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Defense Bounces Back in Friday Practice

Defense Bounces Back in Friday Practice

Aug. 18, 2006

Coral Gables – Miami’s offense prevailed in Thursday’s double session, the Hurricanes’ defense dominated a two-minute drill to close out Friday morning’s session at the Greentree Practice Fields.

“It was a really nice job by the defense on two-minute drill,{ said head coach Larry Coker. “They forced some turnovers and really put some pressure on the quarterbacks. I’m really pleased with the results defensively. We have to do a better job offensively, obviously.”

Miami’s offense moved into a position to kick a field goal, but missed, Coker said.

The Man In The Middle

With projected starting middle linebacker Glenn Cook out one-to-three more weeks with a knee injury, redshirt freshman Darryl Sharpton has moved into a starting role, impressing Coker in the process.

“He’s a work in progress,” Coker said. “He’s really going to be a good football player. He’s got a lot of talent, he’s smart and he wants to be good. He’s going to be special.”

Sharpton has drawn comparisons to former Hurricanes middle linebacker and two-time New York Jet Pro Bowler Jonathan Vilma, primarily because they had similar size and are both products of Coral Gables High School. While Sharpton is listed at 5-11, 227 and Vilma is 6-1 and played between 211 and 227 in his career, Coker believes Sharpton is bigger.

“(Sharpton) is a lot bigger than Jon Vilma,” Coker said. “He’s about a D.J. Williams size. Size is not an issue and he has great speed.

Baby J and Cousin Edge

Comparisons of freshman running back Javarris James and his older cousin, former Hurricane and current Arizona Cardinal Edgerrin James, just seem unfair at this point. But they’re inevitable, especially given their similarities based on nearly two weeks of training camp.

“There are a lot of comparisons,” Coker said. “Javarris has that same little step that Edgerrin has. At this stage of Javarris’ career, Edgerrin will tell you, `He’s better than I was.’ He really attacks the defense better than Edgerrin did at this time.”

Although Coker did not affirm how much or when James would get game time, he did have some encouraging words. “From what I’ve seen, he’s really an exciting player. Let’s put it this way: He has my attention, in a positive way.”

The Hurricanes return to the Greentree Practice Fields at 8:20 a.m. Saturday. They will not practice on Sunday, which will be their first day off after 13 days of practice.