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Colin McCarthy 'flying around' again

The Miami Hurricanes practiced in full pads Wednesday for the first time since the end of last spring. For linebacker Colin McCarthy, it had been a little bit longer than that.

Colin McCarthy The last time McCarthy was in full gladiator mode was 11 months ago. That day, against North Carolina, he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. So, how did the first real lick McCarthy's taken since then feel on Wednesday? Well, it didn't hurt.

"The first hit, I was a little nervous," McCarthy said. "But my shoulder felt great. All summer I’ve been hitting bags with my shoulder getting ready for this. I really didn’t have any problems. Knock on wood, hopefully, it stays strong."

There isn't a player who more profoundly affected UM's run defense last season than McCarthy (in case you missed the Top 60 profile I used the following stat the other day). When McCarthy was in, the Hurricanes were good at stopping the run. UM's run defense led the ACC and ranked seventh nationally (65 ypg) through its first four games. But once McCarthy went out -- along with defensive end Eric Moncur -- UM had to turn to its younger players to hold the fort. Miami's run defense slipped from finishing 40th nationally in 2007 (133.75 yards per game) to 75th last season (151.85 ypg) and last in the ACC.

Wednesday, what UM focused on primarily was inside running drills. McCarthy said he was in the middle, learning and listening to defensive coordinator John Lovett closely. From what we heard, the offense had a nice day. But the fact McCarthy, who has played outside linebacker the majority of his career, is spending more time in the middle these days tells you two things: One, coaches probably aren't 100 percent confident Darryl Sharpton can handle being the sure-fire tackler in the middle they need. Two, Ramon Buchanon and Jordan Futch are probably making strides on the outside.

Needless to say, having a healthy and strong McCarthy in the middle will be huge for this defense. And at least after one day of hitting, that shoulder is still OK.

GRAHAM HANDLES HITS: The other player I wanted to hear from Wednesday as far as hitting goes was power forward turned tight end Jimmy Graham. Like McCarthy, so far, so good.

“It felt great. It was what I was anticipating,” Graham said. “We got some big hitters on the team. They’re real quick. You just have to put your head on a swivel.”

Graham said he took several licks. But nothing as hard as what he took Monday when he was hit by a trio of defenders on a crossing route over the middle. But he said he popped right back up and ran to the huddle.

“I was hit pretty hard out there. But I’ve been hitting guys in basketball like that for four years,” Graham said. “It doesn’t bother me at all. Next time, I’ll point at them and tell them to keep on coming.”

At 6-8, 260 pounds Graham can lay the wood himself. And he said he has. He said he’s been learning two positions – H-back and tight end and is practicing about 15 new plays a day. He said although it feels like “50” he’s coming in early in the morning to watch extra film and he feels he’s getting a grasp of it. Wednesday, he made a sliding catch in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. It was his second touchdown of the spring.

“It’s like dunking on somebody,” Graham said. “But in college, there is no showboating. So, I just toss it to the ref and keep running. Hopefully, there will be more to come.”

> Be sure to check out Susan Miller Degnan's feature on Graham in Thursday's paper.

Here are Wednesday's pactice highlights according to UM's sports info staff...

> BIG DAY FOR PICKS: Brandon Harris and Colin McCarthy each recorded two interceptions on the morning. Harris made the first pick of the morning in 11-on-11 action before McCarthy recorded his first in 7-on-7. Both players then wrapped up the morning with back-to-back INTs during the two-minute drill in 11-on-11 play towards the end of the session. Vaughn Telemaque (7-on-7), Ryan Hill (11-on-11) and Brandon McGee (11-on-11) also recorded interceptions.

> GRAHAM, BERRY SCORE: Jimmy Graham and Damien Berry each scored during red zone drills... Leonard Hankerson made two catches of 30+ yards in 11-on-11 action... Jacory Harris connected with LaRon Byrd for a deep ball in 11-on-11... Damien Berry, Graig Cooper and Mike James all picked up significant gains in middle drills... Dedrick Epps, Tervaris Johnson and Aldarius Johnson all recorded catches of 20+ yards in 7-on-7 play.

Comments

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last!!!

thanks manny..

Bad coaching staff. Shannon needs to go.

Manny I'm disappointed but not at all surprised that you would actually print the conclusion you have about why Colin in the middle. Especially with you full well knowing why he was the only one in the middle today.

Shows some of us how much you really know whats going on out there.

The "U" is going to have a great year on defense because we dont have a guy who is built like a punter at middle linebacker!

Keep making mistakes boys!!! I would rather them make a thousand mistakes in practice than 2 in games. This way they have something to grow on, and learn from. I know some of U hate to hear about the big runs because of our defense, but I love it! Success does not come without failure!

