Spring Preview: RB's

Spring football starts at the University of Miami on Tuesday so it's time to take a look at the team heading into the month-long session.

By the end of last season, Damien Berry had established himself as the best running back on Miami's roster. Graig Cooper was close behind but he suffered a knee injury in the bowl game that will sideline him for all of spring and then some.

Berry, a rising senior, played defensive back early in his career at Miami and was moved to running back as a junior last season. After not seeing the field for the first half of the season, he ran over opposing defenses late in the season and showed glimpses of being a back who could be able to run for over 1,000 yards this coming season.

In addition to Cooper, rising junior Lee Chambers will miss all of spring with an injury. A career backup to this point, Chambers will hope to return soon after spring and begin competing for carries in a crowded backfield.

Stepping up in place of Cooper and Chambers looks to be sophomore Mike James, who played a lot at fullback as a true freshman last season. A between-the-tackles style runner, James should see plenty of action this spring with the first unit and will get a chance to really solidify a spot in this backfield.

The player fans are probably most excited to see this spring on the offensive side of the ball is redshirt freshman Lamar Miller. A former four-star recruit, Miller drew major praise on the scout team last season and is expected to make a big splash for the Canes in 2010. It'll start next week, as he'll have plenty of opportunities to really show what he's capable of doing. He still has a lot to prove, however.

True freshman Storm Johnson, whose game is very similar to that of James, enrolled for the spring semester. The former three-star recruit will hope to get adjusted to college life quickly and have the same type of impact that James had last season after starting early.

Senior Patrick Hill returns at fullback after missing nearly all of the 2009 season to an injury. The team's best blocking back, Hill's return enabled the coaches to move James back to running back. Sophomore John Calhoun will also look to compete at fullback.


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