ACC: Lamar Miller

Recruiting rewind

January, 28, 2013
1/28/13
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It's time to take a look back and reflect on the recruiting class of 2009.

How have the top prospects fared?

ESPN.com has the answer, as it looked back at the ESPN Top 150 four years later, and there are plenty of ACC players worth checking out:

Rankings 1-50
Rankings 51-100
Rankings 101-150
  • No. 103 ATH Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
  • No. 118 RB Lamar Miller, Miami
  • No. 120 DE Malliciah Goodman, Clemson
  • No. 139 RB D.J. Adams, Maryland
  • No. 140 OT J.K. Jay, Clemson
  • No. 150 ATH Willie Downs, FSU

Our recruiting gurus also reranked the recruiting classes of 2009. Miami was replaced by Florida at No. 7, but FSU held steady at No. 8. ESPN.com's Corey Dowlar took a closer look at the Seminoles' Class of 2009.

One good reason: Miami

July, 10, 2012
7/10/12
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MIAMI

This series looks at one good reason each school in the ACC will win this year, and, just to make sure we cover both sides of the story, one good reason why it won’t. For most schools, the focus is on winning the ACC title. For the programs that missed out on the postseason entirely last year, the focus is on getting back to a bowl game (at least it is here in the blogosphere). We’re going in alphabetical order.

The series continues today with one good reason why …

Miami will win the Coastal Division: Al Golden. Around this time a year ago, Golden was blindsided by an NCAA investigation that put Miami in the middle of a firestorm. He didn’t flinch. Golden worked with what he knew and the players he had and somehow managed to get the team bowl eligible in what was a tumultuous first season. Many thought he would leave, but Golden showed no signs of turning his back on the program. Now, with the NCAA investigation still looming, Golden is tasked with rebuilding a roster that lost 12 starters. In a season full of change, Golden remains entrenched in his plan for the program and has recruited well. There will be plenty of opportunities for his highly touted recruiting class to make an immediate impact. While some still question whether Golden is the right man for this job, his experiences at Temple have helped him prepare for the ongoing obstacles at Miami.

Why it won’t. Seven new starters on offense. Talk about a clean sweep. No team in the ACC lost more talent from 2011. Between graduation and early entries to the NFL, Miami has to find a new starting quarterback, receivers, leading rusher and replace three starting offensive linemen. The days of Jacory Harris and Lamar Miller have passed, now Stephen Morris will try to assert himself as the full-time starter and Mike James will try to win the job over some talented younger players. The Canes also need to find some big-play receivers to replace Travis Benjamin and Tommy Streeter, who combined for 11 touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch might have to scale down the playbook to help some of the younger players transition into more prominent roles.

More in this series

ACC's lunchtime links

May, 10, 2012
5/10/12
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Another Game 7 for the Rangers? Gotta love playoff hockey.

Miami spring wrap

May, 8, 2012
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2011 overall record: 6-6
2011 conference record: 3-5 (T-4th, Coastal)
Returning starters: Offense: 4; defense: 6; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners
WR Allen Hurns, TE Clive Walford, RT Jon Feliciano, RG Brandon Linder, DE Anthony Chickillo, DT Darius Smith, LB James Gaines, LB Denzel Perryman, CB Brandon McGee, S Vaughn Telemaque

Key losses
WR Travis Benjamin, WR Tommy Streeter, LT Brandon Washington, LG Harland Gunn, C Tyler Horn, QB Jacory Harris, RB Lamar Miller, DE Marcus Robinson, DT Adewale Ojomo, LB Sean Spence, CB Mike Williams, S JoJo Nicolas

2011 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Lamar Miller (1,271 yards)
Passing: Jacory Harris (2,486 yards)
Receiving: Tommy Streeter (811 yards)
Tackles: Sean Spence (106)
Sacks: Anthony Chickillo*/Marcus Robinson (5)
Interceptions: JoJo Nicolas (2)

Spring answers

1. Ryan Williams can challenge Stephen Morris: Williams received most of the spring reps with Morris sidelined, and the Memphis transfer should enter preseason camp with a chance to overtake Morris for the No. 1 spot. That's all the Hurricanes can hope for with Morris recovering from back surgery.

2. The defense should be OK: Yes, some of that ugly 7-6 final from the spring game has to be blamed on putrid offense, but the defense deserves plenty of credit for forcing five turnovers. The unit also forced 10 sacks and picked off three passes in the team's March 30 scrimmage. The Canes return six starters from a defense that ranked 17th nationally in scoring in 2011.

