Practice Report: Aug. 18

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Hurricanes practiced for the 15th time in 12 days.

""We had a single practice today. I think that is good. We have been beating the weather pretty good. We are getting a lot of guys back in and competing which is good. We ended with some two-minute drill and the defense did a really nice job. They forced some turnovers and really put some pressure on the quarterbacks and really pleased with the results defensively. We have got to do a better job offensively obviously."

· RB Charlie Jones, a junior running back, returned to practice today and went through contact drills. He has not participated in contact drills since Aug. 9 after suffering a hamstring injury. Jones is expected to start at tailback against Florida State in the Sept. 4 opener.

· LB Darryl Sharpton is doing well in the middle. "I like him a lot," Coker said. "He is still a work in progress as he is still a freshman. He is really going to be a good football player. He has got a lot of talent. He's smart and he really wants to be good. He is going to be special." Coker pointed out that weight is not an issue for Sharpton who is up to 233 pounds the last time we talked.

· RB Javarris James is comparing to Edgerrin not just because they are first cousins, but because of their style. "There is a lot of comparisons," Coker said. "He has that same kind of little step that Edgerrin has. At this stage in his career he really attacks the defense better than Edgerrin did at this time." James will play in 2006, but it is unsure how much. Right now he is the third-string tailback behind Charlie Jones and Derron Thomas.

· WR Terrell Walden did not practice due to a "very, very sore knee". It is the same knee he had surgery on in December--just eight months ago. Walden, a junior, has had two torn ACLs since arriving to Coral Gables in 2003.

· Safeties Brandon Meriweather (knee) and Kenny Phillips (shoulder) are a still a bit banged up, but they would play if the game was today.

· RB Andrew Johnson has been running with more toughness lately according to Coker, which is encouraging. However, things don't look great for the junior from Pennsylvania. It appears Javarris James has already or is passing Johnson on the depth chart. Both James and Johnson are behind Jones, and Thomas. Tyrone Moss will be in the mix after he returns from his injury.

· TE DajLeon Farr has been one of the pleasant surprises this fall. Farr, a sophomore, missed the spring with a shoulder injury, but has jumped right back in the mix at tight end.

· TE Dedrick Epps is better than Coker had anticipated and is very excited about Epps' future at UM. Epps is a 6-foot-4, 235-pound freshman from Richmond, Va.

· The team resumes practice tomorrow morning before getting their first day off of the fall on Sunday.

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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