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Spring Buzz-O-Meter: No. 22 tops list

CORAL GABLES -- One of the best things about this spring has been the amount of access coach Randy Shannon has given us -- the media. Each day I've been out there, I've had a chance to catch up with a group I like to refer to as the U's Veteran Watch Committee, a group of about four or five older gentlemen who have probably seen just about every Canes' football practice for the last gazillion years.

I don't want to shed any light on their identities because it might endanger their safety. But take my word for it, there might not be better sources when it comes to the development and comparison of Canes players beyond the coaching staff than these guys. After all, they've been there just about every day for every practice. How special are they? Coach Randy Shannon usually walks off the field with them, sharing laughs and whatever thoughts might cross their minds.

I have to admit, I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with UVWC this spring. Not only are they die-hard green and orange bleeders who wear their colors proudly to every practice, but they're realistic too. They don't jump on the bandwagon with one-hit wonders. To impress the UVWC you not only have to show it every day in practice, but you got to do it when there are zebras on the field.

With that in mind and with the spring game on tap this Saturday at Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium, I went to the UVWC earlier this week to gauge their thoughts on The Top 5 newcomers/new position guys who have really stood out this spring and created real buzz and hope about their future. We shared notes (NOTE: When you talk with the UVWC, you don't refer to players by name. You refer to their jersey numbers) and these are the players the UVWC feels most excited about. This should certainly help you if you will be attending the team's final scrimmage on Saturday.

1. (No. 22) Mike James, running back: He's not only become the media's favorite, but left tackle Jason Fox's as well. Mr. Fox provided the most glowing quotes about James to date this spring after Wednesday's practice.

Mike James' smile wasn't the only thing creating a buzz at this year's spring practices. "I honestly think he’s a really special guy," Fox said. "He’s probably my favorite incoming freshman so far. What I like most about him is he’s a hard worker and he studies a lot. We were going through some stuff the other day and he was coaching the other guys out there in blitzes and protections. He’s a smart guy. Every time I see him before practice I see him in his playbook. Before practice today he was just looking through his playbook. He’s just a dedicated guy. When you can get a few guys like that, that’s what it takes to win.

"He’s a hard runner too. I’m not going to compare him to Baby J and Coop. But he’ll make a tough run, bang out 10 yards or something and he’ll be the first one back in the huddle. He’s just an explosive guy, runs tough, runs with his pads low. It’s hard to believe he’s just a freshman. He’s a very coachable guy. Whenever you talk to him all he wants to do is get better. Whether its an older player or coach, he’s always there wanting to be coached and wanting to get better."

The UVWC agrees. Although they aren't ready to dub the 215-pound, 5-11-inch inch freshman (he's shorter than 5-11) the next great one, they say few Hurricanes backs have possessed his abilities to run between the tackles and power over guys the way he does. To be honest, James doesn't remind me of any Canes before him at all. He actually reminds me of a Gator who wore the same number (22) and did some amazing things with the Dallas Cowboys.

2. (No. 7) Vaughn Telemaque, safety: Truth be told, there probably isn't going to be a newcomer who makes a bigger impact than VT, who among the players in this group will likely be the only one who starts against Florida State on Sept. 7. Telemaque has natural ballhawk abilities which have drawn comparisons from coach Randy Shannon to former Canes great Ed Reed. The UVWC expects him to make an immediate impact because not only does VT not shy away from making big hits on running backs, but he's very good at getting a hand in to bat balls away from receivers at the last second. According to the UVWC, he's kind of a hybrid of Sean Taylor and Ed Reed.

3. (No. 86) Tommy Streeter, receiver: The UVWC loves Streeter's size (6-5, 200). But what they love even more are those long legs and speed (4.4), which he uses to jet past shorter corners and safeties with ease. What Streeter adds to an already loaded receiving corps is the ability to go deep and have a player who catch the ball at its highest point so often he makes it look easy. Like I told the UVWC, expect Streeter to become the great deep threat Lance Leggett never did.

