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This and that: Bryce, Bowling, Baseball

With UM taking some time off this week before resuming practice and preparation today for next week's trip to Texas A&M, things slowed down a little bit here at Eye On The U. But we're ready to get rolling again.

In case you missed it, since I didn't have a blog Tuesday, I had a live Q&A yesterday at 1 p.m.  -- my new time slot for the rest of the season. Most of the questions I fielded were about offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, Florida's decision to kick a late field goal, Miami's game-plan against the Gators and UM freshman linebacker Arthur Brown. Here's a link to the chat transcript.

Bryce_brown> Before I get to what UM coach Randy Shannon talked about during the ACC Teleconference Wednesday, I wanted to share with you what I learned from my conversation with Miami's most prized 2009 recruit, Rivals.com's No. 1 running back Bryce Brown. The younger brother of Canes freshman linebacker Arthur Brown doesn't talk to the media much. So, getting him is a rare treat.

I already shared with you Monday Bryce's excitement about the way Miami played Florida last weekend, but here is what else we talked about.

Q: When are you planning to visit UM officially? And are there any other trips lined up?
A: Well, I was supposed to head down there this weekend during UM's off week. But I talked to Coach Barrow this week and he told me it would be better if I came later in the year. So, I'll take it in December to help out with more recruits. I'm going to take my trip this weekend instead to TCU.

Q: Are there any other schools you'll visit? And are there other schools you are seriously considering besides UM?
A: It's really Missouri, Oregon, Clemson and Miami. The two main schools I really want to consider (aside from UM) are Clemson and Oregon, but more Oregon. I'm very impressed with their offense and the way coach [Chip] Kelly coaches The way he runs his offense is amazing. He's always getting balls to his playmakers.

Q: How often do you get to talk to your brother?
A: I talk to him every now and then. He's been busy. And I've been busy with trying to graduate early. I'm trying to get finish with a 4.0 [GPA]. I always strive to be the best. Right now, I'm taking five glasses. Normally, seniors around here take two. I've got Sociology, Modern Lit, English Comp, Psychology, Chemistry. So, it's a challenge. But I really want to finish with a 4.0. That's what I got right now and that's my goal.

Q: What have UM coaches telling you lately?
A: I talk to coach [Tommie] Robinson and coach Barrow after games. He's always calling me to talk a little bit about life. They just want me to come in prepared, ready to go. I told them that after the season, I'm going to take a week off. And then, when I come down, I'll be ready to go.

Q: What is your goal when you get to UM?
A: My goal is to actually start. I know Graig and Javarris, they definitely showed me a good time when I was down there. They're very respectful and great guys. But they know when I come down, I'm not coming to sit on the bench. I'm going to play hard and try to get on that field right away.

Q: Arthur isn't playing a whole lot right now. Is he still happy with UM?
A: He loves it. He says the atmosphere is amazing. It's really a family there. He'd rather be no other place.

Q: Is there a chance you could really end up somewhere else other than Miami?
A: If I had to say a school, I'd say Oregon. But I've never seen it. It's a free trip, a good opportunity to check it out.

>As for Shannon, he stayed away Wednesday from picking anymore at Florida or coach Urban Meyer during his 10 minutes on the ACC Teleconference. I'm glad he did. I just wish he had done the same Sunday and again on Tuesday when he went on the Joe Rose show. Maybe now, we can move on.

As for news, all Shannon did Wednesday was confirm running back Javarris James has a high ankle sprain and that he he expects him to miss 2 to 4 weeks. He also expanded a little bit on how much the Canes missed JJ in its running game. "Javarris is our big back that can pound it," Shannon said. "... Florida did a good job coming off blocks when we didn't finish the blocks, diving and making a lot of good arm tackles, hitting the backs of legs and things like that. With Javarris he might have kept his footing. This week we'll work on guys continuing to do their leg drives."

Shannon said to look for Coop, Derron Thomas, Shawnbrey McNeal (who is from Texas) and Lee Chambers to get the majority of reps against a bad Aggies team (that lost to Arkansas State in its opener at home). Shannon, by the way, didn't mention converted running back Damien Berry at all.

Shannon also said he'd like for the Canes to play at 8 p.m. Right now, the team will either play at 3:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. on Sept. 20. The game will be carried on ABC.

> COME BOWL WITH THE CANES: I know it's almost against the law at UM to break up any football conversation with talk of basketball or baseball, but I figured you might let me get by since this is an off week.

For those of you in South Florida, UM coach Frank Haith and his team will be conducting a team fundraiser this weekend from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Lucky Strike Lanes (located at 1691 Michigan Avenue) in Miami Beach.

