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Why John Wall should pick Miami before going pro

In a little more than a year, John Wall will walk to a podium in New York City, shake NBA commissioner David Stern's hands and walk out a happy 20-year old millionaire. But until then, the 6-4, 175-pound point guard has a year he has to spend in college.

John Wall Next week, Wall -- this year's recruiting version of Derrick Rose -- is supposed to decide where he'll spend that year. Every big name in college basketball has taken their shot. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski got another Wednesday when Wall and his mother drove over to Durham from their home down the road in Raleigh. Sidney Lowe and N.C. State would love it if Wall decided to spend an extra year at home with his mom, while helping Lowe keep his job at least for one more year. Most, though, expect new Kentucky coach John Calipari to win the Wall sweepstakes. After all, look what he did for Rose, this year's NBA Rookie of the Year.

But before John Wall decided who will get those rented services, he'll be making a trip this weekend to visit a school that doesn't usually host NBA Lottery Picks. That would be your University of Miami and coach Frank Haith, who -- despite being told repeatedly by experts he has no chance at landing Wall -- has continued to chase after the future NBA star with a supreme man crush.

Like the rest of the one-hit wonders who have made their way from fab freshman to the NBA Lottery, Wall will probably end up going to Kentucky or Duke and making a run at a national title on a team loaded with talent. After all, that's what all the big stars have been doing (look up Carmello Anthony, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant). But if Wall really wanted to be different, really wanted to enjoy his one-year of college, he'd pick Miami. Where else is he going to get everything South Florida has to offer?

Do you think in Lexington or Durham he would be able to pick the brain of Dwyane Wade, or spend his off nights down at a nearby NBA arena like Jack McClinton did? Out in the Bluegrass or in the safe haven of Cameron, would he be able to celebrate a 50-point night the way he could in the hometown of Playboy Magazine's No. 1 party school in the country? No way. OK, so Duke and Kentucky may offer more tradition, a chance to follow in the footsteps of other greats and win a national title and really boring Saturday nights. But at UM, Wall could spend his 12 months in NBA purgatory being a king, being the first future NBA superstar to lead the Hurricanes places they've never been before, and to enjoy South Beach while he does it. Honestly, what is better than that?

> For what it's worth, not everyone believes Wall is headed to Kentucky or Duke. Tonight, I caught up with Dave Telep, Scout.com's National Recruiting Editor, who told me he no longer can put a finger on where he thinks Wall will end up.

"My gut feeling went out the door a long time ago," Telep said. "[Miami] definitely is not the favorite. But he hasn't visited yet. If you have what Miami has in terms of opportunity and environment and a guy like Haith, who is from North Carolina, grew up in the same environment Wall did, you have a lot to sell. It's a great idea to take a shot at the guy. Sometimes you have an advantage being the team no one expects."

> Even without Wall, Haith deserves kudos for inking one of the nation's Top 20 classes this season. ESPN ranks UM 16th in its rankings. Scout currently has UM 15th, but the Canes could move up or down depending on what happens according to Telep with a few top-tier recruits in the next week.

Wednesday, Antoine Allen -- the 6-2, 183-pound combo guard who played for the same Baltimore-based AAU program Jack McClinton did -- became the fourth high school senior to join UM's class when he received the necessary paperwork he needed to get into UM. Allen joins a class that features Scout.com five-star recruit Durand Scott, who played in the Jordan All-Star Game in New York this past weekend, and fellow Rivals.com Top 150 recruits Garrius Adams, a 6-5 guard from North Carolina, and 6-8 forward Donnovan Kirk. They'll be among the five new players on Haith's team next year, which will also add highly-touted point guard Malcolm Grant, who sat out the season after transferring in from Villanova.

Telep told me while it will be hard for UM to replace McClinton's offense, he sees this class as a nice foundation for the future, one that should help the Canes get back into the NCAA Tournament quicker than most expect.

"Nobody is taking Jack McClinton's place offensively," Telep said. "But Durand Scott is going to be one of the best defensive players in the ACC. He's better than advertised offensively. But he carved out his niche and forces his way onto the court because he's a very prideful player on defense. Over four years, he's going to be one of the best defensive players in the country. Much like the role Marcus Ginyard plays for North Carolina, Frank Haith has his Marcus Ginyard in Durand Scott."

