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Player Progress Report

We had a lot of fun this summer counting down the Top 60 players at UM. But now that we're in season, I figured we could keep the theme rolling week-to-week with our very own Player Progress Report. 

This Top 10 list will take into account what the players do over the course of the season and what they mean to the team. Injuries are obviously part of the game and the guys who aren't playing could return to the Top 10 once they resume playing. 

1. QB Jacory Harris: Provided the type of leadership at quarterback Miami hasn't seen since Ken Dorsey was here. He broke a team record with passing yards against FSU and made every important throw Miami needed him to in the come-from-behind victory. Previous ranking: 2.

Sean Spence had a tough day against FSU and slipped from the top spot among the Hurricanes' best players 2. RB Graig Cooper: Was absolutely electric in his return to special teams, averaging 35.4 yards on five returns. He ran for just 31 yards on seven carries, but scored the winning touchdown and caught another touchdown to help Miami in ints come-from-behind victory against the Noles. Previous ranking: 3.

3. LT Jason Fox: Started his 37th game with a false start, but quickly settled down and helped the Canes protect their quarterback for most of the night. He was also blocking on the side Graig Cooper dashed into the end zone for the winning score. Previous ranking: 4.

4. LB Sean Spence: Rough debut for the ACC's Defensive Rookie of the Year. He had three tackles and got beat for a touchdown. Now, he has to learn how to keep himself in the game even when teams go away from him. Previous ranking: 1.

5. LB Colin McCarthy: Returned from his season-ending shoulder injury a year ago and chalked up seven tackles, second most on the team while battling cramps. Miami's run defense certainly looked a lot better than it did a year ago and McCarthy was a big reason. Previous ranking: 7.

6. DT Allen Bailey: UM's pass rush struggled to get past FSU's stout offensive line. But Bailey was a big reason UM didn't carved up on the ground. He helped stuff the run in the middle and broke through once to sack Ponder before FSU scored on the next play. Still, his value is beginning to show. Previous ranking: 8.

7. DE Marcus Robinson: He made just two tackles but came up with the biggest defensive play of the game when it mattered most, sacking and stripping the ball from Ponder with FSU leading 23-17 and looking to score again at the UM 29-yard line. With Eric Moncur and Adewale Ojomo hurt, his value has shot through the roof. Previous ranking: 11.

8. S Randy Phillips: Miami's secondary had a rough night, but Phillips made plays when he was called upon. He made a diving interception in the end zone before the half and finished third on the team with six tackles. With Vaughn Telemaque and Miami shorthanded with injuries all over its defense, Phillips provided the leadership late when UM's defense needed to make a stop. Previous ranking: 12.

9. WR Travis Benjamin: Even before Aldarius Johnson and LaRon Byrd went down, Benjamin was already making the biggest plays of any Canes receiver. He hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass to start the game, made a huge third down catch and then put UM in position for go-ahead touchdown on a 40-yard reception at the FSU 2. Big time players make plays... Previous ranking: 17.

10. RB Javarris James: So much for being No. 2 in the backfield. James looked every bit as good as advertised by his teammates. He didn't have a monster night -- 11 carries, 36 yards, 1 TD. But he served notice he's not that slow, injured guy anymore. I especially liked what I saw from him in the passing game as he made two catches for big yards. Previous ranking: 20.

> Knocking on the Top 10 door: CB Brandon Harris (previously 20) and TE Dedrick Epps (previously 19). Harris led UM with nine tackles against FSU and had two pass deflections, including one late in the game to preserve the win. Looks like he's taken the next step and is the Canes best corner. Epps made a nice return with two catches for 46 yards.

> Dropped out of the Top 10: WR Aldarius Johnson (previously 5), WR LaRon Byrd (previously 6), K Matt Bosher (previously 9), OL Orlando Franklin (previously 10). Not easy dropping AJ and Byrd from the Top 10, but they were hurt and now we aren't exactly sure when either will be back. When they do, they can earn their way back into the Top 10. Bosher had a rough day on kickoffs.

