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Gunn aiming to jump start Canes offensive line, running game

As the son of a part-time DJ, Hurricanes offensive lineman Harland Gunn said he grew up listening to all kinds of music in his home in Omaha, Nebraska.

Harland GunnOldies. Rap. R&B. Lately, though, the 6-2, 310-pound left guard at the University of Miami said he's been expanding his tastes even more.

"I've been listening to Led Zepplin and stuff like that to get me ready for the games." said Gunn, a fifth-year senior who has started 26 games in his career for the Hurricanes including 21 in a row.

"If I had to pick one song as my theme song it would be Power by Kanye West."

Why? "Because it's all about power," Gunn said. "You got to have power in this world."

Truth is there may not be a more fitting theme song for Gunn, hands down the strongest and most powerful player on UM's football team. Strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey said Gunn owns the highest marks on both squat (600 pounds-plus) and bench press (500-plus). "I think [defensive end] Olivier Vernon might be the only one who has [Gunn] on the power clean," Swasey said Wednesday.

Those strength numbers hardly surprise Gunn's father, Harland Gunn Sr. In the eighth grade, Gunn Sr. said his son was bench pressing 250 pounds, wearing a size 13 shoe and challenging his dad to lift offs in their garage.

"Harland's hands are bigger than mine. My fingers might be a little longer. But his fingers are thick. He's got big paws, man," said Gunn Sr., who at 6-6, 320-plus pounds was a standout high school football player himself who didn't make it further because he "tore his right knee up" and "started making children early."

"Harland's always been a competitor. When you're a young man, you see your father as a big guy and you want to be as strong as him. We'd go at it on the bench. I'd try to push him and keep him going. It didn't take him very long to pass me by."

Of course, there is more to Gunn than power and strength.

After hardly speaking a word to his teammates the first three months he was at UM according to center Tyler Horn, Gunn has grown into a chatter box, comedian and team leader. Gunn has even learned how to perfect his Spanish in his time time in Miami, taking two Spanish classes at UM after taking four years of classes in high school.

"I try to speak to the natives, people around town," Gunn said. "I know the basics. Como estas? [How are you?] Estoy bien, y usted? [I'm good and you?] I'm a pretty big guy, I like to tell people 'Tengo hambre, necesita comer ahora.' [I'm hungry and I need to eat now]. Basic stuff."

"I think you'd be surprised how funny he is because he looks like a quiet guy," Horn said. "[Those glasses he wears] that's the studious Gunn -- that's his costume for Halloween... He's a big personality. He's one of those guys that takes a while to open up and now that he has he's a lot of fun."

Said right tackle Jonathan Feliciano: "Sometimes we can't get him to shut up.

But on the field, Feliciano said, "he's like a bowling ball. He kills people like they're pins."

UM coach Al Golden said Gunn's only bad game this year was against Georgia Tech. But despite that game, Golden feels Gunn is having "an all-conference type year" and said the senior has "the most second level cuts of anyone on the offensive line."

"I don't know if he's the foundation of [the offensive line], but he might be," offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said. "He's a solid, strong, high character, high work ethic, lunch pail guy. He's a true blue collar approach to offensive line play. He'll fit in great for the rest of his life playing offensive line. They love those type guys in the NFL."

Offensive line coach Art Kehoe said Gunn's style of play reminds him of former Hurricanes K.C. Jones and Claude Jones.

"He's explosive man," Kehoe said. "I'm trying to get him a little more functional, a little more loose on his hips so he can use better footwork. But man, I like the way he plays. I like the way he pulls. He's a terrific person. He's almost a better person than he is a player. And he's a hell of a player."

Still, Gunn himself, wants to see improvement on the Canes offensive line as a whole. UM, which has given up 12 sacks (40th-fewest among 120 FBS schools), has struggled in short yardage situations this season.

The running game, which on Oct. 9 was averaging 182.6 yards per game (39th best in the nation), has struggled to get going over the last three games (UM now ranks 75th best in rushing offense at 145.5 yards per game). And the way the team was manhandled against Virginia left a bad taste in the mouths of everyone in charge of blocking.

"Last Thursday was probably our least physical game as an offense," fullback Maurice Hagens said. "When we watched the film, offensive linemen were in the backfield. Tight ends were getting blown up, fullback was getting blown up. That was something we weren't seeing. The last four games we have to go and blow everybody off the line."

Gunn agrees. "For some reason, we were just off rhythm, out of sync," Gunn said. "Offense is all about rhythm, timing, executing. This was our worst game in terms of execution by far.

"To me, it's just been about finishing. Guys are getting on their blocks. Nothing is wrong with the schemes or the blocks. It's the finish factor and it hasn't been here the last few games. It's the attitude. You have to reinvest in the attitude of running the ball."

