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UM releases spring depth chart, wake up calls

Al Golden said there were going to be a few surprises when the team released its first depth chart on the eve of spring football. He didn't disappoint.

Among the surprises: Walk-on quarterback Spencer Whipple listed with the first team; freshman All-American offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson listed with the second team and true freshman cornerback Thomas Finnie, who was playing with Miami Central in the Class 6A state championship game just this past December, is already with the first team. Also somewhat of a surprise: no fullbacks listed at all. Got to figure someone will be in there on short yardage and goalline situations.

Here's the new depth chart according to UM (check out the pre-workout depth chart below to compare). Reminder: This is all based on what players did and didn't do in the weight room and during conditioning over the last month and a half.

QB: Spencer Whipple, Jacory Harris, Stephen Morris
RB: Mike James, Storm Johnson, Lamar Miller
WR: Kendall Thompkins, Travis Benjamin
WR: Aldarius Johnson, LaRon Byrd
TE: John Calhoun, Chase Ford, Blake Ayles, Clive Walford, Cory White
LT: Malcolm Bunche, Seantrel Henderson
LG: Brandon Linder, Harland Gunn
C: Tyler Horn, Sean McDermott
RG: Brandon Washington, Jared Wheeler
RT: Jermaine Johnson, Ben Jones, Jermaine Barton

DE: Adewale Ojomo, Olsen Pierre
DT: Curtis Porter, Micanor Regis
DT: Marcus Forston, Luther Robinson
DE: Shayon Green, Andrew Smith
WLB: Ramon Buchanan, C.J. Holton
MLB: Jimmy Gaines, Jordan Futch
SLB: Sean Spence, Sean Goldstein
CB: Thomas Finnie, Brandon McGee
CB: Jojo Nicolas, Keion Payne
FS: Vaughn Telemaque, Andrew Swasey
SS: Kacy Rodgers, AJ Highsmith 

Special teams
K: Jake Wieclaw, Alex Irastorza
P: Jake Wieclaw, Cameron Dean, Alex Iristorza
FG: Jake Wieclaw, Alex Iristorza
KR: Travis Benjamin, Lamar Miller
PR: Travis Benjamin, Kendall Thompkins
H: Spencer Whipple, Jacory Harris
LS: Chris Ivory, Billy Sanders, Andrew Tallman 

For comparison, this was the pre-spring depth chart following a 7-6 season and a bowl loss to Notre Dame according to the team's website shortly before 3 p.m. (first through fourth team, from left to right):

QB: Jacory Harris, Stephen Morris, Spencer Whipple, Alonzo Highsmith
RB: Lamar Miller, Mike James, Storm Johnson, Eduardo Clements, Darian Hall
FB: John Calhoun, Maurice Hagens, David Thompson (walk-on)
WR: Aldarius Johnson, Tommy Streeter, Allen Hurns
WR: Travis Benjamin, LaRon Byrd, Kendall Thompkins, Davon Johnson, Ben Breneau (walk-on)
TE: Asante Cleveland, Chase Ford, Billy Sanders, Andrew Tallman, Clive Walford
LT: Ben Jones, Jared Wheeler
LG: Harland Gunn, Shane McDermott
C: Tyler Horn, Brandon Linder, Eduardo Lopez (walk-on)
RG: Brandon Washington, Malcolm Bunche, Jonathan Feliciano
RT: Seantrel Henderson, Jermaine Johnson, Cory White, Jermaine Barton

DE: Olivier Vernon, Adewale Ojomo, Andrew Smith, David Perry
DT: Marcus Forston, Curtis Porter
DT: Micanor Regis, Luther Robinson, Jeremy Lewis, Jeffrey Brown
DE: Marcus Robinson, Dyron Dye
WLB: Ramon Buchanan, C.J. Holton, Kevin Nelson, Erik Lichtner (walk-on)
MLB: Kelvin Cain, Shayon Green, Sean Goldstein (walk-on)
SLB: Sean Spence, Jordan Futch, James Gaines, Tyrone Cornileus, Travis Williams
CB: Brandon McGee, Nathan Cholston, Keion Payne
CB: Lee Chambers, Devont'a Davis
FS: Vaughn Telemaque, Cory Nelms, Jamal Reid
SS: Jojo Nicolas, Ray Ray Armstrong, Kacy Rodgers

Special teams
K: Jake Wieclaw, Ben Hopfinger
P: Jake Wieclaw, Cameron Dean
KR: Storm Johnson, Lamar Miller, Eduardo Clements
PR: Travis Benjamin, Lamar Miller
LS: Chris Ivory, Billy Sanders
H: Spencer Whipple 

> Thoughts on offense: I'm pretty confident that by the time the season starts Sept. 5 at Maryland, Morris or Harris will be the team's starting quarterback. This was one of the moves Golden made to send a message to both to compete at a higher level... the fact Mike James is listed as the starting tailback is no surprise. James has always been a fierce worker in the weight room. Could he keep the job come the fall? Absolutely. But the Canes are also in good hands whether Storm or Lamar Miller ends up winning the job... It's good to see Kendall Thompkins showing effort and starting out with the first team. Throughout his career, all we've heard about is how amazing this guy does in practice. Yet, he only has five career catches for 42 yards. The Canes desperately need a good slot receiver. Maybe Thompkins is finally ready... Seantrel Henderson not being listed on the first team at left tackle makes me ponder if he came in a little heavy and Golden simply wants him to lose weight... as for the other spots, no position will be more interesting to watch to me than tight end. With Asante Cleveland out and UM looking for more physical play, these guys are going to bring it.

> Thoughts on defense: Right off the bat, where is Olivier Vernon and Ray Ray Armstrong? Both could be banged up. But the fact neither are nowhere on the list makes you a little worried. I think Vernon has been the most consistent pass rusher UM has had over the last two seasons. Armstrong was coming off injury. Maybe that hurt him from making this list... Seeing Shayon Green with the first team after he was the starting middle linebacker when camp opened last fall makes you wonder if the Canes shouldn't have just started him at end to begin with... The middle linebacker spot will be interesting to watch. Golden praised Kelvin Cain on Thursday for his work ethic. Yet, Jimmy Gaines is listed with the ones. I expect Jordan Futch to be UM's starting middle linebacker by the opener... Could true freshman Thomas Finnie really win the starting job? If former safety Jojo Nicolas can why not. In the end, I expect McGee and Payne to be UM's starting corners.

> Thoughts on special teams: Golden said he doesn't like dancers returning kicks or handling punts. Travis Benjamin better put away his tap shoes... I don't know about you, but not seeing Matt Bosher's name on here makes me a little bit queasy.