"It's a balanced class. They've replaced some guys on the wing and add a Malcolm Grant, it's a good group of guys. They're all different. Garrius Adams has size and could be a good offensive player down the road. Antoine Allen is the junkyard dog in this class. Donnovan Kirk does a good job as a rebounder and a nice job scoring around the basket. It's a nice foundation for the future."

But it's a foundation that needs a cherry on top, a star to tie it all together. Even if that star is a one-year rental named John Wall, the Canes should do everything in their power to sell him on South Beach.

Comments

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First

Good write, Mr Navarro. Good Write...

Is Miami really bringing in that much talent next year? If this is true, next year could be fantastic. This year had no depth whatsoever.

Great class for basketball. Help inside and out. Team needs it. With Jack out of lineup, team looked awful. Had no flow to the games I could watch. Good job Frank. Da U.

HOUSTON (AP) -- University of Houston athletic director Dave Maggard is retiring after seven years at the school and 35 years in sports administration. ... the 69-year-old had his longest stint as an athletic director with 19 years at Cal, his alma mater. Maggard's other two years as an AD were at Miami. He left the Hurricanes to join the Atlanta Olympic Games ...

http://yaledailynews.com/blogs/crosscampus/2009/04/22/no-presidency-for-gingerella/
Two weeks ago, we noted that an administrator we had never heard of (David Gingerella, the senior director of business operations for science and technology) was seeking the presidency of a school we had never heard of (Florida International University in Miami).
-- yale daily news

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/11656845
For the first time in 15 years, Miami won't have a first-round draft choice. The streak has that Joe DiMaggio feel to it. Those who witnessed it may never see it matched.
-- dennis dodd

http://www.accsports.com/articles/200904215212/nfl-draft-will-again-carry-heavy-acc-flavor--part-i-of-iii-.php
From 1992-2004 (pre-expansion), the ACC produced 46 first-round draft picks, an average of about 3.5 per season. That 13-year total ranked well behind the SEC (70) and the Big Ten (70), and it also trailed the Pac-10 (60) and the Big East (50).

From 2005-08 (post-expansion), the ACC produced 30 first-round draft picks, an average of 7.5 per season. That four-year total ranked behind only the SEC (31), and well ahead of the Big Ten (22), Pac-10 (14), Big 12 (13) and Big East (five).
-- accsports.com

http://hurricanesports.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/042209aab.html
The University of Miami men's basketball team will play host to Minnesota in the 2009 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wed., Dec. 2, at the BankUnited Center. Time and ESPN network coverage is to be determined.
-- hurricanesports.com

Who needs Manny when you have Green. Thanks.

What are the 40 times? I heard everyone ran the other day, update someone?

you spelled anointed incorrectly.

Can John Wall play cover corner ?

We have some of the worst special teams in the country.

I completely agree about Wall...UM has a lot to offer the kid and it would be a good year for him. Of course, if you must spend a year in college against your will you might as well try for a run in the tournament and a national championship. That's the one thing we won't be able to sell, and it's the most important thing. I think Miami has it over those other schools in every other way, but the feel of your article, Manny, made it sound more like he should come to UM to have fun and hang around the pros instead of coming to play serious basketball, be part of the team, and accomplish something. If that's really his thinking, then coming here can only hurt him and us.

For all the haters and fake@ss fans who believe the sky is falling.....I think with the season we are abou to have, and JJ and Coop leaving, that he signs with THE U!

Booker T. Washington High School RB Eduardo Clements says he's talking regularly with Cane coaches Wesley McGriff and has also spoken with Randy Shannon.

"I talk two or three times a week with coach McGriff," Clements said. "He's a great coach, is very down to earth.

"Coach Shannon, I talk to him occasionally. He says I'm a big guy on their board as a running back and if he can get me and another running back for 2010 it'd be a great addition to the team."

For now Clements says he has Georgia as his top school.

"No. 2 is Miami and then Florida State," he says.

Why is Georgia at the top?

