One Final Chance

Lance Leggett was a high profile recruit a few years ago who came to UM with high expectations.

There wasn't a more exciting wide receiver prospect in the entire country back in 2003. Lance Leggett had offers to go anywhere in America. He chose the Hurricanes and people immediately placed high expectations on the incoming freshman.

Leggett made his impact known right away. He finished his freshman year with 17 catches for 349 yards and four touchdowns. Despite not catching a pass in four games as a freshman, Leggett had people's attention.

A sophomore slump and injuries limited his production in 2005. He caught just 15 balls for 204 yards and two touchdowns. He had just two catches in Miami's three losses that season -- Florida State (zero), Georgia Tech (one), and LSU (one).

A new offensive coordinator. A new offensive system. 2006 seemed like Leggett's year to shine. While he led the Hurricanes with 584 yards (on 38 catches), Leggett still struggled in becoming a go-to guy.

Nobody runs the fly route better, although you'd have a hard time believing that considering how few times the offense made it work last season. What he did against Virginia late in the game is something we should be seeing a lot more of. Few corners can run step by step with Leggett and few of them can match up with his 6-3+ frame.

It's money time for Leggett, who has the physical tools to become a big time threat at the position in 2007. He's getting pushed by a talented group of young receivers, led by Sam Shields.

"There's competition, but everyone's just working hard," Leggett said. "If any of us makes a good play, we celebrate for him. If Sam makes a good play, we celebrate with him. If I make a good play, they come celebrate with me. All of us are a unit. When one of the other guys makes a play, it's like I make it."

With Greg Olsen gone and the Hurricanes not having a proven pass-catching tight end threat heading into the season, Leggett and Shields will be the focal point of opposing defenses when defending the pass against the Hurricanes, at least early in the season.

That time is still a few months away. In the meantime, Leggett is just now getting back into the swing of things. Because of his commitment to UM's track team, Leggett just started spring practice on Tuesday so it's been hard for him to judge any changes to the offense.

"This was my first practice," he said afterwards. "It's fast and quick. EVerything you run has to be done at full speed. Every drill you do you have to hustle to. It's basically very fast tempo."

If the Hurricanes are to have a fast-paced and high tempo offense this season, especially in the passing game, Leggett will be a major key to the success of it.

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