Linebackers Update with Coach Barrow

Linebackers coach Michael Barrow played 13 years in the NFL and was a standout linebacker for the Hurricanes from 1989-92. Barrow is in his first year as an assistant coach and talked about what he is trying to teach to the team.

Randy Shannon hired Michael Barrow this spring and has been pleased with Barrow as a coach thus far.

"He is doing a wonderful job for us," Shannon said. "The players listen to him. He is attentive, he's learning, and he's getting better every week."

To get a better understanding of the talent he had returning Barrow watched every game last season to scout his linebackers to see what they were good at and what they needed to work on. Prior to spring practices Barrow presented his thoughts to the guys and they listened.

"I am happy that they allow me to coach them and they listen to what I say," Barrow said. "They had coach Shannon and is one of the best coaches so I am just happy of the fact that they listen and are coachable.

"Any time you have a group of guys that want to get better it is all you can ask for."


Barrow got the motto, C.O.B.T.B., from former Hurricane Alonzo Highsmith. It means, Committed On Being The Best.

It is something he is instilling to his guys and wants them to take that motto to heart on a daily basis.

"All I want is guys to come in, be hard workers and committed to being the best," Barrow said. "If they have that attitude then good things are going to happen."

He expects all of his players to fight for a starting position.

"I tell them, 'we didn't sign you to be a back-up'. If you don't have that mindset, then you are at the wrong place. When I was here if a guy goes to get a water break you were in danger of losing your job."


Glenn Cook is getting a lot of reps this spring with injuries to other players and could find himself in the starting unit this fall. Cook started 11 games last year, which ranked fifth on the team.

Darryl Sharpton still is not participating in contact drills, but looks the part this year. No longer the undersized linebacker he was when he first arrived on campus. Sharpton has put on muscle and appears primed for the starting middle linebacker spot assuming he can beat out senior Glenn Cook.

Tavares Gooden has taken a humble approach to spring practices and is just trying to fit in wherever the team needs him. Gooden is one of three senior linebackers on the team.

Spencer Adkins played a lot on the first unit during the scrimmage on Friday and is making big hits in practice. Adkins, a junior, has played in just 10 games with three tackles in his first two years at Miami.

Colin McCarthy has had a very good spring and is looking to start this fall. McCarthy hits the hole very well against the run and is a sure tackler. He has also recorded interceptions this spring, which is not a common trait amongst UM linebackers in recent years.

Eric Houston had a very good scrimmage last Friday and according to Barrow it was the best Houston had played in a long time.

Demetri Stewart was starting to show progress before an injury set him back.

Romeo Davis remains out with a torn ACL, but is looking to be back by August. He tore his ACL on Oct. 23 and has 69 tackles in three seasons at UM.

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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