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Cooper could begin contact drills next week

There was not a lot of big news that campe out of Canes camp Monday despite the fact it was the first day players were wearing full pads and hitting each other. But here are some notes and thoughts:

Graig Cooper > Running back Graig Cooper, who continues to recover from an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee sustained in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 27, could begin actually hitting somebody -- instead of practicing off to the side -- as soon as next week according to coach Randy Shannon.

"We're easing him into more drill work," Shannon said. "Now he's starting to bang a little bit on the sleds. We hit him with the dummies just to get the contact. As time goes on you expect him to do a little bit of contact drills next week, maybe some inside run stuff, some 7-on-7, not the team stuff because that can take a toll on you."

Cooper guaranteed on media day last week he would play in all 14 of UM's games this season. Yes, he's already counting the ACC Title game into the schedule. 

> Everybody knows UM's offensive line is going to be relatively young and inexperienced this season. The good news is Shannon doesn't appear to be taking things lightly preparing them for the season. He said defensively they are giving the offensive line a lot of different looks in terms of formations and fronts. "It's going to take time," Shannon said of the offensive line gelling. "We have three scrimmages to go. It's good we're making our mistakes now."

I asked Shannon if he planned to try and rotate more young guys in this season considering how much experience they lack. All he said was he would start his best five.

> Our Susan Miller Degnan asked Shannon point blank if receiver Thearon Collier was still on the team since he had yet to formally address it with the media since camp opened. Shannon balked at the question and simply said, "Nothing is going on with him."

I'm not sure why Shannon simply hasn't said Collier is no longer on the team. Today, he finally announced that the careers of offensive lineman Stephen Plein and defensive end Gavin Hardin are over.

> Freshman linebacker Kevin Nelson did a lot of talking before he got to UM about how he expected to come in and not only be the starting middle linebacker, but also be well on how on his way to ACC Freshman of the Year honors. Looks like Shannon made him eat a slice of humble pie upon arrival. Nelson was much more subdued when I spoke to him Saturday. 

"The first couple days have been a big transition from high school," Nelson said. "I'm just trying to get the pace of the game, practice speed. The coaches are much different than high school. Coaches in high school baby you because you're the star. But in college, everybody is good. So they're looking to get a man out of you."

Nelson said Shannon and assistant Micheal Barrow have been tough on him from the get-go, pushing him hard to be his best. As for his expectations? "I'm just doing whatever coach Shannon, coach Barrow, coach Lovett asks me to do," Nelson said. "If it's playing special teams, if it's playing second team, getting in there with first team, I just want to do what I got to do."

> I stopped by Miramar High's football practice after the Canes' morning practice today. The defending 6A state champions lost 18 starters from last year's 14-1 team. But man do they still have talent. Cornerback Tracey Howard (Class of 2012) is a beast. He's already got a verbal offer from the Canes and should land a written one on Sept. 1, the first day juniors can actually receive formal offers.

> More video from Monday below. But before you listen to Shannon's meeting with the media and my one-on-one with Olivier Vernon, check out former tight end Jimmy Graham making a great one-handed catch in practice with the Saints. Basketball coach Frank Haith tweeted the link Monday afternoon.

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Let's go Canes

Freshman linebacker Kevin Nelson did a lot of talking before he got to UM about how he expected to come in and not only be the starting middle linebacker, but also be well on how on his way to ACC Freshman of the Year honors. Looks like Shannon made him eat a slice of humble pie upon arrival. Nelson was much more subdued when I spoke to him Saturday.

Read more: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2010/08/cooper-could-begin-drills-next-week.html#ixzz0w9wy6OQX


I hope Shannon does not break his spirit...I know RS is doing what is best,,but let this kid eat humble pie on the field...if he is no good oh well..right now we need a MLB..why not Kevin..

Glad Coop's back, take it easy...we're gonna need you for the home stretch...we got Berry, James, Miller and ( I love the name - perfect for a 'CANE RB ) Storm, Clements...we got some legs...just hope we got some holes for them to run through!

coop your the man cant wait to see you play in all 15 games! yea the national champ is included!

