Disruptive Force

If Jon Beason was asked to give the equipment manager a hand there is a good chance he wouldn't even flinch. With four different positions on his resume, it is clear Beason has displayed his versatility since arriving at the University of Miami.

Before receiving a medical redshirt thanks to a season-ending shoulder injury last season, Beason, who appeared in two games in 2003, had already bounced around quite a bit on the field going from safety to fullback to linebacker.

So, maybe that's why the 6-1, 220-pound redshirt freshman doesn't sound overly concerned despite being put on the move again.

"It really doesn't matter where I play. My thing is just giving 100 percent and putting it all on the line for this football team," says Beason, who is expected to start at strongside linebacker when the No. 10 Hurricanes (6-1) host Clemson (4-4) in the Orange Bowl, Saturday night. "Just because the coaches make a move doesn't mean I'm not going to hard work. If I don't have a good game then I'll be on the bench next Saturday."

UM coach Larry Coker did not commit to Beason starting when asked after Wednesday's practice, although Beason said he was told earlier in the week to expect a significant increase in playing time. Beason was moved from reserve middle linebacker to starting strongside linebacker on Tuesday.

"Jon has the size, speed and ability to get the ball that you need to make plays. He's really performed well for us and deserves an opportunity" said Coker. "It doesn't matter where they line up. We just need guys to make plays for our football team."

After opening the season backing up Leon Williams at middle linebacker the former Chaminade-Madonna standout was listed to start against Louisiana Tech and Houston although he wasn't on the field because the Hurricanes opened in a nickel package against the pass-oriented teams.

Now he's looking forward to enjoying more freedom to roam from his new position.

"Outside you don't have as much responsibilities so you can do a lot more of the dirty work like taking on lead blockers and roaming the field," says Beason, who has 12 tackles this season. "There are a lot more opportunities for you to make plays."

Beason hopes to ignite a defensive unit that has gone from among the best in the country to suspect in a matter of weeks. After limiting the opposition to 26 points and one touchdown in 60 possessions during their first four games the Hurricanes have allowed 100 points and 1,492 yards of total offense, including 545 in last week's 41-38 loss to North Carolina, the last three weeks.

Miami is ranked 42nd in total defense.

"I'm just excited about having the chance of going out there and making something happen. I don't care if it's a tackle, hit - I just want to help get us back on track," said Beason. "We need to get back to the fundamentals and having fun again."

Aside from poor tackling and execution the unit has been plagued by an inability to disrupt their opponent's offensive flow, according to Beason. The Tar Heels, who put together four drives of 10 plays or more while keeping the Hurricanes off balance, finished the game with a time of possession.

"That's not University of Miami defense. We shouldn't be struggling the way we are," said Beason. "You can talk about going hard in practice all week, but it doesn't mean anything if you can't get it done on Saturdays. Hopefully we've learned our lesson."

Defensive tackle Kareem Brown, is apparently taking his demotion in stride.

Despite losing the left defensive tackle spot after Saturday's game, Brown, who made his first start of the season against North Carolina, says he doesn't care where he plays as long as it's to the team's benefit.

"I really don't think I had a bad game, but when you're at the University of Miami everybody is judged on a higher scale," said Brown, who had three tackles. "I did some good things out there, but this isn't about me - it's about these players and what I can do to get it turned around."

The 6-5, 301-pounder said he was informed of his demotion by Coker during a team meeting last Sunday. According to Brown, Coker wants him to be more aggressive coming off blocks and not get lost in the trenches.

Brown was filling in for Santonio Thomas, who recently underwent knee surgery.


Coker said TE Greg Olsen (broken left wrist), WR Ryan Moore (high ankle sprain), DE Javon Nanton (shoulder) and SS Brandon Meriweather (shoulder) are expected to play against Clemson.

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