PLAYER NOTES• RB Charlie Jones had an 80-yard run today and is fighting for a starting role although he appears to be destined to a reserve role behind Javarris James. Jones has been solid all spring accorinding to running backs coach Tommie Robinson.
• DE Eric Moncur has his goals set on having a better year than teammate Calais Campbell did last year. Moncur is down to 240 pounds and feels very light on his feet. He appears to be well on his way to a breakout season in 2007.
• LBs Colin McCarthy and Romeo Davis stayed after practice to catch balls from the jugs machine. Both players did a good job especially considering the position they play. Linebackers have not typically made interceptions at UM, but both would like to change that.
• WR Darnell Jenkins is expected to be back in the fall according to coach Randy Shannon dispelling any rumors of Jenkins not being with the team in 2007. "He won't be back until after spring football," Shannon said. "When you have problems with family, that does not just go away in a week or two. Those are serious issues when those things come up."
• FB James Bryant did not practice today and will miss tomorrow's practice to work on a paper for class, but is expected to resume practice on Tuesday according to Shannon.
• Although a teammate compared RB Graig Cooper to former Hurricane Devin Hester in regards to his quickness, Shannon replied: "Cooper is Cooper, a different player".
• DT Antonio Dixon has been a first-string defensive tackle this spring playing on the left side. Dixon, now a junior, is a big guy who pushes the pocket and has matured mentally according to Shannon. "He's improved a lot and he is having a fun a little bit now."
• Dixon has played left defensive tackle alongside Teraz McCray. Calais Campbell and Eric Moncur have been the first-team defensive ends on the right and left sides respectively.
• 2007 signees QB Robert Marve, WR Kayne Farquharson, and OL Orlando Franklin were at practice today and were taking reps after practice. Franklin would hike the ball to Marve who threw different routes to Farquharson. They looked like they were having fun and a number of offensive linemen were watching them. Marve has an arm and was working on throwing the ball across the hash marks to the opposite sideline. He threw a deep ball about 60 yards from the left hash to the right sideline.
Christopher Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org