January 29, 2016

Miami Hurricanes baseball stacked and ranked high for 2016

Jim morris

As fans wait for National Signing Day to see who actually becomes part of Mark Richt's 2016 Miami Hurricanes football team, another Miami team will begin practicing Friday for a season with substantial promise.

Hurricanes baseball opens spring practice Friday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park's Mark Light Field, and the Canes -- winners of national titles in 1982, 85, 99 and 2001 -- are projected to be stellar. 

Miami, which got back to the College World Series last season (50-17) for the first time since 2008, is ranked fourth by Collegiate Baseball and sixth in the USA Today coaches' poll and by D1Baseball.com and Baseball America. 

"I love all the rankings because we've got good players,'' Hurricanes coach Jim Morris told the Miami Herald by phone Friday just before noon. "I hope the rankings are right, because top 8 [at the end of the season] would put us in Omaha [for the College World Series]. But we lost a lot of good hitters, and we lost [top pitcher] Andy Suarez. We've got some holes to fill with David Thompson [hit .328 with 90 RBI] and George Iskenderian [.364 with 55 RBI] and Ricky Eusebio [.286 with 19 stolen bases] and  Garrett Kennedy [.320 with 51 RBI]. Every one of them had a career year.

"We have most of our pitching back and our bullpen is intact -- very solid. We've got Cooper Hammond and freshman All-American Michael Mediavilla and preseason All-American Bryan Garcia in the bullpen -- very, very solid."

Some of the other returning standouts: All-American catcher Zack Collins, All-ACC outfielder Willie Abreu, left-handed pitcher and second-team All-ACC selection Thomas Woodrey, who as it stands now, Morris said, is expected to be the Friday-night starter in the opener Feb. 19 against Rutgers; and all-CWS outfielder Jacob Heyward.

 The top newcomers include Andrew Cabezas, a 6-0, 180-pound freshman out of Coral Gables Senior High. Cabezas was drafted by Cleveland in the 34th round of the 2015 MLB draft. Cabezas finished 6-3 last season, with 84 strikeouts and a 0.39 ERA. He only walked eight batters in 2015.

Another top freshman is 6-2, 200-pound third baseman Romy Gonzalez out of American Senior High. Gonzalez, a first-team All-Dade selection by the Miami Herald, Gonzalez hit .420 last season, with four home runs and 36 RBI. He is vying to start at third on opening night.

Junior college transfer Randy Batista, 5-11 and 170 pounds, is another new standout. Batista, an infielder out of Indian River State, is from Kississimme. He will challenge for playing time up the middle -- though senior shortstop Brandon Lopez and junior second baseman Johnny Ruiz are veterans.

 The Canes were ranked fifth going into the College World Series, and went 1-1 in the series, beating Arkansas and being eliminated by familiar nemesis Florida on June 17. The Canes finished the season ranked sixth by D1Baseball, Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, Perfect Game and USA Today.

UM, which returns 18 lettermen, will start off spring with intrasquad games Friday and Saturday. 

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

A look at the Miami Hurricanes 2016 recruiting class heading into the final weekend

With less than a week to go before National Signing Day, Hurricanes coach Mark Richt and his staff have been busy both keeping the 2016 recruiting class together and adding pieces.

Thursday night, they picked up four-star tight end Jovani Haskins of Bergenfield, N.J., giving quarterback Brad Kaaya yet another weapon to throw the ball to. The Hurricanes have six scholarship receivers expected back next season and three will be seniors: Stacy Coley, Malcolm Lewis and D'Mauri Jones

Receiver, cornerback, linebacker and tight end were all areas Richt wanted to address. Three linebackers are already among the five early enrollees, and among UM's 10 commitments, five are pass catchers and two are cornerbacks.

The issue for Miami is that it could end up losing U.S. Army All-American cornerback Tyler Byrd of Naples, who is visiting Tennessee this weekend with his best friend and teammate.

That would be a devastating blow, Scout.com's Corey Bender told me last night. That said, Bender gives Richt good marks for the job he's done since taking over for the fired Al Golden in December. 

Here's a look at where the Canes stand heading into the weekend:

EARLY ENROLLEES (5)

Shaquille Quarterman, ILB, Orange Park Oakleaf, 6-0 1/4, 233
- The U.S. Army All-American and nation's fifth best inside linebacker accoridng to 247Sports.com had been committed to UM since before his junior season (6/24/14). SENIOR HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @OgBoobie_Shaq

Jack Allison, QB, Palmetto (Fla.), 6-5, 200
- The nation's eight-best pro styler passer according to 247Sports.com and Under Armour All-American was committed to UM since prior to his junior season (6/23/14). Had offers from Alabama, Tennessee and UCF. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTS. Twitter: @Jackallison_11