3. Running backs stepping up: Al Golden has praised Mike James and Eduardo Clements this spring for both their performances on the field and their leadership off it. A strong showing from the duo will certainly ease the loss of Lamar Miller, but that could depend more on the progress of the offensive line than anything else.

Fall questions

1. What will Morris be like upon return? No one wants to lose his job to injury, and Morris surely noticed the performance of Williams this spring. Morris was able to take reps toward the end of spring without pads, which is certainly encouraging, but how he fares against defenses remains to be seen.

2. How soon can newcomers contribute? Golden landed the nation's No. 8 recruiting class for 2012, and many of the rookies can't get to campus soon enough. Miami lost 30 players this past season and has questions at receiver, in the secondary and along the offensive line. Spots could be there for the taking, so seeing which newcomers step up early will be interesting.

3. About that elephant in the room … Coaches and players will repeat that they only worry about what they can control, but the black cloud from the Nevin Shapiro scandal won't stop looming over the program until the NCAA delivers its ruling. The day that comes will be a welcome relief for the program, dark as that day may be. But if Golden could lure the No. 8 recruiting class despite the scandal, imagine what he could do once it subsides.

Most Important Player: Miami

May, 1, 2012
5/01/12
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Our series continues today with the Hurricanes, who are replacing a just-drafted running back and face a lack of depth on their offensive line.

For a complete recap of the series, click here.

Miami: RG Brandon Linder

2011 stats: Linder started all 12 games as a sophomore at right guard and earned ACC offensive lineman of the week honors after playing center, guard, tackle and tight end in the Hurricanes' 35-10 win over Wake Forest on Nov. 12.

What he means to the Hurricanes: Miami's offensive line trouble this spring has been well-documented, with coach Al Golden having to defend signs the program posted on campus looking for walk-on additions to the unit. Three starters from the end of last season are gone, including the entire left side. Linder looks like the only sure thing for the unit coming out of spring. Jon Feliciano is the only other returning starter, but he moved from right tackle to left guard, and he may not even start there, as he exits spring in a tight battle with Jermaine Johnson for the No. 1 spot. That leaves Linder as the lone holdover, and his presence on the line will provide a strong sense of stability for a unit that paved the way for Lamar Miller to rush for 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Miller was just drafted by the Dolphins in the fourth round. The Canes currently have 13 offensive linemen on the roster as they exit spring, and will have one more come fall once guard recruit Daniel Isidora arrives.

Miami leads ACC draft contingent

April, 30, 2012
4/30/12
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Despite a 6-6 season in 2011, Miami led all ACC schools with six players getting selected during this past weekend's NFL draft. The ACC as a whole had 31 players selected, the third most among all conferences, behind the Big Ten (41) and, yes, the SEC (42).

NC State had five players taken, the second most among ACC schools. Neither the Hurricanes nor the Wolfpack had any players taken in the first two rounds. Duke and Maryland both had zero players drafted.

Luke Kuechly, as expected, got the ball rolling for the conference Thursday night, when the Panthers took the former Boston College inside linebacker ninth overall. I was a little surprised to see Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill, projected by many as a late first-rounder, fall all the way to the Jets at No. 43.

Here's a school-by-school breakdown of the draft, followed by a round-by-round breakdown:

Miami: 6
NC State: 5
Clemson: 4
FSU: 4
Wake Forest: 4
Virginia Tech: 3
UNC: 2
Georgia Tech: 1
Virginia: 1
Boston College: 1

FIRST ROUND
No. 9, Panthers: ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
No. 16, Jets: DE Quinton Coples, UNC
No. 31, Giants: RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech

SECOND ROUND
No. 38, Jaguars: DE Andre Branch, Clemson
No. 43, Jets: WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech
No. 52, Titans: OLB Zach Brown, UNC

THIRD ROUND
No. 64, Colts: TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson
No. 69, Bills: WR TJ Graham, NC State
No. 72, Dolphins: DE Olivier Vernon, Miami
No. 86, Steelers: LB Sean Spence, Miami
No. 93, Bengals: DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson
No. 94, Giants: CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech

FOURTH ROUND
No. 96, Rams: WR Chris Givens, Wake Forest
No. 97, Dolphins: RB Lamar Miller, Miami
No. 100, Browns: WR Travis Benjamin, Miami
No. 105, Bills: OLB Nigel Bradham, FSU
No. 113, Cowboys: OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest
No. 115, Titans: CB Coty Sensabaugh, Clemson
No. 117, 49ers: G Joe Looney, Wake Forest

FIFTH ROUND
No. 144, Bills: T Zebrie Sanders, FSU
No. 163, Packers: OLB Terrell Manning, NC State

SIXTH ROUND
No. 152, Cowboys: WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech
No. 176, Jaguars: CB Mike Harris, FSU
No. 187, Jets: S Josh Bush, Wake Forest
No. 198, Ravens: WR Tommy Streeter, Miami
No. 200, Eagles: G Brandon Washington, Miami

SEVENTH ROUND
No. 210, Vikings: ILB Audie Cole, NC State
No. 225, Seahawks: DE JR Sweezy, NC State
No. 237, 49ers: DE Cam Johnson, Virginia
No. 239, Giants: DT Markus Kuhn, NC State
No. 241, Packers: T Andrew Datko, FSU
Miami's Lamar Miller stopped by ESPN.com earlier Wednesday to chat with fans on the eve of the NFL draft. The running back is a potential second-round pick this weekend. A complete transcript of his conversation is available here.

Some highlights ...
  • Tino (Ft Lauderdale): Was the possibility of getting hurt and possibly ending your career your main reason for coming out early?
  • Lamar Miller (3:21 PM): Not really. I know that RBs have a short lifespan. I think I put myself in a good position to get drafted. I just wanted to take my talents to the next level and live my dream.
  • James (IL): Which nfl team did you root for growing up?
  • Lamar Miller (3:23 PM): Growing up, I always rooted for the Cowboys because of Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. Those are some guys I admired.
  • Kevin (CT): draft day plans?
  • Lamar Miller (3:28 PM): I will be at my mom's house. Some of my friends and family will be over. We'll watch it, play dominoes and cards until I get that phone call.
  • Kevin (CT): biggest ACC rivalries with FSU...what are those games like?
  • Lamar Miller (3:31 PM): Everybody gets motivated, no matter what the records are. Nobody wants to lose the rivalry game. Everyone brings their A game and brings it to the table.
  • Rodrigo (Miami): How does it feel to be the first 1000+ yard rusher at the University of Miami since 2002 when Willis did it? Thanks for making CANES NATION proud
  • Lamar Miller (3:32 PM): It was a blessing. That was one of my goals that I put out before the season. I wanted to get 1,000 yards. That was something that I worked hard to get. It was a blessing to be one of the only RBs to do that at Miami.

Mocks aplenty on NFL draft eve

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
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It's NFL draft eve, and it's the last Wednesday before the event, meaning one last chance for our team of analysts to predict how this weekend will unfold.

Mel Kiper Insider and Todd McShay Insider reveal their final draft boards, and each has a mock Insider, with McShay and the rest of the Scouts Inc. team going seven rounds full Insider.

Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, naturally, tops the list, going No. 5 to the Buccaneers. North Carolina end Quinton Coples is next off the board at No. 19, to the Bears, with wideout Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech going two spots later to the Bengals.

How do the rest of the ACC's draft-eligible players stand? Let's take a look:

ROUND 2
No. 36, Buccaneers: RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech)
No. 50, Bears: OLB Zach Brown (UNC)
No. 58, Texans: DE Andre Branch (Clemson)
No. 59, Packers: RB Lamar Miller (Miami)

ROUND 3
No. 64, Colts: DT Brandon Thompson (Clemson)
No. 68, Buccaneers: CB Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech)
No. 72, Dolphins: OT Zebrie Sanders (FSU)
No. 76, Texans: TE Dwayne Allen (Clemson)
No. 80, Cardinals: DE Olivier Vernon (Miami)
No. 82, Titans: WR Chris Givens (Wake Forest)
No. 91, Ravens: G Joe Looney (Wake Forest)
No. 95, Raiders:
DE Cam Johnson (Virginia)

ROUND 4
No. 100, Browns: OLB Nigel Bradham (FSU)
No. 124, Bills: OLB Sean Spence (Miami)
No. 125, 49ers: CB Chase Minnifield (Virginia)
No. 128, Vikings: OLB Terrell Manning (NC State)
No. 129, Raiders: OLB Kyle Wilber (Wake Forest)
No. 130, Ravens: WR Danny Coale (Virginia Tech)