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Gunn aiming to jump start Canes offensive line, running game"

Thank you for not titling this "Jumping the Gunn" or some other bad pun....

I agree with him that this was their worst game for execution. And it came at a bad time, too, when we NEEDED them to execute against a team that had not stopped the run and not gotten a sack in IIRC three games.

Kehoe better rip into them and get them to grow up fast...

I'm a big fan of Kehoe and I don't think UM's problems are solely on the OL. But...U got to utilize Miller in a diversification of straight run, off tackle, option roles as in Miller throwing more. Miller is one of the best RB's ever at UM, but seems a little hesitant lately, which means he might not be 100 percent. Hagens needs more PT. I say look at Ray Ray at TE. He's got the size, I don't know if he can catch and block, though.

Duke has a strong passing game. That does not bode well for U and the UM secondary.

So, a simple question. Why isn't the attitude what it should be every game?

You answer that dbc and you could be a great coach

Because there isn't enough Led Zepplin being played in the locker room.

Cool Cat - a lot of the big runs Miller had at the beginning of the year were from having patience behind the line and then reversing field in the backfield and running around everyone.

My guess was that he was pressing rather than being too hesitant but who knows. No doubt something with that boy ain't right.

coaches cannot create the inner desire to excel but can have the atmosphere which it is most condusive. this is still a problem with the attitude that remains from the previous coaching staff and their stamp on the program. there are still to many "me" guys from RA to LM to have an everyday approach. the idea that LM is one of great UM running backs is a fantasy. He has no heart and does not finish the play-needs to go north and south

Wow, I knew that UM fans were the worst in the nation but trashing on Lamar Miller? New low (previous low set by myself "trashing" Ed Reed).

Answer is simple my Canes brothers. No one has stepped up because no one has stayed in a spot long enough to take complete control since the start of this season. Washington has been going back and forth. Bunche, Henderson, and Feliciano have been rotating in. Linder and Horn have more or less stood their ground at their positions but somebody, please somebody needs to step up.

That's the best answer I have guys. Let me know what you think.


GO CANES AND KICK DUKEY TO THE CURB AND CONTROL YOUR DESTINY!!!!

bevilandcanes: Now come on: Admit it: Miller is a threat whether he has the ball or not. I don't see that "entitlement" thing in him you refer to.

U are talking about a speed RB. That kind of player gets the ball and takes off. A lot of times for Miller, if the whole ain't immediately there then he ain't waiting for a lineman.

Wow, I knew that UM fans were the worst in the nation but trashing on Lamar Miller? New low (previous low set by myself "trashing" Ed Reed).

Posted by: Eudocimus01 | November 03, 2011 at 07:01 PM


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Naw it's pretty accurate. Lamar Miller doesn't finish his runs, doesn't lower his shoulder, and dances around too much. He has great qualities but they only work when no one is really looking at him. Stack the box and see what happens. I like Miller and believe he could be a really good "maybe" a great running back but he apparently still needs more time. It's obvious that he never truly understood what Golden meant by a "full load". I really hope that he becomes a great running back but he needs to stop dancing and get the yards necessary to move the ball and get the first down. Too much dancing for 1 yard when all you need to do is lower your shoulder and drive through. Can't wait to see what clements does with more playing time and I'm still waiting to see Darion Hall. He looked pretty good in the spring game and showed that he could take a hit. Spence knocked his helmet off of him pretty good and he got right back up.

Probably a combination of attention and injury, he sure as hell was finishing runs in the first couple games.

He's already shown enough this year to go to the NFL but maybe he'll risk it and stay another year to try to be a top 15 pick. Probably wishful thinking.

Hopefully we can crush duke early and let Morris get some reps. CANETILLIDIE....DH - whats up with the stadium? I heard there is a petition circulating. Re: L MIller - less time in the grove !!!!

Eucodimus he finishes find if he is not hit hard. That's the difference

That's sure not what I was seeing early in the year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6sYkkXrRVM

Takes more than one play or highlite to make a player. He was that way at the spring games too.

Well let us know when he does break the requisite number of tackles and big plays to be a good player.

My problem with this line is the inconsistancy and lack of aggression. They play like they are thinking about doing what they have been shown and not playing with the intent to dominate their opponent. They play too straight up and don't stay on their blocks long enought on runs.

What happened to all the Noles and Gaytors that used to brag about their teams dominance?

Some of the things that people say on here are baffling. Lamar Miller is a home run hitter! OL is very average. DL, well I'll make that judgement when I see one. Secondary? Lets rename them the Thirdary since they play like 3rd teamers.

Lamar Miller is the only one carrying the rock half of the game.Sure he is beat up but if you are the only running back really doing well and the backup cant carry the rest of the rushing you will start to wear down like Lamar.SO LEAVE LAMAR MILLER ALONE

Hopefully Eduardo Clements takes advantage of the extra carries he's earned Saturday to lock down that backup job and give Miller a breather.

