May 23, 2016

Dejan "DJ" Vasiljevic on his first week at UM

Incoming freshman guard Dejan "DJ" Vasiljevic arrived at UM for Summer School from his native Australia last week.

Asked his first impressions, this was his response: "At the moment the whole experience appears surreal – so many things have happened over the past few days that I feel as if I am still on the plane and everything is flying by. Seems like I am getting over the jet lag and feel refreshed. I have managed to finalize my enrollment, start classes and obtain the medical clearance so basically it has been full on several days. Between classes, assignments and workouts there has not been much time for anything else. I did get a chance to meet several football recruits and share experience with them, went to a baseball game which reminded me why I chose an indoor sport – it was too hot outside, at least for me, so I think those players deserve lots of praises for their commitment. Literally everyone has been so supportive and encouraging helping me with the transition. I am really excited to be part of this program."

-- Michelle Kaufman.

Miami Hurricanes freshman 2nd overall, competing Monday for NCAA golf title

Dewiweber

University of Miami freshman Dewi Weber, who shot a career-low 66 on Saturday and took the overall lead at the 2016 NCAA Women's Golf Championship in Eugene Oregon, shot 74 on Sunday and is tied for second place individually with Alabama's Cheyenne Knight.

Weber, of The Netherlands, is one of nine individuals outside of the 15 qualifying teams -- UM's team finished 21st -- to earn a spot in Monday's final round of stroke play at the Eugene Country Club.

The last Miami player to earn a national individual title in golf was Penny Hammel in 1983.

 Weber's 66 on Saturday was one stroke shy of tying the NCAA championship and Miami records for the lowest score in one round.

Hurricanes coach Patti Rizzo said on Saturday that she "couldn't keep my phone out of my pocket because every time I looked at the scores Dewi made another birdie, then she made an eagle, so she was really hot out there today.''

Weber is shooting a 7-under-par 209 through three rounds. She is six strokes behind Duke's Virginia Elna Carta, who shot a third-round 66 Sunday.

Through three rounds, Weber has 14 birdies and one eagle at the par-72, 6,331-yard course. On Sunday, she posted bogeys on three of the first five holes before rallying on the back nine with birdies on 10, 11 and 17.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

May 21, 2016

Coveted football recruit DeeJay Dallas chooses the Miami Hurricanes

DeeJayDallas

The Miami Hurricanes and Mark Richt have landed one of their top targets in the 2017 recruiting class. Four-star athlete DeeJay Dallas from Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Ga. announced Saturday afternoon during a radio show that he will become a Hurricane.

"For the next four years I plan on attending the University of Miami,'' he said. "I chose Miami because I really like the environment down there [and] I really like the coaching staff...''

The 5-10, 190-pound Dallas chose Miami over Alabama, Michigan, Georgia Tech, and Oregon.

Dallas said he wanted to remain relatively close to home in Georgia -- but not too close. 

Dallas, a former Georgia commit after forging a relationship with former Bulldogs coach Richt, is the 12th-ranked athlete and 222nd-ranked overall player in the country according to 247sports. At Glynn Academy, Dallas plays both sides of the football, including quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback and safety. He is the 15th commitment for Miami’s 2017 class, but only the third from out of state.

Dallas will graduate high school in December and plans on enrolling at Miami in January 2017.

Although Dallas said Miami coaches made it clear to him that they plan on using him in a multitude of ways, it appears that he will make his most immediate impact as a receiver. Since taking over the job, Mark Richt has mentioned the need for speed at the wide receiver position – Dallas fits the bill.

“They’ve mentioned a whole bunch of stuff like me starting with the receivers and making my presence felt there and then also playing some defensive back too, while being a return man,” Dallas told the Miami Herald last week. “That’s one of my goals, to be a triple-threat prospect and Coach Richt is fine with that as long as I come in and produce.”

Glynn Academy Coach Rocky Hidalgo recognizes that Dallas’ electric ability is what caught college recruiters’ attention, but he appreciates Dallas for his other qualities on the field.

“For as much as he brings to the field as a player, his most valuable asset is that he is an incredible leader,” Hidalgo said Friday. “He is enthusiastic and infectious as a leader and his teammates just want to catch on to that and go with it.”

Like the coaches at Miami, Hidalgo envisions Dallas as the type of rare talent who can go both ways at the college level.

“He is such an incredible asset in the secondary, but he’s also a guy that I think can play 15-20 snaps on offense and also in the return game. He is such a team guy that he will do whatever his team needs him to do,” Hidalgo said.

His relationship with Richt seems to have separated the Canes from the pack, according to Hidalgo.

“I’ve had a couple of my kids play for Coach Richt and he is the type of guy that you want your son to play for,” said Hidalgo. “He takes care of his players and their parents. His relationship with DeeJay has been tremendously important during his recruitment.”

“He’s a good role model because he cares about his players after football. He cares about them as a person and speaks about his players as his own children, so that is what draws me to Coach Richt,” Dallas added.

 

May 19, 2016

Mark Walton pleads not guilty through his attorney in DUI case

Markwaltonimage

New information: Mark Walton is being represented by the attorney (Joey McCall of Farrell & Patel in Coral Gables) who represented Florida State running back Dalvin Cook when he was acquitted last year. Here is the link to that story: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/college/florida-state-rb-dalvin-cook-not-guilty-punching-woman-article-1.2336112

**********************************************

Just confirmed through the Miami Herald's David Ovalle that University of Miami running back Mark Walton, through his attorney, pleaded not guilty in Miami-Dade this morning to a DUI charge and Driving while license suspended/with knowledge charge.