> Five on the rise: WR Leonard Hankerson (previously 37), DE Steven Wesley (previously 42), RT Matt Pipho (No. 43), RB Lee Chambers (previously 44), DE Olivier Vernon (previously 45). Hankerson had two drops, but looked improved. Wesley had a nice three yard tackle for a loss. Pipho did a decent job in his first start at right tackle. Chambers is clearly the No. 3 RB and Vernon is without question the most impactful freshman.


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You're helping my day at work go by much faster, Manny. Agree with the assessment.

After watching the game I think I have good news and bad news...

The bad news is that somehow, the coaches let these guys on defense all cramp up. Whether it was unavoidable or not I don't know but better hydration is almost always the answer.

The good news is that the cramping issue seemed to really hinder our two best defensive players, Spence and Mcarthy. Mcarthy had a pretty decent game but Spence missed tackles. Both failed in pass coverage many times; most people complain about the secondary but the culprit was usually a LB out of position.

Assuming both are as good as we think they are and can avoid cramps next game, I think all aspects of the defense will improve. The LBs should be the strong point of our defense and against FSU they were the weakness. Easy fix though.

*Meant to say "watching the game again" (DVR)

go canes .

Jacory is the truth... the nation needs to take notice. His reaction to the last play was priceless. That expression cannot be immitated if you give it 100 tries. That's how I know we got a star on our hands.



I only saw one drop by Hankerson but even if he had two the rest of his catches looked great. I was impressed with his catches. I think he'll be the best receiver after all is said and done. #3 may have more yards, etc but Hankerson will be the best, IMHO if he keeps it up.


download The Hurricane Anthem- 4th Qtr for free ^^

I disagree with your assessment of James. I think he did a poor job hitting the hole. He'd get there, then dance or juke, rather than taking what's given. That drives me nuts. Also, compared to pregame scouting, the FSU D-Line exceeded expectations, and the O-Line definitely could have done a better job run-blocking. Their pass protection, however, was great.

Fox didn't play a good game, and Pipho was horrible. Fox got beat on the play were Jacory had to spin out of the sack for the play to Benjamin. Pipho was horrible missed EVERY block in the run game and couldn't pass block anyone.

Guys Thearon Collier....played a Great game as well...reminds me of Najah Davenport...a player you can ask to do anything at anytime...

all the guys including the coaching staff derseve AAAA+++++.....100% better...not the best ..but better...Beat GT and we are on our way to a special season....LETS FILL UP THE LS STADIUM...PLEASE SHOW UP...60k+

on the hydration...could be the early practices..but also it hits the guys that go all out...not be funny by forston was trying to get off the feild in the final 30 sec runnning lights out...he cramped up..

all this will get better and I am sure spence was was nervous...that does not help with cramps..we all know he will get better for GT...the pressure is off those first game jitters....PLEASE COME OUT THE GAME ..

Manny, I can honestly say this ranking shyt is for the birds. Who gives a dam what you or anyone else ranks a given players worth as being to. Each game should have a different star with a team this young and talented.

Sam Shields played huge given his experience and unexpected need to play because of DVDs injury.

Vernon played huge as well, stuffing the run, pressuring Ponder.

This is silly.

the hydration issue is most certainly a coaching issue..they must reinforce the importance of hydrating many hours before a game..even pop warner coaches know this...come on randy get with it...

McCarthy should be rated higher than Spence off of the first weeks performance. Spence is a beast and may be one of the U's best LBs when its all said and done. But today, McCarthy is the better LB... assuming he stays healthy.

Of course the "grading" of players is subjective...but...it is entertaining and keeps this blog interesting.

As for the season, we have seen flashes of special...now we need consistency.....players need to stay in position on defense.

Honestly surprised at how unprepared the training staff was for this game. I didnt see a lot (if any) FSU players go down like we did.

Not that the first game jitters are out of the way, the coaches need to shake off the rust and better prepare their game plans.

GT is no JOKE....they embarrassed UM last year and the payback should be 10 fold.

DEFENSE, you better stop that option RUN dead in its tracks...

OFFENSE, I want to see you LIGHT up that score board with some old school point totals!

