You are on page 1of 32


Volume 19-1

The Hurricanes didn’t get every player they targeted. No school ever does.
But the 2010 signing class is loaded with depth at targeted positions such
as offensive line, tight end and linebacker. We take a close look at all of
the signees who make up the class and then grade the effort position-by-


29 After a sensational start to the season, the Canes basketball team has
struggled mightily in ACC play.


30 Six of the top 15 teams in the country are from the ACC. But UM
Coach Jim Morris has 17 lettermen returning to help the Canes tackle
the competition.

Gary Ferman
Jim Martz
Matthew Shodell
departments J.C. Ridley
4 MARTZ Lori Mitchel
6 UP CLOSE CANESPORT MAGAZINE is published monthly between August and May.
CANESPORT GAMEDAY is published weekly during football season and
7 THE WIRE delivered online at
7 NUMBERS 9900 Stirling Road, Suite 227
Cooper City, FL 33024.
Annual subscription rate is $54.95.
CANESPORT Subscription phone : 1-800-635-2263
Please send subscription requests to:
9900 Stirling Road, Suite 227, Cooper City, FL 33024.



Player Development Outweighs Recruiting Lists

Calm down! Take a deep breath! Relaaaaax! coaches don’t. schools in Florida and maybe a sidebar story
All of you in the universe of “The U” who are At Iowa, only one assistant coach has left Kirk about the rest of the nation. Everybody would
gnashing your teeth because the Gators are list- Ferentz’s staff in the last seven years. That was call Bill Buchalter of the Orlando Sentinel to get
ed No. 1 in most of the football recruiting rank- Ron Aiken, who went to the NFL’s Arizona his analysis of recruiting, because he was the
ings and the Seminoles are Nos. 6-10 in most Cardinals. Six coaches have been full-time assis- only person in this part of the country who fol-
and the Hurricanes are 12th-24th, do not fret. tants for either 10 or all 11 of Ferentz’s years as lowed it closely.
The rankings are not a gauge of how these head coach. The Top 100 list that came out after signing
classes are going to turn out. History tells us that. At Virginia Tech, where Frank Beamer has day in 1984 had no Hurricanes. The previous
I offer the Hawkeys, the Hokies and the been head coach the past 23 seasons, associate year UM signed only two from the Top 100,
Hurricanes as examples. head coach Billy Hite has been there 32 years, Melvin Bratton and Alonzo Highsmith. Yet the
After the Iowa Hawkeyes landed the 11th- defensive coordinator Bud Foster 23 years, two Canes went on to be in contention for the
best recruiting class in 2005, they were ranked others have been there 14 years, another has national title on the final day of the season in
40th, 28th, 53rd and 63rd, according to been eight and four others four. 1985, 1986 and 1987. Yet they just played in and won a Stability breeds success, as long as the staff By 1999 the dot coms were in their infancy
BCS bowl, whipping ACC champion Georgia doesn’t become complacent and new blood but recruiting was getting more attention.
Tech in the Orange Bowl. occasionally is brought in for fresh ideas. However, that great class Davis assembled was
The Hawkeyes have to compete in recruiting The best way to judge the success of a recruit- not even close to being No. 1.
against such schools as Ohio State, Michigan, ing class is to look back at it several years later. SuperPrep’s Allen Wallace had it No. 11,
Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Illinois. Andy Staples of did that and compiled a Athlon ranked it No. 13 and Phil Steele had it
And, as Iowa’s former president Mary Sue list of the all-time top 15 recruiting classes in col- No. 9.
Coleman said, “Of course they have trouble lege football history. UM has two teams on that Parade Magazine did have three of those
recruiting. They’re in the middle of Iowa.” list: the 1984 squad is No. 13 and the 1999 Hurricanes in its list of 56 All-Americans: Carey,
Yet they win. And win. And they do it most- squad is No. 9. Jason Geathers and Johnson.
ly with players from the Midwest and The 1984 class was recruited by Howard Need more evidence that recruiting lists don’t
Pennsylvania. Last year’s squad had no players Schnellenberger, who left for the ill-fated USFL predict the future? Consider this: The 2000 and
from California, one from Texas and three from several weeks after signing day and was replaced 2001 UM classes included some of the greatest
Florida. by Jimmy Johnson. That class included Michael talent college football has ever seen, but those
Since 2002 the Hawkeyes have finished in Irvin, Bennie Blades, Brett Perriman, Bubba classes were rated only seventh and ninth,
the top 10 four times, they’ve had four seasons McDowell, Derwin Jones, Bill Hawkins and respectively, by SuperPrep.
of 10 or more victories, they’ve won two Big Randy Shannon. And they went on to win 10 That 2000 class of Larry Coker included
Ten titles and they’ve played in eight bowls and games in 1985, 11 in 1986 and all 12 and the Willis McGahee, Jonathan Vilma, Vince Wilfork
won five. national championship in 1987. and D.J. Williams, all first-round draft picks. And
All this without making a splash in recruiting The Butch Davis class of 1999 became the the 2001 class featured Frank Gore, Kelly
rankings. backbone of the teams that finished second, first Jennings, Antrel Rolle, Sean Taylor and Kellen
The same goes for Virginia Tech, the and second in the nation the next three years. It Winslow, all first-round selections. Plus second-
Hurricanes’ biggest nemesis over the last included Vernon Carey, Bryant McKinnie, Ken rounders Rocky McIntosh and Roscoe Parrish.
decade. The good ole boring Hokies. All they do Dorsey, Andre Johnson and Maurice Sikes. In retrospect, shouldn’t those classes have
is win. And win. Here’s what is interesting: As good as those been a consensus No. 1?
The last five years their recruiting classes have classes became, they were not the top-rated Later in the Coker era, recruiting started to
been listed 24th, 24th, 15th, 18th and this year recruiting classes in the country, or even close to drop off, at least in terms of results on the field
they’re not in the top 25, according to ESPN’s it, on signing day. and the NFL draft. Yet the Hurricanes’ classes
ranking. Yet the Hokies have won 10 or 11 In 1984, as veteran observers will attest, col- continued to be rated high.
games in seven of the last eight seasons, finish- lege football recruiting definitely was way under For instance, the 2004 class was rated as high
ing in the top 10 of the final polls four times. the radar screen. There were no recruiting serv- as No. 3 - by Steele - because there were sever-
Iowa and Virginia Tech aren’t landing many ices as we know them today, and obviously there al touted players on it, including Calais
players with lots of stars next to their names on were no Internet sites. Recruits didn’t hold Campbell, Eric Moncur, Lance Leggett, Anthony
blue-chip lists. But what they are doing in recruit- nationally televised press conferences and play Reddick, Bobby Washington and the infamous
ing is filling their needs and developing those those silly hat and shirt games when they Willie Williams. But only one player from that
players. signed. class of 26 players was drafted - Campbell in the
And they’re achieving this with veteran staffs. In the Miami Herald, for instance, there would second round. Moncur, who received an extra
At these schools, footballs bounce around but be just one story encompassing the Big Three year of eligibility because of injury, could be the

Keion Payne

second. Cameron Binion (DL), Bryan Bippen (TE),

The 2005 class was rated as high as eighth, Nathaniel Brooks (DB), Ryan Clement (QB),
and several of those players just finished their eli- Scott Covington (QB), Tony Gaiter (RB), Derrick
gibility. But so far only two from that class of 18 Ham (DL), Cliff Jackson (LB), Carlo Joseph (LB),
players have been drafted: Kenny Phillips in the Michael Lawson (DE), Jason McCullough (DL),
first round in 2008 and Spencer Adkins, who Damond Neely (DE), Omar Rolle (WR), Nelson
was UM’s lone draft pick in 2009 (sixth round). Smith (DL), Nate Stimpson (LB), Jeff Taylor (LB).
Others in that class included Darryl Sharpton, Covington was the only one from this group
Matt Pipho, Randy Phillips, Richard Gordon, to be drafted, in the seventh round.
DajLeon Farr, and Antonio Dixon. Did UM spend too much time looking at blue
You’ll find further proof of the unpredictability chip lists and not evaluate the talent appropriate-
of rankings by going back to 1992, right after the ly? Did Butch Davis and his staff not develop
Hurricanes won their second national champi- them? Did all these players underachieve?
onship under Erickson. The recruiting experts Wouldn’t you rather have a team filled with
loved this class; Tom Lemming and SuperPrep hungry, coachable three-star players that have
rated it No. 2, and Max Emfinger had it 10th. been thoroughly evaluated than have a bunch of
It was headed by Danyell Ferguson, Kenny five-star prima donnas?
Holmes, Ceasar O’Neal, Carlos Jones, K.C. So a handful of highly rated recruits “got
Jones, Twan Russell, Marcus Wimberly and away” or “spurned” UM this year on signing day,
Chris Walsh, brother of Steve Walsh and the con- as the Herald called it. And so did Bryce Brown,
sensus first-team All-American quarterback. But the nation’s so-called top running back, a year
from this so-called glittering class only four play- ago. Do you miss him?
ers were drafted: Holmes in the first round, Will you miss his brother Arthur, the so-called
Russell, Jones and Wimberly in the fifth. top linebacker in the nation in 2007? Arthur,
Did UM not evaluate the talent well? Did who has barely contributed at UM, has returned
coaches not develop those players, or did they home to Kansas.
simply underachieve? Bottom line: UM has done its best the last
One more recruiting class to consider: 1994, quarter of a century when it evaluates talent and
Erickson’s last. Wallace rated it No. 5, Emfinger doesn’t rely on blue chip lists. And then develops
No. 12 and Lemming No. 13. the players. That’s what Shannon and his staff Johnathan Feliciano
Erickson called it his best class. The players: are trying to do.


Q: Sum up the 2010 recruiting class. very hard against. Now you have to say to yourself: When you’re playing a
Shannon: It’s a good time for us at the University of Miami. We feel like real good team why is he not playing really hard? Why are his rushing yards
we got one of the great classes that we feel like can help us get to that next not up? As coaches you have to evaluate it from that standpoint. And I think
step in college football. A lot of these young men on this roster we feel like we do a great job of that, of evaluating South Florida, but also in the state of
can come in and establish this program for a long period of time and not a knowing who played who. Because some teams are not very good. Maybe
short period of time. Anytime you look at a class you say `What is your a football player when they play that team that is not very good is unbeliev-
need?’ Our needs were the ones we feel like were offensive line, tight ends able. You play one of these teams that’s very good and he doesn’t even show
and linebackers. We addressed those issues in this class, and running backs up. As a coach you have to say to yourself, `Why?’ Is this what you need at
for a long time. The more we keep addressing our needs and our issues and your program or is this a guy that when things get tough he’s not going to
going after the players we feel can help fit what we do at Miami we’ll be suc- play very hard? You have to be careful when you start recruiting in things like
cessful. that.
Q: You have six early enrollees. Q: How important is it to have Stephen Morris here for the
Shannon: Since I’ve been here guys that have come in January have had spring?
an opportunity to help us. You look at Mike James, Olivier Vernon and Shannon: Very important. It’s important because now he can learn the
Curtis Porter coming in and helping us. And the year before with Sean offense. Anybody who comes in January is going to learn the offense, learn
Spence, Jacory Harris, Marcus Forston coming in and helping us - anytime the defense and you get ahead instead of coming in August and trying to
you can get in in January it helps you get caught up to the speed of the foot- learn the snap count, how to line up on defense. You get those things done
ball game. And you get adapted to school, which is a big deal. Those guys in the spring and when the fall time comes it’s just like second nature to you.
that come in January have a good shot of making it (and helping the team Q: Did you consider recruiting Jeremy Davis as an offensive
as a true freshman). player instead of as a defensive back?
Q: Was offensive line your biggest priority in this recruiting Shannon: We’re impressed with his ability. I’ve known Jeremy since he
class? was a little runt because of his brother Phillip (Buchanan, who played for
Shannon: No. Tight ends were, to be honest. We have two tight ends UM). He’s a great athlete, a great talent. A guy like him, you look at our sec-
returning. That’s what we really focused on, getting the tight end situation ondary with Jeremy Davis, Kacy Rodgers, Keion Payne and Devont’a
going. Then we say the O-line and linebackers are the next priorities because (Davis), they’ve all played both sides of the football. Keion didn’t play (offense)
of the depth issues at those two positions. We feel like the guys we have at this year at St. Thomas, but you look at his film from Dillard - he’s played
offensive line and linebackers for the long-term can help us do a lot of great both ways. You look at guys that can do a variety of things, and they know
things, even short term. You never know who can come in and do what the offense. Like Ed Reed in high school and Sean Taylor, and even Ray Ray
Orlando (Franklin) did his first year, come in and play. You never know. (Armstrong) is the same way - they played quarterback, receiver, things like
Q: What did you see in Clive Walford? He didn’t play much high that. When they went to defense it was just natural. You’re trying to find guys
school football. that do more than one position as a defensive back. He’s a phenomenal ath-
Shannon: He’s like Dedrick (Epps). Clive played receiver, let’s face it. lete, is fast now. He’ll probably be trying to compete for the state track (title).
Dedrick did the same thing in high school, played receiver. You’re trying to Q: As far as attitude and commitment, were you looking for any-
find big guys like that. A lot of times you don’t find true tight ends. Like Clive thing specific in these recruits?
played receiver, Asante (Cleveland) also flexed out at receiver. You have to go Shannon: One thing we do, we try to follow up as much as we can on
out and find those guys throughout the country - you’re projecting guys to doing background checks on kids. That’s one thing we have to do to make
be like a Dedrick Epps or a (Kellen) Winslow, guys that are big, fast, that can sure they’re part of what Miami is all about. And we have to find guys who
run. And you coach them how to block. This time and age everyone is in like to win, who like to play the football game. You can tell a lot on film.
the spread, but if you can get a big guy, 6-4, 6-5 that is 215 to 230 (pounds) Some guys no matter if it’s a good football team or bad football team they’re
then you know he’ll be a tight end for you. going to play at a high level. I went to a basketball game this season, one kid
Q: Walford didn’t play much football growing up. we were recruiting, he played the game and made one guy just quit, shut it
Shannon: Not growing up. Toward this year he started playing. We saw down, go on the bench because of his physical mentality on the basketball
him in the spring jamboree, watched him a little during the season. Those court. Eventually they won the game because the other guy went out of the
are things you actually see. Like Santana Moss, a lot of people didn’t know game. Those are the things you look at. Like Eduardo Clements, I’ve been
what Santana Moss was. I was the one that was fortunate enough, because watching him play since ninth grade at running back, but he’s also a kickoff
Carol City was my high school, they ran the wishbone. Now, if you didn’t go return and punt return guy. This year, as crazy as it sounds, he even played
to the games - they may throw the ball once or twice. But those once or some defensive line on goal line. He’s a guy that `No matter what happens
twice were thrown to Santana. And Santana his senior year caught maybe I’m going to help us win,’ and those are the kind of players you look for.
eight passes - seven were for touchdowns. If you didn’t go to the games and Q: What is it that made James Gaines stand out? And how did
evaluate you couldn’t get a perspective of how good this player actually was. you find him in upstate New York?
That’s one thing, we try to do our best in South Florida to evaluate. We eval- Shannon: Most of the time when you find guys like him you find them
uate the kids in South Florida more heavily than anybody else does. You through coaches or a friend. A lot of guys we have in this class, friends have
have to do that because you have a guy like Tavares Gooden from St. called myself or called coaches on the staff, `Here’s a player in this area you
Thomas Aquinas that played defensive end all his life. We had him project- may want to take a look at.’ He was one of the players in the last two weeks
ed to play linebacker - well, he did a great job for us here. Those things you of recruiting that we found that is physical, fast. We evaluated more than one
have to do, count on what you believe in. tape- some coaches on the staff know the New York area. So (our coaches)
Q: Is that how you look at Delmar Taylor? went and got a tape of a team that’s really good and a team that’s really bad,
Shannon: Yeah, same situation with Delmar. Delmar played five games and we compared them. We liked what we saw on film because he was a big,
at Miami Beach and we got some film. But now, if you didn’t catch those first fast guy that was making a lot of plays. He was hitting, tackling, and he was
five games you wouldn’t be able to evaluate it. And we evaluated what he did, a big-time athlete because he did some other things beside just play defense.
his hips, he had explosion coming off his hips. He’s a tough kid, smart kid. You look at the great ones that have been around here - Ray Lewis was a
You evaluate that way. When I was in the NFL you always had these things free safety and tailback in high school, Jonathan Vilma was a tight
you had to look at. You want to see a running backs yards after contact. end/linebacker, DJ (Williams) was a running back/linebacker, Dan Morgan
What we look at in South Florida, when you’re a running back in South was a free safety/tailback in high school, Jon Beason was a fullback and
Florida from Palm Beach on down, you know the teams that have the great strong safety. So those guys you always try to find because your big safeties,
athletes, the tough teams, and the teams that are not very tough. You find tailbacks that are not really great ones are going to be great linebackers.
some players that play hard against some teams; some teams they don’t play SHANNON, continued on page 28


