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The Connect: 08/13/10

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In college football, a lot of things are pointless. There are bowls that no one cares about. There are regular season games that no one cares about. And there are a shit ton of awards that no one cares about. The Canes have some players on pre-season watch lists for awards that no one cares about.

The school's TUMBLR (I guess foursquare is next?) has posted the full list of players that have been named to various pre-season watch lists for post-season awards. Some are legitimate, like Leonard Hankerson being on the Biletnikoff (best WR) watch list, and some, like Marcus Forston being on the Outland (best interior lineman) watch list (how many players are being watched here? 300?) are maybe a bit of a stretch.

There was a practice today, where things presumably happened. The big news out of today's practice revolves, of course, around the search for Coral Gables' Next Top Middle Linebacker. Randy, according to Shandel Richardson, told the press that Kylan Robinson would be the starting MLB if the season were to start today. I guess no one outside of the coaching staff really knows if this is a good thing (the 2010 Damien Berry!) or a bad thing (an ex-RB at MLB), and we probably won't find out until he is tasked with following Terrelle Pryor around the field.

Bruce Feldman has long been a friend of the program. His book Cane Mutiny was the The U before 30 for 30 was even a sperm in Bill Simmons' testicle (sorry, everyone), and he's always been probably the most trustworthy and non-fatalistic national voice in the country when it comes to Miami football. In any event, he posted an interview with Jacory on his blog last week that I have been meaning to post since it ran, so here it is. Since it's ESPN Insider only, here are some quotes. Themes include focus:

When you hear about players at other schools getting into trouble, what goes through your mind?

Every time I look at it -- and you can ask all of the other guys -- I'll tell 'em, "Man, y'all, don't do this. Don't take anything that's 'free.'" I'm timid about things because I don't want to get in trouble. I just want to look out for everybody. I like to worry about things a lot, so we won't get in trouble.

Going into the Virginia Tech game last year, there was a lot of the "Miami is back" talk, and then you guys go in there and get thumped. What did you learn from that?

We had to learn how to deal with everything. We had actually talked about it back then and we tried to tell each other before the Georgia Tech game. But that whole [Virginia Tech] week coming into practice, we were celebrating like when we would score a touchdown. We were doing things that were so unlike us, things that we normally don't do. Once I started seeing that, you could kinda see us losing our composure. And it showed on the field. We dropped 11 passes that game. We just weren't ourselves.

Miami hasn't had a Miami kid start at QB in a very long time, since the program started winning national championships, so how much pressure do you feel from the community down there?

It's a lot of pressure. People will be like, "Aw, man, you're our savior. You're the guy we depend on. You're bringing us back to prominence. You have to do this for our community." And that's a lot of stuff on your back that you have to deal with. But I understand that I can't make everybody happy. The only people I'm able to make happy are my friends and my family. But I also want to do whatever it is I can to make my community happen. Football means a lot in our community. "Product of the Ghetto" is what they call it. It is a unique feeling. I can say I am doing this for my city. My team is located right where I'm from. The U logo is everywhere.

Have you noticed that Randy Shannon has loosened up since you arrived there in 2008?

Oh, yeah. He loosed up a lot, especially since that 7-6 year [2008]. I believe when we all came from Northwestern [High], we loosened up everybody in the program: Coach Shannon, [strength coach Andreu] Swasey. We have fun, but we still get our work in. Now workouts are fun. My freshman year everything was serious. "Why y'all laughing?" Now we're loosened up. Why can't we laugh and joke as long as we're paying attention and not messing up and working hard? Coach Shannon told me if I don't [get to] 205 by Aug. 5, he's going to make me move back on campus. I said, "What does me moving back on campus have to do with my weight?"