First off it was a first rate event, real family friendly and we got to know some other UM fans that we have had limited contact with. We were sitting on the sideline behind the offense.
Allow us to go on a small tangent, Cookie was injured (Ramon Buchanon) and he had to go to the opposite sideline when he found out the offense was going to be on the near sideline. He didn't look happy about that at all but cracked a few jokes.
Javarris James was injured, but he must have spent the whole scrimmage posing for photographs and signing autographs. Now, onto the lineup:
First team Offense:
Jacory Harris, Coop, Patrick Hill, Thompkins, Byrd, Richard Gordon, Jason Fox, Orlando Franklin, A.J. Trump, Harland Gunn (Joel Figueroa in injured), Matt Pipho.
First team Defense: Olivier Vernon, Marcus Robinson, Josh Holmes, Joe Joseph, Daryl Sharpton, Futhc, Sean Spence, Brandon Harris, DVD, Randy Phillips, Telemaque.
We'll give you a quick overview here, for the sake of space on one blog entry and get to the important part, the players to watch:
First Half - Damien Berry had a very strong game and had a 50+ yard TD run. We attempted a short, 20 something yard FG which we missed, and a 40 + one that we hit. It appeared as if Jake Wieclaw was our kicker. Randy Phillips also had an interception off of a deflected pass. The pass was intended for Byrd, who went up to get it on a deep pass with Brandon Harris. Harris was able to get some contact on Byrd and the ball was deflected into the arms of Phillips who basically ran to the opposite side of the field, and then ran back to the original sideline for maybe a gain of 20 yards or so.
Second Half - John Calhoun scored from about a yard out on a pass from Cannon Smith and Mike James also scored.
Overall, the scoring system was a high scoring one, so the offense appeared to have dominated. Traditionally, the defense is always light years ahead. We're a bit hesitant to say the offense dominated, but they did show great improvement, fantastic route running, and impressive playcalling by Whipple as far as route design. Overall, the gameplan was vanilla, both on offense and defense.
Getting to the players to keep an eye out on.
1) Damien Berry - Not necessarily thinking he contributes much out of the crowded backfield next year (unless injuries take a toll, knock on wood), but his performance was great in this game. He showed speed, tough inside running, ran over several backers and defensive backs (Joe Wylie comes to mind).
2) Kendall Thompkins - He put a move on Sam Shields that literally faked him out of his shoes and had him fall sideways while trying to reach back for Kendall. He runs very clean, crisp routes, and he can contribute in a big way out of the slot with Collier next year. I expect him to surprise a lot of people next year. You heard it here first.
3) Taylor Cook - His mechanics have improved IMMENSELY since coming out of highschool. It seems as if a year in a college program, lifting weights, and learning from Whipple (for a few months) has helped him become a better QB. You can literally see him progress through his reads, display a strong arm, and good knowledge of the game. I wish there was a way to give him another redshirt so he can take over for Jacory in a few years.
Honorable Mention - Mike James looks extremely quick, moreso than we expected. He's also just as big as he looked in his film
1) Big Boom Marcus Forston - The guy has really grown into the position and I predict him to have a breakout year. He was actually running down the sideline step for step with Berry for a short while.
2) Miami Vice Vaughn Telemaque - 4 words: All over the place. He's good on coverage and excels as a tackler. Expect him and Randy Phillips to be the starters for the FSU game. He's kind of a mix between Sean and Reed. Just a smart player who is going to make some noise this year.
3) Spence - He'll take a big leap this year. Last year he broke down a bit, that's just because of him being a freshman and having to get his body used to taking the beating the college game delivers. He looks better and every bit as good if not better.
This weekend we'll link up some pictures and list some concerns regarding what we had hoped to see during the spring game. We'll also try to get to the open practice, though not much went on, and give you a list of the recruits at both events.
Thanks for reading, and Go Canes!