ROUND 5
No. 154, Jets: WR Tommy Streeter (Miami)
No. 157, Falcons: WR TJ Graham (NC State)
No. 159, Steelers: G Brandon Washington (Miami)
No. 162, Saints: CB Coty Sensabaugh (Clemson)

ROUND 6
No. 176, Jaguars: DT Marcus Forston (Miami)
No. 178, Bills: ILB Audie Cole (NC State)
No. 188, Broncos: DE Rennie Moore (Clemson)
No. 191, Bengals: WR Travis Benjamin (Miami)
No. 197, Packers: OT Andrew Datko (FSU)
No. 205, Browns: G Antoine McClain (Clemson)

ROUND 7
No. 209, Rams: WR Dwight Jones (UNC)
No. 240, Steelers: DE Matt Conrath (Virginia)
No. 242, Jets: TE George Bryan (NC State)
No. 243, Packers: RB Davin Meggett (Maryland)
No. 245, Browns: DT Markus Kuhn (NC State)
No. 250, Chargers: CB Donnie Fletcher (BC)

Here's a breakdown by school of the 37 ACC players that Scouts Inc. thinks will be drafted:

Miami: 7
Clemson: 6
NC State: 5
Virginia Tech: 3
UNC: 3
Virginia: 3
Wake Forest: 3
FSU: 3
BC: 2
Georgia Tech: 1
Maryland: 1
Duke: 0
With the NFL draft a day away, Lamar Miller will be chatting on ESPN.com.

Join the conversation at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, as the former Miami running back will be answering your questions.

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay has Miller as the draft class' third-best running back. Miller ran for 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns this past fall.
Mel Kiper took a different approach Wednesday to potential NFL Draft outcomes, listing who he would pick if he were selecting for each team in Rounds 1-3, Insider then compiling those players into a "best possible" scenario Insider for each franchise.

The tally revealed 14 players from ACC schools in the first three rounds, and, to change things up a bit, we'll list them here in order of the selection Kiper has them going to their respective teams.

No. 9, Panthers: LB Luke Kuechly (BC)
No. 12, Seahawks: DE Quinton Coples (UNC)
No. 38, Jaguars: WR Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech)
No. 45, Cowboys: OLB Andre Branch (Clemson)
No. 46, Eagles: LB Zach Brown (UNC)
No. 51, Eagles: TE Dwayne Allen (Clemson)
No. 53, Bengals: CB Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech)
No. 60, Ravens: OLB Terrell Manning (N.C. State)
No. 63, Giants: RB David Wilson (Va. Tech)
No. 65, Rams: RB Lamar Miller (Miami)
No. 69, Redskins: OT Zebrie Sanders (FSU)
No. 84, Falcons: DE Olivier Vernon (Miami)
No. 86, Steelers: DT Brandon Thompson (Clemson)
No. 93, Patriots: WR Chris Givens (Wake Forest)

Kuechly has moved up a spot to No. 9 on Kiper's 25-man Big Board this week, Insider and Coples has dropped a spot to No. 15.

On Todd McShay's 32-man draft board, Kuechly is up three spots to No. 7, Insider Coples is down five spots to No. 14 and Hill has moved in at No. 30. Branch rounds out the ACC contingent at No. 31, having dropped two spots.
Four Clemson players appear among the first two rounds of Todd McShay's latest mock draft , highlighting the contingent of 11 ACC players.

McShay has Chandler Jones and Andre Branch going 27th and 28th to the Patriots and Packers, respectively, and he has Brandon Thompson and Dwayne Allen going 47th and 50th, to the Jets and Bears.

Five former ACC players appear in the first round of McShay's latest mock draft, led by Boston College's Luke Kuechly, slated 11th to the Chiefs. North Carolina's Quinton Coples is at No. 12, to the Seahawks.

Georgia Tech wideout Stephen Hill is slotted in at No. 30, to the 49ers.

North Carolina's Zach Brown (36th, Buccaneers), Miami's Lamar Miller (53rd, Bengals), Virginia Tech's David Wilson (57th, Broncos) and Florida State's Zebrie Sanders (58th, Texans) round out the ACC pool among McShay's first two rounds.

Kuechly is seventh on McShay's 32-man draft board , and Coples is ninth. Both appear in the same spots on Mel Kiper's 25-man Big Board . Branch is 22nd and Hill is 31st on McShay's board.

