Shields Preparing for 2007 Season

Sophomore wide receiver Sam Shields had a very productive spring capped off by scoring the only touchdown in the spring game.

Sam Shields, a 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore receiver, made a great touchdown catch in the spring game giving his Orange team a 7-0 victory.

"(Kyle Wright) had time to throw the ball and threw it in a great position," said Shields, on his 5-yard touchdown catch. "I just went up and caught it."

The touchdown catch was Shields third in the three open scrimmages.

"It felt good," said Shields on finding the end zone once again. "But I have been there before."

Prior to the touchdown catch, Shields made a key 24-yard reception along the right sideline avoiding two tacklers to put the 'Canes in good position to put points on the board.

"He threw it in a good position for me to catch it and I turned around to get out of bounds since we were in a two-minute situation."

The scrimmage was dominated by the defense as the offense was held to less than three yards per play.

"Our defense is always on top," Shields said. "We just have to keep coming along with the offense, but the defense will always be there to help us out."

Although the defense dominated the spring game, Shields says the offense had their days too.

"First it was the defense, then it was the offense, but it was a switch and it was good competition out there."

This spring was the first for Shields at the University of Miami after starring at Sarasota Booker High.

"It went pretty good," said Shields, who caught 37 passes for 501 yards and four touchdowns in 2006. "It was a hard three weeks, but I went through it."

One of the things Shields wanted to improve on this spring was his ability to be physical. Shields had the challenge of going up against Randy Phillips, who's strength is being a physical corner, throughout the spring.

"It's very challenging going up against Randy and I have to have it in my mind that I am going to beat him," Shields said. "In the summer I really have to work on being physical and get in the weight room."

One of the challenges for Shields this spring was adjusting to the offensive system under coordinator Patrick Nix.

"Last year is over and I got through with it," Shields said. "Every day this spring I stayed after practice and talked to coach Pat. It's going good."

Shields believes the new system will help the receivers make more plays.

"We are switching everyone around," Shields said. "Everyone is getting confidence with the offense and everyone is getting comfortable."

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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