Category Archives: EOTH Blogger Articles

EOTH Recruiting Update – January 2013 Part 2

~The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger and recruiting expert, bg1906~

Biggest Remaining Targets (6)

RB Alex Collins (Plantation, FL)

alex-collins-south-plantation-coral-springs-2011Current Situation: Decommit. Collins was committed to UM for most of the recruiting cycle before deciding to decommit so that he can take visits and truly experience the recruiting process. He’s visited Wisconsin, Florida State, and Florida, and is scheduled to visit UM this weekend (Jan 18th). Wisconsin shouldn’t be considered a threat much anymore because their staff is now at Arkansas and Collins will be visiting Arkansas the week following his Canes visit (Jan 25th). Many feel FSU has fallen off since Eddie Gran left to take the OC position at Cincinnati. This mean that it looks like it will come down to the Gators and the Canes for his services. We’ve been relentless in our recruiting of him and his Mom would like to see him at Miami. This will probably go until signing day but I really like our chances and Collins is a player the Canes really, really want in this class. Recently he played in the Semper Fidelis  (Marine Corps) All-American game. If I had to go out on a limb, I’d say CANE, but the Gators and Noles are very much in the picture!

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV3CdA7HC2s

DT Keith Bryant (Delray Beach, FL)

keith bryantCurrent Situation: Decommit. Keith Bryant is one of those recruits you either really like or you really dislike. He’s an attention monger and is never shy when it comes to interviews, Twitter, or anything else that allows HIM to be SEEN. At any rate, he decommitted from Miami in December and is currently thought to be favoring FSU. He’s a really good player, but an incredibly immature one, but hey he’s a youngster so I guess that’s par for the course. Canes coaches have continued to recruit him, but you have to wonder how long the Canes’ coaches will play “the game” with Bryant. It would seem that many fans could care less either way, as he has really “worn” on the psyche of Canes fans that do follow recruiting. I can’t call it with Bryant and could see him picking FSU or Miami on signing day. He’s scheduled to visit Miami on the 25th for which he said on Twitter, “I’m saving the best for last.” Sorry Keith but I don’t believe ANYTHING you say! Ha! J

Highlights: http://www.prepforce.com/media/videos/iphone/2758.mp4

LB Jermaine Grace (Miramar, FL)

Jermaine GraceCurrent Situation: Very High Interest. Grace is an undersized OLB prospect that I’ve compared to a poor man’s Sean Spence. He currently states that there is a 90% chance he’ll be a Cane come signing day and it would appear that Tennessee is running a distant #2. He’s already taken his official visit to Miami (Dec 7) and he visited Tennessee last weekend (Jan 11), while he’s set to visit Louisville this weekend (Jan 18). He’s said from the beginning that wherever Tracy Howard ended up, he’d likely end up, well TH3 is a Cane and I expect the same out of Grace. He’ll probably wait to announce on signing day but I would be SHOCKED if he didn’t announce UM. Grace was a Semper Fidelis (Marine Corps) All-American and led the East team in tackles while also displaying his athleticism and physicality.

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/967432/highlights/27662379

LB Matthew Thomas (Miami, FL)

matthew thomasCurrent Situation: Very High Interest. Thomas is probably the #1 prospect on the Miami recruiting board. He’s a 5 star national recruit and has offers from virtually everyone including Alabama, Miami, Florida State, USC, and any other heavy hitting program you can think of. Thomas will definitely need to get bigger and stronger on the next level but he has all the tools to be a DOMINATING force in college. He will NOT be visiting UM this weekend as he says he’s seen Miami plenty of times. He visited Alabama last week (Jan 11) and this weekend (Jan 18th) will be at USC, followed by FSU (Jan 25) and Georgia (Feb 1). This leaves UM out in the cold for receiving a full official visit but Thomas remains adamant that he’ll take a mid-week visit to UM. This has ruffled the feathers of some Canes fans but with a recruit of his caliber you have to take what you can get, especially if he’s local. However, he and his HS Coach Tim “Ice” Harris, both insist that Miami is very much in it and I believe them. The key will be the players recruiting Thomas much like they (Duke and Deon) did with TH3. With that in mind, I think in the end Thomas will be a Cane. Just a gut feeling I’ve had all along, and while I could very well be wrong, I think we offer him the best opportunity to make an immediate impact , and in the end, I think that is what will get him to Coral Gables. *Fingers Crossed* J

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1505832/highlights/36526731

denver kirklandOL Denver Kirkland (Miami, FL)
Current Situation:
Very Highly Interested. Denver Kirkland is the #1 OL prospect on the board and the Canes have pursed him with great interest. He will be visiting this weekend (Jan 18th) before going to Arkansas for his final visit next weekend (Jan 25). The Canes major competition seems to be FSU, whom he officially visited in November. This is another battle that will go all the way until the end, but in the end, I expect Kirkland to stay home. Again, I could be wrong, but the lure of home and playing in front of his family and friends in Miami will be the difference. Again…Fingers Crossed! J

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RgO7ayN67Y

jaynard bostwickDT Jaynard Bostwick (Port St Lucie, FL)
Current Situation: Very Highly Interested. Bostwick and the Canes have been linked together for quite a while now. Arguably Bostwick is the #1 DT in the state (depending on who you ask) and the Canes are very high on his list. Our major competition appears to be Florida and Alabama. Bostwick is visiting UM this weekend (Jan 18) and visited Bama last week (Jan 11). His trip to Florida is currently set for Feb 1. Working in the Canes favor is the fact that his cousin Thurston Armbrister is currently on the roster, that his father is a big UM fan, and also the fact that he plays a position of need and has a chance to get in the rotation pretty quickly. That doesn’t always get you a prospect, but I think if his visit is a good one (they usually always are) and his academics are in order, I’d be really surprised if he didn’t choose Miami.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y2qWdbheXc

WR Stacy Coley (Oakland Park, FL)

stacy coleyCurrent Situation: Interested. Stacy Coley is an enigma. He’s really, really good but for most of the recruiting process the Canes didn’t recruit him too heavily. Then all of a sudden they turned on the full court press for him and have really been going all out in trying to get him to Coral Gables. He officially visited on Dec 7 and the Canes shot up his list but after losing George McDonald, you have to wonder where we stand now. Many feel he’ll end up at FSU and that is very possible as he has a great relationship with Coach Dawsey at FSU. However, don’t count the Canes out as Coley’s HC is former Cane Donnell Bennett. A unique facet of Coley’s recruitment is also the emergence of Boyd Anderson’s Eddie Jackson. Jackson has BLOWN UP as of late and has recently received offers from FSU and Alabama. Coley and Jackson are close and could seek to go to school as a package deal. If that’s the case, FSU could be the destination. This will be one to watch and will probably drag on until signing day.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKnpaJnPJXA

Rashard RobinsonCB Rashard Robinson (Pompano Beach, FL)

Current Situation: Committed to LSU. Currently committed to LSU, Robinson seems to be a prospect the Canes coaches are really trying to flip. They got him to unofficially visit on Dec 7 and the Canes seemed to make a move with him as he’s stated that Miami and LSU are now even. However, I think it will take a small miracle to get him out of his LSU commitment as they have a pipeline going over at Blanche Ely HS. I expect him to honor his commitment to LSU. Sorry. L

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1395500/highlights/31782387

On the Radar (2)

TE/OL Nate Wozniak (Greenwood, IN)

Nate WozniakCurrent Situation: Interested. Nate Wozniak is a HUGE (6’10, 255 lbs) TE prospect from Indiana. He officially visited Miami on Dec 7. He hasn’t committed and I’m not sure he could even if he wanted too. I think he’s a failsafe for if Jeremy Kerr jumps ship to FSU. He’s will officially visit Purdue this weekend (Jan 18) and then Minnesota the following weekend (Jan 25). His plans are to announce after his visit to Minnesota and I’d expect his decision to be Purdue unless the Canes lose Kerr to FSU and he’s as high on Miami as he says that he is. I wouldn’t expect him in this class.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNLU-EYgIm4

WR Jordan Cunningham (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

jordan cunninghamCurrent Situation: Very Interested. Jordan Cunningham is a very good WR prospect and is being heavily recruited. It has been thought for some time that if given the opportunity he’d be a Cane, but it appears as though he doesn’t have a committable offer at this time. The staff seem to have thrown all their WR eggs in the Stacy Coley basket as WR isn’t a need position this cycle, as they did well last year and 2014 is absolutely loaded. Cunningham could get a committable offer in the 11th hour if the staff feels Coley is getting away, or they may just decide not to take a WR in 2013. Hard read here because there is a lot of uncertainty, but if numbers weren’t a concern this year, I believe Cunningham would’ve already been a commitment. Unfortunately for him, this is a year where numbers are a concern and as of today, I’d say he won’t be in the class. However, do pay attention to the Stacy Coley situation because it may directly impact whether Coley becomes a Cane or not.