 There are no other cases involving Walton,19,in the Miami-Dade court system, I was told by the State Attorney's Office, and records show it is a first offense.

  Last season, Walton played in all 13 games and rushed for 461 yards and scored nine touchdowns on 130 carries. He also caught 22 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown. He ended the season second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards.

   Here is the original story on Walton's arrest.

   The suspicion of Walton impersonating a police officer appears to not be valid because nearly a month has gone by without any other charges being filed. 

   Walton is now suspended from the football team indefinitely. As for when and if he'll be reinstated to the team, we'll find out sooner or later. Walton had a good spring and was the first-team tailback in the spring game, and according to coach Mark Richt, was leading at the position. Richt made clear that he will rotate more than one back during the season.

   Richt is a man who wants to see his players learn and grow from their experiences/choices -- good and bad -- and become better men because of them, unless the bad choices happen too often.

      Will let you know if there's any more news on this.

     SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

   

 

FAU at Miami football game on Sept. 10 will be aired at 6 p.m. by ESPN3... and also...

JUST RELEASED BY ACC:

  1. FAU at UM game set for 6 p.m. on Sept. 10th and will be aired by ESPN3
  2. FAMU at UM opener also set for 6 p.m. on Sept. 3rd and will be aired by ESPN3
  3. Thursday-night ESPN game at Virginia Tech will begin at 7 p.m. 

Primetime for the 12th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship; Boston College Hosts Georgia Tech in Dublin Ireland; Florida State Battles Ole Miss on Labor Day Monday Night

GREENSBORO, N.C. — An eighth straight appearance in prime time for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, a minimum of 21 national exposures on ESPN platforms  in the first three weeks of the season, headline the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference early season TV football schedule announced Thursday by the ACC.

The schedule includes all of the ACC’s games for the first three weeks of the season, with the exception of road non-conference games which are controlled by the host team or its conference. Also included are four Thursday night contests which will be nationally televised by ESPN and five nationally-televised Friday games.

Once again the conference will have a syndicated package on the ACC Network which will air in more than 100 markets and a package on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN) that will be in an average 71 million homes.

However, with ESPN3 carrying both packages outside of its syndicated footprints, every ACC-controlled football game this year will once again be a national exposure.

The 2016 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, which will be played for the seventh consecutive year in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, is scheduled for the first Saturday in December (Dec. 3) and will have a nationally televised kickoff time of either 7:45 p.m. (on ESPN) or 8 p.m. ET (on ABC). The Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship has been televised in primetime since 2009.

From Dublin, Ireland, where Boston College and Georgia Tech meet at Aviva Stadium in the 2016 Aer Lingus College Football Classic (7:30 a.m., ESPN2), to Eugene, Oregon, where Virginia will meet the Oregon Ducks on the second week of the season (Sept. 10), ACC teams will be playing games 4,740 miles apart in the first three weeks of the season. The game in Dublin will be the first football game between ACC opponents of the year and will mark the first time a conference game has been played in Ireland.

 As usual, the ACC will be competing in blockbuster matchups with three games featuring ACC-SEC teams on the opening weekend of the season, beginning with North Carolina facing Georgia in the Annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome which will be nationally televised by ESPN (5:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 3.

North Carolina, the 2015 ACC Coastal Division champion, is one of five ACC teams ranked in ESPN.com’s most recent “Way-Too-Early Top 25”. The Tar Heels are ranked 19th, while Georgia is ranked 13th.

ACC teams in the Way Too Early Top 25 are led by Clemson, ranked second, and Florida State, ranked fourth, but also include UNC, Louisville (24th) and Miami (25th).        

Later on Sept. 3, the second-ranked Tigers travel to face Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., in a game which will be nationally televised over ESPN beginning at 9 p.m.

Florida State then makes its seventh appearance on the Labor Day Monday Night Game, hosting 14th-ranked Ole Miss in the Camping World Kickoff Game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Sept. 5 in a game nationally televised by ESPN (8 p.m.). The Seminoles have split their previous six Labor Day Monday encounters, defeating Pitt, 41-13, in their last appearance in 2013.  The game marks the 12th time an ACC team or teams have appeared on ESPN’s Labor Day platform in the last 13 years.

Pitt renews its longtime rivalry with Penn State in the second week of the season when the Panthers host the Nittany Lions at Heinz Field for the first time on Sept. 10 (noon, ABC or ESPN). The two instate rivals are meeting for the first time since 2000, and the 15-year gap is the longest interruption in a 96-game rivalry which dates back to 1893. 

There are five SEC-ACC matchups in the season’s first three weeks, including Tennessee facing Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 10 (game time and network are to be announced shortly) and Georgia Tech hosting Vanderbilt at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta on Sept. 17th (ACC Network, 12:30 p.m.).

Game times were announced for four of five nationally televised Thursday night games on ESPN, including Clemson at Georgia Tech (Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.), Miami at Virginia Tech (Oct. 20, 7 p.m.), Virginia Tech at Pitt (Oct. 27, 7 p.m.), and North Carolina at Duke (Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.). The Nov. 17 Louisville at Houston game will be announced at a later date by the American Athletic Conference.

The five national exposures on Friday include Louisville at Syracuse on Sept. 9 (ESPN2, 8 p.m.), Clemson at Boston College on Oct. 7 (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.), Duke at Louisville on Oct. 14 (ESPN, 7 p.m.), Boston College at Florida State on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.), and NC State at North Carolina on Thanksgiving Friday, Nov. 25 (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2; Noon or 3:30 p.m.). 