"Just their whole recruiting process and their offensive scheme and their running backs they have in the NFL," Clements says. "Miami's not far behind. Every team right now is neck and neck."

Of what he likes about UM, Clements says, "Guys that attended my high school go there, they tell me about how the school has great brothership and all the team is together. And the atmosphere of the games I went to were great. And the fans and the coaching staff are great."

Clements says he's in regular contact with former teammates and current Canes Brandon Harris and Davon Johnson.

"I call them my brothers," Clements said. "They keep my whole mindset and whole workout ethic better. When I was at Booker T. with them I used to work out with them.

"They will help me with my decision, and they told me to go to every visit and treat every school the same, to do what's best for me. They tell me how the team is and how the coaching staff is at Miami."

Clements lists 22 scholarship offers.

"It'll be a tough decision for me," he said. "I just have to make the best decision for me. I won't make that decision until Signing Day. That gives a lot of schools that haven't offered me a lot of time so I can decide what's best for me."

Clements has several other high profile teammates. Might they wind up at the same school together?

"As of right now all of us are thinking we have to do what's best for us, and two or three of us might go to the same school because that's how we feel about the program and we're doing what's best for us," he said.

Of what's most important to him in a college, Clements said, "Just education-wise and a good coach's bond with me. I want a coach that has a good bond with me that will keep my head right."

Rivals!

I like Clements but the other (unstated) issue is that Jakhari Gore will most likely be here next year too. That probably weighs on his decision.

John Wall wants NOTHING to do with UM.

Wall for kick returns.

Who needs Manny when you have Green. Thanks.

Posted by: DAU | April 22, 2009 at 09:28 PM

thank you for the kind words …

ONE-TWO PUNCH

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/college_hoops/story/678842.html

MOOT POINT?

Welcome back Manny! It was getting sad to see this blog dying. The fact that you're moving up to other things is good but it's pretty sad that the UM blog is getting less coverage these days than the UF blog at the Herald.

As for Wall, I know were dreaming but you're right on. The sun, the fun, the ladies, D-Wade & Others, and so much more...did I mention the ladies? Have your fun now, the NBA is a grind and you will still be a lottery pick a year from now.

http://www.huskerextra.com/articles/2009/04/21/mens_basketball/doc49ed3294841ee253799645.txt?orss=1

FALLBACK?

Hey manny these two new Coordinators Lovett and Whipple have impressive resumes. They are exactly what UM needs! I really think Coach Shannon made some ecxellent choices! Go canes!!

whipple has NFL aspirations and will be a one and OUT

Lovett has a head larger than Oklahoma. He'll never fix THAT defense.

BOTH SIDES of the ball will be learning new systems.

6-6

abominable special teams

No improvement in YEARS , 09 will be the same - UNRANKED


Miami is SUPER AWESOME for 18 year olds who have no money!!

manny- get on your game!

i am in finals and need my updates!!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/sports/ncaabasketball/21usc.html?_r=1&ref=sports&oref=slogin

John Wall = oj mayo?
in the same boat ...

OCEAN DRIVE

This is strength coach Andreu Swasey's time of year.

Once spring practice ends, the ball is in his court as far as making the Canes faster, stronger and more explosive. And that's what he's busy doing. To get a handle on what he's working with, Swasey recently held post-spring ball testing. And the results show this team has plenty of speed.

The results (note that among those that did not test for undisclosed reasons – Darryl Sharpton, Demarcus Van Dyke, Travis Benjamin, Dedrick Epps, Joel Figueroa and Richard Gordon):

40-YARD DASH

1 Sam Shields 4.20

2 Brandon McGee 4.23

3 Graig Cooper, 4.37

4T Tommy Streeter 4.40

4T Ryan Hill 4.40

6 Javarris James 4.41

7T Damien Berry 4.43 (he also ran 4.54 time)

7T Kendal Thompkins 4.43

7T LaRon Byrd 4.43

10T Ramon Buchanan 4.48

10T Leonard Hankerson 4.48

10T CJ Holton 4.48

10T Randy Phillips 4.48

Other notable times:

