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'09 Class adds two, shines bright over weekend

If you do the math, there are still another eight spots to fill in the University of Miami's 2009 football signing class. Which means there is still ample room to add some of the nation's top future college football players. But if you a chance this weekend to watch the U.S. Army All-American game and the Under-Armour All-American games you know what coach Randy Shannon has already got lined up looks pretty special.

I know I'm not breaking any news here (I had a long day out covering the Dolphins-Ravens playoff game) but if you don't know by now I'll repeat it: the Canes added two major studs to their collection of 19 commitments Sunday night when they picked up verbals from Sanford Seminole High's Ray Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye.

Three weeks ago before Seminole rallied from a 21-0 deficit to beat Miami Northwestern in the Class 6A state championship game, I got a chance to speak to both of Armstrong and Dye as well as their coach. Although Miami lost out on the third part of the special Seminole trio (receiver Andre Debose chose Florida), there's no doubt the Hurricanes landed special players. And unlike a lot of those guys you hear about being 6-4, 215 pounds only to find out they're really 6-2, 200 -- these guys are legitimately as large as advertised and just as good.

Armstrong (6-4, 215) tossed the winning touchdown pass to Debose in the 6A state title game and ran for Ray_ray_armstronganother score, outleaping the Bulls into the end zone. What impressed me that night wasn't just that he had the athleticism to play quarterback, running back and receiver, it was his physical toughness. He started at safety and was in on a number of tackles and always looking to lay the wood. ESPN rates him the 18th best recruit in the country and Rivals and Scout each list him as a 4-star recruit. But his addition to UM's class gives the Canes its most special defensive player and someone I truly believe will make an immediate impact like Sean Spence this season. He's too physically gifted and strong not too. His coach called him a Sean Taylor-type player when I spoke to him before about Armstrong. If you watch his highlight reel, you see some of the similarities.

Dyron_dyeDyron Dye (6-5, 230) could potentially make the same type of impact. He played both tight end and defensive end in high school and has tremendous burst and athletic ability. What impresses me the most about Dye is that he already has the NFL body. With some coaching, he could be really special. I think he has the potential to move over to tight end and play that at the next level if he wanted to. But all signs are point right now to a future at defensive end. Check out his highlight tape.

> As good as Miami's two additions are, I think no player might be better in the country than running back Bryce Brown, who earned National Player of the Year honors at the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio. UM recruit Brandon McGee told me last Friday he was thoroughly impressed with Brown during the East's practices. He called Brown a special player.

Bryce_brownBryce proved it to the nation Saturday. After dropping a pass that would have gone for a touchdown in the first quarter, he hauled in two long touchdown passes in the second half -- a 60-yarder and a 41-yarder -- displaying his speed and athleticism in earning co-MVP honors. He also led the East with 44 yards rushing on seven carries. While there are reports out there Brown could end up switching schools, I'm not buying it.

> Not all of the Canes had great AA games. Defensive back Prince Kent got beat a few times at the Under-Armour game including by fellow Canes recruit Jamal Reid, who shined at receiver. Miami has plans to try both Kent and Reid at corner. But I'm beginning to believe Kent might be better off at safety and Reid at receiver, a place where he routinely makes plays. McGee played well at corner in the U.S. Army game, but not spectacular. Maybe one of those eight remaining scholarships should be invested on another legit cornerback.

> Later this week, I'm going to start my interview tour with current Canes commitments and potential recruits. I'm also planning on picking up the recruiting podcasts with Larry Blustein and Charles Fishbein.

> One quick basketball note. Did anybody see Boston College's upset of No. 1 North Carolina Sunday? The Eagles were picked to finish last in the ACC and some folks were thinking the Tar Heels might go unbeaten. Guess not. The Eagles are 13-2 and host the Canes this coming Saturday. I'll be up there for the game.

Comments

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The U sends quality offensive and defensive players, that make an impact, to the NFL.

By recruiting these playmakers into our Pro-Style O and D system, now being copied by USC, we will continue to do what was started in '79, succeed. Although "Choker" got us off track - Randy has put us back on track. Great recruiting Randy!

Ludwig and his type don't fill NFL rosters
- the U does. Ludwig is gone anyway, K-State got him.

Our new Offensive Coordinator will have experience - at and knowledge of - our Pro-Style O as well as the ability to continue to innovate "our system."

No better way to Market "The U" to the best players in South Florida (and now Central Florida, sorry gators and semi-holes) and beyond. Build that fence Randy.