Highlights: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7848119

Recently Lost Targets (1)

DE Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, LA)

tim williamsCurrent Situation: Committed to Alabama. Up until yesterday (Jan 14), Tim Williams was thought to be favoring Miami. However, he took his first official visit to Alabama this past weekend (Jan 11) and promptly committed to the Tide. Some had hinted that Williams had already silently committed to UM but obviously that is something we’ll never know. At any rate, in interviews, Williams has always maintained that Miami was his favorite, so what changed? For one, distance was a factor, as Williams has a daughter and he and his family thought it better for him to stay close to home for that reason. Also he’s cancelled 4 unofficial visits to UM in the past and that left many thinking his family really didn’t want him that far away (14 hour drive to UM). He also had rumored academic issues but now that is all moot. He’s a bit undersized for a DE but Bama recruited him as a LB. He seemed to really warm to that and even went to Twitter to say he saw himself as a college LB and didn’t want to play DE. I’m not so sure that would’ve happened at Miami so its probably best for all parties that he made the decision that he did. Bama is on top of the world right now and if they beat you out for a recruit then there is no shame in that, especially if that recruit is from SEC country. Good luck to the young man.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EoFTVSSGmc

Conclusion

Well fam, that’s the business for now and hopefully that’ll tide you over until NSD. Of course I’ll do a review of the Canes recruiting class as well as a preview of 2014 in coming weeks. Keep an eye out for that and until then remember…

IT’S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THIS U!

Take care and Go Canes!

-bg1906

C.C.M.J.T.K.O.

Alquadin Muhammad

EOTH Recruiting Update – January 2013 Part 1

What’s up EOTH. It’s ya boy, bg1906, and as the Canes embark upon their biggest recruiting weekend of the 2013 cycle, here is an update of where the Canes stand on the recruiting front.

kevin olsenCurrent Commitments (13)

QB Kevin Olsen (Wayne, NJ)

Commitment Status: Solidly committed and expected to sign with Miami. Olsen will be officially visiting this weekend (Jan 18th). He had a poor performance in the UA All-American game, but that was his first extended action since coming of an injury that sidelined him for most of his senior year.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjLDKIira1Y

Standish-DobardTE Standish Dobard (Edna, LA)

Commitment Status: Solidly committed and expected to sign with Miami, and will be officially visiting this weekend (Jan 18th). He has been very vocal about his commitment level to Miami and is solid as they come; in fact, he was very excited to see the Canes land Beau Sandland and said he’s looking forward to learning from him. LOVE THIS KID! He also led his team to a 15-0 record and a state championship.

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1104429/highlights/35254436

Jeremy KerrTE/OL Jeremy Kerr (St Petersburg, FL)

Commitment Status: Kerr has been committed to UM for quite a while. However, lately he officially visited FSU as well. With the shake up in the staff recently and Mario Cristobal coming in as the TE Coach, much of if Kerr remains as a commitment will depend on if he and Cristobal are a fit. This is one to keep an eye on down the stretch. Kerr says he hasn’t heard from Cristobal yet, and that he may unofficially visit Miami this weekend to have a face to face with the staff and check on his status. If he decommits, look for him to sign with FSU.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKV5F7iJUkc

alex gall 2013OL Alex Gall (Cincinnati, OH)

Commitment Status: Solidly committed and expected to sign with Miami, and will be officially visiting this weekend (Jan 18th). Gall led his  team to a state championship and is as solid as they come. He even had the following to say on Twitter, “If im from Cincinnati, Ohio and see that Miami is doing something special how come kids from Florida can’t see it?”

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmAT7S4OMEo

alex-figueroa2LB Alex Figueroa (Stafford, VA)

Commitment Status: Early Enrollee. Figueroa will be one of four early enrollees. He is already on campus and will participate in spring football. ATHLETE and a real sleeper in the class! Was All-Met (DC/MD/VA in 2012), but academics kept him from being highly recruited. He went to prep school but due to injury was unable to play. He did however get his academics in order and committed to Miami in December.

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/619990/highlights/2516406

artie-burnsDB Artie Burns (Miami, FL)

Commitment Status: Solidly committed and expected to sign with Miami, and will be officially visiting this weekend (Jan 18th). Burns is a nationally rated hurdler and was the player Golden was referring too when he mentioned we had elite speed coming in during his radio interview on WQAM last week. He had a very big week during the practices for the UA All-American game and really showed his versatility as a CB, S, and Return Specialist. He showed that he can play both CB and S as he can cover and has the make up speed to play CB, but the physicality and range to play Safety. Deion Sanders said during the UA All-American game practices that he sees him as a difference maker at Safety and I agree!

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV9rm7ojRO8

jamal carterDB Jamal Carter (Miami, FL)

Commitment Status: Solidly committed and expected to sign with Miami, and will be officially visiting this weekend (Jan 18th). Carter has taken a few visits including one to LSU that had some people worried. Talk about aggressive recruiting, well before Carter got on his plane to Baton Rouge, he was met at the airport by a contingent of Canes coaches who “kicked it with him” before he left for LSU. They basically told him have a good time, we’ll see you when you get back. Carter was so impressed by that that he tweeted from the plane, “Jus [sic] chilled wit my future coaches until it was time to check in… They really came to chill wit me before I went on a visit to another college! Dats [sic] real!!”

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfrW3d_9UYw

RayLewis IIIATH Ray Lewis III (Lake Mary, FL)

Commitment Status: Solidly committed and expected to sign with Miami, and will be officially visiting this weekend (Jan 18th). Son of a UM Legend so you know where Miami is for him. Some wonder if he has the skill set to be in this class, but I believe no matter what he’s good for the program and good for this class. He’s being recruited as an ATH and they’ll figure out his position later. He played small school football but was dominant. His stats are off the charts on both sides of the ball and think he’s worth the risk.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLYjmU4_Aa4

Hunter KnightonOL Hunter Knighton (Princeton, NJ)

Commitment Status: Early Enrollee. Knighton is the second of four early enrollees. He should already be on campus and will participate in spring football. He was a 2 way starter that had BCS level offers on both offense and defense. His future at UM appears to be on the OL.

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1865741/highlights/24296380Bond

DE/OLB Devante Bond (Sacramento, CA)

Commitment Status: Solidly committed and expected to sign with Miami. Bond has already officially visited Miami (Dec 7) and shortly thereafter he committed. Since his commitment, other schools have taken interest and offered, including Tennessee and Cal. He says he may visit some other schools just for the experience but that he’s solidly committed to Miami. He’s a JUCO Sophomore but will not receive his AA until May which mean he’ll enter UM probably in June as a true Junior.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNaCX5gYIxU

Beau SandlandTE Beau Sandland (Woodland Hills, CA)

Commitment Status: Signed. Because he was a JUCO prospect, Beau Sandland has already signed and on campus as Miami’s third early enrollee. Sandland was heavily recruited by Brennan Carroll who was slated to be his position until a staff shake up last week shifted Carroll to becoming the WR coach for the departed George McDonald. Luckily Sandland was already in the bag before that happened. Sandland will now be coached by Mario Cristobal who has a STELLAR reputation as an OL and TE Coach. Sandland was ranked the #1 JUCO TE Prospect for 2013.

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF7wJqcOU6k

Sonny OdogwuOL Sonny Odogwu (Baltimore, MD)

Commitment Status: Early Enrollee. Odogwu is the fourth of four early enrollees. Odogwu is a prospect that got Miami’s attention during the 2012 cycle but ended up at Hargrave Prep. The Canes continued to recruit him, as the staff seemed intrigued with his unique combination of raw size and ability (6’8, 307 lbs – former basketball and soccer player). He’s new to football (only has played 2 or so years) but appears very eager to succeed. He has a huge upside and Kehoe really likes his potential. Odogwu originally hails from Nigeria.