The Wire hates meltdowns. Really, really hates meltdowns. And sign his papers. So what did he do? He finished his workout. Forty-
The Wire still can’t figure out quite why there was such a meltdown five minutes later he headed over to sign and fax his letter-of-intent.
among Cane fans on the message boards on Signing “I’m dedicated,” he said as he signed. “You tell the coaches that.”
Day. Yes, only one recruit chose UM out of seven on the board that Let’s hope that is what the rest of this signing day class is all about:
day, Asante Cleveland. But that was really the only one considered Hard work. Whatever it takes. Get it done. Certainly there should be
likely to come to Miami entering Feb. 3. The only other recruit fires lit under some of the recruits like James Gaines and Delmar
though likely by fans to be in the class, DL Ego Ferguson, had his Taylor. Taylor, who only played in five high school games, declared
father say publicly the day before that his son was completely con- on signing day that he will be the best to ever walk through the doors
fused and going back to square 1 with recruiting. ... Overall a rea- at the University of Miami. The Canes need more kids like that. And
sonable person with no stake in the process as a fan would say the Gaines, who fans weren’t happy about because UM grabbed him
Canes did quite well in this class. It’s ranked a top 15 class by ESPN from a commitment to the lowly University at Buffalo, actually land-
and is in’s top 25. The major positions of need - line- ed some other major offers after he opened up his recruitment.
backer, tight end and offensive line - were amply filled. And there These are motivated kids with a chip on their shoulder to prove
were no signing day decommitments, as was the case almost every everyone wrong. The Wire hopes they do just that. ... So what is
year under Larry Coker and as happened last year when Kayvon there to like about this class? Well, for one, the character and poten-
Webster pulled a signing day switcheroo to South Florida. All the tial. In the past UM won with pure speed. Now The Wire sees Randy
recruits stuck. All 28 of them (Cleveland was a silent commitment Shannon taking a different tack. He is recruiting fast, big players with
from the previous week). That’s not too bad. The biggest signing day high character and high drive to succeed. Kids with the physical tal-
drama in terms of UM’s commitments surrounded St. Thomas ent that can be molded into NFL ability. He’s recruiting winners.
Aquinas four-star lineman Brandon Linder. Teammates Keion Payne And, after all, that’s what this all is about. The bottom line for The
and Jermaine Barton showed up at the Aquinas High School football Wire: If Shannon doesn’t win, he won’t be here longterm. And he
office at 8 a.m. as instructed to sign their papers and fax them into wants to be here longterm. So he is recruiting the kids he sees turn-
the Cane offices. But no sign of Linder. Over an hour passed, and ing the Cane program around. Three or four years from now fans
finally the administrators decided something had to be done. They can look back and call this class a success or a failure. Certainly not
called Linder’s mother, who went out searching for him. Where did now. And certainly not on signing day. And that’s how The Wire sees
she find him? In the gym working out. She told him to head over to it.

1 Ar my All-Amer ican signee (Brandon
“I’m dedicated - you
3 Signees that played in Under Ar mour all-
star game (Tavadis Glenn, Shane
McDer mot t, Trav is Williams) tell the coaches that.”
5 Number of career games played by
signee Delmar Taylor

6 Signees that enrolled early - OL signee Brandon Linder, who was

6 Different states UM signed recr uits from
supposed to fax his papers to UM at 8
7 Interceptions by Devont’a Dav is as a
senior a.m. on signing day but sent them
16 Signees from the State of Flor ida
two-and-a-half hours later because
39 Wrestling v ictor ies by Jeffer y Brow n this
season, against only one loss
he was working out.
154 Tackles by James Gaines his senior

3,105 Career r ushing yards by Eduardo

Clements at Booker T. Washington



By MATT SHODELL He knew he was leaning toward attending Miami

There is no such thing as a typical recruiting sea- at the time, but it took him over five months to make
son. a final decision. When he did, he went with his heart.
Every year there are decommitments, surprises He committed to coach Randy Shannon Dec. 20 at
and highly rated recruits the Canes opt not to chase. the end of an official visit to UM.
But perhaps this year was even more atypical “I just told him I want to be a part of the family,”
than normal. Barton said. “He said `congratulations’ and gave me
There was Todd Chandler’s early declaration that a big handshake.”
he was committed to Miami, only to find out later Barton chose Miami over Wisconsin, the team UM
that he never had a solid Cane offer. There was the faced in the Champs Sports Bowl. He pulled in nine
commitment from WR Greg Dent, who then backed offers during his recruitment, including Purdue,
off shortly afterward when Florida State offered him Maryland and Connecticut.
a scholarship. There was the decommitment of Louis Barton allowed only two sacks his senior season,
Nix as well.
There were offers to some perceived “project”
players, and some other highly regarded recruits did-
n’t land UM offers.
In between it all the Canes put together a solid
class that is ranked No. 24 in the nation by That was just behind Virginia Tech and
Nebraska, and a spot ahead of South Carolina.
And there were no late decommitments, as has
been the case in past years.
The 28-player class includes six four-star
prospects - RB Storm Johnson, OL Malcolm
Bunche, RB Eduardo Clements, OL Tavadis Glenn,
OL Brandon Linder and LB Travis Williams.
Perhaps the biggest surprise landing in the class?
Miami Beach defensive lineman Delmar Taylor, who
played only five games in his high school career but
who has a tremendous upside.
UM tried to close strong, hosting seven uncommit-
ted visitors the weekend before signing day - OL
Seantrel Henderson, who is the nation’s top-ranked
offensive lineman, WR Ivan McCartney, DL J.R.
Ferguson, OL Shon Coleman, DL Jeffery Brown, LB
Josh Shirley and DL Jeffrey Whitaker. Only one of and Aquinas High coach George Smith says of the 6-
those wound up a Cane - Brown, who committed foot-6, 283-pounder that “He’s a very good athlete.
during the visit. The others all opted to go elsewhere He was primarily a basketball guy when he came
on signing day, frustrating UM fans who had hoped here. He never played football before - he played a
for a big finish. little sparingly on JV as a freshman, and then he
Only time will tell if this class pans out and helps started liking the game and became more interested
the Canes to a championship. Here’s a closer look at and worked harder at it and as a senior became what
the players that hope to make that happen: he is. We told him as a freshman, `Hey, you need to
do both sports,’ and he’s still doing basketball also.
OL JERM AINE BARTON He has a lot of upside.”
Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas High Barton says his position coach at UM, Jeff
School OL Jermaine Barton received a Cane schol- Stoutland, foresees him playing tackle.
arship offer early last August. “He showed me what they do during practice,
talked about the depth chart and everything,” that I can come in and compete for immediate
Barton said. playing time and see what I can do.”
He and offensive line teammate Brandon Brown played left guard and defensive tack-
Linder, who also signed, are excited to be le last season, and he was named the Central
playing together. Suburban League Lineman of the Year. He
“We wanted to go to college together for a finished with 42 tackles, nine for losses, with
long time,” Barton said. “I was going to com- five sacks, four fumble recoveries, one forced
mit even if he didn’t, but he did also.” fumble and two blocked punts. His team fin-
Barton’s goals at UM? ished with a 4-5 record.
“I just want to come in and compete for Brown also is an outstanding wrestler - the
playing time,” he said. “I want to do the best 6-foot-3, 275-pounder has a 39-1 record.
I can.” Evanston High coach Mike Burzawa says of
Of the program’s future, he said, “I feel Brown that “He’s a great person, an outstand-
we’re going to be great. I think we’re going to ing young man, a great role model to all our
do some great things. They’re real young.” students here. He leads by example. He was
Barton is a three-star rated recruit by overlooked by a lot of schools in the Big Ten., and Smith says he has a huge We sent out a lot of tape and some coaches
upside. just didn’t follow through.”
“As the year went on he got a lot more For his part, Brown is happy to be a Cane.
interest going on from colleges,” Smith said. “I never thought I’d have a chance to play
“You look at his frame, he has so much there there,” he said. “For them to leave and come
to work with it’s unbelievable. Just a year at all the way to Illinois to offer me a scholarship,
the Miami program and you’ll have a rebuilt that’s exciting.”
guy. And he could play guard or tackle.” Of his goals at UM, Brown said, “I want to
ESPN’s evaluation of Barton reads that play, come in and break the starting rotation.
“Barton is a physically impressive offensive That’s really my goal right now.”
lineman on the hoof. He plays in a great pro- have to put in extra time, extra work in the
gram with tough competition. This tall and OL M ALCOLM BUNCHE weight room, in the playbook.”
well built lineman has athletic ability and can Offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche com- A hurdle he has to clear is dropping some
move, but needs to play with added intensity.” mitted to Miami a week before signing day a weight. He currently weighs 328 pounds, and
year ago out of Newark (Del.) High School. he hopes to lose 10 more pounds before the
DT JEFFERY BROW N But he never made it onto campus. season.
Evanston (IL) High School DT Jeffery The NCAA Clearinghouse held up his Of what he improved most while at Milford,
Brown didn’t land a Hurricane scholarship admission because his core GPA, when com- Bunche said, “Flexibility with my hips and
offer until January. That was shortly after he bined with his ACT score, fell short of qualify- knee bend. It’s really helped me, especially
sent in his highlight tape to coaches. ing. with my run game. I’m an all-around offensive
Once he got the Miami offer, Brown had a After attending New Berlin (NY) Milford lineman now. That’s really helped.”
good idea where he was going - his only other Academy for a semester, Bunche earned his Bunche, whose father Curtis played defen-
offers were from Illinois State and Eastern eligibility. He arrived on campus last month sive end for the Philadelphia Eagles for a year
Michigan. and will compete in spring drills. in the 1980s, says he’s looking forward to the
He committed to Hurricane coaches at the Of not being able to attend UM right out of challenge of playing at the next level.
end of an official visit Jan. 31. high school, Bunche said, “It was difficult “I know it’s going to be a big transition
“I was really surprised at the offer from the when I first got the news. I was obviously dis- because I have to learn some of the plays -
Hurricanes,” Brown said. “I knew they were appointed. But talking with family, they told that’s a heavy burden,” he said.
interested, but I just wasn’t expecting an offer. me it’s only a small bump in the road and plus Of what he expects for the 2010 Canes,
The coaches at Miami feel that I have the you get another year of experience before you Bunche said, “I think we’re going to make
potential to become a really good player for get to a DI playing level. some hype, especially with the people we’re
them and they feel that I’m the sleeper of the “Sometimes I think I wish I went to Miami bringing in for the 2010 class. I have high
year. They really like my upside and to just get right off, but I also think another year of expe- expectations.”
an offer from the U is about as cool as it gets. rience helps. It boosts my confidence level. Of the importance of being at Miami for
I’m really excited - they are a great program Now once I get to Miami I’ll be ready to play spring practice, Bunche said, “Well, I want to
with a ton of tradition.” with those guys.” play as a freshman, and coach wants me to
Brown adds that “Miami came on the scene Bunche expects to start out his Hurricane play. I want to get into the rotation as early as
kind of late because they got my tapes late. career at right tackle. He hopes to compete possible. So by enrolling in January I get
(Coach John) Lovett, he said the best guy for a starting job as a true freshman. some spring ball in so I can improve on my
plays whether you’re a junior, sophomore or “Coach (Jeff) Stoutland said I’ll pretty much game and things like that.”
freshman, so that was pleasing to hear. A lot get playing time at right tackle, that’s where He played left tackle for Milford this past
of places don’t play freshmen, just redshirt he sees me as a freshman,” Bunche said. “He season and didn’t allow any sacks.
them.” said he sees me putting in some time at right “He’s a great pass blocker,” Milford
Brown says that coach Randy Shannon told tackle and contributing early. Academy coach Bill Chaplick said. “His body,
him that “I’m one of the guys they really want, “I’m really excited about it. Now I know I he’s got an NFL body. He’s 6-7 and he can