Manny,

I really disagree with you on the verbage of Shannon balking at Susan, I mean here you got Urban Meyer going off at the Orlando reporter an all Shannon did was say nothing is going on didn't balk just said nothing, I truly think you need to be mindful of your verbage that you use it could be miscrued the wrong way.

Mike

I think Kylan is going to be doing big things this year. I like Kevin Nelson and his spirit is not broken, it is just a different climate for him. Like he said he is not being babied anymore and the coaches want him to grow up. He will be good.

MANNY: I was wondering if you have any new info. on the rules violations concerning the "U". Should we as Cane fans be worried about possible sactions? Susan did a great job of filling us in but I was just wondering if there is any new info.

No doubt that having a healthy Cooper will only give Whipple more toys to work with. If Whipple can get 10 to 15 plays out of Cooper this season then the "U"s offense could be even more potent. GOOOO! CANES!

I meant getting 10 to 15 plays out of Cooper in each game not the entire season. My bad. GOOO! CANES!

It's great that Cooper will be ready. He is a great running back, He has worked hard to come back from his injury. I think he and Berry will alternate a lot. The Canes have the best backfield in the country with the talent of all of the RB's we have. Go Canes

Kevin Nelson has a high motor and I heard that the staff did not put the muzzle on, maybe he should get credit for saying the right things and having the right team first attitude he expressed. Why does the Herald always approach things at the U from the negative sense?

What's the deal with Hardin & Plein. Hardin has been here for 3 years and I still don't know what ever happened to him.

Q: I really disagree with you on the verbage of Shannon balking at Susan, I mean here you got Urban Meyer going off at the Orlando reporter and all Shannon did was say nothing is going on didn't balk just said nothing, I truly think you need to be mindful of your verbage that you use it could be miscrued the wrong way. Posted by: Michael | August 10, 2010 at 07:59 AM

A: I never said Shannon ripped her. I said he balked at the question. I've always taken balked to mean hesitate or disagree with. That's why the video is there, so you can see for yourself how he reacted. I'm definitely not trying to paint Shannon as someone who jumped down her throat. He simply balked, hesitated, and then said nothing was up. Just a strange reaction really.

Q: Kevin Nelson has a high motor and I heard that the staff did not put the muzzle on, maybe he should get credit for saying the right things and having the right team first attitude he expressed. Why does the Herald always approach things at the U from the negative sense? Posted by: Hank | August 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM

A: I didn't feel I wasn't taking a negative approach Hank. I was simply trying to get the point across that Nelson has calmed down from being the big talker he was before actually coming to UM. I spoke to him multiple times throughout the recruiting process and he was a kid who was confident, charismatic and animated. He was really none of those when I spoke to him Saturday. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Shannon wants these kids to believe in the team aspect as you pointed out. Nothing wrong with that. I just wanted to people to know his personality has seemed to be shifted greatly from the guy I knew before he got to UM.

I agree he didnt jump down her throat. he balked at the question, but most accurately, he refused to answer the question by giving a non-answewr over and over, thus signalling to her thathe wwas annoyed at the question, and he seems to assume that everyone should already know Threon's status; "nothing is happening with Theron"

RANDY WT-F DOES THAT MEAN? 'NOTHING IS GOINGONWITH THERON"?

JUST ANSWER, PLEASE, IS HE OFF THE TEAM, ON THE TEAM, OFF TEMPORARILY, DID HE DO SOEMTHINGTHAT COULD PUTTHE U AT RISK, IS IT A PERSONAL REASON FOR BEING OFF THE TEAM, IS IT ALL PREMATURE TALK? IS THERE A CHANCE HE WILL BE BACK??

Wow im loving it here.I've been a canes fan for 27 years i feel at home here.GO canes!!!!!!!

When you said the Plain and Hardin careers are over did you mean careers of there season?

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