I'm back after spending three weeks in my hometown to help kids ages 13-18 years old prepare for their futures by stressing the importance of academics, staying out of trouble, and understanding the big picture in life.
I feel fortunate with the situation I am in and the ability to reach the younger generation.
Often times we take college athletics for granted and expectations are higher than they should be. In some situations, just being on the team is an accomplishment as well as earning a college degree. Regardless of how an individual's career finishes in terms of statistics make sure as a fan, you realize the big picture.
Hurricane football isn't going anywhere.
Will they win a national title every year? Absolutely not.
Will they have six first-round draft picks every year? Don't count on it.
Will they contend for conference championships and make a run at the national title occasionally? Absolutely.
And will they continue to have players who are exciting to watch and easy to root for? There is no doubt about it.
In 2006, I urge fans to enjoy the team in every sense. Appreciate the players, the wins, the Orange Bowl atmosphere, and be a proud supporter of the University of Miami.
PALERMO & HURTT
Larry Coker added two coaches to his staff earlier this week, John Palermo and Clint Hurtt.
Palermo was at Wisconsin for the last 15 years serving as the defensive line coach for the past 10.
At Miami, Palermo will be the defensive line coach.
Hurtt was the defensive line coach at FIU last year after two years of being a graduate assistant at Miami, 2003-04.
At Miami, Hurtt will be the assistant defensive line coach.
With the two hires Miami still has three openings including the offensive coordinator position still available.
The offensive coordinator responsibility will be of great importance to the 2006 season.
Recent rumors have circulated around Mark Whipple, the 47-year old Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback coach.
Although Whipple would be a nice choice, don't expect to see him on the staff.
If he chooses to leave the Steelers it appears he would have attractive offers from around the NFL including potential coordinator positions.
One factor that favors the Hurricanes is that Whipple coached with Miami graduate assistant Mike Casano at Brown (1997) and at Massachusetts (1998-2003).
Since Larry Coker took over as the head coach in 2001, only Randy Shannon remains on the staff.
Spring practices will begin on March 21 with the spring game on April 15 at the Orange Bowl.
The Hurricanes currently have 64 players on the roster including 11 seniors.
The biggest position battles will be along the offensive line, the starting linebacker unit, and both starting cornerback spots.
Last year WR Ryan Moore and RB Derron Thomas were the top performers on offense. Both players have plenty to prove this season after 2005 seasons they would have liked to have produced more for the team.
After spring practices do not be surprised if there are players who evaluate out their careers and decide to transfer prior to the 2006 season.
UM PRO DAY
Miami will hold their NFL Pro Timing Day on March 4.
OL Eric Winston, WR Sinorice Moss, CB Kelly Jennings, LB Roger McIntosh, DT Orien Harris, and KR Devin Hester are the top Hurricane prospects in the 2006 NFL Draft.
CANES BASKETBALL – (14-9, 6-4 ACC)
After a tough loss in double overtime on Wednesday against #16 N.C. State, Miami hosts North Carolina on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. The Hurricanes are led by SG Robert Hite (16.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg), SG Guillermo Diaz (16.8 ppg, 3.2 apg), and PG Anthony Harris (11.2 ppg, 3.2 apg).
CANES BASEBALL – (3-2)
Miami begins a three-game series with UCLA in Los Angeles tonight beginning a 9:00 p.m. with RHP Carlos Gutierrez on the mound. The Hurricanes have a number of new faces this year including standout freshmen 1B Yonder Alonso, 2B Jemile Weeks, OF Blake Tekotte, and 1B/P Dennis Raben.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com
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