I'm going to make this an express edition because it's been a long, busy day today out at UM. First off all, for the first time this season defensive coordinator Bill Young met with the media and spoke with us about the way his unit has been playing (HERE IS THE LINK TO THE AUDIO).
> The most interesting comment from Young is that only about 50 percent of his defense has been implemented. There will be more in the story. I would have just preferred to just provide you with a Q&A. But the sports information department said the only way we'll get to interview coordinators is if we write feature stories. Oh well, you got the story and the audio you can tune into.
> The big news this morning from UM was that coach Randy Shannon said starting right tackle Reggie Youngblood is likely out for the season. Strangely enough, I saw Youngblood out at practice. He was wearing braces on both of his legs, but was involved in stretching. Shannon told us after practice Youngblood did not practice. Stay tuned.
> As many of you probably know already, the Canes landed their 15th commitment of the year and third running back in its 2009 class late Monday night when Miami-Dade's top recruit, Lamar Miller of Killian High, announced he was choosing UM. The big development in the Miller saga according to his high school coach Steve Smith was because he finally scored high enough on the ACT (20) to get into UM. Miller looked like he might be an academic casualty. Instead, he got the score he needed and got into the program he always dreamed of playing for. Miller (5-11, 205) is a Top 100 player according to Rivals. He has a Dade-best 95 carries for 742 yards and 10 touchdowns right now through five games.
He's definitely a home run threat when he has the football in his hands. I watched him play North Miami Beach earlier this year, a game in which he ran for more than 200 yards and scored 3 times. Miller is good, but needs to improve his inside running. He's definitely still a great get for the Canes and will make a nice incoming trio with Kansas product Bryce Brown (the nation's No. 1 back according to Rivals) and Davenport Ridge's Mike James. My question is which current Cane backup running back is out of a job? Shawnbrey McNeal and Lee Chambers have a combined 15 carries this season, but haven't played in weeks. Smells like someone will be getting a position change or heading elsewhere.
> Running back Javarris James and freshman receiver Thearon Collier did participate in individual drills today and there's a chance they could play this week. I'm still not optimistic either of these guys play this week. UCF is a non-conference opponent who lost to UTEP 58-13 two weeks ago. Shannon, however, did sound more optimistic about Collier than James.
"He's feeling better," Shannon said. "He ran around Sunday, a little yesterday. We'll up his tempo a little bit. If it's game time and he can help us 18, 15, 20 plays (that'll work)."
> As far as linebacker Colin McCarthyand defensive end Eric Moncur are concerned, Shannon said both could be awarded a redshirt for this season. Moncur (whom Shannon said Tuesday will definitely be out for at least three weeks, but keeps giving us the impression will be out for the year) is a fifth-year senior and McCarthy a junior played in four games this season. The NCAA rule indicates that in order to be eligible for a redshirt you have to play less than 30 percent of your season. If Miami makes a bowl game, they'll have played 13 games this season. That's still over the 30 percent limit. It's still the NCAA, so who knows.
> One of the more interesting comments Randy made Tuesday was in regard to junior receiver Sam Shields, who picked up the costly illegal substitution penalty against Florida State which eventually led to UM settling for a field goal instead of scoring a touchdown and taking the lead. Shields practiced Tuesday but there's a rumor circulating the message boards he could soon be off the team. Shannon left us Tuesday with this cryptic message: "We have to keep coaching him. We're not going to say, `Well, you're on the shelf.' Sam knows he's a third-year guy. Everyone is expecting Sam to make plays, and he hasn't. He's been having opportunities to do it. We'll keep coaching him hard, but we have to give these young guys a chance now. They make plays for us. You're on a roll with something, you ride it till it stops."
Here's some interesting video on what happened on the sideline after Shields was flagged on Saturday.
> One of the other more interesting comments Tuesday came from defensive end Adewale Ojomo, who was asked why UM has had so much trouble getting sacks this season and creating pressures. Ojomo didn't sugar coat his answer and basically told us UM is getting one-on-one situations and simply not winning them.
> I'll have more for you in the coming days. It's just a lot to pack into a blog. Definitely look for the story on Young tonight and for all the audio interviews from today. I spoke with Jason Fox, Sean Spence, Marcus Forston, Robert Marve, Travis Benjamin, Randy Shannon, Matt Bosher, Adewale Ojomo and of course will have Randy's press conference.