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Hester ready to break out at receiver for Bears

The one thing the University of Miami has been able to hold onto even through the tough times in the mid 1990s and the more recent mediocre run are the faces that shine on Sundays in the NFL.

In the 1980s and 1990s it wasn't hard to spot The U. If it wasn't Vinny Testaverde under center or Michael Irvin hauling in passes for the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, it was linebackers like Micheal Barrow or defensive lineman like Warren Sapp who would pop up on SportsCenter. This decade, its been players like the Ravens Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, tight end Jeremy Shockey and the great Edgerrin James who have carried the torch.

Devin Hester is entering his fourth season in the NFL with the Bears and expects to be one of the game's best receivers But as those players reach the latter stages of their pro careers, its becoming a little harder to figure out who will be ready to carry the Canes NFL image strong into the next decade. 

Several former Canes greats are entering transition points in their careers. Willis McGahee, who ran for the fewest yards in his career last season (631), is in a crowded Baltimore backfield. Kellen Winslow is starting fresh with Tampa Bay. Of course, there still is Clinton Portis, who will always draw cameras with his profound characters. But he's entering his eighth season. There is Andre Johnson, who is arguably the most physical and talented receiver in the game. But AJ isn't a guy loves the spotlight beyond Sundays.

So who can hande the glitz and glamour beyond 2010? Right now nobody might be able to carry it better for the Canes than Devin Hester. Remember him? The guy who UM coaches couldn't figure out how to use, but who broke the NFL record for kick returns with the Bears and opened Super Bowl XLI by taking one back on the Colts? He's about to blow up some more. When ESPN televises the ESPY's Sunday, Under Armour will unveil another 30-second commercial that shows us a day in the life through Hester's eyes.

It's obviously meant to help Under Armour sell its brand name. But Randy Shannon and the Canes should be happy because its going to help sell The U too (have you seen how many kids are wearing Under-Armour these days?) At the very least, commercials with former Hurricane stars can help combat some of the stuff that's been happening lately (like the Gators winning two national championships in three years, the Canes first round draft streak ending and that whole 12-13 run).

Devin Hester was an excellent return man with UM, but couldn't really find a home at one position. Anyway, I caught up with Hester for about 10 minutes over the phone Wednesday after I flew back in from the All-Star Game in St. Louis. It's the first time I had spoken to him since his rookie season at the Super Bowl. Hester, who was out in L.A. for the ESPYs, is now 26, engaged and expecting to become a father for the first time soon. And, on the football field, he feels he's ready to become much more than just an electrifying return man. With the new Bears quarterback Jay Cutler at the helm, Hester believes he could become the game's most explosive deep threat.

"I'm definitely very excited about this season," said Hester, who caught 51 passes for 665 yards and three scores in his third NFL season. "I'm really understanding the offensive side of the ball now and I'm expecting to have a lot of success. My biggest obstacle was that I really hadn't played receiver at all before. I played there just twice when I was at The U. With a guy like Jay Cutler throwing the ball, I feel like I'm going to be even better."

Here's what else we talked about.

Q: This obviously isn't your first commercial. Everyone remembers the Madden commercial from last year. In this one, you get to hang out with your friend Deion Sanders. How is this one different and how has your life been different since you showed the world what you can do with that return in the Super Bowl?

A: "This commercial is really more about me and what I do, every day life. I had a lot of fun doing it, especially with Prime. My life has definitely changed, though. I can't go into a place anymore without somebody noticing me and having to sign autographs. It's been good though. It's a humbling experience."

Q: You know The U has been struggling lately. Have you been hearing it more in the locker room from other NFL guys? And what do you and [Bears teammate] Greg Olsen usually tell people when they mess with the Canes?

"We've definitely been hearing it -- especially from those Gators. I just tell them the same thing. We got this. Our guys are young, freshmen, sophomore, but they're good. Real good. Things are going to change soon and they better be careful what they say. I'm definitely ready to do some talking of my own."

