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Top 60 Countdown: No. 17, WR Travis Benjamin

We've given you the final 43 in our countdown of the Top 60 players at the University of Miami. Now, as we inch closer to the start of camp a week from this Saturday, it's time to get to the elite guys, the game breakers, the bad boys. We start with No. 17 on our list: Sophomore receiver Travis Benjamin. Can The Blur rekindle the spark that made him so special at the start of last season? Or will he fade behind some of the emerging talents at receiver?

Travis Benjamin > What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: As an upperclassmen at Glades Central, Benjamin helped the Raiders win a state title as a junior and finish 11-2 as a senior. He caught a combined 63 passes for 1,149 yards and 15 touchdowns his final two years. The cousin of former Canes safety Alphonso Marshall, he chose the Canes over USF, Florida, LSU and Auburn. Rivals.com tabbed him the 42nd best receiver in the country. Scout.com had him 104th at his position. ESPN rated him the highest -- 21st at his position and 144th overall. When he arrived at UM, he was 5-10, 155 pounds.

> What he's done as a Cane: Benjamin made the biggest splash of any freshmen last season, using his speed (4.23 in the 40) to catch the attention of coach Randy Shannon in fall practice. He finished the season leading the team in punt return yards and kick return yards, finished second in all-purpose yards (968) and touchdowns (4). He started five games at receiver and finished fifth on the team with 18 catches for 293 yards and three touchdowns. But an ankle injury midseason slowed his progress and he missed the spring game with a knee injury.

> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: There's no doubt Benjamin has special playmaking abilities. Last year's FSU game is the only one you need to watch to see why. He hauled in a 51-yard pass, scored on a 18-yard reverse and had a career-long 57-yard return on a kickoff. The question is will we see this again from Benjamin? Since he tweaked his ankle, he wasn't the same player. This spring, as a few other newcomers thrived -- Kendall Thompkins and Tommy Streeter -- Benjamin disappeared even further down the receiver depth chart. The question is now where does he fit in? Chances are Aldarius Johnson and LaRon Byrd are No. 1 and 2 on the list. After that, Benjamin, Thearon Collier, Streeter, Thompkins and Leonard Hankerson are probably competing for the next few spots. Odds are Benjamin will make it if he's fully healthy. And if he doesn't play a lot of receiver, he will at the very least remain in the mix on kickoff and punt returns. His speed is too valuable a weapon for Miami coaches not to use.

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Speed kills.

This type of speed will find it's way onto the field, as long as he's healthy, one way or the other. Get him out there on KRs, PRs, trick plays, etc. even if he's not in the regular rotation.

I say, you can't be too rich, too thin, or too FAST. With our embarassment of riches at the WR position watch anybody in WR corps that's not 100% get the triggered pull pretty quickly on a medical redshirt.

And, no, I didn't say "first"

...need anothere double cafecito, meant to say: "get the trigger pullled..."...geez

Just give us a repeat performance vs. FSU and I’ll be very happy!

Yeah, repeat the performance vs. FSU last year, because it wasn't enough. Noles will win again on 9/7.

The next tedd ginn and hester.......and (alphonso #25)played corner!!

You rated Benjamin too high. He regressed as a kick returner last year and his receiving skills aren't on par with Byrd, Collier, and Thompkins.

Benjamin is fast as hell, no doubt, but will he be in the starting 5 WR's?

FSU:

Does last year count as one of those voided wins?

He regressed becuz he got injured

Benjamin was the most exciting player Miami had last year. He actually performed in games unlike the other guys. He needs to be in the game. He has the potential to go all the way on any play. What other player on the roster can do that?

Hey, "FSUwillbeatU"

Sorry to say 9/7 will be a bad day for the Noles. How about this, though, you guys recover after a close loss on 9/7 and then PLEASE, for the love of all that's good, stomp down on the Gators later in the year. Could you do that for us. PLEASE???

frist agin

they need to find this man a spot he is the differnts maker

Can someone explain the system Manny is using for his top 60?

One week he is in the 30's then he will be in the teens?

How is he counting? Please explain thanks.

Posted by: A Realisst | July 28, 2009 at 06:25 PM

Benjamin is this Canes team's version of Devin Hester or Roscoe Parrish (or if you really want to go old school, Magic Benton). Pure speed guys who, while lacking elite route running skills, are game breakers who can tilt any game into the U's favor with one electrifying return or long play from scrimmage. No, he won't haul down passes like AJ or Byrd or Collier, but he's good for at least 5 touches a game with the guarantee that at least 2-3 of those touches will be huge plays for the Canes.

