« Canes pass defense -- from safeties to corners -- not getting the job done | Main | Gameday blog: Duke at UM »

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."


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

I have no problem with being referred to as THUG U. We won that way and to me there's no reason to change the recipe. As long as we win championships, people will talk all day but they'll only be able to say so much because in the end we'll be holding that crystal ball. A particular person in here won't agree with me and I could care less because he wants The U to become a harvard of the south. News flash, it'll never happen. Go move and be next to harvard if you like that.


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!!!

Posted by: markdrebin | November 04, 2011 at 01:58 PM

I 2nd this notion. Lets do this!!!

I've been wondering where you were Mac-J.

Posted by: herbieibis | November 03, 2011 at 05:14 PM

Thanks for your response HERBIEIBIS.

Like CANECHIC and MANY, MANY, MANY OTHERS, I've been CHIT-CANNED by that dork SOUP over at a rival Cane pigskin blog.

Heck, that DORK soup runs HIS blog like a bloody TYRANT. Matter of fact, one of the feline's he BANNED, decide to run her own Miami college sports blog. Go bloody figure.


Miami Hurricanes 31

Dukie Vitale 21

Posted by: macjones | November 04, 2011 at 02:11 PM

The D-Coordinator isn't the problem, it's the lack of toughness on defense. Ray Ray, Telemaque, and McGee are lost.

Posted by: Canesjunkie | November 04, 2011 at 09:50 AM

Your JOKING, right. Get the fuc! outta' here.

What Miami games have you been watching this season. That's IF you seen a four or maybe five games in their entirety.

No sir C.J., D' Onofrio has been MOLESTED by opposing O-coordinators this season. Enter Maryland, which happens to be one of the worst squads in the conference, and Virginia.

Now, Miami's D-coordinator gets a short, short short lease on the Turtle game because of AWOL players and injures. Still, an above average D-coordinator would've probably won that game. Eh.

Bottom line is D' Onofrio ain't accoustumed to B.C.S. type of offensives. But whom could blame him when he went up against the MIGHTY, MIGHTY teams of the Mid-Am conference.

Posted by: macjones | November 04, 2011 at 02:20 PM

It's tyme of Miami's entir offense and offensive staff to get the fUnk outta' their collecitve fUnk. Eh.

Otherwise, Saturday's game against Dukie Vitale could come down to the fourth quarter. Say it ain't so.

Miami, F-L-A Hurricanes 31

Dukie Vitale 21

I wonders IF Dukie Vitale his going to be in attendance on Saturday. Oh, dat's right. Dukie goes to Notre Dame football games, because of his two daughters. Eh.


Don't get it twisted, I don't care the least bit what the requirements are for football players or what their image is.

Football players aren't students, they're ringers UM brings in to make their football team good.

On this team, what ringers are you talking about. These guys are playing like bookworms. I think we finally got the student first fever on the football team down pat!

You ever been on UM's campus? The ringers sure do a shite sight better job than a team made up of little white northeasterners would.

Ringers? Dam that was dumb. Really really dumb. As in inbred dumb. This is the highest grade scoring football class The U has ever produced. Football players aren't students? UM brings them in to make the football team good? Man none of that made sense.

Man you should be banned from this blog for the stupidity that comes up in your head and you type down on your keyboard. Good God man. What kind of Cane fan are you??? You trash Ed Reed and retract, you defend shalalalala as if she's your mother or girlfriend, you make physical internet threats, etc... What's next man? Get a life and a job. Don't ask me for one because I won't hire you.

You are by definition a Cane trasher. Get out of here man.

This is a Cane Football Blog. Not an Academic Blog, and not a Support Shalalalalala Like A Deaf & Blind Blog. Not a Trash Great Former Canes Blog.

Troll somewhere else. Lifeless douche.



Cane clUcks are talking once again about who will be the "new" Coach @ Duh U next year all the while still delUsional with puffed up chests proclaiming that they are right on the cusp of being "back".

Silly Cane Fan, Irrelevant U've been ... Irrelevant U are ... Irrelevant U'll remain.

Duke huh ? Really Duke ? Their QB could be All-ACC riiieeet ?


Posted by: CANETILLIDIE....DH | November 04, 2011 at 02:44 PM

Have far have U fallen Can clods ? Please huh ? Duke ?

Have far have U fallen Can clods ? Please huh ? Duke ?

