Practice Report: Aug. 14

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Hurricanes began their second week of fall practices today.

"We got a little scrimmage work in today, which was good. We are going to take a look at the guys. We'll have some video to look at. We didn't practice very long. We needed to do some live things so we'll have a chance to evaluate what it's like when real football starts."

· When Coker was asked who stood out in the scrimamge, he said, "Really, nobody. I mean there were some good things by everybody, but we have a lot of work to do. Nothing really excited me to be honest."

· The defense is ahead of the offense right now according to Coker. "I think [the defense] played with more energy than the offense and I think that's the thing we need to do. We need to dial up the energy level. Then when it is time to play, it is time to play."

· When asked if he was happy how things are going, Coker said, "I am happy we don't play. That's an elation. We are not ready to play yet. But no, we have had a good start."

· WR Sam Shields scored two more touchdowns on 70-yard plays today giving him at least seven scores. Everyone expects Shields to do well this year, but expecting a big game against FSU is another story. There is a lot that goes into producing against a talented, fast FSU defense. Is Shields ready? Hard to say. Right now he is beating second team defenses on long balls, which generally do not happen routinely in a big-time game. Shields will practice more with the first unit tomorrow, which will help gauge his success.

· DE Baraka Atkins is just a monster. He is terrorizing the offensive line. As one of the best ends in the country, it is almost unfair going up against anyone Coach Cristobal puts at right tackle.

· OL Chris Rutledge played with the first unit today at right tackle. He is still learning the position and what it takes to be a big-time player at a big-time university.

· S Brandon Meriweather was held out again today with a knee injury. No word on the severity, but Meriweather believes it is not serious.

· WR George Robinson is a fluid looking receiver. The freshman from Miami Central is not getting much recognition, but still projects as a solid player in his career.

· RB Charlie Jones did not go through contact drills again today. This is the sixth practice he has missed this fall.

· LB Darryl Sharpton is making plays and showing his explosiveness in practice. He is a guy known for being a great hitter, which will help him perform throughout the season. Coker said he feels confident in Sharpton to play against FSU because of the time he will be with the first unit. Sharpton hails from the same high school as Jonathan Vilma, but he doesn't remind Coker of Vilma. "He was a much better prospect than Vilma, bigger, faster, and a better GPA. Now will he be a better player than Vilma, that is another story."

· CB Bruce Johnson and WR Khalil Jones regularly finish in front at the end of practice during wind sprints. It is good to see two guys who are battling for playing time finish in the front of the pack.

· CB Randy Phillips continues to show he is worthy of starting. "He looks good," Coker said. "I like what Randy is doing. He is being coachable and he is working hard. I have really been pleased with him."

· WR Darnell Jenkins had a tough day today after he caught three touchdowns yesterday. Today he was dropping too many passes including touchdowns. Look for Jenkins to bounce back tomorrow with a strong effort.

· CB Glenn Sharpe continues to be held back from contact drills and will continue to be held back as a precautionary. Sharpe cannot afford to be hurt again heading into the FSU game.

· LB Glenn Cook was at practice today and watched from the sideline. He had surgery on Friday and Saturday Coker said he would miss 2-4 weeks. Cook wants to play in the FSU game and if he does, I wouldn't expect him to be a factor.

· LB Demetri Stewart has a bruised knee according to Coker and did not practice. Coker said it will be two weeks--or sooner--before he returns to the field. He was in the same wrap that Cook had.

· Orlando Franklin was observing practice again today. He is a guy who could be in the mix at right tackle if he were on the team. Franklin has not practiced with the team because he has not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Coker remains optimistic Franklin will be cleared, but does not know for sure.

· The team resumes practice tomorrow morning for their second two-a-day of the fall.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com


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