Q: Have you been to The U recently and spoken with any of the freshmen receivers? There's a young guy there now, Travis Benjamin, who is from Palm Beach County and has that same blazing speed -- even the same hair style -- you have. Talk to him?

"I haven't had a chance yet. But I definitely want to. I've heard a lot about him. I'll be down there to see [Andreu] Swasey and those guys before the season, I hope to catch up with him then."

Q: Some of the older former Canes -- Ray Lewis, Edge -- are nearing the end of their careers. Do you feel like you have to carry the torch on Sundays at all for the Canes going forward?

"There a lot of Canes still doing their thing. Great players all around the league. I just want to be able to do what I can. People are watching you all the time, so you have to do the right things. If I can be someone to look up to, an example for the Canes, then I'll do it. We're still The U. We'll be back."

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"Were still The U. We'll be back"

Always baby!!!

Wow it's nice to hear from Hester - I really hope he follow through and gets down these before the season starts!

ahhhhhhhhhhhh C-A-N-E-S CANES!

Hey Manny,

How about Carl Crawford the other night! MVP!! Go Ray's!

Welcome home!

Go 'canes!

Thanks for the update Manny.

Great to hear from one of our best CANES alumns...Looking forward to see him follow up with his visit to the U to inspire some of the younger kids.

The NFL CANES need to keep up the tradition of mentoring the college kids. This is indispensible...

Hey Manny Great job!!!!!! And of course he's going to continue to do his thing like us canes always say.."IT'S A CANES THING" GO CANES 4EVER!!!!!GAYTORS CATCH UP TO OUR GREATNESS IN THE NFL THEN WE CANT TALK SPORTS NO CATCH UP TO HOW MUCH FIRST ROUNDERS WE HAVE NO CATCH UP TO THE CONSECUTIVE GAMES WE WON NO CATCH UP TO HOW MUCH RINGS WE HAVE THEN WE CAN TALK SPORTS MATTER FACT DO ALL THEN WE CAN TALK SPORTS WITH YOU GAYTORS AND MATTER AFFACT ALSO TELL THE DIRECTOR TO SCHEDULE A GAME WITH US.I GUESS SUMBODY SEE THE TALENT THAT IS STARTING BACK TO COME TO MIAMI!!!!!!!!GO CANES!!!!!!!!

what gator was talking trash to you and olsen, anytime?

rex Grossman? memba what we did to him?

Buh bye turds, it will be ovah after 2010. In fact, If the turds don't win the NC with as easy as sch as they have, it will be worse than our 7-6 last year!

Devin Hester is the perfect example of why Larry Coker sucked. Rather than picking a position for him based on an evaluation of his talents, he basically asked him which position he wanted to play, and then when he changed his mind, he allowed him to switch from receiver to corner, even though we had lots of DB's and no receivers. I hate to keep living in the past, because I, like everyone else on this blog, think the tide has turned and we're coming back in, but I hate to see Hester taking years in the NFL to learn a new position basically because his college coach didn't force him to do it when at the U. Maybe things would have turned out a bit different for Berlin or Wright had he actually been playing receiver those years.

Sorry for the rant. On to this year, when we start steamrolling the ACC.

Go Canes.

Part of carrying the torch means you stay in touch with the school and the players. That is a tradition down here and it's Hester's responsability to follow suit.

That said, I don't see him being able to provide his number, Aldarius Johnson, with many receiving tips. I agree with Chicago Canes rant above.

t

Ahhhhhh, the rich just keep getting richer ...
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Tebow, Debose take home ESPY awards


Quarterback Tim Tebow and incoming freshman wide receiver Andre Debose each took home an ESPY Award on Wednesday night at the NOKIA Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Tebow was named Best Male College Athlete, while Debose was recognized for the Under Armour All-America moment.

Tebow edged out Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, football), Matt Gilroy (Boston University, hockey), Blake Griffin (Oklahoma, basketball) and Stephen Strasburg (San Diego State, baseball) to become the only two-time winner of the Best Male College Athlete award, as he also received the recognition in 2008.