Highlights: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7851408

Alquadin MuhammadDE Alquadin Muhammad (Ramsey, NJ)

Commitment Status: Committed. Alquadin Muhammad from NJ powerhouse Don Bosco Prep is probably the biggest surprise on the Canes’ commitment list. He was all but thought to be a lock for Notre Dame until the Irish cancelled his official visit due to academic concerns (apparently he didn’t have a required class for admission to ND). He did however take an official to UM and loved it. Then for the 2nd year in a row, the Canes had someone actually pick them during the Army All-American as Muhammad stated he was, “Taking his talents to the University of Miami.” BIG TIME PROSPECT and I expect him to get into the mix as a pass rusher right away! Incredibly athletic, check out his highlights below and pay attention at the :18 second mark…WOW! The staff’s Northeast roots paid dividends on this one, and it also opens up a potential pipeline to a nationally ranked and recognized program in Don Bosco Prep. The challenge will be to hold on to him until signing day as many feel things can get complicated if Notre Dame comes back into the picture.

Highlights: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7851408

Stay tuned for Part 2 of bg1906’s January 2013 Recruiting Update, coming to you on Friday! GO ‘CANES!

Ray Lewis Miami

GOAT: Eye of the Hurricane’s Tribute to Ray Lewis

~ The following article was contibuted by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, Delray ~

Ray Lewis RavensLast week, one of the greatest football players of all time, regardless of position, announced this season would be his final ride. Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, citing the time has come to be with family, particularly his son Ray who will be enrolling this coming fall at the University of Miami, will hang up his cleats for the final time sometime in the coming month or two.  Let’s look at Ray’s accomplishments both while with Miami and with the NFL.

Ray Lewis MiamiIn Ray’s freshman campaign with the Hurricanes, it took him a few games to crack the starting lineup but once he did, he did not relinquish it. He started the final 5 games his freshman season, and also was named to the 1993 freshman All-American team.

Not slowing down at all, his sophomore season Ray really picked up steam finishing with 153 tackles and being named to the All-American and All Big East teams.  The Hurricanes’ defense ranked as the top defense in the country in 1994 and the team was ranked 6th in the polls.

Ray Lewis Miami HurricanesIn his junior year, he again was named to the 1995 Big East and All American teams.  He finished with 160 tackle, (the second highest by a UM Player) and was a finalist for the Butkus award.

Ray decided to forgo his senior year and enter into the 1996 NFL draft where he was drafted 26th overall by the Baltimore Ravens. When he final takes his last snap with the Ravens, he will be the last Raven from their inaugural season in Baltimore.

Ravents WIN!Let’s look at a few of the accolades Ray has amassed as a member of the Baltimore Ravens:

  • 13 Time Pro Bowl Selection
  • 7 Time First Team All Pro Selections
  • 3 Time Second Team All Pro Selections
  • Super Bowl XXXV MVP
  • 2 Time NFL Defensive Player of the Year
  • Most Tackles in the NFL  1997 Season  – 184 Tackles
  • Most tackles in the NFL 1999 Season – 168
  • Most tackles in the NFL 2001 Season  – 162

Ray leaves a legacy on the field that only a few have duplicated, striking fear in his opponents just by his presence alone.  Along with the many individual accomplishments, he was also responsible for being an intricate part of arguably one of the most dominant defensive teams to have ever played.  In a tribute to Ray, NFL: New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravensa portion of Baltimore’s North Avenue was renamed “Ray Lewis Way” in his honor.

Ray Lewis: what it means to be the “Greatest of All Time.” We are sad to see his days on the field come to an end, but look forward to watching the final games in Ray’s NFL career, and to having him in Miami to support his son at games next fall.

Go Canes!

~ Delray

Beau Sandland

EOTH Recruiting Update: Part 2

~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, bg1906 ~

Biggest Remaining Targets (6)

LB Matthew Thomas (Miami, FL)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1505832/highlights/36526731

matthew thomasWithout question, consensus 5-Star LB prospect Matthew Thomas is at the top of the Canes recruiting board. He’s a tall, lanky kid that you can see being a 230+ hell-raising LB that can not only rush the passer, but that can also pursue sideline-to-sideline, while also being strong at the point of attack. A strong part of his game that also doesn’t get as much attention as it should is the skills he has in pass coverage. This was evidenced this past summer during Nike’s The Opening where had a very strong showing as a pass defender. In the Canes’ favor is the fact that many in the Thomas Camp want to see him stay home and play for UM. Furthermore, Thomas and his HS head coach, former UM football staffer, Tim “Ice” Williams have a great relationship with Canes LB Coach Michael Barrow. Our competition for Thomas will primarily come from Florida State and Alabama, but in the end the combination of being close to home and the chance to impact the team IMMEDIATELY is too much to pass up, and I think we land Matthew Thomas. I’m thinking the only thing that can derail that will be any further negative news surrounding pending sanctions by the NCAA, and while you can never be SURE in recruiting, my gut tells me that come signing day, Thomas will be a Cane.

OL Denver Kirkland (Miami, FL)
Highlights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RgO7ayN67Y

denver kirklandKirkland is a big kid good with really good feet, and he moves exceptionally well for a guy his size. He plays RT for state champion Booker T. Washington HS, but will likely transition inside as an OG once he gets to college. He’ll need to change his physique a little bit but he has all the tools you look for in a top flight OL prospect. He is also a hard worker in the trenches who finishes blocks and plays with an aggressive streak. I also think he will end up at UM along with Thomas, and the Canes biggest threat with Kirkland is also FSU.

DE Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, LA)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EoFTVSSGmc

tim williamsTim Williams is another top prospect from the state of Louisiana. He is scheduled to visit Miami on January 18th and the Canes are also having TE commitment Standish Dobard, also hailing from Louisiana visit on that date as well. Williams is a kid that with increased size would be an explosive defender at DE as his physique reminds of LSU DE Sam Montgomery at this age. LSU was thought to be the likely destination for him,  but he’s maintained the Canes are near or at the top of his list for quite some time. Also LSU has seemingly gone in another direction recruiting wise and that leaves Miami, Florida State, and Alabama as Williams’ top choices at this time. A unique aspect to Williams’ recruitment is the fact that he has a daughter. Will he be willing to leave her to come to Miami? Only time will tell, but Louisiana has always been good to UM, and if we can land Williams that would mean UM landed 2 of Louisiana’s best in Dobard and Williams. Wow!

DT Jaynard Bostwick (Port St Lucie, FL)
Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y2qWdbheXc

jaynard bostwickJaynard Bostwick has been on the Canes radar and the Canes on his for a long time now. He’s rumored to have academic issues, but his father recently said Bostwick scored a qualifying score on his ACT and is all set academically. The Canes have been the favorite for much of his recruitment and Bostwick’s cousin, LB Thurston Armbrister, already plays for UM. Bostwick is versatile, can play inside or out, but projects to be used as a 3-Technique DT. He has great get off, uses hands well, and has a variety of moves. He plays with great energy as well. He’s also being pursued by Florida, Oregon,  and Alabama, but I fully expect that if academics are no issue, he’ll be a Cane on signing day.

WR Stacy Coley (Oakland Park, FL)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKnpaJnPJXA

stacy coleyIt has long been rumored that Stacy Coley was only lightly being recruiting by UM, if at all, for a number of reasons ranging from academics to character. However, in recent weeks as it became clearer that Angelo Jean-Louis was not going to qualify, the Canes’ staff turned up the heat on Coley’s recruitment. Coley is an immediate impact player and is probably the best WR prospect in S. Florida this year. He would IMMEDIATELY make an impact at UM and would be a HUGE get. His HS Coach is none other than former Cane Donnell Bennett and Bennett says the Canes made a huge impact on Coley during his official visit on December 7th. FSU was thought that have lead before the visit, but since the visit and along with the Noles losing Eddie Gran, the Canes appear to have quietly positioned themselves in a very good position to acquire Coley’s services. The latest setback to the entire situation is that Coley is very close to ATH Eddie Jackson from Boyd Anderson HS. Jackson, the younger brother of former 5-Star Boyd Anderson standout Demar Dorsey, was just offered by Florida State and many within the S. Florida recruiting community have thought that if Jackson and Coley were offered by the same school, they’d attend school together. However, that’s not set in stone as Jackson is thought to have extensive academic issues, which is the primary reason he hasn’t been on UM’s radar. This will be one to watch down the stretch but I think UM is sitting in a good position with Coley and it can’t be understated the type of relationship he has with Deon Bush, Tracy Howard, and Malcolm Lewis. It also can’t hurt that his head coach is a Cane. Pay attention to this one down the stretch because it could be HUGE for Miami as the Canes are only looking to take one WR in this class.

