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Shannon: Horn "the key" to o-line's success

When they met as part of coach Randy Shannon's first recruiting class four years ago, Tyler Horn and Allen Bailey discovered they shared a common bond:

They both were in love with Popeye's fried chicken.

Tyler Horn "We used to do these runs down to Popeye's -- it was about 30 minutes down south from campus," Bailey said. "We'd go there, Tyler would have an eight piece, biscuits, all that. I'd have a two piece.

"Since he moved off campus, we really don't it too much anymore. He's got a girlfriend now. No time for us anymore."

Bailey, a 6-4, 285-pound senior from Sapelo Island, Ga., and Horn, a 6-4, 295-pound junior from Memphis were both selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference's linemen of the week Monday. While Bailey -- a three-year starter who had a career-high 3.5 sacks last Saturday against North Carolina -- has long been drawing attention, Horn is really only beginning to get noticed now.

Saturday, the first-year starting center had the best game of his career, grading out at 97 percent with six pancake blocks against the Tar Heels. But it's been his work helping glue together a young, inexperienced offensive line that UM coach Randy Shannon says deserves praise.

“I had a pretty good game, but the thing about the offensive line is that if one guy wins it, then all the guys should win it,” said Horn, who is the eldest of six children and has five younger sisters.

“No one offensive lineman is going to make that big of a difference. It is when they all work together, that is when we are good. It is when I get my combo blocks with Brandon and Harland. It is a product of everybody working together.”

At the start of the season, the Hurricanes had only two returning veterans with double-digit starts -- seniors Orlando Franklin (who had 27, but only two at right tackle) and Joel Figueroa (13 all at guard). The plan was to start Franklin and Figueroa at tackle with junior Harland Gunn (five starts at right guard), sophomore Brandon Washington (two starts at left guard) and Horn in the middle. But Figueroa, hampered by shoulder injuries, struggled and was switched back to guard last month before sustaining an undisclosed injury. He hasn't returned and likely won't.

Over the last four games, freshman Seantrel Henderson and redshirt freshman Jermaine Johnson have taken the bulk of the snaps at right tackle while freshman Brandon Linder, a standout from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, has worked his way into the rotation, particularly in jumbo packages.

But now, with Franklin's status uncertain for Saturday's game at Virginia (3-4, 0-3 ACC), more changes could be looming. If Franklin (knee, ankle) can't go Saturday, Henderson will slide in at left tackle. If that move ends up working out the same way the last big shakeup did, the 22nd-ranked Hurricanes (5-2, 3-1) shouldn't worry.

Not only are the Canes averaging 4.5 yards a carry (up from 3.8 last season), but they've averaged 202 yards rushing over their last four games. The pass protection has also improved. After giving up 35 sacks last season, UM has surrendered only nine sacks this season -- including only three in their last four games.

Shannon credits a lot of the improvement to the time his young players have spent breaking down film. But he also said Horn has been "the key."

"He's the guy that has to call out the run blocking," Shannon said. "He's the guy that has to call out the protections and notice when the free safety is coming, the linebacker is coming and how to set the front. He's done a phenomenal job."

Horn, who came in as a little known Rivals two-star recruit, prefers to defer the praise and focuses instead on the improvements that could be made.

“We feel like we should have more than 450 yards over the last two week or whatever it is," said Horn, who said he speaks to former UM centers A.J. Trump and Xavier Shannon frequently.

“We've left a lot of yards out there after penalties. The biggest thing we can't do is get complacent. We have to keep fighting, keep improving."

Comments

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O-line is awesome. Shannon did a heck of a job bringing in great kids. The new guys should step up this week.

Go Canes!

He played extremely well on Saturday

The center position is too often overlooked by us fans (me included...lol)
Not any more. leadership combined with humility and team ethic...an unbeatable combination.
Way to go Tyler, and the entire O-Line.

Overall, the NC game was one of the Canes most powerful and entertaining performances.
Go Canes..

Remember when people would rip Shannon for waiting 1 1/2 hours for Seantrel Henderson, and for keeping the avenues of communication open even after he chose USC?

Looks like his patient confidence paid off.

Those big uglies look great now and for the future!! James, Miller, Johnson and Clemente have a bright future ahead of them with those guys paving the way.

Good luck with the rest of the year guys!
It was great to see that performance last week.
U have some die hard cane fans in the 407.
C-A-N-E-S CANES!

