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Henderson most intriguing wildcard for UM in '10

It's time to get back to work. The Miami Hurricanes are 17 days away from the start of fall camp on Thursday, Aug. 5. And, although the media will only have limited contact with players and Canes coaches until then (CanesFest on July 31 and there are a few more Wednesdays when we will have access to a handful of players) it's time to start previewing the 2010 season here at Eye On The U. 

Over the next two-plus weeks, I'll examine the big story lines and questions facing the Canes and rank the Top 60 players on the team based on past performance and expectations. Even though some players will not show up in the rankings, a handful could potentially make huge impacts during the 2010 season. So, to kick of this year's preseason player rankings, I'll start with those guys, The Wildcards. Here they are:

Seantrel Henderson1. Seantrel Henderson, OL, Fr.: If LeBron James was the biggest summer arrival on South Beach, Seantrel Henderson should be considered the same in Coral Gables. After picking USC over Miami and Ohio State on National Signing Day, the nation's No. 1 high school offensive lineman backed out on the Trojans after they were hit hard by NCAA sanctions earlier this month. Now, he's become the biggest addition to the Hurricanes' 2010 signing class. Assuming there are no surprises with the NCAA Clearinghouse, Henderson should report for classes Aug. 3 and be in uniform when coach Randy Shannon starts asking guys to fly around. Henderson isn't quite like the other offensive linemen UM has recruited in the past decade. He probably will not need much time at all to get bigger or stronger. At 6-8, 340-pounds, his toughest adjustment will likely be getting used to the speed he's seeing on the other side. With UM loaded with talent at defensive end, he'll be tested quickly. It's hard to imagine Henderson pushing Orlando Franklin out of the starting left tackle job by the season opener on Sept. 2. But could Henderson start at right tackle ahead of redshirt freshman Jermaine Johnson (6-6, 310) and sophomore Ben Jones (6-5, 300)? Absolutely. At the very least, Henderson should split time.

Chase Ford2. Chase Ford, TE, Jr.: Ford would have benefitted largely from participating in the spring and learning offensive coordinator Mark Whipple's system. But the NCAA denied a waiver the 6-7, 250-pound native Texas needed to transfer in from Kilgore Community College, the same school which produced former Cane Kevin Everett. So, Ford spent his spring staying in shape and working as a maintenance man at his old high school. Ford won't have to cut the lawn at UM, but he will have to make a Jimmy Graham-like transition to the Canes' offense. Other than senior Richard Gordon (4 catches, 32 yards), Miami only has redshirt freshman Billy Sanders (6-4, 248) and two other freshmen -- Clive Walford and Asante Cleveland -- to throw out there at tight end. Ford won't be the No. 1 tight end on Day 1, but he should become it rather quickly. The issue becomes how much he really helps the offense. Graham caught 17 passes for 213 yards and five touchdowns last season. Dedrick Epps caught 19 for 247 yards and 3 scores. With Miami loaded at receiver, Ford figures to probably do right around the same as those two as the tight end position is used less overall.

Graig Cooper3. Graig Cooper, RB, Sr.: Quarterback Jacory Harris told reporters last week he's optimistic Graig Cooper will be back to help the Hurricanes at some point this season. That was hard to imagine back in December when Cooper's blew out his right knee -- almost Willis McGahee style -- returning a kick in the Champs Sports Bowl loss to Wisconsin. Cooper, Miami's leading rusher each of the past three seasons, had surgery not long after the injury and has been rehabbing hard with the hope of coming back to see real playing time. Tight end Dedrick Epps did it last season. But until we see otherwise, it's hard to imagine Cooper, a player who relies so much on his cutback ability, making a big impact in 2010. He could ultimately make his way back later in the season and try to prove his ready for the next NFL Draft. But my thought process is Shannon will urge him to hold off until 2011 when he could return fully healthy and have a young crop of running backs behind him. For those of you thinking Cooper's loss is no big deal, remember two things: 1. Mike James and Lamar Miller have a combined 15 college carries in their career (all belong to James). 2. Cooper finished fourth in the ACC last season in all-purpose yards.

Latwan Anderson4. Latwan Anderson, ATH, Fr.: Just like Henderson, Anderson was a post-signing day gift for UM. A 5-10, 170-pound freshman who signed a track scholarship with the Canes, Anderson finished his senior year in Ohio with 66 tackles, four forced fumbles and 14 picks and was considered a 5-star recruit by Rivals. He could potentially help Miami all over the field, much like Devin Hester once did, playing on defense, offense and special teams. Considering how much help UM could use at cornerback, it's hard to imagine the staff pushing him to receiver, where he would be behind a long list of talented players. If Anderson ends up in the secondary, he could always switch to receiver later on in his career. My thought is we see Anderson mostly on special teams, dime situations and maybe once or twice on a few trick plays or reverses on offense. Either way, I think we will see at least one or two freshmen play a lot in the secondary with numbers down at cornerback.

