By all accounts Eric Winston is doing very well in the rehab process. Last week Winston submitted his fifth journal entry with CanesTime and mentioned how well he was doing in his rehab. The most encouraging aspect of Winston's comeback is his agility. Right now Winston is participating in all of the agility drills including the common L-Drill. He is a very important aspect of the team and not solely because of his playing ability, but his ability to be a key leader on the team. There is a huge difference from leading inside the huddle as opposed to leading from the sideline. With Winston on the field he provides the team with a coach-like figure who is not afraid to speak his mind and can get players to respond while following his lead.
Junior cornerback Glenn Sharpe suffered a knee injury on Friday and will be examined this week to determine the severity. Early speculation of Sharpe's knee indicates a possible ACL tear. Sharpe missed the second half of the 2003 season with a torn ACL and spent the entire 2004 season recovering. The knee he injured on Friday is not the same knee he has been working to get back into game shape. When healthy, Sharpe is a solid cornerback with outstanding speed. The former Carol City star was expected to provide depth at the cornerback position this year and compete for playing time at the nickel and dime spots.
With Sharpe possibly out of the lineup it will be even more important for Marcus Maxey to have a productive August prior to his senior season. Maxey is a 6-foot-3 cornerback with great athleticism and speed, but has not been a full-time starter in his career. Last year he played a lot during nickel situations at cornerback after spending the first three years primarily as a safety. This spring Maxey worked with the first unit opposite of fellow senior Kelly Jennings and has shown more maturity on the field than in the past. Hurricane receivers noticed a different Maxey this spring and they expect him to have a good senior year. Maxey will be competing for a starting cornerback spot with junior Devin Hester.
Eric Moncur is a relative unknown player heading into the 2005 season who could come up huge for the Hurricanes. He will be a redshirt freshman this season as a defensive end. Currently he is on the second team and is projected to get a number of snaps in the rotation. Moncur possess outstanding strength and great leverage coming off the outside. He is a guy that could be very productive when he gets on the field especially if he has the right mindset. Playing and contributing are two different things and Moncur needs to have the mindset that he wants to contribute.
Tony Tella is the strongest he has ever been and has put on some muscle since last season. He is a senior guard from Texas who is expected to start on the left side. Tella spent the majority of his career at tackle before moving to guard prior to last year. He is a more natural guard with his frame and ability to run block. There won't be too many teams in the country with two guards with bigger frames than Tella and fellow senior Tyler McMeans. Tella missed spring practices due to a shoulder injury, but is expected to be fine come August when the team begins practices.
Miami is 44-6 in their last 50 games. Although they have increased their loss total in each of the past four seasons they still possess the best record in the NCAA in their past 50 games. According to the trend they would be scheduled to drop five games this year, but don't look for that to happen. This year's team has a shot to win the national championship provided they stay away from injuries that plagued them the past two years.
One of the key ingredients for the 2005 team is to play with passion on both sides of the ball particularly on the defense. When the defense is playing with a constant emotion they are tough to beat. With a majority of the guys on the defense back they should show a sense of urgency and consistency, which is common amongst older players. The passion needed to play the game of football at a high level is extremely important. If the team can come out of the gate at the beginning of games with a high level of passion they will be better prepared to play well throughout the entire game.
While the United States of America celebrates it's Independence Day today, the Miami Hurricanes will celebrate theirs on September 5 in the season opener against Florida State. Without putting too much emphasis on the season into one game, there is a lot at stake for Miami in the opener. They have defeated Florida State six times in a row and to make it seven, they must unite as a team and be ready for the Seminoles. They can't take their in-state rival lightly despite recent success. With a win in the opener, confidence will continue to grow.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com
Stock Report: July 4th
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