Shannon Prepares for Father – Son Matchup

Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon has been relatively quiet this week about facing off against his son Xavier Shannon, starting left tackle for Florida International University, but he spoke briefly about his son during media interviews.

Xavier Shannon, a fourth-year junior offensive tackle for Florida International, goes relatively unnoticed amongst the college football ranks. He is smallish for a lineman on the (former) D1A level, standing only six feet tall and weighs in at a shade less than 290 lbs. He's going on his second year as a starter, his first as a tackle (his freshman and sophomore years he was a center).

Oh yes, one more thing. He's the son of Miami Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon. What did Shannon have to say about his son this week?

"We talked," Coach Shannon said with a sly grin on his face.

"He's on the other team. They all know him and they know him as a friend. He was real good friends with Jon Beason last year, Tavares Gooden, Kareem Brown, stuff like that, they were all buddies growing up, so they know each other and they know that when it's time to play football, they have to go at each other."

Interestingly enough, Xavier Shannon will be matched up primarily against arguably Miami's best player, junior defensive end Calais Campbell, who is pretty familiar with the son of his head coach.

"It is pretty cool," Campbell said about the possibility of facing off against Shannon. "He has been here a lot, a couple times so I kind of know him a little bit. He is a funny guy, he is cool though. I know he plays hard; he is going to go and give it his all. He is probably the most talented guy on their offensive line so I have my hands full, but I am going to go out there, it is going to be fun to take him on."

Xavier knows several Hurricanes players and has been a frequent visitor during the offseason. Additionally, he knows several players personally and has established friendships with many of them.

"Yeah, I've talked to him a bit over the past couple of years. He is a cool guy, he is funny. He seems like he'd be a big trash talker," Campbell said about Xavier.

Despite the friendships between players, there will be no pleasantries exchanged during game-time on Saturday. If nothing else, the players are more anxious to hit him hard because of who he is.

"I got to go even harder on him," Campbell said about facing off against him. "I can't let Coach Shannon give me any stuff for it. I got to beat him bad so I can get coach and his son."

Xavier Shannon's claim to fame isn't simply the fact that his father is the head coach at Miami. He's a legitimate player, and although he's undersized, he's arguably one of FIU's top offensive players.

"He has great feet and he is a strong guy," Campbell said about Shannon's main skills. "He has real strong hands once he locks up with you. He is hard to get off. I definitely have to try and knock his hands down a lot and keep him off balance a lot and move my feet…get him on those hills a little bit. Whatever works, it is all reaction."

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