Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Desmond Howard on the 'Canes

Desmond Howard spent some time this Spring with the Miami Hurricanes football team as a part of ESPN's redoubled spring football coverage. I actually saw him at the UM-Duke basketball game in the midst of it, schmoozing with fellow UMich alum and Heat legend Glen Rice. His reports from Coral Gables are nothing if not glowing. Yesterday, he was on ESPN's College Football Live, and expressed excitement over the direction that coach Randy Shannon is taking the program.

Howard loves redshirt freshman Robert Marve (to give Gator fans an indication of what Cane Nation thinks of this kid - think of the savior status you bestowed on Tim Tebow as early as 2006, a year before his well-deserved Heisman glory) and the parade of Miami Northwestern recruits the Canes nabbed - Jacory Harris, Aldarious Johnson, Marcus Forston, and Sean Spence, in particular. Howard said that Shannon is the 2nd year coach most poised to make serious noise in the 2008 season, and it's hard not to agree with him.

My take? Yes, the promise of this team is mostly incredibly young. But I cannot say enough how revolutionary the 2008 recruiting class was for Miami. It reminds Hurricanes fans of the 1997 freshman class which included Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne, Andre King, Damione Lewis, Joaquin Gonzalez and Dan Morgan, which of course will forever be remembered as the class that resurrected the giant. The giant was emasculated with Captain Clappy, I mean Larry Coker, and it'll take another 1997-like class to match what the aforementioned legends of a decade ago did. I see old Hurricane flash in safety Vaughn Telemaque, old Hurricane brash in DT Marcus Forston, old Hurricane linebacking smarts and fire in Sean Spence, old Hurricane glue hands in Aldarious Johnson, old Hurricane sick defensive speed in Arthur Brown, old quarterback acumen in Jacory Harris, and I'm going to stop simply because I feel for the readers. This group has amazing talent, but it certainly does not lack attitude, as the Hurricane teams of the very recent past did, which is the thing which provides me the most inspiration for the future of the program.


ASponge said...

As usual, EJ starts off the day with a compelling, craftily-written piece. Thanks again for another excellent representation of Canes sports!

Rate said...

As a Gator fan, I'm going to be honest here.

I'm glad we play you early in the season.

E.J. said...

Asponge, thanks for the compliments. Although I can never reach your lofty heights, the attempt will make me a better writer.

Rate, the same way that you are glad that you play us early in the season, I am NOT glad that we play you early in the season. We'll see how fall practice pans out, but from where I stand now I expect a slew of big-game jitters from the Canes followed by freshman/sophomore mistakes followed by an opportunistic Gator squad proceeding to pour it on in front of a ravenous crowd.

My heart oh-so-desperately wants the script to turn out differently, but my head thinks otherwise.