Plugging the holes

With Darnell Jenkins out for the rest of the spring with a sprained ankle and Ryan Moore coming back from a pulled thigh muscle, football Head Coach Larry Coker has had to rely almost solely on Lance Leggett at wide receiver.

Coker said he is always looking for some fresh blood at the position though.

“Has Terrell Owens signed with anyone yet?” Coker joked.

It has been tough for the team to adapt to the losses at an already thin position. Coker has been on the lookout for a possible late edition to the upcoming recruiting class but has yet to find any talent worthy of a scholarship.

One of the possible breakout stars for Miami, Willie Williams, returned to practice recently from injury. He missed over a week of action with a stomach virus that did not allow him to keep food down. During this time Williams lost about 16 pounds.

“I pretty much know everything that is going on,” Williams said. “The biggest thing for me that I missed out on was keeping my energy level.”

Williams said he is eager to be back and is looking forward to the annual Spring Game this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Orange Bowl.

“I’m looking forward to the Spring Game on Saturday. I can’t wait,” Williams said.

Williams could be a key to the success for the defense this year. Overall, he said he is pleased with the defense so far.

“We’re looking real good,” Williams said. “We still got a lot of work to do. Every year we try to raise our level.”

One of the reasons that the defense has been consistently impressive is Defensive Coordinator Randy Shannon.

“We’re getting better,” Shannon said. “Guys are responding. We’re making mistakes, but this is spring ball. We’re on pace for where we need to be and we’re taking it one day at a time.”

The biggest hole for Shannon to fill is at cornerback. Miami graduated both starting corners from last season, Marcus Maxey and Kelly Jennings. Carlos Armour, Randy Phillips and Glenn Sharpe are among the leading candidates to win the two starting jobs.

“Those guys got some playing time last year,” Shannon said. “So instead of bringing them in as true freshmen, they have had some playing time and that is good.”

Shannon has also thought about the possibility of moving Anthony Reddick, Brandon Meriweather or Kenny Phillips over to play corner as well.

“Around here, you have to be the best that you can be,” Shannon said. “No matter what, we’re going to play the four best DB’s.”

Denis Brown can be contacted at