CB Rashard Robinson (Pompano Beach, FL)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1395500/highlights/31782387

Rashard RobinsonLSU commitment Rashard Robison is a big CB (6-3, 175 lbs) with great hips, good speed, long arms, and that plays aggressively. He reminds me of Mike Rumph in that sense and he has incredible upside. He just needs some time to develop physically and with a year in the weight room could become a big time impact player. He attended Al Golden’s camp this summer and earned a UM offer. He held off however and ended up committing to LSU (LSU has a pipeline over at Blanche Ely HS where they’ve signed both Patrick Peterson and Avery Johnson). UM has however in recent weeks turned up the heat significantly in trying to flip Robinson and he has been receptive to it. He unofficially visited during an official visit weekend (December 7) and had a great team hanging out with Jermaine Grace, Stacy Coley, Deon Busch, Tracy Howard, and Malcolm Lewis. Some think a flip from LSU is unlikely, but I’m not so sure that this staff can’t get that done. This will be another one to watch down the stretch because I believe the Canes have a better shot at flipping Robinson than many think. This would be another huge feather in the cap of this staff, watch this one.

Lavon Hooks (Booneville, MS)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1795026/highlights/23280415

Lavon HooksLavon Hooks is rated the #1 JUCO DT prospect in America and backs up that ranking by being named a 3rd Team JUCO All-American this past year. He plays a lot of standup DE as a pass rusher, but most teams are recruiting him pass rushing 3-Technique DT, in the vein of Nick Fairley. Hooks was scheduled to visit UM along with his entire family on December 7th, but abruptly changed his mind citing conflicts with final exam…hmmmmm! Then after Gus Mahlzahn was named the new Coach at Auburn, Hooks stated he would be taking his last visit to Auburn. However, not to be outdone, Coach Golden and Coach Jethro Franklin, visited Hooks on yesterday, and have wrestled Hooks’ final visit away from Auburn and he now claims that he will visit UM this weekend (December 14th). Hooks is highly sought after by the staff and should immediately be able to make an impact. He has a really good relationship with Coach Franklin and has stated on record that Franklin is like an uncle to him. However until Hooks is on campus, I will not have confidence in him coming to UM.  He is in the middle of SEC country and we all know how they play the recruiting game (that should be all I have to say about that). IF we are able to get him to visit and we subsequently land him, the staff should be heavily applauded. Our major competitors for his services appear to be Ole Miss, Auburn, and Nebraska.

TE Beau Sandland (Woodland Hills, CA)
Highlights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF7wJqcOU6k

Beau SandlandBeau Sandland is a playmaking TE with a good combination of size, speed, and athletic ability. He’s also highly coveted by the staff to come in and compete immediately as a playmaker at the TE position. He a California kid and is partial to the West Coast, but Canes TE Coach Brennan Carroll and Sandland have developed a great relationship and Miami along with Arizona State and Nebraska make up Sandland’s Top 3. Sandland officially visited on December 7th and stated that the trip wonderful and rated it a perfect 10. He has also said that he is concerned with distance away from his family and about the potential for the NCAA to come down hard on Miami with sanctions. While I think he’d be an excellent pickup, I just don’t see UM being able to overcome those two obstacles and I think Sandland signs with Arizona State. He is scheduled to announce his final decision on December 19th.

Conclusion

Well fam, that’s the business for now. I’ll return with a Part III to this article to discuss some other prospects that are also on the Canes radar and have visited or might be visiting soon including LB Reuben Foster, LB Trey Johnson, RB David Williams, RB Derrick Green, RB Peyton Barber, WR Jordan Cunningham, WR Marquez North, DT/OL Quay Bain, DE Alquadin Muhammad, DE Carl Lawson, DE Elijah Daniel, S Michael Parker, DT Ben Bradley, TE Nate Wozniak, TE Danny Mattingly, and DT Toby Johnson.

Until then take care all and Go Canes!

-bg1906

C.C.M.J.T.K.O.

 

EOTH’s Recruiting Update: Part 1

~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, bg1906~

What’s up EOTH. It’s ya boy, bg1906, and it’s that time of year when recruiting takes center stage. Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program and this 2013 class, while small, will be a vital cog in the reconstruction The U. While Golden has said many times he expects to only take about 15 or so kids, I think there is no way to accomplish that based on the number of offers they have out, and the possibilities of who we have opportunities to land. So with that I believe the class will fall in the 17-19 range. I could be wrong, but as you read the article, I’m sure you’ll agree with me. With that said, let’s get right into it.

Current Commitments (10)

QB Kevin Olsen (Wayne, NJ)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjLDKIira1Y

Kevin Olsen1The Canes got their QB some time ago and things haven’t changed between UM and Kevin Olsen. Olsen has a great relationship with Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch and desires to play in the type of pro-style offense the Canes run. Olsen, the son of a HS Head Coach, and brother of former Cane Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers), is a student of the game with a great pedigree and is a great addition to the class.

TE Standish Dobard  (Edna, LA)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1104429/highlights/35254436

Standish-DobardStandish Dobard is one of the highest ranked prospects from the state of Louisiana. He is a die-hard Canes fan and has been committed to the Canes for some time. He recently led his team to a 15-0 record and a state championship. He has a skill set to become a contributor next season.  He has good size and can make things happen after the catch. Dobard is an excellent pickup from a state that has been good to us in the past and he could also be a big key in helping UM to land DE Tim Williams.

TE Travis Johnson (Tampa, FL)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/632316/highlights/17355414#

travis johnsonTravis Johnson, what a character! Known as @IamFeedMe on Twitter, Johnson is an oversized WR with great hands and is being recruited to UM as a TE. While it will take him some time to grow into a full-time TE, Johnson’s hands, body control, and did I say hands, will make a contributor in the passing game. Another great pick up by the staff as we desperately need quality TE prospects on the roster. Oh yeah and he’s from the new Canes hot bed, TAMPA!

TE/OL Jeremy Kerr (St Petersburg, FL)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKV5F7iJUkc

jeremy kerr2Jeremy Kerr is a big TE/OL prospect from St. Petersburg, FL. He plays in a system that runs the Wing-T so he’s essentially an extra offensive lineman. It will be interesting to see if he’ll remain at the TE position as an in-line blocking specialist, or if he’ll be converted to an offensive tackle ala Jason Fox and Eric Winston. I’d bet on the latter as I see OL in his future as Art Kehoe has had GREAT success with converting these type of players into productive offensive tackle prospects.

Alex-GallOL Alex Gall (Cincinnati, OH)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmAT7S4OMEo

Alex Gall is an OL prospect from Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Moeller is one of the premier high schools in the state of Ohio evidenced by their winning of a state championship this year. It was big for Miami to go in a pull a kid like Gall from Ohio and Gall is a solid prospect and commitment.

LB Alex Figueroa (Stafford, VA)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/619990/highlights/2516406

alex-figueroa2Figueroa is an interesting prospect with a very interesting story, and his recruitment and subsequent commitment caught many Canes fans by surprise. Figueroa hails from Stafford, VA and was lightly recruited last year due to academic problems, though he was named a member of the Washington Post All-Metropolitan (DC, MD, VA) 1st Team in 2011. He went to prep school this past year but was injured and didn’t play football. Instead he used the time to get focused on his academics and appears to have been able to qualify. With that, the Canes offered and he committed on the spot. He appears to be a 100% total steal for the Canes in terms of athletic ability. His best days are ahead of him and if he develops as anticipated, many will wonder, “Where did they find this kid?”

DB Artie Burns (Miami, FL)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV9rm7ojRO8

artie-burnsArtie Burns is the #1 nationally rated hurdler at the prep level so it is apparent he has speed. What isn’t so apparent is how physical he is. He plays both CB and Safety in HS and I expect him to end up as a Safety much like Deon Bush, but he’s being recruited as a CB. If he remains at the CB position, he’ll be a bigger, more physical CB and big physical CBs are always a commodity. There has been a lot of chatter about him still looking at LSU (his dream school) but I think he remains with Miami, thanks in large part to his head coach being a former Cane GA while also moonlighting as Scout.com Hurricanes “insider” during the Shannon era.  ;-)

DB Jamal Carter (Miami, FL)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfrW3d_9UYw

jamal carterCarter is a physical specimen with a very athletic skill set. His biggest knock is his maturity level and how serious he takes football. How quickly he’ll be able to contribute will depend on how quickly he acclimates and matures. But physically, Carter is off the charts and incredibly versatile as he plays safety, receiver, and also returns kicks. His strength coach in HS is none other than former Hurricane coaching great, Don Soldinger, who says the following about Carter, “..he can be pretty special if me and Lamont [Carter’s HS Coach at South Ridge] can kick his [expletive] into shape.”