Zach McCloud, OLB, Lake Worth Santaluces, 6-2, 218
- The nation's 18th best outside linebacker according to 247Sports.com first committed to UM back in Nov. 2014 as a junior and then de-committed when Al Golden was fired. He then recommitted to Miami a month later after a visit from Richt. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @chief__20

Patrick Bethel, DE, Vero Beach, 6-3, 249
- The Under Armour All-American and 14th best strongside defensive end in the country according to 247Sports.com committed to the Hurricanes Dec. 14, less than a week after receiving a visit from Mark Richt. Took visits to Tennessee and Auburn. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @Pat_Bethel93

Michael Pinckney, ILB, Jacksonville Raines, 6-1, 215
- Rated the 19th best inside linebacker by 247Sports.com, Pinckney was a longtime UM commitment. He had 85 tackles, 8 sacks and an interception as a senior and turned down offers from Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Nebraska, Notre Dame and West Virginia. HIGHLIGHTS ON HUDL

COMMITMENTS (10)

Sam Bruce, WR, St. Thomas Aquinas, 5-8, 180
- The Under Armour All-American and 11th best receiver in the country according to 247Sports.com has been committed to UM since before his junior year (7/8/14). He flirted with Ohio State late in the process but reaffirmed his commitment to the Canes this week. Had 46 catches for 427 yards and four touchdowns as a senior at Aquinas. HIGHLIGHT REELTwitter: @_QUICK6

Tyler Byrd, CB, Naples, 5-11 1/2, 194
- The U.S. Army All-American is rated the 10th best corner by 247Sports.com and has been committed to since 2/3/15. But he was set to visit Tennessee with his teammate and best friend Carlin Fils-aime this weekend, who is committed to the Volunteers. Had 38 tackles, 1 INT as a senior and 36 catches for 641 yards and 9 touchdowns at receiver. Former UM assistant Larry Scott, now on Tennessee's staff, is pushing for Byrd. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @D1fuzzymuffin17

Dionte Mullins, WR, Gulliver Prep, 5-10 1/2, 179
- Under Armour All-American ranked the 34th best cornerback by 247Sports.com. He's been committed since prior to his junior season (7/4/14). Did not play his senior season because his GPA was too low. He could end up being an academic casualty. HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @dionte_mullins8

Joseph Jackson, DE, Gulliver Prep, 6-5, 245
- Rated the nation's 16th best weakside defensive end by 247Sports.com and committed to UM since 1/25/15. Had 46 tackles, six sacks and four forced fumbles as a senior. CAREER HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @joejackson919

Travis Homer, RB, West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy, 5-11, 195
- Rated the nation's 10th best running back by 247Sports.com, Homer has been committed to UM since 5/31/15. Ran for 1,315 yards, 11 touchdowns as a senior. CAREER HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @Travishomer4

Jovani Haskins, TE, Bergenfield (N.J.), 6-4, 235
- Nation's 19th ranked tight end according to 247Sports became the Hurricanes' latest commitment on Thursday night, almost a week after taking an official visit to UM. A quarterback for his high school team, Haskins completed 39 of his 67 pass attempts for 785 yards, 2 INTs and ran for 639 yards and 4 scores as a senior. He had three catches for 90 yards at receiver. He had visited West Virginia and Virginia Tech through the recruiting process. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTS. Twitter: @leehaskins_

Malek Young, CB, Coconut Creek, 5-9 1/2, 182
- The U.S. Army All-American was rated the 47th best corner by 247Sports.com. A former Georgia commitment, he switched over to the Canes on Jan. 15 after being recruited by new cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph. Had 34 catches for 684 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @MalekYoung

Cedrick Wright, S, Gulliver Prep, 5-9, 180
- Rated the 38th best safety by 247Sports.com, Wright has been committed to UM since 1/25/15. He tackles and 3 interceptions as a senior at Gulliver. HIGLIGHTSTwitter: @_CedTooLive

Michael Irvin Jr., TE, St. Thomas Aquinas, 6-3, 220
- The son of Hall of Fame receiver and Hurricanes legend Michael Irvin is rated the 32nd best tight end in the country by 247Sports.com. He's been committed since 7/6/15. Had 29 catches for 291 yards and 2 TDs as a senior on Aquinas' state championship winning team. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTS.  Twitter: @M_Irvin17

Latrell Williams, WR, Lake City Columbia, 5-11, 171
- Rated 110th best WR by 247Sports.com (Committed since 1/17/16). Former USF commitment was recruited by new receivers coach Ron Dugans to UM. Visited Tennessee on 1/22/16. Had 68 catches for 1,035 yards, 10 TDs as a senior. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTS. Twitter: @LastKingTrill