Kiper had no changes among ACC players from last week to this week in his top-5 by position rankings .
Quinton Coples remains Mel Kiper's top defensive end prospect Insider, Luke Kuechly is still his top linebacker and Lamar Miller and David Wilson round out the analyst's top running backs available in next month's draft.

Clemson's Andre Branch is once again the No. 4 defensive end, though the pool of top pass-rushers could see some movement in the coming month.
Coples has the best frame to hold up as a 4-3 defensive end among the group, but hasn't run away. [Melvin] Ingram is closing and had a good week in Indy. Branch has the size and athleticism to move to 3-4 outside linebacker. [Nick] Perry has been very good in the draft process, though I can see some teams asking him to stand up as a pass-rusher in a 3-4. It just depends on where he lands.

The rest of the ACC lineup remained unchanged from last week:
Luke Kuechly headlines all ACC players on Mel Kiper's and Todd McShay's draft boards this week, coming in at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively.

The Boston College linebacker jumped two spots on Kiper's 25-man Big Board and one spot on McShay's 32-man draft board , and he is immediately followed by North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples on each board.

Andre Branch jumped six spots on McShay's board, to No. 20.

Both Kuechly and Coples are No. 1 in Kiper's top-5 players by position .

Miami's Lamar Miller and David Wilson of Virginia Tech come in at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, among Kiper's top 5 running backs. In McShay's nickel package , Miller and Wilson are the Nos. 2 and 3 backs, respectively. McShay examines potential destinations for the top running backs in this year's draft class and places a priority on ball security, with Miller checking in very favorably in that department.

As for the rest of the ACC contingent cracking Kiper's position rankings this week ...

Biggest shoes to fill: Miami

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
2:30
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Our series continues today with Miami, which is tasked with replacing the conference's second-leading rusher.

OUT: Lamar Miller. The running back had two years of eligibility remaining with the Hurricanes but will look to capitalize on a 1,272-yard, nine-touchdown campaign from 2011. Miller became the first Miami player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season since Willis McGahee in 2002. He rushed for more than 100 yards in seven games and returned a kickoff for a touchdown one year earlier. His draft stock soared after he ran a 4.40 40 at the combine -- the fastest among running backs -- validating his decision to leave school early. He could be a late first-round draft pick.

IN: Mike James, Eduardo Clements, Duke Johnson, Danny Dillard. James is far and away the most accomplished of the backs on the college level, rushing for 719 yards and 11 scores on 157 carries during the past three seasons. He also has 37 receptions for 241 yards and two touchdowns. Clements' two-year career features 23 carries, 114 yards and a touchdown. Johnson, perhaps the best player in the state of Florida, headlines Al Golden's first full recruiting class. He rushed for 2,087 yards and led Norland High to a Class 5A state title this past season and will be tough to keep off the field his first year. The shifty Dillard, a lifelong Miami fan, was the first recruit to commit to the Hurricanes after the Nevin Shapiro news broke.

Miami pro day notes

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
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A trio of Miami players broke the 4.5 barrier in the 40-yard dash at the school's pro day, but two of the fastest Hurricanes decided to sit out the 40 on Thursday.

Lamar Miller and Tommy Streeter, both content with their 4.40 performances at last month's NFL scouting combine, participated only in position drills, with both performing the "L" drill and Miller participating in the vertical jump.
"I think I did pretty good," Miller said, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I had a very good day catching the ball out of the backfield, doing the position drills."

Miller, whose 40-time led all running backs at the combine, is projected as a late-first or early-second round draft pick. Streeter figures to be a mid-round pick.

Leading the way for Hurricanes runners at their pro day was LaRon Byrd (4.41), followed by Lee Chambers (4.43) and Ben Bruneau (4.48). Defensive end Olivier Vernon, one of five Miami players to declare for the draft early, ran a 4.64 40, up from his 4.80 in Indianapolis.

Chambers topped all in the vertical, at 40.5 inches, with Bruneau just behind him there, as well, with a 39.5-inch jump. Jacory Harris and Travis Benjamin opted to rely on most of their combine numbers.

Linebacker Sean Spence, who benched 225 pounds just 12 times at the combine, told reporters a bone bruise in his left shoulder was the reason for the low number, saying he can usually do 19 reps.

Eight Miami players had participated in last month's combine, and 26 worked out at the school's pro day

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