Signees At A Glance
Jermaine Barton High School, played mostly offense and had 30 catches for and the No.167 player in Sports Illustrated Takkle Top 200
Rated as a three-star recruit by ... Named sec- 500 yards and 12 touchdowns ... As a sophomore played ... No. 3 prospect on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida Top 100
ond team All-Broward by the Miami Herald and the Florida defensive back and had 50 tackles, 11 passes broken up and State List.
Sun Sentinel ... Allowed only two sacks his senior season ... an interception.
Very good athlete who also is a gifted basketball player ... Shane McDermott
Helped St. Thomas Aquinas to a 28-1 record the last two Jonathan Feliciano Palm Beach County First team All-Conference as a cen-
seasons and a Class 5A state title in 2008 and No. 1 nation- Rated a three-star prospect by ... No. 56 ter ... First team All-Area by Palm Beach Post ... First Team
al ranking in 2009. prospect on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida Top 100 State List ... All-Broward by the Sun Sentinel ... Three-star athlete who is
First Team All-Broward by the Sun Sentinel. the No. 20th rated center by ... Under Armour
Jeffrey Brown All-American Game ... No. 44-ranked player in the
Rated a two-star recruit by, a three-star recruit Chase Ford Sentinel’s Florida Top 100 ... Recorded 50 pancake blocks
by ... As senior, totaled 42 solo tackles, five Second team junior college All-American ... Named first and earned a 93 percent grade for the season ... No. 44
sacks, nine tackles for loss, a forced fumble, four fumble team Southwest Junior College Football Conference’s MVP prospect on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida Top 100 State List.
recoveries, two blocked kicks ... Also wrestled in high school after leading the conference with 32 receptions and 545
and compiled a 39-1 record as a senior ... Also lettered in receiving yards ... Named first All-SWJCFC ... As a high Stephen Morris
track and was a state qualifier in the shot put. school senior at Corrigan-Camden High, earned All-District Enrolled in January 2010 ... Three-star athlete who is
honors as a senior. the No. 26th dual threat QB by ... Also rated a
Malcolm Bunche three-star recruit by ... Completed 96 of his 179
Enrolled at Miami in January 2010 ... Rated as a four- James Gaines pass attempts for 1,531 yards, 22 touchdowns and only six
star recruit by and the No. 8 prep school NYSSA Second Team All State, Class A ... Played line- interceptions and also ran for 125 yards and a touchdown
prospect in the nation regardless of position ... Ranked the backer, safety, tight end, tailback and receiver at Canisius this as a senior ... Finished his junior year completing 64 percent
No. 39 best offensive tackle by and No. 86 best past season ... Finished with 61 rushing yards and a touch- of his passes with 2,005 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and
offensive tackle by out of high school ... down, 15 catches for 270 yards and two scores along with nine interceptions ... In his career, had 98 carries for 162
Originally signed a national letter of intent with Miami in the 154 tackles (108 solo), three sacks, an interception and fum- yards and four touchdowns and completed 240-of-404 pass-
spring of 2009. ble recovery. es for 3,536 yards ... Named second team All-Miami-Dade
by the Miami Herald as a junior.
Kelvin Cain Tavadis Glenn
Rated the 10th best outside linebacker in the state of Under Armour All-American ... A four-star prospect who Kevin Nelson
California ... As a senior, recorded 80 tackles and nine sacks is rated the No. 22 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Three-star recruit ... Nelson finished his senior season
while also returning eight kickoffs for 150 yards ... Played at ... No. 105 Mobile Register Super Southeast 120 with 150 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles,
Portland (OR) Grant High School, where he finished with 61 ... No.62 player in Sports Illustrated Takkle Top 200 ... fin- two fumble recoveries and six sacks. He scored three touch-
tackles and seven sacks as a junior. ished with 50 tackles, 17 for losses, along with six sacks, two downs, two on interceptions returns and one on a fumble
forced fumbles and a blocked field goal as a junior at Terry recovery. As a junior Nelson had 125 tackles, 10 for losses,
Eduardo Clements Parker HS ... Played senior season at Raines HS and had 50 and 3.5 sacks along with a blocked punt. Named first team
Rushed for 3,105 yards and 50 touchdowns in four sea- tackles, 10 for losses, and three sacks on defense. all-area by the Gainesville Sun
sons at Booker T. Washington ... Rated the No. 79 player in
the Sporting News 100 ... Rated the No. 43 prospect in the Maurice Hagens Keion Payne
Mobile Register Super Southeast 120 ... As a junior rushed Three-star recruit and No. 8 fullback by ... Named All-Broward third team by the Miami Herald and
for 892 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns and caught 34 No. 47 prospect on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida Top 100 All-Broward honorable mention by the Sun Sentinel ...
passes for 296 receiving yards and three total touchdowns ... State List ... Helped Tampa Bay Tech to a final record of 9- Rated No. 29 cornerback prospect by ... No.72
In limited action as a senior, rushed 694 yards and nine 2 with 1,300 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns while aver- prospect on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida Top 100 State List ...
touchdowns ... As a sophomore on the state champion aging six yards per carry ... As a junior, finished with 1,019 As a senior had three interceptions, one returned for a touch-
team, ran for 961 yards and 19 touchdowns ... Rated the rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. ... Ran for 1,300 rushing down and was part of an Aquinas secondary that allowed
No.62 player in the Sports Illustrated Takkle Top 200 ... yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore. opponents an average of only 100.7 passing yards per game
Rated the No. 11 running back by, a four-star ... Recorded 33 tackles, 14 passes broken up and four inter-
recruit and the No. 156 player nationally ... Named first Darion Hall ceptions as a junior at Dillard High School.
team All-Dade by the Miami Herald as a senior and second Three-star recruit and No. 49 running back by
team All-Dade as a junior and sophomore ... No.76 prospect ... No. 34 prospect on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida David Perr y
on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida Top 100 State List. Top 100 State List ... Finished his senior season with 965 Ranked No. 115 in the ESPN Top 150 ... No. 94
yards and six touchdowns, averaging 107 yards per game prospect on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida Top 100 State List ...
Asante Cleveland and 7.6 yards per carry ... Had 1,791 yards with 21 touch- Named first team All-Broward by the Sun Sentinel and
As a junior earned all-league honors after leading his downs, averaging 179 yards per game and 10.6 yards per Miami Herald Played defensive end and tight end in high
team with 21 receptions for 262 yards and four touchdowns carry as junior. school and recorded 12 sacks as a senior.
... As a senior had 24 receptions for 412 yards and seven
touchdowns. Allen Hurns Kacy Rodgers
Enrolled in January 2010 ... Three-star recruit by Rated the No. 37 cornerback prospect in the nation by
Tyrone Cornelius ... Ranked as one of top 100 receivers by ... Registered 29 tackles, 10 pass breakups and
Enrolled in January 2010 ... Ranked the No. 39 outside ... Finished his junior year with 23 receptions for three interceptions as a junior.
linebacker prospect in the nation by ... Finished 450 yards and seven touchdowns ... As a senior had six
his senior season with 108 tackles, an interception, two catches for 110 yards before suffering a season-ending Andrew Tallman
forced fumbles, two blocked punts and eight tackles for loss injury. Three-star recruit who is the No. 5 prospect at his posi-
and helped lead Stephenson to an 11-1 record and the sec- tion in the state by
ond round of the playoffs ... As a junior tallied 118 tackles, Storm Johnson
three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two Under-Armour All-American ... Ranked No. 22 recruit in Delmar Taylor
forced fumbles (one returned for a score), four sacks, 11 tack- the country by ... Named a 2009 second team Three-star prospect by ... Talented athlete,
les for losses, a blocked punt and three safeties ... Named a EA Sports All-American ... Rushed for a school record who played in just five games last season mostly on offense
first-team all-state selection by the Atlanta Journal 1,937 yards and 31 touchdowns, caught 11 passes for 150 and saw limited time on defense.
Constitution and Associated Press ... No. 28 player on the yards and returned two kickoff s for touchdowns as a senior
AJC Top 50 List. ... Rated the No. 7 running back in the country, No. 8 play- Travis Williams
er in the state of Georgia and No. 106 player nationally by Under Armour All-American ... Four-star prospect by
Devont’a Davis ... Rushed for 1,300 yards and 21 TDs as a jun- and ranked the No. 15 outside linebacker and
Rated a three-star prospect by ... Named first ior at Buford (Ga.) HS in 2008 Named the 2009 Atlanta No. 204 nationally regardless of position ... Finished his jun-
team all-area by the Gainesville Sun ... Finished his senior Journal Constitution AAAA Player of the Year ... Earned ior year with 68 tackles, 15 sacks and seven forced fumbles
year with 75 tackles, seven interceptions, four fumble recov- first team all-state by the AJC and Associated Press ... No. 6 ... On offense, had 32 receptions for over 600 yards ... As a
eries and 12 passes broken up which included a season-best player on the AJC Top 50 list ... Rated No. 34 prospect in senior had 71 tackles, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles and
12 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles against the Mobile Register Super Southeast 120 and the No.137 11 passes broken up Recorded a school record 69 career
Buchholz ... As a junior had 50 tackles - seven for losses - prospect in Sports Illustrated Takkle Top 200. sacks.
with one interception and 15 passes broken up.
Brandon Linder Clive Walford
Jeremy Davis U.S. Army All-American ... Ranked No. 145 in the Three-star recruit by ... Had over 400 receiv-
Three-star recruit and No. 77 wide receiver by ESPN Top 150 ... Named first team All-Broward by Sun ing yards and six touchdown catches as a senior ... Earned ... No. 92 prospect on the Bill Buchalter’s Florida Sentinel and the Miami Herald ... Helped St. Thomas All-Palm Beach County honors.
Top 100 State List ... Tallied 71 tackles, four interceptions Aquinas to a 28-1 record the last two seasons and a Class
(one returned for a touchdown), 15 pass break-ups and three 5A state title in 2008 and No. 1 national ranking in 2009
blocked punts as a senior ... On offense carried 72 times for while the offense averaged 321yards per game ... Rated the
1,047 yards and 15 touchdowns ... As a junior at Ft. Myers No. 47 prospect in the Mobile Register Super Southeast 120


run. He’s got flexibility, has everything. He’s that he’d offered me. She was real excited.”
a freak as far as a God-given athlete. He Cain adds, “Miami, I just always wanted to
works hard, and he’ll pass the look test for go there. It seemed like it fitted me. I got
anybody.” along with the coaches, coach Barrow.”
Bunche says of his goals that “I want to be Cain can thank a family connection for the
a freshman All-American once I get there. offer.
Hopefully I’ll become a great offensive line- Coach Randy Shannon is friendly with
man like Bryant McKinnie coming out of someone who knows Cain and his family.
Miami.” And, after getting word that the kid can play,
Bunche was rated a three-star prospect by Cane coaches came to check out the team’s a year ago and was the No. 39 namesake.
offensive tackle prospect in the nation. This “Of course I was surprised when they start-
year he was rated as a four-star recruit by ed recruiting me,” Cain said. “Before a game and is the No. 8 prep school of ours (in the middle of the season) my coach
prospect in the nation regardless of position. came to me and asked if I was interested in
Miami and of course I said yes. And after that
it took off because Miami had contacted him.
“Miami found out about me because coach
Shannon, one of his good friends lives down
here and told him about me.”
Cain played mostly defensive end this past
season but previously played primarily line-
“They want me at linebacker,” Cain said. team,” he said. “We’re going to take over
Cain listed other offers from Fresno State, UM.”
San Jose, Nevada and Portland State. If that happens, Clements will likely be a
His goals at Miami? big part of it.
“To get faster, stronger,” Cain said. “If play- He showed off his four-star ability level dur-
ing time is there I’ll love it. I want to grow as ing a career in which he rushed for over 2,000
a person.” yards and 45 touchdowns.
As a senior Cain had 80 tackles and nine “He’s a special kid,” Booker T. Washington
sacks. He also returned eight kickoffs for 150 High offensive coordinator Andre Brown said.
yards. “Within our offense he featured his receiving
“Some might even play him at tight end - abilities, route running, running the ball.”
he played for us there on the goal line,” As a junior Clements had 892 rushing
Buchanan High coach Mike Vogt said. “Some yards, 346 receiving yards and 18 total touch-
here in California look at him as a tight end downs.
that can stretch you vertically. I know he can His numbers were hurt as a senior because
play defense at the next level. He’s a very of a torn meniscus injury that cost him five
LB K ELVIN CAIN good athlete. He’s the best pass rusher I’ve games. Despite that he showed his extraordi-
It was last July that Clovis (CA) Buchanan ever coached in my 27 years because he’s so nary skill not just as a running back (he had
High School LB Kelvin Cain posted on his quick off the edge. He’s rangy.” 495 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns) but
MySpace page that he was “Miami Bound.” As a junior Cain played at Portland (OR) also as a receiver out of the backfield - he had
Of course, back then he didn’t have a UM Grant High School, where he finished with 61 34 receptions for 310 yards.
offer and was barely being recruited by the tackles and seven sacks. “They were all screens and slants,”
Canes. “He has a ton of talent,” Grant High coach Clements said. “At camps I always worked out
But his prediction came true. Diallo Lewis said. “He was a really tremen- with the receivers, worked out at corner. At
On Jan. 8 he landed a scholarship offer dous team leader, team captain. He always the UM camp two years ago I played corner
from Miami coach Micheal Barrow during a leads by example, has a great work ethic. He’s and also worked out with the running backs.
visit at his school. And he took it on the spot. very coachable, is willing to learn and get bet- “I’d work out at corner to work on my foot-
“Coach Barrow came, just said that if I ter. He has a ton of athletic ability. What work. I never knew if coaches might change
wanted, that I’m part of the family,” Cain stands out for me is his willingness to learn my position, so I always work out at a position
said. “I said `I want to commit, commit to you and get coached.” I think I might end up at. I’m a running back,
guys.’ He said he was excited. Cain is rated a two-star prospect by have been that since Optimist, I know that
“Man, my heart dropped once he said he position like the back of my hand. (Working at
offered me. I couldn’t believe it.” other positions) helps me to learn new things,
Cain called his mother from school as soon RB EDUARDO CLEMENTS do new things on the field so I can be versa-
as he got the offer. Miami Booker T. Washington High School tile so I don’t have to worry about just one
“I let coach Barrow tell her,” Cain said. “I RB Eduardo Clements is excited about what position.”
told her I had good news for her and coach he sees in the Class of 2010. Clements adds that “(Running backs coach
Barrow wanted to speak to her. He just said “The Class of 2010, we’re the takeover Tommie Robinson) was telling me a lot of


things about how he’s going to use me in the more, that’s when I’d like to make my mark.”
backfield and also at receiver, how they’ll split He says that Barrow has compared him to
me out against a linebacker.” a young Bubba Franks, the former Cane tight
During the recruiting process Clements end who became an All-Pro in the NFL.
landed over 20 scholarship offers, including “If you’re practicing against players of
the likes of Michigan, Tennessee, Florida Miami’s caliber every day you can’t help but
State, USF, UCF, Georgia, West Virginia and get better,” Cleveland said.
Rutgers. He committed to Miami at the start Asked if he has a message for Cane fans,
of his football season but kept it quiet until Cleveland said “You guys have another tight
announcing his choice Nov. 3. end, and hopefully a great one.”
Clements says he sees similarities between Cleveland’s father, Allen, was a big part of
his style of play and abilities and Graig his recruitment, helping him reach an educat-
Cooper, whose status for next season is up in ed decision. And Asante has good bloodlines
the air following knee surgery. - Allen played basketball for Arizona State and
“He’s a quick running back and straight football for Pacific. He was drafted by the
ahead 40 time I think I’m faster [Clements Dallas Cowboys. While at Pacific in 1974 he
runs a 4.35 in the 40],” Clements said. “As far was part of a team that lost to the Hurricanes,
as skills, catching the ball out of the backfield, 35-6.
I compare myself to him. I can’t say I think I “I’ve taught Asante to look at (his college
can do what Graig does. I just want to come choice) as 40 years - where you go will affect
in and do what I have to do. Graig is an excel- you for the rest of your life,” Allen said. “The
lent player; trying to fill his shoes my fresh- things we found out concerning Miami have
man year is a big deal. Whoever plays will been absolutely outstanding. I was more
have to fight for it. an offer.” impressed than I thought.”
“I like competition, so that’s all I’m worried Cleveland says he doesn’t know the Fresno And Asante is impressive in his own right.
about.” connection’s real name - only that he goes by As a junior he earned all-league honors
Clements also said coach Randy Shannon “Cisco.” after leading his team with 21 receptions for
was a reason he chose the Canes. And, if not for Cisco, Asante says he would 262 yards and four touchdowns. He also
“He’s a very good guy, very great,” not be a Cane. played spot duty at defensive end, finishing
Clements said. “He’s down to earth and he’s “I’m probably not a Hurricane if not for with two sacks and one deflected pass.
going to keep it straightforward. He’ll tell you him, so I’m thankful,” Cleveland said. This past season the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder
how it is. He has his own rules that are good Cleveland took an official visit to Miami the with 4.7-second speed had 24 receptions for
for his team, and that’s something I like.” weekend of Jan. 23 with his family and was 461 yards and seven scores. His best game
Clements is rated the No. 11 running back blown away by what he saw. He committed was against Lathrop High when he had three
prospect in the nation by He is the following week during a visit to his school catches for 103 yards, and he had a 65-yard
the No. 156 ranked prospect in the country by Shannon and coach Micheal Barrow, but touchdown catch against Folsom Vista del
regardless of position. kept his choice quiet until signing day. Lago High School.
* Clements’ Godbrother and first cousin is “There were no second thoughts (after the “One of the best things about Asante is his
UM receiver Thearon Collier. commitment),” Cleveland said. “I called work ethic,” Christian Brothers High assistant
“We talk to each other every couple of coaches at Washington State, let them know athletic director and assistant football coach
days,” Clements said. “Me, Brandon (Harris) my decision. Of course they were unhappy, John Wiley said. “His presence on the football
and DJ [Davon Johnson], all of us talk.” but it’s my decision and I’m going to live with field is tremendous; he has a pro type body.
Clements is a former teammate of Harris it.” He’s a great route runner, is the total pack-
and Johnson. Of what made him decide to be a age.”
Hurricane, Cleveland said it was a combina- Among Cleveland’s other scholarship offers
TE ASANTE-JABARI CLEVELAND tion of athletics, academics and his time on were Cal, San Diego State and UCLA.
Sacramento (CA) Christian Brothers High Miami’s campus during his official visit. Cleveland plans to major in business man-
School TE Asante-Jabari Cleveland thought “I wasn’t focusing too much on the football agement at Miami.
he was done with the recruiting process last team even though it’s a great program; the
Sept. 6 when he committed to Washington academics were outstanding,” Cleveland said. LB TYRONE CORNELIUS
State. “The visit to Miami really helped me from a Stone Mountain (GA) Stephenson High
But then the Hurricanes came calling in perspective standpoint. I liked all the players. School LB Tyrone Cornelius committed to
mid-December. I got to meet coach Shannon, he’s real down Cane coaches Aug. 17 and stuck by his word.
“Coach (Randy) Shannon has a friend from to earth. And just the atmosphere, I liked to be “It’s a very good vibe down there city-
Fresno (Calif.) who is a friend with one of my around that. wise,” he said of why he chose UM. “I like the
dad’s friends,” Cleveland said. “He heard “The depth chart (which lacks tight ends) beach. The atmosphere is very nice, the cam-
Miami was looking for a tight end, so my dad’s also made a big difference. They’re a great pus is very nice, and it’s a great education.”
friend put my dad in connection with coach team. Along with academics I can succeed in He adds that “The coaching staff is incred-
Shannon. the classroom and on the field. It’s win-win.” ible - I love them. I connected very well with
“My dad gave coach Shannon my high- Cleveland says his goals are “as a freshman the coaches, coach (Wesley) McGriff, (Micheal)
lights link on YouTube, and the next day I had to at least get into the rotation. As a sopho- Barrow, coach (John) Lovett and also coach