4. (No. 83) Kendall Thompkins, receiver: Another receiver who was redshirted last year, but one who has certainly caught the eye of the UVWC. Thompkins, I've been told by his former offensive coaches at Miami Northwestern, was the clear-cut best route runner on his team (one that included Aldarius Johnson and Streeter). Earlier this week, cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke said the 5-11, 170-pound redshirt freshman is kind of like a Roscoe Parrish. The UVWC and I disagree. Think more of a Sinorice Moss.

5. (No. 35) Olivier Vernon, defensive end: There's probably a good chance Vernon doesn't play much this coming season because of the amount of depth at the position. But they like what they see in the 6-2, 250-pound true freshman in terms of work ethic and pass rushing ability. If Vernon stays healthy, I think he could end up becoming what Eric Moncur was supposed to be.


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Great update. I believe all of these players will contribute greatly. I actually agree with DVD, I think Thompkins is more like Roscoe Parrish, fast and quick but smooth, maybe not as explosice as Sinorice Moss but possibly more effective.

M.James reallly helped himself with the early admission. I would not be surprised it the two top running back at the end of next yr. are Miller and M.James. The U has been down on top running backs for a couple of yrs.

You've got to love the opinions of old guys.

I wonder what Lamar Miller is thinking right now.

Great, great work Manny. You should have your IT people find an easy way readers to subscribe to your blob whenever a new post comes. I find out on Canespace but we should be able to be notified directly by you.

I agree with all that M. James will put up NICE numbers this year...maybe 600 all purpose, but lets not put JJ and Coop out to pasture yet.....we need those guys, they will be crucial in big games, and then hit em with MJ...its called diversity....look at USC...no 1000 yard rusher, but 3 guys with over 600+ all purpose yards, that's what the game is coming too....the brunt of the season takes 2-3 good backs....look at all the 5 final teams last year (UF, USC, Texas, Utah, Oklahoma) only oklahoma had a back over 1000 yrds rushing, and that's because BOTH of their backs had 1000yrds.....that's the way the game is played to get to the top now, multiple backs....if MJ can get aroudn 600+, Miller 300+, JJ 800+, and Coop 800+ all purpose yards....please believe we will win the ACC and then some!!!!...that's the depth RS is talking about....

The old goats only use numbers because they're too doddering to remember the players names. FACT !

It greatly pains cane fan to see Manny mention that the greatest RB in NFL history wore orange and BLUE.

Mike James has all the makings of a quality kid. Very nice pick up. He eliminates the harsh taste that Bryce left in your mouth. James will be an excellent addition to your team. But will Mike have that effervescent grin when he sees what's blocking for him? U should throw underachievers Coop and Porcelain J out there instead of putting James in only to see him get destroyed. I hope Beanpole Harris is eating at least 10 waffles a day.

If the offensive line has so many question marks, why are they dominating every practice? We know our defensive line is one of the better ones in the ACC, but if the O is scoring "every other play" according to Jason Fox, how bad could it be? I think by the time the season starts, the only team that can beat us is our own.

Wish I could be at the Spring Game.

WOW, did you just say that Emmitt Smith was the greatest RB in NFL history?...........Manny you have to block his ability to write on here, not due the fact that he got his AA from UF, but b/c he is OBVIOUSLY on drugs....and I mean that crazy ish......dude, Emmitt Smith would knock you upside the head if he heard you say that!!!!!! WOW....I'm speechless.....

GREAT GREAT work Manny! I loved the read!

Thanks---from Austin, TX


"...that's the way the game is played to get to the top now"

Posted by: DA U N Houston

Excellent observation. Funny how you cited USC instead of UF who won the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP with that approach. It's called balance.

Here are some aggregate rushing numbers. Not receiving ..just rushing.

Harvin 660

Rainey 652

Demps 605

Moody 417

Tebow 673

It's amusing to watch U dismiss UF's ground game. What U don't understand is HOW they did it.

They did it by BLOCKING like studs all across the line. (spare me the UM sack talk) Not only did the line put together 10 stellar games, All the skill guys threw KEY blocks all year long. It's called teamwork through leadership. It was a key ingredient of UF's championship run.

Instead of looking for ways to hate, watch closely and enjoy as UF puts together back to back ships. IT WILL HAPPEN.