GO CANES!!!

Bad coaching staff. Shannon needs to go.

Posted by: The U needs a new coach | August 12, 2009 at 03:47 PM

And how much experience do you have? I beat you never touched a football in your life outside of your backyard. "a man of many traits ...master of NOTHING"

and the top 60 froze

Seven picks today? What does this tell us about Jacory's arm strength/health?

Fsu will stAck the box and make Harris beat them with his arm.

Were gonna get killed

Yo jartavius stop disrespectn this u. if u knw football u want them to stack the line buddy. A stacked line means 1on 1 on the outside wit bryd an johnson adddaaaaa dats means we out muscle them all game bra. Have u ever played football suppose not. Jus keep on b n a armchair coach ok I wish u were bobby bowden lmao.

U ain't no balla chump. Els you'd know that the O-line SUCKS and Jacory Curl gots a week arm.

Get on deeez nuts chump

Man I love being a Canes fan!

No matter if we are 12-0 or 5-7 the haters are always around.

They all know deep down whats coming and try to get their shots in now know that at this time next year they will be trying to take shots at a team ready to play for the BCS.


J.O.S.E. doesnt matter if its 83, 06, or 09

This Graham kid can be our ace in the hole... At 6-8 and his weight can carry this team and surprise a few DC in our compition that would over look this kid... A safty on DF would let him slip by thinking he can't catch or he's too slow and I'll catch him after he catches the ball. But at 6-8 and with any leaping ability he could easily snatch a ball thrown at 8-6 or even higher way out of the reach of a 5-11 or 6-1 DE or safety. I think this kid will surprise alot of people and should be a nice homecomming for him when he comes to Chappel Hill NC becasue he lived in Goldsboro not 70 miles away from UNC Stadium. I'm really looking forward to this year and any team including OK that thinks for a minute that this Miami team is going to be an easy win is going to be in for a big surprise. Including FSU, and the 2 tech schools. I'd love more than anuthing to see Miami beat Ok like we beat Neb. back in 83 in the OB for the 1st NC this should wake up alot of people that think Miami is no where bound... One last thing for all you so called fans of the "U" that have it out for the HC better get use to him staying around. Shannon is not going anywhere. the only way he goes if the teram has a total melt down and I truly do not believe that will happen. These kids are too fired up and believe in their coach to much... treminds me when Coker took over... it was going to be him or no one... the players stood up for him and I feel Shannon has the same respect from the players too that includes past and present players. You wanna know why Miami is a class act. Just look at all th players that come back to help support this and every years team.... They know "WE ARE FAMILY" this should be our theme spng this year then at the end of the year we cam proudly sing.... "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS.....OF THE WORLD....." Thank you

Jacory threw picks in practice...who cares.

I mean we're talking about a practice....
this isn't no game...it's a practice...
not a game....
we're talking about a practice.

McCarthy in the middle, I love it! Just hope he can survive the season.

Jacory threw 1 pick. the rest were thrown by backups. The O-line has been holding its own against what is being regarded as one of the strongest D-lines in the country. I dont know where the hate comes from but I have read nothing but positive and seen nothing but positive out of these practices so far. The 1's are beating up on the 2's 3's and 4's on both side of the ball. Thats what we want.

How do you jump on a coach who has completly turned the image of the U around, is arguably the best recruiter in the nation and has improved the team in wins in the two years hes been here. Remeber he took over with no coaching staff, only 4 players that had the talent level to be drafted and a brand new AD. but ur right RS sucks.

Howdy Pards
Last season we were 5 tds from being 12 - 1.

Go Canes!!!!!!!

If J-12 throws one intercept today, that means we got a good QB1 and a good secondary. Can you see that? It's the promised land.

All the nay-sayers have no idea about college football.

The team seems to be doing great. There is a great balance between offense and defense.

Go Canes!!!

Too many lame "hater" fans on this blog....go sulk in your tubs losers....As for this years CANES...they will deliver what we need...a winning season, a trip to the ACC Championship game and a bowl game. 2010 will be the true test.

Stop hating and get on board or get off the blog...

Don't you people know these haters aren't
Canes,their Dumbass scared gayturds.
If you threw a football at them it would
hit them in the face.

A jarfaget305 how could u invite a man to ur nut$ siss$y u ain't no U fan. The best thng fo u is to hide behind ya keyboard cuz I'll show u sumthn. Dnt get mad cuz u dnt knw football stackn the line means bringn a safety dwn n the box j harris doesn't have to have a rocket idot its 1on1 duck u win dat battle 9out of 10 they dnt want none of d and byrd. Sis$y

All dem ballers strate up suk a dlck.

To "representn dis U"
Easy for U to say!!!

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