ATH Ray Lewis III (Lake Mary, FL)

RayLewis IIIHighlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLYjmU4_Aa4

Ray Lewis III is the son of Hurricane and NFL great Ray Lewis. He has a unique skill set as he’s virtually EVERYTHING for his prep team. The knock on Lil Ray is that he plays small school football, but what’s often overlooked is the fact that he’s dominant at that level; his stats are out of the stratosphere. He is being recruited as an ATH and could very well start on the defensive side of the ball (secondary). Some have questioned his offer and commitment, but I agree with it, simply if not just to get Daddy Ray reconnected with UM; definitely worth the scholarship in my opinion.

OL Hunter Knighton (Princeton, NJ)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1865741/highlights/24296380

Hunter KnightonKnighton has been on the Canes’ recruiting radar for quite some time and his primary recruiter has been Art Kehoe. Knighton also has a class with Al Golden’s nephew who has also been a recruiter for his uncle. Knighton is an interesting prospect as he has offers from Boise State, West Virginia, and Purdue as a Defensive Lineman, while his offers from Miami and Boston College are as an Offensive Lineman. That shows Knighton’s versatility and at 6’6 and 265 lbs he has a great frame to add too. Of course he’ll need some time to develop and I expect him to redshirt. Lineman with his type of versatility is rare and we had great success in recruiting NJ in the past. Knighton will start at UM as an OL and looks to early enroll in January.

DE/OLB Devante Bond (Sacramento, CA)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/886366/highlights/6328369

BondBond is a hybrid DE/OLB from the JUCO ranks. What immediately jumps out about Bond is his first step and his explosion off the ball. With the Canes’ problems rushing the passer, a player like Bond should immediately help in that area as his greatest asset is his ability to get after the QB. He plays with a great motor and a high level of aggression. He has been very open about wanting offers from Miami and Oklahoma for much of his recruitment and Miami recently came through. He officially visited December 7 and from all accounts enjoyed it immensely. He’s expecting an in-home visit from Coaches this week and if allowed to commit, I expect him to be Miami’s next commitment.

Decommitments – 2)

RB Alex Collins (Plantation, FL)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV3CdA7HC2s

alex-collins-south-plantation-coral-springs-2011Alex Collins was a surprise commitment after a Canes’ Junior Day back in February. He has since had a fantastic spring evaluation period where he gained weight and is now up to 205 lbs. He also had a fantastic season and is now a legitimate 5-Star caliber RB recruit. Collins is ultra-athletic, and if you don’t believe me, YouTube his lacrosse footage. He also has excellent speed and quickness along with the size and toughness to be an inside runner as well. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield, is a homerun hitter, and would be an instant addition to the backfield along with Duke Johnson (the thoughts of that are scary). However, since committing to UM, Collins has been under a constant recruiting barrage from Wisconsin, Florida State, and Florida as well as Miami. His great relationship with FSU Assistant Coach Eddie Gran, along with FSU offering his best friend 2-Star QB recruit John Franklin, led Collins to decommit from UM and put FSU in the driver’s seat. Also, Wisconsin was another strong challenger due to the relationship between Wisconsin Assistant Coach Charlie Partridge and Collins’ HS Coach. Miami was still under consideration but rarely does a decommit recommit at Miami. Just never happens that way much for us; however, shake ups at Wisconsin and Florida State in the coaching staffs seem to have tilted the odds back in Miami’s favor. Wisconsin Head Coach Brett Bielema surprising left the Badgers for the job at Arkansas and is likely taking Partridge with him. Then in a surprise move, FSU’s Eddie Gran accepted a job as the Offensive Coordinator at Cincinnati with new Cincinnati Head Coach Tommy Tuberville, with whom he has a long standing relationship. I expect Collins will now become the target of FSU Assistant James Coley who is also a fantastic recruiter, especially in South Florida. In other words, Collins’ recruitment is FAR from over. However, Miami coaches recently spent time with Collins at a UM basketball game vs. Michigan State. During the game, it has been reported that Collins spent a lot of time with Coach Golden as well as with Duke Johnson (go get ‘em Duke).  So the Canes have not and will not just let Collins’ go and are recruiting him very hard with hopes of getting him back in the fold. Florida has also emerged as a dark horse for Collins, and he is set to officially visit Florida soon, but he also plans to officially visit Miami in January, with Miami likely to be his last visit. Expect the Canes to put the full court press on Collins and try to get him back onboard. I like our odds as other than the NCAA cloud hanging over us; we have the best situation for him in terms of instant impact, academics, and pedigree. Also it has been stated that his Mom would like him close to home. While it will not be an easy fight, and while I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up somewhere besides UM, I like the Canes’ chances here.

DT Keith Bryant (Delray Beach, FL)

Highlights: http://www.prepforce.com/media/videos/iphone/2758.mp4

keith bryantKeith Bryant had been one of the Canes’ longest standing commitments. However, he is being nationally recruited and from Day 1 has sought the attention that comes with a national recruitment. He’s a bit cocky and a bit of an attention seeker, but he’s extremely talented at a position of dire need. Upon his decommitment, he named Florida State as his leader, with South Carolina second, and UM third. He “claims” to have grown up a die-hard UM fan, but based on the last few weeks you could’ve told me otherwise. I’m not going to sit here and bash Keith the player, but Keith the person is a bit immature. However, he’s young so I guess that should be expected. At any rate, coaches have continued to recruit him and with the changes that are continuing to happen at Florida State, I think in the end he still ends up a Cane, IF the coaches aren’t turned off by all of his antics from the past couple of weeks and halt their recruitment of him all together. Only time will tell.

Academic Casualty (1)

WR Angelo Jean-Louis (Wellington, FL)

Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs9nF7mZsXg

angelo jean louisAJL has been one of Miami’s most committed players and was UM’s highest rated WR signee from the 2012 class. However, academics were a problem for AJL and so he attended prep school with hopes of getting his academics in order this past season with hopes of attending UM in January. However, things have not gone according to plan and as it stands right now, AJL will not be a part of Miami’s class. He’s taking an official visit to Marshall this weekend and that appears his likely destination, much in the same vein of AJ Leggett.

Next Likely Commitment (1)

LB Jermaine Grace (Miramar, FL)

Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/967432/highlights/27662379

Jermaine GraceEarly in his recruitment (during his junior year), Jermaine “Big Country” Grace stated that he was going to whatever school Tracy Howard goes too. That ended up being UM and Graces has been heavily recruited by UM for quite a while. Grace reminds me of a poor man’s Sean Spence, undersized but effective as he finished his senior season with 100+ tackles. He’s been a Miami lean for quite some time, but he also had legitimate interest in Tennessee. However, with the recent shakeups at Tennessee with Dooley being fired, Grace’s chances of being a Cane are even higher. He officially visited Miami on December 7th and after the visit stated that it was 70% likely he’d be a Hurricane. He may still take a few official visits but I fully expect him in this class and maybe sooner than later.

Stephen Morris Miami NC State

Recapping the 2012 Offense

~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, Delray ~

spring game 4I remember the 2012 Spring Game like it was yesterday.  I was shaking my head in awe of the defense.  Final score was 6-3.  I thought with some new kids coming in and with Stephen Morris coming back from surgery our offense might look a bit better, but our defense looked awesome.  Things changed quickly once the season rolled around.  I’m not going to discuss the defense as that rock has already been turned over and rolled down the hill creating a large avalanche.  Let’s look at the offense today.

Quarterback

Stephen Morris Miami NC StateStephen Morris took the majority of the snaps behind center, and as the season wore on, I think we saw a maturing process we hadn’t seen by a Miami QB in some time.  After about the 3rd or 4th game, I realized that I did not have the headaches I was getting the previous years.  I believe it was a result of not having to hold my breath when our QB dropped back for a pass.  Stephen’s numbers where admirable, completing 58.2% of his passes for 3,345 yards.  This came on 245 completions in 421 attempts.  He threw for 21 touchdowns with 7 interceptions.

