Canes Future In Good Hands

Let's put aside Rex Grossman's poor time management and the rising speculation that it won't be too long before Brock Berlins slips on an orange and green jersey. Only time will tell (pardon the pun) where and if one or both of the rifle-armed Gators will end up throwing touchdowns passes.

We will certainly find out in the near future and no matter what Grossman and Berlin will show their worth anywhere they go.

But for all the paper crumbling being sparked up about whether Berlin (good chance) or Grossman (not so fast, Eddie) are headed down I-95 south to the University of Miami, the Hurricanes shouldn't be losing much sleep (or games) whether they land or strikeout on any of the UF quarterbacks.

Doesn't matter who will be taking the snaps behind center for the Hurricanes next year, in 2003 and beyond. Miami won't be short on quarterbacks and that is just a small reason why their rise back to college football's elite won't be a short lived trip. This year's perfect march into the Rose Bowl could be the first of several for Miami and something special like that run in the late 80's and early 90's.

Down in the dumps when he arrived in 1995, Butch Davis got the train back on its tracks in just six years before Larry Coker added a little grease to bring the Hurricanes all the way back- to stay. After putting UM back in fifth gear, Davis opted to take on another project.

Fortunately for Coker, he could be the one that ends up getting a finger transplant in order to wear all those national championship rings that could come in his direction (Hurry up Paul, give Larry a fat raise and lock him for a chunk of years. This guy is a lifer unlike the last four football bosses in Coral Gables).

Hate to name drop, but I can think of plenty that will make life miserable for future UM opponents. Names that might be having Florida, Tennessee and Missouri rethinking their decisions to sign up to play the Hurricanes.

Miami is long on talent- now and later. Offensive weapons, defensive weapons, weapons that haven't even arrived yet.

Just take a peak.

Frank Gore. Buck Orteaga. Brock Berlin? (0ops. Sorry, Steve) Willis McGahee. Andre Johnson Kevin Beard Jason Geathers Kellen Winslow II Joel Rodriguez Tony Tella Vince Wolfork Leon Williams Jon Vilma Antrel Rolle Kelly Jennings Sean Taylor.

Quick, quick.

At the risk of having him get away, why not start with Gore. What the freshman running back out of Coral Gables did on the football field for the Hurricanes this season is just a glimpse of the future for this young man.

Gore might be short on words, but he likes to boast about finishing his career as the ‘greatest running back ever' at UM. It's hard not to believe him. Gore has exceptional vision to go with the breakaway speed of most great ones.

Rumors of Clinton Portis bolting a year early for the pros should cause as a little as a whisper in the Gables. Gore will at some point be Heisman Trophy material. It's not everyday that a college freshman averages more yards per carry than his final year in high school. That's exactly what Gore did to the tune of over nine yards a rush. Gore's strength and pass-catching skills will need to improve and there is no reason to believe they won't.

Only two things, in my opinion, could bring down the curtains on Gore's career at UM. First, can he keep his academics to a level that will allow him to stay in school and the possibility of bolting to the NFL prematurely.

The Hurricanes would be wise to put the rock in Gore's hands a bunch before it's too late. The coaches won't divulge it publicly, but corner them up and they'll see Gore was the best UM running back this season including Portis. I agree.

All indications are Ken Dorsey will be around for one final season which will once again make the Hurricanes an automatic title contender. Dorsey isn't the best QB around and doesn't have the best arm strength, but the guy makes smart decisions and just wins, which is the bottom. And besides being All-world isn't a need when you are surrounded by so many jewels.

Berlin won't be available until 2003 to the Hurricanes (sorry, Steve), but regardless there is no reason to believe the Hurricanes can't be smelling like roses at the quarterback spot for the next five to six seasons.

Freshman Buck Ortega has the size (6-5, 215) and arm strength that could make him fit right in. Ortega is coming along nicely according to the Miami coaching brass. Ortega will have competition from another quarterback from the parts Dorsey is from. Miramonte High's Mark Guillon has already committed to Miami and brings with him many of the skills Dorsey has, with a strong arm to boot. Can be all that bad?

The core of players doing the pass-catching for the Hurricanes aren't slouches, either. Beard, Geathers and Johnson are all sophomores and probably don't have to answer the critics who disputed their worth before the season started. Johnson, a physical-type with good speed, will be the leader of the group. Akieem Jolla, the nation's No. 4 high school recruit at receiver, is also on his way. So is the No. 4 high school tight end Curtus Justus out of Perry, Oklahoma. Isn't Oklahoma where Coker found a kid named Jeremy Shockey.


Nothing will compare to this season's offensive-line, quite possibly best ever in college football history. Although guys like Vernon Carey, Carlo Joseph, Tella, Joel Rodriguez and Chris Myers will be more than adequate.

The second most impressive freshman on this team aside from Gore might have been defensive end Vince Wolfork. The 6-2, 338 pounder will be a dominant force for a long time. Sean Taylor, Kelly Jennings and Antrel Rolle will all be stars. As for the coaching staff, success always calls for promotions and guys moving on. But as long as Coker is around, there shouldn't be too many problems. The Hurricanes were a little conservative on occasion, but besides that the rookie man was fine.

One look around Greentree Field next August and Bryant McKinnie, Ed Reed, Joaquin Gonzalez, Najeh Davenport, Martin Bibla, Chris Campbell and Mike Rumph will not be found.

Not a problem.

Canes Time Top Stories