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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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