A total of 12 games will also be available nationally on ESPN3 beginning with Tulane at Wake Forest (7 p.m.) and William & Mary at NC State (7:30 p.m.) on Thursday, Sept. 1,  and continuing with Colgate at Syracuse (Sept. 2, 7 p.m.); Villanova at Pitt (Sept. 3, 1:30 p.m.); Richmond at Virginia (Sept. 3, 3:30 p.m.); North Carolina Central at Duke (Sept. 3, 6 p.m.) and Florida A&M at Miami (Sept. 3, 6 p.m.). 

The ACC’s ESPN3 schedule also includes Mercer at Georgia Tech (Sept. 10, 3 p.m.); Florida Atlantic at Miami (Sept. 10, 6 p.m.); South Florida at Syracuse (Sept. 17, 3:30 p.m.); Old Dominion at NC State (Sept. 17, 6 p.m.); and Delaware at Wake Forest (Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m.).

The ACC will again have two syndicated packages produced by the ACC Network this fall: The ACC Network and the Regional Sports Networks (RSN).

The ACC Network will be syndicated in over 100 markets nationally and more than 90 million TV households with three games in the first three weeks, each with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff: Liberty at Virginia Tech (Sept. 3); Troy at Clemson (Sept.  10); and Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech (Sept.  17). 

In addition, ACC Network games are also available digitally on ESPN3 (outside of the ACC footprint), on theACC.com and on the ACC App for IPhones, IPads and Droid mobile devices. 

Once again, the ACC will also feature a weekly football game which will air each week on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN) of Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Florida or Sun Sports, Comcast Sports Net Mid-Atlantic, New England Sports Network (NESN), the YES Network or MSG Network in New York and Root Sports in Pennsylvania, in addition to several other RSNs nationally reaching 71 million homes on average. 

The RSN package will have four games in the first three weeks of the season including a doubleheader on Sept. 17 with Clemson hosting South Carolina State (Noon) and North Carolina hosting James Madison (3:30 p.m.). The RSN package opens with a prime-time exposure on Thursday with Louisville hosting Charlotte on Sept. 1 (7 p.m.), while Florida State hosts Charleston Southern on Sept. 10 (12:30 p.m.).

 

May 16, 2016

First crop of (mostly) Baby Canes arrive on campus for Summer A Session, with more joining them for second session

  Ahmmonrichards

Your 2016 Miami Hurricanes continue to take shape. The university has now confirmed that 12 football players, including Ahmmon Richards, shown above, have arrived on campus and officially registered for Summer Session A classes:

They are walk-on running back Crispian Atkins (Plant City Durant High, Class of '15), redshirt junior walk-on receiver Malik Mayweather, safety Adrian Colbert (Texas graduate transfer), wide receiver Dayall Harris, walk-on punter Jack Spicer, safety Romeo Finley, running back Travis Homer, tight end Michael Irvin II, offensive lineman Tre Johnsonreceiver Ahmmon Richards -- and just confirmed a few minutes ago: defensive end Joseph Jackson of Gulliver Prep.

Mayweather, already 21, is a redshirt junior who led Olive Branch High School to the 2011 Class 6A Mississippi state title, according to a UM biography on him as a true freshman in 2013. The bio said he "recorded 781 yards and five touchdowns on 41 catches" his senior season. He also was listed as playing in a scrimmage in August 2014.

Colbert was a four-star recruit out of Mineral Wells High in Texas. He committed to former Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz -- now the Miami Hurricanes' defensive coordinator -- as part of the 2012 signing class.

Colbert redshirted his first season and got most of his playing time in 2013 and '14. He played in all 13 games both of those seasons, making four starts at safety as a sophomore and playing mostly on special teams as a redshirt freshman. According to the Texas statistics, he played in 12 games last season but did not register any numbers.

He had 26 total tackles for his career and an interception in his first career start against North Texas.

Harris, from Jackson, Mississippi, played this past season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi, where he was named Mississippi Association of Community and Junior College first-team All-State. Rated three stars by Rivals.com, Harris has three years of eligibility remaining and will be eligible to play immediately for the Hurricanes.

Harris was a three-star receiver out of Callaway High in Jackson. At Copiah-Lincoln, he caught 45 passes for 546 yards and three touchdowns last season, according to the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Jack Spicer is a Florida transfer who redshirted last season and is out of Estero High, where he also was a talented tight end.

Cesar Castillo is sophomore who was already enrolled at UM and will be listed as fullback.

Here's info and videos of Joseph Jackson (and Dionte Mullins and Cedric Wright, who also signed in February but aren't on campus yet): http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/high-school/prep-miami-dade/article58189508.html

 The Others:

Ahmmon Richards WR
6-1 181 Wellington, Fla.
High School: Wellington

Bio Highlights

Competed in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl…Rated as the 148th-ranked player in the nation, 28th-best receiver and 23rd in-state prospect, according to the 247Sports composite ratings…Registered 1,278 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 73 catches last season, and finished with 2,722 yards, 39 touchdowns and 144 grabs in a three-year stretch...Chose Miami over offers from Auburn, Tennessee and Alabama.

Wide receivers coach Ron Dugans on Richards: “He has a very good skill set. He’s a big target and good ball skills. He’s going to be a red zone threat. He’s a kid that can change direction and is a dynamic player. He’s a baller.”

**************************

Tre Johnson OL

6-7 297 Orlando, Fla.
High School: First Academy

Rated as a consensus three-star prospect by ESPN, 247sports and Rivals…

Bio Highlights

Rated as the 148th–best player in the state of Florida by the 247sports composite… Recorded over 60 career total tackles and over 40 career solo tackles in just 16 career varsity games… Picked Miami over scholarship offers from Louisville, Cincinnati and USF.