And while U think I have broad hate for UM, it's just not the case. I"ve sat in the stands for DOZENS of UM games. I don't go to UM home games to hate on them . I just can't help poking delusional cane fan with a stick. You guys are in true denial about the state of your program. ( spare me the "we're coming back baby" smack...you're NOT.. would you like to discuss your ACC accomplishments?) I also have huge questions about the leadership abilities of U KNOW WHO. He was in charge of the D through Cokers tenure. He's had AMPLE time to produce a quality defense. You can,"yeah but" all U want.

Da U N Houston has an excellent point. It's too bad his dislike for the top tier program up the street clouds his vision.

I know he's not the greatest in NFL history I just threw it in there to rub you funny. It worked. Dude has speaking skills that make Shannon look like a scholar. He was an amazing back though. He was money for many years. Too bad he hung around in pursuit of the rushing title. Even though he hung around for the sole purpose of the rushing title, it was still a huge feat.

Now he is just an embarrassment to ESPN. They rightfully canned him. He should have just rode his rich a s s off into the sunset.

Emmitt does belong on the all time top 10 though. He was unstoppable in the red zone in the glory years.

No arguments there...lol...lol....he was an embarrassment in Arizona...lol

kehoe, harvin is a reciever and tebow is a qb, dare i say uf is running a gimmick offense and thats thy da U in houstan named USC instead of the gaytors.

calicane, could be Shannon is resting , conserving the top guys ex. A.Bailey that would account for easier time for the offense. Giving the looks to 2nd 3rd tier guys?

I know he's not the greatest in NFL history I just threw it in there to rub you funny. It worked. Dude has speaking skills that make Shannon look like a scholar. He was an amazing back though. He was money for many years. Too bad he hung around in pursuit of the rushing title. Even though he hung around for the sole purpose of the rushing title, it was still a huge feat.

Now he is just an embarrassment to ESPN. They rightfully canned him. He should have just rode his rich a s s off into the sunset.

Emmitt does belong on the all time top 10 though. He was unstoppable in the red zone in the glory years.

Posted by: The Curse of Art Kehoe | March 26, 2009 at 02:56 PM

Is this kehoe trying to have a meaningful conversation with cane fans. lmao gtfo

Closet cane or is that you just dont have any friends.

Kehoe U are all yours...

kehoe, harvin is a reciever and tebow is a qb, dare i say uf is running a gimmick offense and thats thy da U in houstan named USC instead of the gaytors.

Posted by: kehoe is a bit#$

That is where football is headed. Just read the comments of your fellow DaU N houston above. He doesn't credit the spread for multiple high yardage backs but it SURE DOESN"T HURT. You MUST have excellent execution and team blocking for the spread to work. Most teams can't put it together.

A friend of mine talked a bunch of smack When Meyer arrived in Gainesville. He's say,"yeah we'll see how Meyers spread chicken wing offense does against the physical SEC defenses." I mentioned that to him recently and his response was, " I was wrong. That team was flat out awesome." That team EXECUTES. Flat out.

I don't care if they have their long snapper putting up those numbers. Those numbers correlate to touchdowns which correlate to wins which ultimately correlated into the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Spare me the gimmick nonsense. There is nothing gimmicky about that crystal TROPHY that just got delivered.

Which part of this eludes you?

If Nick Saban contacted UM tomorrow and said he wanted to take over and install a spread offense, you would be BESIDE YOURSELF with GLEE. But keep dismissing that system because U had success with a different system.

If the spread is so gimmicky then why did UF meet Alabama in Atlanta and flat out physically BEAT THEM DOWN? NO ONE with football acumen will say that the Tide was anything short of a very physical team. They POUNDED everyone...well ...almost everyone.


Our last coordinator wanted to install a spread type offense for this year and was kicked to the curb. By the way, you're program is nowhere near "top tier". You've only been relevant for the last 3-4 years. The real "top tier" programs are the ones that nobody want's to play like the U. If you're program is soooo upper class, than have your wuss AD and head coach put together some games against us and quit trying to duck us. We have Oklahoma and Ohio State in the future (also "top tier" programs), but Floriduh, Notre Damn, and Kansass State want to run and hide behind their FBS teams. Well I hope Southwest Missouri State A & M Tech gives you a good game loser.

