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UNite 2014 is here!

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Get ready for all the events that are going to be on tap for UNite, the Miami Hurricanes spring game and family extravaganza.

Sebastian is ready for U!
Sebastian is ready for U!
Joel Auerbach

Spring Practice is over, and now it's time for UNite, the family festival and spring game. This will be held at Sun Life Stadium, and is open to the public. There is free entry, so there is no excuse for you not to be there!

And, for those who live far away but still want to see the football part of the #UNite event, it will be televised on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app starting at 6:00pm Eastern, and there will be a replay of it on Monday, April 14th at 1:00pm Eastern on ESPNU.

Event Schedule

2:00pm - Parking lot opens. Everybody is asked to enter through gate 7, and park in the Maroon parking zone.
3:00pm - Stadium gates open
3:00-8:00pm - Carnival on field
3:00-6:00pm - Select a seat
4:00-5:00pm - Autograph session

#Renewed Uniform unveiling

Scheduled for 5:00pm, this is the thing that most (including myself) have been most anxiously awaiting. What we know is there are 4 uniforms: Juice (Orange), Surge (Green), Smoke (Grey/Black?), and Stormtrooper (White).

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>So much build up for the Canes Spring game &amp; new jerseys! <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Renewed&amp;src=hash">#Renewed</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ItsAllAboutTheU&amp;src=hash">#ItsAllAboutTheU</a> <a href="http://t.co/IoGcKKjw6N">pic.twitter.com/IoGcKKjw6N</a></p>&mdash; Andrew Vasquez (@A_Vasquez17) <a href="https://twitter.com/A_Vasquez17/statuses/454740968701718528">April 11, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Yes, green uniforms are making their return! And, we already know that we're transitioning back to black cleats,

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Be the first to see the new uniforms. &#10;&#10;Come to UNITE.14 this Saturday: <a href="http://t.co/o89PXX0UEd">http://t.co/o89PXX0UEd</a> <a href="http://t.co/BzdRnBKkep">pic.twitter.com/BzdRnBKkep</a></p>&mdash; Miami Hurricanes (@hurricanesports) <a href="https://twitter.com/hurricanesports/statuses/453915515656761345">April 9, 2014</a></blockquote>

And, from the looks of this picture, there may be matching black gloves to go along with that.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>So close... Lol <a href="http://t.co/AQlPihg35N">pic.twitter.com/AQlPihg35N</a></p>&mdash; JP (@JayElectricity) <a href="https://twitter.com/JayElectricity/statuses/454646818446401536">April 11, 2014</a></blockquote>
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5:00-6:00pm - Team Warmups on field
6:00pm - Kickoff

As for the football part, there will be 1 on 1's (the Last CaneStanding tournament finals), <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>THE STAGE IS SET! Your <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23LastCaneStanding&amp;src=hash">#LastCaneStanding</a> 1-on-1 finals. Tomorrow at <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23UNITE14&amp;src=hash">#UNITE14</a>. Who will win? <a href="http://t.co/JneWT3Uo6z">pic.twitter.com/JneWT3Uo6z</a></p>&mdash; Hurricanes Football (@MiamiHurricanes) <a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiHurricanes/statuses/454632456792985601">April 11, 2014</a></blockquote>

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7 on 7 passing skeleton, and 11 on 11 full team sessions. All sessions will be offense vs defense, with a point system in place for all events (3 and outs, turnovers, first downs) in addition to the normal scoring plays, Field Goals and Touchdowns.

What to Watch For

Here are 5 things to watch for during the Spring Game:

  1. Kevin Olsen as the Starting QB - Olsen himself has said that this is the reason he came to Miami: to be the Starting QB and lead the team to greatness. Though he has ascended to this position due to the injury to Ryan Williams, Olsen can go a long way to solidifying his spot with a strong performance. If he falters, that may open the door for incoming recruits Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier to compete for the starting job. This, above all else, bears watching.
  2. Defense, defense, defense - Look, we all know the struggles that have been going on with the defense over the past few years. But, with less talented players (who shall remain nameless) thankfully off the roster, a year of physical and mental maturity for the guys still on campus, and the addition (or impending addition) of some elite athletes, the defense looks to show the improvement that has been rumored through Spring Practice. Going up against a QB who is only in his 3rd practice starting, and an offense that is missing it's top 2 RB's, the Defense might be in a good place to show dominance and quiet the critics...for now.
  3. Skill players - with Duke Johnson out (and some would argue with him healthy, even), Stacy Coley is clearly the best player on the offense, if not the entire team. He'll need to make plays to help out his young QB. Others, like the rejuvenated Malcolm Lewis, Rashawn Scott, and Gus Edwards have the chance to both showcase their increased skill and make a statement for more playing time as the season approaches.
  4. The Defensive Line - The Offensive line is pretty set, and uses a rotational system that plays 8 or 9 players a game. The picture on the Defensive line is much less settled. Guys like Quan Muhammad, Tyriq McCord, and Calvin Heurtelou came with high praise, and have improved, but aren't at the consistent level of excellence that anybody desires yet. Can they make plays? And, which other guys step up? Chickillo? Jelani Hamilton? Earl Moore? We'll start to find out, one way or the other, tomorrow.
  5. Special Teams - Kicker Matt Goudis returns, but the best punter in America, Pat O'Donnell, is working to ply his trade in the NFL. Finding a replacement for him is imperative, but the early chatter is the position is still lacking. As far as kick and punt returns go, I have 2 words for you: Stacy. Coley. Anybody else that steps up as capable in this area is a bonus.

'Crootin'

The spring game is another major event on the recruiting calendar, and there should be no shortage of top end talent in attendance. Here's a list of players who are said to be confirmed for attendance. As always, this list is subject to change:

  • S Jaquan Johnson - Likely to attend according to other sources. Johnson, who we discussed in our early look at 2015 defensive targets, is still rumored to be a heavy Cane lean. Getting him to SLS for UNite is a big deal. A VERY big deal.
  • RB Jordan Scarlett - Recent transfer to St. Thomas Aquinas, and fresh of his invitation to Nike's #TheOpening recruiting event in July. this FAU commit is one of the most highly sought after players in South Florida this cycle. Spoke about him and others in the Offensive Targets preview.
  • RB Dexter Williams - Orlando area super back with great talent and athleticism
  • WR Deon Cain - HS QB who profiles as a top flight WR at the collegiate level
  • DE Scott Patchan - Cane legacy has the length (6'6" 225lbs) that figure to be highly prized as we transition to a 3-4 base defense
  • LB Tevon Coney - This kid is INCREDIBLE. Has seen his recruiting profile raise exponentially since the end of the 2014 season. Will also be attending Nike's #TheOpening.
  • CB Tyrek Cole - Cole plays at the same school that produced Tracy Howard, Malcolm Lewis, and Jermaine Grace (Miramar High School). You can see SunLife's East Scoreboard from Miramar's stadium, so he won't be far from home (3 square miles). Committed to FSU but rumored to be looking.
  • ATH Tim Irvin - Nephew of The Playmaker, Michael Irvin, and teammates with top RB target Jordan Cronkrite.
  • Commits TE Bowman Archibald, OL Leeward Brown, DT Ryan Fines, and WR Emonee Spence are all expected to be in attendance.
  • There are probably PLENTY of other players who will be there. Too many to list here. I'm sure through twitter we'll get a better picture of all the players who are in attendance.
All told, this figures to be a great event, with a lot of things that fans can get excited about. Your SOTU team will be on hand, and have a couple recaps after this event, and this week's podcast will be focused primarily on all things #UNite.

Hope to see you all out there tonight!


GO CANES!

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE U!!!