Two Star recruit? Shows that the star system is not always correct. Heck a two star recruit shouldn't even get on the field. Obviously he is much better than that. Go Canes. Get it done against G-Tech and V-Tech and the ACC Coastal Division is yours. FSU rematch? If given the chance for a rematch the "U" will bring the wood and play much much better.

Interesting rumor has surfaced out of Minnesota, Shannon to be recruited to be next head football coach at the University of Minnesota. Please check it out. F.

LMAO @ Fernando - not at you Fernando, but at the thought of a Miami native, and a UM grad leaving for Minnesota...rotfl! Right next thing we'll hear are reports of teh SEC raising its academic standards...thanks for the laugh brother

P.S. - I'm going to borrow a quote from the movie "Menace to Society" that sums up why Randy will never leave Miami let alone go to a place like Minnesota: ...Man we're subtropical people...

Let me know if Shannon needs help moving...

Canesjunkie aka seanwilson523@hotmail.com
Just shut up and go away already
Youre a complete idiot

Let me know if Shannon needs help moving...

Posted by: Canesjunkie | October 27, 2010 at 05:40 PM


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You are the same guy who said he wasn't at the North Carolina game in one post then the next day based your slamming Randy and The Canes...AGAIN...on what you saw while at the game.

Must be tough keeping all your aliases and lies staright...right Sean Wilson?

C'mon where does anybody get info like RS going to Minnesota? I can tell U that RS ain't going no where. He a "homeboy."

If U know all that, then tell me where the heck has Chase what's his name been? Ha? How U like that game of "gotcha" now?

I don't make it up, ESPN NCAAFB rumors line up today, copy paste follows:
Randy Shannon?!?
3:30
PM ET
Minnesota Golden Gophers
TopEmail
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UPDATE: Joe Schmit of KSTP-TV in Minneapolis had a very interesting tweet on Tuesday evening: "Remember where you heard this. A name that could emerge for the Gophers job: Randy Shannon of Miami. This could be a Tubby type deal."

Shannon was born, raised, attended college and has always coached (with the Canes and the Dolphins) in Miami, so it would take a lot to get him to the frigid Upper Midwest. But, like Tubby Smith at Kentucky, perhaps Shannon has tired of the constant criticism he gets from fans (and even former players) and the fact that, short of being a national title contender every season, nothing he does will ever be enough.

Joel Maturi pulled one out of his hat in 2007 when he hired Smith, so we guess anything is possible. Would the Gophers get Twin Cities native Seantrel Henderson as part of the deal?

Ted, no problem, not taken personally, I also LMAO when I read it, but I have lived (and graduated from Miami) in Miami and Minneapolis w/some pretty high up business leader friends in Minnesota and can tell you they will pay him at least double what he is currently making. Everything football & ice hockey is brand new up at the other U.of M.

C'mon ... who else do we get to coach the canes. Shannon's the ideal person for the job. graduation rate's are higher than ever no one ever gets into trouble. ill take that over than million arrests per year and bad grades....C'mon this is miami... those who root for miami have been doing since they were babies... lets be supportive of our leaders......

If i lead, then follow
If i hesitate, then push me
If they kill, than avenge me
But if i betray, then kill me

and whats more is that he can do the job correctly... the best coaches are the ones that dont express emotions on camera. if you know you messed up, then U KNOW that practice after that game is gonna kill you. he Doesn't even have to say a word, its already a fact that youre gonna get beat down like a stepchild the following day.

It wouldn't surprise me these rumors are started by other coaches/staff. Knowing a resurgent Miami will be unstoppable in recruiting South Florida, it wouldn't be surprising.

If Shannon leaves for Minnesota we may as well all repent for Armageddon and start worrying about alien invasions. There is no way in God's green Earth that he voluntarily makes a move from a national title contender (talentwise, at least) to a mid-level Big Ten school with no aspirations whatsoever. They'd have to pay him $10 million a year. Whoever started that rumor probably assumed after the Duke game that he'd be fired by years end. They may be right, but that's the only way he even picks up the phone.

Go Canes!

I agree with Chicago Cane... It would take alot of money and honestly I dont think even that. Lets remember this was guy who was offered almost tripple his salary by Texas when he was a defensive cordinator here and turned it down.

lets satay focus....lets talk about the positive things that happened last saturday. we need more sawangger saturday angainst UVA>>> go canes

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