January 23, 2016

Miami Hurricanes to play in two senior All-Star games Saturday

University of Miami football fans can watch four seniors about to enter the 2016 NFL Draft compete today in televised all-star games.

Wide receiver Rashawn Scott and safety Deon Bush will play in the 91st annual East-West Shrine Game at 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. It will be televised by the NFL Network. Scott and Bush will be on the East squad, coached by Charlie Weiss. Scott will wear the familiar No. 11 on his jersey, and Bush his No. 2. 

At 6 p.m., defensive linemen Calvin Heurtelou and Ufomba Kamalu will compete in the NfLPA Collegiate Bowl on the campus of Cal State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California. The game will be aired on ESPN2 and Watch ESPN.

Kamalu and Heurtelou will play on the National Team, coached by Mike Martz. Kamalu will wear No. 74 and Heurtelou, 93. 


January 16, 2016

Joe Brown to transfer from Miami


Hurricanes Redshirt sophomore guard Joe Brown is transferring from Miami to be closer to his home in Paramount, Calif., the University of Miami announced Saturday.

Brown played in seven games this past season and made three starts. In his first career start against Virginia Tech, Brown contributed to the Hurricanes' 395 yards of offense.

“The University of Miami is a great place and I will be forever thankful for the opportunity this institution gave me,” Brown said in a written release. “However at this point in my collegiate career, I believe this is the best move for my future."

With a completely revamped coaching staff, the Hurricanes recently hired former Virginia Tech offensive line coach Stacy Searels to take over the Miami line. Longtime Hurricane offensive line coach/former player Art Kehoe was not retained by new coach Mark Richt

Said Richt: “Joe has been a well respected member of our football program and I would like to thank him for his hard work during his time at Miami.

"I respect his desire to be closer to home and I wish him nothing but success. I believe Joe has a bright future ahead of him.”

The 6 foot, 4 inch offensive lineman arrived in Coral Gables prior to the 2014 season after he was selected as the San Gabriel Valley Defensive Player of the Year in back to back seasons.

Miami struggled to open holes in the running game this season, finishing 117th nationally in rushing offense. The Canes were 33rd in sacks allowed.


January 10, 2016

Stacy Coley makes the right decision to stay for his senior year


I don't think anyone out there thought that Stacy Coley should forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.

And, obviously, Coley didn't think so either.

Coley announced on Instagram this afternoon to stay at UM for his senior season. He now goes from a young man who likely would have been drafted between the fourth and seventh rounds, to one who could surge to the top of the pack next year.

A very smart move indeed, not to mention that now he can earn his degree.

The Canes needed him to stay badly, as Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters are departing as seniors, and Tyre Brady is transferring. The next most prolific receiver is tight end David Njoku, and he should be dynamite next year.

With Mark Richt taking over and Corn Elder and Quan Muhammad and Coley choosing to stay another season, it would be hard for fans not to be excited for the future. 


The University of Miami got uplifting news Sunday from a talented underclassman who was contemplating entering the 2016 NFL Draft.

Wide receiver Stacy Coley announced on Instagram that he is staying with the Hurricanes for his senior season. He joins redshirt sophomore outside linebacker Al-Quadin Muhammad and junior cornerback Corn Elder as Miami players who announced they will remain at UM next season.

Only junior cornerback Artie Burns has announced his intention to enter the NFL Draft.

“It’s official,’’ Coley posted Sunday afternoon, one day after UM announced the hiring of new receivers coach Ron Dugans. “I decided to come back for my senior year at the University of Miami to further my education and as well as my football career.”

Many believed Coley was leaning toward leaving UM after the bowl game, and that UM’s firing of well-loved receivers coach Kevin Beard might affect his NFL draft decision. His choice to remain a Hurricane should substantially boost his draft status next year if he continues with his accelerated on-field growth.

Coley, 6-1 and 187 pounds, is from Pompano Beach and graduated from Northeast High School. He finished the 2015 season with 689 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 47 catches – six yards and one touchdown behind Miami senior receiver Rashawn Scott.

Coley had hamstring issues during the summer and early fall and played in 11 games, compared to 13 for Scott. His 62.6 receiving yards a game ranks 81st nationally and sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

For his UM career, Coley has started 21 of his 36 games and has caught 103 passes for 1,464 yards, an average of 14.2 yards a catch. He has scored 11 touchdowns.

Coley had a strong freshman season, slumped as a sophomore, rebounded in 2015 and was projected to be a third-day draft pick (rounds four through seven) at best. 

Behind Coley, tight end David Njoku is the Hurricane who will return next season with the most receiving yards – 362 and one touchdown in 2015. After that, tailback Mark Walton has 293 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Wide receivers Scott and Herb Waters (624 yards) both exhausted their eligibility, and sophomore Tyre Brady is transferring.

After the Sun Bowl, in which Coley had three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown, he said he planned to talk to his mother and ask her where she stood on his leaving early.

He said his family is “big on education. My mom always preaches to us, ‘Education first. Without education, you’re nobody.’’’

He said if he were to return he would work on getting “bigger and stronger’’ and “leading my team in the right direction and going for the [Biletnikoff] Award,’’ which goes to the top receiver in college.

As a return specialist, Coley returned only one kickoff this season for 31 yards.

He returned 47 career kickoffs for 1,142 yards (24.3-yard average) and a touchdown; and 25 punts for 325 yards (13-yard average) and a touchdown.

The deadline for underclassmen to apply for early draft eligibility is Jan. 18.

The NFL Scouting Combine is Feb. 23-29 in Indianapolis.

The NFL Draft is April 28-30.


January 09, 2016

Mark Richt cleans house, completes staff with hiring of receivers coach Ron Dugans


So, Hurricanes fans, what do you think?

About two-and-a-half months after Al Golden was fired and a bit over a month after new head coach Mark Richt was hired, UM's coaching staff is complete with the hiring of receivers coach Ron Dugans -- formerly of USF.

No one from the former Miami staff remains.

I'm more than willing to give Richt, one of the most successful college coaches in the country when he coached the past 15 years at Georgia, the benefit of every doubt. It would have been nice had former interim coach/tight ends coach Larry Scott remained, but he did what he thought was best and went to Tennessee.

