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D'Onofrio: Biggest concern at linebacker is continuity; compares finding right combination to solving 'Rubik's cube'

Got a chance to speak to defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio Wednesday for a quick one-on-one conversation about the state of his linebackers, who have been hobbled by injuries throughout camp.

With the season set to begin on Sept. 1 is D'Onofrio worried he might not have enough talent or depth?

"The only thing I'm concerned about is getting the continuity we want by having three starters and three backups and guys who may be involved as role players, special teams. Just getting that thing set," D'Onforio said. "We've had a lot of mix and match lineups throughout camp. Unfortunately, I went through it last year at all positions. So, there's always a silver lining. When this happens you create depth at multiple positions. Guys have to play. Anytime you go through this you're creating more layers of depth that are solving problems. Now, if you get a situation during the season, it's quicker to solve the problem. You're not not scrambling on a Monday to figure out who you can plug where. That said, we're still a ways away from the game. We got some guys coming back. Hopefully we'll get some continuity over the five or six practices here and have it look the way we want it to look."

When UM released it's most recent depth chart, sophomore Thurston Armbrister (6-3, 222) was listed at first team at strongside linebacker along with sophomore Denzel Perryman (middle linebacker) and senior Ramon Buchanan (weakside). While D'Onofrio is certainly happy with the growth Armbrister has displayed over the first 14 prctices of camp, the more likely scenario is junior Jimmy Gaines, who is currently listed as the backup to Perryman in the middle and who has experience playing all three positions will end up starting for the Canes Sept. 1.

But Armbrister, a former safety, has worked himself into a role at the very least.

"He's a guy who I think is going to help us, provide depth for us. I think he can be a factor in different packages in third down and obviously he has to do a great job on special teams," D'Onofrio said.

"The thing that surprised me about Thurston is he's a long guy who plays with great leverage. He's got long legs, limbs. I think he's going to be really big. He can play up on the tight end and do a good job in space and he's tough and he's physical. But he's learning. It was one of those moves where you go ahead and take a look at it and feel like you hit it on pretty good. "

Beyond his veterans and Armbrister, D'Onforio said he thinks redshirt freshman Eddie Johnson "is extremely talented. He has all the skills you would look for and he understands the defense. So I think he'll help us.

"Gionni [Paul] is a guy who has a year under his belt. Again, these are just guys who have been banged up, so they haven't gotten as much [reps] as we've wanted at this point and were held out of the scrimmage. We're just trying to put it all together.

"It's like a big rubic's cube right now. But we do have enough guys right now that can play for us and help us win. It's just a matter of getting them all healthy at the same time and getting them in the right spots. That's what we're working on in the next six days."


> UM coach Al Golden said while Kirby's injury will not require surgery, "he will be out awhile." Kirby was spotted on crutches and wearing a hard cast on his right leg from the knee down on Wednesday.

"Crushed," Golden said of his own reaction to the injury. "Great kid. Worked really hard. I think knowing his work ethic and character I wouldn't rule out him from coming back this season. Maybe he'll have a chance to come back midseason."

Still, Golden said MRIs have to be performed, so he isn't 100 percent if that will be possible.

> Defensive end Anthony Chickillo was practicing in a yellow jersey for limited contact Wednesday. Chickillo told me he had a stomach flu. But Golden said he heard something about a sinus infection. Either way, Chickillo expects to be out a couple days. He said he's taking medicine.

> UM had a special teams scrimmage Tuesday afternoon and Golden said freshmen Malcolm Lewis and Duke Johnson each had punt returns for touchdowns. Punter Dalton Botts also looked strong, Golden said. Safeties Kacy Rodgers and Deon Bush had great days in special teams coverage, Golden said.

> Turns out Armbrister got his first name Thurston from his grandmother, who happened to be a big fan of Gilligan's Island and Thurston Howell III. Armbrister, by the way, said he has an older brother who was a walk-on at Florida State.

As for his own recruitment to Miami, Armbrister was a late summer addition in 2011. His other offer: Northern Colorado.

"I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder, something to prove because people didn't think I could do it," Armbrister said. "A lot of schools didn't give me a chance."

> While coaches have been hoping for someone to break out at defensive tackle, D'Onforio told me: "I think it's going to be a group by committee as opposed to saying we have an elite guy or an elite star. We need some young guys who came in to keep improving."

