Hurricanes
University of Miami Hurricanes Roundup 8/8/04
By Omar Kelly
Aug 8, 2004

(sun-sentinel.com) - First practice: Tuesday.

Up for grabs: Two starting spots on the offensive line (LG and RT) need to be filled, but Tony Tella and Rashad Butler appear to be the front-runners after holding down the spots all spring. Quadtrine Hill's move to TB means the FB position is up for grabs between Kyle Cobia and Talib Humphrey. Five fairly inexperienced linebackers (Roger McIntosh, Leon Williams, Jon Beason, Tavares Gooden and Glenn Cook) and two incoming freshmen (James Bryant and Willie Williams) are competing for three starting spots. The only one who's entrenched is McIntosh.

No worries: Miami's defensive line will be one of the deepest, if not strongest in the country. The backup talent on the defensive line is as good as most teams' starting units. ... The starting CBs (Antrel Rolle and Kelly Jennings) have collectively started 41 games over the past two seasons. ... Jon Peattie was a first-team All-Big East selection last year as a freshman and should improve with experience. ... LT Eric Winston and RG Chris Myers are two of the nation's best offensive linemen. Winston's a technician, while Myers is a mauler.

On the spot: Sophomore S Brandon Meriweather is perceived as the potential weak link of what could be a very good secondary. Meriweather's inconsistent play last spring allowed him to get beat deep occasionally. If Meriweather struggles, expect Willie Cooper or Marcus Maxey to get a shot at the starting spot.

Of note: Miami has dominated the Big East since its arrival, but can the Hurricanes venture into the Atlantic Coast Conference and dethrone the Seminoles? It depends on how much the offense can improve this fall. If QB Brock Berlin can't cut down his turnovers, look for Kyle Wright to be given an opportunity. TB Frank Gore, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last October, also must regain his old form. UM envisions teaming him up with Tyrone Moss for Miami's most potent one-two punch since James Jackson and Clinton Portis.

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