The one thing i like about fisch is that he didn't totally scrap the offense. He tweeked it a little and it looks pretty good even with the oline being inconsistently inconsistent. Bc is using some good blitzes on the creminoles young inexperienced oline. True freshman starting at center. What i hate is the d looking so bland. I dont want to hear about the old players not being his own or not being able to win. They have done enough to be in the game till the end and have a chance to win. Focus on what this team does well and get us some victories. This is not a bad team.

Plain and simple, Lamar Miller is over-rated and saying he was a Top-5 Back in the Country was way over-stated. Good finesse back, but not close to greatness. Needs a fellow back to slam it in there.

Mike James is a complete non-factor when it comes to game planning. Zero Big play ability.

Having a compliment back like Storm Johnson would have helped the entire Runningback corp.

So, who do we have for next year?


So, who do we have for next year?

Posted by: Chris H.
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The same three backs we have this year(#6,#5,#23) plus the Duke.

[]_[] GO CANES []_[]

That's sure not what I was seeing early in the year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6sYkkXrRVM

Posted by: Eudocimus01 | Nove

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Earlier in the year nobody was keying in on the run game. Now they throw a couple more guys in there and shut him down. He can break arm tackles but more than that and he's gonna go down. Watch all the films from all the games and you'll see him decline. He should stay another year to develop even more. Hopefully he will because it'll only add to his resume and give him even more confidence later on. I do wish him the best and hope he continues to grow and produce as a running back. Only time will tell.

So, who do we have for next year?

Posted by: Chris H.
-------
The same three backs we have this year(#6,#5,#23) plus the Duke.

[]_[] GO CANES []_[]

Posted by: 3G Cane | November 03, 2011 at 10:56 PM

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For RB's we have

Lamar Miller
Mike James
John Calhoun (FB)
Maurice Hagens (FB)
Eduardo Clements
Darion Hall (TB)- Can't wait to see this kid in action. 6'200/215lbs 4.4sec
Darris Hughes - ???
David Thompson (FB)

These are the backs on the squad now. We have Duke Johnson coming to us next season. That's it for the 2012 recruiting class. Then there is Levonte "Kermit" Whitfield for the 2013 class.

Having a player that makes teams load up on the run has some value in and of itself.

None of the best CBs in the NFL have a lot of interceptions but they're still game changers.

Miller doesn't look like he has the same burst he had earlier in the year but if he's not hurt and his numbers are down just because teams are committing to the run then I don't think that's much of an indictment on Miller. Harris and Streeter might agree.

Why is it that we keep seeing all this shuffling at the tackle position and none in the interior of the O-Line. Maybe the reason the line is under performing is those three guys in the middle and not the two on the outside.

Improved OL and a passing game that spreads the ball more to short and medium range would open the running game back up. We need to use the TE. From the beginning of the season I didn't think much of Chase Ford. He should have never seen the field and they paid for it. Fisch has got to get better and quicker as a play caller. Use the H-Back to trap and run seam routes. Use swing passes to get Miller in open field or release the FB on a seam route and delay TE out. You have to speed up the offense to keep defenses guessing and off balance.

Eucodimus. No matter how you write it miller is fast and a good back without the heart he needs. It's not about breaking X amount of tackles, it's playing with heart and smart. Learn something you are supposedly at the academic U.

Miller is banged up. I think his shoulder is injured, which explains why he is not "finishing" runs. They ran him too much early in the season. Unfortunately, nobody else has stepped up.

Hopefully we can crush duke early and let Morris get some reps. CANETILLIDIE....DH - whats up with the stadium? I heard there is a petition circulating. Re: L MIller - less time in the grove !!!!

Posted by: Born and raised in the county of Dade | November 03, 2011 at 07:21 PM
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No clue about the stadium but I'm down to play at THE MECCA anytime.

Lamar Miller's mentality is big run or bust; I think it's why he seems to hesitate at the line. I don't like it, I'd rather see him in full speed through the line.

Clements needs to get more carries than Mike James.

The offense has to outscore opponents, that's just the way it is this year.

Posted by: Chris H.

I also liked Storm Johnson, but he didn't want to be here.

Itcdolphin - guess I must've missed the class on unfairly judging college players' "hearts".

ATTENTION CANESPACERS:

Don't be gullible

"Da Skreetz" is Soup, aka 86Cane

The "information" is nothing that can't be figured out by reading blogs, web articles, etc.

Why is it presented in obviously fake "street talk". Why wouldn't Soup "translate" it? It's obvious, because it's him. He thinks this "street talk" gives it an air of authenticity. If he was really getting some inside information by an insider that talked like that, he would just repeat the information instead of presenting it in it's supposed original "street talk" and let the info stand on it's own merit.

