Impact Freshmen

All but one of the incoming freshmen at the University of Miami officially reported on Thursday and it's time to take a closer look at which ones will have the best chance of making an early impact.

Former Hialeah High standout defensive end Adewale Ojomo was the only incoming freshman who did not report on Thursday. Ojomo is still waiting to hear back from the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"Our athletic director sent in all the transcripts for the athletes," Ojomo said. "She just didn't send in the final one. The NCAA needs a regular one and then a final one saying you graduated. It's on the way now."

The rest of the freshmen are ready to go, including running back Graig Cooper and cornerback Doug Wiggins -- two freshmen were took part in spring drills with the team.

Quarterback Robert Marve was arguably the most hyped player the Hurricanes inked back in February. He was all set to compete behind Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman for some playing time. However, the car accident he was involved in last month has decreased those chances. It's still up in the air as to whether or not he'll be able to play this season.

Many people around the team expect Cooper to emerge as the No. 2 running back behind Javarris James this season. He's a big play threat the Hurricanes have lacked in recent years. Lee Chambers and Shawnbrey McNeal probably won't be needed in the backfield but both players are capable of doing big things in the return game.

Of the three incoming freshmen receivers, Leonard Hankerson is the most likely to earn playing time this season. Jermaine McKenzie is still recovering from injuries suffered in the same car accident that sidelined Marve. Adderley is still learning how to play the position and maturing physically. Hankerson, on the otherhand, is physically the most ready and was coached at St. Thomas Aquinas by future NFL Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter so his game is further advanced at that age than most kids.

Orlando Franklin is a massive and talented offensive lineman who is expected to challenge someone for playing time this season. Harland Gunn can play center or guard and seems physically ready to compete. Tyler Horn will compete at center but he's a likely redshirt candidate.

Switching over to the defensive side of the ball, Chris Perry is currently the only freshman defensive lineman. While the Canes have a lot of reserve tackles, none of them are proven so Perry will have an opportunity to showcase himself early on.

Allen Bailey is a physical freak at linebacker and at 270-plus pounds, he could have a hard time finding a home at linebacker. Don't rule out the possibility of Bailey switching to defensive end down the road.

In the secondary, the Canes are always willing to try the new kids and there are some good ones in this class. Wiggins went through spring ball so he's probably more advanced than the others. Demarcus Van Dyke is 6-1 and can fly. Damien Berry is coming off a knee injury that ended his senior season at Glades Central a little early. Jared Campbell and Joseph Nicolas will both be given good opportunities to play early.

CanesTime will have more on the incoming freshmen and the rest of the team as Friday is the team's annual Media Day and we'll be there to provide lots of coverage of the event.


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