Offensive line coach Stacy Searels on Johnson: “Tre is a kid that we think has tremendous athletic ability, he certainly has the size to be an elite offensive tackle. He’s a basketball player so he can move his feet. He has size, range, athleticism and I really like this kid a lot.”

******************************

Romeo Finley DB
6-1 200 Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
High School: Niceville

Four-star safety prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports…

Bio Highlights

Three-star prospect by Scout…Ranked as the No. 12 safety by ESPN and the No. 244 overall prospect on ESPN300…Rated as the No. 15 safety and the No. 315 prospect regardless of position by 247Sports…Rated as the third-best safety in the state of Florida and the No. 28 safety nationwide by Scout…Totaled 60 tackles, six PBUs and one interception in his final season at Niceville…Had 60 tackles, 10 PBUs, one interception and two forced fumbles junior year…Chose Miami over Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Safeties coach Ephraim Banda on Finley: “What I love about Romeo is his aggressiveness. One of the biggest things we are looking for in evaluating young men is their ability to seek contact and he does that on every play.”

********************************

Michael Irvin II TE
6-3 237 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
High School: St. Thomas Aquinas

Rated as a three-star prospect by ESPN, 247sports and Rivals…

Bio Highlights

Helped guide St. Thomas Aquinas to its second straight 2015 FHSAA 7A Championship…Caught three passes in the state championship game against Viera…Transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas in 2015 after he recorded over 1,200 yards receiving at Prestonwood Christian High School (Texas)…Tied a Texas single game record for receptions as he hauled in 21 catches against IMG Academy in 2014…Chose Miami over scholarship offers from Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina State.

Special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Todd Hartley on Irvin II.: “Michael is mature beyond his years. He’s extremely intelligent and I’m very impressed with him. He’s a very gifted pass catcher. I know he is going to come in here and work hard, so that he can come in and contribute as a freshman.”

***********************************

Travis Homer RB
5-11 180 West Palm Beach, Fla.
High School: Oxbridge Academy

Rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN and 247sports...

Bio Highlights

Ranked No. 175 in the ESPN Top 300 ratings…Received a three-star ranking from Rivals…Totaled 1,315 yards rushing and 13 total touchdowns as a senior…Rushed for 215 yards and one touchdown in a 32-24 win over Chaminade-Madonna in the FHSAA Regional Semifinal game…Finished his prep career by surpassing 3,200 total rushing yards, 41 rushing touchdowns and 50 total rushing touchdowns…Helped Oxbridge Academy to the FHSAA Regional Finals…Chose Miami over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Florida State.

Offensive coordinator and running backs coach Thomas Brown on Homer: “We’re very excited to have Travis Homer join the Hurricanes. He’s a great player and a great person, who fits our environment in every aspect. He’s a home run hitting tailback and I know he is ready to get going.”

*************************************** Travis-Homer

Keep in mind that UM already has the five early enrollees -- quarterback Jack Allison, linebackers Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman, and defensive end Randy Bethel -- who practiced this spring. They also are expected to get several other signees for Summer Session B, including receiver Sam Bruce.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

May 13, 2016

Hurricanes' sidewinder Cooper Hammond out for up to a year; Freshman gets first start tonight

FullSizeRender (99)

 If you want to catch a formidable team in the midst of an excellent season, get out to Mark Light Field tonight for the 7 p.m. opener against Pittsburgh (25-20, 10-13 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the final, regular-season weekend home series for the University of Miami's fourth-ranked baseball Hurricanes (37-9, 16-6).

You also will witness Coral Gables High graduate and right-handed freshman Andrew Cabezas, who is 2-1 and 4.84 ERA in 20 relief appearances (and shown above in photograph), make the first start of his young career.

Left-handed senior Thomas Woodrey (5-4, 5.46), who has struggled this season, was moved to the bullpen the last game on Tuesday against Bethune-Cookman. Woodrey pitched two-thirds of the ninth inning and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and a walk.

"We're just trying to change it up a little big,'' UM coach Jim Morris told our Michael Stern on Thursday during a media session. "We're going to put him back in the pen...If we can get his feet back on the ground and get his confidence going... Mentally, got to get him going.''

Morris also told reporters Thursday that right-handed, star sidewinder Cooper Hammond, who had served as a reliever until he was hurt March 8, had Tommy John surgery on Monday "and is out for probably nine to 12 months'' -- a huge blow for Miami. Hammond, a junior, has not redshirted and could redshirt and return the following year as a senior. 

 Cabezas, 19, has a great slider and a fastball that tops out in the low 90s. He was drafted by Cleveland last year in the 34th round, but chose to come to college in his home town. Teams are hitting .242 against him.

"I just want to be here to contribute as best I can, since I'm a freshman,'' Cabezas told the Miami Herald just before opening day. "Honestly, I'm the first person in my family going to college. It was very important to get my education and keep playing baseball.

  "I think we can be pretty good. Of course we have to be mellow-headed and focus game by game."

 Cabezas, who openly displays his feistiness on the mound, transferred from Mater Academy to Coral Gables his junior year of high school. He played the early part of his high school career as a teammate of UM junior Willie Abreu

  Morris said Woodrey always could return to the starting lineup, depending on what happens in the next couple of weeks. Cabezas sometimes has to settle down a bit and get into a rhythm before he does his stuff.

"If we get four or five [innings] I'll be very happy with the first time out in that role,'' Morris said of Cabezas. "He throws a lot of pitches. He may get three innings. He's probably going to throw 60 or 70 pitches that first time and get us wherever we can go.''