Just to clue you in 86, NOBODY talks like that in the 305.

You have been busted. I'd say nice try, but you're so obvious. Your ten regular bloggers are just humoring you the way a mentally ill person is humored.

STEPHEN MORRIS!!!!!!!

EDUARUDO CLEMENTS!!!!

THOMAS FINNIE!!!!!!!!

We need to start playing these guys more. Concentrate on the future.

If you start pulling seniors and replacing them with underclassmen signaling you are giving up on this year, then be prepared to be mauled in recruiting. The seniors have worked hard to play and that move would be the ultimate in disrespect and Florida, FSU, et al. would use that against the Canes when signing players. It would do considerably more damage than good. Bad, bad, bad, horrendous idea!

Also, a lot of these freshmen need to be red-shirted so they can develop more. Randy Shannon played his freshmen too early. One year practicing, putting on weight, watching film and developing will pay off in the 5th year.

Eucalyptus. You really don't need to go to school for that, but people like you immersed in academics would say otherwise, but one is judged by their body of work. So look at millers body of work and you see the player. Nobody is saying he's a bust, they are saying he does not always put 100% out there. Others here have said the same thing, and so has the coach. So there you are on an island by yourself in academic land.

I just read the article by Israel Guitterez an I couldn't agree with him more. I believe Golden is going to be gone. Who are some of the coaches we should look at?

Cristobal? UM Alumni
Leach? Lives in the Keys
Bring back Butch?
Uncle Luke & Michael Irvin - but random drug test them
Jeff Fisher? - can motivate players
Bill Cowher? - Not that stressful because of our talent
Bill Belicheck? - Ideally a new challenge

Go canes! UM 72 Duke 0

Hope our defense shows up, puts pressure on the QB and defends the pass.
And the OL plays well and dominates Duke. I'd like to see Jacory throw for 4 TDs, and Lamar have a great game. And let's see Clements get a shot as well.

If not, it might be too interesting a game.

Umike. How about posting that on this site.

Lamar Miller is play Hurt you Idiots. he's been hurt every since the O-State game. Dude has a bomb shoulder. Mike James is a good back, he's having a rough year. Clements is a solid back too, that I would like to see get more touches. That kid is the real deal.

Itcdolphin - you might look to see whether MDCC has a course available on discerning sarcasm.

And for your benefit alone I'll point out that I know that there's no such thing as a class that teaches people to discern sarcasm.

I just read the article by Israel Guitterez an I couldn't agree with him more. I believe Golden is going to be gone. Who are some of the coaches we should look at?

Cristobal? UM Alumni
Leach? Lives in the Keys
Bring back Butch?
Uncle Luke & Michael Irvin - but random drug test them
Jeff Fisher? - can motivate players
Bill Cowher? - Not that stressful because of our talent
Bill Belicheck? - Ideally a new challenge

Go canes! UM 72 Duke 0

Posted by: UMike | November 04, 2011 at 12:55 PM

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Leach - no way, he likes spread offense and we don't play that.
Cristobal - I'm 100% for this
Butch - I'm 100% for this
Uncle Luck and Mike Irvin - hmmmmm
Fishy - who knows.

As for the rest I don't see it. I'm really down for Butch Davis, Mario Cristobal, JJ (when he comes back from his fishing trip), Rob Chudzinski (extreme long shot but you never know). All of these guys have been here and won here. I would like to say Dennis Erickson but that's a reeeeeeally touchy subject because of the what happened. I'm more inclined to have Butch come back. He only knew of a fraction of what his turd heel players were really doing behind his back. IMO, they sold him out not the other way around.

I just want to see our players come out ready to play and play a full 4qtrs. Not asking much here, just play dammit!!!

And Yes U 72 dukey (:P)

The key to Miami becoming a power again is getting rid of SHALAYA and bringing back THUG football!!!. We won our NC's with THUGS that signed NFL contracts not with boy scouts that received diplomas!!!

Then why bring it up eucolptus. And yet you still don't know much about athletes hearts. Your so smart learn where the sarcasm button is on a computer.

Marks right on.

Where is this article y'all keep talking about??

Itcdolphin - you brought up the academic thing, see above.

UMike - not sure what you think you read but Gutierrez just said what we've known all along, Golden is committed to UM but if the sanctions are bad he'll have to consider leaving.

Cristobal is the only one on your list who's a possibility, Butch and Leach won't be considered to rebuild a program devestated by scandal and sanctions and none of the NFL guys would coach UM, if they wanted to go the college route they'd go to a school that can pay a NFL salary.

Think Cristobal is the obvious replacement candidate but I hope it doesn't come to that.

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