Scott knew what made these kids tick, but Richt's guys will have to learn quickly.

Fans wanted an aggressive defensive coordinator. They got an extremely aggressive coordinator.

My only questions, besides seeing how this whole thing runs, obviously, is how young Jon Richt will fare as quarterbacks coach. I'm guessing that Mark Richt, Jon's mentor and most important teacher, will have a hand in contributing to that effort. 

I'm also wondering exactly how much of the actual offensive game planning  Mark Richt will do, as I'm expecting him to call the plays on game day. It will be a tough challenge getting to know these players, learning their tendencies off and on the field and getting them to buy into their new coaches. 

But going by his track record, I'd put my faith in Richt.

Following is my story on Dugans:


The University of Miami has announced the addition of receivers coach Ron Dugans to the football program, completing head coach Mark Richt’s new football staff on Saturday evening.

No one from the former Hurricanes staff remains, as receivers coach Kevin Beard – a former Miami player and one-year assistant coach – was dismissed by Richt on Friday morning.

Dugans, 38, will also serve as Miami’s passing game coordinator. He comes to the Hurricanes from USF in Tampa, where he served as receivers coach the past two seasons. He was a standout receiver for Florida State from 1995 to ’99, when Richt was the FSU offensive coordinator.

Dugans coached receivers at Louisville from 2010 through ’13 – part of a Cardinals’ program that went 12-1 in 2013 and defeated UM in the Russell Athletic Bowl. While at Louisville, Dugans coached DeVante Parker – now with the Miami Dolphins – to first team All-American Athletic Conference honors.

Dugans also coached receivers from 2007-’09 at Georgia Southern, was an NFL assistant in 2007 with Cincinnati and a graduate assistant from 2005-’07 at FSU.

At FSU, Dugans started his final two seasons and posted 105 receptions for 1,520 yards and seven touchdowns for his career. He caught six passes for 135 yards in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl BCS National Championship victory over Virginia Tech.

A native of Tallahassee, Dugans played football, basketball and ran track at Florida A&M University High School.

He is married and the father of three children.

UM’s complete coaching staff is as follows: defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Manny Diaz, quarterbacks coach Jon Richt, defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, cornerbacks coach and former Cane Mike Rumph, safeties coach Ephraim Banda, running backs coach/co-offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Todd Hartley, and Dugans.


Multiple reports: USF receivers coach Ron Dugans hired by Miami Hurricanes

   The new Miami receivers coach has yet to be officially announced, but was unofficially reported by multiple outlets by Friday night.

 Multiple reports had USF receivers coach Ron Dugans joining UM as its new receivers coach. Dugans coached Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker at Louisville and is linked to new UM coach Mark Richt because he played at FSU from 1995 to ’99, when Richt was offensive coordinator for the Seminoles.

Citing unnamed sources were Thayer Evans of SI.com, Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and Josh Newberg of 247Sports.com. Gary Ferman of CaneSport reported Friday afternoon that he "was hearing'' Dugans would get the job.

  The addition of Dugans would wrap up the Hurricanes main coaching staff for Richt.

 No one from the former UM coaching staff remains, though tight ends coach Larry Scott was offered a job and instead took the tight ends position at Tennessee.

UM declined comment on the Dugans reports.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/college/acc/university-of-miami/article53795935.html#storylink=cpy

January 08, 2016

Jon Richt to coach QBs at Miami and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to also coach LBs

The Miami Herald learned Friday that Mark Richt’s son, Jon, who was previously announced as an offensive assistant for the Hurricanes, will serve as quarterbacks coach, and new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will also coach linebackers.

Richt, 25, was a quarterback at Division II Mars Hill College in North Carolina. He transferred there from Clemson, where he was a three-star prospect when he signed with the Tigers in 2008.

Jon Richt spent 2015 as an offensive assistant with the Buffalo Bills and 2014 as an unpaid Georgia coach working with quarterbacks. Mark Richt is expected to call offensive plays this season, and he previously said he wants to work with quarterbacks, so he'll likely have a hand in tutoring quarterbacks as well. 

The Hurricanes announced later Friday that former Georgia staffers Gus Felder, John Thomas and Kelin Johnson have been hired by Miami as strength and conditioning coaches, first reported earlier this week by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Diaz, a Miami native whose father, Manny Sr., served as the mayor of Miami from 2001 to 2009, also was a dual defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Texas and Middle Tennessee.



Miami Hurricanes WR coach Kevin Beard dismissed by Mark Richt


   As University of Miami coach Mark Richt comes close to finalizing his coaching staff, another longtime Hurricane was dismissed Friday.

   Wide receivers coach Kevin Beard, who played with some of the Miami greats when he was part of the last UM national championship team in 2001, was told by Richt during a morning phone call that Richt was "going in another direction'' and Beard would not be retained.

   With one more main assistant coaching hire to be announced, no one on the most recent staff remains. The only former coach offered a job – tight ends coach Larry Scott – was hired away by Tennessee. 

    Beard’s dismissal could also have an effect on junior receiver Stacy Coley, who has not yet announced whether he will enter the 2016 NFL Draft. Coley was very close to Beard, and some believe his decision – though a family one, Coley has said – would be affected by Richt’s decision about Beard.

   “My conversations with Stacy always are about doing what’s best for him,’’ Beard told the Herald on Wednesday night. “He has a lot to prove. He has an opportunity to prove it and you still always want to get that degree. Those are the things you want to put in front of you.’’

    Beard just completed his first season as the UM receivers coach after serving as UM’s  assistant director of operations in 2014. He coached the wide receivers for four years at University School in Davie, where he helped the Suns win the 2012 Class 3A state title.

    As a UM player (1999-2003), Beard tallied 67 receptions for 920 yards and seven touchdowns for his career, including 409 yards and two touchdowns on the ’01 title team.

   Beard told the Herald he interviewed with Richt for the first time last Saturday. That does not include the 15-minute meet-and-greet type conversation they had before the Sun Bowl.

