Friday Stock Report: 5/27

The team is still two months away from returning to the practice field, but it will be here before we know it.

The team is enjoying time off right now with some of them doing individual workouts, but they won't all return together as a team until June 6 when they meet with the strength and conditioning coaches.

Junior wide receiver Ryan Moore and sophomore tight end Greg Olsen will be the top two receiving options for Kyle Wright this season. Look for Moore and Olsen to finish 1-2 in receptions as they provide Wright with athleticism and size at their respective positions. It is important for a quarterback to trust his receivers and right now these are the two he trusts the most. Moore and Olsen have combined for 70 catches, 1,016 yards, and six touchdowns in their careers.

With Teraz McCray out for the season with an ACL injury it is more likely Baraka Atkins will remain a defensive tackle. Currently, Atkins is 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds and it will be tough for him to add substantial weight because of his frame along with the timetable. An ideal tackle is around 300 pounds, but the team has moved Atkins there because they want him on the field regardless if he is not as effective as he would be if he stayed at defensive end. At times Atkins has shown dominance at the end position throughout his career and although he would like to stay at end, it appears unlikely unless Joe Joseph, Dwayne Hendricks, or an incoming freshmen can prove to be formidable in a three-man rotation with Orien Harris and Kareem Brown.

Last year at this time Hester was still a wide receiver and it wasn't until seven-on-seven drills when he began to work out at cornerback. When August rolled around he switched to cornerback and finished with a team-high four interceptions as primarily a nickel-back corner. This spring there was a lot to do about nothing when Hester did not run with the first unit for the majority of the spring. Although there are flaws in his game, he will start opposite of Kelly Jennings this season. He is a playmaker and head coach Larry Coker has no choice but to have his playmakers on the field. It would be disappointing if Hester had a limited role next year despite some of his imperfections.

The players enjoy having a tough game to open up the season although the coaches would feel more comfortable getting a game under their belt before having such an important game. One reason the players find it beneficial is that they work harder all summer long in preparation for the opener against Florida State. The Florida State players will tell you they are doing the same. Both teams need to be ready to play on Monday night at Doak Campbell Stadium because of the high stakes involved in the ACC standings. Miami has defeated Florida State six times, but both teams have a different core of individuals that will be responsible for the outcome of the 2005 game.

The coaching staff is on the road checking out prospects they are interested in. As the summer goes on they will have a better understanding of players particularly at their summer camps. The obvious needs are at quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive back.

#8 MIAMI BASEBALL (38-17-1)
The team is struggling as they have lost six straight games for the first time since 1966. As the ACC tournament continues, the team will watch from a distance as they wait their NCAA tournament fate, which will be revealed at 11:30 on Monday as the NCAA Baseball Selection Show on ESPN. It appears that depth has finally caught up with this team. Head coach Jim Morris spoke about this issue prior to the team worrying that it would become a problem. He was right. Depth provides a team with in-team competitiveness and in baseball it is extremely important to be pushed. While there was competition in the starting rotation after Cesar Carrillo, there was not in the starting lineup. Morris has a tough coaching task within the next week to get his team believing they can win.

Miami junior third baseman Ryan Braun was named one of five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, awarded to college baseball's top player, by USA Baseball. Braun is batting .401 on the year with 16 homeruns, 71 RBI, and 22 stolen bases. On June 7, Braun is expected to be drafted in the first round and assuming negotiations go well with the team he is drafted by he will sign a contract thus foregoing his final year as a Hurricane. At 6-foot-3 and 204 pounds Braun could project as an outfielder at the next level.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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