ACC: Dedrick Epps

Miami spring wrap

May, 7, 2010
5/07/10
8:30
AM ET
MIAMI

2009 overall record: 9-4

2009 conference record: 5-3

Returning starters

Offense: 6, defense: 8, punter/kicker: 2

Top returners

QB Jacory Harris, T Orlando Franklin, WR Leonard Hankerson, WR LaRon Byrd, DE Allen Bailey, LB Sean Spence, LB Colin McCarthy, P/PK Matt Bosher, CB Brandon Harris, RB Graig Cooper (injured)

Key losses

OT Jason Fox, C A.J. Trump, TE Dedrick Epps, RB Javarris James, S Randy Phillips, CB Sam Shields, LB Darryl Sharpton, DT Joe Joseph

2009 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Cooper* (695 yards)

Passing: Harris* (3,352 yds)

Receiving: Hankerson* (801 yds)

Tackles: Sharpton (106)

Sacks: Bailey* (7)

Interceptions: Harris, Phillips, Micanor Regis* (2)

Spring answers

1. Depth at running back. The running backs had arguably the best spring of any position group and proved they’re still deep, despite the loss of James and not having Cooper, who is recovering from a torn ACL. Lamar Miller, a redshirt freshman, was tough to bring down in the open field, and had good speed. Storm Johnson, a true freshman who enrolled early, picked up the offense quickly and ran hard. Damien Berry showed the same form he had at the end of the season when he finished strong, and Mike James returned to running back from fullback.

2. Deeper at QB. What a difference a year can make. After both backup quarterbacks transferred a year ago, this position has the best depth it’s seen under coach Randy Shannon. A.J. Highsmith, Spencer Whipple and Stephen Morris all moved the ball this spring. Highsmith seemed to be the front-runner for the No. 2 job behind Jacory Harris, as he took most of the first-team reps with Harris out.

3. Defensive line shines. First-year defensive line coach Rick Petri’s group was one of the Canes’ bright spots this spring. The defensive ends go about three deep on each side. Adewale Ojomo, who missed all of last season with a broken jaw, is back, and the tackles were solid.

Fall questions

1. Wanted: tight ends. Miami only had two tight ends this spring, but the Canes will add four in the fall, including Chase Ford, a junior college transfer. Richard Gordon and Billy Sanders will finally get some competition. Gordon has the most experience and he’s a senior, but he only played in one game last year. He was granted an extra year of eligibility and should have a bigger role this season. Sanders, a redshirt freshman, was on the scout team.

2. Transition at center. Tyler Horn isn’t a rookie, but it's unclear how he'll adjust to his new role in taking over for A.J. Trump. Horn was the top option at center this spring with true freshman Shane McDermott, an early enrollee, behind him. Horn has been there for three years, and it’s his job to lose.

3. Stuck in the middle. Who will take over at middle linebacker? Miami is still working out its depth issue here. Kylan Robinson started to emerge there in the spring, and Shayon Green was another option. At the end of spring, Colin McCarthy was still at strong side and Sean Spence was at weak side, but Shannon could make some moves to get the best group of linebackers in there. That could mean McCarthy moves to the middle. In the past two years, Shannon liked to put an older player there (Glenn Cook, Darryl Sharpton), but McCarthy played the majority of the spring at his usual spot. The return of Spence and Jordan Futch from injuries should help Shannon figure out the right combination.

NFL draft rewind

April, 26, 2010
4/26/10
9:00
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Good morning, ACC fans, hope you guys had a good NFL draft weekend. The ACC put together a good wrap-up of this past weekend's draft activity for the conference. The ACC ranked third this year among conferences with 31 players chosen. The SEC led with 49, followed by the Big Ten (34). The Big 12 had 30, the Pac-10 29, the Big East 18 and the Mountain West 13.

Here are a few notes to tie it all together for you:

  • For the sixth straight year, the ACC had more than 30 players selected.
  • Since 2005, the ACC and the SEC are the only two leagues in the nation to have had 30 players selected in each of the past six years.
  • Atlantic Division champion Clemson (C.J. Spiller, Jacoby Ford, Ricky Sapp, Crezdon Butler, Kavell Connor) and Coastal Division runner-up Virginia Tech (Jason Worilds, Kam Chancellor, Ed Wang, Brent Bowden, Cody Grimm) led all ACC schools each with five players chosen in the draft.
  • ACC champion Georgia Tech (Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas, Morgan Burnett, Jonathan Dwyer) and Miami (Jimmy Graham, Darryl Sharpton, Jason Fox, Dedrick Epps) were next, each with four players chosen.
  • The ACC maintained its streak of having at least one top-10 selection in each of the past five years. Since 2006, the ACC is the only conference in the country to have had a top-10 selection in each year.
  • In all, 18 NFL teams selected players from the ACC.

