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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.


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Jimmy Johnson had a depth chart full of proven National Championship winners, Kosar etc. and fell flat on his face in his first year.


word, you must have nothing elso to do.

But nice work!

what's the big news on OL Jermaine Johnson?

Posted by: John | January 05, 2009 at 05:18 PM

I would assume he passed all his test??? That's all he was waiting on. If that's the case, then he would be able to enter the U this month!

We probably won't convince each other Boobear, but I would say that the state of the Canes as left by Coker had Shannon in a deeper ditch than Butch Davis was in during 1995-1997. On offense, I would add. Coker had signed one wide receiver in the 2005 and 2006 classes, and no quarterbacks.

That left Shannon with no depth his first year at coach, with only two months to recruit. The top WR recruit (Jermaine McKenzie) was lost for the 2007 campaign. The 2008 class took care of the shortage of wideouts, but our lack of recruiting in previous years caught up with us this season. We started three freshmen wide receivers and a freshmen quarterback. Name any other college with more than 7 wins that did this in 2008. How would Oklahoma have done if Bradford and his cast of wideouts were freshmen. Or Ohio State, if Pryor's supporting cast were frosh? Take any Top 25 team, make the QB, WRs, and half of their defense freshmen, and how would they do?

Now if there was an 8,9, or 10 win team starting that many first year players, then Boobear I'm wrong and you're vindicated. But I think we're lucky to not have the record of Texas A&M, which like Miami started a large number of freshmen (with a 2nd year quarterback), and could only reach 4 or 5 wins.

I see that line up and itisobvious that we are weak at DB and LB and OL. Strong at rb and wr

x factors: coaching, QB

Likely translation: 9-4. Losses to FSU, Oklahoma, Va Tech, and Ga Tech. Wins vs FAMU, UCF, USF, Wake, Va, Duke, Clemson, NC, a bowl game win. Randy gets a year reprieve. Thoughts anyone?

on your list some of those ppl graduated or transferred

Jacory Harris: Last time I checked Jacory Harris won Mr. Florida football, against competition that Chris Leak couldnt even have dreamed of in his worst nightmares in North Carolina. Jacory can run either offense, though I think he'll be better in the pro style offense because he seems to be a better pocket passer than a runner. I also think his teammates like him under center more than Marve. I dont know this for sure, but I have a feeling that since most of his recievers played with him in high school, theyd rather have JH playing.. just a hunch. Cant even believe your trying to say Taylor Cook should be starting. I tihnk if he should be starting he would, he had all spring to prove it. Do you think Shannon wants to win games, or make JH happy. He knows his butt is on the line.

Shannon- Yes other coaches have led teams to titles and this and all that in 2 years, but theres some differences. One is Shannon is a first time head coach. Meyer was already proven at Utah, and we all know what Saban did. If Shannon had been at LSU won a NC came here and put up these numbers than fine call for his head. But hes new at this. Let him learn the ins and outs. Also he was left nothing. Meyer picked up Zooks team, Saban took over a talented Bama team. I mean look what hes done in the two years. A 5-7 record followed by a number 1 recruting class. Has that ever been done? I dont know but its unlikely. Now with this one coming in. Give it a chance. Im like yall, I want wins now esp since i got gaytors fans as freinds and I gotta hear it but lets be realistic, it cant be done over night. I say give him until 2010, JH and his posse will be juniors, Youngs defense will be implemented fully, than we will talk. I mean who would we get ne way if Shannon left, it sucks and its wierd but no one wants this god damn job. We cant even get a decent OC to come here and we r lucky to have Bill Young. So put this BS to rest, and appreciate that we went from 5-7, to 7-6, and only looking up not down. Go canes and puck yall fake snitchin pucks. I got yours back Canes.

Who Graduated?
Who transferred?

Tony Cane- The only thing I have to say, is that Sam Bradford was a true Freshman when they whooped us bad at Ok, and played in a BCS bowl a year ago. I dont know howmany freshmen he had at wr but he did have a true freshman in Adrian peterson (or true soph?). Regardless, they were pretty good. The difference: Our O-Line. That was the downfall this year. With a bettr O-line (or a better performance from this current O-line) we would have beaten NC, NCstate, and even Cal. You run the ball better, and control the clock. there were many 3 and outs and dead trips to the red zone. they truly choked

I tihnk all games are winnable, but looking at this year they can easily but lost )i know thats an obvious comment but thats all i can say, i mean considering we beat vt this yr y wouldnt we beat em next yr

rutledge, zellner, n ponder.. good list tho

Gatoraid what kind of name is that for a Miami blog, anyway your an idiot, most scouts liked T Cook over jacory Harris, and he's not slow and he does have the strongest arm, Cannon Smith has a better arm than Harris. And i said if we are going to have Jacory Harris as are QB I think the OC from Utah or Byu would benefit him. We need a quaterback than can make all the throws, because we have talented wide outs. Hopefully Mccullen comes here, you know he's good if Saban wants him

jaime- Bradford was a redshirt freshman when he did that

Jacory cant make all the throws? What would u call the 97 yd drive against Virginia?

georgia tech had more frehman, and sophs. i would say in one year that coach made a HUGE difference. changed the whole off. scheme. he had a plan and made it work. can you really tell me at this point, honestly now, what shannons plan for miami is. it truly has no identity. i dont want to be GT, with a running team. lsu proved what speed on defense does to the option. but to see coaches come in with the players they have, and at least show some hope, thats not expecting to much at MIAMI. shannons defense was ranked high, but the competition isnt really that high to a team like miami Used to be. the acc is no better than the big east. so like fsu was, miami should be dominating the conf. its just time for this team to get better, or change leadership

AWESOME .... Happy dayZ R HerE Again !!!! Letz not stop here ..... I'd like to see da' Canes' go after a "JC StuD Big O-Lineman or 2" ... We need some stability on the O-Line and why not go the "JUCO ROUTE"....California is loaded with "Quality Juco O-Linemen".....Go Canes'

No identity boobear? Only one man to blame and he got got Nixed.

Bradford was a freshmen playing with upperclassmen and NO Adrian Peterson (in the NFL as a rookie that year). Stoops had 9 years to properly recruit and did not have depth issues that year (he did a few years earlier when Bohmar was forced out). Shannon has had 2 years. No comparison.

sorry jaime, bradford was a redshirt fresh. and peterson was in the nfl.

WORD .....Marcus Robinson #56


jaime.. 9 puts us on path. 2010 should be the yr. the #1 class will be JR's, and this top class and next yrs will add superior talent. With butch, after the 5 win season, we had I think an 8 and 9 win season before we made that run from 00-03/4. SO, 9 wins next yr would be good, but YA never know, if bradford leaves OU, they are playing a new qb, so who knows, VT, GT--they are not USC. and FSU is a rival game and we have won up their. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

Rivals rates him a 5 star, but none of his points count since he was an 07 committ

10 teams made a bowl game from the acc---U had teams knocking each other off, there is no one YET, to separate like we did in the big east, HOWEVER BOO---TIME IS COMING SOON, but to say talent was weak, thats not accurate. 10 bowl teams is a solid conference. no one else had that many did they?? Correct me if I am wrong.

jaime; You got it.

All this talk about other freshman QB', RB's and WR's on other teams that kicked our butts or made it to a BCS game when we couldn't, check out the line of scrimmage. Particularly the O-Line. They are veterans, smart and big.

GoCanes - get as many of those big uglies as possible.

I think with Bryce Brown, a projected Heisman candidate, Mike James and Lamar Miller may/should help to attract some "physical and thinking" big uglies. Hard to beat a big and smart O-Line.


Wow! Great news about JJ. CONGRATULATIONS!

Here is my prediction....

New OC for UM---Major Applewhite

No announcement yet because of the Fiesta Bowl. Randy has class. He will let him finish his committment at Texas and come to the U!


NO Du For U !!!

U can have the other 2 ... The 3rd. one is the Charm

Awesome Johnson will be here in the spring. What about Brandon Washington? We need him in there, too. And with these remaining 8 scholarships at least half should go to the OL and maybe 1 or 2 more DTs and LBs.

Why is it good to get Major Applewhite? He has no experience as an OC

Major Applewhite DOES have experience as an OC. He was Alabama's OC last year and at Rice the year before that, if you must know. I agree he is probably the guy they will hire, although I really don't think it is a good choice. You know that feeling you get when you know something bad is about to happen but you just can't do anything to stop it? That is the feeling I have about this. He seems like a Patrick Nix type with a little more experience.

boobear; GT's offensive line was a veteran line. And an offensive scheme that was difficult to emulate in practice. Yes, they got beat. Every game they lost - they turned the ball over at an incredible rate. Check the game stats of their losses. Unfortunately, they didn't give us any gifts.

GT's offensive line tackle to tackle starters - 4 Sr's 1 Jr

O-Line needs size, smarts and lots of time to work together, more than any other group except QB's and WR's. In both situations timing is very important.

So, as far as I'm concerned U put a veteran line in front of a full time JH and I think we win 10 games maybe 11 out of 13, last year.

Shoot, say there was no Marve or 2 QB system last year - and you were to project JH's "1/3rd of snaps stats" to 100% of the snaps.

Even with the O-Line we have JH's stats project to;

35 TD's
3000+ YRD's

boobear, under the circumstances, Randy did the right thing - playing both QB's. He had no depth at all at QB and had to build depth at every position.

I didn't like it, but new it needed to be done.

