The Work 7-21

The Work 7-21

Peter Ariz
Peter Ariz
*Formerly known as "CanesInSight Barbershop Talk"* This is a new series that will be featured on CanesInSight every few days. This will include football and basketball team buzz as well as recruiting information. The name has been changed because a quality poster by the name of FsuWho already uses it.

**The only major area of concern on the offensive side of the ball heading into fall camp is who will spell Duke Johnson. Eduardo Clements has had his moments, but has had trouble staying healthy. Dallas Crawford is the most versatile of the bunch (besides Duke) so he will see some action, and freshman Gus Edwards is a good change of pace to compliment Johnson’s running style so he should see the field some as well. The dark horse to get some touches is fullback Maurice Hagens. Hagens only had one carry for three yards last season, but new offensive coordinator James Coley seemed to be getting him involved in the offense a lot more during the spring scrimmages.

**A player who needs to take the next step this season is DE Jelani Hamilton. Hamilton came to Miami from St. Thomas Aquinas as one of the top-rated defensive linemen in the country. Last season, Hamilton only saw action in five games and recorded six tackles in those games. He has battled a knee injury during the offseason, but needs to show this why he was highly regarded out of high school. He is not known as a pass-rusher, but could be effective as a 3-4 run stopping end.

**Don’t sleep on CB Antonio Crawford. He might be the most talented corner on the roster despite the fact he did not receive much hype out of high school. What Crawford lacks in height (5’9”), he makes up for in speed and strength. I would not be surprised at all to see him pass up Tracy Howard on the depth chart this season.

**ACC media days began today with Miami sending QB Stephen Morris as its offensive representative and DE Shayon Green for the defensive side of the ball. The coaches will speak tomorrow with Al Golden being a part of the 2:59-4:09 p.m. group.

**It is becoming more and more apparent that Homestead’s Ermon Lane will not wind up in this class. This has been likely for a couple months now, but he could be committing elsewhere as early as next month, with UF being the heavy favorite right now. Lane would be a loss, but as I mentioned last week if Miami closes with Langham, Dixon, and Berrios, the blow would be softened.

**I had a conversation with Braxton Berrios this week and the Miami target told me he was planning his official visit for the weekend of September 7th (UF game). Berrios told me that the coaches have been trying to get him down to Miami for Senior Day in August, but he most likely won’t be able to make it due to school. Brad Kaaya told me that he is also trying to make the trip for the UF game so that would be interesting to see the two of them here that weekend considering their close bond. There have been some people concerned that Berrios did not commit on the spot when offered, but he had told me for a couple months (even before the offer) that he was always planning to announce his decision in the September-October range and will graduate early. If his timeline holds true, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him commit during his visit weekend or shortly thereafter.

**Last week I mentioned how Brad Kaaya and his mother were going after recruiting targets on Twitter, but the Kaayas aren’t the only ones campaigning for the Canes on Twitter. Miami DT commit Courtel Jenkins has been extremely active as well. Here are a couple examples of that (@F5_Chad is Chad Thomas and @unogohard1 is Johnnie Dixon):


**After failing to land the two Booker T. Washington stars from the 2013 recruiting cycle, Coach Golden and staff have locked up three of the school’s top prospects for the 2014 class. DE/OLB Demetrius Jackson committed last month, while CB Nigel Bethel committed Friday, and DE Chad Thomas pulled the trigger yesterday. I was able to speak with Booker T. Offensive Coordinator Tim “Ice” Harris, Jr. about the recent commitments.

--On why Miami is a good fit for Bethel: “You just look at the defensive backs that have traditionally come from Miami and been sent to the next level. The NFL has a certain way they look at defensive backs from Miami and him being an undersized guy with the zone schemes they play, I think he just fits in a system like that. He had some out of the box choices like Kentucky and Tennessee, but playing at home and how he fits schematically along with the opportunity he will have at the professional level makes it a good fit.”

--On how Bethel makes up for his lack of size: “He’s still cleaning up some things with his technique, but Nigel has the ability to not be scared or shy away from contact and want to be physical. He’s scrappy and doesn’t use his size as an excuse. He wants to be in those situations because he’s a high confidence kid.”

--Former ‘Cane and Current Houston Texan Brandon Harris (Tim Harris, Jr.’s brother) has taken Bethel under his wing.
“Nigel is a guy at his position with similar size and all that so Brandon felt a special connection with him and wanted to just show him the ropes of how this thing goes. Not necessarily telling him to go to the University of Miami because that was the best decision for me, but more so just working with him and understanding that you’re always going to have to prove people wrong. He gets with him and works on his technique with him and cleans up with him,” said Harris, Jr.

--Comparing the two, Harris, Jr. said, “Brandon is stronger with technique and Nigel is probably stronger as far as straight-line speed. Brandon works with him on the technique because once you get to a certain level the speed can only take you so far.”

--Chad Thomas committed to the Canes seemingly out of the blue, as he had been saying for a while that he was going to wait out the process until he committed.
“I was definitely surprised, I have to be honest and say that. I knew that Miami was high on his list, but especially after him being offered by Alabama just a few days ago I thought he would probably wait it out a little bit more and go on his official visits. He announced earlier than we though he would,” said Harris, Jr.

