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A few UM seniors hoping to make one last splash

A common theme during the University of Miami's struggles for most of the past decade has been the failure of some highly recruited players to develop into quality contributors by the end of their college careers. Some suffered injuries that sent them off course, a handful bounced around at different positions and just never really found a home, and others were just flat out disappointments.

But for all the four- and five-star kids who floundered, some got it together late and turned out to be late bloomers. Four of the five guys in this installment of our Top 60 countdown would love to be just that -- players who survived any and all of the ailments above and left UM on the right foot.

Ryan Hill Last season, Randy Phillips and A.J. Trump were two of those examples. After being recruited out of Glades Central as one of the top recruits in the state, Phillips floundered as a cornerback for two years before being moved to safety. Injured his senior season, he received a medical hardship and came back last year to finish fourth on the team in tackles. Trump, one of the nation's top linemen coming out of Clearwater Central Catholic, missed two seasons and started only two games before his senior season. But he started all 13 games at center last season. So is there another Phillips or Trump among the seniors this group? We'll see.

> 46. Ryan Hill, CB, Sr.: Hill came to UM from Tallahassee Rickards as the top recruit in the 2006 class and one of the consensus top 10 cornerbacks in the country. But with the Hurricanes in dire need of help at receiver, he spent his first two seasons at UM catching passes. In 2008, he moved to safety and finished ninth on the team in tackles. Last season, he was supposed to make the transition back to corner but was injured early in camp and was redshirted. Now, he'll go into his final season at UM hoping to fill a huge need at corner, competing with sophomore Brandon McGee for the starting nickel job.

> 47. Kylan Robinson, LB, Sr.: When Robinson signed with UM out of Tampa Chamberlain in 2005, he was tabbed as consensus Top 20 running back in the country. But he's never received a carry at UM and has been learning how to play linebacker for the past two seasons, playing mostly on special teams. But he could be destined for much more in 2010. At the end of the spring, UM coach Randy Shannon had Robinson (6-1, 235) working with the first team at middle linebacker, saying it was his job to lose come the fall. With Sean Spence and Colin McCarthy penciled in as starters at outside linebacker, Shannon has said he doesn't want to have to move either to the middle. But he has also said he will ultimately start the three best players available. Considering redshirt sophomore Jordan Futch and junior Ramon Buchanon are improving, Robinson is likely more the underdog than the front runner to be that third guy.

Cory Nelms> 48. Cory Nelms, CB, Sr.: Nelms, who came to UM on a track scholarship, turned into a special teams standout last season, delivering several big hits on kickoff returns. Now, the 6-1, 195-pound senior will try to become a bigger force in UM's secondary. This spring, he was one of only a few healthy corners around and will compete to work his way in on nickel and dime situations while likely replacing the departed Sam Shields as a flier on punts and kickoffs.

> 49. Richard Gordon, TE, Sr.: Gordon, a sixth-year senior, was recruited out of Miami Norland in 2004 and has been all over the field for UM during his college career. He started out at tight end, moved to defensive end, then defensive tackle before going back to tight end as a sophomore. In 2007, Gordon (6-4, 270) was put on the kickoff return team for two games. Last season, he was hoping to become more involved in the passing game as a tight end. But after playing in the season opener against Florida State, he sat out the remainder of the season and earned a medical hardship to return this year. Newcomer Chase Ford, a transfer from Kilgore Junior College, is expected to be UM's primary pass catcher at tight end. Gordon will likely be the second option and involved heavily in blocking schemes.

> 50. C.J. Holton, LB, R-So: A standout safety at Crawfordville Wakulla (a high school in Florida State's backyard), Holton played in all 12 games last season as a special teams contributor. He finished with seven tackles (four solo, three assists). But at linebacker, he's pretty far down the depth chart. With Jordan Futch returning from injury and redshirt freshman Shayon Green enter the year relatively fighting the final backup spot on the linebacker depth chart. But if Kevin Nelson shines or one of the other incoming freshmen make a splash, Holton (6-1, 215) could be relegated to just more special teams work this year.