Joseph Nicolas 4.49

Chavez Grant 4.51

Mike James 4.52

Sean Spence 4.55

Thearon Collier, 4.58

Arthur Brown 4.64

Allen Bailey 4.65

Aldarius Johnson 4.67

Olivier Vernon 4.75

Adewale Ojomo 4.81

Marcus Forston 4.84

SHORT SHUTTLE

1 LaRon Byrd 3.98

2 Kendal Thompkins 4.04

3 Leonard Hankerson 4.06

4T Jared Campbell 4.07

4T Ryan Hill 4.07

4T Sam Shields 4.07

7T Ramon Buchanan 4.09

7T Brandon McGee 4.09

9 Sean Spence 4.10

10 Tervaris Johnson 4.11

Other notable times:

Chavez Grant 4.12

Aldarius Johnson 4.12

Joseph Nicolas 4.16

Marcus Robinson 4.17

Graig Cooper 4.18

Javarris James 4.19

Davon Johnson 4.20

Mike James 4.24

Olivier Vernon 4.28

Arthur Brown 4.31

VERTICAL

1T Randy Phillips 39.5 inches

1T Marcus Robinson 39.5

3T Allen Bailey 39

3T Ramon Buchanan 39

3T Graig Cooper 39

6T Daniel Adderley 38.5

6T Joseph Nicolas 38.5

8T Chavez Grant 37.5

8T Sam Shields 37.5

10T Leonard Hankerson 37

10T Colin McCarthy 37

Other notable results:

Damien Berry 36.5

LaRon Byrd 36.5

Javarris James 36

Tervaris Johnson 36

Adewale Ojomo 36

Mike James 35.5

Olivier Vernon 32

* TE Jimmy Graham's test results: The basketball player who appears as though he will be on the football field this fall ran a 4.63 40 time, had a 4.23 short shuttle and jumped 37 inches.

The team also did strength testing pre-spring. Here are those results:

BENCH PRESS

1 Harland Gunn 425

2 Allen Bailey 405

3T Marcus Foston 395

3T Joe Joseph 395

5T Eric Moncur 390

5T Micanor Regis 390

7T Orlando Franklin 375

7T Patrick Hill 375

9 AJ Trump 370

10 Mike James 350

Other notable results:

Damien Berry 345

John Calhoun 335

Arthur Brown 330

Randy Phillips 330

Dedrick Epps 315

Javarris James 315

Kylan Robinson 310

Ramon Buchanan 300

CJ Holton 300

Jared Campbell 295

Ryan Hill 295

Leonard Hankerson 295

Joseph Nicolas 285

SQUAT

1 Harland Gunn 600

2 Allen Bailey 565

3 Javarris James 545

4T Richard Gordon 535

4T Darryl Sharpton 535

6 Jeremy Lewis 515

7 Patrick Hill 505

8 AJ Trump 485

9 Joe Joseph 480

10 Kylan Robinson 465

Other notable results:

Damien Berry 455

Jason Fox 455

Adewale Ojomo 445

Steven Wesley 440

Arthur Brown 435

Graig Cooper 435

Sean Goldstein (walkon) 435

Mike James 435

Jared Campbell 425

Sean Spence 425

Chavez Grant 415

Joseph Nicolas 415

Ryan Hill 415

Ramon Buchanan 400

POWER CLEAN

1Allen Bailey 375

2 Eric Moncur 340

3T Harland Gunn 330

3T Micanor Regis 330

5 Ramon Buchanan 318

6T Jason Fox 308

6T CJ Holton 308

6T Randy Phillips 308

6T Matt Pipho 308

6T Javarris James 308

6T Olivier Vernon 308

6T Steven Wesley 308

Other notable results:

Damien Berry 301

Darryl Sharpton 301

John Calhoun 286

Richard Gordon 286

Leonard Hankerson 286

Ryan Hill 286

Joseph Nicolas 286

Mike James 279

Taylor Cook 274

Kylan Robinson 274

Sam Shields 274

Sean Spence 274

Jordan Futch 264

Patrick Hill 264

Swasey broke down the positions and what he sees at this early juncture:

QUARTERBACKS

Swasey says Jacory Harris' weight has increased substantially. He came in at 168 pounds and now he is 186 pounds.

Is that a good weight for Harris?

