Senior Spotlight

This weekend's game against Rutgers is the last home game of the season for the Hurricanes. The last home game of the year is also Senior Day. The seniors of 2003 have accomplished a lot in their years at the University of Miami. On the field they helped the Hurricanes return to a national powerhouse going 43-4 in the past four seasons including a national championship in 2001.

Some of the seniors in this year's class include linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams, safety Maurice Sikes, wide receiver Kevin Beard, running back Jarrett Payton and offensive lineman Vernon Carey. They have enjoyed great careers staring at different points throughout their career. There are some seniors who do not become stars and they have limited roles on the team.

These players should not be overlooked. Their hard work, determination and perseverance are much appreciated. They are not in the media spotlight, they do not have the fanfare and they definitely do not have NFL scouts drooling like some of their teammates. However one thing is for certain, they are Hurricanes.

Long snapper Chris Harvey, offensive lineman Jim Sikora and defensive lineman Larry Anderson all have put in their time at Miami and have spent the last five years of their lives as Hurricanes. Being a Hurricane is something that they will be able to take with them wherever their lives take them.

"They mean a lot to this program," head coach Larry Coker said. "They will all graduate and they will be missed."

Harvey has had the biggest role of the three seniors as the team's long snapper. A duty that he has had since his freshman season. During his freshman season he was named the winner of the Albert Bentley Award for the team's Most Valuable Walk-On.

"Chris Harvey has been our deep snapper forever," Coker said. "He has done a phenomenal job and has helped us win a lot of football games."

Harvey is from Accoville, West Virginia and was a three-year letterman at center and long snapper. He was the team captain during his senior year at Man High School.

"I came into Miami as a walk-on five years ago," Harvey said. "It's been a good experience here. I'm looking forward to going through the tunnel one last time. Coming from a small town in West Virginia, it is something that I never thought I would do. I'm living a dream and I've been having fun, its great."

Defensive lineman Larry Anderson had a standout career at Oscelola High School winning the state 5A championship as a senior. Anderson has been a reserve defensive lineman throughout his career and recently with the injuries at defensive tackle, Anderson has moved up the depth chart.

"Larry Anderson has been around the program for awhile now and has done a great job here," Coker said. "He has not got a lot of playing time here, but has really contributed."

Not having a large role on the team throughout his career has not been easy for Anderson.

"It has been a little rough sometimes," Anderson said. "It was a little frightening when I first got here and I was a little homesick. But when you are here it feels like family. I enjoy being around these guys. I've had a nice time being around these guys. It has seemed liked a long time ago when I first came here, but I have enjoyed most of it."

Offensive lineman Jim Sikora is from Marathon High School and captained the football and basketball teams and was team MVP in both as a senior.

"Jim Sikora is a very intelligent young man," Coker said. "He will graduate in engineering. He is our back-up long snapper. He is helped us out and done all of the things we have asked of him on scout team."

Sikora has enjoyed his time at Miami and has been happy with his opportunity to be a Hurricane.

"It's been good," Sikora said. "We won a National Championship and played for another. It's been a good time. I wouldn't trade it for anything."

Not only has Sikora put a lot of time on the practice field, but he is also a standout in the classroom. Sikora is a double major in engineering and has learned to balance academics with athletics.

"I do the both without any social life, really." Sikora said. "I always take about 15-18 credits per semester. I am majoring in civil engineering and architectural engineering with a 3.48 GPA. I really don't go out too much or hang out too much. As soon as practice is over I go home and eat, get done around eight, do homework, then go to bed. Wake up and then do it again."

This year Sikora has been on the practice squad and, as a senior, it has not been easy for him. It is not the way a senior envisions his last year on the team.

"It kind of hurts," Sikora said. "But I know what I am there for. I have to get the younger guys ready on the scout team. I have been there before and I know what has to happen. It is an integral part of the team. Getting the defense ready for the game. They are third in the nation right now so we are doing a pretty good job."

Both Harvey and Sikora list the National Championship victory over Nebraska as their most memorable moments at Miami.

"The National Championship victory over Nebraska is my most memorable moment," Harvey said. "I didn't actually play in that game because I was hurt, but just being apart of a winning team like that was fun."

"My most memorable moment as a Hurricane is the National Championship for sure," Sikora said.

These three guys will miss their teammates and their time in the locker room after their time at Miami is finished. The friendships that are developed in college are considered to be some of the best friendships a person will develop throughout their lives.

"I'm going to miss the guys," Harvey said. "I have met a lot of friends since I have been here. A lot of guys that came in that aren't here anymore. I've met a lot of good people here."

"Being in the locker room, just hanging out with the guys," Anderson said. "When I first came to Miami I was close with Clinton Portis and Phillip Buchanon because they were my suitemates. Now I am close with Vince Wilfork and some of the other defensive linemen."

"I'm going to miss all of the guys," Sikora said. "My teammates are like family. I'm the closest with Chris Harvey and Joe McGrath."

Saturday will be their last game in the Orange Bowl after five years of hard work. Each of the guys have their own thoughts on what would be the perfect day for them.

"I just want the team to go out there and play good and have fun," said Harvey.

"Just going out with a win," Anderson said. "Going out on my last game at the Orange Bowl with a win."

"Go out there and don't let them score," Sikora said. "Score about 50 on them to give everyone a chance to play."

The perfect day on Saturday would be a Miami win and for these three seniors along with the rest of the senior class to receive recognition for all of the time and effort that they have put into the program over the last four to five years.

All Hurricane fans will miss the seniors of 2003. Best of luck to Chris, Larry and Jim. You will be a Hurricane for life.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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