Posted by: Soldy | November 04, 2011 at 04:33 PM


Ahhh the trolls come out from under their rocks.

@ Soldy

Where did you go to school because you obviously never learned how to write. Those must be the worst grammatically strung questions I have ever attempted to read in my life. Go back to school and get your GED. I highly implore you.

Must have gone to a state school. Probably fswho.

Eucodimus. As canetillidie says so well. Inbred type dumb.

Last time around soldy was a troll. Is soldy=eucodimus??


Dare I say he went to UFelony? And probably has a felony record? I think if we stick to the game plan and execute we will come out with a decisive "W" in front of the huge home crowd. Rumor has there are Cane Fans tailgating right now.

I'm sorry that my realistic perspective is so damaging to what must be a long held misunderstanding of the school whose football team you follow.

Eucodimus/soldy. Realistic is a real inbred word, especially for you. You should really get off campus once in awhile and see the real world.

How are you two gentlemen on this blog 24 hours a day 7 days a week and you don't know the deal with arty/soldy?

BTW, I urban dictionaried "troller", it's someone who pretends to be someone else in order to mess with people.

Gators fans who are trashing UM and UM fans who you don't agree with don't qualify as "trollers".

Eucalyptus. You should really use a real dictionary. And you should at least read and comprehend the definitions in what you quote. Definition fits you like a tight glove.

Take all this rage and bottle it, then make a spray and spray it on the Canes when they do the walk to the stadium before the game! I think the Canes need this kind of angry, in your face attitude, don't you?

You know, lemons into lemonade, rage into burning fire, that kind of stuff.

The biggest factor in the Canes becoming truly dominant again is their ability to keep more quality recruits local instead of them going off to other schools. Just look at the rosters of other teams and you will find a considerable percentage are from S. Florida. Golden is doing things right by building relationships with the local schools. Those kids should be as passionate about wanting to be a Cane as some of the former players were. Our depth is being robbed by UCF, USF and some of the schools in the ACC. Keep'em home and watch the wins start coming....

Israel Gutierrez is garbage and his article was garbage. All he said was in so many words, "what Golden said was nice" but there is no guarantee that he'll stay for long" People, no guarantee? What.. is he stoopid? Is that what they taught him at UF? And he call himself a sports writer? The Herald must be starving to fill space so they found this junk. He stated the obvious with the redundant!

There is no guatrantee of anything in this world. Coaches come and go. Schnellie had it made here in So Fl- won a NC and could have won 5 more... but he made some real stoopid decisons like when he went to the USFL (BUST!).Then Jimmy same thing. he could have won another 4. But the lure of the NFLwas too much and he indeed made the most of it. Not the least in part to his boy the play maker.
Erickson--- smae thing although he was run out of town. I thought Butch would be here for at least 10 years after he built what he built. But there again- one of the worst decisons of his career- to coach the Cleveland Browns (BUST!).So the truth is---- You can never count on coaches staying for long especially here. Trustees here are a bunch of dopes. They have their troll raise 1 trillion dollars a fraction (say 100 Mill) could go to a new stadium, trhe reveneues of which would pay itself over and over in multiples within 10 years but nooooooooooo

that said, I hope they give Goldie a 5 yr extension, if they know what is good for the program

ltcdolphin.Is right Eucodimus is a Inbred type dumb.

AN inbred type dumb.

Posted by: Nevin Shapiro should watch his back

Stoopid is spelled stupid. And no one is raising one trillion dollars, Dr Evil


The thug days are long over and will not return to the NCAA...too much money at stake!

Take notice how in recent years NCAA investigations have have exploded in numbers.

I am so tired of you Golden jock sniffers blaming his inability to coach on Randy Shannon. We are how many games into the season? And you are still making excuses for this coach!! MD + K-State + VaTech + VA = Out coached!! This was clearly the wrong hire, and no matter how you try and spin it, the 5 star recruits will not come to the U with this clown at the helm. Why should he get an extension for LOSING?? Prove yourself before you ask or get an extension!!

Fire shalalalala now

Darind. Out coached no. Players outplayed yes.

Fire shalalalala now

Fire shalalalala now

Posted by: ltcdolphin | November 05, 2011 at 07:52 PM


My thoughts exactly.

How about them CANES?!?!?!?!?!?!

ahhhhh they played the way they should expect themselves to play. Well done on 49-14 victory. On to fswho.


« 1 2

The comments to this entry are closed.