"Do we want him to continue to gain weight? That's an understatement," Swasey says. "We want to put muscle mass on right at the same time."

Harris also benched 225 pounds, power cleaned 230 pounds and squatted 325 pounds. He ran a 4.7 time in the 40 and had a 4.29-second short shuttle time. His vertical of 35.5 inches set a new record all-time for Cane quarterbacks. It broke Kenny Kelly's record of 35 inches set in 1999.

Taylor Cook's strength numbers were also impressive.

He had a 385 pound squat, a 274 power clean and a 4.65 time in the 40 and a 4.4 time in the short shuttle

His power clean was an all-time school record for quarterbacks.

Cannon Smith didn't run the 40 but had a 4.47 short shuttle time. He benched 215 pounds, cleaned 230 pounds and his squat was 340 pounds.

RUNNING BACKS

Freshman tailback Mike James has impressed Swasey.

"I've been very impressed with his numbers," Swasey said. "He's coming in with a great base at a 435 squat, 280 clean, 350 bench. And a 35.5 vertical. He's weighing 217. He's a good size for a young freshman coming in."

Of Graig Cooper and Javarris James, Swasey says, "I'm very excited about both of them increasing speed and Cooper being at a good weight. He's up from 190 to 200 pounds now. He's become more explosive and they're getting faster."

WIDE RECEIVERS

Of all the players on the team, perhaps LaRon Byrd made the biggest jump up from a year ago.

"He's a blue collar worker," Swasey said. "He came in and made the biggest jump I have seen in the 5-10-5 (aka the short shuttle) because he has an unbelievable work ethic.

Byrd's short shuttle went from a 4.17 last year to 3.98 this year, best on the team. He weighed in at 203 pounds last year and is now up to 214 pounds.

Strength-wise his squat went from 250 pounds last year to 320, his bench went from 225 to 260 and his power clean improved from 132 pounds to 230.

He verticalled 35 inches last year; now he's at 36.5 inches.

"He has to continue to get stronger," Swasey says.

Swasey also points to Tommy Streeter as a receiver he's particularly impressed with.

"He ran a 4.40 from 4.55 last year, so I'm excited about that," Swasey said.

TIGHT ENDS

Richard Gordon is usually a weight room freak, but he didn't test post-spring.

A player Swasey says impressed in post-spring testing is tight end Jimmy Graham, who is taking up football after playing basketball at UM.

"He has a great frame, great size," Swasey said. "He just got in here and you can see with his numbers he has great physical skills."

OFFENSIVE LINE

Swasey spoke about newcomers Jermaine Johnson and Brandon Washington.

Both were tested the day they arrived on campus in January, and both have already shown significant improvement in the weight room.

Johnson has gone from a 275 squat to 305; from a 315 bench to 355 and from a 152 power clean to 196. Washington has remained at a 400 bench and has improved his squat from 315 to 365 and his power clean fro 176 to 242.

"Brandon weighed 351 pounds when he arrived; now he's at 335," Swasey says. "Johnson was 302 when he arrived and he's still 302 pounds."

A returning player that has Swasey expecially excited?

"I'm really excited about Orlando (Franklin)," Swasey said. "Last year he was at 345 pounds; now he's at 328. He feels more comfortable at that weight. And Jason Fox gained weight - he's at 310; last year he was around 295 pounds."

DEFENSIVE LINE

Allen Bailey is currently tipping the scales at 290 pounds, Swasey says.

And he spoke about newcomer Curtis Porter, who has made big strides.

"Coming in Porter weighed 337 pounds - now he has dropped to 314 pounds," Swasey said. "Porter squatted 365 and benched 315 when he came in and cleaned196; now he's a 274 power clean, 335 bench, 405 squat."

LINEBACKERS

Sean Spence has put on a lot of weight since arriving at Miami as a 193-pounder. Swasey says he currently weighs 214 pounds.

Swasey also says Colin McCarthy is back in the weight room off a shoulder injury.

How long before he's back at 100 percent strength?

"Right now we're just trying to keep him healthy," Swasey says. "I'm not worried about his maximum strength numbers at this point. What we're doing is making him more functional and injury-free."