Alabama lost to friggin Utah as well. Shows how "physical" the SEC is. So, I guess Utah is the "real" National Champ, right Kehoe? Try being an undisputed NC then we'll talk.

Posted by: The Curse of Art Kehoe

"I just can't help poking delusional cane fan with a stick. You guys are in true denial about the state of your program. ( spare me the "we're coming back baby" smack...you're NOT.. would you like to discuss your ACC accomplishments?)"

If we are so delusional, I guess the UF football program is as well. UM wants to renew the rivalry that Spurrier was too scared of continuing. The problem is UF is still scared and refuses..


UF sees that we are on our way back. You're the delusional one. They know that when we're beating them up in college and winning championships AND sending people to the NFL with a pro style Offense UF won't be able to recruit the talent anymore. They will be at the U.

I hope you enjoyed your few years in the sun, because in a few years, when all the talent is again at the U, all you'll have is a gimmick O that can't win big games...

31-17 or 31-20, hummmmm lets see...........who had the more decisive game vs. Alabama? I think Utah did Kehoe.

UF has played your examples of top tier in the last few years, OU and OSU.

We kicked the crap out of BOTH of them.

You're not real sharp. But keep up your delusional assertion that UF isn't a top tier program. There is a commitment with the program that is as large as any in the nation. Enormous fan base, huge dollars rolling in, continual stadium additions, giant NATIONAL tv audience, top AD in the nation, top 5 coach nationwide, a NATIONAL recruiting base. But keep your head in the sand. Keep saying the above statements while every expert on college football in the nation talks about the "football machine" . And it's still building .

You left things out Kehoe:

Like your huge (state) dollars rolling in, giant NATIONAL tv audience (when you play the CANES in our down year no less), top AD in the nation (that's scared to play us), and we don't have our head's in the sand. We are looking for the Gators that have THEIR head's in the sand to play, and they are too chicken s**t to play us. It's not like you scheduled the games against OU and OSU, you just happened to play them in the bowl game you moron. Like I said, too scared to put a real matchup on your schedule. Top tier my a**!!

Floridaaaaaaaaaaaa...........come out and playyyyeeeeeeeee!!!


The "Warriors" of the "U"

We all know why the Gators are hiding. Until last year, the last time they beat the U was 1985. That was 2 years before Tebow was born. Tebow is the only reason UF has had their success. Enjoy your last year. Than we can watch him stink up the NFL like every other Florida or Urban Cryer prospect...

Even a broken clock is right twice a day... Or in UF's case, every other decade. See you in Miami in 2013 - unless you try to back out of that one too!

Sorry, I have to add this... As you can see, UF schedules top tier talent... YEAH RIGHT!!

Since 1988, the Gators have traveled for an out-of-conference game — other than to Tallahassee — just twice: to Syracuse in 1991, and to Miami in 2003.

2 out-of-conference game road games in 20 years. That's laughable!! AND they lost them BOTH!!

Floridaaaaaaaaaaaa...........come out and playyyyeeeeeeeee!!!


The "Warriors" of the "U" again.

What about that ole miss game lol


Posted by Keith Arnold on March 26, 2009, 4:37 p.m.

It’s a tough day for the top one percent of one percent.

After coach Urban Meyer addressed the status of defensive tackle Torrey Davis yesterday, hinting that the talented run-stoppers days in Gainesville might not be over, Davis was arrested yet again for violating his probation, after getting caught driving on his suspended drivers license.

Should change from Florida Gators to Florida Jailers. What a joke.

So, spring ball is almost over and we are gonna spend it talking about that team in Gainesville?

How much $$$ do you have to contribute to get to watch every practice? USC lets you watch for free!!!!

Find it interesting that these Ratlizzurd fans are always all over everything about Miami with their smack and BS. Why can't they ever act like they've "been there" before, and why are they always so interested in everything Miami if they're so much better than us?

I just don't get it? Are they afraid of something?

yes, they are.

Are there UM fans talking smack on any UF blog? NO and never! It shows you who is comfortable in their skin. Obviousely the Ratlizzurds like "curse of Kehoe" have to justify their existance on our blog... like some trailer trash who just won the lottery. Well, enjoy your swan-song year!