REMAINING TARGETS

Ahmmon Richards, WR, Wellington (Fla)., 6-1 1/2, 171
- The U.S. Army All-American was a Hurricanes commitment for over a year until Al Golden was fired. Now, the Hurricanes are fighting with Alabama to get the nation's 28th best receiver according to 247Sports to recommit. He had 73 catches for 1,278 yards and 14 touchdowns. He's supposed to make his announcement at noon on ESPNU on National Signing Day according to Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post. HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @AhmmonR2

Romeo Finley, S, Niceville (Fla.), 6-1, 198
- The nation's 15th best safety according to 247Sports.com is supposed to visit UM this weekend. Clemson and Georgia Tech are the other finalists. Finley had 60 tackles, 6 PBU and an interception his senior year. HIGLIGHTSTwitter: @RomeoFinley1

Javon Wims, WR, Hinds Community College, 6-4, 215
- Wims, a former high school standout at Jacksonville Ed White High School, has been committed to Georgia since Nov. 6 but Richt has been coming after him hard and the Hurricanes believe they have a chance to flip him. He had 47 catches for 775 yards and nine touchdowns this season. HIGHLIGHTSTwitter: @Javon_Juice

Randrecous Davis, WR, Atlanta Mays (Ga.), 5-10 1/2, 169
- The former Georgia commitment dropped his pledge to the Bulldogs after visiting UM on Jan. 22. This weekend, Davis is visiting South Carolina. He's rated the 70th best receiver in the class according to 247Sports.com. He had 58 catches for 1,024 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTS. Twitter: @Dreak_1

Kelvin Harmon, WR, Palmyra (N.J.), 6-3, 180
- The former South Carolina commitment is choosing between the Hurricanes and N.C. State on Monday. He visited UM on Jan. 22. Harmon had 66 catches for 1,111 yards and 14 touchdowns and 38 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception as a senior. SENIOR HIGHLIGHTS. Twitter: @Wide_Receiver9

January 26, 2016

ACC releases 2016 football schedule: Miami to host FSU on Oct. 8 and travel to Notre Dame on Oct. 29

  So, what's your take?

  For the second year in a row, UM's open date is early. Would have been better before FSU. Note that FSU's open date is Oct. 22, the week before Clemson. FSU has North Carolina in Tallahassee the week before traveling to UM. And Notre Dame has an open date before meeting Miami.

The Canes at least have nine days between Virginia and Notre Dame, but both games are away. Notre Dame will be very tough, but FSU can be conquered. Appalachian State, which has a good quarterback in Taylor Lamb click here for Lamb's stats and opens Sept. 3 at Tennessee, is always a little scary. But if UM can't beat the Mountaineers, they're in trouble. I might have also said that before Cincy last year.

  The two games home and two games away pattern is beneficial.

  I think UM, with a new coaching staff, same talented quarterback, what should be a better defense and for the most part winnable schedule, could be strong this season. 

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

   Hurricanes fans, get out your calendars and circle these dates: Oct. 8 and Oct. 29.

   The Atlantic Coast Conference released its 2016 composite football schedule Tuesday, and Miami will host arch-rival Florida State on Oct. 8 in the fifth game of the season and travel to Notre Dame on Oct. 29 in the eighth game.

   And like last season, the Canes can breathe a bit before they face their first ACC opponent on Oct. 1 – Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

   UM, which finished 8-5 this past season but is led in 2016 by new coach Mark Richt, opens Sept. 3 at home against Football Championship Subdivision member Florida A&M (1-10 in 2015).

   The Canes then host Palm Beach County neighbor FAU (3-9) on Sept. 10 before traveling to Boone, North Carolina, on Sept. 17 to play Sun Belt Conference powerhouse Appalachian State (11-2), a former FCS team that won three consecutive national titles from 2005-07.

   UM has a bye week Sept. 24 – like last year, an early one. It then travels to Atlanta on Oct. 21 to face the triple option of Georgia Tech (3-9).

   On Oct. 8, Miami has its first chance at redemption against the Seminoles, who defeated UM 29-24 at Tallahassee in a 2015 nail-biter. The Hurricanes have lost six consecutive games to FSU, which finished 10-3 last season.

   The Canes stay at home Oct. 15 to face North Carolina (11-3), with only five days rest before a Thursday-night, ESPN game at Virginia Tech (7-6).

    Then, the really fun one at South Bend, Indiana, for an Oct. 29 clash against the Irish (10-3), the team everyone seems to either love or hate – sort of like the Hurricanes. The last time Miami beat Notre Dame was in 1989, when the seventh-ranked Canes ended No. 1 Notre Dame’s 23-game winning streak. The Canes subsequently have lost to the Irish in 1990, 2010 and 2012.

   UM comes home to face Pitt (8-5) on Nov. 5, travels to Virginia (4-8) on Nov. 12 and to ACC Atlantic Division foe NC State (7-6) on Nov. 19, before facing Duke in the regular-season finale Nov. 26 at Sun Life Stadium.

