« Swinney says Clemson has to put heat on Jacory | Main | UM injury report for Clemson »

Canes' DE Andrew Smith ready to flourish

When Marcus Forston met Andrew Smith two years ago when they arrived on campus together as part of UM's nationally acclaimed 2008 recruiting class, Forston admitted he didn't think Smith would end up looking like the sleek, 6-3, 245-pound ab-muscle flaunting pass rushing defensive end he is today.

Andrew Smith "That guy came in with a linebackers body and an offensive lineman's stomach," said Forston, who at 6-3, 305 pounds has never exactly tried to pass himself off as an Adonis. "Right now, he's got his abs. He's slimmed down, toned. Guy is looking good right now."

Smith looked good at Pittsburgh last week, enjoying his finest hour as a Hurricane. On a night when UM produced five sacks and nine tackles for loss, Smith led the charge, producing two sacks and three tackles for loss on a four-tackle night. The fact Smith was UM's best pass rusher last week didn't surprise anyone in the Canes' locker room -- nor would it if he finished the year leading the team in sacks.

As lightly regarded as Smith was coming out of Coconut Creek Monarch High (he was ranked the 89th best defensive end in the country by ESPN.com), his raw skills and ability to play both end spots -- with his right or left hand down -- are unique according to coach Randy Shannon. And it might not be long before opposing teams starting giving him as much attention as they do senior Allen Bailey (sack), junior Adewale Ojomo (two sacks) and sophomore Olivier Vernon (team-leading 3.5 sacks).

"If you would have asked me this or asked anybody on this team two years ago about Andrew Smith making this big adjustment or this big jump, nobody would have seen it," Forston said. "That's a guy who has the best pass rush on the d-line right now. As a defensive line, we know we don't have a guy that can come off the line the way he does right now. He has great hands, great leverage and he's good at leaning. A lot of defensive ends are tiny in the hips and can't bend. He can bend and lean."

Smith said he's added about 20 pounds since arriving on campus -- all of it muscle. Shannon said the fact Smith spent the entire offseason running and conditioning with Bailey, UM's most physical defensive lineman, was a huge help.

"When you have a guy who competes with Allen Bailey in conditioning, you can only get better," Shannon said. "Andrew has improved his mind, strength and mind strength. You expect big things out of a guy that works that hard."

The Hurricanes, who rank second in the country in sacks, will face a heftier challenge this week getting to the quarterback against Clemson. The Tigers, who bring back four starters on their offensive line, have only given up two sacks this season (fewest in the ACC). With Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker battling back from a few bruised ribs in his back, it's likely the Tigers will try and max-protect their quarterback and roll him out of the pocket.

So far when the Canes have been at their best defensively, it's been because they've been able to get the quarterback on the ground and make plays in the backfield. “Tackles for losses are really important for us," Bailey said after the win at Pitt. "It sets the tempo and [gives us] momentum for the whole game."

Said Vernon: "Parker is very quick, he throws the ball pretty fast. We just need to rush him out the pocket. Once we get him on the run, he's not going to be too fast."

A FEW MORE TIDBITS/NOTES

> Former Hurricanes starting quarterback Robert Marve was lost for the season at Purdue on Thursday. Marve, who went 6-5 as a starter at UM in 2008 when he threw 9 TDs and 13 interceptions, tore the ACL in his left knee for the second year in a row in a 31-20 loss to Toledo.

Marve had completed 67 of 99 passes for 512 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He also had 32 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Some Hurricanes fans might not be happy with quarterback Jacory Harris (55-86, 690 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs), but the grass is not necessarily greener without him. Marve obviously wasn't playing much better than Harris has this season and former backups Taylor Cook (Rice) and Cannon Smith (Memphis) are not exactly flourishing either.

Cook has played in mop-duty in two games and is 13 of 22 for 98 yards and an interception. He's one of two backups to former Hurricanes recruit Nick Fanuzi (who was headed to UM before Marve picked the Canes). Smith was the starter at Memphis before going down with a concussion. Now, he's the backup to former Miramar High standout and true freshman Ryan Williams. Smith is 13 of 21 for 130 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in two games worth of action.

The Hurricanes have A.J. Highsmith (4-7, 18 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT) and Spencer Whipple (3-4, 22 yards, 0 TDs) as the current backups with true freshman Stephen Morris expected to be redshirted. 

Miami Northwestern QB Teddy Bridgewater, the only quarterback the Hurricanes appear to be signing in the 2011 class, has looked good in his first three games for the Bulls. He's 55 of 76 for 932 yards, 11 TDs and 0 INTs. But he'll have three tough opponents over the next three weeks -- Saturday against Miami Booker T. Washington, Oct. 9 vs. Miami Central and Oct. 14 vs. Columbus (ESPN).

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

"Cook has played in mop-duty in two games and is 13 of 22 for 98 yards and an interception. He's one of two backups to former Hurricanes recruit Nick Fanuzi (who was headed to UM before Marve picked the Canes)."

Hmm, so basically we should have grabbed Fanuzi instead of Marve. Kind of like how the Dolphins should have grabbed Brees insteead of Culpepper.....

I may be alone in this but I still wish Marve and Cook were here. I know they're not doing so well now, but you can't really blame Marve that he was stuck in that lame duck offense. Noone showed very well then. He'd be a quality backup and would be pushing Harris right now, though I doubt he'd get any real time. It's tough to tell though because Whipple likes to throw deep and Marve had the better arm, so who knows. The only potential problem would be the possibility of a QB controversy with Harris throwing interceptions the way he is and how fickle UM fans are.