size,” Stephenson High coach Ron Gartrell safety and he’d take away the entire middle of
said. “The big thing is that he knows the game the field by himself.”
of football. There’s no doubt that Miami’s get- Davis listed more than 10 scholarship
ting a really good football player. I think he’ll offers, including Tennessee, Arkansas, South
do really well down there. Carolina, UCF and Iowa State. Had Florida
“He’s got a nose for the ball. When the offered, he said he would have had a difficult
opportunity comes along he’s just like any decision to make.
other good football player - he can make the But the Gators never offered.
tough hits. He’s blocked punts for us, even Davis says he grew rooting for the Canes
run the ball for us. He’s a really good athlete and Gators in a household that was big on UF.
that we could have even played at several His team’s name when he was younger:
other positions. He’s a real good one, and The Baby Gators.
he’s the first one we’ve got down there at “But I would say I’d be going to Miami
Miami.” when I was a kid every day, every time I was
Cornelius’ goals at UM? playing street ball I thought about playing for
“My goals are to start as a freshman, get a Miami,” Davis said.
lot of exposure and experience my freshman He says he is being recruited to play corner-
year,” he said. “I want to major in either back and safety.
mechanical engineering or forensic sciences. His goals?
And just have a stellar year my first year “As a freshman I just want to come in and
there.” have an impact on defense,” he said. “I want
Cornelius is ranked the No. 39 outside line- to come in, try to get a starting position at
(Randy) Shannon. I’ve got a very good bond backer prospect in the nation by corner or nickel back, however they want to
with them.” use me I’ll be ready. I can play corner, safety
Cornelius graduated early and will partici- DB DEVONT’A DAVIS or nickel. I’ll be ready.”
pate in spring practice. Gainesville (FL) High School DB Devont’a
“(Miami coaches) believe I can make a big Davis made a friendly wager with Godbrother DB JEREM Y DAVIS
impact on the team, basically just get off to a and teammate Kevin Nelson last August. Cape Coral High School CB Jeremy Davis
good start, put whatever amount of weight I If Gainesville defeated Trinity Catholic in got a Miami scholarship offer May 12.
need to put on and be able to be prepared for the season opener Sept. 3, then Davis would And it didn’t take him long to accept the
the upcoming season,” he said. join Nelson as a Cane commitment. offer and become a Cane.
Cornelius grew up in South Florida before And Gainesville did win that game. But Davis found out he was getting the offer
moving out of state. Davis took a bit longer before making it offi- through his coach, and he called UM defen-
(The Hurricanes) play great football,” he cial. sive backs coach Wesley McGriff at 6 p.m.
said. “I feel they’re coming back on the rise He committed Oct. 6 that day.
this next year. I love their tradition, and the “I want to come in and make an impact on “Coach, I want to commit,” Davis told
chances of getting to the NFL are very high if defense, get a chance to play and win some McGriff.
you go to Miami.” championships,” he said. McGriff’s reaction?
Cornelius landed over 20 offers during the Of what drew him to Miami, Davis said, “I “He was like, `Are you serious?’” Davis
recruiting process, including Georgia Tech, like the coaches, coach (Micheal) Barrow. said. “I was like `Yeah!’ He said, `You’re a
Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, When they first offered me I talked to every Hurricane!’”
Alabama, Michigan and Mississippi. Some coach on the coaching staff. The coaches get Davis says he chose Miami because “That’s
schools recruited Cornelius as a safety, but really involved with the players they’re recruit- my dream school. That was my No. 1 choice.”
UM plans to use him at linebacker. ing.” Davis’ brother also had a lot to do with his
“They said they love me and think I really, Davis finished his senior year with 75 tack- decision - Davis grew up with former Cane
really fit into their defense,” Cornelius said. les, seven interceptions, four fumble recover- Phillip Buchanan, his half brother.
“Miami coaches said they like my speed, how ies and 12 passes broken up. His best game “Phillip told me that when I get there it’s all
quick I get to the ball. They said I remind them was against rival Buchholz when he had 12 work and get ready for it,” Davis said. “I went
of Sean Spence.” tackles, two interceptions and two forced fum- to a lot of games when he was there. I get
Cornelius finished his junior season with bles. compared to him speed-wise and cover-wise,
118 tackles, three interceptions (one returned As a junior Davis had 50 tackles, seven for except I’m a bigger version of him.”
for a touchdown), two forced fumbles (one losses, with one interception and 15 passes Davis is exceptionally fast - he ran a 4.37-
returned for a score), four sacks, 11 tackles for broken up. second time in the 40 at the Under Armour
losses, a blocked punt and three safeties. He’s rated a three-star prospect by combine.
This past season he had over 90 tackles “People say I can be another Deion
with one sack, two tackles for losses, an inter- “He’s got long arms, is really strong, really (Sanders),” Davis said. “People that watch me
ception, forced fumble and two fumble recov- physical,” Gainesville High coach Ryan Smith say I can really play corner.”
eries. His team finished 11-1 and lost on a said. “He plays with great passion. He’s a Davis has set high goals for himself his first
late field goal in the second round of the play- worker in this game. He’s good at safety and year of college.
offs. corner. We played him mostly at corner - we “I want to be a freshman All-American,” he
“He’s very athletic, has tremendous speed, do a lot of press. But we’d also put him at said. “If I just put in the work I can do that.”

shifty runner. But he has great straight out pounds.
speed, and once he gets to a corner or hits an And, at 6-foot-5, he plans to drop another
alley of any kind he’s gone.” 10 pounds before he arrives at Miami.
Davis says he plans to run track at Miami, “Right now I’m in basketball, so I’ve been
competing in the 100 and 200. He is rated running a lot and losing some weight,”
the No. 77 receiver prospect in the nation by Feliciano said. “I want to weigh around 290 when I get to Miami - I just feel better when
I’m leaner.”
OL JOHNATHAN FELICIANO Of what he sees for UM’s future, Feliciano
Persistence certainly paid off for Davie (FL) said, “I see a couple of national champi-
Western High School OL Johnathan onships. I have faith. We could have done it
Feliciano. this year, I think, but I know definitely we’ll
Feliciano hadn’t gotten any Hurricane get there in the next couple of years.”
interest before UM’s Spring Game last year. Feliciano is rated the No. 55 offensive tack-
So he showed up with his highlight DVD to le prospect in the nation by
the game. Afterward he waited by the team
bus, found coach Tommie Robinson and TE CHASE FORD
handed him the DVD. Kilgore (TX) Junior College TE Chase Ford
Cane coaches evaluated the highlight tape got his first college scholarship offer Nov. 23.
and decided to offer Feliciano a scholarship. It was from the Hurricanes.
Feliciano found out he had the offer after call- Miami coaches had just begun recruiting
ing coaches April 7, and he took it on the him a week earlier.
spot. “Man, at first I didn’t really believe it,” Ford
He says he might play both ways at Miami,
“If not for him getting that DVD tape to said of receiving the offer. “When it finally hit
as a defensive back and either running back or
coaches he’s not a Hurricane right now,” I was speechless. It was while I was talking to
Davie (FL) Western High School coach coach (Wesley) McGriff. He was talking about
“They don’t know yet on that, but I’m def-
Rashad West said. “That’s what got the ball how they got my film, that everybody watched
initely going to be on defense at cornerback
rolling. He went around back and waited for my film and they liked me, that I had an offer.
and special teams as a returner,” Davis said.
coach Robinson. He wanted to be a Cane.” I thought it was a joke or something, but I
“Coaches said when I come in they’ll see what
Feliciano listed only two other offers before knew it wasn’t a joke.”
I can do. They said if they need me to play
UM got on board: Akron and Indiana.
both ways they’ll have me play both. That’s
And Feliciano says he grew up dreaming of
what I’d like to do.”
being a Cane.
Davis had two touchdown returns this past
“Right when they offered I said I’d com-
season, and on defense he had 71 tackles,
mit,” Feliciano said. “Miami was my top
four interceptions (one returned for a touch-
school all along, my dream school.”
down) and 15 passes broken up. He also
The feedback he’s gotten from UM coach-
blocked three punts.
On offense he had 72 carries for 1,047
“Coach (Randy) Shannon, he liked me a
yards and 15 touchdowns along with three
lot, said he liked my highlight tape, how I fin-
catches for 107 yards.
ish,” Feliciano said.
As a junior at Ft. Myers High School he
Feliciano is rated a three-star prospect by
played mostly offense and had 30 catches for, and after UM came on board with
500 yards and 12 touchdowns. His sopho-
an offer over 15 other schools followed suit.
more year he played mostly defensive back
His final offer list included Florida State,
and had 50 tackles, 11 passes broken up and
Missouri, Wake Forest, USF and UCF.
an interception.
“He’s very athletic, very aggressive, is very
“His speed is probably the No. 1 asset he
flexible for a big guy and he can move very
has right now,” Cape Coral High coach
well,” West said. “I haven’t had a kid as a
Michael Goebbel said. “His skill level, he has
coach this good. There’s no doubt he can
a lot of things to learn and work on. When he
make an impact at Miami - he can play there.”
first started with us this year I wasn’t quite
Feliciano has played tackle almost exclu-
sure if he could be a corner for us - maybe a
sively throughout his high school career but
safety - because he could play in a zone and
says his understanding is the Canes will use
run down people. But our coaches did a good
him at guard. Ford wound up committing to Miami Dec.
job with him and his skill level was upgraded.
“I don’t think it’ll be that big of an adjust- 8 during an in-home visit from coach Randy
He had a couple of plays where he came from
ment,” he said. “Coach (Jeff Stoutland) said I Shannon.
one side of the field to the other to make a
have an opportunity to play as a freshman, “He was talking about the academics with
play. It was just unbelievable.”
but we’ll see when I get there.” my parents, and talked with me about aca-
Goebbel says of Davis’ ability as a return
Feliciano says he has dropped 15 pounds demics and football, how he played for them,
man that “He’s a straight line guy, isn’t a
from his senior season playing weight of 318 played in the NFL,” the three-star


prospect said. “He said my story, how I went LB JAMES GAINES Gaines played linebacker, safety, tight end,
to junior college, is like what Jeremy Shockey The Canes can thank Turner Gill for the tailback and receiver at Canisius this past sea-
did. And he said the way I play is like the way addition of Buffalo (NY) Canisius High School son. He finished with 61 rushing yards and a
he played while he was at Miami.” OLB James Gaines to this year’s recruiting touchdown, 15 catches for 270 yards and two
A factor that helped seal Ford’s decision: “I class. scores along with 154 tackles (108 solo),
know they put players in the NFL,” he said. Gaines was a solid Buffalo commitment three sacks, an interception and fumble recov-
Ford tried to leave junior college early, but and wasn’t even looking at other colleges until ery.
his waiver to the NCAA was denied. He Gill left Buffalo for Kansas. “He’s a phenomenal athlete,” Canisius
signed in January, which is allowed for junior “If no coaches leave, I was fully committed High Athletic Director Jim Mauro said. “You
college athletes, and will arrive in summer to them,” Gaines said. “Coach Gill, he told can’t find too many kids better than he is in
session I. me that he fully committed to me, and then I terms of personality, work ethic, dedication, a
UM will be the third college he’s attended was fully committed to him. I wasn’t even great value system. You’re getting a top play-
since coming out of Corrigan-Camden (TX) going to talk to anyone else.” er. He’s a great kid and a great player.”
High School. That all changed in December. And Gaines Gaines began playing football at age 6,
The 6-foot-6, 245-pounder with 4.61-sec- says he thought he had “a slim to none” starting out as a linebacker and fullback.
ond speed attended Kilgore Junior College for chance of landing a UM offer when he sent “The next year I stopped playing linebacker
a semester, then Lamar University for a out his highlight tape to Cane coaches at that and moved everywhere else,” he said. “I’ve
semester. time. played every position. I started playing line-
Then he was back at Kilgore, which is the But he landed an offer during an official backer again as a high school junior.”
same program that sent tight end Kevin visit the weekend of Jan. 23, and he took it on His first two years of high school he played
Everett to UM. the spot. at Williamsville North.
Ford finished his sophomore season with “After I committed everyone was congratu- “I played running back and safety there,”
32 catches for 545 yards. He was named the lating me,” Gaines said. “It was pretty crazy.” Gaines said. “I was varsity both years - we
Southwest Junior College Football Why did the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder with weren’t really good and it was hard to pro-
Conference’s Most Valuable Player, as voted 4.5-second speed pick Miami to send his tape duce. On defense I played well my freshman
on by the league’s coaches. to? year at safety; my sophomore year I got hurt,
“Some of his catches for us were unbeliev- “I sent it all over,” Gaines said. “Me and my didn’t play that much.”
able,” Kilgore coach J.J. Eckert said. “Balls coaches talking, he set up a list of schools I Gaines made a big jump in his playing level
most people couldn’t get to he catches. He wanted to send it to. They responded.” from his junior to senior seasons.
can just do so much as far as getting in space After his UM commitment Gaines canceled “Not playing basketball last year helped
and making plays. We’ll see him down the a visit he had set up for the final recruiting that,” Gaines said. “I’d been playing basket-
road at 6-6 1/2 and 260 pounds and with the weekend to Arkansas. ball as long as I’ve been playing football. I
same athleticism.” It’s an improbable story of a recruit going decided to take off and just work out and pre-
Ford says what he’s working on hardest to from a program with little national name pare for the season, and it really paid off.”
improve is his run blocking. recognition to one of the nation’s most recog- Gaines is already fully qualified, and he will
“I’ve been weight lifting, getting stronger,” nized programs. arrive in June.
Ford said. “I do 225 12 times - that’s what I What made UM right for him? “I just want to make a name for myself
do in the weight room.” “The people,” Gaines said. “The locker being from Buffalo, N.Y., not Hurricane coun-
He says that junior college ball “developed room actually - the players and coaches, try,” Gaines said. “I want to represent Buffalo.
me, made me bigger, faster and stronger, everyone. It’s a family down there. They real- “(Miami coaches) said I have a shot to play
helped me get more knowledge of the game.” ly showed me a lot of love. That was one right away because at the linebacker position
As a high school senior at Corrigan- thing. And it’s hot all the time - I went down they’re kind of thin. Coach (John) Lovett said
Camden High, Ford was lightly recruited. He and it was 75 degrees in January. It was 28 if I work hard and improve in camp then the
was an All-District tight end his senior year, degrees when I left. It’s a big difference.” best player is going to play. That’s all I want is
when he tipped the scales at barely 205 Gaines’ high school coach, Brandon a shot.”
pounds. Harris, was a big part of Gaines’ UM recruit-
“He’s got great hands,” his high school ment. The coach has a connection to Miami - OL TAVADIS GLENN
coach, Seven Armstrong, said. “He has as he was a receiver at Idaho under former Cane Jacksonville (FL) Raines High School OL
good a hands as I’ve ever seen on a tight end. coach Curtis Johnson, and two years ago he Tavadis Glenn was a true Cane long before he
He’s going to be successful wherever he goes. was offensive coordinator at Phoenix Brophy signed his letter-of-intent.
If you throw it near him he’s probably going to Prep, sending Billy Sanders to UM. Harris That’s something obvious to those in atten-
catch it.” also coached former Cane recruit and current dance at the University of Florida Friday Night
Ford says depth charts played a role in his NFL tight end Zach Miller at Phoenix Desert Lights camp July 24.
choice, as he is aware that UM lost its top two Vista High School. That camp ended prematurely for Glenn.
tight ends from last season - Dedrick Epps “I have a relationship with the Hurricanes,” “During one-on-one drills I threw up the
and Jimmy Graham. Harris said. “I know a Miami player when I U,” Glenn said. “My coach was in the stands
“That’s a reason why I’m coming,” Ford see one, and Jimmy’s a Miami player. He can and he’s a Hurricane fan. He was egging me
said. “I want to go somewhere I can play right play in that style football, has high energy, is on.
away. I just want to come in and start, have a extremely aggressive. He’s a kid who has a “Then the Florida Gators (coaches), they
good year, help the Hurricanes win a nation- real exuberance about the game. It just came up - they got mad, said I couldn’t par-
al championship.” seemed like a good fit.” ticipate. They said it’s not a Miami Hurricane