   “At this point it’s out of my control,’’ said Beard, the father of sons ages 9 and 8, and a 4-year-old daughter. “My whole thing has been, with me being who I am, I really trust God. If it’s in God’s plan to be at Miami then I trust it. If not, I have to set my focus on trying to figure out something else.

   “I’ve been focusing on the job I have. I’m just trying to trust the plan.”

   The coaches already hired: defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, cornerbacks coach (and former Hurricane) Mike Rumph, safeties coach Ephraim Banda, running backs coach/co-offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Todd Hartley and offensive assistant Jon Richt.

   Though Jon Richt's specific position responsibility has not been announced, he will be counted as one of the nine main assistants, UM confirmed. 
   Miami has not announced a linebackers coach, but it might be that Diaz, who previously coached linebackers along with being a DC, will take care of that. 


January 06, 2016

Richt's staff close to being filled; Quan Muhammad returning to UM.

FullSizeRender (57)
Mark Richt's
coaching staff is very close to being filled.

What hasn't been announced yet are the the folks who will coach the linebackers and wide receivers.

I'm wondering if Manny Diaz coaches the linebackers as well as coordinates the defense, as he did at Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Texas and Middle Tennessee.

The coaches set for now: Diaz, defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski (considered top-notch in the field), cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph, safeties coach Ephraim Banda, running backs coach/co-offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Todd Hartley and offensive assistant Jon Richt

Kevin Beard, who interviewed with Richt on Saturday, is still waiting to hear his fate. The decision on Beard could affect the decision Stacy Coley makes on whether to enter the NFL Draft a year early. Everyone does what's right for them, but Coley staying would be a wise decision. With Brad Kaaya as quarterback and Mark Richt as coach, Coley could be an eye-popping star next season.

And that brings me to LB/rush end Al-Quadin Muhammad, who announced on Instagram and Twitter today that he's coming back next season. Muhammad might be a beast in 2016, especially with Diaz calling all those blitzes. I can see Quan racking up those sacks. Good move.

 Also: reported Wednesday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Most of the men who ran Georgia's strength and conditioning program last year are following Mark Richt to Miami... according to multiple people familiar with the situation. The three listed by the AJC are Gus Felder, John Thomas and Kelin Johnson.

  Felder played at Penn State and came to Georgia in 2014 after working S&C at Clark Atlanta and Cheyney.

   Thomas served under Joe Paterno at Penn State for many years, and came to Georgia in 2012. 

  Johnson, a former DB, played for Richt at Georgia. He served as a graduate assistant for the Bulldogs and was part of the S&C staff last year. 

  Richt did not retain longtime Miami strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey, well loved by his athletes, many of whom made it to the NFL.




January 04, 2016

Miami Hurricanes announce three hires; Larry Scott hired by Tennessee

University of Miami coach Mark Richt just announced three more hires, two of which we already reported: UM hired Stacy Searels from Virginia Tech to coach the O-line, Mike Rumph of Plantation American Heritage High School to coach cornerbacks and Ephraim Banda of Mississippi State to coach safeties.

Below this release you'll see the news release about Larry Scott, who has been hired by Tennessee as the tight ends coach.


Here's the UM release (scroll down after this one and you'll find the Tennessee release):

Richt Names Three More Assistants to Miami Staff

 CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami head coach Mark Richt announced the addition of Mike Rumph, Stacy Searels and Ephraim Banda to the Hurricanes’ coaching staff for the start of the 2016 campaign.

In their new roles with the Hurricanes, Rumph will serve as the team’s cornerbacks coach, Searels will move into the role of offensive line coach and Banda will coach the safeties.

“These individuals possess the type of qualities we are looking for in our staff,” Richt said. “Each of these men will play a significant role in our team’s development as we pursue excellence. I looking forward to working with each of these coaches.”

Rumph, a member of the Hurricanes’ 2001 national championship team, returns to his alma mater after spending the past three seasons as the head coach at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla.

During his three seasons as head coach, Rumph guided the Patriots to three straight Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state playoff appearances and compiled an overall record of 34-6 in one of Florida’s most competitive districts.

Rumph wasted little time making his mark on the local high school coaching scene as his 2013 and 2014 squads claimed 5A FHSAA State Championships, defeating its opponents by a combined score of 104-8 in the final game. American Heritage became just the second school in Broward County history to win back-to-back state football championships.

Searels, the former offensive line coach at Virginia Tech, Texas, Georgia and LSU, and an All-America offensive lineman as a player at Auburn, reunites with Richt for the second time in his career. Searels spent the 2007-10 seasons on Georgia’s staff.

The Georgia native arrives in Coral Gables after he spent the past two seasons at Virginia Tech. During his two seasons at Virginia Tech, Searels’ offensive line helped guide the Hokies to a pair of bowl victories.

In 2013, his final season at Texas, Searels’ line enabled the Longhorns to finish 36th in the country in rushing offense and 17th in sacks allowed per game. Trey Hopkins was named first-team All-Big 12 while Donald Hawkins secured a spot on the second team.

In 2012, the Hokies offensive line, which was without a senior starter, allowed the opposition to post just 4.1 tackles for loss per game, which ranked tied for third in the country.

During his first season at Texas, Searels helped the Longhorns rank 21st nationally and third in the Big 12 with 210.4 rushing yards per game.

Searels joined the Longhorns after coaching the offensive line at Georgia for four seasons. He added the duties of running game coordinator in 2009. During his time there, the Bulldogs ranked in the top 25 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed three times, including ranking sixth and leading the SEC in 2009 with just 12.

A three-year starter on the offensive line at Auburn, Searels earned first-team All-America honors from both The Associated Press and Football News as a senior in 1987.

Banda spent the 2015 season at Mississippi State where he served as a defensive assistant under current Hurricanes defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

During the 2015 season, Mississippi State posted a 9-4 record and posted a victory over North Carolina State in the Belk Bowl. The Bulldogs’ defensive unit held opponents to just 23.2 point per game and ranked in the nation’s top 10 in redzone defense.

In addition, MSU led the nation in fewest pass plays of 20+ yards allowed in 2015, surrendering only 24. Despite several key injuries to seniors, the secondary ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference in passes defended with 63.

Prior to arriving in Starkville, Banda spent three seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at the University of Texas from 2012-15. He filled a variety of roles from scripting practices and organizing scouting reports to assisting with the defensive backs. He also worked with both head coach Charlie Strong and former head coach Mack Brown.

In addition to his work on defense, Banda also assisted with the Longhorn special teams


Here's the news release from Tennessee on former UM tight ends coach/interim coach Larry Scott. He would have been a major asset for the Hurricanes. He already did so much for UM, leading it to four wins in its last five games of the season, and making the Hurricanes believe in themselves.

I'm sure he'll have a successful career at Tennessee, and I expect to see him one day as a head coach somewhere. I'll miss having him at UM.

Susan Miller Degnan

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones announced Larry Scott has agreed in principle to become the Volunteers tight ends coach. Scott joins the Vols after spending the last three seasons as the Miami Hurricanes tight ends coach. He concluded the 2015 season as the interim head coach, leading the Hurricanes to a 4-2 mark and a berth in the Sun Bowl.

Scott has 15 years of coaching experience, including 11 seasons on the collegiate level, and has coached in eight bowl games. He joined the Miami staff on Feb. 25, 2013 where he oversaw the tight ends unit. He became the 22nd football coach in UM history on Oct. 25, 2015, given the interim tag after Al Golden was fired after seven games. The Hurricanes won four of their last five games under Scott en route to an 8-4 finish.

"We are very excited about welcoming Larry Scott, his wife, Shakiera, and their children (Larry, Jalen, Jurnee) into the Tennessee football family," Jones said. "Larry brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our staff. He is a great teacher, motivator and recruiter, and most importantly, a great mentor for our student-athletes. I think the way Miami finished the season under his guidance speaks volumes to his leadership skills."

In 2014, the UM tight ends combined for 52 receptions and 833 yards receiving. Under Scott's tutelage, Clive Walford led the team with 44 catches and earned third-team All-America and second-team All-ACC honors. Following the season, Walford was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.

Prior to joining UM, Scott spent eight seasons at the University of South Florida, beginning in 2005 as the director of high school relations. He moved to a graduate assistant role in 2006 before he was promoted to tight ends coach in 2007, a position he led from 2007-08 and again in 2010-11. He coached the offensive line in 2009 and moved to running backs coach in 2012.

A native of Sebring, Florida, Scott was part of a group that helped USF to its fifth straight eight-win season, making it one of only 15 programs nationally and one of just 10 in BCS leagues to accomplish the feat. He was the main recruiter within the Miami-Dade and Broward counties. USF's 2009 class was ranked 21st nationally.

Scott began his coaching career as run game coordinator and offensive line coach at Tampa's Wharton High School from May 2001-August 2001. He served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 2001-03 at Freedom School before returning to his alma mater, Sebring High School, in 2004 as the co-offensive coordinator.

Scott was a three-year letterman at South Florida, where he played offensive tackle and earned his bachelor's degree in his communications. He was a member of the first recruiting class that began practicing in 1996, the year before the first USF Football game. He attended Sebring High School, where he lettered in football, baseball and wrestling.

Scott and his wife, Shakiera, have three children: sons, Larry and Jalen, and daughter Jurnee.

Alumnus Mike Rumph confirmed to be headed to UM as new CBs coach

            Mike Rumph was part of the last national championship team at the University of Miami.

            Rumph is headed back to his alma mater to try and help them win another one.

            Rumph, who spent the past three years as the head football coach at Plantation American Heritage School, is set to join the coaching staff at UM under new coach Mark Richt.

            CanesInSight.com first reported that Rumph has been hired as the Hurricanes’ cornerbacks coach, a position he played at UM and in the NFL.

American Heritage athletic director Karen Stearns confirmed that Rumph met with his team Monday morning to let them know he would be leaving. Rumph did not immediately return phone calls Monday morning to The Miami Herald.

“Mike called me last night and let me know he was leaving,” Stearns said. “It was an emotional meeting with the kids and obviously we’re sad to lose him, but we’re thrilled for him. It’s very exciting for him, for UM, and for all of us. It’s a great move.”

            Rumph starred at UM where he had six career interceptions and finished his college career on UM’s star-studded 2001 national championship team.

            Rumph, 36, played six seasons in the NFL and had stints with the 49ers, who drafted him in the first round in 2002 and later the Redskins and Rams.

            Not long after retiring following the 2007 season, Rumph went into coaching.

            Rumph became an assistant coach at Miramar Everglades in 2010 and later at American Heritage in Plantation.

In 2013, Rumph replaced former Miami Dolphin Jeff Dellenbach as the school’s head coach and guided the Patriots to back-to-back state championships and a regional semifinals appearance this past season. During that time, American Heritage went 35-6.

Rumph replaces UM defensive backs coach Paul Williams, who has reportedly been hired at the University of Illinois. Williams spent the past five seasons coaching at UM originally under former coach Al Golden.

January 03, 2016

Miami Hurricanes dismiss OL coach Art Kehoe, hire Stacy Searels


The only man with all five University of Miami national championship rings has been dismissed from his job.

 UM Sports Hall of Famer and Miami offensive line coach Art Kehoe, either as a player or coach with the program a total of 31 years and one of, if not the, truest Cane there ever was, has been replaced by former Virginia Tech OL coach Stacy Searels.

Kehoe had a three-hour interview on Wednesday with Mark Richt, and continued talking with him afterward. But in the end, Richt released Kehoe.

Contrary to a report put out previously by another outlet, Kehoe was never offered a fundraising job at UM -- or any other job.

I hear from my excellent source that Kehoe might have another opportunity. I believe he definitely had the opportunity before, but he thought he was going to be retained.

God bless you, Art. Will miss you barking on the field, and then slapping me five.




January 02, 2016

Manny Diaz, former Miami Mayor's son, hired by UM as D-coordinator

Manny Diaz Jr. is coming home.

Diaz, 41, was named the University of Miami defensive coordinator on Saturday by new Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt.

Diaz, who has been coaching for 18 years, is the son of former Miami mayor Manny Diaz. He comes to the Hurricanes after a one-year stint as D-coordinator and linebackers coach at Mississippi State.

And for Hurricanes fans who could not tolerate what they thought was a weak, non-aggressive, far too complicated 3-4 defense by former UM coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, Diaz runs an extremely aggressive, attacking 4-3 scheme.

"I'm very excited about Manny Diaz becoming our defensive coordinator,'' Richt said in a release. "I've known him for over 20 years and I've watched him become one of the best defensive minds in the business. He and our defensive staff will implement a 4-3 attacking style defense.''

Diaz coached this past season under MSU head coach Dan Mullen, who interviewed recently for the UM head-coaching vacancy.

Diaz played three sports at Miami Country Day High School, but never played college football. He started his coaching career in 1998-99 as a graduate assistant at FSU, where he received his bachelor's degree.

Diaz's defense this season for the Bulldogs (9-4) was ranked 57th overall, allowing 391.2 yards per game. His rushing defense finished the season ranked 70th (174.6 rushing yards a game allowed), passing defense finished 57th (216.5) and scoring defense was 37th nationally (23.2 points a game allowed).

His team gave up 5.32 yards per play, 45th nationally of 128 FBS teams.

For comparison's sake, UM's defense ranked 69th this season, allowing 404.8 yards per game. UM's rushing defense finished 102nd this season (201 rushing yards a game allowed), passing defense finished 38th (203.8) and scoring defense was 77th (28.2 points a game allowed).

The Bullodogs were ranked ninth in team tackles for loss and ninth in red zone defense.

"Starkville is a special place and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity Dan Mullen and Scott Stricklin game my family and I,'' Diaz said. "...God blessed me with a chance to return home, to coach in my hometown and to reunite with family. It is the kind of opportunity that comes along rarely in this business. It was simply too good to pass up.

"I can't wait to help Coach Richt build a championship program at Miami.''

In 2014, Diaz spent one season at Louisiana Tech, leading the nation in turnovers gained (40) with 15 fumble recoveries and 25 interceptions. 

Prior to La Tech, he coached three seasons at Texas and was fired by former coach Mack Brown just two games into the 2013 season after the Longhorns allowed 670 yards of total offense -- 550 of them rushing -- against BYU.

Diaz has been considered one of the bright, up-and-coming defensive young minds in the nation as he worked his way up from FSU to NC State (graduate assistant, linebacker, safeties, special teams from 2000-01 through 2004-05), Middle Tennessee (defensive coordinator, safeties, linebackers 2006-07 through 2008-09), to his first stint at Mississippi State in 2010 (defensive coordinator, linebackers).

In 2010, Diaz brought a team that had finished 71st in scoring defense the previous year to 22nd overall, and brought the Bulldogs from 62nd in rushing defense to 17th.




December 28, 2015

Miami Hurricanes sign DE Patrick Bethel to grant-in-aid agreement

Just in from the University of Miami: 

Canes Ink Bethel to Grand-In-Aid Agreement

 CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami football program signed senior defensive end Pat Bethel to a grant-in-aid agreement on Monday.

Bethel, who hails from Vero Beach, Fla., concluded senior season at Vero Beach High School after he recorded nine sacks in 2015.

He is currently ranked No. 88 in the ESPN 300 ratings. Bethel also has a four-star ranking and is rated as the 10th–best defensive end by 247Sports. He also is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the TCPalm Super 11 rankings.

Most recently, Bethel was selected to play in the 2015 Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 2.

Bethel is the fifth grant-in-aid player to sign with the Hurricanes. Earlier this year, Miami inked Jack Allison, Shaq Quarterman, Mike Pinckney and Zach McCloud. He also is the fourth player ranked in the ESPN 300 ratings to sign with the Canes.

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UM junior Artie Burns to enter NFL Draft, pens letter

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 University of Miami cornerback Artie Burns did what he knew he had to do.

    On Monday, Burns announced that he will forgo his senior season at the University of Miami to enter the NFL Draft.

    Burns’ mother, Dana Smith, died in late October, leaving him with custody of his two younger brothers. He also has a 1-year-old son.

     Burns finished the season with an ACC-leading six interceptions and is considered the most NFL-ready player of the Hurricanes considering entering the NFL Draft – including receiver Stacy Coley, linebacker Al-Quadin Muhammad and cornerback Corn Elder.

     In a letter Burns wrote and was emailed by his aunt to the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel and the University of Miami, Burns said he wanted to give “GOD the glory and a special thanks to my teammates, coach Al Golden and coach Mark Richt, the UM coaching staff, the University of Miami and all the Canes Fans.

   “I can't put into words what these past three years have meant to me in my development as a football player but even more importantly as a man. It is only right to acknowledge that and I thank you all.

   “After considering all the options, and looking into my future, I feel it is in my best interest to forgo my senior year and declare for the NFL Draft.

    “This was a long and extremely difficult decision to make.

    “Due to m y mom sudden passing and my father being incarcerated, I now have custody of my two younger brothers and my son to raise. It is my responsibility to be the financial supporter my family needs to continue our day to day lives.

    “Also, playing in the National Football League has always been a dream of mine and I believe the time to pursue this dream is now, I feel I’m mentally and physically ready. Now that the time has come for me to take the next step in my journey, I will come back to complete my degree from this prestigious University.

   “Once again I want to Thank my family for all the support. I want to thank all the professors, advisors, trainers, and coaches for everything they have done for me.

My teammates, I love you all, you guys are my brothers. We have accomplished so much, I’ll always cherish those moments with you.

   “And finally to each one of you unbelievable fans that back us each and every day, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me during my time at The University of Miami. You guys truly made my college experience one to remember.

   “I will ALWAYS BE A CANE 4 LIFE!!! and continue to root and support whenever I can. Because its ALL ABOUT THE “U”.

   “Yours Truly,

    “Artie Burns”

  Also on Monday, CanesInSight.com reported, per sources, that Larry Scott is expected to be retained on UM's staff.


December 27, 2015

Mark Richt update, Sun Bowl thoughts on cold Miami ending

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EL PASO, TEXAS (where the snow is still coming down hard from last night and I doubt I'll get out) --Another Hurricanes bowl and another Hurricanes loss. There's only one way to go now, and that' up.

New UM coach Mark Richt is expected to announce his new staff later this week -- and not today. 

Have a feeling several changes will be made. The current staffers, who could be told their fate at any time,
have had it tough not knowing what their futures hold.

One person close to the situation told me it was "freaking nerve-racking'' not having any indication from Richt on what he was planning to do.

I still think Larry Scott and the other guys did a tremendous job holding this team together after Al Golden was fired. Unfortunately, it all blew up Saturday in the 20-14 Washington State loss.

And now, this: Even if that halfback pass from Joe Yearby to intended receiver Stacy Coley (who was open and ready for the catch) was thrown in the right X's and O's situation, it wasn't the right time. With only three minutes left in the game and it being do-or-die time, with the snow coming down hard, with the wind blowing, with the players sopped and cold (including their hands), a guy who is a tailback and hasn't throw the ball all day is asked to make his one shot in those circumstances a perfect one. Why not give it to your ace?

Other notes provided by Miami:

  • Miami’s matchup with Washington State marked the first all-time meeting between the two schools.
  • This is Miami’s second trip to the Sun Bowl in school history. 


  • Miami Starters: 

OFFENSE: QB #15 Brad Kaaya, RB #2 Joe Yearby, LT #73 Trevor Darling, LG #67 Alex Gall, C #68 Nick Linder, RG #63 Danny Isidora, RT #52 Kc McDermott, WR #3 Stacy Coley, TE #5 Standish Dobard, TE #23 Chris Herndon, WR #11 Rashawn Scott.

DEFENSE: DL #9 Chad Thomas, DL #47 Ufomba Kamalu, DL #93 Calvin Heurtelou, LB #5 Jermaine Grace, LB #51 Juwon Young, LB #8 Al-Quadin Muhammad, DB #1 Artie Burns, DB #29 Corn Elder, DB #2 Deon Bush, DB #26 Rayshawn Jenkins, DB #25 Dallas Crawford.

  • Miami became just the third team this season to hold Washington State under 400 yards of total offense. In addition, Miami became the only team this season to shut out Washington State in the second half. 
  • Miami’s first scoring drive of the game consisted of 15 plays and went 69 yards. The Hurricanes have had 17 drives of 10-or-more plays this season.
  • Miami allowed 87 rushing yards in the game. The last time the Hurricanes allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards was in a 45-0 win over Bethune-Cookman (9/5/15) when they gave up just 53.


  • Sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya finished the game with 219 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception.
  • Kaaya’s interception was just his seventh interception in his last 578 attempts.
  • Kaaya’s 219 passing yards moved him past Gino Torretta (two separate seasons), Steve Walsh and himself last season to tie Vinny Testaverde sixth in single-season passing yards (3,238).
  • Kaaya’s 30 passing attempts moved him past Bernie Kosar, George Mira, Ryan Clement and Craig Erickson for sixth all-time with 766. He also passed Gino Torretta and himself last season for eighth on the single-season list with 388.
  • Kaaya’s 17 completions moved him past Ryan Clement for seventh all-time (459). He also surpassed Ken Dorsey, Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta and Steve Walsh for fourth on the single-season list (238).
  • With 193 yards of total offense, Kaaya passed Craig Erickson for fifth all-time (6,193). He also moved past Gino Torretta, himself last season, Vinny Testaverde and Steve Walsh for seventh on the single-season list (3,126).
  • Kaaya has thrown for 200-or-more yards in 19 of his 25 career games and has at least one touchdown in 23 career outings.
  • Kaaya currently has 42 career touchdown passes. He needs just one touchdown pass to tie former Cane quarterback Ryan Clement (1994-97).
  • With his 63 yards rushing, sophomore running back Joe Yearby became just the ninth player in Miami history to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing. Yearby also moved into 10th place on the all-time single season rushing list, surpassing Jarrett Payton.
  • Yearby’s 63 rushing yards moved him passed Vincent Opalsky for 23rd in career rushing yards (1,511).
  • Yearby’s 14 rushing attempts moved him past Frank Gore and James Jackson for ninth on the single-season list (205).
  • On just his third career rush, sophomore wide receiver Braxton Berrios recorded a career-long 60-yard run, which set up a Hurricanes’ scoring drive. Berrios’ 60-yard rush was the Hurricanes’ longest rush of the season. 
  • Freshman Mark Walton scored his 10th touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter as he rushed in from five yards out. Walton’s 10 touchdowns are tied with Stacy Coley as the most touchdowns by a Miami freshman since 2000.   
  • Walton also hauled in three receptions for team-high 57 yards receiving in the first half. 
  • Offensive lineman Danny Isidora made his 26th-consecutive start. 
  • Isidora, OL Nick Linder, OL Trevor Darling and RB Joe Yearby are the only Hurricane players to start every game this season. 
  • Dallas Crawford, Tracy Howard and Tyriq McCord have tied Jon Peattie and Laron Byrd for second in games played (51). They have also tied Jon Peattie for first in consecutive games played (51). 


  • Redshirt freshman linebacker Mike Smith logged his first career fumble in the second quarter. 
  • Senior defensive lineman Tyriq McCord tied a single game career-high with five tackles.  
  • Redshirt freshman Demetrius Jackson and true freshman R.J. McIntosh both tallied their first career sacks. 
  • Sophomore linebacker Juwon Young posted a team-high seven tackles in the first half. He finished the contest with a game-high 10 tackles. 
  • Senior safety Deon Bush made his team-best 32nd career start.


  • With his extra point in the third quarter, sophomore kicker Michael Badgley moved passed Edgerrin James for third on the single-season points list (115).
  • Badgley also passed Greg Cox for ninth in consecutive PATs made (45). He tied Cox and Matt Bosher for consecutive PATs made in a season (40).


December 26, 2015

Blast from past: Donald Trump for president? How about Trump for Mike Leach?

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EL PASO -- Donald Trump for president?

