Friday Stock Report: 6/17

The team has been together for nearly two weeks with the strength and conditioning coaches.

AUGUST 5
The summer workouts have concluded their second week led by head strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey. The team will resume practice on Friday, August 5 in preparation for their 2005 season, which begins on September 5 at Florida State. Media Day is scheduled for August 8, which the media will be introduced to some of the key players for the 2005 team—a team that could contend for the national title.

ORIEN HARRIS
Harris was disappointed with his junior season and vows to have a bigger impact during his final year as a Hurricane. Last year he was projected as a first-round pick, but did not put up the numbers or perform at a "first-round caliber". He had a shoulder operation this spring causing him to miss the majority of spring practices. He hopes to improve on his pass rushing and provide the team with more than 1.5 sacks and eight quarterback hurries that he had last year. Conversely, he had four sacks and 18 quarterback hurries as a sophomore playing next to former first-round pick Vince Wilfork.

DARNELL JENKINS
Jenkins made a name for himself in the spring of 2004 when he made a number of catches during spring practices followed by a strong spring game performance. His production did not carry over into the season the way he had hoped. Although he improved on his ability to catch the deep ball it was not showing during the games. He was, however, strong on short routes showing his good hands and concentration. Heading into his junior season he has shown more maturity in his game and is striving to be a top-notch receiving threat for Kyle Wright and the passing game. Jenkins averaged 11 yards per catch last season and scored one touchdown. He is one of many receivers returning, but none of them had over 25 catches last season. Right now Jenkins is the fourth receiver on the team, but will get plenty of opportunities to prove his worth in 2005.

KIRBY FREEMAN
Freeman is in a tough spot after Kyle Wright was named the starting quarterback following spring practices. Freeman will be a redshirt freshman this fall and Wright will be a sophomore. If all goes well for Wright, he would be a three-year starter leaving Freeman with just one year as a starting quarterback. Granted, this is assuming Wright handles the responsibility of the starting quarterback. The coaching staff have been excited about Wright since he signed with the Hurricanes and it is his time to shine. Freeman will have a difficult decision to make if Wright holds down the starting spot. As a collegiate quarterback it is common to transfer to another program especially as a young player. Whether or not Freeman can beat out Wright remains to be seen and it will be up to Freeman to decide if he is content with his role as a Hurricane. The 2005 season should tell a lot about Freeman's career.

KELLY JENNINGS
Ball skills. Jennings has three career interceptions in 37 games as a Hurricane. He has started 29 of those games and returns for his senior season as the most experienced player on the team. This year he will be counted on to lead the defensive backs with the departure to Antrel Rolle. Jennings has improved on his leadership abilities since arriving to Coral Gables in 2001. His teammates respect his thoughts on the defense and his work ethic. He has worked hard on improving his ball skills throughout his career as a Hurricane and hopes to make the next step as a senior. In the off-season he has added weight to his 6-foot-0 frame to help him off the line. It remains to be seen if the added weight will help Jennings improve on his career-high of six pass deflections (in 2002 and 2003).

ROMEO DAVIS
Davis quietly put together a solid freshman season in 2004 earning two starts and finishing with 15 tackles including a season-high four tackles against Wake Forest. Davis primarily played the weakside linebacker position at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds. He added 15 pounds prior to spring practice and reportedly weighs 225 pounds. He has always been a player that has needed to add weight in order to be effective at a big-time collegiate program. Heading into his sophomore season he has a lot of confidence, but will be competing for playing time with a number of players.

BASEBALL SEASON
The team finished with a 41-19-1 after falling to Nebraska last weekend in the Super Regionals. Miami was led by RHP Cesar Carrillo (13-3, 2.22 ERA) and 3B Ryan Braun (.388-18 HR-76 RBI), both of whom were drafted in the first round as juniors and were selected to various All-American teams. Carrillo was selected 18th overall by the Padres after Braun went to the Brewers with the fifth pick overall. Some of the key returnees expected to carry the team in 2006 are 1B/3B Danny Valencia (.300-6-63), LF Jon Jay (.408-1-52), C Eddy Rodriguez (.320-8-33), RHP Chris Perez (5-1, 2.56, 7 sv), and RHP Ricky Orta (7-5, 4.98)

BASKETBALL RECRUITING
Head coach Frank Haith has been getting a number of commitments recently as he puts together his 2006 class. Last night he got a commitment from Jerome Burney—a 6-foot-9 forward from Atlanta. Burney joins Miami High 6-foot-8 forward Dwayne Collins and James Dews—a 6-foot-3 guard from Ohio. Last year I was able to check out Collins and his teammate Edwin Rios—who has also committed to Miami. Collins is a great leaper with outstanding scoring ability around the basket. Rios handles the ball and the offensive flow for Miami High, but when Collins has the opportunity he takes advantage.

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

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