at left tackle. During an in-home visit from running
“I feel like right now I’m ready to contribute backs coach Tommie Robinson, Hagens’
at Miami,” he said. “Coach (Stoutland) tells mother asked how Hagens fit into the Cane
me all the time he needs me to play right offense.
away because they’re one deep. He helps me “(He) said as long as I’m productive I’ll be
understand this is a business and if I want to a very good asset to the team,” Hagens said.
play I have to outwork the guy ahead of me, “They want me at fullback - they said if I go
and I understand that. down there and show I’m able to play on the
“I want to play my freshman year. I’ll com- college level I might be able to start and get a
pete - I know I’ll compete at the highest lot of playing time. That’s what I’m hoping
speed. If I play, I play. If I don’t I won’t be mad for.
because it’s high skill. Every player wants to “(Coaches) said they need a productive
play their freshman year.” back, that if I do well they can put the ball in
Glenn played defense at Jacksonville Terry my hands any way - catching the ball or what-
Parker High before transferring to Raines as a ever.”
senior. His junior year Glenn finished with 50 A 5-foot-11, 237-pounder with 4.7-second
tackles, 17 for losses, along with six sacks, speed, Hagens helped his team to a final
two forced fumbles and a blocked field goal. record of 9-2 this year with 1,300 rushing
Glenn played full time on offense and part yards and 18 touchdowns. He averaged six
time on defense this past year - he had 50 yards per carry.
tackles, 10 for losses, and three sacks on As a junior he finished with 1,019 rushing
defense. On offense he had 57 pancake yards and 13 touchdowns. His sophomore
blocks. year he had 1,300 rushing yards and 10
A four-star prospect, Glenn is rated the No. scores.
camp. I was just like, `Huh, are you all seri- 22 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by “He definitely can run the football,” Tampa
ous?’ And I just walked off the field. The guys Bay Tech C.C. Culpepper saiod. “You’re talk-
I know that were there were saying `Why’d Raines High School coach Deran Wiley, ing about a kid that rushed for over 4,000
they kick you off?’” who has coached at the school for eight years yards in his four years at Tampa Bay Tech
Glenn’s final word on the situation? and played there himself, says the Canes have High School.
“If we play them I’m going to make them landed a great one in Glenn. “The rushing part is a gimme. The other
pay.” “The kid has a very good skill set,” Wiley part is he can block, catches the ball very well
Glenn committed to UM April 17 and stuck said. “He has all the tools in the box. We use out of the backfield and is a very hardworking
by his word the rest of the way. He chose him both ways. He’s long, his arms are long, young man who is self motivated.
Miami over more than 20 other scholarship he has great feet. He just has the tools.” “He doesn’t need to be yelled at or threat-
offers, including LSU, Florida, USC and ened. He’s a kid who the four years he’s been
South Carolina. RB M AURICE HAGENS with me he’s missed one practice or workout
Glenn built a strong relationship with Cane Tampa (FL) Tampa Bay Tech High School and that’s because he got his wisdom teeth
line coach Jeff Stoutland during the recruiting fullback Maurice Hagens landed over 20 taken out. But the very next day he was back
process. scholarship offers this recruiting season, sev- at practice.
“He just talked about how bad he wanted eral from schools that wanted to bring him in “Maurice can be a standout fullback, tail-
me and when I arrive on campus what my role as a tailback. back, linebacker, wherever they put him
will be on the team - I have to come in and Among the schools on his offer list were because he’s a football player. And the most
learn everything and I’ll be playing,” Glenn Notre Dame, Purdue and Connecticut. important thing about Maurice, and I told
said. “I just have to work hard.” But Hagens passed on those offers for the recruiters this, is that the thing that speaks
Glenn got a taste of what top competition opportunity to be a fullback in Miami’s volumes for him is the type of kid he is and
is like when he was selected to play in the offense - coaches have also told him he could the academic achievements he’s made in high
Under Armour All-American game. also get some touches at tailback. school.
“It was a fun experience,” Glenn said. He got the Cane offer in mid-May and He has a 3.7 GPA, is in the magnet pro-
“There was a lot of competition. It was good, committed to UM June 11. gram. Now in his senior year he’s taking AP
because I was thinking all these guys on “What matters is I find the offense I can go statistics, honors physics. So what also
Rivals are so good, but some of them aren’t into and play right away,” Hagens said. speaks volumes about him is his character
that good. I knew I’d go against the top talent Hagens says Miami’s coaches helped draw and academic achievement.”
in the U.S. there. These are guy from all over him to Miami with their no-nonsense Of his goals, Hagens said, “I’m going to try
the world; I’m used to playing against approach. and get faster so I can have the speed to show
mediocre guys. This experience shows how “(Coach Randy Shannon) said no drinking what I can do, break a long run and not get
good I am, because I dominated.” and driving, no missing class, no missing caught. I just want to go out there and do the
Glenn says what he’s working on most now study hall, no firearms - those rules are per- best I can.
is “just getting my bulk up, getting faster, get- fect,” Hagens said. “That makes you become “I want to come out with a great degree
ting my steps really perfect. I don’t want them a better person if you can actually be disci- and just play football.”
good, I want them perfect.” plined if you follow the rules of the head Hagens is rated the No. 8 fullback prospect
Glenn is expected to begin his Cane career coach.” in the nation by


RB DARION HALL my freshman year. For the team, next year I
Naples (FL) Lely High School RB Darion want us at least in the top 10 and to compete
Hall grew up a Hurricane fan. for a national title.”
So when he got a Miami scholarship offer * Hurns’ childhood nickname has stuck
as a visitor at UM’s spring game, he had a with him: “Bubba.”
pretty good idea where he’d be playing col- “I got that when I was little because I was
lege ball. Hall committed to Miami coaches short and fat,” Hurns said. “When I was 6 I
June 9 and stuck by his decision. got taller, but people still call me that.”
“They have a real good program and I
always wanted to go there,” he said. “It’s close RB STORM JOHNSON
to home so I can come home on the week- What better name than “Storm” is there for
ends.” a Hurricane?
Finishing as runners-up to Miami were And you could say that Loganville (Ga.)
Michigan and SMU. Among his 20-plus schol- High School RB Storm Johnson is a Category
arship offers were Clemson, West Virginia, 5 signee.
Kansas and Illinois. The talented four-star recruit chose Miami
Hall finished his senior season with 965 over more than 35 other scholarship offers,
yards and six touchdowns, averaging 107 committing Nov. 1. That was about a month
yards per game and 7.6 yards per carry. His after the Hurricanes began recruiting him.
team, which had a brand new offensive line “(The Miami scholarship offer) basically
and not much of a passing game to keep pres- came out of nowhere,” said Johnson, who
sure off him, finished 6-4. grew up rooting for Miami and Florida State.
“He’s a great cutback runner,” Hall’s “I guess some people said `Come check this
coach, Dave Miller, said. “He has the power Hurns says he expects to be back at full guy out’ and they came and saw me at my
to run in the middle and also to break it to the strength from the torn meniscus injury by the school and started liking me. I sent them
outside.” fall. He has started running but is still doing some film, too.
As a junior Hall had 1,791 yards with 21 rehab work. “I just thought it was the spot for me
touchdowns, averaging 179 yards per game “At first rehab was real hard,” Hurns said. school-wise and football-wise. School-wise
and 10.6 yards per carry. His team finished “Now it’s hard, but I’m kind of used to it.” the education is there. And football-wise they
with a 7-4 record that year. Helping UM land Hurns is the fact that he’s send a bunch of people to the NFL. It’s the
“Some compare me to Edgerrin James, but friendly with Sean Spence, Tommy Streeter place to be.”
they say I’m a little better than him at this and Jacory Harris. The 6-foot-0, 212-pounder with 4.48-sec-
stage - one of the coaches at Immokalee that “I know them from Optimist ball,” Hurns ond speed graduated high school early and is
coached him says that,” Hall said. said. “I’ve talked to Streeter and Jacory - they already on UM’s campus. He will participate
Hall says his goal as a freshman at Miami told me the coaches love me.” in spring drills.
is to earn immediate playing time and con- Another factor in Hurns’ decision was his Of the importance of arriving at Miami
tribute to the team. relationship with Miami receivers coach early, Johnson said, “It helps you learn the
“(Running backs coach Tommie Robinson) Aubrey Hill. stuff, and you have a lot more practices under
said that all I have to do is bust my butt and “Coach Hill, he went to my school for high your belt before the first game. It’s better
the best man will get it,” Hall said. “That’s school, so we have a lot in common,” Hurns instead of coming in August and July, when
exactly what I wanted to hear.” said. “I get along with him real well. it’s harder to play right away.”
A three-star recruit, Hall is rated the No. “And (strength coach Andreu) Swasey, he Johnson adds that “The coaches said I can
49 running back prospect in the nation by went to my school when he was in high play right away with hard work. After this year school. He was telling me about how I got they won’t have a big back like me (on the ros-
Carol City back on the map.” ter). With me being 215 already at 6 foot and
WR ALLEN HURNS Hurns finished his junior year with 23 training with a college football trainer, I
Miami Carol City High School WR Allen receptions for 450 yards and seven touch- should be real physical.”
Hurns had six scholarship offers entering his downs. This past season Johnson finished rushing
senior season: Miami, Pittsburgh, UCF, FIU, As a senior he had six catches for 110 252 times for 1,933 yards with 32 touch-
West Virginia and Ole Miss. yards before the injury. downs. He also caught 11 passes for 150
And his senior year didn’t land him much “Miami likes him a lot,” Carol City High yards and a score, and he had two kickoff
more college interest, as he suffered an early coach Harold Barnwell said. “The kid works returns for touchdowns.
season knee injury and underwent season- hard. His work ethic is probably second to “I don’t know if I’ll be doing returns at
ending surgery. none. Last year we changed the offense and Miami,” he said.
He made his commitment to Miami official featured him a lot more than we did the pre- Asked the biggest strength of his game,
Nov. 9. He earned the Miami offer with a vious year.” Johnson said, “That I’m a big back who runs
strong performance at the UM summer camp. The three-star recruit says his wide sub 4.4, am powerful.”
“I have always loved them and I have want- receivers coach compares him to Andre His coach, Eric Godfree, says of Johnson’s
ed to play for them since I was a child,” said Johnson. ability that “He’s a great football player. He’s
Hurns, who enrolled early. “I have a good Of his goals, the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder 6-0, 215, moves like a smaller guy. He’s fast,
relationship with coaches there, too.” with 4.47-second speed said, “I want to play can make people miss. He pulls away from

“Miami has always been in my heart, and
that’s just the place where I felt was the best
fit for me,” Linder said. “When choosing
Miami, it came down to just fitting in their sys-
tem and just having a comfort level that I real-
ly never had at any of the other schools.”
Helping Miami land Linder was the rela-
tionship he built with line coach Jeff
“We have a great relationship,” Linder said.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a guy that you can sit
down with and talk about anything. I loved
that about him from the start. I think the most
important thing with Coach Stoutland was the
level of how much he cares about his players.
I could really see that in his coaching with
their current players and just how a lot of
times we don’t even talk about football, it’s
about other stuff.”
Linder entered his senior season coming
off foot surgery. He thought he would miss
significant time, but after playing two games
at center to help his recovery he returned to
people constantly.” “I’m very, very excited,” he told CaneSport
left tackle and dominated.
Asked if he thinks Johnson can play at UM at the time. “I figure I’ll be happy there, and I
“I think I can play anything - I am pretty
as a true freshman, Godfree said, “Yes. He can’t wait to be part of the Cane nation.”
versatile,” Linder said.
has the size and strength for sure. He bench- Now he’s already part of the Cane nation -
What will he work hardest to improve
es over 300, squats over 400. He can physi- he graduated early and arrived on campus last
before arriving at Miami?
cally step in and play.” month.
“I want to improve my speed, quick feet
So what is Johnson focused on now? “There are so many positives (to enrolling
and run blocking,” he said.
“I’m just focused on getting better, getting early),” McDermott said. “If they do redshirt
Aquinas High coach George Smith says of
ready,” he said. you, you can get your masters paid for
Linder that “He’s a student of the game, a big
Johnson is one of the most highly regarded because you’ll be there that extra (six months).
kid. He’s strong, very tough and very smart
Cane signees - he is rated the No. 7 running That’s academic-wise. And playing-wise
on the field and off it. He’s a three year starter
back prospect in the nation by and you’re six months ahead of all the freshmen.
for us, can play any position on the line. He
is No. 106 overall regardless of position. It plays a big factor in playing time. They’re
was an All-County center as a sophomore and
* Of how he got his first name, Storm said, very thin in the offensive line. They’re not
was All-America last year as a tackle.”
“My mom wanted to name me something even three-deep, so it’s a great opportunity to
Linder hopes to make an immediate impact
special. I guess they knew I’d play football or show what I’ve got.
at Miami.
something exciting.” “At center next year (A.J.) Trump is leaving
“Oh there’s no question the fact that Miami
needed lineman was a part of my decision,” and Tyler Horn will be there as a junior. I
OL BR ANDON LINDER should have a chance to play.”
he said. “But at the same time, you have great
The second time was the charm for Fort A three-star recruit, McDermott wasn’t
players at Miami, so it’s going to be a battle of
Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas High heavily recruited - he had fewer than 10 schol-
competition no matter who you are. I plan on
School OL Brandon Linder. arship offers. Among those were West
working to make sure I have a chance to con-
After visiting Miami unofficially in early Virginia, Stanford, Colorado State and USF.
tribute very early. In a lot of ways Miami was
August, Linder took his second visit the week- He is ranked the No. 20 guard prospect in the
a very good fit for me. It’s an offense that fits
end of Dec. 20 and committed to coaches. He nation by
my style of blocking with the balance running
stuck by his word the rest of the way to sign- While he was recruited as a center, he
and throwing the football.”
ing day. could play anywhere along the line.
A four-star prospect, Linder is ranked the
“It’s just in my backyard; I grew up a fan “In high school I went from left tackle to
No. 3 center prospect in the nation by
and they’re a winning program,” said Linder, guard to center, went across the line the whole He is ranked No. 198 overall in
who received a UM offer the first day it was entire year,” the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder said.
the country regardless of position.
allowed, Sept. 1 of his junior year. “I watched “Right now I’m most comfortable at center.”
them when I was a little kid, just grew up lik- At center, he’ll be the quarterback of the
ing them.” offensive line.
Growing up, Wellington (FL) Palm Beach
Linder had Notre Dame as his other finalist “I need to know the whole offense,”
Central High School center Shane
with Miami, but the firing of Charlie Weis hurt McDermott said. “I’m going to work my hard-
McDermott always dreamed of playing for the
the Irish’s chances. est to get to know the playbook and get
The 6-foot-6, 290-pounder landed over 30 around the guys, get to gel with the line
So when he committed to UM March 9, it
scholarship offers during the recruiting because that’s also important. They need to
was a reason to celebrate.