ACC position superlatives: Miami

March, 8, 2010
3/08/10
3:30
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We resume our series on the strongest and weakest units for each ACC team with Miami:

Strongest position: Wide receiver

Key returnees: Leonard Hankerson, LaRon Byrd, Travis Benjamin

Key departures: None.

The skinny: Despite the unimpressive performances in Saturday’s scrimmage, this is still one of the deepest groups in the ACC. Miami returns its three leading receivers from a year ago, including Hankerson, who had the most receiving yards (801) since Andre Johnson in 2002. Five receivers had at least 200 yards each last year, including Thearon Collier and Aldarius Johnson.

Weakest position: Tight end

Key returnees: Richard Gordon

Key departures: Jimmy Graham, Tervaris Johnson, Dedrick Epps

The skinny: This is where Miami will lose some of its receiving yards from a year ago, as this departed trio combined for 44 catches. Gordon, a senior with only four career starts who was injured the majority of last year, is one of just two tight ends the Canes have at spring practice. Redshirt freshman Billy Sanders is the other. Miami signed four tight ends in this recruiting class, but none of them were early enrollees.

More postseason rosters announced

January, 20, 2010
1/20/10
3:30
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The Under Armour Senior Bowl hasn't released its final roster yet, but it did announce that Virginia cornerback Chris Cook and running back Rashawn Jackson have both officially accepted invitations to play in the Jan. 30th game.

Also announced was the Texas vs. The Nation all-star roster, a senior bowl which will be played Feb. 6 at the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas.

2010 Nation Roster

Preston Parker, WR/RT, North Alabama/Florida State

Sam Shields, CB, Miami

Brent Bowden, P, Virginia Tech

Dedrick Epps, TE, Miami

Toney Baker, RB, NC State

Cory Jackson, FB, Maryland

Kyle Jolly, OT, North Carolina

Will Barker, OL, Virginia

E.J. Wilson, DE, North Carolina

Travis Ivey, DT, Maryland

2010 Texas Roster

Thaddeus Lewis, QB, Duke

A.J. Cooley, RB, Shorter College/Georgia Tech

ACC representatives at the NFL combine

January, 12, 2010
1/12/10
3:30
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The Sporting News published a list of seniors invited to participate in the 2010 NFL scouting combine, Feb. 24 to March 2 at Indianapolis. Here are the ACC's representatives, but keep in mind it's not an official -- or final -- list.

Boston College: LB Mike McLaughlin, C Matt Tennant.

Clemson: OLB Kavell Conner, WR Jacoby Ford, DE Ricky Sapp, RB C.J. Spiller.

Duke: QB Thaddeus Lewis, Vince Oghobaase.

Florida State: CB Patrick Robinson, S Myron Rolle, OLB Dekoda Watson.

Maryland: CB Nolan Carroll.

Miami: TE Dedrick Epps, OT Jason Fox, TE Jimmy Graham, RB Javarris James, LB Darryl Sharpton.

North Carolina: OT Kyle Jolly, DT Cam Thomas.

NC State: C Ted Larsen, DE Willie Young.

Virginia: CB Chris Cook, FB Rashawn Jackson.

Virginia Tech: P Brent Bowden, S Kam Chancellor, CB Stephan Virgil, OT Ed Wang.

Wake Forest: OT Chris DeGeare, CB Brandon Ghee.

Miami's offensive options seemingly endless

September, 23, 2009
9/23/09
9:02
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich


When Miami coach Randy Shannon took over the program three seasons ago, there were only about three or four scholarship receivers on the roster -- far below the usual eight to 10 most schools carry. So this offseason, when receivers coach Aubrey Hill faced the popular question, ‘You’ve got so many receivers, wouldn’t you rather just have one guy?’ his response was logical:

“I said, ‘If you’re at Christmas, would you rather have one toy, or as many toys as you can?”
 