 And don't count out mid-week starter Jesse Lepore as a prospective starter once the post-season begins. Lepore, 6-4 and 210 pounds, is a sophomore with a 7-0 record this season and stellar 2.15 ERA.

Here's our UM baseball story by Walter Villa that ran in today's paper.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

 

 

 

 

May 12, 2016

Nice GPAs -- and nice Jesus Jeans Coach Richt

Markrichttheu

So, Hurricanes football coach Mark Richt boasted earlier today about the great GPAs his players produced this spring at the University of Miami.

 "Great news for our football student athletes,''Richt posted on Twitter. "44 had a spring GPA of 3.0 or better. We also posted an all time high team GPA. U Family!"

What Richt did not boast about were those Jesus Jeans that appeared to fit snugly on his then-22-year-old body in 1982. Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post, via Miami alum and FIU professor Michael Scott Sheerin, discovered a classic television commercial that Richt was filmed in briefly, and it's just too funny not to share. Some might say, "Oh, Lord!" But most everyone will laugh.

  

http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2016/5/12/11662388/mark-richt-jeans-ad

Here's the Post blog.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

Notre Dame, Miami to tangle on Nov. 11, 2017 and 3:30 p.m. Oct. 29, 2016 for national broadcast

Notredamemiami

There will be a lot of TV tailgating going on in South Florida come Oct. 29th.

And even though it's still too early to program your DVR, it's never too early to get pumped for Miami at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame announced on Thursday its game times for the 2016 football season, and its 2017 schedule -- and the Hurricanes are part of both.

This season's Saturday, Oct. 29th game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be televised nationally by NBC.

In 2017, the Irish will come to Sun Life Stadium on Nov. 11.

In April, during the ACC spring football teleconference, I asked Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly about the upcoming game.

He spoke a while about the rivalry, then said, "When it's the U and Notre Dame, it will kind of take a life of its own from coast to coast.''

UM coach Mark Richt said he hadn't "even thought that far down the road yet. ...Hopefully we're healthy enough and executing well enough to make it a good ball game.''

Here's my game story from the last time the Irish and Canes met -- at Soldier Field in October 2012: Click here.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

May 10, 2016

Prospective UM safety Ahman Ross decommits from Miami Hurricanes

Mark Richt or no Mark Richt, this will likely happen from time to time (or maybe even more) over the next several months: a decommitment.

On Tuesday night, it was Jacksonville-Bolles safety Ahman Ross who posted a "Recruiting Update,'' complete with praying hands, on Twitter:

  

May 09, 2016

Canyon Barry chooses UF over UM

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

If only the University of Miami had a nuclear training reactor. Maybe then the Hurricanes basketball program could have signed College of Charleston transfer Canyon Barry, son of the former UM and NBA legend, Rick Barry.

Instead, the sharpshooter chose to pass up his father's alma mater and play his final year of college basketball at the University of Florida. Barry, the youngest of Rick's sons, is a two-time Academic All-American and graduating this summer with a degree in Physics. He plans to pursue a Master's Degree in nuclear engineering.

"These past few months have been pretty crazy since I made the decision to graduate and transfer," Barry said in a statement. "I have been contacted by numerous coaches from some of the top teams in the country.  I feel blessed and honored that they were interested in having me be a part of their programs...Ultimately, however, after much prayerful consideration, I have made my decision to attend the University of Florida next season and play for Coach Mike White as a Florida Gator.

"The University of Florida is a great fit for me for several reasons.  First, they have an exceptional Nuclear Engineering program and actually have one of the only nuclear training reactors in the southeast.  Secondly, I really like Coach White, his integrity, his honesty with me, and his style of play.  He and I both feel that I can make an immediate contribution... I met the players on my official visit and felt right at home in Gainesville. Lastly, I have family on both my mom and dad’s sides who live in Florida. My grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my cousins will all be able to see me play and cheer on our team."

Barry averaged 19.7 points per game his junior season, but was limited to 13 games because of a shoulder injury.

 

April 30, 2016

Chicago Bear Deon Bush: "I've been in Miami all my life. Now it's time to go to a new place."

 

After watching their teammate Artie Burns get picked 25th overall Thursday in the NFL Draft, then waiting fruitlessly Friday as the minutes melted away, the draft-eligible Miami Hurricanes had to be getting more jittery by the second on Saturday.

Then, finally, at about 1:25 p.m., Hurricanes safety Deon Bush got chosen 124th overall – the 26th pick in the fourth round – by the Chicago Bears.

All Bush wanted was an opportunity to show what he can do. Finally, the Miami Columbus High graduate has that chance.

I had a pleasant phone conversation with Deon this afternoon, and is he ever psyched.

"Chicago is a wonderful city with wonderful fans and a wonderful history,'' he told the Miami Herald. "I'm ready. I've been in Miami all my life. Now It's time to go to a new place. Everything is anew. Everything is beginning right now. I just want to make the best of it."

Bush told me he was nervous today because he "didn't know what was going to happen,'' but ultimately, as usual, he did a lot of praying and kept the faith.

He had been staying at a hotel the past few days, saw a navy blue T-shirt that the Bears gave him at the NFL Scouting Combine, slipped it on and went to his home where his family was waiting to watch the draft. "I just had a feeling about the Bears,'' he said. "I prayed and that's how it worked out. I talked on the phone to the GM, the defensive backs coach and the defensive coordinator, and it's a blessing, man. I'm so happy."

Bush also heard from former Hurricanes coach Al Golden, who is the current Detroit Lions tight ends coach, and former UM DB coach Paul Williams, now with Illinois.

Coach Golden told me how happy he was for me and how he was fired up,'' Bush said. 

