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Reborn JJ has impressed teammates this fall

He’s thinner. He’s faster. But he still packs a powerful punch.

Teammates of running back Javarris James (6-0, 207) have seen a different side of the University of Miami senior this fall. And they say Hurricanes fans are going to like what they see from him against the Seminoles Monday night in Tallahassee.

Javarris James lost 15 pounds in the offseason and impressed teammates this fall in earning starting job at tailback. “He’s a lot faster, but he’s still powerful, too,” linebacker Colin McCarthy said. “JJ can make a cut and be gone. Before, you wouldn’t expect that. He’s definitely been running faster.”

“He’s definitely more quicker as a running back now,” linebacker Sean Spence said. “He still has the power he did before. But he’ll give you a step and probably out run you. I’ll put it to you this way -- if you get behind him, he’s hard to catch.”

“He’s a lot more shifty now,” safety Randy Phillips said. “He’s way quicker and faster. He’s lightning fast now.”

Lightning fast is how James’ career began. The cousin of UM great Edgerrin James made Canes fans’ toes tingle when he was a freshman – rushing for 802 yards and five touchdowns, the second most for a true freshman in UM history. But added weight (he went up to 220 as a sophomore) and ankle and neck injuries slowed him down his next two seasons. He played in nine games last season and ran for just 286 yards and four TDs.

But this spring, at the request of coach Randy Shannon, James cut out his late night runs to McDonald’s. He replaced 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, fries and Oreo McFlurries with fruits and salads.

The results were almost instantaneous. James ran a 4.41 – sixth fastest on the team in the spring (a full second faster than the year before) while still putting up the third best squat on the team at 545 pounds, behind only Harland Gunn (600) and Allen Bailey (565). The speed and quickness has translated onto the field this fall where Shannon said Thursday "he’s looked the best he has since his freshman year."

But Phillips, who has played alongside James since he arrived in 2006, expects a huge season out of Baby J. “We’re seniors and this is the last go-around,” Phillips said. “A lot of guys can record a great 40 [time], but they don’t run at that speed. Now, Javarris, every time he gets the ball, he runs really hard and really fresh because he’s lighter.

“He looks way better than he did his freshman year. He’s a 1,000-yard back – he and [Graig] Cooper. That’s what we’re going to try get him to be, maybe even a 500 yard receiver too. He’s able to [catch more passes] now because he’s quicker, able to pick up blocks. He’s been tremendous in camp.”

Graig Cooper COOPER MORE INVOLVED ON SPECIAL TEAMS: Consider James' resurgence a big reason why the Canes felt comfortable enough to let 2007 and 2008 leading rusher Graig Cooper handle punts and kickoffs. While Cooper will still get plenty of work in the Canes' backfield, Phillips said UM coaches have confidence James can do the heavy lifting.

That way, it will free up Cooper (who ran a 4.37 in the spring) to do what he does best -- explode in the open field. After James went down against Florida, Canes coaches had to reel in Cooper from the return game. Cooper had just three punt returns -- one he brought back for a score -- and four kick returns all season. "He looks just like Devin Hester, and you all will get a chance to see that more this year, too," Phillips said. "To me, when he gets the ball, he runs just like Devin."

MORNING PRACTICE VS. NIGHT GAME: The Hurricanes had their final 5:45 a.m. practice Friday in preparation for Florida State. For two weeks, Shannon has had the team practice before the crack of dawn to avoid losing the practices to afternoon thunderstorms. I know some of you have asked if that might cause a problem considering UM will be playing Florida State at night. When asked about it Thursday, Shannon said he didn't think it would be a problem because the team held its closed scrimmages at night.

"When we watched, evaluated tape [from the scrimmages] they played faster and hustled more and made less mistakes when we played at night," Shannon said. "The one thing you forget about with morning practices is it's very humid, no air out there. It’s thick. Conditioning wise, it was really good for us as a football team because it makes you work through hard times... If you lose that practice you can never make it up. That's one key for us."

HANKERSON FELT URGENCY: Leonard Hankerson emerged as one of UM’s starting receivers when the depth chart was unveiled Thursday. Make no bones about it, Hankerson took his summer workouts with former Dolphin Mark Duper seriously because he was afraid he might not ever see the field if he didn’t do something about his drops quickly.

