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Aubrey Hill: "We want to hit on more big plays"

ATLANTA -- It used to be the staple of the University of Miami offense. Ken Dorsey, Gino Torretta, Vinny Testaverde would drop back in the pocket scan the field and then fire a laser beam deep down the field. On the other end, Michael Irvin, Andre Johnson and Lamar Thomas would come racing under it, hands stretched and in a flash, they'd be gone, one their way to the end zone for six.

Aldarius Johnson is one of the key young receivers making strides this spring It's felt like an eternity at The U since a Miami offense provided such excitement. Last year with Patrick Nix, fans were treated more often to the wide receiver bubble screen than the good old Hail Mary. But in the first few days coach Randy Shannon has allowed the media to watch his team practice this spring, we've noticed something strange (an unidentified flying object if you will). That would be the football being thrown deep down the field again.

Could it just be an early spring practice aberration? Could be Jacory Harris just practicing the deep ball here and there? Or is Mark Whipple's new offense showing signs it's going to take advantage of the new big, strong, speedy weapons the Canes recruited two Februarys ago and stretch opposing defenses? At Tuesday's practice, I caught up with receivers coach Aubrey Hill to find out what the deal really is.

"You look back to last year, we definitely want to hit on more big plays," said Hill, whose young receiving corps . "That's something you want to do every year... Not necessarily making a comparison [to last year], but I will say this about our [new] playbook: we're attacking all areas of the field and also were trying to move a lot of guys around and put the ball in their hands in all different places. We have an NFL playbook."

Aubrey Hill And, quite possibly, NFL-caliber receivers to make those plays. While Hill said he's been impressed with all of his receivers in some way shape or form, he pointed to Laron Byrd and Aldarius Johnson as the guys look like they're ready to take the next step. Johnson led the team in receiving last season with 30 catches for 321 yards and 3 scores. Byrd finished fifth with 18 catches for 184 yards and 3 scores. Both look more physically imposing this spring even if they aren't weighing a lot more than last season.

"You look at those guys and you can definitely see they have been in the weight room with coach Swasey," Hill said. "You can see the maturity and hunger for those kids. They compete with each other all the time. Both of those guys can be all-conference type players soon."

Hill admits he's been impressed from what he's seen early from two players he didn't have a year ago because of injuries, redshirt freshmen Tommy Streeter and Kendall Thompkins

"He's a big target," Hill said of Streeter. "He's a smart kid. He can run. He has decent hands. He didn't play last year. So we obviously want to make sure he's going fast and getting into the playbook. But the good thing for him and Kendall is we have a new playbook. They're all learning from scratch together. The one thing you see with Tommy is he's better each day. As long as he can continually improve, that's what we want to see."

As for Thompkins: "Without a doubt he brings versatility because he can play slot and the outside receiver. He becomes a valuable player already. He's very elusive. He can make the first guy miss. He can catch the passes. Kendall and Streeter are two great additions for us."

With Sam Shields moving over to defense and several seniors from last season gone, Hill doesn't have many veterans. His oldest player is junior Leonard Hankerson. While Hankerson has struggled with drops throughout his career (including this spring), Hill said the 6-3, 215-pounder is making strides.

"With Hank, it's almost like you want to put a glue on the ball when the quarterback throws it to him because that's the last piece he needs," Hill said. "But in fairness to him, he's been a lot better in other areas. Your talking about the kid that has the right size, the right speed, has the right mentality and is very smart. We're trying to put that last piece together. When that ball is in the air and its a big situation for the team, we want him to do well. That's what this spring is all about."

> I'll be at tonight's UM-Georgia Tech game in an about an hour. Just a couple more quick notes to pass along...

> Shannon told us Tuesday he's going to keep practice open for the media. I obviously wasn't at Wednesday's. But I'll be back out there on Friday and Saturday when the Canes are set to scrimmage for the first time.  


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The NCAA is about to hand out the sanctions against FSU get ready for the ultimate wrist slapper

4 years probation and scholorship reductions for FSU. This hurts us because we need them to be ranked for BCS points. Idiots.


No, i think the probations help us with recruiting, big time! They loose 2 scholli's this year and 3 next....three more for us to choose from...Bowden will not stay through these sanctions....plus no bowls......great for UM recruiting.....

Good posts Pay attention to the U, Canesjunkie and Bid Sonny.

By the way, UM's first opponent, FSU, received four years' probation from the NCAA today and will lose scholarships in football and may forfeit games because of a widespread academic cheating scandal involving all 10 sports.

The NCAA is a joke. FSU got off so easy.

Visiting Gainesville this weekend is a player many consider to be the next Jeffery Demps or Chris Rainey. His name is Corvin Lamb and he is a 5-10, 180-pound running back for Miami Northwestern. Lamb is somewhat of an enigma in the world of recruiting. He is already considered one of the nation's best running back recruits in 2010 but he wasn't a starter for the Bulls last season. This might be the reason Florida hasn't offered Lamb just yet. While Florida is shrewdly waiting to see what Lamb can do on the field of play before offering him a $40,000 scholarship, the Gators do know a little bit about him. Lamb ran the fastest time (4.3 seconds) at the Gators' Friday Night Lights recruiting showcase before the 2008 season.

Lamb seems to be favoring Florida. Lamb Sr. even told me that Corvin wants to bring a few of his teammates to Gainesville.


What will U do when the NW gravy train dries up fools?

All it takes is one visit to UF and one visit to UM to see how VASTLY SUPERIOR UF's program is. The kids see this.

In the end it doesn't really matter which particular schools these kids from. U DONT DEVELOP THEM..


good comedy.

Funny to watch all you candycanes get your underwear in a knot in your above posts.

How does it feel to be looking up from the bottom with a completely suspect QB? Harris will go down in a pile of bones in October. BOOK IT.

Posted by: We's building depths | January 31, 2009 at 01:05 PM

Ay kehoe remember this idiotic post you left. Well i just thought i will continue to show you throwing up all over your self with the dumb Sh** you write.

from rivals,

Miami Northwestern High School RB Corvin Lamb says West Virginia and LSU are the two schools recruiting him hardest right now.

So far he says the Canes haven't expressed much interest.

And there could be a reason for that: He didn't start last year, rushing for just one touchdown as a backup. He also returned five kickoffs for scores, including a 98-yarder.

This year he will be a starter and hopes to prove himself.

"I hope I get a Miami offer," the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder with 4.31-second speed said. "Hopefully they start recruiting me. I'm interested in Miami."

Lamb says for now he's leaving all his options open.

"This is my year to open some eyes," he said.

Lamb says his family consists of Miami and Florida State fans.

But he says he chose a different favorite team growing up.

He wants to be a CANE not a Gayturd!!!

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