have trust with me so I can compete for play- led by example, was the first one on the field,
ing time next year.” last one off the field. He’s very coachable.
McDermott is already very strong - he “The thing I always say about him is his
benches 370 pounds and squats 495. And he arm strength. I saw that from the first time he
has only 15 percent body fat. stepped on our practice field - he was throw-
“Last year I hit the weights a lot and I was ing the ball as far as our seniors his freshman
always on the weight lifting team,” he said. year. I was looking at him like `you’re going
“The last time I maxed out in squat was to be special.’ But back then he had no accu-
before the season, and that’s when I hit 495.” racy, would try to drill the ball into a guy five
McDermott was selected to compete in the yards from him. So he understands that and
Under Armour All-American game in it’s started to come together. But his arm
January. strength is unbelievable. And he’s showed a
“It was a great experience, a lot of compe- lot more mobility. He’s a guy looking to make
tition,” he said. “It was a great environment. a play downfield with his arm. I love his deci-
The best of the best started coming out of sion-making.”
everybody and I did really well. I was playing A three-star recruit, Morris is rated the
center going up against Louis Nix and Todd nation’s No. 26 dual threat quarterback by
Chandler in practice. In the game I went
against UF’s Dominique Easley. I did well.” “Maybe the numbers don’t jump off the
McDermott’s high school coach, Rod charts, but this kid can get the job done,”
Harris, expects his player to do big things at Slaughter said. “I don’t understand why some
the next level. recruiting services aren’t giving him his due.
“He’s the perfect fit for Miami,” Harris Even the Elite 11, the guy emailed me and
said. “He has the frame to be a 300-pound said Stephen showed his tail off, was one of
center for them. He’ll be a leader for them, a our top-ranked quarterbacks out there in Las
hard worker. He’s one of the finest student- academically.” Vegas out of all these national guys. And still
athletes I’ve been around. On the field he’s Morris built a strong rapport with offensive the offers were slowly coming in.”
mean, and I mean that in a good way - he has coordinator Mark Whipple, which helped ESPN’s evaluation of Morris reads that
a killer instinct.” draw him to Miami. “Morris is tall, lean and very athletic but he is
McDermott says he got compared to a for- “He’s a great coach,” Morris said. “He a passer first, runner second. Has the frame
mer Cane player by line coach Jeff Stoutland. knows his stuff, knows how to coach. He to develop bulk and strength and become a
“He said I remind him of K.C. Jones,” came from the NFL, so he has an NFL type strong pocket passer that can get out of trou-
McDermott said. of playbook, an NFL type of offense, which is ble. He is a cross between Star Jackson from
great to have. You can’t ask for anything the 2008 class and Eugene Smith from the
QB STEPHEN MORRIS more. He’s a great coach and a great friend.” 2009 class. ... He has a long, whip-like deliv-
Opa-Locka (FL) Monsignor Pace High Of Whipple’s offense, Morris said, “I like it ery, but the ball comes out quick and with
School QB Stephen Morris sees an opportu- a lot. It’s a pro style offense which is a lot bet- very good zip and RPM’s. ... Morris is a ter-
nity at Miami. ter than the spread for me. Look what he’s rific prospect for development and he has
Sure, Jacory Harris is locked in as the done with Jacory, the way he’s getting things high upside. He’s tall, has a great arm and his
starting quarterback next year. open with the play action game, the deep best football is down the line at the college
And yes, there is a sophomore quarterback posts, the digs. It’s all working out.” level.”
on the roster in A.J. Highsmith. Among Morris’ other offers this recruiting Of his goals at Miami, Morris said, “Just
But that’s it depth-wise. Which means season were Purdue, Virginia, Northwestern going in, making an impact on the team. I’m
Morris has a chance to work his way onto the and Connecticut. going to be behind Jacory, and he’ll show me
field as a true freshman and could be just a Morris played his senior season behind a the ropes. When it’s my chance I have to do
year or two away from getting a full-time gig. very young offensive line, finishing with 22 the best I can do.”
And Morris is getting a jump on his devel- touchdown passes and six interceptions. He
opment. The 6-foot-2, 183-pounder with completed 96 of 179 passes for 1,531 yards. LB K EVIN NELSON
4.62-second speed graduated early and will His best game was against Somerset The Canes invaded Gator territory to land
participate in spring drills. Academy when he threw for 250 yards and Gainesville High School LB Kevin Nelson.
“I’ll have the opportunity to learn with A.J. six touchdowns in just one half of work. Nelson said when he first spoke to coach
and Spencer (Whipple, a walkon) and maybe As a junior Morris completed 64 percent of Randy Shannon on the phone “He said,
Jacory (who is coming off hand surgery and his passes with 2,005 passing yards, 19 `Should I tell Clinton Portis you’re better than
isn’t expected to practice) every once in a touchdowns and nine interceptions. him?’ [Portis is the last UM player to sign
while,” Morris said. “It’s a great opportunity.” “The progress from his freshman year to from Gainesville]. I told coach Shannon `You
Morris was given the opportunity in mid- his senior year has been tremendous as far as can tell him whatever you want.’”
July, when he received a Miami offer. By the reading coverages all the way down to just his Nelson pulled in the Miami offer in June
end of July he was on board with the Canes. natural God-given ability, his confidence,” and committed at the end of that month.
“It just felt like home to me,” Morris said. Pace High coach Alvin Slaughter said. “He “That was an offer I was waiting on
“I know I made the right choice. Miami felt came into his own his junior year, and this because I followed Miami growing up,”
like it was the best fit for me athletically and year he’s more of a vocal guy. Before he only Nelson said. “Miami’s a place I can fit in - just


here at my house really meant a lot because everyone is for real and cool down there,
my father is not alive, and that’s my first time down-to-earth. I feel they can help me.
ever really sitting down and having a talk with “Miami really made me feel like family. I
coach Shannon, who is like a father figure to connected with the coaches and the current
me. And I really appreciate that. It means a lot players.”
to me.” Payne’s family was certainly on board with
Nelson finished his senior season with 150 his decision.
tackles, two interceptions, three forced fum- “My grandfather, he’s a big Hurricane fan,”
bles, two fumble recoveries and six sacks. He Payne said. “Most of my family likes Miami.”
scored three touchdowns, two on intercep- Among his 36 scholarship offers:
tions returns and one on a fumble recovery. Tennessee, Florida State, Ohio State and
As a junior Nelson had 125 tackles, 10 for Florida.
losses, and 3.5 sacks along with a blocked As a senior Payne had three interceptions,
punt. one returned for a touchdown. He was part of
He’s ranked the No. 14 inside linebacker an Aquinas secondary that allowed opponents
prospect in the nation by an average of only 100.7 passing yards per
A sample of Nelson’s ability: Against arch game.
rival Buchholz High, a team that had won His junior year Payne had 33 tackles, 14
seven straight against Gainesville High, passes broken up and four interceptions. He
Nelson returned a fumble for a touchdown played at Dillard High School his junior year
and had an interception for a score in a 14-9 before transferring to Aquinas.
victory. Aquinas High coach George Smith says of
The local newspaper’s headline the day Payne that “He’s got great range, runs very
after his team’s win? well. He’s a real good athlete. He’s a rangy
“It said, `It’s all about the U,’” Nelson said. kid who will grow into his body. He has pret-
everything about the team and the coaches is Quite a headline for a Gainesville paper. ty good size. He can run around pretty well.”
great. When you look at putting people in the “That’s the first time I’ve ever scored two ESPN’s scouting evaluation of Payne reads
NFL and a private school education, that’s touchdowns in a game,” Nelson said. “(UM that “Payne is a quick-footed, well-rounded
what a lot of people want.” coach Micheal Barrow) heard what happened, cornerback prospect who is very active
Among Nelson’s other offers were LSU, was amazed. He said I did something he never around the football in coverage. Has adequate
Florida and Mississippi. did before, even in 11 years in the NFL. He size now but possesses a rangy frame that
Nelson was recruited as a middle line- said `We’re just ready for you to get down should fill out well and assist his physical style
backer, and he sees an opportunity to play as here.’ of play. Athletic and shows good body control
a true freshman with Darryl Sharpton gradu- “From what he said he just wants me to and ball skills. Closes fast and strong.”
ating. play now. He said `Do your part, keep your Of his goals as a freshman, Payne said, “I
“I’m so glad to take over after him,” Nelson grades up and keep working hard on and off just want to get in games, do what I have to
said. “I look up to him and (Sean) Spence. Me the field’ and when I get to Miami it’s going to do, be on the field.”
and Sean talk all the time. I’m going to be be beautiful.” Payne is rated the No. 29 cornerback
really glad to take over after Darryl, just lead Nelson’s high school coach, Ryan Smith, prospect in the nation by
the team to a national championship next says the sky is the limit for his player.
year. “He plays with a lot of heart, passion, DE DAVID PERRY
“I talk to my cousin Demarcus Van Dyke all works very, very hard,” Smith said. “He’s a DE David Perry arrived at Ft. Lauderdale’s
the time also. Demarcus talks to me about phenomenal kid. His instincts are incredible. University School from his homeland Jamaica
classes. I was asking him about the playing He knows where the ball is at. We have plays as a high school junior expecting to compete
time, how the coaches are - he said they treat with him on tape taking off before the ball is in basketball, soccer and track.
you well. He said `Be yourself and you’ll be even snapped and running to the exact point But football coaches quickly latched onto
fine.’ Sean, he just says a lot of things about the ball is going to be at. And he’s always the 6-foot-6, 230-pounder with 4.6-second
staying focused, just keeping your eye on the right. He’s very instinctive, plays all over the speed and convinced him to give a new sport
prize.” field.” a try.
An in-home visit with Shannon in January “He’d never put a helmet on in his life
especially gave Nelson a sense of what Miami DB K EION PAYNE before coming to our school last year,”
is all about. Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas University School coach Roger Harriott said.
“It was great - I can’t wait to get down CB Keion Payne committed to Hurricane “Our guys took our time with David. He did-
there,” Nelson said. “(Shannon) just told me coaches last summer, but kept it quiet until n’t know what a facemask was, didn’t know
about the opportunities I have as a true fresh- announcing his decision Nov. 7. anything. We had to teach him the game from
man. He wasn’t going on and on like most Payne first received a Cane offer in late the ground up. But you could tell from just
college coaches about `Kevin you can do this May. looking at him, his natural ability to come off
and that.’ He talked about academics more “It’s great to be a Hurricane,” Payne said. low from track and field, that he’d be a heck
than anything. He’s a great man.” “I like just the level that they play at, the peo- of a player. His leverage is exceptional. We
Asked what was most meaningful about ple they put in the league. I’m trying to make matched him up against offensive linemen
Shannon’s visit, Nelson said, “Just him being it to the next level. And the coaching bond - that have been around the game their whole


me, great.”

Southlake (TX) Carroll High School CB
Kacy Rodgers didn’t even need to see Miami’s
campus to know he wanted to be a Hurricane.
He called coaches July 17 and committed
to the Hurricanes.
Rodgers chose UM over 23 other offers,
including the likes of Ohio State, Notre Dame
and Tennessee.
“Miami’s always had good players and first
rounders pretty much every year,” Rodgers
Rodgers’ father, Kacy Sr., coaches the
defensive line for the Miami Dolphins.
“He wanted to stay near him,” Southlake
Carroll Coach Hal Wasson said.

life and he was dominating them from before much weight before reporting to Miami in
he even put a helmet on when we just did one- June.
on-one offseason drills.” “I’m playing basketball right now so I can’t
Colleges quickly came calling. gain weight,” he said. “But I have no problem
He landed over 20 offers, including Florida, being around this weight for my freshman
LSU, Alabama, Florida State and Oregon, year.”
and he is rated the No. 29 strongside defen- Perry says he has one area he’s working to
sive end prospect in the nation by improve for his freshman season.
Perry didn’t have Miami as his frontrunner “My strength is the quickness I have off the
when he attended a practice unofficially in line of scrimmage (but) I want to get a lot
October. But watching the Canes work out stronger,” he said. “My speed is very good
hard on Greentree Practice Field and then and I feel as my quickness and my size contin- Rodgers added that “It kind of worked out
talking with players and coaches afterward ues to rise my game should become even that he’s going to be down there.”
convinced him. stronger.” As a junior Rodgers had three interceptions
He had to be a Hurricane. Perry played defensive end and tight end in and one forced fumble.
Perry committed Oct. 23. high school and will play defensive end at His senior year he had no interceptions and
“You know, it’s Miami,” Perry said. “I like UM. He finished the past season with 10 four passes broken up as other teams avoided
the education. It’s set up in a great way, they sacks. testing him. He missed the final half of the
look after you with the education part of it. “He’s an exceptional talent,” Harriott said. year due to injury.
Football-wise they send a lot of people to the “He’s a physical kid who played basketball, “Kacy is unique in that he’s a real tall cor-
NFL, have pretty good D linemen, have good soccer, ran track and even played cricket in ner,” Wasson said. “He’s what I call a handsy
athletes all around. Jamaica. He’s an intelligent young man with corner. He likes to play physical, up in your
“(Coach Randy Shannon) told me that I an exceptional character and great work face, redirect you, reroute you. That’s his
would fit in there. He’s doing a great job over ethic. He’s the epitome of a `yes, sir,’ `no, biggest attribute. Secondly his speed is
there, is taking care of his players and making sir’ kid. He’s exceptionally quick, and on deceiving. He has good hips, good explosive-
sure they graduate.“ defense he’s very aggressive, extremely physi- ness and breaks on the ball well. He’s one of
Asked if he expects to be able to make an cal.” those top-of-the-nation guys that can play cor-
immediate impact at Miami, Perry said, “I’m Asked his goals at Miami, Perry said, “I just ner or safety.”
not sure. Anything can happen.” want to reach my potential. I’m just going in Wasson has coached 29 years of high
Perry says he doesn’t expect to put on there and I’ll go hard. Whatever that brings school ball and has seen his share of top