D'Onofrio said freshman Dequan Ivery, listed by mistake as the starter, "flashed in Sunday's scrimmage" and has stood out among the freshmen defensive tackles.

"At defensive end, Chickillo, Shayon Green, Kelvin Cain have played a lot. I think we're looking to get something else, too," D'Onofrio said. "It's going to be a common theme -- guys who have been around and guys who haven't -- mixing and matching. I think that's good. We're not going to lose many guys from this defense and they'll keep growing."


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Dwayne Hoilett needs to be getting more attention. This kid is like another Jason Taylor. 3 knock downs in last weeks scrimmage. Anybody go to this year's spring game? Hoilett was a compete playmaker in that game.


While coaches have been hoping for someone to break out at defensive tackle, D'Onforio told me: "I think it's going to be a group by committee as opposed to saying we have an elite guy or an elite star. We need some young guys who came in to keep improving."


Translation : Other than Chickillo n Perrymen, and they are neither elite or stars, U have ZERO players that would even see the field as backups for any top 25 team's Front 7 Defense... ZERO ... D.B.'s too.

I'm just fine ... How are U ?

Canetrash you are the looser.

Coach D is not showing his hand and I don't blame him.

In poker surprise is the standard and never show your cards in "hold em...

Manny as good as he is will not get the true take on what is happening..and Coach D knows that others read press releases, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO as smart as you are you should know that this is a standard update..

Hold on to you shirt the loosers will be winners and I want to see your post then..
Really I mean that...Come on back and let's hear from you.
Go 'Canes Always

U play with low Numbered cards ... The Top-25 plays with high Face cards...

Yo Cane trash

Yo Manny deleted my post but no matter.
Like I said U won't find any of us celebrating the injury to Kirby. That separates us from losers like U. Hope Kirby heals up and comes back soon his sorry team needs him bad.

UGoNowhereCane I'll be back to make fun of U don't worry.
I understand Ur team is severely undermanned and will struggle to match last season's 6 - 6 sorry record.
I understand U are in denial and delUsion, it's a cane thang.

Bunch of pathetic LOOSERS!!

Posted by: Canetrash | August 15, 2012 at 02:15 PM

'I'll be back'?????????

Hahahaha, you haven't 'left' this website a day in your life.

Is the Gator blog closed on the Herald or something???
Why would a Gator fan want to post copy n paste garbage all day and night on a Hurricane blog???
That has to be the most pathetic person in the world!!!
If you must be here then try and explain why big teeth is still trying to get your team out of playing the Canes next season
He has made 4 offers to Miami to pull out of that game and each time Miami has said no
Now hes trying to pay Miami to cancel that game
Why dont you address that instead of copying everything to post over and over again
Why so many name changes???

2012 USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Poll Top-25


2 Alabama


4 Oklahoma

5 Oregon

6 Georgia

7 Florida State

8 Michigan

9 South Carolina

10 Arkansas

11 West Virginia

12 Wisconsin

13 Michigan State

14 Clemson

15 Texas

16 Nebraska

17 TCU

18 Stanford

19 Oklahoma State

20 Virginia Tech

21 Kansas State

22 Boise State

23 Florida

24 Notre Dame

25 Auburn

Others receiving votes: Washington 64, Louisville 46, Georgia Tech 35, Cincinnati 32, Texas A&M 28, Baylor 23, Utah 22, Mississippi State 21, SOUFLA 12, NCSTATE 11, Louisiana Tech 10, Brigham Young 10, Virginia 9, Houston 7, Southern Miss 6, Rutgers 5, UCF 5, Tennessee 3, Missouri 3, FLAINTL 3, Northern Illinois 2, TEXASTECH 1

U were saying ? That's 5 SEC teams in the top 10 and 7 overall in the Top-25 INCLUDING FLORIDA... Where are U ? Somewhere outside the Top-50 below the La. Techs, S. Fla's, BYU's, Houston's, N.Illinois and FIU's of the College Football Landscape... 3 ACC teams in the overall Top-25 ? Wake up, join reality n then get a clUe.

Not only isn't the Gators blog closed but there is a blog of YOUR RIVAL, the FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES up on this website now.

This loser isn't talking about sports or UM or even the Gators, he's talking about his pathetic internet rivalry that has nothing to do with football.

All day.

Every day.