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Brandon McGee matched Travis Benjamin as the fastest freshmen Swasey says he's seen in his time at UM.

"Both of them have track backgrounds, came in running 10.3 in the 100," Swasey says.

Swasey says of this position that "Coach (Randy) Shannon has created more depth at DB by putting Sam Shields at corner and making them faster and more versatile as a group, and taking Ryan Hill and moving him to DB also. That has helped with depth across the board, and that's the whole philosophy. We're trying to create depth in all facets of the program."

* Swasey's overall thoughts on this team's progress in the weight room?

"I'm overly pleased with the development," he says. "They have a commitment to work together, pay attention to details. I'm excited about the progress. It's a four-year plan (for each player). We had freshmen last year, and to see the progress and them developing is the goal."

For those that want to compare this year's numbers/players to last year, here are links to the weight room results from 2008:

LAST YEAR'S POST-SPRING NUMBERS

LAST YEAR'S STRENGTH NUMBERS

LAST YEAR'S FRESHMEN NUMBERS

Just read it on Rivals JR, nice numbers and this is before summer work outs......o and for all you DUMB@SSES who were in here talking about getting rid of Sweasey...not comment....but check this our real quick,

Highlight:
4.5 or faster
2008: 3 guys (Shields**, DVD**, Hill)
2009: 14 guys (Shields**, MeGee*, **, Cooper**, Streeter**, Hill**, James, Berry, Thompkins, Byrd, Buchanon, Hankerson, Holton, Phillips, Nicols)
* True Freshman
** 4.4 or faster
-DVD nor Benjimen ran, so you can mark that as 16 guys (Got SPEED?).......the haters are gona find something negative to say, excuse me if I don't reply.....

14 guys under 4.5 in the 40?????

Those are in house numbers with a lazy stop finger. PLEASE !


a combination of speed and strength translates to wins on the field - keep getting faster and quicker and we will be back in 2011...

Is the information posted here correct? Did I just read that Sean Spence, Allen Bailey and Arthur Brown are faster than Aldarius Jonhson?

Georgia: Loses Moreno AND Stafford at the same time, which will cripple an offense that attempted to carry a weaker than usual Bulldog defense in '08. They gave up 30 or more points 4 times, including 45 POINTS to an ACC team in GT, one of the least respected major conferences in all of college football.

http://duke.rivals.com/barrier_noentry.asp?ReturnTo=&sid=&script=content.asp&cid=938848&fid=&tid=&mid=&rid=

I'm leaving Friday to go to Miami, and I may be back Saturday night. I won't take anymore visits to any of the schools once I get back. I'm just going to use that time to look over everything and get ready to make my decision. Hopefully I can make it soon ... I think I know where I want to go. I'm getting pretty close, but I need to look at things and make sure I make the right decision.
-- John Wall (4/22)

Sure Wall will want to check out some clubs on SoBe. Beyond that U aint got a SHOT !

Keep dreaming

PG John Wall
SG Malcolm Grant/James Dews/Durand Scott
SF DeQuan Jones
F Adrian Thomas
F Dwayne Collins

SWEET DREAMS

dreams is right

2nd tier basketball school

U want a 1st tier school?

Six Gators are in the NBA playoffs — Udonis Haslem, Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Marreese Speights, Anthony Roberson and Matt Bonner.

No Ambien needed

Reality,

Wow 6 gaytors are in the playoffs.. if ur proud of that then it must be really really tough to watch football on sundays... Sucks to be U

oh and all of those players U mentioned are trash

2 hours & tire tread wear separate landlocked hogtown from the nearest beach …

HARSH REALITY

Tire wear !

Great reply nimrod.

Again, DREAM ON. Wall won't TOUCH UM

All six Gaytors in the NBA playoffs suck... and all of the Gaytor NFL players suck... so what's your point moron...you win games in college with gimmicky plays but you don't produce top quality pro players... T-bag will be the next in the long line of mediocre professionals coming out of your country school located in Redneck heaven.

Tire wear !

Great reply

Posted by: gaturd agent provocateur | April 23, 2009 at 05:04 PM

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3298/3177121852_859f2ca14e.jpg?v=0
I know : )
have a blast in your makeshift pool ...