    Though two of UM’s last three games are away, the Hurricanes will not be on the road more than two games in a row in 2016. The same goes for home games. 

   Here's a cool composite schedule for all ACC teams

  2016 MIAMI FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 3 FLORIDA A&M

Sept. 10 FLORIDA ATLANTIC

Sept. 17 at Appalachian State

Sept. 24 OPEN

Oct. 1 at Georgia Tech

Oct. 8 FLORIDA STATE

Oct. 15 NORTH CAROLINA

Oct. 20 at Virginia Tech, ESPN (Thu.)

Oct. 29 at Notre Dame

Nov. 5 PITT

Nov. 12 at Virginia

Nov. 19 at NC State

Nov. 26 DUKE

  SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

January 25, 2016

Blazing-fast receiver Sam Bruce reaffirms commitment to Miami

Sambruce

Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas four-star wide receiver Sam Bruce has been committed to the Miami Hurricanes for the past 18 and a half months. But all that matters is the school he signs with on National Signing Day in nine days.

On Monday, Bruce reaffirmed one final time that it would indeed be UM on the Tony Sands Show on BBS Radio. “The next three-four years, I will be playing football at the University of Miami,” Bruce said on the radio show Monday night.

The explosive and agile 5-8 receiver, who began receiving FBS scholarship offers his freshman season, stuck with the Hurricanes despite growing chatter that he would go elsewhere after the firing of former coach Al Golden and dismissal of wide receivers coach Kevin Beard.

“Who doesn’t want to play [at] home, man? I’m playing in front of my people, playing in front of my city,” Bruce said. “I’ve been playing here forever, and I don’t want to take that away from my people. “I want to play in front of my fans that have been my fans since the beginning.”

Bruce came to his final decision on Sunday night after a discussion with his family upon returning from his official visit to UM. “I just felt at home,” he said of the visit. His mother Tracye Wilkerson, who has been known to play a major role in helping Bruce decide, joined the radio show moments before Bruce for an interview.

Bruce’s other finalists were Ohio State and South Carolina. He visited the Buckeyes in October and the Gamecocks on Jan. 15.

Bruce was also previously considering the Florida Gators but eliminated them when he scratched his visit scheduled for the past weekend and replaced it with the decisive trip to Coral Gables, which he moved up from its original Jan. 29 date.

Bruce won’t get to play for the wide receivers coach he dreamed he would end up with throughout the recruiting process, but he was able to grow at peace with that reality over time.

“Of course it affected me, knowing that if I chose Miami that I wouldn’t be able to be coached by Kevin Beard,” Bruce said. “I just had to sit down with my family and do all the praying about it and come to a decision.”

Bruce had previously said UM's decision on Beard would "make a factor." "There's no guarantee that I would leave the University of Miami, but it'll be something to definitely think about," he said after the Under Armour All-America game on Jan. 2 before a final decision had been made on Beard.

UM has since hired former USF wide receivers coach Ron Dugans. Beard was known to be close to Bruce as a long-time mentor. He coached him at Davie University School, where Bruce played as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Aquinas. Bruce had 46 receptions for 427 yards and four receiving touchdowns plus three more rushing touchdowns as a senior on Class 7A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas.

DAVID FURONES

January 23, 2016

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

Deonbush
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. 

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

January 16, 2016

Joe Brown to transfer from Miami

UMolinemen

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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

January 10, 2016

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

IMG_9685

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. 

HERE'S MY STORY THAT HAS BEEN POSTED ONLINE:

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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

January 09, 2016

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

Ronduganscanes

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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN


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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

Miami Hurricanes WR coach Kevin Beard dismissed by Mark Richt

Kevinbeard
 

   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. 

       SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

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.

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

 

 

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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

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

Artkehoe

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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN 

 

 

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.

For the latest information on the Miami Hurricanes, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @CanesFootball, or visit our web site at HurricaneSports.com. For the most accurate and up to date information delivered to your phone, download the official Miami Hurricanes app for your Droid or iPhone.

Season tickets to the 2016 Miami Hurricanes football season are on sale now – visit CanesTix.com or call (305) 284-2263 for more information.

UM junior Artie Burns to enter NFL Draft, pens letter

  FullSizeRender (48)
  

 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.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

December 27, 2015

Mark Richt update, Sun Bowl thoughts on cold Miami ending

FullSizeRender (56)

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. 

TEAM NOTES

  • 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.

OFFENSIVE INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • 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). 

DEFENSIVE INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • 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.

SPECIAL TEAMS INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • 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).

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

December 26, 2015

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

FullSizeRender (55)

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. 

http://tinyurl.com/zszoe9m

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN