7 or 8 cb's that can play on the roster. I don't understand that.

MANNY, I DONT GET A CHANCE TO SEE RECRUITS OR PROSPECTS PLAY BUT TO ME LAMAR MILLER LOOKS VERY SIMILAR TO BOBBY WASHINGTON, IF NOT WHAT SEPARATES THE TWO? AND DO YOU THINK THAT IS THE REASON MIAMI HASNT PURSUED HIM?

LET ME KNOW!

Canelaw...do not disrespect someones wife or mother!

Posted by: M.H. | September 14, 2008 at 11:19 AM

There are no laws.

in order to stop the spread you need defensive backs that are big enough to stop the run and fast enough to cover, hence the reason for going after safeties. big kids for big backs and big receivers.

What good is it to have safeties that can't cover one on one?

Regardless of what anyone is telling you, the weak link on this team is the offensive line and has been for several years. We are paper thin and the starting 5 are marginal. Until the team gets a dominating offensive line, they will be 8-4 or 9-3 at best. To see a good offensive line watch the USC game. It didn't matter how many players OSU blitzed, Sanchez always had time to go down field.

And for UF fans, congrats on the win, but if you guys remotely think you are in the same category as USC you are smoking crack. That's a semi-pro team.

I see that thirteen year old canesrule, toss his salad, what ever his name is , is looking for the 25 points his gators couldn't find the other night.

The bottom you speak of is in your colon where you boyfriend hangs out!

We would love to schedule other conferences, but they would not love to schedule Da U so much. No SEC team will schedule us home and away because Da U snubbed the SEC when we formed the Big East, and we snubbed them a second time when we bolted to the ACC. Plus they had the Orange Bowl excuse in the past. I would love to set PAC 10 TEAMS, and a 10 year USC v. Miami home and away would be a natural, big city elite private schools slapping each other around would be awesome, and Pete Caroll (unlike Urban Liar) is not afraid to take anyone on, particularly when the rest of the Pac is somewhat down now, with Cal losing to Maryland and Oregon lucking out against Purdon't. Pete would love to make inroads to South Florida as Miami has into Southern California country.
When I suggested to Paul Dee that he approach the Ducks (this was a good 10 years or so ago) he looked at me as if i wer from Mars. In hindsight, this may have been a good team to schedule.

Don't cry little canesrule, salad tosser etc. The CANES almost closed the gap on your gators in one year. When the CANES play in the BCS championship game next year, your gators will still be playing games. Of course, they will be looking up hill at the CANES like they have in the past, but they can still play games in front of their 90,000 alumni.

What's that young one ? You did not attend uf ? What a surprise considering your kinder garden level writing skills. All is lost for the gators again, because Randy is out lining up another number one class.

Don't cry little fudge-packer. The gators were never meant to be as great as the CANES will be next year.

Brilliant!! We can get the top players at the skill positions but we cannot recruit O-lineman? Something is wrong with that scenario. Sounds a bit backwards to me; although, it would explain some things. Like I said here before, we need to get Art Kehoe back from Ole Miss. His is a UM alum and one of the best O-line coaches in the nation. He was fired in the Great Coker Purge of 2006. Come back home Arty. your services are needed here.

Manny,
Whats taking Miami so long in offering Steve Jackes ? and what is going on Mckenzie ?
Somebody is not telling the truth

You Canes fan who think we are being to harsh on Nix just have to hear what the players are saying. This is not Cokers team..these guys are talented, have speed and most of all a desire to win. Nix is way to conservative for this team. Either Shannon has to step in like he did with Walton or he's going to lose this group and future recruits. There is no way in hell the U will get to the next level again until we see that wide open offense we used to have. I just don't believe we will ever see it with Nix as OC...

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