 AP Photo/J. Pat Carter, File
 Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple has plenty of options.


Now, after building depth with recruiting classes that included some of the elite talent in the country, and players who could contribute immediately, the Hurricanes’ toy box overfloweth.

Twelve different players have caught at least one pass for the No. 9-ranked Hurricanes heading into Saturday’s showdown at No. 11 Virginia Tech. And six of them have at least five catches. Seven different players have scored touchdowns in wins over two ranked ACC opponents. Three different receivers have run a reverse. Miami returns nine of its top 10 leaders in all-purpose yards from 2008. Running backs Graig Cooper and Javarris James have helped the Canes to a 7-2 record when they combine for at least 25 carries. And, of course, they’ve finally got a quarterback to lead them all in Jacory Harris.

“This Miami team we’re getting ready to play,” said Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, “Wow.”

Receivers Travis Benjamin, Thearon Collier, Davon Johnson and Kendal Thompkins bring straight speed, quickness, elusiveness and big-play capabilities. Leonard Hankerson and Aldarius Johnson are talented possession players with great hands who move the chains. LaRon Byrd and Tommy Streeter can stretch the field deep with their speed and height. Cooper is elusive, while James is the power back, and Lee Chambers and Mike James provide dependable depth at the position. Tight ends Jimmy Graham and Dedrick Epps have both given the offense a boost, while the offensive line makes it all possible.

 
 Steve Mitchell/US Presswire
 Graig Cooper has averaged 5.2 yards per carry so far.
“The opposing team can’t just focus on one player,” said Byrd. “You look at a lot of teams in the country, like Oklahoma State. They have Dez Bryant, so you have the defense lock on Dez Bryant and the offense is going to have a tough time. You look at Alabama, Julio Jones. They lock down on him and Alabama is going to have a tough time. You look at us, we have so many weapons you can’t just lock on one player. If you double up on Travis Benjamin, then Aldarius Johnson is going to have a big game. If you double up on him, then Hankerson is going to have a big game, and so forth and so forth.”

Miami’s versatility is not only in its athletes, but also in its playbook. The addition of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, coupled with the wide array of abilities, size and speed on the roster, has made Miami’s offense the total package and extremely difficult to defend.

“He’s just so creative, bringing so many different offenses and making it Miami’s offense,” Hill said. “He’s been one of the most creative offensive coordinators I’ve been around and knowing how to set-up plays, run and pass. That’s been really good for the whole coaching staff and also the players because they’re really, really excited to come into the meeting room to see what the mad scientist is creating next.”

In fact, some of the Canes have gotten into it so much some have tried to write their own plays on the board.

“Some have had consideration,” Hill said with a chuckle, “and some haven’t.”

Almost all of the players, though, have had their moments in the spotlight.

“We spread the wealth around to each guy,” Shannon said. “They know that they have to run their routes and everything full speed because they don’t ever know when Jacory is going to throw the football to them. That’s the difference in this team.

“The best thing about it is the competition in practice. You don’t have to worry about a guy getting too extreme as far as thinking he’s the guy who makes the offense run, or he’s the guy who makes the defense run. We’ve got depth at those positions to say, ‘You know what? You don’t want to work hard? OK, fine. We love you, and you’re part of this program, but we’re going to go with somebody else.’ That’s a big help.”

And it’s a nightmare for opposing defenses -- even ones as renowned as Virginia Tech's.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for them,” said Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster. “They’re just right now, really a complete football team.”

Canes return key players on both sides of the ball

August, 13, 2009
8/13/09
2:26
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy has one goal for this season -- to stay healthy.

Can't blame him.

McCarthy, who only played the first four games last fall, has had three surgeries on his left shoulder, and said it's been a nagging injury since he was at Clearwater Central Catholic High School. The third surgery, he said, finally "did the dirty work and got everything fixed up." McCarthy said he's now free of pain and has no real limitations. He has also been awarded a medical hardship and has two more seasons of eligibility remaining. So this season should be the start of something good for McCarthy, whose experience will be important up front.

"I've been battling injuries for a little while now and I'm finally back feeling healthy. I'm just excited to get the season started," he said. "Being up there at Florida State makes it that much better."

McCarthy, who has 14 career starts in 24 games and 94 career tackles, isn't the only Cane whose return from injury will be noticeable this fall. Tight end Dedrick Epps, who tore his ACL and meniscus and missed the Emerald Bowl last year, has also regained his form in summer camp. Epps earned the starting job last year and started 10 of 12 games and tied for third on the team in receiving yards (304) and was fourth in receptions (22). Together they helped each other through the rehab process.

