Friday Stock Report: 10/8

Heading into the 2004 season there were many players eager to prove themselves. Many of them had prior playing experience, but wanted to show they could be full-time players. Others had struggled, but wanted to show that they could be better. Here are five nice surprises for the team through the first four games of the 2004 season.

TOP 5 SURPRISE PLAYERS

5. DT Santonio Thomas

Thomas, a first-year starter, entered his senior season with something to prove. He wanted to stay healthy and contribute at a high-caliber for the team. Playing alongside Orien Harris, Thomas would have his opportunities to show what he can do. He has played extremely well thus far into the season penetrating the offensive line stopping the run and disrupting the passing game.

Season stats: 4 games/4 starts, 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

4. OL Tyler McMeans

McMeans, a first-year starter, transferred from Lackawanna Junior College (Penn.) and joined the team in time for spring practices. He came in needing to lose weight, but was eager to learn the Miami offense. He constantly asked questions and quickly grasped the offense. Not only has he picked up the offense, but also he has shed off some weight to put himself in a position to be a full-time player in 2004. When injuries arose amongst the line, like they always do, McMeans has stepped in and contributing as the team's starting right guard.

Season stats: 4 games/4 starts

3. CB Marcus Maxey

Maxey, a junior, was primarily used on special teams throughout his first two seasons at Miami. In the spring the team moved him from safety to cornerback during nickel and dime situations only to find out he might have found himself a new position. He worked hard throughout the summer at cornerback, the position he prefers, and established himself as a tough physical corner with the ability to shut down the receivers. This season Maxey has earned himself significant playing time especially on nickel situations. It looks like Glenn Sharpe has been lost for the season and now it is up to Maxey to step up as the team's primary nickel back.

Season stats: 4 games, 6 tackles, 1 fumble recovery

2. P Brian Monroe

Monroe, a sophomore, averaged 35.7 yards per punt last season as a true freshman. He struggled with consistency and his drop throughout the season. It wasn't uncommon for Monroe to have a game in which he wished he could have re-punted the ball. In the off-season Monroe vowed to be better—the team needed him to be better. He has erased all doubters of his game and has shown why he was a highly touted punter out of high school. Currently he is averaging 40.0 yards per punt including 11-of-23 (48%) of his punts going inside the 20 with only one touchback. His longest punt this season has been of 60 yards and has avoided the bad punt.

Season stats: 4 games/4 starts, 40.0 yards per punt

1. WR Lance Leggett

Leggett, a true freshman, impressed many in fall practices with his ability to make the tough catch, however the jury was still out on how he would perform in the games. The coaching staff quickly pointed out that Leggett would not redshirt this season and he has taken full advantage of his opportunity. He has started one game this season and last week he caught his first career touchdown.

Season stats: 4 games/1 start, 5 catches, 96 yards, 1 touchdown

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com.

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