prospects. just the success of their football program was to try it, it looked like fun.”
And he rates Rodgers among the best. a plus. Coach (Randy) Shannon is someone So last year Taylor moved to Miami. He
“He has the size, speed and range to have our family is very fond of. He takes care of the moved in with Hamilton, and while he prac-
a successful college career and parlay that into character piece with Miami.” ticed with Miramar High School the district
the NFL,” Wasson said. “He’s a great kid, a Tallman listed eight overall offers - Virginia, ruled he wasn’t eligible to play in games.
super kid. He’s one of those great character UM, Duke, Utah, Wyoming, SMU, Tulane After transferring to Miami Beach High last
guys, one of our best leaders. He’ll definitely and Syracuse. January and appealing that ruling, he was
be an asset to Miami.” A reason this three-star prospect didn’t get allowed to play this past season. But after five
Rodgers’ goals at Miami? more interest? games the state overruled the district and he
“I would like to be a shutdown corner, just He doesn’t have much high school experi- was ineligible again.
play at that level and do well,” he said. ence. He only played in two games as a jun- “We never figured out why, couldn’t get the
Rodgers is ranked the No. 37 cornerback ior because of injury, and an injured finger answers,” Taylor said.
prospect in the nation by cost him his sophomore season. But what a five games it was. Taylor, who
The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder says Cane As a senior Tallman didn’t get many recep- was recruited as a defensive tackle by UM,
coaches have told him they would like him to tions or score any touchdowns as he played played only five snaps on that side of the ball
get playing time as a freshman. primarily as a blocking tight end for his 9-2 all year - he had one forced fumble. He played
“They’d like me to if I can,” Rodgers said. team. full-time as a left tackle.
“They’re going to let the best players play, “I just think his upside is tremendous,” “I played there because of injuries on the
and hopefully I’m one of them.” Boston College High head coach John offensive line,” he said.
Bartlett said. “I just see him getting better and And he made a big impression on video. It
TE ANDREW TALLM AN better as time goes on. The beauty of him is was a highlight tape of those five games that
Dorchester (MA) Boston College High he can play tight end or down at tackle as well landed him the Cane offer.
School standout Andrew Tallman narrowed because of his size and his quickness. “It was a last minute overnight type of
his final college choices to Miami and Sometimes a traditional lineman can’t make thing - I told my coach `You should call up
Virginia. that move to tight end, but with his size and UM,’” Taylor said. “What happened was
And he chose the Canes, announcing his speed he can play multiple positions. He’s a coach (Wesley) McGriff came in the spring,
decision Sept. 15. long snapper as well.” was recruiting me. And I still had his number.
He stuck by his word and signed with Asked if he thinks Tallman can succeed at So my coach said, `okay.’ He called coach
Miami five months later. Miami, Bartlett said, “His frame, he’s just McGriff, McGriff came and saw the tape, liked
Helping UM land him was the Cavaliers’ going to get bigger. The more football he it. Then we went on an unofficial visit Dec.
turmoil. plays the better he’ll become. I see him down 18.”
“The whole time (early on) Virginia was at the road becoming a valuable asset to Miami. On Jan. 5 he got an official scholarship
the top of my list,” Tallman said. “Then with “I’ve talked to Miami coaches - they like his offer from Miami sent to his uncle’s house.
them losing their first two games and the size, speed, the ability that he has to play mul- Taylor was in the Bahamas at the time dealing
whole coaching situation there, and with tiple positions.” with a death in the family - “(My uncle)
Miami beating FSU, that helped make my Bartlett says he could also see Tallman phoned me and told me,” Taylor said. “I was
decision.” eventually playing on the offensive line. excited. I didn’t know if it was a joke because
He adds of UM that “it’s a storied program. “I can see him anywhere,” Bartlett said. before I left they said they really liked me but
It’s a great school for tight ends like (Jeremy) “That’s the beauty of it. He can block. He’s a that they wanted to make sure my grades are
Shockey, (Kellen) Winslow, Greg Olsen.” tight end for us, has done a good job block- straight first.”
Tallman says the Canes are recruiting him ing. He can play anywhere along either front, Taylor committed as soon as he talked to
primarily as a tight end, but he says coaches which is good.” Cane coaches following the offer.
also indicated he could be a defensive end or “I’m a big Hurricane fan,” Taylor said. “For
offensive lineman. DL DELM AR TAYLOR me to go there was a dream come true.”
“I’d like to play as a true freshman,” UM’s biggest “diamond in the rough” That he got any offers at all shows the
Tallman said. “And I’d also like to do both signee, Miami Beach High School DL and tremendous upside of this prospect who never
football and track.” Bahamas native Delmar Taylor was only played football growing up.
Tallman is the reigning state champion in offered by Western Michigan, FIU, Memphis, “Last year when I started playing I didn’t
the discus - he broke the state meet record last UCF and Bowling Green before UM came on know the difference between a spread offense
year with a 178-foot effort. board with a scholarship in early January. and a Wing-T,” he says. “My stance wasn’t too
Tallman made the decision to attend Miami A reason for his light recruitment? pretty. In the Bahamas I only did track (the
in conjunction with his family. He only has five games to his high school shot put) and basketball.”
And that includes his brother, Alan, who is resume. Taylor says he was recruited for defense
nine years his senior and coaches the line- In fact, if not for his uncle, Taylor would because “I have a defensive mentality playing
backers and receivers at Boston College High. still be living in the Bahamas, oblivious to any football. I was originally a defensive tackle (as
“Miami speaks for itself,” Alan said. “We of his football potential. But uncle Anthony a junior) before they moved me to offensive
did some research on track programs and Hamilton, who lives in Miami, stayed on line.”
Miami is successful with letting their players Taylor to try out football in the United States. Miami Beach High coach Ralph Jiminez
compete in two sports. He saw he could “He said I should come play football says of Taylor that “He passes the look test.
reach track aspirations there as well as foot- because he saw my size,” the 6-foot-3, 270- He didn’t even know how to get into a 3-point
ball. And the academics are very good. And pounder said. “I said `okay’ because I wanted stance when he got here. He is real raw.


“It’s a Cinderella story, no doubt. It’s the He’s real fluid in his routes, catches the ball “We had him come off the edge, had him
Miami Beach version of Blind Side. I’m super real well. And on the defensive side of the ball blitz - we call him `The Sack Master,’” Lake
proud. I can’t say enough. This is what we are he can be dominant as well at end. He can Taylor High coach Hank Sawyer said. “At 6-
in this business for, to give kids an opportuni- collapse those offensive linemen into each 3 he gets in front of the quarterback and
ty to change their lives.” other with tremendous strength and force.” knocks the ball down. He has speed and ath-
Taylor’s goals at Miami? Walford entered the year as somewhat of leticism. He can change directions, is a fierce
He’s shooting for the stars. an unknown since he decided not to play as a competitor. He runs a 4.38 40.”
“I’m going to live up to my full potential junior because “I just didn’t have the love for Williams began playing football at age 5,
and even more, and I’m going to be one of the game.” and he grew up playing running back, quar-
the greatest to ever walk through the doors of Now he says he has the love. terback, receiver and linebacker. He played
the University of Miami from pure hard work, “I’m really enjoying it,” he said. some receiver and quarterback for his high
dedication,” Taylor said. “Football is my life The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder with 4.6-sec- school team in addition to outside linebacker.
now, and I take it very seriously.” ond speed says he hopes to play early at “I started playing when I was young, and I
Part of the reason Taylor wasn’t heavily Miami. could always hit,” he said. “When a player
recruited is he didn’t go to many college sum- “I have a chance to come in and play came to me I laid him down.”
mer camps. The reason for that - he couldn’t because they have two tight ends (that are Williams landed more than 20 scholarship
afford to go. He only went to one day of the leaving),” Walford said. “I want to come in offers during the recruiting process. He chose
Randy Shannon camp because of his family’s and make an impact, make a name for Miami over LSU, West Virginia, Tennessee,
financial concerns. myself.” Penn State and North Carolina.
“I feel this is a dream come true, this is a Williams is rated a four-star prospect by
blessing to me and I’m not going to waste one LB TR AVIS WILLIAMS, and he’s ranked the No. 15 out-
minute of my time not getting prepared, get- Norfolk (VA) Lake Taylor High School LB side linebacker and is No. 204 nationally
ting bigger, faster, stronger,” Taylor said. “I Travis Williams always called Miami his regardless of position.
look forward to great success in the near “dream school.” Of his goals at Miami, Williams said, “I
future.” And now he’s living his dream. want to find a spot on the team where I can evaluated film of Taylor after Williams first landed a Cane scholarship play. I want to get a good education and make
his Miami commitment and awarded him a offer in early June, and he committed Oct. it to the NFL.”
three-star ranking. 19. * A couple of strange but true stories,
“I was always about Miami growing up,” courtesy of Williams:
TE CLIVE WALFORD Williams said. “I’ve seen a lot of their games, The first, on how he accidentally burned
Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central High know their history. My favorite player when I down his house: “When I was a little young
School TE Clive Walford says he never got a was younger was Ray Lewis, and I pattern boy - I was 2 or 3 years old - one day my lit-
single recruiting letter from Miami before an how I play after Sean Taylor - the way he hit tle brother was getting washed by my grand-
offer letter arrived in his mailbox. guys.” mother,” Williams said. “I grabbed the match-
“It came out of the blue,” Walford said. Williams went after UM in the early going, es, went in the closet and shut the door. And
His other offers were from FIU, Indiana sending them his highlight tape unsolicited. then I just lit the match and threw it and I
and Purdue. “I told my coach to send it, and he was like leaped out of the closet and shut the door. I
This diamond in the rough hopes he can `Okay, we’ll see what happens,’” Williams don’t know how I lit it, I just did it. My moth-
make a big impact right away at a thin tight said. “I called my coach the next week and er smelled the smoke, and I had gone back
end position. Randy Shannon had called my coach to downstairs and hid behind the couch and the
“If I come in and get the plays down pat I’ll offer.” whole house was on fire. The firemen didn’t
be able to play right away,” he said. Williams was recruited to Miami by coach see me when they came in, and my grand-
Walford played this season after suffering a Aubrey Hill. mother wasn’t going without her grandson.
torn meniscus that required surgery in July. “He talks about how they like to play fresh- She came back in the house and she saw my
He says he wasn’t back at 100 percent during men early,” Williams said. “He’s looking for head sticking up behind the couch. She
the season and that it’s “coming along” now people to come play right away, says that I grabbed me. The house was on fire. It was the
with some rest. have a great chance of starting. He talks projects we lived in, and it burned down. We
He had over 400 receiving yards and six about (Sean) Spence, how he came in 195 had to move to another projects.”
touchdown catches as a senior. and he’s 220 now. He said I’m 202 now, how He adds, “Nobody was mad at me because
“There’s no doubt he’s Miami caliber, no I can get up to about 230 and keep going. I was so young, didn’t know what I was
doubt about it at all,” Glades Central coach “I like the fact that they’re short on their doing.”
Jessie Hester said. “With the proper coaching linebackers. That’s a good deal, because I can Another Williams tale is about how he got
and the proper strength and conditioning, come in and ball out. I just have to come a scar in the shape of the bottom of an iron
he’s going to be one of the better kids to ready to practice and play hard.” on his right thigh.
come out of there ever. He’s real athletic, can Williams finished his junior year with 68 “When I was 1 year old I had an iron on
run and jump. tackles, 15 sacks and seven forced fumbles. my leg for 10 minutes and I didn’t feel it, and
“He has a basketball background, and he’s On offense he had 32 receptions for over 600 the ambulance, E.R. people were asking
an extremely athletic kid who moves really yards. questions because I burned my leg,” he said.
well for his size. He just has such a tremen- As a senior he had 71 tackles, 14 sacks, “I was an early talker, just said, `I burned my
dous upside to him for his development. He seven forced fumbles and 11 passes broken leg.’ I still have the scar on my leg - shaped
really hasn’t even touched his skill level yet. up. His 69 career sacks is a school record. like the iron.”


QUARTERBACK TIGHT ENDS can get his academics in order. Williams and Jimmy Gaines.
UM targeted a few highly rated Chase Ford may have the best Overall, this line class Look for Nelson and Williams to
out of state quarterbacks early in chance of any signee to play right addressed needs fairly well. both develop into tremendous
the process that went elsewhere, away. He’s college ready after GR ADE: B+ leaders both on and off the field
and the Canes finally found one two years in junior college, and during their careers. Cornelius is
they liked locally - Pace’s he has outstanding hands and DEFENSI VE LINE a guy who will lead by example
Stephen Morris. Morris is a smart good speed. He’s got a chance to The line landed a lot of what on the field, and Gaines is an
quarterback with a strong arm, start right away with the three fans would call sleepers. And intriguing under-the-radar
and he is already on campus top tight ends from a year ago there was no bigger sleeper than prospect. He’s got a nose for the
working to pick up the nuances graduating. Also looking to get in tackle Delmar Taylor, who played ball and always seems to make
of Mark Whipple’s offense. the mix is Andrew Tallman, who all of five high school games after the play. And don’t worry too
Contrary to some rumors, Miami showed off his toughness while moving from the Bahamas, much about the `we stole him
never targeted a second quarter- playing defensive line as well as where he was a basketball stand- from Buffalo’ stuff - some major
back, which shows what Cane tight end in high school, and out. He is a tremendous athlete colleges got on this kid late after
coaches think of Morris’s ability. Clive Walford, who has great ath- with huge upside. Jeffery Brown he decommitted from Buffalo,
If Whipple liked him enough to leticism. This position also had a was another signee, and UM was including Arkansas. Miami
offer him, who are we to argue? nice late addition, as Asante- his only major offer. And Kelvin missed out on Josh Shirley late,
GR ADE: B+ Jabari Cleveland opted for UM Cain is rated a two-star prospect which hurt. Micheal Barrow gets
over Washington State on signing by Both are hard credit for recruiting these guys
RUNNING BACKS day. He’s a rangy, talented play- workers who are thrilled to be even though he no longer is the
Miami continues to stockpile er. Canes and have the frame to put team’s linebackers coach.
tremendous talent at this posi- This position was a huge pri- on lots of weight. They are both GR ADE: A-
tion. Eduardo Clements is in the ority, as tight end is lacking num- also good athletes who have
Graig Cooper mold, only faster, bers and is a big part of Mark great mobility for their size. DEFENSI VE BACKS
and Storm Johnson is a break- Whipple’s offense. Guys that UM David Perry was a local signee We like what Miami has here,
away threat with tremendous coaches targeted at this position who graded out as a three-star. addressing a numbers need at
upside. Some think Darion Hall they pretty much got, and you New defensive line coach Rick cornerback with the addition of
could emerge as the best of this can’t argue with that. GR ADE: Petri knows stars don’t mean Jeremy Davis, Kacy Rodgers,
group, as he has a good combi- A anything, and he also knows all Devont’a Davis and Keion Payne.
nation of quickness, strength and these kids have plenty of upside. Rodgers and Jeremy Davis are
vision. And Maurice Hagens is OFFENSI VE LINE He will work to get the most out big, physical corners, which is
basically a big tailback who will The Canes inked a trio of tal- of them. something UM is sorely lacking.
fill a key role at fullback. We love ented four-star prospects here - There were some misses here, And Davis also has outstanding
what he brings to the table for Tavadis Glenn, Brandon Linder mainly at defensive tackle. The speed and could factor in as a
Miami with his hardheaded play and Malcolm Bunche. All three team didn’t keep early commit- return man. Payne and Devont’a
and ability to catch the ball out of will compete for immediate play- ment Louis Nix, and UM didn’t Davis could develop into excel-
the backfield or get some key ing time at a line spot that is lack- land Jeffrey Whitaker, who visit- lent lockdown corners. Landing
short yardage carries. GR ADE: ing numbers and experience. ed the weekend before signing Payne was a big key to this group
A Shane McDermott will also be day. Late overtures to Roney getting a solid grade. GR ADE:
thrown into the mix to get imme- Lozano (from Hialeah American) B+
WIDE RECEI VERS diate playing time at center with were turned down - he got an
This was not a huge need AJ Trump graduating and Tyler offer Jan. 31 but opted to stick SPECIAL TEAMS
position with a talented corps Horn trying to take over. Some with his Cincinnati commitment. Miami didn’t officially land a
already on the team. And UM view Jermaine Barton as a proj- Another disappointment was kicker, but St. Thomas Aquinas’
wound up with just one receiver ect, but once he gets his tech- not landing Ego Ferguson on backup Ben Hopfinger says he is
signee - Allen Hurns, who is nique down he has all the tools to signing day. He had been leaning likely to walk on at UM - he has
already on campus. Hurns is be a monster. Johnathan to Miami for much of the recruit- not made his mind up yet,
coming off a knee injury and like- Feliciano will also work hard to ing process, and his family lives though. If Hopfinger does walk
ly will be limited this spring. It’ll get into the mix as a freshman. in South Florida. But he chose to on it would give UM a kickoff
be tough for him to break the UM had a couple of late miss- sign with LSU. GR ADE: C- specialist to help take the load off
lineup as a freshman, but he es on Shon Coleman and Matt Bosher (Hopfinger put 85
hopes to at least start showing Seantrel Henderson, who was LINEBACK ERS percent of his kickoffs for touch-
off his playmaking ability in fall the nation’s No. 1 offensive line Miami made this an area of backs this past season). UM
drills. Other top receivers the prospect. Coleman was a long- tremendous importance in this whiffed in losing out on talented
Canes targeted throughout the shot even before his visit the recruiting class, as the linebacker Aquinas starter Mike Palardy.
recruiting process were scared off weekend before signing day, but corps needs an influx of young And the team also went hard
by the depth chart. losing Henderson hurt as the talent. And that certainly hap- after William Russ but couldn’t
The only other receiver UM Canes were in it up to the end. pened. This is a talented haul get him down for a visit. Miami
was in it with entering the final Don’t be surprised if there’s a with Tyrone Cornelius (who wanted a kicker in this class but
weeks of recruiting was Ivan late signee here. Milford (NY) some think could wind up at safe- couldn’t get one, and Matt
McCartney, who announced for Academy coach Bill Chaplick ty depending how much weight Bosher is a senior this season.
West Virginia on signing day. says he expects Miami to take he does or doesn’t put on at GR ADE: Incomplete
GR ADE: C Derrick Campbell as long as he UM), Kevin Nelson, Travis