"We were with each other every day," McCarthy said. "We went through the ups and downs as far as the pain, and having to deal with overcoming the surgery, but he's doing great now, I feel great, and I think we're both going to help the team out a lot."

Epps said he was in the training room every day, three times a day working on strengthening and balance exercises, and getting massage treatments and ice. He was also going to meetings and on the practice field so he didn't fall behind in the new system under first-year coordinator Mark Whipple.

"I wasn't trying to rush it," Epps said, "but it was very important to get back out there. I heal fast."

And the Canes are thankful for it.

Around the ACC

August, 13, 2009
8/13/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here are the reports that came in from Wednesday's practices around the league, as reported by each school's sports information office:

CLEMSON

Clemson had its second day of two-a-day practices on Wednesday. The Tigers worked for two hours and 15 minutes in the morning and for an hour and a half in the evening.

Much of the day was spent reviewing the film from Tuesday's scrimmage and correcting mistakes. Coach Dabo Swinney felt better about his team after watching the film on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

"We played better than I thought," said Swinney. "I was very disappointed with the penalties [on offense] and a lack of attention to detail immediately after the scrimmage. And I still feel that way about those mistakes. But after watching the film we played better overall than I thought."

Swinney was impressed with the performance of his defense after the scrimmage on Tuesday and he was still happy with that performance on Wednesday.

"We have a chance to be pretty salty on defense. I look out there and really can't tell the difference between the units. I was talking to Jamie Cumbie yesterday and he said it doesn't make any difference who starts, they are just waiting to have their name called.

"There is great depth on the defensive front and the secondary. The linebackers are doing well also. I was really impressed with Kavell Conner's performance on Tuesday. He has had a terrific preseason."

(Read full post)

Scouting Miami

August, 7, 2009
8/07/09
2:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Miami starts practice tomorrow, but why wait? The Canes certainly aren't hesitating to get into the heart of their schedule.

It's Randy Shannon's third year, and the college football world is growing restless for the Canes to make their comeback. There's no question Shannon is recruiting for the future, but after a 12-13 record, he needs those freshmen and sophomores to win now. Is it a fair demand considering the Canes are still very young, they're breaking in a sophomore quarterback, they've got a grueling schedule and two new coordinators?

It's probably still a year too early to think Miami is going to be knocking on the door of the top 10 BCS Standings, but there's no question their schedule sets them up for such a ranking. Even if Miami started its season 3-0, it's ascension to the top of the ACC would be seemingly overnight. On the other hand, an 0-4 start is equally as possible.

The players insist they're focused on Florida State and only Florida State, but back-to-back games against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech will go a long way in determining the course of Coastal Division race before October. The biggest question facing Miami is how quickly can it start? Here are a few others:

1. How much will the new coordinators really affect the team's progress? Judging from what Shannon and his players have said this offseason, the hire of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple and defensive coordinator John Lovett has been a seamless transition. They have already established good relationships with the players, and the players caught on quickly to what the new assistants wanted to do. In particular, the offensive players on more than one occasion have told me Whipple is like a "father figure" to them. Quarterback Jacory Harris has been soaking up everything Whipple has to say, and should flourish under his guidance. Defensively, Bill Young was a great coach who will be tough to replace, and going through three coordinators in as many seasons definitely has an impact. But Lovett's peers throughout the conference have only talked about his work ethic and their respect for him.

2. Will tight end Dedrick Epps be ready? He says he is, and he better be, because the options are limited. Epps had surgery on Jan. 26 for a torn ACL, and the position is so thin that Shannon didn't hesitate when former forward Jimmy Graham decided he wanted to use his final year of eligibility to play football. Epps, though, is proven, and he was the team's third-leading receiver a year ago with 304 yards.

3. Did Miami's run defense learn anything from Georgia Tech last year? Unfortunately for the Canes, we won't have to wait long to find out, as Miami faces the Jackets on Sept. 17. Paul Johnson's triple option offense baffled the Canes, and Shannon was disappointed his team didn't play assignment football that day. It was hardly the only time Miami's run defense was run over, though. Miami ranked last in the ACC in rushing defense, allowing 151.8 yards per game. The front seven should be better this year, especially with the maturation of hard-hitting sophomore linebacker Sean Spence, the return of injured Colin McCarthy, and a deep defensive line. Depth at linebacker remains a concern, though.

