Top Performers in the First Two Weeks

The players and coaches are enjoying their first day off today after 13 straight days of practice including three two-a-days. Here is a look at the top performers by position this fall.

Today is a much needed day off.

Players are fatigued and a number of them are coming up with slight hamstring injuries. Some of them will use today to get more treatment from the trainers because there has not been a lot of time to re-cooperate in the first two weeks.

"A day off-we aren't used to those so it is going to be a big break for us to rest our legs," said Darnell Jenkins, a senior wide receiver.

Mentally, the guys are drained and some will take time to do other activities unrelated to football whether it's hanging out playing video games, going to the movies, or spending time with their kids and family.

There has been a number of positive things in the first two weeks of practices with a number of standout performers. Here's a look at the top performers by position in the first two weeks of practices:


QB - Kirby Freeman, Soph.
Freeman has showed his ability to throw the ball dee, while not losing the ability to scramble out of the pocket. Starter Kyle Wright has been doing well also, but Freeman's deep touchdown passes are great to see in his development as a player.

RB - Javarris James, Fr.
James benefitted heavily from the injuries to Tyrone Moss (knee), Charlie Jones (hamstring), and Derron Thomas (groin). James took full advantage of his playing time showing his ability to get tough yardage, catch the ball out of the backfield, and pick up blitz coverages.

WR - Sam Shields, Fr.
Shields has scored over 10 touchdowns this fall so far and was moved up to the first team after terrorizing the second-team defense. Shields (6-0/177) has great speed and the ability to make plays regardless of where the ball or defender is.

OL - Derrick Morse, Jr.
Someone needed to step up on the offensive line as the team replaces four starters. Morse has been a high energy player throughout the fall and feels great with his performance. O-Line coach Mario Cristobal uses Morse as a measuring stick for the other offensive linemen in terms of effort.

DL - Bryan Pata, Sr.
The defensive line should be strong this year and with Pata moving inside, it should clean up the depth issues at end and tackle. Pata has made a smooth transition to tackle, which is where he thinks his NFL future is. The coaches love his attitude in practice and towards the position change.

LB - Darryl Sharpton, Fr.
Glenn Cook had knee surgery in the first week, which moved Sharpton up to the first unit. Sharpton is expected to be the next great UM linebacker and is doing everything he can to prepare himself for the FSU game. Sharpton is a hard-hitter with very good speed.

DB - Lovon Ponder, So.
While CB Randy Phillips appears to have locked down the starting spot, Ponder has had the best fall thus far. His teammates have high regards for Ponder, who gets left out of the mix when mentioning the safeties at UM. Ponder is a very smart player, who is coachable.


The team will resume practice tomorrow morning at 6:20 a.m. for their first of two practices that day.

On Tuesday, the University of Miami will hold a Select-A-Seat event at the Orange Bowl at Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The football team will practice from 7-9 p.m. and is open to the public.

Wednesday is the first day of school and players are given the day off before practicing for the next six days.

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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