"At the end of the day I had faith in God that everything was going to happen the way it was supposed to,'' he said. "I think I can help this team a lot. I'm going to work hard. I'm going to try to perfect my craft and become a better player. I'm going in there with a mindset that I'll keep my head down, keep chopping away and do whatever it takes to get to the Super Bowl.''

“Major blessings @deonbushlive2 congrats bro,’’ former Canes receiver Allen Hurns, who went undrafted in 2014 but became a star with the Jacksonville Jaguars, tweeted.

 And on and on.

The 6-0, 199-pound Bush had 50 tackles, a sack, two fumble recoveries, six pass breakups and an interception last season. 

“You look at his talent,’’ ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said after Bush was drafted. “It’s really evident on tape. He has size, athleticism. He's got the skillset to develop into an interchangeable starting safety if he's able to regain focus and if Chicago can bring out the most in him."

The Bears tweeted that among the things Bush said during a Saturday afternoon teleconference was, "I definitely want to embrace special teams. I played special teams my whole career.''

When the Miami Herald asked Bush on Friday what the team that drafted him would be getting, he said, “They’re going to get a hard worker man, someone who is going to go out there and lay it on the line, play hard football, make plays and amp people up and make the defense tougher.

“I bring a tough style.’’

Bush said playing in the NFL -- no matter where he plays -- would be “a dream come true.’’

“It doesn’t matter,’’ he said. “I love the game of football. I’ll go anywhere and be happy.’’

Bush will join former Hurricane stars Antrel Rolle, a fellow safety from Homestead (out of South Dade High) and punter Pat O’Donnell in Chicago.

 "Deon Bush is a Chicago Bear!! U Family!!" tweeted new UM coach Mark Richt.

And this, from O'Donnell: "Yes, Sir!!! Welcome to the squad @deonbushlive2. Expecting many of these plays like @#TheU #BearDown #NFLU. The tweet showed a picture of Bush sacking former Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

 Yes Sir!!! Welcome to the squad @deonbushlive2 Expecting many of these plays like @ #TheU #BearDown #NFLU pic.twitter.com/Hb2SCG3dWM

  The first two Hurricanes drafted, both of whom grew up in Miami, are going to the cold. But be assured that at this point, Artie Burns (Pittsburgh) and Bush couldn't be more ecstatic.

  You're gonna want to see these... #BearsDraft@deonbushlive2 📷's: https://t.co/7ZOTxL8jBk pic.twitter.com/qUQFmWaSzW

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN
   

 

April 29, 2016

Hurricanes DE Al-Quadin Muhammad announces on Instagram that he had surgery

A picture tells a thousand words -- or at least a lot of them.

Miami defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, who had a strong spring showing and is expected to be a force on the D-line next season, posted a photograph of him on Instagram recently today lying in a hospital bed and wearing a surgical gown, cap, etc. His caption:

"Thank God surgery was a success minor set back I'm good though I'll be back in no time btw I'll be ready for the season #GodHasAPlan"

   A Miami spokesman said Friday night that Muhammad had "a minor procedure on his knee and is expected to return to football-related activities in two weeks.''    

When asked after the spring game on April 16 how pleased he was with his spring, and what he thinks he can achieve in UM's new, more aggressive defense implemented by defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, Muhammad's reply: "For the most part it felt good. It's a good feeling. It's going to help not only me, but everybody on the D-line grow. It's great.''

 Muhammad said "it's definitely a great feeling'' to now be a veteran leader setting the tone for the younger players, "but most importantly, it's easy to do when everyone is buying in. And that's what we have on our team. We have great guys and everybody is buying in. It's a great feeling but it's not a hard thing to do when a head coach tells some of the leaders, 'We need this and we need that done.'

    "It's easy to do when everybody is buying in. That's what we have going on, so it's an awesome feeling.''

    Muhammad, going into his redshirt junior year, is 6-4 and 250 pounds. In 2015, as an outside linebacker/rush end, he played in 12 games and finished third on the team with 54 tackles, leading the Canes in tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (5). He also had a forced fumble and pass breakup. 

    In the two spring scrimmages open to the public, Muhammad's stats included three sacks.

     SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 28, 2016

Artie Burns continues the Canes' first round tradition -- goes 25th overall to the Steelers

The tradition continues.

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Artie Burns and agent Melvin Bratton (right) pose for a photo moments after the Pittsburgh Steelers took the UM cornerback with the 25th overall pick Thursday

Artie Burns, who lost his 44-year-old mother to a heart attack in October and left UM after his junior season to take care of his younger siblings and 19-month old son, became the 58th first round pick in University of Miami history when the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him with the 25th pick Thursday night.

Four corners were drafted ahead of Burns, who was listed as the 31st best overall prospect by ESPN’s Mel Kiper and came in as the seventh-best cornerback in the draft according to CBSSports.com.

"They needed help in the secondary. They gave up almost 4,500 yards passing," ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said of the Steelers. "[Burns] came on this year. I think he's another long, bump-and-run corner that will flourish under Mike Tomlin, an ex-secondary coach."

Said Kiper of Burns: “I like everything about him. He gets a little grabby at times and that might be his only issue in the NFL, getting penalties. But he's big, he's long, he's fast, he's athletic, makes some big plays. I thought he got beat in some games more than I like -- particularly the Nebraska game bothered me. But if he refines his technique he should be a really good player.

"I love his anticipation, his ball skills, had six interceptions this past year. He really came on. But you can't be grabby in the NFL with the way they throw flags. If he corrects that, he's got everything it takes physically and athletically to be a good corner. He can have a presence in that secondary that the Steelers like."

