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Spence eager to put 2009 behind him

If he wanted to reach for them, Sean Spence has plenty of viable excuses for his drop in production last season. 

Sean Spence He could blame the knee injury that cost him three games and slowed him down. He could point to his position switch -- from weakside linebacker to strongside linebacker -- as the reason why he didn't come close to matching the 65 tackles he made as a freshman when he was the ACC's Defensive Rookie of the Year. 

But the 6-foot, 217-pound junior-to-be isn't doing any finger pointing for his unspectacular sophomore season -- except at himself. "I have to go out there, make plays and help my team win. I didn't do that," Spence said Wednesday after the Hurricanes' sixth practice of the spring.

"I can't say it was a lack of maturity. I can't say it was my knee. All I can say was it was a lack of production. Last season just made me hungrier to want it even more this year."

Spence, who finished his sophomore season seventh on the team with 36 tackles including 6.5 for loss and three sacks, is already impressing his teammates this spring with his bounce-back attitude. Cornerback Brandon Harris said Spence, a childhood friend, "looks fast, looks physical."

"He's going in there, head on head with the offensive lineman, shedding blocks, making plays," Harris said. "He's a great motivator for the defense. He's a guy who is going to speak up when something needs to be spoken, keep everybody humble.

"I think it affected us tremendously [when he went out]. His presence on the field, it gives everybody a comfort level and a high and allows us to play faster and smoother. He makes sure everybody is on the right page. When you have somebody like Sean on your defense, you know automatically you can count on him to make a big play. When you got a guy like that on the field, the rest of our jobs are easy."

Spence started the first seven games of the season for the Hurricanes before injuring his knee in the first half against Clemson. He then missed the next three games, including arguably the team's worst defensive performance of the season against Wake Forest and the loss at North Carolina. He said he "didn't really feel right" until the bowl game. Missing time was tough to deal with mentally for Spence -- especially since he didn't miss any games in high school and played in all 13 games and started nine for UM as a freshman.

"Me and Sean are close friends and during that injury time he wasn't himself," Harris said. "It was hard for him to sit out and not be able to travel with the team and having to watch the games on TV and he'll call me after the games and was very disappointed he couldn't be out there. He did extra rehab, everything to make that injury process happen faster. But he sat out for a reason."

Spence, who said he's gained five pounds of muscle since the end of the season, has remained at strongside linebacker this spring with senior Colin McCarthy on the weakside. With so many young and inexperienced linebackers on the team, Spence said he's tried to take on more of a vocal leadership role on the field and in the film room at the urging of new linebackers coach Micheal Barrow.

"It's a new season, new year," UM coach Randy Shannon said. "and he's starting off fast right now in spring football."


Jake Wieclaw  > Trying to earn a kicking job on a team with Matt Bosher isn't easy. The All-ACC First Team kicker and second team punter handled all three facets last season for the Hurricanes including kickoffs. But redshirt sophomore Jake Wieclaw, who temporarily handled kickoffs before losing the job to walk-on Alex Uribe and then Bosher, is hoping he can finally win one of those three jobs come the fall. 

With Bosher out this spring (he reportedly injured his shoulder in a car accident), Wieclaw is being given every chance by Shannon to impress this spring. So far, Wieclaw says, all the special teams work has been centered on blocking. But he'll get a few chances to kick in pressure situations Saturday.

"I've always felt pretty comfortable inside of 40 [yards], Anything outside of 40 for a kicker isn't easy, but you should be making those," said Wieclaw, who feels his best shot at earning a job could be on kickoffs. "If [Bosher] does all three, then he does all three. If they need my help anywhere then I'll see what I can do to help out."

> It took cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke 33 college games before he intercepted his first past last season against Wake Forest. That's the only pick he has in three years. But so far through his first two practices in the spring, he's made interceptions on both days. Tuesday, Van Dyke said he got some tutoring from Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed about taking better angles. 

If Reed, 31, decides to retire, the Hurricanes might want to ask him to become a volunteer assistant. His senior year at UM in 2001, he had nine interceptions. Last season, UM had nine as a team (five more than in 2008).


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canes suck...go usf!!!


REED U NEED TO COACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

im sorry what was the score of the miami-usf game?

Bob, seriously you're slow dude. Can't wait to beat USF again in November.

I hope Spence turns it around..in the early games at FSU and GT he was missing plays big time...Film is your best friend..I hope they study hard and learn the position and the game...GO CANES

man if the Canes suck and they stomped usf 31-10 at usf, then I don't know what that says about how awful usf is

Bob u suck so does USF(whom we will OWN for the remainder of ur life!) and so does the city of Tampa as a matter of fact haha...Spence and McCarthy should SWITCH positions he (Mac) outweighs Spence by at least 30lbs! Blitz Blitz Blitz Spence!

hahahahahha USF

This time its at our stadium and its only going to be worse.

Your boys will get punished

Sean wouldn't even start at FIU 6'0 217 lbs...C'mon Manny keep it real bro !!!! Sean is a BUST !!!! Look at what Mario got across town....

Aaron Davis (mike) 6'2" 250lbs 4.6 Sophomore

Pooh Bear Mars (sam) 6'0 225lbs 4.55 Sophomore

Toronto Smith (mlb) 5"11 225lbs 4.55 Senior

Winston Fraser (Wil) 6'2" 235;bs 4.85 Sophomore

Hahaha....laughable bob. Your boys sure showed up in a big way a few months back. USF looked more like a junior high team! Let me remind you: 31-10!!

Glad to see Reed hanging around the practice fields. I heard Gore and some others were there as well yesterday. Bring em all back.

