There were four articles today posted about the freshmen reporting to the team. In case you missed them...
Kenny Phillips: "I Want To Hit Somebody"
Reggie Youngblood: Waiting is Over
DajLeon Farr: Expected to Play
Randy Phillips: Found a New Home
With practices set to begin Saturday at 3:30 I have decided to take a look at a few different things to take a look at this August.
TOP 5 PLAYERS TO WATCH IN AUGUST
1. QB Kyle Wright
There is no doubt all eyes will be on Kyle this fall. He is expected to not only take over the reins at quarterback, but also help lead Miami back to elite status after going 20-5 in the last two years.
2. RB Tyrone Moss
Is he lighter? Is he faster? Is he going to be a great breakaway back? The team will find out soon enough this month as Moss expects to be productive in August. He needs to be. He has to show the team he can be a top-tier back that is capable of running for 1,000 yards.
3. LB Willie Williams
You know his story, you know his talent. Now he is actually competing for playing time. The coaches, players, and fans all love Willie. He has superstar status and ability. His charisma commands respect by everyone around him. It is time to show what he can do.
4. OL Eric Winston
Is he all the way back? That is the question this team needs to have an answer sooner rather than later. All indications point towards Winston being back at a high-level, but until he actually performs in practices with pads it is still a relative unknown.
5. CB Devin Hester
Whenever Hester is on the field, you watch. This month is extremely important for Hester to prove to the coaching staff he is indeed worthy of a starting position in the secondary. He has gotten bigger and should have a productive August vaulting an amazing 2005 season.
TOP 5 POSITION BATTLES
1. C Tyrone Byrd or Anthony Wollschlager or Alex Pou or Andrew Bain
Wollschlager and Pou are upperclassmen and this job appeared to be Wollschlager's to lose. Problem is, he lost it. Byrd stepped up in the spring and showed a great deal of upside as a redshirt freshman. Byrd still needs to improve on his snapping ability. I would love to see Andrew Bain get a shot at center, but he will probably find it tough to earn snaps at center this fall.
Prediction: Byrd. Unless Bain gets the opportunity to play center.
2. SS Greg Threat or Brandon Meriweather
The coaching staff is not impressed with Threat's team-leading 136 tackles from a year ago becoming the only safety in the last 20-plus years to lead the team in tackles. In their mind they think Meriweather should be starting alongside Anthony Reddick. Based on past production levels it is not even close. Have things changed that much in the last eight months that the rest of us aren't aware of?
Prediction: Can't predict this 'battle'.
3. CB Marcus Maxey or Devin Hester
It is very obvious that the coaches want Hester to 'earn' the spot from Maxey, a senior. Hester is the most talented player on the team, but sometimes does not possess the ideal technique taught by defensive backs coach Tim Walton. Maxey has improved from a year ago and is still a solid number three cornerback who has the ability to play in nickel and dime situations.
Prediction: Hester. Look for Devin to have an outstanding August.
4. FB Quadtrine Hill or James Bryant
Hill, a senior, has made 21 career starts--the most on the offense. At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds he lacks the ideal size for a blocking fullback, but makes up for it with his knowledge of the game and hard-working attitude. Bryant has the reckless attitude you like in a fullback and loves to hit people. He absolutely makes a difference in the rushing game with his 6-foot-3, 240-pound frame.
Prediction: Hill. But Bryant will play a lot.
5. WR Sinorice Moss or Ryan Moore or Lance Leggett
Moss is the leader of this unit and is back for his final season as a Hurricane. Moore is back from a disappointing sophomore season and proved in the spring that he is capable of being a number one receiver. Leggett has been dealing with recovering from a foot injury. Moore and Leggett stand 6-foot-3 with Moss at 5-foot-8. All three have soft hands and Moss is outstanding in the open field.
Prediction: Moss and Moore. They have seniority over Leggett and they are better.
TOP 5 NEWCOMERS WHO WILL MAKE AN IMPACT THIS SEASON
1. TE DajLeon Farr
Farr should be the number two tight end behind Greg Olsen by the end of August. Farr possesses better play-making ability than both Buck Ortega and Chris Zellner. With a backup role he could catch 10+ passes this season.
2. S Kenny Phillips
Phillips has told people he will lead the team in interceptions. Don't bet on it. Take Hester if you are in a pool and you get the first pick of the draft. However, Phillips should pass Lovon Ponder and be on the second-team with an opportunity to play in the secondary this season.
3. OL Reggie Youngblood
Youngblood immediately benefits from the lack of depth at the tackle position. Cyrim Wimbs is not the answer in the coaches' mind as he was passed by a tight end last year. Youngblood has an opportunity to be the third-best tackle on the team with a productive August although Chris Rutledge has a bright future ahead of him.
4. LB Spencer Adkins
Adkins has been a beast in the weight room and will fit in nicely on special teams. Coker loves to play his linebackers on special teams and Adkins will not be an exception. Unfortunately for Adkins, he will find himself buried on the depth chart with nine linebackers ahead of him on the depth chart heading into fall practices.
5. DB Randy Phillips
Phillips has an opportunity to shine on special teams the way Reddick did a year ago. Phillips could also see some time as a punt returner although it will be tough to steal opportunities away from Hester. With a productive August he could find himself fourth on the depth chart at cornerback.
TOP 5 AUGUST MOMENTS-TO-BE
1. Coach Coker will once again be seen chest-bumping one of his players after a big play. The chest bumps are nice, but my favorite is when he showed off his jumping ability playing some sort of tetherball around the crossbar.
2. At some point James Bryant and Tyler McMeans will find themselves in a scuffle with defensive players. Now if they got into it with each other, that would be a suprise.
3. Tavares Gooden will provide the team with plenty of energy during stretches and provide CanesTime.com with a great quote, which may or may not be omitted depending on if it fits in well with the article.
4. Brian Monroe, Jon Peattie, and the rest of their kicking buddies will look like they aren't doing anything. They key word in that statement is 'look'.
5. Sinorice Moss will run really fast downfield and catch a deep pass drawing praise from the crowd. Immediately after the play, some guy will inform his friend that Sinorice is Santana's younger brother.
TOP 5 NOTES
1. There are eight schools with better records than Miami in the last two years.
2. The University of Miami begins classes on August 24.
3. The Hurricanes will practice 25 times in the next 26 days.
4. RB Andrew Johnson, CB Carlos Armour, DT Teraz McCray, and CB Glenn Sharpe are all out with torn ACLs.
5. Practices are open to the public through August 13.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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