Kevin Nelson5. Kevin Nelson, LB, Fr.: If there is a position on defense with more questions surrounding it than middle linebacker, let me know. With the departure of Darryl Shaprton, Shannon let true freshman Shayon Green start the spring with the first team in the middle. The experiment didn't last long. Green was quickly replaced by senior Kylan Robinson, a 6-1, 235-pound former four-star running back with four career special teams tackles and no starts under his belt. Shannon was happy with Robinson in the spring, saying he made major strides. Although Robinson is in line to be this year's Matt Pipho (a player who waited until his fifth season to become a major contributor), he could receive a serious push from Nelson, a 6-1, 220-pound true freshman from Gainesville who scouts love. If Nelson, 20, impresses enough, there's no reason he couldn't at least share some some playing time with Robinson -- especially since Shannon seems intent on not wanting to have to move Colin McCarthy to the middle.

Footnote to the Top 60 rankings: I did not include freshmen who were not around for spring football or veterans who enter the season coming off major injuries (i.e., Graig Cooper).


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I beileve that SH will vie for playing time this year and should be worked in slowly. I believe the media just hyped him up and I dont think this is a bad young man or that his father is that bad. He is extremely talented. He should come in and work his tail off. The line from left to right Big O,Fig,Horn,Washington and either Johnson or Jones.

Chase Ford is intruging he should come in and play right away. I for one am not sold on the TE's this year. Randy knows that we have none that is why he brought in soo many this year even went the JUCO route to grab somebody who has played at some level...(Jeremy Shockey anyone?)

Coop was my favorite back this year. Leading rusher 3 years in a row. If he can come back and be solid yeah play him like we played Berry. Dont use him til we need that spark he will still have his speed just not so many cutting back in forth! He should redshirt though...he called Willis i heard and decided to stay..

L.Anderson will be a household name by the time he leaves Coral Gables..this kid has swagger and loves Miami and the best part was we didnt even recruit him. He will play like a rover position he is fast and he can catch the ball Corner then Safety i say..

K.Nelson should be the starting MLB come Game 1. He played at a hard level in Florida. and he will push Kylan for that job in the fall and wont look back..and he is rocking #52!!

"Footnote to the rankings: I did not include freshmen who were not around for spring football or veterans who enter the season coming off major injuries (i.e., Graig Cooper)."

It's not a 'foot'note if it's noted *before* the rankings. It's simply a 'note.'

Please let Greg Cooper go. He is not as talented as ANY RUNNING BACK at UM. I hope he takes no time from the other true running backs we have. I feel like he and baby James have been holding the other backs down.

Great article, thanks Manny!


Finally, some UM football news. Ready for the start of practice and hearing Shannon talk about people flying to the ball and calling concussions "an injury to an upper extremity". Hope this is our year. Thanks Manny.
And how bout all the posters here turn over a new leaf and not put FIRST in their comments. Let's grow up this year

Great job Manny. I'm so looking forward to this season. I live 45 minutes from OSU and can't take much more of the Suckeye BS. I'm hopeful this year is the start of a great run for the Canes.

So Manny, we play OSU on 9/11. I think the game will look a lot like the USC - OSU game last year with the Canes having a little more offense. Canes 21 / 24 to OSU 13 / 17. Do you think the D is up to it and can the O line hold up. No waffling. Forget Henderson on this. He would be a welcomed bonus if he can contribute by the 2nd game. Will Pryor live up to the hype for this game? I say no...he will play his typical game and OSU will rely on the running game. He may make 1 or 2 highlight film runs but nothong that will really hurt.

About time Manny...football can't get here quick enough. Go Canes!!!!!!!!!!!

It's been awhile and glad to see you writing about the Boyz again...

SH is no question the biggest surprise of the year and should be a great asset at LT but Orlando is not so easy to discard and splitting time seems about right for 2010. What's not said, is that Orlando will probably welcome the support, given the azzkick'n schedule we got and grabbing a breath of air will go a long way to extending the productivity of both tackles. Especially playing OSU, UNC, VT and FSU twice... as I expect to see FSU at the end of the year too.