“It truly is an honor to even be invited to an event like the ESPYs and be able to be in the same room with many athletes that I have the utmost respect for,” said Tebow. “And then to be named the Best Male College Athlete, which was decided by the fans makes this night even more memorable. I want to thank my teammates and coaches, but a special thank you goes out to the entire Gator Nation, the best fans in the country.”

Tebow is the second Florida football player to take home an ESPY as former UF quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel was chosen as the Best Male College Football Player in 1997. The Jacksonville native earned the award after leading Florida to its second national championship in three years and the third in school history. He set a school record with 43 career rushing touchdowns and also set a school record with 203 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.

Debose was nominated alongside incoming LSU freshman quarterback Russell Shepard for the Under Armour All-America Moment. The duo hooked up for a 92-yard touchdown pass in the Under Armour All-American game. Other nominees in this category were Jake Bernhardt (lacrosse), Tara Glover (softball), David Renfroe (baseball) and Hannah Werth (volleyball).

The ESPY Awards will air on ESPN on Sunday, July 19 at 9 p.


Yo , Jacory , don't U have some more phone calls to make ?

WELL I HERD TEBOW GOES AROUND THE WORLD AND THINGS LIKE THAT I GUESS TEBOW'S NEXT TRIP WILL BE GIVEN HIS JAIL-MATE FRIENDS A VISIT WHILE HE'S THEIR TELLEM I SAID HI TELLEM JIMMY SAY HEY TELLEM MANNY SAY HI TELLM THE HOOOLE CANESNATIONS SAYS HEEEEEEY!!!GUESS THOSE GUYS HAVE TO SEE THE RINGS THREW EMAIL.......JERK U SOUND LIKE THE GUY THAT DOES ALL TEBOW'S DIRTY WORK.US HERE KAN GIVE 3GAYTURDS SO GET YOUR RECENTLY INFORMATION AND SULVE IT UP UR GAYTURD PIPEHOLE.PEOPLE WHO JUS START TO WIN GET BIG HEADED....LET THE GAYTURDS TELL IT.....

ESPYs??? ha ha ha ha ha . That is the equivalent of the RAzzzies. Who the FFFFFFFFF cares!!!!

Newsflash: Graham Harrell, who by the way O-W-N-S Teblow in QB stats in college, was REJECTED by the NFL, and now found a job in the CFL. Buh Bye Melon head, Hope Canada has enough young boys that you can go circumcise! because that is were a gimmicky QB from a gimmicky football program, with a slimeball head coach will end up! See ya!


WELL I HERD TEBOW GOES AROUND THE WORLD AND THINGS LIKE THAT I GUESS TEBOW'S NEXT TRIP WILL BE GIVEN HIS JAIL-MATE FRIENDS A VISIT WHILE HE'S THEIR TELLEM I SAID HI TELLEM JIMMY SAY HEY TELLEM MANNY SAY HI TELLM THE HOOOLE CANESNATIONS SAYS HEEEEEEY!!!GUESS THOSE GUYS HAVE TO SEE THE RINGS THREW EMAIL.......JERK U SOUND LIKE THE GUY THAT DOES ALL TEBOW'S DIRTY WORK.US HERE KAN GIVE 3GAYTURDS SO GET YOUR RECENTLY INFORMATION AND SULVE IT UP UR GAYTURD PIPEHOLE.PEOPLE WHO JUS START TO WIN GET BIG HEADED....LET THE GAYTURDS TELL IT.....

Posted by: big canes fan | July 16, 2009 at 06:13 PM

Wow , a mind is a terrible thing to waste Big Idiot Cane Fan ... It's way to late for U ... Duuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Posted by: big canes fan

As in Ur fat butt takes up two seats at Florida 'Ship Field @ Land Shark Stadium ?

Well, get 10,000 more like U and U just might top 50,000 for a home game ...


There is no future anywhere for a racist like you in this world.