Frank_haithGuests will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the team and coaching staff, and participate in an auction for prizes, including a game experience package with travel to Lexington, Ky., to watch the Hurricanes play at Kentucky on Dec. 6.Tickets for guests are $100, while tickets for children 12 and under are $50. Admission includes food, beverage and a UM gift. For additional information or to register for the University of Miami Men's BasketBowl, please contact Stephanie Mansdorf (305-284-5240/smansdorf@miami.edu).

I'll be there to talk to a few players and coach Haith before the event kicks off. As for Haith, his team as you know had a pretty good season last year. Earlier this week, ESPNU announced it will air three ACC road games for the Hurricanes -- Jan. 10 at Boston College, Jan. 27 at N.C. State and Feb. 18 at Florida State. UM will make 10 national TV appearances this coming season. Not bad for the Canes.

> BASEBALL ANNOUNCES CLASS OF 13: Since we're already in trouble for talking basketball, why not go the extra mile and share with you some baseball news. After their spectacular run to the College World Series, UM announced its 2008 Signing Class Tuesday.

The list includes five players who were drafted. Here are the names with some short bios.

Ted Blackman, OF, 6-0, 180, S/R, Fr., Altmonte Springs Lake Brantley High, Fla.: Hit .380 with one homer and 12 stolen bases during his senior year in 2008. Named to the Seminole Athletic Conference first team as a senior and MVP of the Florida State Game his junior and senior seasons Led lead Lake Brantley to a 20-4 record and a 6A state championship.

Gerry Gonzalez, OF, 5-10, 170, L/L, Fr., Coral Gables Ransom Everglades High: Hit .470 with two homeruns, 25 RBI and five stolen bases his senior season and .420 with 18 RBI and six stolen bases his junior year.

Chris Herrmann, 3B/C, 6-0, 182, L/R, Jr., Tomball HS/Alvin CC, Tex.: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 10th round (296 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft. Hit .442 with 14 home runs and a .711 slugging percentage at Alvin Community College and named to the NJCAA Division I All-American Team in 2008. Honored with the NJCAA Rawlings Big Stick Award

Scott Lawson, 2B/INF, 5-10, 185, L/R, Jr., Colleyville Heritage HS/Grayson CC, Tex.: Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 40th round (1,202 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft. Led Grayson to the Junior College World Series Championship as a sophomore, hitting .468 with six homers, 40 RBI and 22 stolen bases on the season.

Harold Martinez, INF, 6-3, 200, R/R, Fr., Miami Braddock High: Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 19th round (573 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft. Hit .410 with eight homers and 27 RBI as a senior and .500 with three homers and 23 RBI as a junior at Braddock. Named first-team all-county as a senior and led his team to a district championship in 2008 and 2006. Played on the USA Junior National Team (18U) and the USA Youth National Team (16U).

Nathan Melendres, INF/OF, 5-10, 185, R/R, Fr., Miami Florida Christian: Named second-team All-Dade his senior season after hitting .398 with four home runs, 30 RBI and 15 stolen base. Brother Nick is a pitcher at Florida Atlantic University.

Travis Miller, LHP, 6-2, 210, L/R, Fr., Jupiter High: Had a combined record of 6-3 with 62 strikeouts in his two seasons at Jupiter HS. Helped team to a combined record of 44-11 (23-6 in 2008; 21-5 in 2007).

Daniel Miranda, LHP, 5-11, 220, L/L, Fr., Miami Killian: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 50th round (1,490 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft. Earned third-team All-Dade his junior season after going 7-3 with a 1.94 ERA and 83 strikeouts.

Vickash Ramjit, 1B-3B-OF, 6-3, 200, R/R, Fr., Miami Columbus: Named all-county as a senior after hitting .387 with two home runs and 37 RBI in 2008.

Sam Robinson, LHP, 6-2, 175, L/L, Fr., Miami Killian: Named first-team All-Dade his senior year, earning a record of 5-2 with a 1.11 ERA and 50 strikeouts. Went 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 45 strikeouts as a junior in 2007, earning third-team All-Dade.

David Villasuso, C/1B, 5-10, 198, R/R, Fr., Miami Florida Christian: Hit .365 with seven home runs and 30 RBI as a senior and .375 with 11 homers and 33 RBI as a junior at Florida Christian.

Taylor Wulf, RHP, 6-0, 235, R/R, Jr., Santa Fe HS/Alvin CC, Tex.: Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 39th round (1,180 overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft. Went 10-1 with a 3.82 ERA and 74 strikeouts his sophomore season at Alvin and was a unanimous all-conference selection in 2008 and served as the team's closer in 2007.

Kevin Youst, RHP, 6-3, 200, R/R, Fr., Plantation American Heritage High: Missed his senior season due to injury. Went 1-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA as a junior.

> Ok, I'll be out at practice Wednesday and Thursday and will share with you what I learn.