LA (great addition to the family) but at 170 playing corner is still to lite for me, but his speed will go a long ways in making up for size, especially on 3rd down passing plays. Like in Brandon H's mold, I expect to see at least 2 INT's in 2010.

Just to get the juices flowing... Who here thinks we are going bowling in 2010?


first!! Welcome back Manny. Can someone explain how we fit Anderson and Henderson under the scholarship limit. it has not been reported very clearly so far.

It was about time you came back Manny!! You were deeeply missed!!!

Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank YOU Manny! FINALLY, my 'fix' for the day!


Manny we missed you, finally some Cane's news. When will you start doing the chats again?

Welcome back Manny,
Wow! it's good to have football starting back.
What a great deal getting Hendersen,I have always belived the game starts on the Oline.
Outside Lbacker is where we need improvement
the most.Cant let teams kill you with tight ends wide open.Our running gane should shine
with this stable of backs and you know the passing game will be there.
The season looks very promising,especialy if we come out of the killer front part of the schedule.

Go get em Canes stomp some arse.

GulfStream Blue

With these additions, where does the Miami's 2010 recruiting class rank now? The criticism of the class was that it lacked big names. How about now?

Great to have you back Manny! I've been itching for some news, but until you start writing again it's still the offseason.

Dead on analysis. Somehow you forgot about Berry when discussing Cooper's importance. Berry will start and dominate, but it would be great for Coop to back him up in a thunder/lightning type mold. Still, I'm confident James/Miller/Chambers/Johnson will be an adequate backup should he not make it back.

When you do your player rankings, put Pat Hill high on the list. Our troubles in pass protection were serious last year only when he went down with an injury. We need him badly.

Go Canes!

Great Job Manny,

I recently visited Coral Gables to check out the Canes and many of the players are speaking very highly of Keyon Payne and what he's doing in 7 on 7 drills.

yep first...


Welcome back form that other sport.

My basic two sense is IF the OL can produce this could be a very good team.

The DL should be sick and keep pressure off the DB's.

Congratulations on a new post, 2 this month!

Good to have U back Manny.

Its almost that time of year again...

It's about time you got back. Been starving for Canes news. If you can't find anything, just make disparaging remarks about Ohio State.

I think it's a testament to the good job Coach Shannon and his staff have been doing that we are at the point where only 3 or 4 freshman (I say 4 b/c I think Linder has a chance too) might play. All of which were some of the highest ranked players at their respective positions. I don't think enough of us take our grains of salt when it comes to recruiting and forget that 99% of these kids need some time to grow.

In Shannon we trust. Good job Coach!!!

that is about right Manny.....yeah a few is left of the radar. I think some will surprise us with their play making ability. We are deep this year and it is looking good regardless who gets on the field .


How come everyone keeps forgetting Andrew Tallman when listing freshman TE's?

Its Great to be a Miami Hurricane!
Love these kinds of issues......

Manny, Where U been? I've been starting wars with the boys in blue in trailor ville waiting for sUM news. Hope all is well.

The Keys to the Cadi were right for Arthur Brown. What a 9u$$7.

Manny! It's that time of the year.... LET'S RIDE!!

Agreed. If one looks at the roster today the only holes one can see right now are 1. who is going to play the other corner position aside Mr. Harris? Brandon Magee or Demarcus Van Dyke Who's going to step up and play middle linebacker? and whether the addition of Mr. Linder and Mr. Hernderson will make the o-line that much better. It seems they will be, on paper that is. But aside from these issues the biggest question going into the 2010 season in my opinion is the schedule. At Ohio State, at Pitt, at Clemson and FSU at home to start the season. It seems that we are loaded at many positions on both defense and offense with some small holes to fill. So the BIG problem will be mental toughness. Cause the truth is there were times last year where the "U" lacked mental toughness (VT and NC games). Most notably the Wisconsin fiasco. GOOO! CANES!

Chase Ford is FOR REAL! You all will see soon enough! He will be wearing #9.

Hey Manny! Nice work, mi amigo!



Thanks Manny. This will really be a blast from the past as far as expectations and playing on the biggest CFB stages. We'll see how it works out, might still be a year away, but we got the depth and talent returning, still not very experienced at some positions.

And I disagree, I don't think Coopers potential loss is a big deal. Why didn't you mention Berry when you talked about James/Miller being his back up. Also RB is a position where a freshman can come in right away and see quality time assuming they pick up pass protection schemes.