We Got Some Canes Over Here...WHOOOOSH WHOOOOSH...

If we are going to take the rankings seriously, anyone looking at the game would have Benjamin #2, McCarthy in the top 10 somewhere and Spence at about #22. I love Spence but he will admit he had some bad angles out there, adjusted to the slants poorly and was beaten on the TD.

You need to reward the fellas for the game played, not where you predict them to wind up.

Throw J. Campbell into the top 10. He came in late in the 2nd quarter, and did a good job against the slants, 2nd half that play did not hit us as hard. JoJo did not see the field much at all after Campbell came in.

Anyway it makes for a good read Manny, thanks.


How does Stanford pluck Torrian Wilson out of our backyard? Would appreciate it if you could investigate the story behind this...

Posted by: Caneiac | September 09, 2009 at 01:32 PM

When a kid picks Stanford, Duke, Vandy, Harvard, etc., UM didn't lose them, they were never coming! As hard as it is for some of us to believe, some of these kids acually go to school for an education!

Stanford is one of the hardest schools in the country to get admitted to, football player or not. I wish him well!

Go 'canes!

Awesome eval Manny! I didn't realize when you were creating the list that you were going to update it every week!

Go 'canes!

Plantation Cane, you're right about Jared Campbell. He had a great night.

Randy Phillips had an interception and a couple tackles but Brandon Harris played better no doubt. He made the bigger play in a clutch situation. He should be in the top 10. He was one of the ACC Players of the Week. No Brainer.

Hey Herbal, is that your song? I love it!!

Thanks Manny. Frankly, I don't see it as a bad thing that Bosher was knocked from the Top 10. Even though he kicks everything for the Canes, there's no reason a kicker/punter should be in the Top 10 for any Canes team!!

B Harris has to be in top 10 and was clearly the most effective DB on our side of the ball.
He must be in top 10...

Marcus Robinson is the man. Agree Manny that his strip was the biggest defensive play and momentum shifter of the game. If FSU goes in, we likely lose. He's the best pass rusher on the team and will only get better.


Posted by: gaturd agent provocateur | August 27, 2009 at 11:38 AM

UPDATE: U v. f$u 54 scores a 5.89 rating …
translating into ESPN’s second largest audience ever & third highest-rated regular season college football telecast …





premium brands rule the roost …
ACC will leverage must-see duke/carolina basketball & must-see UM/f$u football to shake down the networks for a king’s ransom …
like the bigbad10 & yes-e-c before us …
our TV income will defy expectation …
1 for all and all for 1 …



FSU didn't run away from Spence; they ran right at him -- and it worked. Nearly every long run they had was to his side, where he took a bad angle or was engulfed by a blocker. Watch the tape, man. He was a complete liability out there.

love it manny, keep up the great work.

Has anybody noticed....
that the four fingers we hold up at the start of that last quarter
are ours again!
Four Fingers, baby.
We started it; we own it once again.

Flying from NYC next Wednesday night for the game. Just bought my Oklahoma flight, too.

Manny, Manny, Manny...McCarthy was the D-Leader! He wrapped-up Numbnuts (Ponder) on the option play to seal the deal...dropped him for a loss.

Jacory was the bomb on O, but the Blur was a close second

Obviously Coop's tenacity made him the man of the night on Special Teams.

Spence had an off night, but that guy is to talented to let that happen again. Good thing he got it out of his system in week one. He knows he has to step up

Fortson, and Spence were non factors. DVD got hurt early. Did Streeter even travel? Look for Spence to have a breakout game against GT. As well as James and Chambers to break out soon. Cooper on Special teams is maybe one of the best decisions, although I do fell Benjamin should be back there also. Two drops for Hankerson is is two too many. Just ask FSU about one drop. Doesnt matter if Hankerson had a few nice plays, he shouldn't start next week. There are always players who can make great plays her and there. Consistency is the most important. Not having Ojomo, Moncur, Telemaque, and Hill hurts more than it shows. Most positive improvement was offensive play calling. The creativity,and maximizing of talent wa superior. Kudos to Whipple,a nd Shannon for choosinghim. If Whipple isnt there, we never go score for score and keep up with FSU.

