Patel: Canes football springing into new direction

Pravin Patel

Pravin Patel

The spring session has finally come to a close. The outcome: The defense falling victim to a 52-3 thumping by the offense, at the annual Spring Game.

Though a great deal of uncertainty has surrounded this team, with all the changes on the coaching staff, the team looks like it has cleared some of those clouds.

While the Spring Game was a nice showcase of some of what the team has been working on at practice, we really won’t know the true identity of this team until they kick things off in the fall.

With that said, here are my thoughts on what the spring has foretold:

1. Freshman quarterback Taylor Cook looks like he will be the man behind Jacory Harris. Cook has been impressive in practices and has been getting the snaps with the second team.

2. Fans should expect an offensive renaissance. First-year offensive coordinator Mark Whipple will be running a pro-style offense, which will look nothing like what we saw last year.

3. The Canes are deep at running back. The exciting part is that all of these guys can play. With Javarris James and Graig Cooper leading the way, the Canes were already sitting pretty. Adding freshmen Mike James and Lamar Miller and having Damien Berry transfer to the position gives the Canes serious options.

4. Secondary and linebacker the question mark positions. Randy Phillips and Vaughn Telemaque are likely to open the season at safety, while Brandon Harris and DeMarcus Van Dyke should get the nod at corner. The problem with these units, last year, was inconsistency and age. We will have to see who steps up here. Don’t be surprised if both areas see a lot of player shuffling throughout the season.

5. Impact freshmen: Running back Mike James and defensive lineman Olivier Vernon have shined during the spring. Expect James to make an impact on special teams, as the Canes are stacked at running back, and expect Vernon to get playing time behind Eric Moncur.

March 29, 2009


Pravin Patel

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