Anyways... welcome back!

i just want to know when 10th & Biscayne became part of South Beach. I understand the idiots at ESPN saying that the Triple A is in South Beach, being that they're a bunch of trendy morons and LOOOOVE saying South Beach. But when local writers can't get their neighborhoods right we got a problem. For those out of towners reading this...The Heat play in Downtown Miami NOT South Beach. Thank you and have a nice day.

Ohyeah....GO CANES!!!

Henderson should start just based on his size and he will be better than everyone else we have except Franklin. Coop can't be an every down back and usually it takes at least a year or more to come back from an acl injury and play at the level you were playing at. D-line is my main concern especially at tackle. Forston has to come back and play like the 5 star player he was projected to be. We also have to get a pass rush or it isn't going to matter who plays in the secondary, they will get toasted.

Without a doubt there is good reason to be optimistic and hopeful this year. The talent is here for all to see, and you have to be excited about the way it's come together. But we have got to do better on game day, and this is for the coaches. I hope I never see another game like that Clemson game last year ! I understand all the sportsman/gracious/niceguy BS. But we have got to put teams away. There is no explenation for losing that Clemson game last year NONE! And for the record I AM A RANDY SHANNON SUPPORTER ! He is the man for this job and he will get us back there. But Jeeeeezusssssss be less nice and more aggressive ! GO CANES

Oh welcome back Manny good to have our information pipeline back in the house. Everybody talked a bunch of smack while you were gone, including me,lmfao!

This is our year to shock the world. Go CANES!!!!! I think Jacory will have a great year. I see ACC TITLE AND ORANGE BOWL WIN. Next year we win it ALL.

We had enough of Cooper Manny. Its Berry/Miller time.Our running game was terrible the last 4 years

It's about that time now...

We have a good group this year, no reason the U shouldn't compete for an ACC crown.

I think you nailed Anderson's role, but I don't see Henderson coming in and taking over Johnson at RT.

Really pulling for Nelson, I think he'll be special.

Everyone wants to talk offense. Let's get back to Miami football and start dominating on DEFENSE. Looking back at last year, we gave up 34 to FSU, 31 to VA Tech, 33 to NC, and 40 to Clemson!!! Guys like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Sean Taylor would have died on the field before giving up so many points. Until Miami Football gets back to being known for their Defense, we will not be in the National Championship picture. You simply can't win giving up that many pts.

Manny Henderson and Anderson great additions, but major add in Petri as Dline coach will be felt in run d as well as pass rush which will improve secondary and we will benfit with some int's
welcome back

Nice Job, Manny!!!

I would like to hear more about James, Miller, and anyone else likely to get substantial pt while Cooper is rehabilitating.

Keep it up man!

Keep em' coming Manny!!

Manny, I have seen Nelson play and the young man is the real deal. In one game he took the game over from the defensive side of the ball and scored both his teams touchdowns. How the Gators let him get out of town is amazing to me. At 20 years old he has a head start on the other freshman in terms of maturity. He is a leader and will be a vocal leader when his time comes at the U.

He has the swagger and the athletic ability to back it up. I believe before his UM career is over he will go down as one of the best to ever wear green and orange.

My 2 cents worth. First let me tell all of you I'm very proud to see all the posting and zero remarks about how bad this team is or will be by the time bowl games start in Dec. I for one cannot wait for this year to start. I have faith in our OL and they will really work their tails off to see that Mr. Harris does not spend as much time on his hind end. Recievers look good and as for the TE position, I think we have 2 diamonds in the ruff, and will be shinning bright by the end of the year. RB's and FB's are set to run their tails off also. I look for some great games where we gain more than 20 yrds per run more than once or twice a game. and look for a nice 70+ yard gain by one of the horses in the backfield. Mr. Harris will be in NY in Dec. but as a guest and not as a winner that will come later if he stays here and does not bolt for the NFL. Defense side of the ball. I hope to see more sacks, forced fumbles and more INT. I want to see more 3 & out by the other team. I do not want to see over 200 yards rushing. or 300 yards passing by any QB we face. I would love to see our special team players really shine this year. A few KO for TD's would be nice, a few punt returns for TD's would also be a nice change of pace. Why I'd even like to see us block a few punts and feild goal attempts. I'm not asking for much, am I? Most of all I want every player to just play his game to the best of his ability. I've been around long enough to know win or loose this UM team is my team. I want to win it all, everytime, but know that is not likely. Just play the game except the win,learn from a loss,grow as a team. and play in a bowl game at the end of the year. the OB game would be nice, NC would be really nice but so would a trip to Atlanta, or somewhere else too. Thanks

Hey folks, even Manny needs time off to re-charge. Welcome back!

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