Running Backs

DuuuuuuuuuuuuuuukeWhen Lamar Miller announced he would be leaving early last year to enter the NFL draft, a few of us went on immediate suicide watch.  Who would we have to run the ball?  Mike James could fill in but did not have the break-away speed Lamar possessed. Then again who did?  Enter freshman sensation Randy “Duke” Johnson.  We all knew he was good but after the very first game of the season, we realized he was not just good, he was special. In the backfield, Randy set the single-season rushing record for freshman by rushing for 947 yards on 139 carries.  That was good for a 6.8 yard per carry average.  Mike James chipped in as well with 642 yards on 147 carries for a 4.2 yard average.  Duke led the team with 10 touchdowns, while Mike had 6.  These were the only 2 players to have an impact on the ground for Miami.  Look for next year to be just as exciting.

Wide Receivers

 phillip dorsett miami nc stateThis was probably the big question mark on the offense.  We expected perhaps Allen Hurns and Phillip Dorsett to lead the pack but after that there were a lot of questions.  Dorsett did lead the team with 58 receptions for 842 yards and 4 touchdowns. After that, the emergence of Rashawn Scott with 35 receptions for 512 yards and 3 touchdowns in only 8 games, proved to be Morris’ #2 target. Allen Hurns also played well coming up with timely catches and 4 touchdowns on 28 receptions for 314 yards. 

Tight Ends

Clive Walford by JSQ's seatsCoach Golden made a point that tight ends would be a priority this season but at times it just didn’t seem like they were even on the field.  Clive Walford emerged late in the season to finish up with 451 yards on 25 catches and 4 touchdowns.  His late season performance gave Canes fans a lot to look forward to next season.  After that, Dyron Dye and Asante Cleveland proved to be almost non-existent.  Dye was used primarily as a blocking tight end and did well in blocking.  Look for the Canes to use the tight end even more next year.

Offensive Line

What was thought to be the strength of the offense was good this past year.  Good because they were not bad and good because they were not great.  Miami rushed for 1,737 yards this past season.  They averaged 4.7 yards per rush and had 19 rushing touchdowns.  They allowed 18 sacks for a loss of 129 yards.

THE RED ZONE

JSQ's viewMiami made it into the red-zone 52 times this past season.  They managed a touchdown just over half the time (27 touchdowns).  They scored 87% of the time (18 field goals).  This is an area they will need to improve on and should do so with the just about everybody on the offensive line returning and the continuing development of our tight ends.

All and all, Canes fans have reason to be excited for the 2013 season.  The team has the majority of the players coming back and with an additional year of U-tough (for some it will be their first year) we should be ranked in the top 25 to start the season.  Where we go from there will be anybody’s guess.

Go Canes!

~ Delray

Breaking Down the 2012 Defense, Part 2 of a Novel By Esteban

The Excuses.

Al Golden said he knew we’d have to outscore other teams coming into the season because our defense was so young.  We lined up against BC with the following starting line up.

  • Shayon Green Miami GA TechRE Shayon Green – Tenth year JR
  • DT Darius Smith – SR and returning starter who played solidly last year
  • DT Olsen Pierre – Sophomore who played a bit last year
  • LE Anthony Chickillo – Sophomore and returning starter who was solid last year
  • WLB Ramon Buchanon – SR and returning starter even if coming off injury
  • MLB Denzel Perryman – Sophomore and returning starter
  • SLB Thurston Armbrister – Sophomore just converted to LB in the spring from Safety shouldn’t have been starting especially not over this year’s best defensive player in Eddie Johnson. Why he was starting has yet to be understood.
  • CB Brandon McGee – SR and returning starter
  • S Kacy Rodgers – JR with playing experience
  • S A.J. Highsmith – JR who shouldn’t have been starting over Telemaque a SR 3 year starter
  • CB Thomas Finnie – Sophomore who played a bit last year.

Miami-Boston-College-footbaClearly, that’s not a studly defensive line up, but 3 SRs, 3 JRs, 5 sophomores and 5 returning starters starting with 1 returning starter on the bench who was a SR.  Youth shouldn’t be the excuse. Guys missing their assignments cause its such a young defense shouldn’t be the excuse.  We can say they aren’t that good, but they are still better athletes and football players than at least half the teams in the nation have.  Yet Chase Rettig ate them up easily.  We made it easy cause we had his top WR, who BC likes to play in the slot when they go 3 wides, matched up against a LB.  And we did have bust in coverage when that same OLB has a RB and a TE to cover by himself somehow.  Also, in that game we see a replay and Buchanon at the snap bails to play deep center field.  Let me repeat that.  Our WLB at the snap bails (what if there was a run on that play?) and plays deep center field in the coverage dialed up by OH-NO!-frio.  We’ve discussed how OLBs shouldn’t be outside trying to cover slot WRs.

McCord Manuels sackNow we get to discuss how OLBs shouldn’t be asked to play deep center field coverage EVER.  Now later in the year the team did become very young after we started Dequan Ivery and Earl Moore at DT, had Eddie Johnson now at OLB (RS-FR), Deon Bush was getting a lot of PT, Tracy Howard and Antonio Crawford would see snaps at CB, and Tyriq McCord was the first DE off the bench. Why we started Ivery and Moore at DT is still a mystery to me though.  Darius Smith clearly was missing those extra 20 lbs he was instructed to lose, but his play still was at least on par with the freshmen DTs.  Plus his experience had to count for something if inexperience counts against guys right? Having more guys on the field who know where to be, know what to expect, have produced in the past and can provide leadership has to be beneficial right?

Telemaque Miami ClemsonLikewise, Telemaque’s being a 3 year starter and the success he was apart of have to count for something right?  The excuse kept being said how young this unit was but it didn’t have to be.  The younger guys playing at those positions weren’t doing better than what the older guys had done. And if this staff is supposed to be better than previous staffs at developing talent then those older guys should be expected to improve under them right?  Add in later in the year JR and returning starter Jimmy Gaines came back from injury.  That’s another non youngster.  Curtis Porter eventually got healthy and was clearly the best linemen.  He’s another JR.  Had a JUCO CB starting, too.  They were playing young guys but didn’t need to.  They were sitting on older guys who could have been in there letting the younger guys not be all in at the same time at the least.  Have Telemaque in there with Jenkins against Duke and Jenkins is probably less likely to blow a coverage or be positioned incorrectly.

With that said, no combination of players was going to work because OH-NO!-frio’s scheme just was flawed at the core.  Creating excuses about youth only distracts people from the real issues with the scheme. Another excuse brought up at times was guys missing tackles.  And I’ll admit plenty of tackles were missed – especially by the safeties who shouldn’t have been starting over the SR 3 year starter.  But where those tackles were missed is never brought up.  Most of the time those missed tackles are 5 yards, 8 yards, 10 yards down the field.  So the play was already successful when that tackle was missed.  That missed tackle is the difference between a good gain and big gain.  It’s not the difference between a positive play for the efense and a big gain.  There were a few times where we did miss tackles for loss, but not a lot of those.

Making Matters Worse.

This year OG Jeremy Lewis was the first OG off the bench.  And he played well while in there.  He got switched to OG from DT and our OC Jedd Fisch was able to make him a contributor after 1 year adjusting to a new position.  Dyron Dye started about half the year and played extensively at TE after 1 year adjusting to a new position. David Perry played throughout the season when we went to jumbo sets at his TE position.  Why these offensive players are significant is that they all were deemed unable to play for an OH-NO!-frio defense.

dyron-dyeThat note about smallish DEs?  Well Dye is bigger than both Chick and Green.  Perry is clearly bigger than Dye.  They both move very well for guys their size and have long frames and long arms.  They’d probably fit very well in an efense that has the DEs shedding the OTs because their long arms would allow them to keep blockers off their bodies once taught the proper technique.  Plus their athletic ability would probably cause interior Olinemen problems as pass rushers.  And if nothing else David Perry probably would do pretty good knocking down passes with his height and wing span.    Yet we rather move move Shayon Green from his previous LB spot to DE on his surgically repaired knees and ask Chick to bulk up even when he’s had an off season injury.  Then spell them by asking Kelvin Cain to bulk up and expecting a true freshman who came in at 215 to also be the back up.  And for Jeremy Lewis we had Adewele Ojomo move to DT last year because of all the injuries at the position.  If Lewis hadn’t been moved he probably has to step in at DT and ends up getting a lot of experience that could have helped at the position this year.

UM Fr. Kelvin Cain, MLBAgain, letting young guys have time to develop is invaluable.  So if nothing else Lewis could have done his part in the run efense and allowed us to RS at least one of the DTs that can’t get this year of eligibility back.  Don’t even factor in guys who were pushed out the door like Travis Williams who would have been starting last year and come into this year the starter most likely and thus we’d have another JR returning starter on this unit.  And don’t factor in recruits that were turned away like Jeremy Davis who could have helped in the secondary or Nick Menocal who could have provided another LB – one with some size and speed at that.  Who knows if those guys ever do good at their respective universities, but they were speed guys with size and I’ve never heard a coach say he doesn’t want big, fast guys playing for him.