Next year, the OL will determine where we finish. If we're surprised with a better OL than this yr's and a full time JH - we can win 9 maybe 10 games. With a defense that tightens up and GT put's the ball on the ground for us ... who knows?

This will be the yr we need to get that "chip back on our shoulders" and that old feeling that "our backs against the wall".


From what I have found on google I think you might be wrong jkasse2


So what is he right now. Qb coach at Texas or somethin?

So if hes good why was he OC for one yr in both school stints

i was at the game last nite next to ray rays parents with a big U flag what a nite GO CANES...ORLANDO "CANE" COUNTRY....

Applewhite is not even the QB coach at Texas. He is the RB coach and Assistant head coach. He has that and 2 years experience, both for 1 year at 2 schools. I fail to see how that makes him qualified to be "our guy." I really hope he is not the choice but, like I said, I have the sinking feeling he is going to be.

I don't claim to know Applewhite I just googled him.

Seems like a guy from texas could help recruit some of those big mid west O linemen.

Ye but we dont need help recuriting as much as we need a offense with an indeitity, from what i read i didnt see ne thing to make me think hes so great

Can we get Marve's picture off of UM frontpage in the Miami Herald? Sick of looking at it.

Can we get Marve's picture off of UM frontpage in the Miami Herald? Sick of looking at it.

Possible New Offensive Coordinator at THE U

If one were to look at some common connections between "The U brain trust" and a quality OC, one may come up with an interesting name or two.

Well, I'll start this journey in Fayetteville, Arkansas where a young Jimmy Johnson played on the 1964 National Championship football team, where he was an all-SWC defensive lineman for Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles, and a teammate of Ken Hatfield, Barry Switzer and the future Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Remember "The Arkansas Three" - Johnson, Hatfield and Switzer.

Jimmy went on the be the head coach at Oklahoma State University, where in 1978 a Young Houston Nutt transferred from the university of Arkansas as QB to play for Johnson.

We know the rest of Jimmy's story.

Houston Nutt, after graduation went into coaching and after working with the "Arkansas Three" over the yrs eventually end up as the head coach at Arkansas.

Houston Nutt, while at Arkansas hired one of Arkansas's former HC, Ken Hatfield's, OC's/QB coaches from the Dallas Cowboys as his QB coach and eventually his OC.

Jimmy Johnson, Ken Hatfield and Houston Nutt are very good friends and have been known to spend some of their "leisure time" down in the Keys at Jimmy's place.

The connections - U of Arkansas - Oklahoma State - Dallas Cowboys - Miami Dolphins - Jimmy Johnson - Ken Hatfield - Houston Nutt
- THE U - David Lee.

Yes, the "Wild Hog" innovator. Dolphin QB coach
and 33 yrs of coaching experience most spent as a Offensive Coordinator. With a special knack for innovating within the Pro-Style Offense.

I don't know what will happen. But these coaching positions are filled, more often than not, through common coaching connections.

Keep your eye's on David Lee.

Would be, could be, interesting.

Your thoughts?


ForEver, I hope you are right and I am wrong about Applewhite. Nice argument for your case. You definitely did your homework.

I hope so to!

It would be very interesting.


Bill Young's "connection tree" is very similar to David Lee's - starting at Oklahoma State.

But, who knows? We'll just have to wait and see.


David Lee has been at the top of my wishlist for weeks!

im sick of supposed "canes fans" pissin' and moaning about Coach Shannon. he is a true 'cane. we MUST be patient and understand what a mess this program was in. talent wins and coker left the cupboard empty. Coach Shannon doing a fine job, even the handling of marve (he gave him ample opportunity).


Former UT QB Major Applewhite is considered to be one of the top young coaches in 1-A. His coaching stops have been:

2008: Running Backs coach, Texas (and heir apparent to OC Coordinator Greg Davis)
2007: Offensive Coordinator, Alabama
2006: Offensive Coordinator, Rice
2005: Offensive Coordinator, Syracuse

I think that he went back to Texas early when the opportunity was given to him, with the idea that he would be in place for a shot at the head coaching job when Mac Brown eventually retired. Instead DC Will Muschamp was named head coach in waiting, meaning that the furthest Applewhite can go at his alma matta is offensive coordinator.

Rather than staying as a RB coach, I wouldn't be surprised to see Applewhite bolt for another offensive coordinator position elsewhere as a stepping stone to a head coaching position. And why not the U, with the talent that Randy has been recruiting?

Growing up in South Florida I enjoyed watching football every weekend Canes on Saturday and the Dolphins on Sunday. The past couple years have been rough for me watching football. I saw the Dolphins turn there season around in one year and I believe that the Canes will accomplish it this year. Will get the right OC in there and win the ACC acouple more NC and never look back again. You can't recruit all these kids that come from winning programs and think that there going to be OK with losing.


i believe that the U will be running the ncaa for 3 years. Randy shannon is doing a good job at recruiting people. them ol days are coming back.

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