Excited to see Miami's Graham

May, 13, 2009
5/13/09
10:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

This is how it started: Miami forward Jimmy Graham approached recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt about using his final year of football eligibility with the Canes' football team. Hurtt then took Graham to coach Randy Shannon, who offered him an opportunity.

Graham didn't practice with the football team this spring, and he hasn't played since his early high school years, but Shannon said he likes Graham's toughness and his physical potential. Graham is about 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, and will try to help the team as a tight end.

"If he's big and he can run and he's got good hands," Shannon said, "he's got a shot."

One of the biggest adjustments Graham will have to make is not only running in pads, but running outside in South Florida. All of his conditioning and drills have been done inside, not in the heat.

"Running in pads once you get used to it, if he can bring something to the table and help us and make a catch here and there to move the first down sticks, that's great," Shannon said. "It's a rare thing, but every now and then you may get a person who can handle it and do it."

Shannon said that tight end Dedrick Epps is still rehabbing his knee, walking around without a brace and lifting. He's started to run straight ahead, but the staff is cautiously optimistic. Fans should feel the same about Graham.

Miami spring wrap-up

May, 7, 2009
5/07/09
9:25
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Miami Hurricanes

2008 overall record: 7-6

2008 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters: Offense: 8, defense: 8, kicker/punter: 2

Top returners: QB Jacory Harris, OT Jason Fox, WR Aldarius Johnson, WR Travis Benjamin, RB Graig Cooper, RB Javarris James, LB Sean Spence, LB Darryl Sharpton, CB Chavez Grant, K/P Matt Bosher, DE Allen Bailey

Key losses: QB Robert Marve, OT Chris Rutledge, C Xavier Shannon, LB Glenn Cook, S Anthony Reddick

2007 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Graig Cooper* (888 yards)

Passing: Robert Marve (1,293 yards)

Receiving: Aldarius Johnson* (332 yards)

Tackles: Glenn Cook (76)

Sacks: Allen Bailey* (5)

Interceptions: Sean Spence*, Brandon Harris*, Bruce Johnson, Eric Moncur (1 each)


2009 Schedule

Sept. 7 at Florida State
Sept. 17 Georgia Tech
Sept. 26 at Virginia Tech
Oct. 3 Oklahoma
Oct. 10 Florida A&M
Oct. 17 at Central Florida
Oct. 24 Clemson
Oct. 31 at Wake Forest
Nov. 7 Virginia
Nov. 14 at North Carolina
Nov. 21 Duke
Nov. 28 at South Florida

Spring answers

1. Temporary answer. Miami coach Randy Shannon said Taylor Cook earned the backup quarterback job -- for now. Cook beat Cannon Smith for the job this spring, and Shannon said that if the season started today, it would be Cook's job. A.J. Highsmith will join the competition, though, this summer.

2. You've got to coordinate. New offensive coordinator Mark Whipple wasted no time in implementing his new system, the players and staff were very receptive to it. Defensive coordinator John Lovett was also well received, even though it was the players' third coordinator in as many seasons.

3. Position change. Sam Shields' move from wide receiver to cornerback proved to be a good one. Shields showed he can not only provide some depth, but also possibly challenge for a starting job. He'll definitely work hyis way into the rotation, and the staff needs more consistent play from the secondary.

Fall questions

1. From hoops to helmets. Former forward Jimmy Graham has reportedly said he will join the football team this fall as a tight end, and it's a position that can use some help, especially with the knee injury to Dedrick Epps. But how much will Graham be able to help considering he hasn't played the sport since high school?

2. Tweaks to the o-line. Matt Pipho will be the new starter at right tackle, and the staff is eager to see how he handles that role. A.J. Trump moved from right guard to center, and Joel Figueroa took over at right guard.

3. Depth at linebacker. It's a patchwork effort, as several young players who were defensive backs last season were moved to linebacker (C.J. Holton, Ramon Buchanan), and Colin McCarthy didn't practice all spring but will be back. Arthur Brown is in the mix in the middle with Darryl Sharpton, and Sean Spence proved himself as a freshman, but depth is a concern.

