D line A +
This is where the staff earned their cash this year. The best talent in this class comes, by far in the defensive line. First of all, lets talk about Chad Thomas. Every school in the country would want this guy and he's going to be a Cane. That alone should get you fired up. I would get in detail of just how good he is, but we all know how good he is. He's also a pretty good rapper. Another guy who's going to continue being his teammate is Demetrius Jackson. Also from Booker T. Washington. Only Arkansas offered Jackson before Miami, but who wants to go to Arkansas? At the time of his first offers, he had only participated in a spring game, in which he dominated with 5 sacks. That caught the attention of the coaches and they offered. Shortly there after, he committed and stuck with it, even when there was doubt. Oh, and he's now a 4-star. These two Booker T. products will cause havoc for the Canes on the edges.
Pass rushers need some dominant defensive tackles to make things happen, though. Let me get this out of the way first, Travonte Valentine decided to go to LSU, and that's his decision. If you think the staff didn't try hard enough to keep him home, you didn't pay much attention. Now, if you want to move past that, we can see that there's still some really good guys coming in to help the position.
Anthony Moten is the first which comes to mind. Al Golden said during his Wednesday presser that Moten was already at 300 pounds and that means he's very close to coming in and making an early impact. He's a 4-star recruit from St. Thomas Aquinas and has a chance to be the next great DT. Miami also went out and got Courtel Jenkins from New Jersey. Jenkins is probably behind Moten, but he's still got a lot of talent. He tweeted during the Super Bowl that Coach D'Onofrio called him and told him that he wanted him to play like "Pot-roast" which is Denver Broncos' DT Terrance Knighton. If he can play like Knighton, Canes fans should be thrilled.
One thing the staff did well was get JUCO guys to come in and contribute immediately. A JUCO is usually farther off in his development than a high school kid, which is a good thing. Miami needs immediate help at defensive tackle and they went out and grabbed 2 JUCO DT's. Calvin Heurtelou and Michael Wyche. Heurtelou is also enrolled, and Wyche will enroll in May due to some weird ACC rule. Both of these guys are grown man and will fill a nice void in the middle.
The talent at the defensive line is slowly arriving in Coral Gables. Get excited.
True but last year they wiffed on D lineman recruits losing two top guys they were counting on. Yes the coaching is suspect but the quality of the interior D line was weak with little back up plus It seemed they had to blitz to get any pressure at all.
They got 3 very good DE's that can all pass rush plus LB Smith from Norland who is a excellent pass rusher as well.
Time will tell but at least they are getting players to address this glaring weakness.
I hear ya about the coaching but sometimes great players can make up for average coaching. At least I hope so.
JoJo Nicolas passed tonight after a brutal car accident. Sad news.
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here's a pretty good article on the moves the Canes will be doing in spring training. Among them Dallas Crawford moving to safety.
Intriguing issues, beyond the quarterback job, percolate as UM spring practice opens Saturday. Among them:
### Outlook at running back. In a surprising development, a UM spokesperson said Thursday that Dallas Crawford --– who had the team's second-most carries last season --– is shifting to defensive back, with safety his most likely landing spot.
With Duke Johnson and ballyhooed early arrival Joseph Yearby out for the spring because of injuries, that leaves UM with four healthy backs: Gus Edwards (305 yards, 5.6 per carry last season), Walter Tucker (redshirted in 2013), former walk-on DeAndre Johnson (the former Iowa scholarship player who had five rushes for 21 carries for UM last season) and Norland walk-on Quincy Casimir.
Al Golden is not talking to the media until Saturday, and UM didn’t give a reason for moving Crawford, who averaged 4.2 yards per carry last season. But it strongly suggests Miami expects Edwards and Yearby to get nearly all of the carries behind Johnson in 2014. Tucker likely will play fullback.
Departing running back Eduardo Clements said Edwards “has to trust his blocks and his eyes more.”
One concern: Edwards runs upright at times “and when you run like that, it’s tough to learn not to do it,” Clements said. But “he’s going to become a power back.”
Yearby “will be the second-best running back on the team” next season, recruiting analyst Charles Fishbein predicted. “He’ll give you the same things Duke Johnson does.”