Come on Dicky
The USA Today Poll is old news.
Why don't you answer Cane Fan's question?
Why are your mighty Gators trying to get out of a game with the U?
You know that little school down south that you come on here day and night telling us how bad we are. If we are as bad as you say this should be a easy game.
What could be the reason you are trying to back out of it?
Hey Chicken Dicky Your sky is falling
Repeat after me Dicky

Not only will the troll of many names not answer the question but he will go deep into his copy vault and bring back some of his racist rants
The last thing the troll wants to do is answer a direct question
Really, how much of a life can the troll have when hes always here posting
I mean come on the troll even posts at 2am. Thats about as pathetic as it gets

not our rival, can you post a link to the noles' page? I am betting that the Gator troll will be loved over there, since they have owned the Gators lately.

Oh wait, that would be the reason he is afraid to go over there.

Nevermind, no point in showing him the link he is a coward and when he offered to meet in person he backed out of it, so he won't show his face over there.

See, name-changing cut and paste repeating coward in action again.

Coward, come out and fight like a real man, meet in person, fool.

It's Wednesday 6:30pm... Do U know where Seantrel is ?

Uh, no.

No one posts on the Florida State Seminoles blog.

Because you UM and UF internet nerds aren't interested in talking about football rivals, you're interested in talking about a fake internet rivalry that has nothing to do with football.

All the Gator troll has to do is read the email THE TOOTH sent out that stated the Gators are willing to pay Miami in order to not play them in 2013
Typical of the troll to avoid the question and ramble on with the same garbage posts hes been putting on this site for years
If Miami is so bad then why is the beaver wanting out of that game???
Answer the question troll
Maybe beaver and muscramp can get every game played at the sewage tank
Make sure to pipe in the fake crowd noise and pass the game tickets to the homeless and brag about those fake sellouts

Let's see if the non came fans will be happy with position in the polls at the end of the year and not the beginning. Just like a gator to be happy at 23.lol

He has made 4 offers to Miami to pull out of that game and each time Miami has said no
Now hes trying to pay Miami to cancel that game
Why dont you address that instead of copying everything to post over and over again

the canes could end the drama and take the money to play in g-ville every year.

Yea Dick and them Gaytors are afraid once again. They and Mustychamp know Golden is putting something serious together and dont want be part of that smackdown.

Total respect for TheU.

2-2 Before the SEC schedule starts on that back door!

Hooooooooweeeeeee, Gainesville a tricky town, A Mayor on wrong side of the street pushing Unisex bathrooms and lifted trucks full of Necks

what going on with Tyrone Cornileus? aint he playing linebacker i dont hear anything about this guy? does anyone know

Oh no....we're not in the top 25. I'm so down. Idiot.

what going on with Tyrone Cornileus? aint he playing linebacker i dont hear anything about this guy? does anyone know

Posted by: rob


Tyrone is doing great actually. He'll be alternating at LB this season after finally settling down from being swapped from safety to LB all last year. He did really well in the previous scrimmage. This kid is a hitter. This season will be good. A couple of the "dinged up" LBs that we have been hearing about the last couple of days are back and some more will be back this weekend. Top 3 tacklers in the scrimmage were Highsmith, Cornileus, Howard. In that scrimmage the majority of the starting LBs (not including Perryman) weren't in there due to injuries.

Now that the Herald has taken out the trash. Why don't we forget about the Gators till next year.
I can not wait for the season to start to see how the teams hard work in the off season pays off.
I think this team is going to surprise a lot of people.

IT"S GREAT TO BE A MIAMI HURRICANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Interesting article in today's Sun-Sentinel. Golden talks about the rigors of camp, the need to focus and selfishness. He equates the latter with negative attitude and wants to purge that from the program and "the building".

He is changing the Cane culture to Team, focus, strength, toughness and passion to win. That has been missing for years. Golden is a determination machine. I love it.

Seantrel is back at yet another funeral. It wouldn't surprise me if he never returns and shows up in a U. of Minnesota uniform. I like young Ereck Flowers at RT.

Tough to see injury to a promising kid like Kirby. Hope he makes a strong recovery. He is a winner.

Can't wait for the BC game. Hope we deliver maximum Canepower upon them.