DIVER DOWN


President Obama meets with the Florida Gators

President Barack Obama met with the University of Florida football team for about 10 minutes today (3:50-4 p.m.) in the East Room of the White House. Here's a transcript of the meeting, according to the Office of the Press Secretary ...

THE PRESIDENT: All right. Well, this is not The Swamp that you're used to, but D.C. is built on a swamp, so welcome to Washington, D.C., and welcome back to the White House. I know at least that the -- some of the upperclassmen have been here before. Congratulations on the national champions -- being the national champions for the second time in three years. That's outstanding. And they deserve a big round of applause, so give them a -- (applause.)

I want to congratulate everybody who makes this program run -- from the assistants to the trainers, from the students to the ticket takers, all of you should be very, very proud. And I should mention, by the way, there are a whole bunch of members of Congress who are here from Florida who are very proud. And so -- and they brag about you in Congress all the time.

I want to thank Coach Urban Meyer, his wife Shelley, and their family for being here. I was just mentioning, as we were walking down, there's something about Coach Meyer's teams, they just have a lot of heart. And that's a reflection of coaching values that talk about character and integrity, and not just winning. And so we are very appreciative of the work that you've done, Coach. That's also why it's so easy to tell that these guys have operated like one big family. And that comes across on and off the field.

I do have to give a special shout-out to Marcus Gilbert. Where's Marcus? (Laughter.) There he is. Marcus, I've got a soft spot for this guy, because his dad, Jeff, was the first Secret Service agent on my detail, almost two years ago. He was with me for most of the campaign; he is a great friend of mine -- and there he is back there. So that's Marcus's pop right here. We always tried to figure out how Marcus got so big -- (laughter) -- because Jeff is not that big and his wife is even smaller.

People forget now, but this team was not ranked number one until the end of the season. That's perseverance. And that's thanks to the tone the Coach sets. He trains these guys for "competitive excellence," as he calls it, on and off the field. And in sports, as in life, your number may be called just once -- oh, who's phone is that? (Laughter.) Is that one of the player's phones? 'Fess up. (Laughter.) All right. Coach is going to talk to you after -- (laughter) -- about not turning off your phone.

In sports as in life -- I was going to say your number may just be called once, but I didn't mean it literally. (Laughter.) And Coach makes sure that you're -- they're ready when that happens.

I understand that a lot of times reporters ask Coach Meyer, what did you say to the team at halftime? But what I've heard is he doesn't usually have to say too much because the leaders of this team step up and say what needs to be said. So there are guys like Percy and Brandon and Louis Murphy, and -- I understand there are a couple of comedians here, the 300-pound Pouncey Twins. Where are they? (Laughter.) Right there? (Laughter.) All right.

And then of course there's -- there's the quarterback -- where's Tebow at?

MR. TEBOW: Right here.

THE PRESIDENT: There he is, over there -- Heisman Trophy winner. That's what I'm talking about. (Laughter.) Everybody is going to get a handshake afterwards, just relax. (Laughter.) Tim is an inspiration to so many -- a guy whose true strength comes not from the gym, but from his faith. He says he puts faith, family, and academics above football. And that's incredible when you think about what he's done on the field: first sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy, in a season in which he personally scored more touchdowns than 87 entire teams in Division I-A football.

I remember watching the upset when you guys lost to Ole Miss. I was actually doing a debate in Ole Miss right before the game and I remember Tim apologizing -- watching him on TV apologizing to Gators fans and laying down a challenge to himself, making an commitment, a promise that in fact they were going to push as hard as he -- they could and he was going to personally take it upon himself to make sure that you never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.

You know, that's the kind of leadership that you want to see from all our young people -- taking responsibility, challenging yourself and others, rising to the moment. You didn't promise that the Gators would win every game the rest of the way, but it's a testament to his leadership that they did because he said we'll always play hard.

Now, he'll be the first to tell you he didn't do any of this alone. Everybody stepped up. So there are guys like wide receiver David Nelson -- where's David? There we go -- (laughter) -- who went into Coach Meyer's office after Tim's promise and said he wouldn't do -- he would do anything for this team, then upped his play all year, ended up catching the clinching touchdown.