--Thomas has always been described as a prospect with unlimited potential, and his coaches feel like everything is finally coming together for him during this offseason.
“This summer has been the biggest for Chad since he’s been at Booker T. He’s always been talented and had so much upside because he was a big kid and made big plays throughout his career, but we’ve been waiting on him to really make that breakthrough where we feel comfortable that he is going to dominate games. We see that confidence coming out of him this summer where he has been going to all these top camps and doing what we’ve been waiting on him to do,” said Harris, Jr.

--Demetrius Jackson joined the football team this spring, but Harris, Jr. and the coaches love the flashes he has shown.
“Just the natural athleticism. He’s one of the big guys who can run with out skill players during the summer training program and not look like he’s struggling or out of place. His ability to jump and bat down balls too. He has all those things you just can’t coach. We’re just focusing on his technique and getting him stronger and more physical because being a basketball player is a little less physical than being a defensive lineman. He’ll be a kid who I think will probably redshirt his freshman year of college because he hasn’t played a whole lot of football, but at the high school level this year he can give teams a lot of problems.”

--Harris, Jr. also notes that Dion Jordan is a good comparison for Jackson. Miami linebackers coach Micheal Barrow has told Harris, Jr. that Jackson will be used in the hybrid role. “Sometimes he will be a rusher in pass situations, but he’s also athletic enough to drop off. He’s probably not going to put on a whole bunch of weight, so he will be perfect in that role,” said Harris, Jr. The Booker T. offensive coordinator believes that Jackson’s ideal playing weight will eventually be in the 240-250 range.

**Miami’s backcourt in 2-3 years is shaping up to be one of the best in the country. Angel Rodriguez will apply for a waiver to play this year after transferring from Kansas State, but he will only be a junior and it is not very likely he is granted the opportunity to play so he could be around for three more years. Texas shooting guard transfer Sheldon McClellan will have to sit out this season but will have two years to play after that. Freshman combo guard DeAndre Burnett will play a lot this season and figures to be a huge part of the future. To add to those three, 2014 commit Adonys Henriquez is one of the top point guards in the country for his class. Henriquez is a 6’6” combo guard who can handle the ball and score. I mentioned Belgian guard Manu Lecomte last week, who is a skilled ball-handler and passer. Those five will be an excellent rotation within the next few years and Davon Reed will also be a weapon at the 3 position. It will be interesting to see if Corn Elder also sticks with basketball if he has success on the football field.

**There is still room to add another scholarship player to the roster if the staff wanted to. The NCAA allows a maximum number of 13 scholarship players per team and they are currently at 12 since Elder will be on football scholarship. I would expect for Coach Larranaga to hold on to the scholarship for this next class unless there is a player who can help the team this season.

**JUCO transfer James Kelly is a player who could really be pivotal to the team’s chances to make another tournament run over the next two seasons. Kelly isn’t a flashy player, but at 6’8”, 240 pounds, he is physically ready for the rugged ACC. Kelly can hit the mid-range jumper with consistency as well as rebound and defend.

Comments (50)

Peter -
As far as RBs go.....what is your take on Dillard? He has trimmed down and had good could you see him getting some quality carries? Also, have you heard anything on how Gus Edwards has been doing since he has been working out/running with the team?
i think it is incredibly important for the UM basketball team to have somewhat of a good season this upcoming year....

Im also not sure how that's going to happen
Good work Pete. I appreciate the information you bring here. Go Canes!
This series should be called "Choppin' It Up With Ariz"
Good **** Pete.
Puttin in WERK!

I find Thomas announcing on his own, via Twitter, and surprising the Harris fam, and then Harris' comments above about being surprised especially after Alabama trip that they took him on to be interesting.
So the real question to me is who is Ice Harris? I always thought the head coach as Ice? You are saying Tim Jr is Ice? I am all confused

Booker T gonna Booker T
From what I gather there are about 25 versions of Tim Ice Harris.
Good work. Love this site, night and day from grassy. Appreciate what you guys do.
Anyone else having trouble getting to the forums for the message boards? Mine will not open when I click on "forum"
This Ice Harris crap is overblown IMO.

There were so many other factors in what happened last year besides Ice. He played his part but those kids were almost playing each other as well. Kirkland even said he thought Matt Thomas was going to USC or he would've signed with FSU also. Just shows how wishy washy they were anyhow. I mean, the day before signing day Kirkland was tying his future to another kid who couldn't make his mind up. How retarded is that.

At the end of the day, kids and their families make the decisions about their future. Not every kid is living with their coach like that RB or making their decision based on anyone but themself.
4 years from now people are going to be talking about Demetrius Jackson as a monster pass rush specialist. Love that kids upside!
I find Thomas announcing on his own, via Twitter, and surprising the Harris fam, and then Harris' comments above about being surprised especially after Alabama trip that they took him on to be interesting.

So do I.
Pete, you've found your niche. Stay out of that dopey Backass Jr. **** of acting like a swindler psychic and trying to predict where recruits are going. These segments are the sort of thing that lazy bloated tamale woManny should be doing. You're kicking that fat dope's ***, and he's supposed to the beat writer at South Florida's largest paper.

You're killing this **** no matter what you call it.