Miami fans jumping the gun on Graham

April, 24, 2009
4/24/09
10:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Before everyone gets too excited about Jimmy Graham becoming the next great tight end at Miami, let's wait until he joins the roster, first.

It's still not official, and Graham is still weighing opportunities with hoops, like playing overseas. He's also not doing interviews yet, but on last week's ACC teleconference call, coach Randy Shannon said the opportunity is there if Graham wanted to join the team. That doesn't mean Graham has taken him up on it yet.

"Basically we've had discussions about Jimmy playing football this upcoming season, but he hasn't come out to spring football or anything like that," Shannon said. "He's still into lifting weights and finishing up school right now and he has an opportunity to come back next year and play football. We will give him a chance at it if he chooses to do that, but like I told Jimmy, you have opportunities out there and you have an opportunity to come back to school and also play your dream since little league, and that's playing football.

"He's been around, he's been with the players on the football team. He's been with Jacory [Harris] some. He's been with other guys on the football team. ... If he is able to come out and help us, his size and his speed, watching him run up and down the basketball court, may help us."

It could be a huge help, especially if Dedrick Epps isn't fully healed from his knee injury. Shannon said last week Epps isn't wearing his brace and seems ahead of schedule, but is waiting to see if Epps' knee swells up this summer after the pounding, running and conditioning. Epps is fit, hasn't gained any weight, and is expected to be full speed and ready to go by this summer, but the staff is cautiously optimistic.

Fans should be the same way about Graham.

He hasn't played football in five or six years, and Shannon said the most difficult part for him would be putting on the shoulder pads and running. Graham is about 6-foot-7, 6-foot-8, about 265 to 270 pounds, and has good speed, but he would have to get used to blocking. Shannon seems to think he's capable of it.

"Sometimes when you see a guy like that, you say he's an athlete, he can do it," Shannon said. "It's just a chance for him."

We're still waiting to find out if he's actually going to take it.

No official changes to Miami's roster -- yet

April, 13, 2009
4/13/09
3:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Multiple reports have surfaced about the possibility of Miami forward Jimmy Graham playing tight end for the Canes this fall, but as of Monday afternoon, there still weren't any official additions to the roster.

Graham played football in high school, but he played tennis, too. Doesn't mean he's the next Roger Federer. Of course, the staff wouldn't entertain Graham if they didn't think he could help, and considering the lack of depth at the position, odds are he would -- especially if Dedrick Epps (ACL) isn't ready to go in time to prepare for Florida State.

ACC's lunchtime links

February, 25, 2009
2/25/09
12:53
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Love it or hate it, here's your daily trip around the ACC ...

  • After just one day of spring football practice, it sounds like Miami quarterback Jacory Harris was so excited about the new offense he was ready to jump out of his jersey. The Canes were all "fired up" for practice on Tuesday.
  • With Miami tight end Dedrick Epps out because of a knee injury, Miami coach Randy Shannon told Richard Gordon "it's his time now." 
  • Has Al Groh made his final hire? Looking in UVa's directory is one way to find out.
  • Maryland picked up another commitment.
  • There's a new blog in town, and it's all about Georgia Tech sports. Larry Hartstein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution kicked it off with an interview with safety Morgan Burnett. (I guess when your hoops team is 1-12 in the ACC it's OK to write about ACC football in February).

Quick notes on Miami

February, 24, 2009
2/24/09
10:30
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

A couple of quick notes on Miami before the Canes hit the field later today for their first official spring practice:

  • Here's the final word on who won't be practicing this spring: linebacker Colin McCarthy and tight ends Dedrick Epps and Tervaris Johnson are all out with injuries, coach Randy Shannon said. This should open an opportunity for Richard Gordon. Offensive lineman Chris Barney will take the three more classes he needs to graduate and won't return to the team. Not a huge loss.
  • Allen Bailey has been moved to defensive tackle and is worth watching this spring. He came to Miami as a linebacker, was moved to defensive end, and will be pushing for a starting role now.
  • Linebacker Arthur Brown didn't live up to the hype last season, but that's OK -- not every freshman is going to play like a sophomore his first season. Brown could be more productive at his new spot, middle linebacker.
  • The Canes will focus on building the depth at linebacker and on the offensive line, along with finding a backup quarterback. Cannon Smith and Taylor Cook are the options there.

I'll have more from Shannon in a Q&A that will be posted on Wednesday morning.

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