Manny we are extremely lucky to have you, you are the voice of the UM faithful. However I am sure at least some of the players read these articles and if not someone reads it and it gets back to them. I think this might develop selfishness amongst players to a certain degree something that can affect UM in a negative manner, just my honest opinion coming from someone who like you and the rest of the Cane fans wants every bit of legal advantange to the Canes. Take care and Go Canes!

U needs to put 8 in the box and blow up plays before they get going against ga tech, no tackling dwyer in the open field.

Love the format, Manny. Also love that you used the proper form of "its."

This team is a different team with C-Mac out there. I felt bad for Spence, he looked lost out there. He couldn't get off his block when Ponder snuck in for the score. He was burned on the first TD Pass. He never seemed to be in the right position on the field.

For a guy with so much hype as our Defense leader (and was one of those guys singing his praises), I was shocked what an aweful game he had. I think Young's aggressive style of defensive suited his instincts a little better. Let's hope he turns it around quickly or Futch, Buchanon or Brown will be occupying that position in a few weeks...


Posted by: gaturd agent provocateur | August 27, 2009 at 11:38 AM

UPDATE: U v. f$u 54 scores a 5.89 rating …
translating into ESPN’s second largest audience ever & third highest-rated regular season college football telecast …


Posted by: green | September 09, 2009 at 08:23 PM

ESPN’s second largest audience ever for a regular season college football telecast …


Nobody is paying much attention to this but I think the win is attributed to another WIDE LEFT! If it wasn't for the missed extra point, FSU would've used the last 5 seconds to kick a field goal and tie the game.... the curse continues! Let's get G-Tech. Fill up the stadium!

hey Manny do you have a any news of the recruits that were there?

Nobody is paying much attention to this but I think the win is attributed to another WIDE LEFT! If it wasn't for the missed extra point, FSU would've used the last 5 seconds to kick a field goal and tie the game.... the curse continues! Let's get G-Tech. Fill up the stadium!

Posted by: This blog is NOLE free for some reason ????? | September 09, 2009 at 10:57 PM

They got the pt back when they made the 2 pt conversion

Yeah- I hope Spence watches a lot of film this week and changes what he did (angles, being blocked out) HE needs to read the D better, and come off his tackle sooner. Cannot and WILL NOT tackle Dwyer in th eopen field (if he can catch him).

We need to run run run the ball better. 36 yds or whatever for JJ is notgoing to be enough, and will not likely get him into the NFL by the end of the season. Sure, its a team game and several players touched the ball, but with JJ running for 100/game, we arent going to lose many games!

I hope the stadium is full, but unfortunately a lot of core Cane fans have left S Fla,me included. None the less, i will be watching every minute of the game and going to the away games when they are near by.

I'm a delusional bloated jakazz

I'm not sure how you drop Brandon Harris. He played a sensational game. Despite the pass interference calls. Even the best db's get beat on occassion. He dug n in during clutch time and played like a winner.

There were not 10 players on this team that played bigger than he did. There weren't 5.

Posted by: Green | September 10, 2009 at 07:47 AM

assumed identity …
imitation is the sincerest form of flattery …



I keep telling people, when you play football in Miami -- and
(Jacory Harris) played at Pro Player Stadium or in the Orange Bowl in front of 60,000 people screaming and hollering -- and you throw an interception and then you have to have a police escort to get home, man, this stuff is a piece of cake.

If you're the quarterback at Northwestern or Miami Central and you (screwed) up the game, you're going to end up having police surveillance around your house for a month or until you play another game. That's real pressure. That game up there (at FSU), that's not pressure.
-- Luther Campbell


Big difference between imitation and mockery you delusional jakazz


Posted by: Green | September 10, 2009 at 08:22 AM

nobody kicks a dead dog …
green with envy …


Fsu has a TERRIBLE defense. WORSE than UM's.

Keep feeling good about beating a Patsy.

U will get smoked soon enough and show that U ain't all that.

Keep celebrating!

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