I'm sure Spence will rebound. Changing defensive schemes to a less blitz-intensive scheme probably slowed him down a bit as well. Learning a bit more discipline and being expected to read a bit more takes time, and Bill Young's schemes were very different from Lovett's. Doing all of that while you're hurt is even worse. But he's a big-time player and he'll be first team All ACC this year.

Go Canes!

Why is Reed pointing out that DVD is taking bad angles!? Where are the COACHES!!! This staff...oy!!!


dude, the difference besides spence, who everyone ackowledges is undersized, and the nice-size LBs at FUI is that Spence is an athletic beast and they're stiffs. Did you not see him all over the field making plays his freshman year? when he was 210 lbs soaking wet?! He was hurt last year, and he's packing some muscle, by the start of the season he'll be a fast, athletic, play-making 220 lbs.

Why is Reed pointing out that DVD is taking bad angles!? Where are the COACHES!!! This staff...oy!!!

Posted by: Caned Again | March 04, 2010 at 10:58 PM

I'm not sure if you know this but you only have a certain amount of time with players and you have to coach all of the secondary.. Its the same coaches that helped Harris improved.. Sometimes hearing it from a different source puts on a light bulb.

Is there any reason that the significant Knee Injury to starting RG Brandon Washington hasn't been reported by either of the 2 major So Fla Newspapers?


FIU may have biglinebackers but what have they done? OH, and ask anyone outside of Florida and they have never heard of FIU. The school used to be a jr. college

Typical FSU fan. To you guys it's always about paper champioships. Spence's size is not going to keep him from returning to form. This guy has heart, he's gonna be back. There was another 6'0 linebacker, named Beason. He's doin ok for himself. You may have even heard of him. Keep chattin, keep in mind that FSU is the road team this year. Go Canes!

Spence is going to raise hell this year. He's a Bull.

I'm sure the coaches point that stuff out, but I'd bet it impacts players more to hear it from a pro-bowler.

Nothing but negativity. No wonder we can't fill the stadium.

i agree why the coaches is not pointing that out to him also it's so late in the game.

Spence wouldn't start at FIU, are you insane? Oh wait, your name is FSUrulestheACC, yep, your insane! He was defensive rookie of the year in the ACC moron.

@FSUrulestheACC: look at what you, yourself, got. forgot about fiu. worry about yourself

Sean wouldn't even start at FIU 6'0 217 lbs...C'mon Manny keep it real bro !!!! Sean is a BUST !!!! Look at what Mario got across town....

Aaron Davis (mike) 6'2" 250lbs 4.6 Sophomore

Pooh Bear Mars (sam) 6'0 225lbs 4.55 Sophomore

Toronto Smith (mlb) 5"11 225lbs 4.55 Senior

Winston Fraser (Wil) 6'2" 235;bs 4.85 Sophomore

Posted by: FSUrulestheACC
Fat and slow

Spence will be back to form but I do question, Why we would have a 6 foot 217lb L.B. at strong side? I do wish the "U" would start recruiting bigger backers, somewhere in the 6'2 range and maybe 220 to 230 l.b.'s. There are not to many pro l.b.'s Spence's size at L.b., if any.

Bob....haha...honestly...I was a tad worried playing USF last year...but...by halftime I was like WTF...these guys SUCK...we beat you pretty good last year....this year at our place you will probably lose by 30...

Lets not forget our crazy Jamaican LB Rohan Marley who was at 5"10 - 5'11....guy was incredible....LB'S can get away with certain height limitations when ither factors are involved...

Didnt Spence get a pick six on the Noles.

And who would be the astronaut that knows full well that the Miami coaches havent already been telling DVD that he's taking bad angles?? U think they werent tellung Arthur Brown what he needed to do and he just wasnt getting it. It may not be that much of a surprise that Sam Shields converted for one yr and got as mucg playing time as he did opposite B. Harris. DVD has not improved his game sincve his freshmen yr, and B Harris has. Is this the coaches fault or the players fault. You people kill me with your assumptions. U can raise 5 different kids in the same household with the same parents and upbringing, and all of them can come out different. U can only coach a player so much, he still has to go out there and execute himself.

Come on people, he didn't say that "None of the coaches pointed it out, only Ed did." Let's get realistic here and not become a group of whiney University of Florida fans. WE ARE CANES FANS!!! BUCK UP!!

Support this team and know that coaches see these sorts of things but that UM Alumni come in to tutor kids one-on-one to help out the program. Especially Ed Reed who was reported as saying that once he is done with the NFL (my Ravens will miss him all too much if he decides to go) that he wants to coach on the college level.

So quit all the belly-aching and pointing out the littlest of things. I swear, this group can be so insecure sometimes. This team finally has DEPTH...is finally has EXPERIENCE...this team's expectations are high for the coming season. Until the season starts, quit complaining about everything.

This is the U!! We INVENTED SWAGGER!!

You're forgetting Ed Reed is one of the greatest NFL and college safeties of all time, he is obviously going to have small tips and tricks that not even coaches(especially college coaches) will know. It's what makes him how great he is, otherwise everyone would know how to do it.

why is fiu fans even talking about their football program? Lets be serious half the fiu students dont even know they have a football program because half of them are 35 year old parents who are going back to school to make their family lives better
im from fiu but come on, fiu football has no place when you are talking about The U


FSU fans. When was the l;ast time the siemn holes won anything other than the State prison bowl championship?
why are you all here talking junk?

Im very dissapointed b/c I was starting to separate you all from gator fans. I'm starting to think you all are one and the same.
I mean please

You all were beat last year, should have been beat the year before, no thanks to Sam Shields and all in all you AND the gators will always be miami's biznatches.

canes have braggin rights , we beat fsu last season at doak. fsu hasnt been a factor nationally or in the acc since 2000 so please shut your semenhole till you win something.

Sean... Time to put up or shut up. You know that we know that you know that we know that you are good enough to dominate.

Now go do it.

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