Going Forward.

donofrio-practiceIf OH-NO!-frio really is back running the efense next year then I think that limits the amount of progress this team overall can have.  This year was a great year to play in our division within the ACC.  Everyone sucked.  But GT will start Vlad Lee all next year and should be better for it.  Plus they’ll have a new permanent DC and again be better for it.  North Carolina will be in its second year of Larry Fedora’s tenure and will be able to compete for the division.  Virginia Tech gets Logan Thomas again at QB and now with some experienced WRs and RBs instead of breaking in all new ones like this year.  Overall, the division should be tougher.  We will need to improve in all facets of our game.  Just think about this.  We won our division this year while only beating 1 team with a winning record on the season – NC State at 7-5.  No team we beat was ranked at the end of the season.

Breaking Down the 2012 Defense, Part 1 of a Novel By Esteban

The Miami Hurricane Efense.  Coached by Mark OH-NO!-frio…I don’t know if I can do this article.  Since Al Golden defended his best bud on the radio I’ve first went through denial about his return next year to just wanting to erase part of my memory – all non-offensive or special team plays from the past two seasons.  All the memories are flooding back – especially from this year.  Some of those memories are in the form of numbers.  117.  53.  13.  8.  88.  To share what the numbers mean let’s see:

  • 117 – That’s what we ranked in Total Defense this year.
  • 53 – That’s the number of Tackles for Loss on the season, which put us at 103rd in the nation (for comparison sake we led the nation in 2010 with 115).
  • 13 – That’s the record low amount of sacks we had this year.
  • 8 – The number of times we gave up 30 this year including 41 to Virginia who averaged just under 23 on the season.
  • 88 – Red Zone defense ranking – it’s supposed to be Bend but DON’T Break right?

And those are just the numbers that didn’t remain blocked out by my brain that wants to develop a short term memory loss issue after typing that out.  But let’s just go piece by piece into the disaster of an Efense.

Scheme.

It’s MULTIPLE!  That’s a good thing right?  More versatile since using both 3-4 and 4-3 looks and ideally with the same players so you can switch things up on the offense and make it a tougher read for the opposing teams QB – good illustration would be found here http://sbn.to/fUw3uK.  That’s about as multiple as you can get, some NFL stuff.  No one expected multiplicity to that extent, but we found out our Multiple scheme was multiplying times zero.  We couldn’t do good from a 4-3 look. We couldn’t do good from a 3-4 look.  A big part of that is what we were asking our players to do within both alignments.

OLBs covering Slot WRs – and at times starting WRs.

This gets listed first cause it’s the number one immediate disadvantage given up by OH-NO!-frio’s defense each week.  Any team with a half decent offensive coordinator will take easy first downs.  Passes to the slot WR all year was that easy first down.  Some teams took a while to take advantage of it and others, like Notre Dame, went after it almost immediately.  Just was pitch and catch.  College safeties are hardly ever asked to cover slot WRs.  A number of college starting CBs don’t feel comfortable covering WRs out of the slot.  It’s not an easy cover.  Yet despite all of that we have OLBs way out by the hashmarks trying to cover opposing slot WRs.  The thought process is that you keep the base efense out there and you should be tougher against the run.  But if that LB is by the hashmarks he’s not going to be involved in the run efense.  So he can’t help vs the run and he can’t help vs the pass since he’s THE mismatch on the field trying lined up over the slot.

No win situation if there ever was one.  And I thought that was as bad as it could get.  That’s when opposing offenses went twin WR sets and instead of putting our 2nd CB on that starting WR lined up on the inside we put our OLB over him.  Devil’s advocate, or in this case an excuse maker, could say ‘well we’re going zone so he’ll just cover him underneath and the safety will be over the top’.  And he’d have a point.  Problem is if that OLB is covering the WR who’s lined up where the OLB normally would be?   You got it…a CB.  So when predictably the offense audibles to a run play in the direction of that CB, he’s stuck taking on a TE, O-lineman, or a FB.  All are mismatches and again its easy first downs without even having to throw the ball.  Just hand it off and run at the CB playing OLB against a base personnel offense.

I CAN’T TAKE ANOTHER YEAR OF THIS MAN AS OUR EFENSIVE COORDINATOR!!!

Sorry…Well again the devil’s advocate might say ‘well he can just bring a safety down to help against the run’.  Well devil’s advocate then that starting WR who’s covered short by the LB and deep by the Safety runs a deep post against that Safety for a TD.  Or if nothing else a deep crossing route and picks up 20 yards or so.  Pick your poison.

The Forward Pass in Overall.

Any team that could throw the ball forward and the WRs didn’t experience a case of drops (looking at you North Carolina WRs) could put up points against us.  Even Georgia Tech started scoring once they went into the Pistol formation and started throwing the ball. They only completed 3 passes the whole game yet after that first completion (a 57 yarder) our CBs had to actually pay attention to the WRs and not just immediately fly up to tackle the pitch man as part of the option.  Once the defense had to be honest Georgia Tech put up 36 points in 3 Quarters (GT didn’t throw a pass in the first quarter).  We made for career days when it came to opposing QBs (and offenses overall).  Mike Rocco, a very mediocre QB, has one game in his career where he threw for over two TDs.

I bet you can guess who that came against.  He had 4 against us with 300 yards passing, the only other team that gave up 300 yards passing to him this year was Richmond (which was the only other game UVA scored more than 40 in).  Chase Rettig, of BC, had nearly 100 yards more against us than he had against anyone else this year (441 yards).  Over 400 to Mike Glennon, but at least he went over 400 a couple other times.  Then there was the 77% completion percentage on 22 passes to ND’s Everett Golson – he’s not a bad QB but his average was just under 59%.  Duke’s Sean Renfree threw for 432 yards against us and his next highest total was 314 against Memphis (4 TDs against us tied his 4 against that same Memphis team).

There were QBs all around the country sad to see us self-impose a bowl ban because they weren’t going to have a chance to be matched up against our passing defense and therefore go out with a bang.  People say ‘well we started A.J. Highsmith and Kacy Rodgers at safety, of course the pass defense sucked’.  And they’re right in that those two aren’t very good.  But we had a Safety sitting on the bench who started on a defense that featured the #1 passing efficiency unit in the country to years ago.  And while I never have been a big fan cause his tackling wasn’t great, Vaughn Telemaque’s tackling was better than Rodgers’ tackling.  His angles and coverage were better than Highsmith’s.  And the main reason our former HC loved him was cause he was always where he was supposed to be – even if he didn’t make a big play he didn’t give them up either.  He’s a Senior and had about 3 years of starting experience under his belt and when he did get in the game showed he was clearly better than Rodgers and Highsmith.  Would he transform the pass efense into a top notch unit?  No, not at all.  But he’d help it be better than what it was.

Starting Ladarius Gunter earlier in the season would have helped somewhat as well – can’t say a ton because we still were bad against the pass after he took over but he clearly was the 2nd best CB on the team to Brandon McGee.  Although, the who didn’t make as much as difference when it came to players because they were all playing in a scheme that even if they were doing their jobs still had a LB covering a slot WR and therefore the secondary would look bad when it was that OLB getting beat.  Or because that mismatch was there and OH-NO-frio was trying to compensate for that mismatch by having guys play a soft zone so they could easily help if needed against that slot WR.

Basically, the whole coverage scheme was already compromised because of a simple scheme decision that never changed.  Shoot, we even used the base 4-3 look against teams that had 4 WR sets out there.  Yes, a pass rush would have been helpful.   But coming into the season it was obvious we’d have to manufacture a pass rush.  That’s where the multiple looks were supposed to help, but we normally were pretty obvious as to who was rushing and who was dropping into coverage.  Also, the personnel groupings in our Nickel package along the line was usually head scratch worthy. Shayon Green generates zero pass rush using mostly a bull rush against OTs and he’s playing DT in obvious passing situations so he can try a bull rush against OGs?  He hasn’t been explosive for two surgeries now so thinking he could use his quickness on the interior doesn’t even apply.  We had him in and Luther Robinson, one of the only players on the line who ever generated a rush, on the sideline most of the time in Nickel situations.  Oh I do remember one well-disguised coverage.  It was Curtis Porter dropping into coverage to pick up Virginia’s Perry Jones (all 195 lbs of him) about 4 times in that game.  Here we finally got back our only lineman who consistently could get penetration against the run or pass and demand a double team because of it, but we don’t advantage of that. Instead, OH-NO-frio decides to have him drop and cover a scat back.  The game winning TD throw by Rocco…no Porter trying to disrupt the pocket because he was too busy dropping to cover the RB in the flat.