“I knew if I didn’t work hard in the offseason and just kept dropping the balls and was not focused on catching them I knew I wouldn’t be playing,” Hankerson said. “I had to step my game up so I could do what I needed in the fall. I embraced the challenge. It wasn’t anything to stress out about. I know I can go out and make plays. It’s just something I had to do.”

Comments

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i'm feelin it manny....i'm feelin it.

FIIIIIIIIIIIIIRST

Javarris is our best back!

Aww man its time boi they gonna run through the smoke a different way this year. I am feelin it too Manny.

COME ON YALL NO NEGATIVE TALK LETS BE UNITED ONE TIME ON THIS BLOG THIS OUR TIME THIS OUR YEAR.

Javarris is injured. He won't be playing.

I got a feeling we're going to lay a whuppin' on FSU!!!!

D**n I had to read that again a back puttin up numbers like that is carzy. Third best is impressive. I heard Dave Meggett had third highest bench in the NFL at some point. Baby J sound like he wanna try to go to the league. He never been totally healthy so we'll be holding are breath every play. But if he does and Gunn can prove these words about him are the truth then. Dorsey given Jacory the approval was something I never heard about Marve Freeman or Wright. Health will be our good luck or our bad luck. If these guys stay healthy We should have a good season can't wait for predictions Sunday.

Think Manny has gotten his JJ's mixed up yet this summer since he is reporting on both the Hurricanes and Marlins?

EARLY PREDICTIONS

BAMA 17 VS VATECH 27

Turnovers will be the turning point in the game and I think Tech will get a blocked punt or field goal to seal a win. That sets up a possible game between two highly ranked teams.

Imma start my ncaa season over again I am so hyped for this season.

Health is the big obstacle on every team, but it's very important to us because our depth is young. Talented, but young. Still, I am LOVING the re-dedication of these older players. Shannon said a lot that competition improves everyone, and man is that the case. Hankerson spent his whole summer getting extra help from one of the best ever because he thought he'd never see the field again. James dropping weight and getting fast, something he never felt pressured to do when James and Miller weren't around and it was just he and Coop. James and Miller made Chambers take the next step, and it's looking like he'll be the real deal or at least an exceptional backup.

This team is turning the corner, and the ever-important veterans are finally progressing because there is real heat behind them. That's the real key to this season...how far the vets have come, because if they can play at a high level and the incredible crop of talent can focus on developing and contributing rather than carrying the load, then we're gonna see something special this year.

Go Canes!

Oh, and Manny, you can NEVER go on vacation again! My days have been empty without your blogs. Even the InsidetheU guys don't give this level of detail (they're great, though). Good to have you back, and I look forward to many blogs a week from here to January. No pressure though.

THE STORM OF 09 IS COMING..

Something about the canes in odd years...
and backs against the wall

neverhadanysnatchgator Says:
September 4th, 2009 at 4:10 pm
I am predicting that Ben will not survive another season as the Gaturd blogger, which will devastate the Dunkin Donuts economy sorrounding the Palm Beach Post building.
“50 per cent of our sales are to Ben Volin. He is a great American,” said a worried looking Bashar Hussein, the proprietor. If Ben goes jobless what will I do with the fried donuts dipped in goat’s milk?”

VolinFan in PB Says:
September 4th, 2009 at 4:55 pm
Boohoo. Canesrule got censored for inappropriate comments. Spare us the 1st amendment garbage you foamy mouth loser. You’re a TOS chemical fire canesrule. WAHHHH. What a gutless punk you are to insult the upstanding author of this blog. Go rot in an abandoned car you gay fixated wierdo.

Manny:
Everywhere I go and research MY Canes, there is nothing but good news on the boys. let's get you on Vacation the week after the Bowl Games.
You are the heart and soul of the Canes beat Manny !!! Susan did good, I was really suprised. But she is just not..You !! Manny, I am not being optimistic about UM vs FSU. I feel a shocking UM win by 10 points. Attitude is everything, and this team has a very good attitude. 2 links for the fans !!!!
See ESPN's Todd MC Shay's Weekend Preview:

http://espn.go.com/ncf/clubhouse?teamId=2390

Here's the second link:

http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/play/collegefootball

then search for the UM vs FSU video
sorry to ALL..no direct link to video possible !!