Shout out to all my Cane brothers on this blog who have the fire in their heart. We could surprise this year. Polls be damned!

because nobody been talk about him so since we are thin with LB due to injury i was wonder what happen to him. now you provided me the information i really appericated. look for the season i cant wait . it all about U.

Why Gaytors are Dis-illusioned:

Pell-Hall era: 1979–1989Charley Pell became the Gators' head coach in 1979, and brought the Gators respectability on the field, and scandal and disgrace off it. Though he began his career with an 0–10–1 season in 1979, the Gators posted a then-NCAA-record turn-around with an 8–3 season in 1980. Pell went 33–15 after the winless opening season, but he was fired by university president Marshall Criser during the 1984 season after Pell and his staff were charged with 107 NCAA major infractions.

Several polls ranked the Gators as the best team in the nation after the conclusion of the 1984 season, but the team was ineligible for a bowl game because of the newly-imposed NCAA probation. To the shock and dismay of the team and fans, the SEC university presidents voted to retroactively vacate the Gators' 1984 championship in the spring of 1985.

Galen Hall coached the team from the fourth game of 1984 until 1989, and matched the 9–1–1 record in 1984 with another 9–1–1 season in 1985. Again, the 1985 Gators posted the best record in the SEC, but were ineligible for the conference title because of the NCAA probation imposed in 1984.

Unfortunately, Hall had his own NCAA infractions scandal, primarily involving paying his assistant coaches from his own pocket and allegedly paying the child support-related legal expenses of one of his players,[30] and he was asked to resign by university president Robert A. Bryan during the 1989 season.

The Gators played in the 2007 BCS Championship Game on January 8, 2007, and, led by quarterback Chris Leak, beat the No. 1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 41–14, for the Gators' second national football championship. See that sorry excuse for a QB Tebow only won "one"! Hear it again Gaytors "one" Ntl Ship! Lost to Michigan in Capital One junior year and cried losing to Bama senior year.

2010 season final record of 8–5 was the worst of Meyer's head coaching career

2011 record 7-6

So when you hear Gaytors speak of violations and probation, listen, because they know first hand too.

Thanks for the history lesson TampadoUche, however when you hear canes speak of violations and probation, listen, because they know first hand too. Now I'm not going to waste my time looking up your history of cheating and scandal, but we all know form the Pell grant fiasco, the Uncle Luke payouts and your several past periods of probation you have way more experience than the Gators.

@ACC sucks and the canes can't compete

We also have more experience at winning championships and having undefeated seasons. Last one you guys had was 1911. Miami was established in 1925 and fielded the first team in 1926. So in all of that time the gaytards have only won 3 titles while Miami has won 5, cheated out of 2, 3 undefeated seasons, and countless other records that UofFelons will never reach. Guess we do have a lot more experience at many more things than that school does. On that, you're right, finally. Take care of Brissett because he's all that you have.

GO U!!!!!

I don't care whats going on with the Gaytors. I've had friends and kids I know personally that played and play for the Gaytors. So while you come on here high on fan-meth I know money, favors and access in heaps are given in Gainesville by Alumni and program fans when in and away from Gainesville. That includes cash, commercial gifts (clothes, shoes etc), plane tickets, car use and payments, legal assistance and access to boats, condos, country clubs, strip and dance clubs. Been there, been told and seen first hand my Gaytor friend. This is so common throughtout all big time and mediocre programs that the NCAA enforcement is laughable. At anytime most programs are at risk of a Nevin Shipiro dropping dime. What saves most programs is that the gift giver and receiver are never gonna tell on themselves. Had Nevin not been convicted this probably never would have come to light. The NCAA turns a blind eye unless the accusations come to light. While you revel in any programs misery, stop and realize that it'll be the innocent that pay the penalties not the perpetrators. The Bull Gaytors, wealthy Alumni and over zealous fans provide favors all the time in Tampa and elsewhere. I had players and friends of my son talk about how the money and favors flow, especially for the star players. This is the real world not the fantasy moralistic community the NCAA perpetuates. So get on the toilet with your BS because you're stinking up this fan page.

LOOk everyOne I'm a big smelly gatOr! I just lOve being the center Of attentiOn. LOve me damnitt! I pOst cOmments night after night in hOpes sOme big strOng 'cane will lay me dOwn by the fire.. Please be my lOver, my big daddy gatOr mates are just to rOugh On a little 'Ol GARBAGEVILLE techneck weirdO!!

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