OH-NO!-frio IS A DAMN GENIUS!

Overall Overall the Efense sucked.

As bad as the efense was against the pass with much effort the rush efense was pretty lousy as well.  Duke still had a good 40 yards more than there average rushing even with their QB being over 100 yards over his high passing.  NC State had 664 total yards.  Their QB threw for over 400 yards AND they ran for over 200 as well. Kansas State had their 2nd string QB in and still scored 2 more TDs.  Overall they threw the ball twice in the 4th quarter and scored 21 points.  But the scoring really wasn’t surprising.  We had Deon Bush lined up 14 yards off the ball at the snap and after the snap he immediately dropped into deep center field coverage.  This was in the 4th quarter while K-State had their 3rd string QB in and they hadn’t run thrown the ball since Colin Klein was still in the game.  Their coach had clearly showed he was simply going to just run every play til the end of the game yet we still were dropping a safety into deep coverage?  Even FSU only completed two passes in the 4th quarter yet scored 17 points – yes a turnover on downs factored in but 10 points with two passes isn’t great either.  Could discuss the fact that we have our DEs lined up directly over the OTs most of the time.

Expectations are that they’ll stand them up and then shed their blocks to make the tackle.  But then we look at their size and you have to ask if that’s a realistic expectation.  Chick is 260 at the most.  Shayon Green is listed as 260 but he’s 6’2 and lacks explosion.  Neither Chick or Green lacks hustle or energy, but both just lack size and to compound things Chick had arm issues in the off season so was limited in the weight room.  Asking smaller DEs to go head up on OTs would appear to be unwise and that was pretty much correct all year.  FSU, ND and NC State went off tackle a ton with plenty of success.  UNC did, too, but remember we not only had our smallish DEs head up on OTs we also had a CB lined up where an OLB should have been so we were even more trouble than normal there.  Just think this should be pointed out.  Most teams that feature smaller, heavy on the hustle DEs play to that by having them get upfield on the snap so if nothing else they turn run plays inside to where the help should be coming from their teammates.  But as has been clear for two years OH-NO-frio is short bus special so we do things differently.  It’s beating a dead horse, but this dead horse was supposed to be improved in Year 2 especially with having returning starters and reserves who played a bit returning as well.

Stay tuned for Part 2, the conlusion of Esteban’s gripping novel breaking down the 2012 defense.

Esteban’s Break it Down: Miami vs. Duke

Wecome back to another text edition of Break It Down. This week I’ll break down The U’s match up versus the Duke Blue Devils.

Why The U Wins

Stephen Morris and the Canes offense, when in sync, can put up a lot of points and do it fast. The last two weeks they combined for over 70. That’s usually enough to put your team in a good position to win.

Why The U Needs to be Careful

Duke can throw the ball. Any team that can throw the forward pass has a good chance of putting up points against our defense. Sean Renfree isn’t a super athlete, but he does have good enough mobility to buy himself extra time in finding WRs down the field.

Key Individual Match up

I’ll go with the self-imposed bowl ban versus focus. Last year, the announcement came just before the BC game and you could tell guys were either trying to go out with a bang (and thus, trying to do too much), or they just weren’t there mentally. Changing the game from being the lead into the ACC Championship game to the last game of a season again with no bowl trip has to be deflating. Hopefully, that was out their systems by mid-week and guys can bring their A game on Saturday.

Player of the Game

I’ll go with Duke Johnson – yes, the safe bet. He’s been great this year and hopefully this has just been the tip of the iceberg. I see Johnson getting a TD run, return and catch this week.

Once again, this has been another Break It Down. Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all Canes fans.

mike james duke run

Miami vs. Duke Preview

~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, Delray ~

This week the Miami Hurricanes conclude their 2012 season and will again try eclipse last season’s 6-6 mark with a win at Duke … a tough place to play.  The Blue Devils, not particularly known for having a strong football team, are bowl eligible for the first time in a long time.  They have done it with some good veteran leadership and solid play.  Let’s take a look at the Blue Devils, who will be Miami’s opponent on Saturday with a 12:30 kick-off time on the ACC Network.

OFFENSE

Quarterback

19 Sean Renfree | 6-5, 230, SR

Sean has become one of the most prolific passers in Duke’s history. This year Sean has converted 224 of 333 passes for a 67.3% accuracy rating.  He has thrown 14 touchdowns with 8 interceptions to go with his 2,323 yards.  He is not a threat to run as he has amassed only 88 yards on 33 carries.

Running Backs

25 Jela Duncan| 5-10, 200, Fr

Jela has set himself up as the premier back for the Blue Devils as a Freshman.  He will do most of the rushing and has rushed 93 times for 466 yards for a 5 yard average with 4 touchdowns.

Wide Receivers

3  Jamison Crowder | 5-9, 175 Soph

2 Conner Vernon | 6-1, 195, SR

33 Desmond Scott | 5-9, 190, SR

Make no mistake about it, when you play Duke, they will pass the ball.  Sean Renfree’s main target will be Conner Vernon on Saturday.  They are both seniors and this will be there swan song.  Vernon has set many Duke and ACC records for receiving.   This year he has 64 catches for 846 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Jamison Crowder has chipped in nicely as well with 62 receptions for 822 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Tight End

17 Isaac Blakeney | 6-6 235  Soph.

Isaac has 25 receptions for a 9 yard average.  He has scored 1 touchdown this year.

Offensive Line

79 Kyle Hill | 6-6, 290, 2V

72 Perry Simmons | 6-5, 305, JR

55 Brandon Harper | 6-2, 315, 3V

68 Brian Moore | 6-2, 285, SR

62 Bryan Morgan | 6-3, 260, 3V

The offensive line is mostly there to protect QB Sean Renfree.  Duke does not run nearly as often as other teams.  They have allowed only 18 sacks and have allowed their RB’s to rush for 1,500 yards.

Defense

Nose Tackle

93 Charlie Hatcher | 6-3, 300, 2V

Defensive Ends

90 Patrick Egboh | 6-4, 250, 3V

99 Wesley Oglesby | 6-5, 255, 3V

Linebackers

56 Damian Thornton | 6-2, 240, 3V

8 Abraham Kromah | 6-1, 225, 3V

50 Tyree Glover | 6-1, 255, 1V

39 Adam Banks | 6-4, 230, 3V

Corner Backs

6 Ross Cockrell | 6-0, 180, JR

16 Chris Rwabukamba | 5-11, 180, 3V

Safeties

20 Lee Butler | 5-11, 185, SR

40 Matt Daniels | 6-1, 205, 2V

Duke plays a 3-4 defensive scheme.  They have allowed 2,150 (196 per game) yards rushing 2,749 (250 per game) yards passing and an average of 33.5 points per game.  They have combined for 10 interceptions this year with Ross Cockrell accounting for half of them with 5.  They have 21 sacks lead by Kenny Anunike with 5 and Dezmond Johnson with 3.  They have allowed 43 touchdowns this year with 22 through the air and 21 on the ground.  They will give up about 15 yards per completion and 4.7 per rush.

Special Teams

Kicker: Ross Martin

So far this year Ross has been extremely accurate having converted 17 of 19 field goal tries.  His longest of the season is 50 yards.  He is a perfect 38 for 38 on extra points.

Punter: Will Monday

Will is averaging 44 yards per punt but has put 18 of his 44 punts inside the 20.

Punt Returns:  Lee Butler

Lee has returned 11 punts for 187 yards.  That would equate to just over 17 yards per return.  1 of those returns for 65 yards, went for a touchdown.

Kick Returns: Lee Butler

Lee also handles the kick returns averaging just over 20 yards per return on 17 chances.

Well this is it.  The final game of the season for the 2012 Hurricanes.  Hopefully they come out with a chip on their shoulder and don’t wilt away as the team last year did after the self-imposed ban was announced.  I think this team has a bit more pride than that.  Granted it will be Duke’s final home game and final home game for a lot of the seniors.  With that said, Duke should come out hungry.  They do not have a great defense (not that we should be pointing fingers) so let’s look for a shoot out.  Hopefully the Canes will have enough bullets to keep up the pace.

Go Canez!

~Delray