Point being, Benjamin needs the rock in his hands at least 5 times or more a game.

Benjammin has too much speed to reamin on the sidelines. His role this year will probably more of the special teams along with using him in a reverse and special plays.

I remember players like the Moss brothers and Roscoe Parrish having the speed to catch a 5 yard dash and take it to the house in a flash.

That the type of talent Benjammin has, his talents will be used in special formats while he learns the craft of being a better reciever.

Simply said folks, you don't put on #3 to sit the bench!

Travis is awesome!!!...GO CANES!!!

A Realisst: if you followed the blog, you would know the answer to your own question. Look up the first entry.

FSUwillbeatU: get the hecked out of his blog. It's for Canes fans, get it. I understand the ignorance given FSU academics, or lack there of. Seems like noles are either cheating in the classroom or getting arrested.

Unlike the U, where we have a top 5 graduating rate and no run-ins with the law since Randy took over (except for Mavre, who's at Purdue now).

Speed does indeed kill, but Benjamin's physique (5-10, 155 lbs - ya kidding me?) will get him killed. How is he going to withstand a solid shot from an ornery 200 pound safety?

He's listed at 175 on the canes official roster

This kid has the most play making ability than anyone on team when healthy (per touches). No doubt he will start at WR. He is that player that can take that quick slant route all the way.

The kid produced and starred as a freshmen when his number was called on. Didnt drop passes,didnt have any mental lapses. and stepped up in a big time game against our biggest rival. Big time players step up in big time games! I can still hear Santana Moss words echo the statement. He's bigger stronger faster and more experienced.Scary to see what he will be when his confidence peaks. In my opinion he is the third receiver behind Byrd and A. Johnson. He should handle Kickoff and punt returns along with Cooper.

T.B. needs to be used here and there. He could do nothing after getting a bit of an injury, that shows that TB needs to be in top form , no dings to be useful. Great weapon if in top form. I would say no kickoff or punt returns leave that to Miller , just my view.

Bottom line, Benjamin will not only be on the Short Bus, but if the guy can reproduce what he did at FSU for an most of the season, you might as well give him the keys...

If Benjamin is not on the field in our offensive sets a 3rd to half the time then this whole coaching staff has got to go. He is to much of a gamebreaker not to be.

For those of U who have forgotten tb3 has very good hands...as a matter of fact he's all hands all tha time

IF FSU vactaes all those wins- do last year's wins count? so.... does that mean that the win goes to UM? so ... we finish the yr 8-5?

He's listed at 175 on the canes official roster

Posted by: sscane | July 28, 2009 at 08:18 PM

You can't take measurements from the program guide seriously. I played WR in college and my true size in shorts and t-shirt was 5' 7" and about 158 lbs. But if you looked at the program guide I was listed as 5' 10 and 175 lbs.

Basically the media guide puts down whatever you gave them. Now I will say this - with my cleats, pads and helmet on I was pretty close to my listed weight so I only stretched the truth a little bit.

But once you're on the field you can see with your own eyes how big or small guys are when you compare them to other players. You don't win games on paper at some point you gotta buckle your chin strap and play football.

So in a nutshell don't get too hyped on numbers and stats. That's what got UM in trouble in the past. Coaches were too enamoured with statistics and not football players.

I'm here to let you all on a little secreat.I watch TB at Galdes Central the past three years. With all the speed at Galdes Central this kid is the real deal. He got it all, great hands, speed, run great routes,explosivenes and that little something that U.M so despeately needs "SWAGGER". You have to find ways to get the ball in his hand; all means neccessary.Tb going to show up BIG this year and show out.

Benjamin has the potential to be big for the U. We need to see if he can get back to his first season form and beyond with a new OC.

I think he will impress everyone.

Can't wait to see what happens!

BELIEVE ME, BENJAMIN WILL BE BACK. GREAT PLAYERS ALWAYS COME BACK AND THIS YOUNG MAN'S POTENTIAL IS AMAZING. HIS SPEED REMINDS ME OF MIAM I NORTHWESTERN'S RUNNING BACK CORVIN LAMB WHO ALSO WAS IN JURED LAST YEAR BUT HAS BOUNCED BACK. I FEEL POTENTIAL WISE THERE IS NOT A GROUP OF BETTER RECIEVERS IN THE NATION. WITH THE SPEED THIS TEAM HAS IF THEY WENT TO THE SPREAD. A MERCY RULE WOULD HAVE TO BE IMPLIMENTED FOR COLLEGE. YES I SAID IT. YES I DID.

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