Cook was another QB that was big with a huge arm. Just because he's struggling at Rice doesn't mean he wouldn't have developed into something special by his senior year here under Whipple's guidance and with a bunch of great receivers.

Neither guy would have replaced, or been as good as, Harris, but competition creates greatness, and Harris has none right now. It's going to be fun watching Morris and Bridgewater compete 2 years from now. I know everyone's high in Teddy, and rightfully so, but Whipple hand-picked Morris over some more highly touted recruits in the area, meaning he might be the perfect fit for the offense. It should be fun.

Go Canes!

Robert Marve ()_ _() and your daddy got what
[]_ _[] deserve

Hey ChicagoCane....u are alone in that thinking. Marve is horrible as a qb, Fanuzzi or whatever his name is, is also scared of competition. Cannon smith is too short and Taylor Cook apparently can't think for himself. J12 is our guy so suck It up and move on!!!!!

J12 can throw 2 - 4 picks in every game and he is still better than those scrubs we have been recruiting. QB's are a dime a dozen. Hopefully Bridgewater is as good as advertised. Time will tell though. J12, throw the ball away please...

If you dont want to be a Cane, you arent good enough to be.

Marve broke the rules & Cook and Smith didnt have dedication.

Harris can be coached up. The running game is the key, Pitt showed that. It takes the pressure off Harris and enables him to make better plays.

Posted by: Max Brody

Exactly! We don't need any more caucasian QBs thats fo' sho'

Posted by: Max Brody

Exactly! We don't need any more caucasian QBs thats fo' sho'

Posted by: Cane over Gators | September 30, 2010 at 04:42 PM

Manny and Susan, the racist is back, pretending to be me, and pretending that I would type in ebonics. Of course, he spelled the ID wrong, but still it is annoying to tolerate that.

I went to Gator Clause and had a decent conversation with a Gator fan on there earlier today that wanted to know why I am claiming that this Curse of Art Kehoe troll shouldn't just be allowed to do his thing, while at the same time saying no Canes fans should be posting on their board.

I decided to give him a prime example, and I said I would leave their site alone until Monday, to see if he would accept a cease fire, and this is his response, combined with multiple attacks on Gator Clause. As you can see, he WANTS to escalate this until he finally gets banned, hoping that he takes some Canes fans with him on his little terrorist suicide mission.

I am sure Canes fans are tired of these attempts at getting Canes fans to fight amongst ourselves. And Canes fans, thanks for not falling for his ID theft this time. I won't be on here till Monday, so any further posts from my ID are from the ID theft racist sicko looking to start trouble since he cannot argue the facts I presented to him. This blog reads much better when he is unable to post here, and can be much better again in the future.

Please consider finally banning this guy like the Sun Sentinel did. His racism, ID stealing, belligerence, and obsessive hatred cannot be stopped by conventional means, since he does not accept moderation or even any truce or cease-fire.

So again, I won't be on here till Monday because of some "issues" but believe me monitoring the blogs will be in every waking thought.

Good luck to the Canes!

Marve????? Please!!!! He stunk.....period. Leave that one alone.

Posted by: Max Brody

Max Brody said:

"Exactly! We don't need any more caucasian QBs thats fo' sho'"

**********************************************

MANNY & SUSAN:

Just as predicted based on past performance the racist is spewing his hate once again. Granted, this is not his best work, but this is how he starts each one of his hate cycles by testing to see just how far he will be allowed go with each additional racial comment.

The old saying applies to you... "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

Shandel Richardson to his everlasting discredit allowed the racist to spread his hate for almost 2 years. Steve Gorten to his everlasting credit observed the racist's act for 2 minutes and banned him for life.

This is not about football, but human decency and what is acceptable in a civilized society...the racist is without question mentally ill, which leaves the responsibility to stop this deranged hater from using this blog as his platform up to you, Manny and Susan.

PLEASE DO THE RIGHT THING AND BAN THIS HATE MONGER!

you know why the hate monger keeps writing cause you can't ignore him...... like a little kid with candy. Its like you are unable to read the blog without commenting on the other guys comments...jut read dufass.

canes fan. sssssshhut up dude

CANES FAN,

you really need to get a life bro. the fact that you spend every waking moment thinking about some wierdos blog posts is pathetic. man up, ignore it, and he'll have no reason to waste his time on here. quit taking his s*** to heart and learn to laugh at his nonsense.

Why did Randy Shannon burn Storm Johnson's redshirt when we are 4 deep (5 if you count Copper) at RB? Thanks for wasting a year's worth of his talent in the offense. Idiot.

"some ..fans might not be happy with Jacory's performance"....SOME..nobody is happy with Jacory's performance...oh by the way,nice spin on the performances of the former QB's Marve,Smith,and Cook....even though Marve and Cook look like they would have thrived in this offense....hell Kyle Wright would have worked in this offense......By the way did anyone else hear that OC Whipple asked the players if he was giving them too much with this "NFL" style offense, only to have them claim to be up to the challenge...He's a little old to be passing the buck to the players...He should ask the fans that question..lol..or "Are you satisfied surviving Jacory's performances each Saturday?".....LOL

J12 has got to read defenses better. Whipple is OK. I didn't know that J12 could not run, the guy runs like an ice wagon.

'Canes beat CU by a score of 27-10.

Defence , PUT PRESSURE ON PARKER. Offence , NO I-N-T-E-R-C-E-P-T-I-O-N-S! UM 40 Clemson 37 2ot

The comments to this entry are closed.