GoCanes

I love the Canes and have been a die hard for over 25 years, but Randy Shannon is our version of Ron Zook!!! Great recruiter, but a mediocre coach!!! I really hope we add a great OC this year and somehow some position coaches leave as his staff does not help make up for the lack of ability at the top!

The Marcus Hall commit is on http://miami.scout.com/.

CLO - Why don't U go!!!!!

How do U judge a coach after two years?

U know nothing!

I checked out miami.scout.com and saw nothing about Marcus Hall committing to The U. However, I did come across the following interesting comments:

"Five-star offensive tackle Xavier Nixon announced for the Florida Gators on Saturday afternoon, choosing them over Miami and LSU. Following the announcement, Nixon had some very interesting things to say about Miami and his final decision. What's he saying about Miami? Why did he pick Florida instead? Read on for the scoop."

Unfortunately, I do not have a subscription to this service. Does any body have a subscription to this service so you can sum up what his reasons for not coming here? Thanks.

I wouldn't say RS is our version of Ron Zook. However, if this were the case, how bad could it be? Meyer won a championship with twenty two of twenty four starters who were Zook's recruits. So if this is the case, an NC is still possible, especially if Randy gets fired and leaves behind a roster loaded with talent that will attract a proven HC. GO CANES!!!

If Shannon is another Zook we are screwed because we can't afford a proven head coach to follow him.

Very good, GoCanes.

Those that don't get it, don't want to get it.

Like "No OC at the U" and others. They can't be real fans of the U.

Jumping a coach that has only one recruiting, albeit the # 1 class. And with class # 2 heading for top 5 territory.

Maybe they thought his first year was going to be "a reloading year". They must not follow the program. If they did they would know the program was decimated by Cokers ineptness.

Go Randy.

CanesGetItDone

^^Agreed^^

Shannon is clearly not much of a game day coach, nor does he appear to have the skills or integrity to be the front man for a big time football program like Miami. That said, he's proven to have some X's and O's skills in his time as our DC, he's got solid connections in So Fla and talented kids clearly want to play for him and be a part of the U family.

Whatever you think about Shannon, and I am personally appalled at what he's done recently, our best hope is that his recruiting skills bring in so much talent that the coaching doesn't really matter and that he brings in a strong OC that will do their job well and show some gonads when the time comes to stand up to Randy on something.

Let's hope that, in the end, Randy's plusses and minuses add up to a good football team and get Miami football back to where we belong. If not, at least the roster will be stocked with talented winners instead of what Coker left behind.

Since you singled me out GetItDone, just tell me 1 thing....what the hell are you talking about?

That's not necessarily true. Shannon makes $1.5 mil a year; Urban Meyer makes $2 mil. If indeed we are loaded with talent, we could probably get someone for $1.5m-$2m. Who wouldn't want to coach a Miami team loaded with talent?

But that's probably not going to happen; RS will be successful at Miami. Although he didn't win a title in 2 years like most unrealistic Canes fans would have hoped, The Canes' record improved is predicted to improve some more next year. You don't fire a guy on an upward swing. I agree he's not perfect and that he's learning on the job, but he has a lot of suppot and I'm confident he'll be successful. If we regress next year, I'll be the first to call for his head.

sorry, agreeing with cansefanstuckinnyc, not canesgetitdone

I'm more tired of all the fans that will back the program no matter what than the ones who see things as they are rather than as they wish them to be. You must first identify a problem before you can correct it. Blind faith never got anyone anywhere.

They're baaack.

I guess they're finally wakening up from they're fear induced coma after seeing our top 5 class come through, some in action, last night.

The real fear for them is they see some of their recruits switching to The U.

Just give it time.


GoCanes

Oh, and whoever it was that called her "Comrade Shalalala"... LMAO!!

Do you mind if I use that?

think of it this way guys. Not too long ago guys of the caliber of Armstrong and Dye would jerk the U around say they were coming and then bolt at the last minute ie Devlin, PJ, etc.. or not even come at all. After all the drama that has circled around the program the last week to grab two out of three from Seminole HS(how ironic) says alot about what the players think of the U. To be sweating and worrying about one WR going to UF is not a big deal. I still think if he comes down to the U for his visit, he might be swayed. This is a good sign. They need to get a good OC in there, get some good OL and DL guys, and we will be fine. We are getting guys who WANT to be here!!

These Urban Meyer C*&k S*^king whiners are so lost in their cloud of fear they can' think straight.

Blind faith? These so called Canes fans have faith in a coach that doesn't exist. Or maybe they are still upset that Larry Boy was let go.

I don't know, but for your mental health - let it go. That was 2 yrs ago.

GoCanes

Request to use "Comrade Shalalala" approved.

GoCanes

GoCanes, would you mind elaborating on your comments? I have NO IDEA what you are trying to say.

Who has faith in what coach that doesn't exist?

And what was two years ago that you want people to let go of?

I'd say that you are the one who can't think straight if you honestly think that there aren't one or two negatives to go along with some of the positives of the current coaching staff and administration at UM.

Pollyanna

I'm more tired of all the fans that will back the program no matter what than the ones who see things as they are rather than as they wish them to be. You must first identify a problem before you can correct it. Blind faith never got anyone anywhere.

Posted by: g8rh8r | January 05, 2009 at 02:49 PM

Know your role! It's not your job as a fan to identify problems within the program! It's your job to support your team, in sickness and in health! It's the AD's job to evaluate the coaches, and to make changes, if necessary.

Regardess of what you THINK you know about the program, you are simply on the outside looking in!

Let me be the 1st to apoligize for "supporting the team no matter what!" What can I say, it's in my blood! You "fan's" who come on here and talk about who should replace Shannon are "the joke" of this blog! You act like you know how to run a D-1 program, when in fact you probably could not coach your kid's Pop Warner team!

Fans are SUPPOSE to support their team NO MATTER WHAT! Coaches coach, and the AD hires the coaches! Again, thanks for your "help", but know your role!

Go 'canes!

One more time, J Harris is not a pro-style quarterback. He's a spread QB. T Cook is the obvious choice to run Pro-style offense. He has the big arm that Jacory dreams of having. Shannon if your going to run A Pro style offense recruit for it. ala OL, QB

We should hire BYU's or Utahs OC. Discuss?

Griggsy - Have you ever seen Cook play????

Big arm, and speed. He was evaluated higher than jacory.

Kosar, Walsh and Dorsey did not have big arms either but both led us to NCs. I think Jacory will be just fine if we get the right OC in here to teach and coach him. BTW, Jacory has a better arm then the 3 QBs I mentioned, so lay off the kid will ya Griggsy.

jacory is a por mans chris leak

You just mentioned running a pro style O but your recommending spread O OC??? Stick to being a fan only!

Cook is 6-7 slow and has a side arm release, and he is from a small town in TX were they played some 8 man FB.

Actually, Cook was a 2 star QB in rivals and wasn't even ranked in the top 100, Harris was ranked #7 pro style QB.

SARASOTA CANE: Supporting your team does NOT mean you don't critique it. Coker was horrible in '06; supporting my team back then meant calling for his replacement! I love Shannon and strongly believe he will be successful at Miami and will stick around for a long time. IF he doesn't, then we should support our team by getting rid of him.

GRIGGSY: It's true that Jacory is a dual-threat QB but to what degree? He's certainly not faster or more athletic than Marve and he doesn't remind anyone of any other proven dual-threat QBs around the nation (e.g. Tyrod Taylor, Russel Wilson, Terrelle Pryor, Nesbit). However, I've read all over that he reminds people of Dorsey, a proven pro-style QB, except that JH can move a little better and is obviously younger and playing with far lesser talent than KD had. So I think JH will be able to succeed in a pro-style offense.

CanesFanStuckInNYC. Nice insightful comments on both subjects.

Hey, whats the deal for high school football in NYC. I never hear about any recruits from NYC, only NJ. With a couple of million people in that city, I would figure they would have some good players somewhere around there. What's the deal?

what is the story with marcus hall. at rivals he is listed as an OL, not DL, and 4 stars...no news about him there either.

SARASOTA CANE: You are right and you are wrong. A true fan will stick through bad times but a true fan also will not wear blinders when there are problems. If Shannon becomes the problem then I will call for his replacement.

A true fan.

NO OC AT THE U: New York City is a basketball-driven city. I think the cold weather and lack of space just drive people away from football. Jersey, on the other hand, is pretty big on football, and the popularity of the sport has skyrocketed after Rutgers had that 11-2 season and the Giants won the Super Bowl.

-Moe:
couldn't have said it better myself, thanks.

Hey CanesFanStuckInNYC, Miami actually had pretty good success with a player out of NYC (Brooklyn if I recall) named Stephen McGuire during the Dennis Erickson era. If McGuire didn't suffer that serious knee injury, He would've been a helluva back in the NFL.
And wasn't Vinny T. from NYC...

If Shannon becomes the problem then I will call for his replacement.

Posted by: -Moe | January 05, 2009 at 03:56 PM

Agreed..to a point. The talk lately is what we are going to do AFTER Shannon has been fired! Most of the posters sound like position coaches for UF and FSU!

Randy has improved the team every year since he has been here! He is not the best coach in the state, ut who cares! Saban was the better coach on Saturday night, and look what happened to him! With the right OC hire, and a stable full of new recruits, these issues will fix themselves!

When you are posting the same rhetoric as your rivals, then you are not really representing the university, or the program.

Go 'canes!!

Its amazing how lazy Coker got with recruiting betwee 02 and 05. The few big names he landed were busts and the rest of the class was really weak. Just look at the senior class. It is pretty much a afterthought for NFL scouts. What Shannon is building is impressive. If he can game day coach a little better, this team will continue to improve. As the young guys start mature, player leadership will take over. He needs to find a quality OC because he seems clueless when it comes to offense.

some will go other places. and too bad they wont get any real coaching till shannon is gone. STOP WASTING TALENT FIRE SHANNON

dd...no kidding about players jerking us around. How many times did that happen to us in the last few years under the previous regime? Always seemed like it was wideouts that did it, such as in 2006 with Preston Parker, or 2005 with Lavar Lobdell. Or getting running backs that we didn't even expect.

Shannon seems to have recruiting much more in control. While nothing is guaranteed until the fax or Pony-Expressed letter arrives on horseback, it seems much less tenuous than under Coker.

im with mike- its all this hype and no results for 2 years. how long do we wait for shannon. most other new coaches at least give you some hope in the way the team plays. but all i see are players with promise that look clueless on game day. except a few. shannon cant do the job. stop wasting time and fire him

what's the big news on OL Jermaine Johnson?

boobear, how long would we have given Butch Davis in a similar circumstance. The talent level at Miami in 2007 was far worse than it was during the 1997 5-6 squad's campaign. The depth from which we need to build back from is greater. Freshmen wide receivers, freshmen quarterbacks....how would we have done in 1998 if Scott Covington, Reggie Wayne, and Santana Moss were freshmen?

Shannon needs to get his recruits into third and fourth year status before we can truly judge him as a coach.

does anyone know the comments Xavier Nixon had about the U after he pick florida?

We are Ranked 22......

http://onlinesportsfanatic.com/2009/01/04/college-football-top-25-for-2009-10/

Hey New York City, thanks for the low-down on high-school football in the Big Apple. What you say makes a lot of sense.

Let us put this Marve issue to rest. It has been shown that former Canes have not faired when they have transferred.

Case in point....Pat Devlin...remember this chump? He committed to US then went to Penn State. Now he can't cut it with Joe Pa. He is transferring to Delaware.

Let this guy go. I agree with Shannon that we have to protect our area of interest. Let him play in the SEC. Who cares? A non Florida team is appropriate.

Time to bring in a qualified OC and let the fun begin.

tonycane, butch signed on to go through penalties from erickson and pothead sapp. i doubt he would have taken near as long if he had full scholarships. look at N.C. not a powerhouse, but definite improvement in ONE year. 2 years and meyer won the champ. 2 years and stoops took a losing okla. to the title. there is many more, 2 years and all we hear is keep waiting. no, shannon wasnt a great cood, and he will not be a great coach. empty promises with little to show. its time to move on and win please fire shannon

The headline on Scout says that Marcus Hall knows a 5 star DL who's picking Miami. It doesn't say that he will, although he did lower his interest in Ohio State from high to medium. Hopefully we get him, Bunche, White, and Sua-Filo. That'd be nice, huh?

hurricanesdo:
Not a snowballs chance in Miami the Canes will start the season ranked in any reputable polls. Where they finish? We shall see. Personally, I think ACC title game should be the goal. Win the ACC and get a BCS bowl game and we'd probably be on the way to a title run in 2010. Don't win the Coastal? Depends how it happens, but I think that would mean the end of the road for the current staff.

One thing I would bet the house on, Miami will not finish #22 in '09. They will either end up top 15 or we will be looking for a new coach. That's just the way I see it going. I don't see another 8-4, 7-5 type year and this thing staying together to the point of earning a "barely ranked" badge. Miami is just not one of those just inside the top 25 programs, nor should it be.

I know I got some of this info messed up so if u see something I need to correct let me know. Not sure about position changes and redshirts.

QB
12 Jacory Harris Soph. 6-4/185
16 Cannon Smith FR(RS) 5-11/200
17 Taylor Cook FR(RS) 6-7/225
AJ Highsmith Fr. 2-0/186


RB
2 Graig Cooper Jr. 6-0/200
5 Javarris James SR. 6-0/214
32 Lee Chambers Soph. 5-10/185
20 Damien Berry Jr. 5-11/207
Bryce Brown Fr. 6-0/215
Lamar Miller Fr. 5-11/205
Mike James Fr. 5-11/211

FB
30 Patrick Hill SR. 5-9/256
43 John Calhoun FR(RS) 6-3/254
0 Joe Lucking Soph. 6-0/218

WR
83 Sam Sheilds SR. 6-0/186
4 Aldarius Johnson Soph. 6-2/206
85 Leonard Hankerson Sr. 6-3/210
47 Laron Byrd Soph. 6-4/211
80 Travis Benjamin Soph. 5-10/160
28 Thearon Collier Soph. 5-8/180
81 Davon Johnson Soph. 5-11/184
86 Tommy Streeter FR(RS) 6-5/202
38 Kendall Thompkins FR(RS) 5-10/170
19 Daniel Adderley FR(RS) 6-6/225

TE
18 Dedrick Epps Sr. 6-4/252
84 Richard Gordon Sr. 6-4/260
88 Chris Zellner Sr. 6-2/241
Billy Sanders Fr. 6-4/235
Cory White Fr. 6-4/225
Stephen Plain Fr. 6-6/240

O-LINE
64 Jason Fox Sr. 6-7/306
76 Chris Rutledge Sr. 6-5/311
70 AJ Trump Sr. 6-3/300
68 Ian Symonette Sr. 6-9/351
79 Chris Barney Sr. 6-5/345
61 Joel Figueroa Jr. 6-5/344
74 Orlando Franklin Jr. 6-7/335
65 Matt Pipho Sr. 6-7/307
52 Ben Jones FR(RS) 6-5/310
66 Harlund Gunn Soph. 6-2/313
63 Tyler Horn FR(RS) 6-4/289
60 Chris Ivory FR(RS) 6-2/227
Brandon Washington Fr. 6-5/330
Jermaine Johnson Fr. 6-6/309

D-LINE
57 Allen Bailey Soph. 6-4/285
99 Marcus Fortson Soph. 6-2/302
95 Gavin Hardin FR(RS) 6-4/240
92 Josh Holmes Sr. 6-0/279
91 Joe Joseph Sr. 6-3/300
94 Eric Moncur Sr. 6-2/250
97 Adewale Ojomo Soph. 6-3/240
54 Micanor Regis Soph. 6-2/321
62 Andrew Smith FR(RS) 6-2/238
75 Chaz Washington Sr. 6-4/310
90 Steven Wesley Sr. 6-3/260
Dyron Dye Fr. 6-4/216
Luther Robinson Fr. 6-3/280
Curtis Porter Fr. 6-2/334
Oliver Vernon Fr. 6-3/239

LB
44 Colin McCarthy Sr. 6-3/235
31 Sean Spence Soph. 6-0/202
11 Arthur Brown FR(RS) 6-2/223
58 Jordan Futch FR(RS) 6-2/214
36 KylanRobinson FR(RS) 6-1/235
45 Ramon Buchannon FR(RS) 6-1/197
Antonio Harper Fr. 6-4/230

DB
6 Randy Phillips Sr. 6-0/208
1 Brandon Harris Soph. 5-10/185
24 Chavez Grant Sr. 5-11/180
35 Lovon Ponder Sr. 6-0/219
8 Demarcus Van Dyke Jr. 6-1/177
7 Vaughn Telemaque Soph. 6-1/185
29 JoJo Nicholas Soph. 6-1/195
23 Tervaris Johnson Sr. 6-2/229
34 CJ Holton FR(RS) 6-2/195
13 Ryan Hill Sr. 5-11/200
37 Jared Campbell FR(RS) 6-0/197
Ray Ray Armstrong Fr. 6-4/218
Brandon McGee Fr. 5-11/186
Prince Kent Fr. 6-3/195
Jamal Reid Fr. 6-1/175
Kayvon Webster Fr. 5-11/185

K/P
25 Matt Bosher Jr. 6-0/202
40 Jake Wieclaw Soph. 6-1/186

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