What Coach Meyer and all of these guys also understand is being a champion doesn't stop when you leave the field. They've committed themselves to 400 hours each year in service to others, mentoring at-risk youth, showing them that -- those youth that if they put their hearts into it, they, too, can succeed. They play with children in pediatric units, help kids learn to read, promote fitness and physical activity, and so much more.

And all of this makes the Gainesville community that much stronger, and makes Florida that much stronger, it makes our country stronger. And I know that the guys behind me get a lot of it -- a lot out of it in return.

Now, last point I would make. I don't want to stir up controversy. You guys are the national champions -- I'm not backing off the fact we need a playoff system. But I have every confidence that you guys could have beat anybody else. And so we'll see how that plays itself out.

I noticed they got all quiet after that. (Laughter.) But you know, I'm one of those politicians -- I don't just tell you what you want to hear, I tell you what you need to hear. (Laughter.)

I know final exams start this weekend, so I don't want to keep you any longer. You guys are going to have to hit the books. But I just want to say good luck to those who are going to be back next year, to those of you who are moving on the wider stage. Congratulations to all of you for a national championship that I know that you are extremely proud of. And I look forward to continuing to enjoy watching all of you next fall.

So thank you very much, everybody. Give it up for the Gators. (Applause.)

-the end-

SO MUCH BETTER THAN A NUT BOWL AWARD CEREMONY

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_symptoms_of_an_incomplete_abortion_after_taking_the_pill_cytotec
once-beaten texas, usc & unbeaten utah deserve claim to the mythical title just as much as the grimy gaturd …

ABORTUS INCOMPLETUS

You left out one part of Obama's quote about Tebow:

"a guy whose true strength comes not from the gym, but from his faith...and from substances that make his melon head look like the size of a small asteroid"

HA. John Wall to UM? That's funny! Manny, what do you know about Durham or Lexington? Seriously? You wonder why John Wall will not go to UM?...Just look at all the comments people are making about your article.....they're talking about football! There's your answer. You talk about boring Saturday nights in Lexington or Durham. On those nights you don't have to play second fiddle to the football team at Duke and UK. Try being a basketball player at UK or Duke and you can have all the Saturday night you want!

Please post your "Legends Of The Fall" picks over at:

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2009/04/legends-of-the-fall-2009.html

I have been playing nice because I had invited the UM athletic department and ticket office to snoop around here. I even offered FREE advertising, but they will not even return my emails.

Posted by: 86Cane | April 13, 2008 at 02:52 PM

The University of Miami wants nothing to do with tom thumb popadak aka 86Cane & his ill-gotten blog …
documented liar, thief, plagiarist, parasite, megalomaniac, libeler, creep ...

PERSONA NON GRATA

JR Reed, thanks for the post. I am now even more excited about UM's prospects for this upcoming season. As pointed out by "DaUinHouston," UM has 16 players running 4.5 or better in comparison to only 3 last year (and there are perhaps 3 more freshmen that might run that fast too - Miller, Reid and Kent). This is clear improvement. Congratulations Swasey! It appears that Shields may have set a UM record for the 40 yard dash. If he can duplicate (or come close to) that 40 time at the NFL combine, he will get drafted.

I was concerned about so many low 40 times when I read JR's post, but when I compared Manny's Jan. 16th article to the numbers posted by former Canes like Phillip Buchanon (4.27 at the combine), I realized that Swasey's stop watch is fairly accurate. From the Jan. 16th article, Bruce Johnson did not fun a 4.5 last year, but ran a 4.49 at the NFL combine and a 4.40 on UM's pro day. I think Swasey's stop watch is pretty close to accurate.

I don't think many college teams have numbers like this, including UF (who Meyer calls the "fastest" team in America), Okla and Tex, and these numbers are comparable to the UM championship years quoted in Manny's earlier article about Swasey.

I feel real good about the possibilities for the upcoming season because these players proved last year that they have the skills, mow they have more strength and speed to go along with it (and the summer and fall camp has not even started).

Also, if these players continue to improve, I think UM will be starting another streak of NFL first-round draft picks real soon.


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