THANKS FOR THE GAYTOR PLEASURE DUDE LIKE THE GUY ON THE RAYRAY BLOG SAYS GRAB A TICKET AND GET IN LINE!!!!! THE ONLY TIME I SAY GO GATORS IS WEN UR ON OUR D'SSSSSSS!!!!! NOW CHOCK ON DAT!!!!!!SAY BYE BYE TO TEBOW AFTER THIS SEASON CANE PLEASER!!!!I HERD WHEN TEBOW ANNOUNCED HE WAS STAYING ANOTHER YEAR THE GUYTURDS GUY FANS WHERE IN BIKINIS THAT SAID YAY TEBOW!!!!!!!

I've never seen any male fans from any college any time before, wear signs and hold up signs like" I have a Man crush on Tebow"
Not in Texas, Not in Oklahoma, Not in nebraska, Notre dame, Pitt, FSU, or Miami. Only the loame-os from G-ville do that. Saw it lastyear, and the year before. its sad. Its expected.

Lamest fans for the lamest school in the country

Manny...thanks for dropping by earlier today. Hester was a special talent. Benjamin on punts or Miller on kick returns may be the ssme. Time will tell...

Thanks for the love over on Canespace Manny. You have any guest blog spots open for the fall? I'm always down. Get at me. You have the email addy.

Any former Gaytors win an ESPY for their play in the NFL???? I did not think so Gaytor boy! Go blow up your Teabow doll and leave your sister alone Jethro!!! Gaytors will be irrelevant soon, and you know you should not have been playing for the NC last year after losing in that dirty water swamp to Ole Miss...

when is it canes time?

Anytime!

For me, I'd rather see Hester run back KOS and punts.

It's funny a gator says telemarkter and awards considering we put the most people in the NFL...

Ahh the good ole days....
How many did U put in the NFL in 08?????

09 won't be any better.

Pro day at UM is NOTHING now.

Everything has caught up to U.

U start 0-4

No no no...how many players do the Gators have in the league now compared to the Canes. How many pro bowlers do you have compared to the Canes. F the awards it's all about the league, ane we draw way more of an appeal to high athletes because of that than you.

Yes, in Randy we Trust, but you do know it's going to be a serious drop off for the gators after this season, hopefully you'll make it back here when it happens, lol

The U put 4 players in the NFL this year. The gators? 6? After 2 NCS? LOL, ROTFL, LMAO, SMPLOL

Proof is:
- UF has a Disney World offense
- UF players are great college players.
- UF players s-k in the NFL. One exception. U know who that is. Not Danny Wuerffel.
- Despite 4 NCS in the last 6 years, UM has more players in the NFL than Both UF and LSU.
- WHo has had more Probowlers? Don't make me laugh
- Who has had the highest TV ratings? LOL.
- UM may start 0-4 because they pay anyone...anytime. U-F(ear) playing ANYBODY.
- Yeah ok, college football has caught up to the U, I give U that. Nothing lasts forever, just like UF will be the laughing stock of florida and return to their rightful place, as the redneck stepchildren of Florida football.

Is this headline from today, or is this a review of the Peach Bowl against LSU? Ol' Larry was going to use Hester just like Reggie Bush! One of our many, many mistakes.

Let's hear the next profile: X came in as a highly touted recruit, but failed to meet expectations. He hopes to get scrub time on special teams and graduate with a degree in criminal justice.

Here's option B: #16 Joe True Freshman. Joe came in as a highly regarded recruit. He's yet to see any playing time, but has special talent. Since everyone at his position sucks look for this playmaker to see the field early and often (that sport cliche must be used in all blogs BTW). Ranking a true frosh who's never seen the field at 16 might seem like a stretch, but did you see the plan over the last 3 seasons? 'Nuff said!

Profile: ponce is a moron
`Nuff said!!!!!!!

Are all Gator Fans imbred losers? I never understood why you would want to go on another teams board...

Canadian Cane Fan - is that a rhetorical question? Of course all Gaytor fans are inbreded losers, how else can you account for their stupidity?

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