How about, Donald Trump for Mike Leach?

Leach is the coach of Washington State (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12), the team that will meet the University of Miami (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the Sun Bowl at 2 p.m. today.

Trump rallied twice in support of Leach getting the head job at Miami -- once after the 2006 season when Larry Coker was fired and then again after the 2010 season when Randy Shannon was fired.

Following is the Miami Herald's blog from 2010 on Trump praising Leach, stemming from the written message to former UM president Donna Shalala on the front page of the Palm Beach Post sports section (Trump owns property in Palm Beach):

"Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who is lookng for a job, got a ringing endorsement from Donald Trump Wednesday. Trump sent a written message to UM president Donna Shalala praising Leach on the front page of a Palm Beach Post sports section.

Leach took to the airwaves Wednesday (in 2010) on ESPN radio and then sent his own message.

"I think It is a great opportunity for anybody,'' Leach said of the UM job. "They have got a great tradition and all the rest. A great recruiting base, and you could do big things at Miami. I have had success everywhere else, you know, and I think it just has to do with everybody doing their role. See, Texas Tech started out in the border conference, which was a really soft conference, then Texas Tech went to the Southwest Conference, which was a pretty good conference, then they went to the Big 12, which was a great conference. But in that 10 years that me and my staff were in the Big 12 we won more bowl games than all of the years that Tech had the rest of the years combined. So we have got a pretty good team and a good plan.'

Here is the link from The Post story written on Dec. 1, 2010 by my distinguished colleague Jorge Milian, who used to cover Miami football but now covers news for the Post. 



Who has the edge when Miami faces Washington State for the Sun Bowl?

Here are Manny Navarro's edges for the game, and finally, his prediction.

When Miami throws the ball

The Hurricanes will be without starting right tackle Sunny Odogwu, and right guard Danny Isidora (undisclosed injury) is on the mend. That makes protecting quarterback Brad Kaaya a little tougher than normal (Miami has allowed only 15 sacks all season) against a decent Cougars pass rush (27 sacks total). Washington State’s secondary gives up plenty of completions (64.1 percent) and yards (249.2 vs. FBS winning programs) but is good at preventing big plays (only 27 plays of 20 yards or more, ninth fewest) and has 11 interceptions. The key for Kaaya — as has been all season — is to stay out of third-and-long (UM is 14 of 60, 23.3 percent on third-and-7 or more). Outside of Kaaya, the Cougars have only faced two other quarterbacks with as many yards per game as Kaaya: Cal’s Jared Goff and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. They lost to Goff and barely beat Rosen. Edge: Miami.

When Miami runs the ball

Joe Yearby and Mark Walton don’t hit the home run quite like Duke Johnson did (UM has only 11 runs of 20 yards or more this season, 113th among FBS schools), but the Cougars don’t stop the run very well (4.98 yards per carry, 103rd). UM has fumbled only four times all season (tied for third fewest among FBS schools). If Yearby and Walton can protect the ball and convert on third-and-short (UM was 13 of 27 on third-and-3 or less when it ran, 48.1 percent) the Hurricanes can keep Washington’s State’s high-powered passing attack of the field. If not, it could end up being a long day. Edge: Miami.

When Washington State throws the ball

The Hurricanes had only three opponents throw the ball against them more than 40 times in a game — Nebraska (45), Duke (52) and Virginia (42) — and Miami won all three of those games. Cougars sophomore quarterback Luke Falk (30th in QB rating, 148.75) will surely throw more than 40 times in this game. The leader of Washington State’s Air Raid pass attack has a 70.7 percent completion percentage (second among FBS passers) and has thrown 4,266 yards (fifth), 36 TDs (fourth) and eight interceptions on the season. He has thrown more than 60 passes four times this season and threw a season-high 74 times in a 45-38 win at then 15th-ranked Oregon. The key for Miami’s secondary, which comes in 29th in pass defense (196.3) and 22nd in interceptions (15), is completion percentage. UM had six opponents complete better than 60 percent of their passes. UM went 2-4 in those games with the wins over Virginia and Virginia Tech. Edge: Washington State.

When Washington State runs the ball

The Hurricanes will be without sophomore defensive tackle Courtel Jenkins, who started seven games this season and was sent home from bowl practices because he was academically ineligible. But his loss on run defense doesn’t figure to mean much because the Cougars rank last in rushing (79.92 yards per game) and rush attempts (22.42 per game). Sophomore Gerard Wicks (6-0, 224) will get to carry it every now and then and does have a 5.87-yards-per-carry average. If Cougars coach Mike Leach decides to run it more, he should have success again Miami. The Hurricanes gave up 249.3 yards rushing per game this season against FBS winning programs (111th). Edge: Even.

Special Teams

Michael Badgley (25 of 30 on field goals) has a stronger, more consistent leg than Washington State’s Erik Powell, who is 18 of 24 on field goals but only 5 of 10 from 40 yards or more. Badgley is 8 of 11 on kicks of 40 yards or more and has a season long of 57 yards. The Cougars have also had two kick returns and two punt returns for touchdowns against them this season while the Hurricanes only had one punt taken back against them. Edge: Miami.

Prediction: Miami 37, Washington State 34.


December 24, 2015

James Coley and Mark D'Onofrio decline to talk about future, but very appreciative of their players

EL PASO -- Hurricanes offensive and defensive coordinators James Coley and Mark D'Onofrio faced reporters at the Hyundai Sun Bowl on Thursday, but declined to talk about what lies ahead. Can't blame them, with what these guys must be going through right now.

We know (without "knowing'') that Mark D'Onofrio won't be back, and it seems that Coley's chances of returning have lessened considerably since it was reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Mark Richt is bringing in Georgia running backs coach Thomas Brown, possibly as a co-offensive coordinator.

Here are some of their comments today:


On the highlight of the season for him: "Coaching guys like Brad Kaaya, coaching guys like Joe Yearby, watching Stacy Coley come back after missing out the first half of the season, watching Rashawn Scott grow up, watching the offensive line grow up, that’s been fun. Part of this job is who you can affect as a coach, who you can reach and how you can help guys develop and that’s been really the joy for me."