Jim Rome reported today that some big spender in Gayesville put Tebow's quote (something about working harder than anyone else.. blah blah) on a plaque outside their cesspool stadium!

These guys are calling Tebow "a prophet" and deifying him before he's even left the program. This sounds like a set-up for a great fall.. can't wait until the inevitable scandle breaks on the gator prophet. Now shut your d**mn yapper and post something on your gutternation blog!

Gator fans are like the little brother that finally won a video game contest against his older brother, and starts gloating and prancing around until older bro' puts him back in his place. The Florida AD and HC know that it's time for older bro'(Miami) to reclaim dominance in Florida and the nation. That's why they won't play us. They know that they will always be the little brother who has his moments in the sun from time to time.

I'm pretty open minded, but UF does schedule WEAK non-conference teams. UM has always been known to schedule tougher comp to prove they can beat them (Series with OU, ND, FSU)..and UM scheduled the OSU game a couple years ago when it seemed that OSU was a good team.....UF schedules 2008 (Hawaii, Citedal), 2007 (W. Kentucky, Troy, Florida Atlantic), 2006 (Southern MIss, UCF, Western Carolina)....man that's 3 games a year, so they just have to win 3 more to go to a bowl....that's WEAK!

Considering they can't beat Ole Miss. Maybe the cupcakes are tougher than we think. LOL.

I'd love to see the Canes play USC at a nutral field half way. Like the new Cowboy stadium in Texas. My bro is a HUGE Southern Cal fan and we've been wanting a game between the two for a long time.

It greatly pains cane fan to see Manny mention that the greatest RB in NFL history wore orange and BLUE.

Posted by: The Curse of Art Kehoe | March 26, 2009 at 02:17 PM

Let's see here, who coached up that retard when he was in the NFL????

Give up???


Kehoe, for a minute I thought you were coming on here to engage us in a rational debate! But alas, I guess your adderall wore off!

If and when you want to come on here and debate college football in a meaningful manner, just say so, I'll put down my sword!


Just kidding!!!


Go 'canes!

Hey!! Kehoe hasn't been back to explain why his sorry "program" doesn't want to play the U. He must have his fingers around Tebow's c**k again. Friggin Gayturd.

manny i love ur insight, what made me laugh was the eric moncur comment at the end> LMAO !!!!!!!!!! WE HAVE SUCH a hard first month every1 has 2 b ready out the gate

QA with Mike James from inside the U:

The best quote is at the end.

Does it feel easy out here?

“No, it is not easy at all. It is tough out there. It probably doesn’t look tough but it is tough.”

Was there a point when you started to feel more comfortable?

“Yeah, probably after the scrimmage at Traz Powell I felt more comfortable running the ball and then I just felt like I can do this.”

What areas are you trying to work on right now?

“Picking up the blitz package and things like that. Picking up the blitz has basically been the hardest thing.”

What are your thoughts on the scrimmage?

“I just want to go out there and run hard and show everyone what I got and show the world what I can do.”

What is the feedback the coaches are giving you that they want to see you do?

“They just want to make sure that I understand my assignments and that I am crisp with everything with do.”

Is this an opportunity with you now that Javarris might be out for the spring game?

“Yes, I hate to see my brother go down, but this is a big opportunity for me. I am still going to do the same things I would do though even if he was there which is just run hard.”

What has been the most suprising thing for you so far?

“That I have come out and made an impact so quick. I didn’t think I could do as good as I am doing. I thought I would do good, but not this fast. I am doing better than I thought I was going to do.”

What are your expectations for the season now?

“To make a difference on the football field whether they put me on kickoff or punt return. Wherever I can make a difference I will play.”

How comfortable are you with the passing game?

“I am very comfortable they used to flex me out in high school and I would catch the ball. I am real comfortable with the passing game. I love catching the ball. I feel like if I was a little taller I would be a receiver, but I am short so I am playing running back and I am just find with that.”

How has it been living in Miami for a couple months now?

“Oh I love it. I love the weather and I love the community. Everything is great and there is not a better place to be. If you are not in Miami then your life is going real bad right now (smiles).”

Good post Manny. MJ is a stud, and there are other incoming stars. I would be interested to know how they compare this team, players, coaches, preparation, etc. with prior teams,etc.