SHANNON, continued from page 6
Those are the kind of things we’re trying to the tight end, you look at his size, what he did an opportunity to play. The only thing that can
find when we’re looking for linebackers. on film. He lined up at receiver, tight end, dom- stop a freshman from playing is mentally and
Q: Are you concer ned at all about the inated at tight end, caught the ball, got in open physically. Mentally if you’re not able to handle
national rankings? This class isn’t rated space, was very physical, had ability to escape it and learn what you’re doing you won’t make
that highly. and get away from people. Asante Cleveland it. And physically any young man in high school
Shannon: No. We won’t be ranked - we played receiver, tight end, some defensive end. says `I’m going in and starting.’ If I go and say
don’t have the athletes in this class. I can’t say We have a lot of variety on this football team you’re going to start at free safety, I promise you
`Let’s recruit five receivers.’ We can recruit five that will help us be where we need to be at. that. Some high school kids: `Yeah, I’m start-
receivers to get us in the top five in the country, Q: Who is the new recr uiting coordina- ing there.’ But they keep forgetting spring foot-
go out there and recruit a a certain position. We tor? ball. Somebody has to start in spring football.
feel we have to fill our needs on the team. We Shannon: Aubrey Hill. Spring football, someone has to line up, learn
have receivers on this football team. We have Q: A lot of these guys are good ath- the defense, learn the offense. If I promise you
Allen Hurns and maybe one or two guys still out letes. that, once I tell you that I’m lying to you, now
there. But you don’t want to go and cut yourself Shannon: All these guys like (Jermaine) you’ll never be able to trust me. Now, I tell you
short on maybe a need that’s at tight end. Barton, he played basketball. Jeffery Brown is a I’ll give you an opportunity if physically and
Because that’s a big-time need for us. That’s great wrestler, is 39-1 and going for state play- mentally you can handle it. And I tell them the
things you always have to find, what’s your need offs right now. He’s an unbelievable wrestler. All physical part of it. I go back to Marcus Forston
for this program on offense, defense and special these guys - (Kelvin) Cain is real good basketball his freshman year. His mindset was `I’m the
teams. You address those situations, then you player. Asante is decent. All these guys have man, I’m going to do this, do that.’ He didn’t
become a better football team. played basketball. Andrew Tallman is a discus play against Florida State his freshman year. His
Q: You got good size in this class. thrower and we found him because he ran the body was sore. He wasn’t used to banging
Shannon: Big, fast guys, that’s what we feel 400 hurdles. We went out in May, coach (Jeff) against 300 pounds in practice, banging against
we needed. We feel if we get big, fast guys on Stoutland watched him run, then you turn on 300 pounds in games, wasn’t used to tackling
this football team that we’ll be a great football the film and you say `Well, we have an athlete guys 220, 215, 205. He was tackling guys
team. You take Brandon Linder from St. here.’ He’ll be a tight end. about 160 in high school, so it’s a different ball
Thomas Aquinas, he played guard, center and Q: Did you find you have kids you game. He was beat up because his body could-
tackle. In the Army All-American game he recr uited that don’t want to wait a couple n’t handle it. I tell most high school guys that if
might have been center the whole entire game. of years to play? you want to play at Miami, mentally and physi-
That tells you he’s got variety, brings value to Shannon: In recruiting, yes. One thing I’ll cally you have to be ready to play. I give them
your football team because he can do three dif- never do, I’ll never tell a young man they’ll start that Marcus Forston story all the time, and then
ferent things. You go down the list. Chase Ford at the University of Miami. I’ll say I’ll give you they realize that’s how it is.

Youthful Hoops Team Struggles To Find Identity
BY JIM MARTZ 66 at Blacksburg two weeks earlier. age. But in conference games only, they
Just as pre-season NFL games and Major Haith stayed with the same starting line- were seventh in three-pointers made and
League Baseball spring training games are up in the next game, which was just two ninth in shooting percentage.
not good predictors of what will happen dur- days later at Wake Forest. Result: the More inconsistency.
ing the regular season, so are non-confer- turnover prone Hurricanes fell behind by The Hurricanes are getting improved play
ence games in college basketball. 17. They battled back and narrowed the from DeQuan Jones, the sophomore for-
When Frank Haith’s basketball team went lead to 57-53 with 3:46 to go. Just when it ward who was a highly acclaimed high
undefeated in non-conference play this sea- looked like they might “steal” a victory on school star out of the Atlanta area. He has
son for their best start in a half century and the road, they failed to score another point started 16 games and averaged 5.8 points
earned a Top 25 ranking, some may have and lost 62-53. and 2.4 rebounds per game.
thought they’d be solid contenders for an Their best shooters - Dews, Thomas and But they’re not getting as much from
NCAA Tournament berth. Grant - were a combined 3 for 18 from the McGowan (4.3 points, 3.4 rebounds) or
But when ACC play began, they quickly field for the game. sophomore center Julian Gamble (2.2
slumped to the bottom of the standings. Inconsistency. points, 1.7 rebounds).
Why? Dews and Thomas each missed open Haith continues to have faith in this team,
* Inconsistency. shots from the corner down the stretch. and why not? They had decent victories: 85-
* Inexperience. “Our veterans have got to make plays,” 70 over South Carolina, which handed top-
* An unfavorable beginning to the confer- Haith said afterward. ranked Kentucky its first loss; 63-58 over
ence schedule. But how long do you stay with inconsis- Minnesota; 67-66 over Wake Forest at
You know there are problems in develop- tent veterans and go with inconsistent fresh- home; and the Virginia Tech game.
ing consistency when it’s February and your men and sophomores to give them valuable “We have a young team,” said Haith. “I
starting lineup is still unsettled. That’s the experience and build for the future? really believe this team is capable of winning
dilemma Haith and his staff faced as they Look for freshman forward Garrius games on the road in this league. By this
worked with a squad that has nine freshmen Adams to see more playing time. Same for time of the year, that youthfulness has got to
and sophomores and that had to play six of the 6-10, 290-pound Johnson, who change a little bit. We’ve got to get a little
its first nine ACC games on the road. trimmed 40 pounds as a redshirt last season. older, because we’ve had some experiences
Whether it was the crowds, pressure Johnson, still a raw talent, started three and hopefully we’ll have a chance to handle
defenses or lack of intensity, the Hurricanes games in a row before the victory over it better. And we’ll have an opportunity
kept putting themselves in huge holes on Virginia Tech and showed he can handle the because the first nine games in the league,
the road. Plus they squandered a 17-point press and make free throws (36 of his last six are on the road.”
second-half lead at home in a 79-75 loss to 42, which are almost Jack McClinton-like The 2-6 conference start doesn’t mean
Boston College. numbers). this is a lost season.
“Obviously we were disappointed but not “It’s great to have a big man who can “We were 2-6 two years ago and made
discouraged by our game here against make free throws,” said Haith. the NCAA Tournament,” said Haith.
Boston College,” Haith said. “We learned There’s a lot of upside to Johnson, UM’s “There’s a lot of games to be played, and I
from it, and that’s what you hope for when biggest wide-body since Tito Horford in the want our guys to have a lot of positive stuff
you have a young team.” late 1980s. around them. There’s enough negativity
And the Canes did learn from it - when “Reggie Johnson, the guy’s a freshman around them that we need them to be posi-
the Hurricanes played Virginia Tech at the and he goes out there and makes some huge tive.
BankUnited Center Jan. 31 UM almost let a plays,” said Haith. “We had a couple of activities we did as a
19-point lead dissolve. But this time the No one has become a go-to guy in the team, and I thought that helped us get back
team held on to win. clutch, and that has shown in the close loss- in terms of focus. This team is a good bas-
It’s been a tough ACC road for Miami, es. McClinton, a two-time All-ACC first- ketball team. We’ve had some good wins,
which has lost six of its first eight conference team selection, was that player the last two and we’re a very capable basketball team.”
games. seasons. And that was good and bad, A couple of off-court activities helped
The starting lineup against the Hokies because when his shooting was off, nobody build team unity. Haith had the squad feed a
consisted of freshman guard Durand Scott, picked up the slack. group of homeless people, and the players
sophomore guard (Villanova transfer) The Hurricanes have much more bal- gave them their shoes. And he asked players
Malcolm Grant, senior guard James Dews, anced scoring this season, with three play- to write at least one positive thing about
senior forward Dwayne Collins and fresh- ers averaging in double figures (Collins, each of their teammates, then share what
man center Reggie Johnson. Dews and Grant) and Scott (8.4) and they wrote during a team meeting.
Haith then shook things up by starting Thomas (7.6) just behind them. But that is “It made us realize more that we’re play-
senior forwards Adrian Thomas and Cyrus also good and bad; nobody is taking com- ing for each other,” said Dews. “That’s
McGowan in place of Grant and Johnson. mand when the game is on the line. important. We’re family out there on the
That unit responded by helping the Canes Going into February, the Hurricanes led court and off the court. All those activities
grab an 18-11 lead en route to an 82-75 vic- the ACC in three-point field goals made and made us realize that much more, do it not
tory over a team that had whipped them 81- were fourth in three-point shooting percent- just for yourself but the guy next to you.”


By JIM MARTZ to be 1, but it’s a pretty good problem to have more) Harold Martinez at third. (Sophomore)
On the opening day of baseball practice for because both guys have been our ace when they David)Villasuso, who has probably hit better
2010, it was snowing in North Carolina. Ice were pitching.” than anybody this year with power and hit the
covered the streets in Atlanta. And tempera- Last season the Hurricanes compiled a 38- ball hard last fall, he’ll probably be DH. A lot
tures plunged to zero in Michigan. 22 record, and for the first time in the Morris can change in the next three weeks.”
At Alex Rodriguez Park on the University of era at UM they finished the season before June. Gone from last year’s team are a pair of All-
Miami campus, it was nearly 80 when the The season came to an embarrassing halt in the Americans in closer Kyle Bellamy and shortstop
Hurricanes took the field for their first workout. championship game of the NCAA Regional at Ryan Jackson, plus three of the top four hitters
“It’s not my fault if it’s snowing in Michigan,” Gainesville in a 16-5 loss to Florida. And this in Chris Herrmann, Jason Hagerty and Dave
said coach Jim Morris as he began his 17th sea- was after the Canes had swept the Gators three DiNatale.
son at UM. “But as I told the players, `t’s your straight at Gainesville early in the regular sea- When the Hurricanes have been their best in
fault if you’re not taking advantage of the son. the post-season, they’ve had strong closers.
weather.’” Morris said after the season he thought team Morris hopes senior right-hander David
Getting a leg, or several legs, up on the chemistry was a problem. Asked about cama- Gutierrez fills that role this year.
opposition would be nice for the Canes as they raderie going into this season, Morris replied: “We need him to do good, because you don’t
face another daunting schedule. Six Atlantic “It looks like it to me, and that’s what I hear, win without a closer,” Morris said. “We’ve had
Coast Conference teams, including UM, are too. That’s a good thing and something I like to so many great closers since I’ve been here. I’ve
ranked among the top 15 teams in the nation. see, the guys hanging together and pulling for always said I’ll trade one closer for two starters.
Asked if he longs for the days when the each other on and off the field. Sometimes you So many games are won in the eighth and ninth
Hurricanes were independent, Morris chuckled don’t realize how important chemistry is, but in innings.”
and said, “I have thought about that, to be hon- my mind now it’s a very important part of it.” There’s one other newcomer this season: A
est with you. You were home more, and this The 56-game season begins Feb. 19 with a $600,000 scoreboard featuring video replays.
conference is just tough ... maybe it is in every home game against Rutgers. The schedule fea- “I’m excited about the scoreboard,” Morris
sport. tures an exhibition game against the Florida said. “(Director of athletics) Kirby Hocutt and I
“A couple years ago we finished fourth in the Marlins in Jupiter on March 3, and there are 19 flew out to see it before he chose the board. It’s
country and fifth in the conference. That kind of games scheduled against teams which played in kind of a funny story.
explains how tough this conference is because last season’s NCAA Tournament. The Gators “He asked me if I would like to go look at the
every weekend you go, you better be ready to come to Alex Rodriguez Park March 5, 6 and 7, scoreboard. I looked at it and thought it was
battle. And if they weren’t good ... two of the and the ACC home schedule will be highlighted really, really nice. So we’re getting on the plane
coaches in the conference got fired last year. by three-game series against highly rated North and he says, `What do you think?’ I said, `I like
And Duke’s really stepped it up and they’re Carolina (April 16-18) and Virginia (May 20- it. What do you think?’ He goes, `I know I
playing in a new facility there, they made a deal 22). already like it, I just want to make sure you do.’
with Durham. It’s the best facility in the ACC “We’re starting so much later than we’re I said, `So what are we going to do now?’ This
now. There’s definitely a lot of competition, and accustomed to starting down here,” Morris said. was Friday. He said, `We’re going to order it
there’s definitely a lot of emphasis on baseball in “We were accustomed to opening the last week- Monday. We’ve already got it approved.’ So I
this conference and you better be ready to play end in January when I first got here. It’s kind of thought that was great.”
every game.” an organizing again or re-organizing to make Morris added that one of the first things
The Hurricanes are ranked in the top 25 of sure we get things done the right way and get it Hocutt said to him after one game at newly
all the major polls. The National Collegate done faster. opened Alex Rodriguez Park last season was,
Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate “We used to have the two-a-days. Guys `Our speaker system is not very good and our
Baseball rank them 12th, USA Today/ESPN would come in to practice before school started scoreboard is awful.’ The next week I met with
Coaches poll has them 13th, they’re listed No. for two weeks, and we probably got more done him, and we now have an improved speaker
16 by Baseball America and No. 21 by in those two weeks than we did the rest of the system and we have a new scoreboard that we year combined. I really miss that. The other side spent approximately $600,000 on.
Morris has 17 lettermen returning from a is we practiced more in the fall, so we’ve basi- “It has video replays. We’ll see whether I’m
team that advanced to the NCAA tournament cally covered everything that we normally right or they (umpires) are right. But don’t play
for an NCAA-record 37th consecutive year. would cover in the spring.” it unless I’m right.”
They’re led by pre-season All-American catcher The tentative starting lineup has a mixture of Last year’s facility additions included a new
Yasmani Grandal and All-ACC left-handed veterans and newcomers. clubhouse, weight room, training room, meet-
pitchers Eric Erickson and Chris Hernandez and “We’ve got some question marks but, of ing room, academic area, press box and VIP
All-ACC second baseman Scott Lawson. Their course, we expect Lawson to be in the lineup suites. Anything else needed?
highly ranked recruiting class features 14 new- because he was our MVP last year,” said Morris. “I don’t know if we’ll ever be finished,”
comers, including touted freshman shortstop “He’s playing second base and first. He’s Morris said. “We need new batting cages, and
Stephen Perez from Miami’s Gulliver Prep.. spending half the time on defense at second the Ron Fraser Building needs to be redone
“Talent-wise I’m very excited about the club,” and half at first. inside. It’s gotten old, and by that time I’m sure
said Morris. “I think we’re more athletic this “In the outfield (sophomore) Nathan we’ll need to do something else. This facility
year. I’m very excited about the attitude of the Melendres is going to move from center to right had gone a long time without a facelift and it’s
team. And I think we have a good combination field, and Zeke DeVoss, the freshman who is gotten a lot in the last couple of years. Thank
of young guys and older guys. the fastest player on our club, will play center goodness for people like Alex Rodriguez, and
“To me probably our biggest question mark and then (junior) Chris Pelaez in left field proba- Paul DiMare stepped up big time, and Wayne
is pitching after our 1-2 (Erickson and bly. Right now (senior) Ryan Perry will start at Huizenga. We’re very fortunate some people
Hernandez). We don’t know which one is going second, Stephen Perez at short and (sopho- put up some big money.”


w w

Your Miami Superstore Presented By
CaneSport and All Canes