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Jason Fox a Lion, but still talkin' Canes

Hi all! This is Susan Miller Degnan, filling in for Manny while I try to get some stuff written for The Miami Herald's preseason football section. Tonight is UM's second scrimmage, but it's closed to the public and media. When UM releases something on the scrimmage, Manny will post it late tonight or in the wee hours tomorrow.

Jason Fox I had a chance to speak to Jason Fox a couple nights ago by phone. Jason, as you all know, is one of the most loyal Canes of recent years. He played hurt (knee) for a long time, sacrificing his body -- and perhaps, a round or two in the NFL Draft -- for the sake of the team. He started 11 games for UM last season and had 47 career starts, third most all-time by a Hurricane.

I wrote a story for today's Herald about Orlando Franklin, and Jason said if he could think straight during the Lions' grueling preseason camp, he could come up with some funny stories to share. But on this night, he just wanted to let Canes fans know that he believes Franklin will do a great job at left tackle, and that Joel "Fig" Figueroa will be a standout at right tackle opposite Orlando.

Franklin was struck by how Fox told him to enjoy his last year as a Cane, because there's nothing like your college years.

Some nuggets Fox told me:

> "First of all, I should say, it's such a great opportunity and experience to be where I'm at. It's different here because the guys you play with, most of them are married and have kids. Whey they leave work they go spend time with their families. Unlike college, where we were such a close group that when we left, we'd always go out to eat together, hang out together. It's literally a job now. I told Orlando that this is the last year he'll be playing for fun."

> "[Center] Tyler Horn as been waiting on his opportunity, and he's finally getting it. [Guards] Harland Gunn and Brandon Washington are stepping up into big roles, so they're all excited. I've heard great things. I've talked to several of the guys around the program and I've heard nothing but good things.''

> "Going from guard to tackle, the biggest difference is you're playing against more athletic people. You kind of get put out there on an island sometimes with a really quick guy and it really tests your feel. In the middle, you've got to be strong to go against those big D-tackles, but a tackle you're sometimes matched with the speed guy so you need to be able to move your feet. Orlando got reps at tackle at the end of the season last year and he was always an emergency backup tackle, and always got tackle reps in practice. He's gotten used to it.''

OK guys, that's it for now.I was thinking about other Canes who have sacrificed their bodies during the season, and played instead of sitting. Most guys play hurt, but sometimes it's a fine line. There have been dozens of those guys at UM. The first couple who come to mind recently: Jacory Harris, former defensive back Randy Phillips and running back Javarris James.

 Have a great day!

-- SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

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