Emmitt Smith was obviously a great, hall-of-fame UF and NFL RB, but he played on pre-Spurrier teams that were not very good. UF had one great RB, while UM has produced MANY great RBs, WRs. TE, etc. on the SAME TEAM, and won 5 National championships in the process.

In all fairness to UF, they are not scared to play UM. This is simply a #'s game for their athletic department. If they regularly schedule UM, they are going to lose half of the games on average. They have decided that this is an unacceptable # of losses, so UM get's the shaft!

With that said, it's UF's fault that they are 1-7 over the last 25 years against UM. As history has proven, if they had scheduled us every year for the last 25 years, they might have won more games.

UF would drop FSU for the same reason if they could, but the state government has mandated that the two schools play every year.

Go 'canes!

Wait until Ray Ray and Lamar arrive...Ray Ray and Vaughn T at safety for four (OK maybe 3) years... Old School U ready to return.

dude kehoe doesnt really deserve any sort of rebuttal to his argument. he makes groundless claims that there's no way we'll be better next year when we already are. the team has already improved, and its viewable. and UF plays NOBODY. charleston southern, troy and florida international. are you kidding me? at least we always have that marquee game. that annoys me so much.

dude kehoe doesnt really deserve any sort of rebuttal to his argument.

Posted by: Nate | March 26, 2009 at 10:08 PM

I agree about rebutting Kehoe Nate, but do you really believe that "UF plays NOBODY"?

Our record speaks for itself, and so does UF's. UM is still the greatest football program in Florida State history, UF is reigning champ, with a lot of momentum.

We will get our's, they will get their's! That's what Kehoe doesn't understand! He is drunk with anger for our program. UF has always spent twice as much money on athletic's, and they have been playing football for almost 100 years, but UM has had double the success that UF has!

I mean c'mon, UF could not win their conference for 50 years! Meanwhile UM was creating the greatest program over the last 25!

Go 'canes!

It greatly pains cane fan to see Manny mention that the greatest RB in NFL history wore orange and BLUE. - Posted by: The Curse of Art Kehoe | March 26, 2009 at 02:17 PM

That would be a factual statement if you were talking about Walter Payton and his Bears jersey. I happen to believe the greatest running back in NFL history wore Orange & White in college...Mr. Sanders.
That being said, I'm looking forward to seeing how the current freshman have progressed in the off season, and how the incoming freshman are coming along. I hope Baby J & Coop both have the big year we've been waiting for, and strongly believe with the talent Miami has there is no reason they can't compete for the ACC title this year (and I don't mean the math game that was played at the end of last season). Go Canes!!

G hole is a typical gaytor. How about that awesome O-line in the game against the Canes ? Oh, and the running game? Yeah, looked great. Have your fun while you can Gaytors, because the next decade belongs to CaneNation! T-Bag for President!

Harvin is a receiver - Kee Hole, Te-blown is a tight end masked as a full back, ya jeyrk!

If UF doesnt play for the NC this year with this joke of a schedule, you might as well go to D-2. I mean it is a joke. The truth is the only tough game they are playing is against LSU.

dum-a$e$ like Ko-hoen brag about the SEC and blah blah blah. Notice how this has developed over the last 3 years. before that they were quiet little bee-octhes. Now U can't stop these mo-rons from posting garbage on a U blog. I mean for a program (UF) that is 1-7 against UM, 15-28 all time, and never plays anyone outside the garbage dump thatis Gainseville, they do talk a lot. Furthermore-- even after 2 NCs, 3 years of Te-blown UF still has overwhelmingly fewer players in the NFL!!!!

That last point, Ke-Clown, shows how even gimmick, "spread" goofy offenses can't be stooped- that is the reason Utah did so well a few yrs back, and this now. That is the reason the Cal state high school sports assn. OUTLAWED a "total" spread O that allows 11 eligible receivers! Because it is NOT football! THAT is why the g-turds dont do well putting players on sundays.

Calicane- I agree. Home and away series USC v UM, or yearly in a neutral field. Why not? We are doing it with OK! Next up- Texas!! Why not?

Lord knows the UF athletic program is tooafraid to play outside "redneck alley"!

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