Friday Stock Report: 4/1

The team has completed nine practices in the spring and has just six remaining. There have been some big plays this spring especially yesterday. A number of guys have stepped up, but there are still battles at a various positions.

IMPORTANT DATES
April 9 – Spring Game @ Lockhart Stadium
April 23-24 – NFL Draft
September 5 – 2005 Season Opener vs. Florida State

WEEK OF PRACTICE
The team took an extra hour of film session prior to Monday's practice to analyze the film from the scrimmage at Traz Powell Stadium. One area the coaches took extra time to look at was the number of plays the linebackers made. Jon Beason was in on the most plays out of the linebackers and was rewarded with a promotion to the first unit this week at the weakside position previously held by Romeo Davis. Derron Thomas continued his hot streak this week and it is only a matter of time in which he takes repetitions away from Charlie Jones on the first team. During the week Sinorice Moss participated in full contact drills for the first time this spring.

QUARTERBACK BATTLE
Let's be real, the battle is over. Kyle Wright has solidified his role as the starting quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes in 2005. Has it been announced publicly, no. But Wright has clearly showed more poise and ability this spring and should be the starting quarterback. Kirby Freeman has had a nice spring and definitely did not look out of place. However, he did not do anything to win the job. It is time to focus on Wright and what he brings to the table—-arm strength, accuracy, and leadership abilities. Head coach Larry Coker is in no hurry to officially name the starter especially since the last time he named a starter, spring 2003, it caused a huge uproar amongst fans when Brock Berlin was chosen over Derrick Crudup after the spring game.

DEFENSIVE COACHES
Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon is leading the intensity amongst the coaching staff this spring. Shannon has been stressing all spring to finish plays and has been especially tough on the defensive line. When watching game film from last season it is clear to see the defensive line was in position to make plays, but did not finish. Shannon does not want that to happen this year. Defensive backs coach Tim Walton, linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves, and defensive line coach Greg Mark also have been tough on their guys this spring. Yesterday the coaches stressed to their players to hustle to the ball even if the play was not in their area. This is the time of year to creating positive habits and tendencies in order for a successful season.

POSITION CHANGES
James Bryant to fullback has been the biggest move of the spring. Bryant spent last year primarily on special teams as a linebacker and was moved to fullback this spring. His intensity is often times unmatched by any of his teammates. Earlier this week Bryant got into two scuffles during the same drill. It didn't stop there, as later in the week he was very vocal in his displeasure of a false start. George Timmons appears right at home at running back—a position he felt more comfortable with all along. Dave Howell is learning what it takes to be successful at offensive tackle, while Terrell Walden is having a tough time learning all of the details at wide receiver.

O-LINE WEIGHT PROGRAM
This spring a number of offensive lineman reported lighter than they were during the 2004 season. Offensive line coach Art Kehoe made it a point of emphasis to have each member of the offensive line reach their own personal target weight. The two most notable players who have lost a significant amount of weight are Derrick Morse and Andrew Bain. Morse is down to 300 pounds and Bain is currently at 310 pounds. Kehoe has never felt weight was important to be a quality lineman so it comes as no surprise that he would implement a weight loss program.

NEXT WEEK
The team is scheduled to practice three times next week before the spring game on Saturday, April 9. The practices will likely be closed to the media and fans as the team implements the beginning stages of a game plan against Florida State in the opener. Practices will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

CANES TIME
We are still providing our subscribers with outstanding spring coverage including player feature articles, practice reports, and photo galleries. This has been our best spring thus far in terms of coverage and we would not be as successful if it wasn't for our team of staff writers. Look for more player articles, spring recaps, and position analysis in the coming weeks.

MIAMI BASEBALL (23-7, 8-4 ACC)
Yesterday the Hurricanes began their four-game home series with Oral Roberts. Cesar Carrillo (7-0) set the school record with 19 straight decisions with a complete game shutout of the Golden Eagles. Miami won the game 1-0 on five hits. The series resumes tonight at 7 pm with Ricky Orta (5-2) on the mound. Brandon Camardese (3-0) and Dan Touchet (2-2) round out the rotation with games on Saturday at 7 pm and on Sunday at noon. Jon Jay is expected to miss this weekend with a wrist injury. Ryan Braun is continuing his great season batting .453 with 10 HR, 43 RBI, and 15 SB.

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

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