Practice Report: Aug. 12

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Hurricanes held their first two-a-day practice today.

"This was our first two-a-day practice. It was a good start for the morning. It was a little bit shorter than normal."

"We had the officials out today. This is the first time we had them. They are going to help us cut down on our penalities, which is a key for us being efficient as a football team."

"It was hot. It was a good practice, a good workout. Guys pushed through it and it was good. Players didn't have any abnormal problems with the heat. We did have two breaks. We had a lot of water and really encouraged hydration. Our training staff is doing a great job. To my knowledge we haven't had any problems with it."

· LB Glenn Cook is out 2-4 weeks with a knee injury he suffered in practice yesterday. Coker said Cook will have a small operation and did not give a status for the opener against Florida State. LB Darryl Sharpton filled in at MLB for Cook and Romeo Davis got reps there as well.

· LB Darryl Sharpton has received a lot of praise from Coker and will be the starting middle linebacker assuming he understands the playbook and knows his responsibilities. The ability is there, but as we have seen before it depends on well the coaches trust him in that position. He said he has the base package down and still needs to work on the nickel package.

· OL Tyrone Byrd did not practice due to a knee injury. He will have an MRI on Monday, but does not anticipate it being anything more than a sprain because "I'm out here walking on it fine. If there was something wrong then I wouldn't be able to walk." He suited out and jogged in pre-stretching runs in both practices. With Byrd out, Cyrim Wimbs played right tackle on the first team as did Chris Barney and Jason Fox.

· OL Ian Symonette received reps on the second team at right tackle. Symonette is considered to be a highly regarded player and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal has stated he wants all of the linemen to avoid redshirting.

· S Brandon Meriweather continues to work as a cornerback to help prepare him for nickel situations. Just because he is working as a cornerback, don't expect the All-American safety to start there full-time barring injuries to CBs Glenn Sharpe and Randy Phillips. All reports have been positive on the two projected starting corners and unless things change, Meriweather will be a starting safety along with Kenny Phillips. Anthony Reddick is expected to play a lot as well and is working hard to get back to 100 percent.

· RB Derron Thomas was the first-team back today and Charlie Jones did some work, but was not full-speed.

· The team consistently runs a lot of multiple receiver sets including putting two receivers close to one another. It will not be a surprise if UM lines up with three receivers on their play from scrimmage in the season opener.

· TEs Greg Olsen and DajLeon Farr could be on the field at the same time depending upon the circumstances. It appears the coaches trust Farr the most with Chris Zellner, who had his hand wrapped up, also being a solid option, although he appears to be locked in at H-back.

· Orlando Franklin was at practice today. Franklin has not practiced with the team because he has not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

· QB Kirby Freeman is excited by the play of WR Sam Shields because he will likely be his main target when Freeman is scheduled to take over as the starter in 2008. Shields will be a junior then. Freeman said he lost 12 pounds following the first practice, but gained 4 back between practices. He thinks he will be down as many as 14 pounds after the end of the second practice. He weighed in at 219 pounds last night--the heaviest he has been.

· WR Darnell Jenkins catches the ball the best amongst the six players being considered as the team's punt returner. However, they might want to save his energy for plays from scrimmage considering he is expected to start at flanker.

· WRs Terrell Walden and Rashaun Jones are other players to watch as a punt returner. Sam Shields, Ryan Hill, and Bruce Johnson also remaining in the running.

· LB Romeo Davis did not practice in the afternoon session due to an illness in his family and was excused by Coker.

· LB James Bryant remains at middle linebacker on the third team. "He is improving," Coker said. "I will put it that way. He is practicing hard. He still needs to get some assignments down."

· After six straight days of practicing in the morning, the team will have an afternoon practice tomorrow. There first scheduled day off is Sunday, August 20.

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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