« Mike James to miss USF game | Main | Gameday blog: USF at Miami »

A closer look at UM's senior class

A group of 16 seniors will run through the smoke one final time Saturday in the final home game of their careers when USF visits Sun Life Stadium. And just like the last three groups of seniors, none of them will have played for a conference title or in a BCS Bowl game. That's depressing obviously for Canes fans who have come to expect a lot more from this program. 

But here's a look at what each of those 16 seniors have contributed to the program in their time here:

2006 recruits

Matt Bosher > Kicker Matt Bosher earned All-ACC first team honors as a kicker and won the team MVP award in 2008 as a sophomore. He has been the starting kicker for three years and punter for four years and has made 42 of his 50 field goal attempts in his career and is 123 of 126 on extra points. He is averaging 44.9 yards a punt this season -- a career high -- and has pinned 14 inside the 20-yard line.

> Offensive lineman Joel Figueroa is out for the season after suffering yet another shoulder injury. Figueroa, a two-star recruit out of North Miami High, started two games at right tackle for UM and struggled this season. He started 13 games at guard between 2008 to 2009 and excelled a lot more on the inside than playing tackle.

> Tight end Richard Gordon has started nine games this season and has five catches for 26 yards to show for it. In 37 previous games before this season, Gordon had four catches for 32 yards. He's served primarily as a blocking tight end. He played defensive end and even returned kickoffs (5 for 104 yards) back in 2007.

> Ryan Hill came in as one of the nation's top high school cornerbacks but was switched to receiver because of a shortage of recruits at the position. He spent two seasons there and caught 19 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns before moving to safety in 2008. He racked up 34 tackles then suffered a season-ending injury before the 2009 season. This year, he's come on strong and has started the last eight games at cornerback. He has 44 tackles, six pass breakups and is tied for the team lead with three interceptions.

> Defensive tackle Josh Holmes has been injury plagued most of his career although he started nine games last season and had 22 tackles. This season, he's made five starts and has seven tackles and one sack -- upping his career totals to 38 tackles and three sacks.

> Colin McCarthy started his career being compared to UM's all-time leading tackler Dan Morgan. He hasn't lived up to that. But he's still started 34 games in his career and has made 284 career tackles, the most by a linebacker at UM since Jonathan Vilma. He was moved to middle linebacker a week before the season started and leads the team with 95 tackles and has an interception with eight tackles for loss.

> Kylan Robinson was a four-star running back in high school and spent his first two years in the Hurricanes scout team backfield before being moved to linebacker. He was given a chance to win the starting middle linebacker job in camp, but never did. He's played in 30 games at UM and has 15 career tackles, one tackle for loss and one fumble recovery.

2007 recruits

> Allen Bailey was recruited as a linebacker out of high school, but was moved to defensive end in 2008. He's made 25 career starts at UM. He led the team with seven sacks last season and 11 tackles for loss. He leads the team again this season with those same numbers. He has 19 career sacks and 100 career tackles.

Leonard Hankerson > Damien Berry began his career at safety and as a special teams standout before being moved to running back in 2008. Last season, he carried the ball for the first time five games into the season and finished with 616 yards on 93 carries with a team-high eight touchdown runs. This year in 10 games, he's run for 810 yards and five touchdowns on 166 carries. He's hoping to become UM's first 1,000 yard back since Willis McGahee in 2002.

> Defensive back Jared Campbell, the younger brother of former Canes defensive end Calais Campbell, started six games for the Hurricanes last season and finished with 31 tackles. This season, he's played in eight games, mostly on special teams and has four tackles and one forced fumble.

> Graig Cooper led the Hurricanes in rushing in each of his first three seasons, compiling 2,218 yards on the ground with 12 touchdowns in 20 career starts. But a major knee injury in the Champs Sports Bowl during a kickoff return -- and the emergence of a young group of star running backs -- has curtailed his career. He made his first start of the season last week against Virginia Tech and has run for 145 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown this season. His 2,363 yards rushing rank fifth all-time behind Clinton Portis (2,523), James Jackson (2,953), Edgerrin James (2,960) and Ottis Anderson (3,331).

> Offensive lineman Orlando Franklin is set to make his 13th career start at left tackle Saturday. In his career, Franklin has started 37 games -- most at right tackle. In 2007, he shared the team's rookie of the year award with Graig Cooper. This season, the 6-7, 312-pounder has been flagged more than any other UM lineman.

> Receiver Leonard Hankerson caught a total of 17 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns his first two seasons at UM. The last two seasons? He's led the team in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns. Combined, he has 102 catches for 1,759 yards and 18 touchdowns over his last 24 games. Last week, he passed Michael Irvin for the single-season record in touchdown catches (12) and with 57 catches and 958 yards is on the verge of setting more records. Eddie Brown owns school record with 66 66 (only two others Wesley Carroll and Kellen Winslow caught 60 or more) and 1,114 yards (Andre Johnson has 1,092 yards).

> Cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke started 18 games before this season and tallied 60 tackles and one interception. He's made four starts this season and has 18 tackles, two interceptions and five pass breakups. 

OTHERS
> Fullback Pat Hill signed with Miami in 2008 and was supposed to be done last season. But a season-ending ankle injury allowed him to come back for one more year where he's helped pave the way for the most productive running game at UM since 2004. 

> Special teams star and former walk-on Cory Nelms made his biggest impact last year in the Oklahoma game with a few bone-jarring hits on kickoffs. Nelms was injured last week against Virginia Tech and won't play Saturday. He has five tackles this season and one pass breakup. He made seven tackles last season.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Ideally, this year's senior class might have been larger had six of the 19 players UM coach Randy Shannon signed in his first class (2007) hadn't transferred out. So what are those six guys up to now?

> Receiver/tight end Daniel Adderley left UM in 2009 and last we heard was practice squad player at Tennessee.

> Quarterback Robert Marve suffered his second season-ending knee injury at Purdue back in September. In four starts, he completed 67 of his 99 attempts (67.7) for 512 yards, 3 TDs and 4 INTs and compiled a 2-2 record. Marve started 11 games at UM, finished 6-5, completed 116 of 213 attempts (54.5 percent) for 1,293 yards, 9 TDs and 13 INTs.

> Receiver Jermaine McKenzie, who left UM in 2008, is the second-leading receiver at Memphis. He has 24 catches for 405 yards and 3 TDs.

> Running back Shawnbrey McNeal, who left UM in 2008, ran for 1,188 yards and 12 touchdowns to help SMU end a 25-year bowl drought in 2009. He left school early and was undrafted free agent signed by the San Diego Chargers. Now, he's on the practice squad with the Falcons.

> Defensive tackle Chris Perry signed with UM but transferred to Texas Tech in Jan. 2008. He's played in three games this season and has a total of three tackles -- 12 total in his career.

> Defensive back Doug Wiggins transferred to Western Michigan in 2008. Over the last two seasons, he's started 17 games and has 102 tackles, six forced fumbles.

Comments