Burns former UM teammates and new Steelers teammates were obviously happy for him.

Here are some tweets:

NIGHT ON THE BEACH

Burns and his family – including his younger two brothers, girlfriend Ella and 19-month old son AJ – watched the first round of the draft inside a hotel room at The Betsy Hotel off Ocean Drive on South Beach. Burns’ agent Melvin Bratton said former UM receiver Rashawn Scott was also there to support Burns.

Bratton said earlier in the day Burns spent the afternoon walking the beach for two to three hours with him and his wife trying to fight off nerves.

“Artie had some good pre-draft meetings with Carolina, Tampa Bay, the Jets, Miami and the Cardinals too – teams that need corners,” Bratton said Thursday moments before the draft got underway.

“But like I told him, the teams you haven’t spoken to are usually the ones that draft you.”

The Hurricanes, who had seven players taken in last year’s draft including two first round picks, don’t have as deep a draft class this year.

Safety Deon Bush, whom Kiper listed as his 181st overall prospect, will likely be the only other player taken in the draft. Other Hurricanes prospects who could get drafted or sign with teams as free agents are Scott, defensive end Ufomba Kamalu, cornerback Tracy Howard, linebacker Tyriq McCord and receiver Herb Waters.

Counting Burns, the Hurricanes have had 94 draft picks since the start of the 2000 season – a figure that ranks second among all NCAA teams.

BRATTON DISMISSES TMZ REPORT

TMZ reported Thursday morning that Burns spent $41,000 on jewelry in a New York city store earlier this week to look good before the draft. Bratton called the report “flat out wrong.”

“We squashed that,” Bratton said. “First of all, he did that in February and he spent a couple grand. It wasn’t $41,000. That guy from the jewelry store was just trying to advertise his company. Artie doesn't even own a car right now. I won't let him buy one until after this weekend. So, if he doesn't even have a car why would he spend $41,000 on jewelry?"

April 26, 2016

Florida vs. Miami to open 2019 football season in new Camping World Kickoff

Gators logo  Hurricaneshelmet

Three-plus more years.

That's how long you have to wait until the Miami Hurricanes meet the Florida Gators again in football.

UF athletic director Jeremy Foley confirmed in a statement Tuesday that UF is partnering with Florida Citrus Sports and ESPN Events to kick off the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando -- today for the last time known as the Citrus Bowl -- to open the 2019 season.

The Hurricanes followed with their own release, saying "the 2019 matchup is the third announced Camping World Kickoff in a multi-year agreement between Camping World, Florida Citrus Sports (FCSports) and ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, to host major neutral-site regular-season games in Camping World Stadium."

Said UM athletic director Blake James: "We are excited to have this opportunity to play the University of Florida in Orlando. There have been so many memorable games between our two institutions and I am confident that all of our alumni and fans will enjoy seeing the two teams square off in the Citrus Bowl."

Tickets will go on sale in 2019, the UM release said, "with Florida Citrus Sports members getting priority access as they do for the annual bowl games and for the 2016 (Florida State-Ole Miss) and 2018 (Alabama-Louisville) Camping World Kickoff games."

For membership information, call 407-423-2476 or go to floridacitrussports.com.

"We are pleased to have partnered with Florida Citrus Sports and ESPN Events to kick off the 2019 season against Miami,''  Foley said in a written release. "Orlando is a great Gator city and we look forward to playing in front of our fans from all over the state of Florida and beyond."

 The 2019 game will be the seventh neutral (ahem) -site game in the rivalry's history, which dates to 1938. Miami leads 29-26 in the series, which was last played in 2013 at Sun Life Stadium, a 21-16 Hurricanes victory.

UM alum Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World and host of CNBC's The Profit, posted a video of himself on Facebook talking about the new naming rights.

Lemonis said in the video that his favorite of the three Camping World openers is "the University of Miami Hurricanes against the Florida Gators. To me it's a throw-down at the 50-yard line between two great schools.''

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

April 25, 2016

Just spoke to police: Miami Hurricanes RB Mark Walton status remains same

Markwaltonaction

Been getting messages and emails and tweets regarding the case of University of Miami running back Mark Walton, who was arrested by Miami police early Saturday morning for DUI. Everyone is asking if there are any updates or new charges being made. 

I just called the Miami Police and spoke with police information officer Earnest Lawrence.

Officer Lawrence told me "There are no updates on the Walton case. The DUI case is closed.

"If there are any other updates,'' the officer said, "we'll inform you guys in the future."

Walton is still suspended indefinitely by the team, a UM spokesman said Monday. 

Click here for the Miami Herald story on the case that ran online Saturday and in Sunday's paper. 

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

Miami Hurricanes drop from No. 1 No. 4 in Baseball America poll

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The University of Miami's No. 1 ranking lasted two weeks.

Baseball America dropped the Canes from the top spot to No. 4 early Monday morning. 

Returning to No. 1 for the eighth time this season, including the preseason poll, are the Florida Gators. No. 2 is now Texas A&M. Ole Miss is No. 3, the Canes are fourth and No. 5 is Florida State.

As of noon Monday, D1Baseball had UM ranked at No. 3 behind No. 1 Gators and No. 2 Texas A&M.

The Canes lost to 2015 national champion Virginia 7-3 Sunday to lose their first weekend series since falling to then-No. 1 Florida Feb. 26-28.

Miami has lost its past four of six games.

"I've told them it's nice,'' UM coach Jim Morris said after Sunday's loss, regarding the top ranking, "but they're not going to be raising any [championship] flag for us anytime soon. They don't give that halfway through the season. We just need to keep...playing well and keep performing as a team and stay somewhere near the top... But...the real deal is to be at the top when it's over with.'' 

