Friday Stock Report: 4/29

It has been nearly three weeks since spring practices came to an end and earlier this week head coach Larry Coker named a starting quarterback. Also, Antrel Rolle continued a streak of NFL first-round draft picks last Saturday.

COKER ANNOUNCEMENT
On Tuesday head coach Larry Coker announced that Kyle Wright would be the starting quarterback in 2005 at a formal press conference. Coker addressed the media stating he thought both Wright and Kirby Freeman were quality quarterbacks, but decided to give the nod to Wright based on his knowledge of the offense having been with the program an extra year.

KYLE WRIGHT
Now that it is official that Wright will be the guy, let's review three areas of his game that will be a positive for Miami in 2005.

1) Combination of accuracy and power. Wright is a 6-foot-4 sophomore from California who has shown good accuracy with his passes hitting his targets in the right spot for his receivers to make plays. He also has a lot of zip on his passes.

2) Ability to throw downfield to wide receivers. Offensive coordinator Dan Werner stated he wanted to go downfield more last year, but they weren't able to establish a consistent downfield threat. Wright has shown the ability to throw the ball downfield stretching the secondary. He seems very keen in the strengths of weaknesses of his receivers including getting them the ball in places they can succeed both vertically and horizontally.

3) Knowledge of the game. Wright has the mold of an ideal quarterback who understands the game. As a young player he has shown good poise in practice and has succeeded in various practice drills. His first two years at Miami have been a learning experience, and he will get a tough test in his season debut against Florida State to see whether or not he can handle the duties of being the number one guy.

KYLE WRIGHT, PART 2
There is plenty to be excited about Wright, but there are some areas of concern.

1) Limiting interceptions. Early in spring practice, he tended to force the ball in tight spots. Although he improved as the spring went on, this is an area he needs to be careful with.

2) Playing with fire. It has yet to be seen whether or not Wright has that fire and burning desire to succeed when the chips are down. Brock Berlin had that fire and played with a passion in his two years as a starting quarterback. Ken Dorsey also was a competitor when the game was on the line. Whether or not Wright develops into a quality collegiate quarterback depends on his desire to succeed and his passion for winning.

3) Inexperience. Bottom line is that Wright only has nine passes to his credit. Can he be another great quarterback at Miami or will he relinquish his starting duties to younger players? All of the time in practice helps a player's growth, but there is nothing like game experience. How he handles game situations is yet to be seen. The coaches, fans, and his teammates hope he can bring it during the games.

ANTREL ROLLE
Rolle was selected eighth overall in the 2005 NFL Draft last Saturday by the Arizona Cardinals and has been awarded jersey number 21. He became the fifth Miami defensive back selected in the first round in the last four years. Sean Taylor (5th-2004), Phillip Buchanon (17th-2002), Ed Reed (24th-2002), and Mike Rumph (26th-2002) were the other four defensive backs. All five players were on the 2001 National Championship team. Rolle gets to face Taylor and his Redskins this season on December 11. He will also get to play former Hurricanes Jeremy Shockey, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and Edgerrin James.

2006 NFL DRAFT
Miami continued its string of 11 straight years with at least one first-round draft pick. The 2006 Draft is still a year away, but a number of Hurricanes have first-round potential if they put up a big season this year. Seniors Greg Threat, Roger McIntosh, Orien Harris, Eric Winston, and Kelly Jennings have first-round potential. However, it could be the underclassmen that could make the biggest splash if they decide to leave early. Devin Hester, Ryan Moore, and Bryan Pata are three players ready to take their game to another level in 2005 that could vault them into the first-round either in 2006 or 2007.

SOPHOMORE RUNNING BACKS
Miami brought in four running backs from the 2004 signing class, but none of them gained over 100 yards in the season. However, there were three running backs in the 2004 class that rushed for over 1,400 yards last season and all finished in the top 10 nationally in rushing. Jamario Thomas, from North Texas, led the nation in rushing averaging 180 yards per game at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma, finished second in the country in rushing yards with 1,925. Peterson is 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds. Mike Hart stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 190 pounds also excelled at a big-time program rushing for 1,455 yards at Michigan. Miami hopes they can get production out of their sophomore backs although it will be tough to keep up with the three leaders in their class.

MAY 1
Things begin to heat up on the recruiting front beginning in May. The Miami coaching staff has a brief list of guys they are interested in, but will begin to narrow things down as the summer begins. Spring practices have been completed for three weeks now and the coaches will continue to put in plenty of time designated for recruiting. With 16 seniors graduating the 2006 class will be important. With only two quarterbacks on the roster look for them to add two more as well as adding big-time receivers and a big-time tight end. Cornerback and defensive line are also key areas to recruit.

#4 MIAMI BASEBALL (31-10-1, 15-5-1 ACC)
The baseball team kicks off a three-game series this weekend against Maryland at home. Miami is ranked 12th in ISR according Boyd's World with a 118.3 rating. Maryland comes into the weekend with a 97.2 ranking—good for 173rd in the country. Based upon the statistical analysis by Boyd's World there is a 90% chance that Miami will win an individual game. Since it is a three-game series look for Miami to sweep Maryland. The regular rotation of Cesar Carrillo, Brandon Camardese, and Ricky Orta will be starting this weekend with a combined record of 20-3. Ryan Braun has just one homerun in the last 12 games, but is looking for a big weekend against the Terrapins.

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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