Coopers hair looks straight up GAY

I'll tell you Vlady, the only reason anyone can come up with (experts here, not knee-jerk Gator bloggers looking for a fight) for us not to have a good record seems to be the early schedule. It's always "can they gel in time?" instead of "the talent is not there" or "the other teams are better."

Everyone is saying how talented we are, how the attitude is right, etc. If these games were later, I think we'd even be ranked, but noone is willing to go out on a limb for this team because of the potential to start 0-4 or 1-3.

I'm psyched! Go Canes!

Canes are about to shock the world. Will be ranked #1 after 4-0 start...

my babyj doing his thing and if you werent a believer before you'll be come monday!!!!!

As a UM Alum (75), I can feel the old attitude coming back.

Really JJ ran a pedestrian OL 40yd dash of 5.41s last season? I find that stat really hard to believe Manny. Or perhaps did you mean 4.51 a full 1/10th of a sec slower?

yea, its about that time for us to show the world our new revamped team. its going to be a great day in tally for the canes.

You are just setting yourselves up for disappointment. 1-3 start followed by losing to both Clemson and UNC and a crushing defeat to USF. But the good news will be that Shannon will get fired after we lose to USF.

FSU OLine,
The five projected starters for 2009 can all bench at least 400 pounds.

Does anyone bench 400 at Miami? Long night on Monday. FSU rushes for over 200 yards. FSU 24-14.

400 huh nice numbers but that really don't matter when you line head across from Forston or Bailey. Its all about how these kids gonna play their game Monday. This fire Shannon stuff is tired. I wonder when we do go 4-0 or 3-1 will they want his head then. I know FSU is a wash game because we can see them again. The game is Va Tech and GT. Those will be the games that test Miami's mettle. I remember Miami never played soft teams so they played better in bowl games. Could it be luck that the Canes was involved in every championship game from 83 to 92 Thats over 9 yrs they was in game or one win away from being in the game. The only blemish is the 88 team that lost to Rice, Watters, and the Rocket.(jimmy didn't have to go for 2 but we had heart) They could have kept they #1 with a tie but jimmy wanted to prove we number 1. I feel that same attitude from this team. Winning is contagious jus like being injury free. WE do those to things we could really be #2 by week 5

You are just setting yourselves up for disappointment. 1-3 start followed by losing to both Clemson and UNC and a crushing defeat to USF. But the good news will be that Shannon will get fired after we lose to USF.

Posted by: Cav | September 04, 2009 at 09:09 PM

Hey Cav, before you post you might want to hit preview
1st you say we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Indicating you arent a fan of Miami
Followed at the end by saying Coach Shannon will be fired after "we" lose to USF, indicating you are a fan of Miami
Come on you blowhard go back to your game of D&D and leave the blog to fans of just 1 team and 1 team only
MIAMI

Kudo's to you baby J. You took the challenge and ran with it even when your cousin told you that coop was a better back at times than you were. Take special note current and future canes. To be a cane is to always compete on the gridiron as well as in life. Even though the obstacles you are facing seem insurmountable continue to press through and believe. Transferring and complaining will get you now where in life!

Coopers hair looks straight up GAY

Posted by: extensions and lemon juice?...dude bites the pillow |

U Gay, dnt worry how dey look and worry bout how yo bald head ass look


B E L I E V E

http://twitter.com/caneswatch/status/375630395

Vaughn Telemaque or JoJo Nicolas at safety? Randy Shannon told me Thursday it was Telemaque, but now indicates a gametime decision.
-- jorge milian

ROUND AND ROUND

U are mow IRRELEVANT.

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

http://30for30.espn.com/film/the-u.html

PEEK-A-BOO

Hey Cooop. Your hair looks gayer than Easter. You look like a stripper I used to know at Melons.

too funny the comment about bench pressing.. thats only a pushing a muscle the line of scrimmage is won with leg drive, who gets lower, and speed. you cant push someone if you cant catch them or push someone who gets lower than you and drives you out the way with there legs......

I hope Coop remains in the mix. I was expecting this to be his breakout year.

FSU is horrible...how many years have they been saying FSU is gonna be back. Overrated!!! We are gonna blow these guys out.

Wow another great insight. I guess upper body strength doesnt matter. The NFL does bench press test just for show. Another genius.

How many of you so called fans, have actually been to a game? Probably none. How many of you actually went to the school? Let me guess your the typical horrible South Florida fan who is too broke to go to a game.

If you want I can tell you about the game and stadium.

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