On the accomplishments of RB Joe Yearby this season: "He’s our savviest back. Joe does a great job playing the game itself. He’s not a guy where you're going to micromanage where he runs. He’s got a great feel for playing ball. I’ve been very proud of him. He’s close to 1,000 yards. Our aim is to make sure within our game plan he’s able to have an opportunity to get that."

 On quarterback Brad Kaaya's next step as a player: "I think the next step in his ability, and we’re starting to see it, is to extend plays with his feet. We’ve seen it the last several games. That’s why his numbers are getting better because he’s able to move now, he’s comfortable moving in the pocket. Pocket presence, he has stated in the past he feels like he’s getting better at it, and he is, and primarily because of his footwork – understanding where he should be in the pocket, how deep he should be, understanding where the lanes are. Those are things that come by watching film and really practicing and where I think his biggest gains are going to be will be his ability to extend plays going forward and [being in] full control of who he is once this off season is over with. You’ll see a different player."

On Washington State's defense: "Their scheme, they do a great job with creating confusion up front. They move. They spin guys down in coverage. They hide their coverages really well. They play physical and they look like a group that is 13, 14 deep of guys that are just tough, guys that will really smack you in the mouth. They play right to their offense’s hands. What they do great is they hit you and they make you fumble the football, or they’ll pick it off because they’ll confuse you, and now you’re giving the offense the ball."


On Washington State's spread offense: "They do an unbelievable job. They’re just a really really disciplined team and they execute extremely well. .. They have a lot of good players. They’re deep, particularly at skill positions, at wideout, running back and do a really nice job up front. Guys are physical and athletic at the same time."

On the highlight of his season: "Like James, it’s all about developing players and getting them to be the best they can and helping them to reach their goals as seniors and hoping you prepared them as best they can so that they can go play beyond college and if not, if they’re going to move into something else, that they’re ready to do that, and conquer that. I’m just proud of the way the team stuck together. At the beginning of the year, we talked about having great unity and dealing with adversity and that was Al’s plan – Al put that out there. And I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve all carried it through. That’s what I’m really proud of. As a staff, I’m proud to work with James, Larry, all the guys on the staff I think did an unbelievable job of just sticking together through a really, really hard. It says a lot about our coaches and our kids."

 On if he can compare Wazzu's offense to any the Canes have played this season: "No, they’re really good. .They are different. They do spread a different way. That’s one of the tough deals about college football coaching on the defensive side of the ball. You’re going to see something different every week. We just played a pro-style team in Pitt in our last game. Before that we played a triple-option team. Before that we played teams who were spreading to run. And now we’re playing a team that spreads to pass. They’re pretty unique and do an unbelievable job of executing their package."

On appreciating his players: "I really appreciate the senior group and when we talk about the unity and dealing with adversity it’s because of them that we’re in this situation. It’s because of the senior group and because of their leadership and their holding everyone together and keeping everybody accountable. It’s really because of them. It's been coaching guys like that. It’s fun to coach a guy like Tyriq McCord for four years and have him play multiple positions and teach him a bunch of stuff that you hope can help him earn a living and play football beyond here."


December 23, 2015

News on Mark Richt's possible new Miami Hurricanes coaches

  More news on the coaching front: Chicago-based sportswriter Dave Wischnowsky reported Wednesday that Hurricanes defensive backs coach Paul Williams will leave Miami to take the same position with Illinois.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had already reported that Georgia running backs coach Thomas Brown is joining former Georgia coach Mark Richt at Miami to become the running backs coach and possibly the co-offensive coordinator, and that Georgia   director of player personnel and interim special teams coordinator Todd Hartley is also coming to UM as a defensive assistant.

    Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated reported that Hartley will be UM’s special teams coordinator “and also coach tight ends or defensive backs.’’

    With Williams leaving for Illinois, it could be defensive backs. Hartley was Marshall’s safeties coach for two years before becoming its tight ends coach.

   Another report on Wednesday by FootballScoop.com said Georgia tight ends coach John Lilly “has turned down an offer to serve as co-offensive coordinator for Richt. Over the past few weeks we have heard of a good bit of interest in Lilly from other programs.’’

    That means that UM interim coach/tight ends coach Larry Scott could slip right into the tight ends coaching spot, that is, if Richt wanted him in the first place. In my opinion, Scott is an asset, and should be retained.

  ***Guard Danny Isidora once again wore a yellow jersey (limited contact) at Wednesday's practice session, the last intense session of the year. But Scott said once again that Isidora will be playing on Saturday.

*** Receiver Stacy Coley and cornerback Artie Burns, both underclassmen, continue to say they're waiting until after the Sun Bowl to decide whether to enter the NFL Draft.

    I asked redshirt sophomore linebacker Al-Quadin Muhammad today if he's made any decisions about his future and the NFL. He is eligible to enter the draft.

  "I'm focused on the team that's ahead of us,'' Muhammad said of Washington State. "I don't want to talk about that.''

  If I were to guess, I'd say Burns enters the draft, Coley might be leaning that way but still might return and Muhammad... Not sure why he keeps saying "I don't want to talk about that'' if he isn't leaning that way. But except for possibly Burns (and even him, too), they all could improve their draft stock immensely if they return.




December 22, 2015

Miami Hurricanes DT Courtel Jenkins academically ineligible for Sun Bowl


EL PASO -- The Miami Hurricanes announced yet another football player who will be sent home and not allowed to play in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against Washington State on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Courtel Jenkins, a 6-1, 311-pound sophomore, "has been ruled academically ineligible and will not participate in the 2015 Hyundai Sun Bowl,'' UM reported in an email.

"Jenkins will be sent home from the bowl and will not take part in any further bowl activities this week,'' UM said.

Jenkins started seven games this season and played in all 12. He has 29 tackles 1.5 sacks, three tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble this season. 

Also sent home on Tuesday: junior Jamal Carter, a hard-hitting, hard-playing safety who violated team rules, according to interim UM coach Larry Scott.

The Hurricanes will face the No. 1 passing offense in the nation in Washington State on Saturday, and need all the help they can get defensively.