The Canes (30-8, 14-5) meet FAMU this weekend at Mark Light Field.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

 

April 23, 2016

Hurricanes running back Mark Walton arrested on DUI charges

Markwalton

University of Miami running back Mark Walton, who will be a sophomore next season, was arrested early Saturday morning by Miami Police.

Here are the charges we just got from police: Driving Under the Influence and Driving while License Suspended/With Knowledge.

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/college/acc/university-of-miami/article73524697.html

 Walton, 19, charged with Driving Under the Influence, has been suspended from the team. The Miami Herald was told earlier today by a source that an "impersonating a police officer'' situation might be involved.

"We are aware of the situation regarding Mark Walton and we have taken immediate action by suspending him from the team,'' UM athletic director Blake James said in a prepared statement. "We have no further comment at this time.''

Walton was designated the first-team running back by new UM coach Mark Richt.

 Last season, Walton played in all 13 games and rushed for 461 yards and scored nine touchdowns on 130 carries. Walton also caught 22 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown.

He ended the season second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards.

Walton is the fourth UM player to be arrested in the past couple months. Arrested on misdemeanor charges in a separate incident March 9 in Miami Beach were offensive linemen Trevor Darling and Jahair Jones. They are still on the team.

Arrested in a DUI incident March 18 Coral Gables was kicker Jon Semerene, who was dismissed from the team.

That leads me to this question: Will Walton be kicked off the team, too? Keep in mind that Semerene had a history of alcohol-related incidents/arrests.

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

April 20, 2016

Mark Richt speaks about getting Hurricanes "to rise to the level of play we're asking"

Markricht2016springgame

New Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt was asked today on the Atlantic Coast Conference coaches spring teleconference how the players responded to what he asked of them on the field this spring. 

His answer was revealing in how the coaches run practice, so here it is:

"On the field, you know, we’re asking them to play with a lot of energy. Every coach has a specific way he wants drills to be run. Every drill has a finish line. We want them to finish full speed.

"Every play that we run in 11 on 11 type situations, there’s a way that we want them to finish. There’s a certain time that we’re.. We say it’s time to stop, whether it’s the whistle being blown or whether it’s a back going 20 yards past the last defender, whatever it is, each coach has a definition of what is a finish line on a particular play and we’re expecting them to go full speed until they get to that point.

"We’re trying to define for them what it means to play hard and not just say, ‘Play hard.’ We’ll say, ‘Quarterback, you’re going to toss this sweep and you’re going to hide your hands and you’re going to break contain and you’ll go full speed at the line of scrimmage, that’s the finish line on that play.’

"We’re trying to make it very structured and very defined as to what we consider a full speed play and what we consider a loaf and if guys are loafing we’re going to discipline them and get them to rise to the level of play that we’re asking them. Those are the types of things that we’re trying to get done. And if we stay consistent as coaches then they’ll know we’re serious and they’ll rise to the occasion for sure.

"I’m pleased with everybody’s effort of trying to get it done that way.”

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly: Miami at Notre Dame will "take a life of its own from coast to coast''

 

Madibis

  Irishimage

Notre Dame, people.

I already can't wait.

What about you?

The University of Miami will play at Notre Dame on Oct. 29, 2016 for the first time since 1990. Miami lost to Notre Dame at the Sun Bowl in 2010 and at Chicago's Soldier Field in 2012.

But now, with Coach Mark Richt at the UM helm, the two teams meet this season in what will surely be a cold (in every way) matchup in South Bend, Indiana.

The last time the two teams met in South Bend was on Oct. 20, 1990, when the No. 6 Irish beat No. 2 Miami 29-20. UM finished 10-2 that season, its only other loss in the opener at BYU.

Notre Dame leads the series 16-7-1 and finished 10-3 last season with losses at Clemson (24-22), at Stanford (38-36) and against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl (44-28).

The Irish finished 2015 ranked 11th in the final Associated Press Poll.

Unranked UM finished 8-5.

I just asked Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly on a spring football teleconference about the upcoming game.

"I know it’s a long way off, but are you looking forward to it, and if so, why?" I asked. "And how well do you know Mark Richt?"

Kelly's answer: "We always look towards the Miami game as one that has some very good tradition to it and a lot of respect for Miami’s tradition and certainly the games that have been played have been great ones. So, yeah, there’s always the attention paid to it by our players and our alumni base. For them coming here I think it will rekindle that great matchup between [Lou] Holtz and Jimmy Johnson. And I think that that’s going to be one that is hyped up pretty big.

"But they’re different teams and they’re different coaches. I know Mark – great respect for him and the program that he’s run for so many years. He’s going to do the same thing at Miami. It will be a little bit different – different coaches, different styles of teams. But still, when it’s the U and Notre Dame, it will kind of take a life of its own from coast to coast."

I asked Kelly if he ever watched any of the old-time games. His reply:

"Oh, absolutely, yeah. They were made for TV, especially with the personalities on the sidelines."

 Here's what Richt said about the Notre Dame theme when I asked him about it on the teleconference:

"Well, I quite frankly haven’t even thought that far down the road yet. I know it will be an exciting time for everybody, and hopefully we have a team that’s worthy of playing on that day. Our goal is just to try and get better on a daily basis throughout the summer and throughout the fall camp and hopefully by the time we get there even though I don’t know what number game it is – by then we should have played enough to be ready to compete. Hopefully we’re healthy enough and executing well enough to make it a good ball game."

What do you all think of this upcoming matchup? 

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN