RB Javarris James

2007 Statistics

Coach: Randy Shannon
5-7, 1 year
2007 Record: 5-7
at Oklahoma LOST 13-51
FIU WON 23-9
DUKE WON 24-14
at North Carolina LOST 27-33
at Florida State WON 37-29
at Virginia Tech LOST 14-44
at Boston College LOST 14-28

2007 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

If you've ever heard of how taking one step back often has to happen before two (or more) steps forward can occur, then you know how to break down head coach Randy Shannon's first year atop the command chain here. Shannon's name says football in this southern paradise, for he has never really played or coached anywhere but in his place of birth (NFL Dolphins are also on his resume). Things seemed to be moving forward as Shannon's Canes went 4-1 out of the gate, but the 1-6 close revealed weak points that demanded addressing this off-season. Missing bowl eligibility for the first time in a decade hammered home just how much work is still needed to return one of the most feared programs ever back to its old self.

Probably the best anecdote for more wins is the turnover seen at the QB spot. With all due respect, Kyle Wright (graduated) and Kirby Freeman (transferred) were barely passable for a position in college football with no equal. From Kelly to Testevarde and Kosar, from Dorsey to Toretta and Walsh, not just anyone is right to lead the charge of raw talent, talent levels not often matched until this decade by teams outside of the Sunshine State. Rob Marve looks like the shizz, a guy who has made his way past two other highly qualified candidates to earn the precarious start under center. Any of the QBs may mean more steps back to begin with, especially with Florida and Texas A&M in games two and three. But the QB adjustment period shouldn't be more than a few tough games - early lessons learned will pay dividends, and not years later. By October, with so many talent positions lined for production with speed and toughness, the Cane offense should look more like it did just a few years back. The running game looks good enough to 'carry' the early load, which would offer time of possession wins and less pressure on the QBs. Averaging less than 150 yards on the ground per game for the years Wright was under center turned the screws on Wright's approach, forcing his arm to do more than it was capable of. Getting back to running it down foes' throats can happen, but the center spot looks iffy. That shouldn't stop the ground production, but could mean a reshuffling up front by midseason.

The hiring of Bill Young to coordinate the defense looks like a sure thing. Young has never had available to his systems this much size and speed combined in almost every player. If he could get his Kansas Jayhawks to overachieve with mostly two- and three-star recruits, we cannot imagine how well he and former DC Shannon will coach up this stacked crew. Moncur, Bailey, McCarthy, Phillips and Reddick get newbies like Spense, Forston and Brown to make this another Hurricane defense capable of winning games by themselves. Luckily, they won't have to, so all efforts can dovetail into concerted pigskin success like they are used to seeing in Coral Gables. The DBs have the most ground to catch up, but at a school where DBs jump to the NFL and often start as rookies, Shannon and Young will have this area shored up quickly. Florida will reveal any weaknesses in coverage, and adjustments will then take hold so the rest of 2008 is better for the experience.

Butch Davis comes home with North Carolina, and FSU a week later means two mediocre foes cannot be overlooked. The flow that starts with upstart Wake Forest will define this campaign since four of the last five games are against teams that beat Miami last year during the closing span then. The foe the Canes have to be looking forward to getting the most is Virginia after the Cavs shot them out 48-0 in their last game in the Orange Bowl. They go to Charlottesville to hopefully repay the favor, and as you can likely guess, it's personal. The majority of games look winnable, but that's been said many times as of late, and...well, you know.

Is this the year Miami repatriates the top 25 by the final polls? We think so, for in a conference where there is really no legitimate top 10 team, this much talent can quickly come together to become much more than the sum of its amazing parts. The last two losing seasons here - 1997 and 1979 - were followed by nine-win efforts. At a school where national championships come in bunches, it only takes a little push to motivate the current players to repeat these feats. Hurricane pigskin heritage is strong, but sometimes teams have to see and realize their pitfalls before they can grow from them and then reach their potential as one unit. That's where Miami football development currently resides, and it won't be long until UM is as hated as it once was due to how good the gridiron product becomes.

Projected 2008 record: 7-5
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 4 LB - 4
WR - 3.5 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: None

Rushing: Graig Cooper, 125 att., 682 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Sam Shields, 27 rec., 346 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Graig Cooper, 5 TD, 30 pts.

Punting: Matt Bosher, 58 punts, 40.2 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Colin McCarthy, 68 tot. 38 solo

Sacks: Eric Moncur, 5.5 sacks

Interceptions: Randy Phillips, 3 for 80 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Ryan Hill, 21 ret., 20.4 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Graig Cooper, 16 ret., 4.8 avg., 0 TD


LB Colin McCarthy
OFFENSE: Kyle Wright-QB, Lance Leggett-WR, Darnell Jenkins-WR, Andrew Bain-OG, John Rochford-C, Derrick Morse-OG, Francesco Zampogna-K, Jerrell Mabry-FB, Kirby Freeman-QB (transferred)
DEFENSE: Vegas Franklin-DE, Teraz McCray-DT, Tavares Gooden-MLB, Glenn Sharpe-CB, Willie Cooper-S, Kenny Phillips-S (NFL), Calais Campbell-DE (NFL)

The collective sigh heard from the Cane Nation due to the departures of Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman were well earned. The deterioration of production under Wright's three-year reign must have been painful...even for those of us who don't ever cheer for the team but have respected their offensive prowess for what it has been for 25 years – awesome. It was like a train wreck to see so much talent and speed turn in only 315 total yards per game over the past few years. How could one look away, knowing five-star (talent position) guys were being stopped by foes who never held a candle to the Canes in their heyday less than a decade ago? Miami only went over the 30-point mark three times last year, with only three additional trips past the 20-point barrier. New blood under center is just what's needed for Coach Shannon to bring his own recruit(s) and therefore his own identity to the team's scoring machine. The new face of Hurricane football will be Robert Marve. Mr. Football (2006) in-state, he broke Tim Tebow's single-season prep records for yards (4,380) and TDs (48) while breaking the 30-year old mark for completions (280). His work in this multiple-look system (mostly what is called "Pro set", but with some creative spreads) has progressed pretty quickly, and though, coaches aren't going to announce the starter until the last week of August, for Marve not to be making the start against Charleston Southern would only be due to injury. Marve has some speed, too, and at a modest 203 pounds, this Tampa product is actually the biggest of the three candidates. Then there's the guy who broke Marve's TD record (49) and was Mr. Football the very next year, last year. The progress of grey-shirt true frosh Jacoby Harris is pretty miraculous, too, since he was walking his high school's halls only three months ago. Harris has more height but looks like a twig waiting to be broken until the weight room starts to pay off more. Harris is more of a stand-and-deliver type; since he worked out of the shotgun in prep, he has had some exchange problems when truly under center. Otherwise, he is a real leader and makes decisions as well as Marve. The top prep QB in the nation was Cannon Smith. This FedEx heir (father is CEO) can also run well, but is a few paces behind the other two for development and needs to work on his delivery most. The things all three QBs don't have are real game reps...their collective résumés say things will be better at QB U.

Coordinator Pat Nix may not have to do as much passing if the running game pans out as promised. The main back last year was Javarris James, the cousin of alum Edgerrin James. The Immokalee product isn't quite as fast as his cousin, and it showed in last year's paltry 3.7 ypc average (long of 23) after James's 4.5 ypc rate as a Freshman All-American had many believing he was the next great Cane back (including us). The numbers speak volumes, which is how Graig Cooper kept earning reps/carries with his 5.5 ypc. Another Mr. Football (TN), Cooper actually had 34 less carries than James, but 100 more yards, so how he doesn't get the first team nod seems a mystery. After finishing as the No.4 true freshman runner last year, Cooper was easily the top runner this spring. Both are excellent receivers out of their respective positions, and we anticipate both being fielded simultaneously, with James in the slot for the matchup problems he'll create. Derron Thomas is now a senior, and his waiting-in-the-wings routine has to pan out for the Pride of the Crescent City this time, or else a great back has gone to waste. Pat Hill is a 5'9, 260+ blaster who may make the QB spot superfluous due to his powering holes. Coaches asked JUCO-transfer Hill what makes a game good for him; "If I can knock five guys out." Ouch. Hill's emergence will help the prospects of the inside running game since it is replacing all three interior linemen.

TE Chris Zellner is a blaze of speed, but Dedrick Epps and super-quick ex-DE Richard Gordon seem to be in line after both broke out of the pack this spring. As much as this place produces superior QBs, this is TE/WR U, also, sending more top WRs/TEs into the pro's than any other school in the past 25 years. The wide receivers are another premium mix. Sam Shields took a step back from his strong freshman campaign, but even with 10 less catches, his lead-by example ethic is just what a struggling team needs. A groin injury kept JUCO product Kayne Farquharson from reaching his potential yet. Khalil Jones is an anomaly - big enough to be a TE, this ACC sprinter (60, 100, 200) should stay home with the new QBs to become a possession type with his knowledge of the game. True frosh Aldarius Johnson has been making plays and breaking tackles all spring since his arrival. With a 3.9-second shuttle time, Johnson looks like the best prospect to displace one of the current starters.

The center position is the only real concern, where FIU transfer Xavier Shannon is being propped up for the start. Not lacking potential, Shannon was seen spraying balls everywhere in the shotgun, but he seems to be the logical choice since Tyler Horn is so green (he's obviously envious). Joel Figueroa is just a monster and an asset inside with his footwork. He will have Orlando Franklin back from injury by fall to make this group provide one heck of a push. Barney and classmate Trump did well when Franklin was hurt to give some decent depth to the inner proceedings. The tackles are two returning starters - ex-TE Fox will stay on the left side, where he started last year every week, while highly coveted (No.2 prospect) Youngblood seems set after switching sides. Rutledge started three games at RT, and fellow senior Byrd is that versatile type who can be plugged in anywhere. And on that note, the big change so far has been the tendency toward more permanent assignments. Shuffling the positions and names - as has been the norm for a few years - was put to a stop so that guys can stop thinking about the position they are currently in and how to play it properly... the staff just wants a more instinctual flow. This can possibly be another great Cane offensive line, but that center slot is the weak link for any prognosticating logic.

How this much talent cannot come together for serious production seems impossible, but precedent tells us to see if any proverbial corners have been taken before declaring the offensive drought is over.


WR Sam Shields


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Robert Marve-Fr (6-1, 203) Jacory Harris-Fr (6-4, 175)
Cannon Smith-Fr (5-11, 189)
FB Patrick Hill-Jr (5-9, 262) John Calhoun-Fr (6-3, 246)
RB Javarris James-Jr (6-0, 214) Graig Cooper-So(6-0, 202)
Derron Thomas-Sr (5-9, 204)
WR Kayne Farquharson-Sr (6-2, 185) Aldarius Johnson-Fr (6-2, 217)
WR Khalil Jones-Sr (6-2, 220) Jermaine McKenzie-Fr (6-2, 173)
WR Sam Shields-Jr (6-0, 180) Leonard Hankerson-So (6-2,218)
TE Dedrick Epps-Jr (6-4, 255) Richard Gordon-Jr (6-4, 260)
Chris Zellner-Sr (6-2, 247)
OT Reggie Youngblood-Sr (6-5, 312) Tyrone Byrd-Sr (6-5, 309)
OG Orlando Franklin-So (6-7, 345) Chris Barney-Jr (6-5, 340)
C Xavier Shannon-Sr (6-1, 298) Tyler Horn-Fr (6-4, 295)
OG Joel Figueroa-So (6-5, 344) A.J. Trump-Jr (6-3, 308)
OT Jason Fox-Jr (6-6, 306) Chris Rutledge-Sr (6-5, 314)
K Matt Bosher-So (6-0, 195) Jake Wieclaw-Fr (6-1, 183)



Recent troubles have had much less to do with stopping opponents. Still, things went considerably south in '07, and in Miami, that's not a good thing. For the first time since 1984, more than 300 points were allowed. The run stuffing took the biggest hit last year, going from the school record of allowing 67 yards per game in '06 to 134. It all added up to Tim Walton, the DBs coach who was promoted by Shannon to take his old coordinator's spot when Shannon became head coach, being fired. Welcome ex-Kansas DC Bill Young, whose overachieving defenses in the heartland give great promise for what will soon be seen once he gets this much speed and talent in his system. Things were a bit too basic last year; the subtle nature of more organized spread/modern attacks ate the usually keen Cane D up.

Losing three of the top linemen is the first place the staff focused upon, and it has paid off developmentally. Allen Bailey had aspirations to follow in his hero's footsteps (Ray Lewis), but originally the No.7 DE prospect, Bailey is back after a season at LB proved he isn't quite fast enough to platoon in coverage (though his physical package includes a 40" vertical leap). "The Sapelo Assassin" (grew up in Hog Hammock on Sapelo Island, Georgia), "Plays the position like he's been playing it here for the last three or four years," says line coach Clint Hurtt. He's now a starter, and will be bookended with Eric Moncur, a senior with something to prove after he suffered a concussion in game 10 and didn't play the same afterwards. In Moncur's place this spring was Steven Wesley, who has as much to prove since he's played only sparingly and wants to be another great DLman here, as does last year's scout team defensive POTY Adewale Ojomo (who has the speed, but not enough technique, yet). The inside looks less solid, with Joe Joseph eagerly anticipating being 'the man'. This junior isn't a lock, though; Antonio Dixon seems to be more of a sure thing than Joseph after starting four times last year. Dixon has the footwork to overcome his size and lack of pure sprinting speed, proven by how 15% of his career tackles have been for loss. Hendricks was injured alot last year, and for his career, the New Jersey senior has only been in 20 games to show off how he's really a bulked up end. Like Dixon, Chaz Washington plays as big as he is with quickness to boot. None besides Dixon have laid claim to the other starting spot, so incoming monster Marcus Forston has a shot since he's been here all spring. This guy is the top tackle prize in this year's national recruiting class, and he is tabbed as being the best DT for strength, quickness, and pass rush. "The biggest thing [he has] to learn is how to finish", says Hurtt about his phenom.

Young will have a bumper crop of linebackers to tie his schemes together. Ostensibly, if a guy isn't lightning quick, he isn't in the Cane LB unit. Darryl Sharpton is the pride of Coral Gables since his true freshman season. Sharpton and classmate Colin McCarthy broke in nicely in their first year as true starters. Both are in the 4.5-second 40 range, and both seem to be excellent from sideline to sideline. McCarthy's stat line looks like the ones classic Cane LBs like Dan Morgan, D.J. Williams and Jon Vilma had. MLB Glenn Cook got a sixth year of eligibility after a foot injury on the second day of 2007 spring camp cost Cook his supposed final year. A step slower than the other starters, this Hollywood (FL) hipster is the grounded leader so McCarthy and Sharpton can wreak havoc. The biggest LB news has been the emergence of Sean Spence, a true freshman who took snaps with the 1s all spring. This local product has to bulk up to reach his potential, but it isn't like his impact hasn't been transparent already. Another obvious future star is the No.2 LB prospect and the guy rated as having the best closing speed, the top tackler from the spring game, newbie Arthur Brown. A step faster and a size larger already, Brown has the physical tools but needs to hone his approach at this level. Again, eight tackles in the final scrimmage speak volumes for this Wichita wonder. Troubles in coverage have WLB Spencer Adkins looking up from the second team. Add in the impact of Romeo Davis, another senior who missed 2007 due to injury but who was strong in place of McCarthy in the middle, and you get an unstoppable crew like in the days of old.

The prowess of the Hurricane secondary is stuff of legend. Yet in 2007, the worst numbers since the turn of the millennium were seen. Demarcus Van Dyke will be better for starting as a true frosh. He's got 4.3 speed and the height to never be at a disadvantage. Bruce Johnson is similar in speed and size, but between these two starters, only 45 tackles and two INTs were found. Grant has a smart sense of the game, so his start as an extra DB (nickel) in '07 - even though he's a step slower - is foretelling of the more human traits now found in the Cane secondary. Gone are the days of supermen ruling their sides, even though a return to this way of covering may be found with the new blood. Ryan Hill never played CB here, but at WR, he showed his skill set can be honed to supply one-on-one quality coverage. The No.3 CB this year is Brandon Harris, so there are more options in case Young/Shannon decide to try more guys out. The safeties are also a bit unsettled just because of the high bar set for that position over the years here. Randy Phillips did a respectable job once moved back from corner after the Oklahoma debacle, and his understanding of the position's needs will increase when Anthony Reddick returns. His ACL tore in spring last year, and with other unfortunate circumstance, Reddick hasn't really contributed since his strong true freshman season when he was already good enough to start. Ponder is ready to start again after he was in favor two years ago but fell out in '07. Like usual, the safeties are stacked here like planes out at Miami International - six capable hats (led by Jojo Nicolas) are excited to just be in line for the vaunted Hurricane DB spots.

With a mind like Randy Shannon’s spearheading the defensive adjustments, Bill Young can relax into making an impact with his new ideas; he and Shannon have known of each other due to former coach Larry Coker teaming with Young at both Tulsa and Ohio State. Young would visit the Miami practices and, as a DC, he and Shannon shared gridiron knowledge. That relationship will be the bedrock of the kind of defensive showings most have come to expect from this stellar program.


DE Eric Moncur


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Eric Moncur-Sr (6-2, 250) Courtney Harris-Jr (6-3, 267)
Adewale Ojomo-Fr (6-3, 244)
DT Joe Joseph-Jr (6-3, 304) Marcus Forston-Fr (6-2, 309)
Chaz Washington-So (6-4, 320)
DT Antonio Dixon-Sr (6-3, 328) Dwayne Hendricks-Sr (6-4, 298)
DE Allen Bailey-So (6-4, 287) Steven Wesley-So (6-3, 257)
OLB Colin McCarthy-Jr (6-3, 230) Sean Spence-Fr (6-0, 202)
MLB Glenn Cook-Sr (6-0, 235) Spencer Adkins-Sr (5-11, 230)
Romeo Davis-Sr (6-3, 234)
OLB Darryl Sharpton-Jr (5-11, 232) Arthur Brown-Fr (6-2, 230)
CB Bruce Johnson-Sr (5-11, 172) Carlos Armour-Sr (6-3, 206)
Ryan Hill-Jr (5-11, 195)
CB DeMarcus Van Dyke-So (6-1, 174) Chavez Grant-Jr (5-11, 180)
SS Randy Phillips-Sr (6-0, 208) JoJo Nicolas-So (6-1, 200)
FS Anthony Reddick-Sr (6-0, 208) Lovon Ponder-Sr (6-0, 219)
P Matt Bosher-So (6-0, 195) ..




Those eager second and third teamers provide great coverage of Matt Bosher's sporadic punts. A year of experience will hopefully make Bosher command a deadly dimension of this team's arsenal. The flip side is how well UM returns punts and kicks...very well over the years. So how did Cooper falter so bad with his amazing numbers out of the backfield (his longest PR was 16 yards)? He looks to again be the punt guy, but Aldarius Johnson and Demarcus Van Dyke will challenge Ryan Hill for supremacy atop the KR charts. The kicking situation has Bosher not qualming over whether he or true frosh Jake Wieclaw get the nod. Last year's mixed results (lost bowl eligibility when a 27-yard try was missed against N.C. State) say that these new faces should improve what just was.