### What early arrivals will make a case to play? Four-star offensive tackle KC McDermott potentially can stake a claim to the starting right tackle job. “It wouldn’t surprise me if KC starts every game in his career at Miami,” Fishbein said.
Other early arrivals: Yearby and receiver Braxton Berrios (both sidelined this spring with injuries); defensive tackle Calvin Heurteleu (a junior college transfer who figures to get playing time immediately); offensive tackle Trevor Darling (a potential starter down the road), defensive end Trent Harris (14 sacks in 2013; good run defender who picked UM over FSU, Alabama and Ohio State), linebackers Juwon Young and Darrion Owens (Owens can play safety, if needed) and Ryan Mayes, who enters behind at least five returning cornerbacks.
### Settling on an offensive line: Seantrel Henderson and Brandon Linder are NFL-bound, and Malcolm Bunche transferred to UCLA. UM feels very good about Ereck Flowers (left tackle), Shane McDermott (center) and Jon Feliciano (left guard).
K.C. McDermott and guard Danny Isidora will have every chance to win starting jobs on the right side, and Sonny Odogwu and Taylor Gadbois will push for time.
### Gaining clarity at defensive tackle: With the departures of Curtis Porter, Luther Robinson and Justin Renfrow, three-quarters of the top-four tackle rotation could be newcomers, if summer arrivals Anthony Moten and Michael Wyche join Heurtelou and incumbent Olsen Pierre in the two-deep depth chart.
Wyche, a junior college transfer, is expected to play a lot, and “we’ll expect Moten to compete from Day 1,” defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said. “Getting him was huge. He’s 298 right now. He’ll have a great opportunity.”
The four defensive tackle newcomers –-- including three-star Courtel Jenkins –-- will compete with disappointing Earl Moore, Corey King and Jelani Hamilton for time at tackle alongside Pierre. Ufomba Kamalu can play tackle but showed promise at defensive end in November.
### Sorting out linebacker, aside from Denzel Perryman: This group must improve significantly. UM believes Alex Figueroa, whose freshman season was cut short by injury, is ready for a major role; he has the skill set to be a more complete player than incumbent Thurston Armbrister. Raphael Kirby, expected to replace departing inside linebacker Jimmy Gaines, too often has been out of position, and that must change.
D’Onofrio expects undersized Jermaine Grace to assume a role at inside linebacker on third downs, replacing departed Tyrone Cornelius. Pompano Beach Ely inside linebacker Terry McCray (19 sacks as a senior) could play immediately if he impresses when he arrives this summer. So could early-enrollee Young, who had 118 tackles, three sacks and four forced fumbles as a high school senior in Albany, Ga; he can play all three linebacker positions.
And UM needs either Al Quadin Muhammad or Tyriq McCord to develop into more than pass-rush specialists, potentially as outside linebackers when Miami uses a 3-4, or Muhammad as a 4-3 end when UM plays that scheme.
Muhammad, whose only freshman sacks were against Savannah State, said he didn’t play nearly as well as he hoped last season. Among early arrivals, freshmen Harris and Owens also will compete at outside linebacker, with highly-regarded ends Chad Thomas, Demetrius Jackson and Mike Smith (off an ACL injury) arriving this summer.
### Secondary competition: UM expects Jamal Carter, who came on very strong, will challenge Rayshawn Jenkins and Deon Bush for a starting safety job, and Crawford is now in the mix there, too. Newcomers Kiy Hester and Marques Gayot join the fray this summer.
"Deon clearly [was] hampered all year [by last summer’s hernia surgery],” Golden said last month, adding Jenkins needs to be more consistent.
The cornerback competition will be stiff, with Artie Burns (coaches loves how he came on) and Antonio Crawford pushing Ladarius Gunter and Tracy Howard for starting spots. Corn Elder will be a factor when he returns this summer from a November knee injury.
Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/sport...#storylink=cpy
Tim "Ice" Harris rejoins UM staff
Harris was head guy at Booker T Washington the reining national HS champs and will be a liaison to all the HS coaches. I think he did the same for Randy Shannon.
Should help with intercity recruiting in S. Fla. Good move.
Great move. Golden needs all the help he can get with how ridiculous it is trying to recruit south Florida with every recruit having a handler. Need more people on the staff who can talk to these guys.
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