Before freshman linebacker Sean Spence even made it through the door at Miami last January he was already carrying with him a luggage full of nicknames. There was The Eraser. Don't-run-my-way Spence. Sean-All-Over-The-Field-Spence. The Cobra.
Turns out his best nickname might be sleepy. In the handful of interviews I conducted this week to learn more for Friday's story about about the budding young star at linebacker, I found out waking up early in the morning just isn't his thing. Brandon Harris, who has known Sean since he was about 6 years old, told me Spence fell asleep in the elevator on the way down to an early morning practice a few weeks ago. Coach Randy Shannon hasn't been helping Spence out. He moved Thursday practices, usually in the early afternoon, to bright and early in the morning before school at 6 a.m. for the rest of the year. Spence told me he hates it. Defensive tackle Marcus Forston, his roommate, tells me he struggles in the morning to get Spence up from bed.
The good news for the Canes is once he's up -- Spence appears to be money. Through two games, he's already fourth on the team in tackles and has arguably the two biggest plays made by the defense this season -- the sack on Tim Tebow and the big hit on Florida running back Brandon James.
For those of you worried about Spence's size (6-1, 211), I heard Ray Lewis weighed 215 his freshman season and Jonathan Vilma (whom Shannon compared Spence to earlier this week) weighed less than Spence as a freshman. They turned out alright.
> In another funny Spence-related story, Forston made me laugh out loud this week when he told me he's grown so sick and tired of seeing Spence (his roommate and best friend) the two have put their dressers together and stacked books and clothes on top of it to block each other from seeing each other in their rooms.
> Look for left tackle Jason Fox to play with some extra inspiration this week. Fox, a Fort Worth native, has been trying to collect more than 40 tickets for this game for family and friends from his teammates since last year. He's one of five Texas' natives playing for the Canes in this game Saturday.
> FYI, I'll be back tomorrow with my keys and my stock market watch for the game. I'm not traveling to Texas for the game this weekend and I won't be blogging either. The Herald is sending Susan Miller Degnan and Greg Cote. As many of you know, times are tough in the industry. Two writers is all The Herald could afford to send. I'll check back in Sunday to share my thoughts on the game, which I'll try to watch while covering FIU's home opener on Saturday night.