Comments

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Thanks Manny!

we need one or 2 or 3 of these guys to step up and make an impact this year. mostly robinson at lb or gordon at te. we need help at these 2 positions along with the o line to be contender this year. i can't wait.

I think the seniors we will miss the most will be colin mccarthy and matt bosher, there is a huge line waiting behind allen bailey, orlando franklyn and graig cooper

Thank God the last batch of the Coker players are on the way out of the program..

Coker has to be the worst evaluator of talent in the history of football, right next to wanny clueless..

the people in San Antonio are in for it..

Manny been going hard. from being MIA to overloading us.. thanks..

Don Bailey Jr and 560 on Jacory Harris http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Po_T_u7hhA

Of all these guys, Ryan Hill has the best chance to really make a name for himself. McGee hasn't played and though he's likely more talented he won't be ready this year. Hill got screwed by Coker's lousy recruiting and horrible coaching. His being moved to receiver to account for Coker's lack of ability to recruit receivers was a travesty, and I really hope this kid shines this year because he probably would have been great had he been able to develop properly for all 4 years.

Gordon could still show up at tight end too. That would be great, but the rest of these guys may be toast. I'm not seeing Robinson as the answer at middle linebacker, but I'm rooting for him. He's another casualty of Coker's horrible recruiting, where he brought in huge RB classes when we had no receivers. Now the kid gets switched late to account for a lack of depth.

I'm rooting for all these kids though. Go Canes!

1st!!!

Good stuff Manny! Keep it coming.

ONE THING THAT MANY PEOPLE FORGET IS THAT PLAYING IN HIGH SCHOOL IS ONE THING. PLAYING IN COLLEGE IS ANOTHER. SOME PLAYERS CAN ONLY PERFORM UNDER ONE COACH, WHILE OTHERS CAN EXCEL WITH MULTIPLE COACHES. SOME PLAYERS CAN ONLY PLAY UNDER ONE SYSTEM, WHILE OTHERS CAN EXCEL UNDER MULTIPLE SYSTEMS. I WISH ALL COULD EXCEL, BUT REALISTICALLY SOME WILL NOT. THAT'S A PART OF LIFE. PSALMS 46:10

If they want to make a splash, then, they should have been working on it during the off season. Noone is going to give them anything, they need to earn it. That's the only way they will ever appreciate it.

I believe that Ryan Hill out of this group will be special this year. Yeah it is true that we always have a senior in that Dime package and he will be that guy. He is fast. Can cover and has great hands. He is better that Chavez Grant soo yeah

Keep'em coming, Manny.

They all have worked hard and are all solid student athletes...I hope this year is each of their year to shine and conribute.

SEPT 10TH - 12TH, 2010
I am willing to allow the use of my 4 Bedroom house in Columbus Ohio (Worthington area off of Rt 315 - 9 miles from the stadium) for Friday, Saturday, and into Sunday of the Ohio State/Miami game. Maximum of 8 people. The cost for the three days would be $900 or in return I would like the use of your house/condo near South Beach for a long weekend for some time next winter Dec 10', Jan 11', Feb 11' - to be decided by both parties???

I am a Canes fan and will be going down to the game to tailgate without a ticket. I am also willing to pick you up and drop you off at the airport on Friday after 1pm and Sunday before 7pm.

Let me know your interest as hotels will be packed and out of control.
For a nice quiet get away until gametime let me know your interest.

NO PETS.......

jpatrick0800@att.net

It's confusing: how many of these players came so highly rated, how the 'Canes recruiting classes have been ranked at least 20th--usually much higher--for the last 10 years, and how the team still struggles against teams that supposedly haven't recruited as strongly. Given the information we--the fans--have, something is amiss. This equation has an X-factor in it.

The common denominator with almost all these guys is that they spent their entire careers bouncing from one position to another. UM has a mediocre coaching staff that doesn't have the skill or the patience to develop guys, so they just keep plugging them into different positions hoping things will magically fall into place.

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