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Tag:Ryan Williams
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Miami



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Miami.

Spring Practice Started: March 3

Spring Game: April 14

Three things to look for:

1. Replacing key defensive playmakers.  The Hurricanes have said goodbye to several upperclassmen who contributed significantly on the defensive side. With players like Sean Spence, Marcus Robinson, Micanor Regis, JoJo Nicolas gone; Al Golden will be looking to a collection of unproven defensive players to step up. Rookie standouts Anthony Chickillo and Denzel Perryman return for their sophomore campaigns, but the rest of the front seven will need to be filled in with to-be-determined playmakers. One player to keep an eye on along the defensive line is redshirt junior Shayon Green, who has received praise from the coaching staff for his offseason work.

2. Ryan Williams' chance to challenge Stephen Morris.  Offseason back surgery will keep junior quarterback Stephen Morris out of contact drills for Miami's spring practice. Morris battled with former quarterback Jacory Harris for the 2011 starting job for nearly six months before losing what nearly everyone close to the program called a "neck-and-neck" battle. But while game experience gives him an edge on freshmen Gray Crow and Preston Dewey, he will still likely have to beat Memphis transfer Ryan Williams for the job in the fall. As a freshman in 2010, Williams won the Tigers' starting job in the second game of the season. A former Florida 6A State Championship MVP, Williams will be looking to put on a show in his return to the South Florida area.

3. Settling on an offensive line.  Miami never settled on a single offensive line rotation during the 2011 season. As players battled through injuries and other setbacks, the coaching staff kept competition for snaps open in practice. The results were mixed, and the lack of continuity along the unit seemed to hold back the offense at points during the season. Spring practice has already started with trouble on the line, with tackle Seantrel Henderson getting hit with a brief suspension for a violation of team policy. Henderson, once considered the future of the unit, will face tough competition from one of the deepest positions in spring ball for the Hurricanes.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:36 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 7:47 am
 

Miami QB Morris to face competition this spring

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: Stephen Morris was listed as OUT for spring practice when Miami released their pre-spring depth chart Wednesday night.  Ryan Williams was No. 1, with early enrollees Gray Crow and Preston Dewey as No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.


After injuries and turnovers led former Miami head coach Randy Shannon to flip frequently between Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris in 2010, Harris - a senior - kept a strong hold on the starting position for most of Al Golden's first year in 2011.

Golden opened up the quarterback competition upon his arrival in Coral Gables, and let the two quarterbacks compete all the way until the end of fall camp. According to Golden the race for the starting position was neck-and-neck for nearly six months, and several teammates confirmed that observation heading into last season.

Morris, now the heir apparent to the starting quarterback position, will be limited during Miami's spring practice - which opens Saturday morning. According to The Miami Herald, Morris underwent back surgery in the offseason. Miami would not confirm the reason for Morris' limitations, but the junior quarterback is expected to meet with the media on Thursday.

Morris' limitation provides an opportunity for Memphis transfer Ryan Williams to make his case for snaps in 2012. Golden likely had no plans of naming a starting quarterback based exclusively on spring practice, but the extra experience Williams has gotten - and will get this spring - should put him in position to compete in the fall.

A native of Miramar High School, Williams decided to transfer back home after just one season with the Tigers. Williams played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2010, starting in 10. He completed 165-of-290 passes for 2,075 yards and 13 touchdowns, winning the starting job on the field in the second game. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound quarterback led Miramar to its first ever Florida State Championship in high school, breaking a state record with an 85.7 completion percentage in the title game.

What Morris does have is game experience with the Hurricanes, and the advantage of competing for the job already. But with Williams hungry to produce for his hometown school, any steps made this spring could make for another interesting quarterback competition in the fall for Al Golden.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:36 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 7:47 am
 

Miami QB Morris to face competition this spring

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: Stephen Morris was listed as OUT for spring practice when Miami released their pre-spring depth chart Wednesday night.  Ryan Williams was No. 1, with early enrollees Gray Crow and Preston Dewey as No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.


After injuries and turnovers led former Miami head coach Randy Shannon to flip frequently between Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris in 2010, Harris - a senior - kept a strong hold on the starting position for most of Al Golden's first year in 2011.

Golden opened up the quarterback competition upon his arrival in Coral Gables, and let the two quarterbacks compete all the way until the end of fall camp. According to Golden the race for the starting position was neck-and-neck for nearly six months, and several teammates confirmed that observation heading into last season.

Morris, now the heir apparent to the starting quarterback position, will be limited during Miami's spring practice - which opens Saturday morning. According to The Miami Herald, Morris underwent back surgery in the offseason. Miami would not confirm the reason for Morris' limitations, but the junior quarterback is expected to meet with the media on Thursday.

Morris' limitation provides an opportunity for Memphis transfer Ryan Williams to make his case for snaps in 2012. Golden likely had no plans of naming a starting quarterback based exclusively on spring practice, but the extra experience Williams has gotten - and will get this spring - should put him in position to compete in the fall.

A native of Miramar High School, Williams decided to transfer back home after just one season with the Tigers. Williams played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2010, starting in 10. He completed 165-of-290 passes for 2,075 yards and 13 touchdowns, winning the starting job on the field in the second game. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound quarterback led Miramar to its first ever Florida State Championship in high school, breaking a state record with an 85.7 completion percentage in the title game.

What Morris does have is game experience with the Hurricanes, and the advantage of competing for the job already. But with Williams hungry to produce for his hometown school, any steps made this spring could make for another interesting quarterback competition in the fall for Al Golden.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Posted on: May 23, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: May 23, 2011 11:07 am
 

Al Golden wants even more QB's at Miami

Posted by Chip Patterson

One of the major storylines of Miami's offseason has been the ongoing competition at the starting quarterback position. Head coach Al Golden elected to keep the race open through the summer, as he felt neither Jacory Harris nor Stephen Morris had truly "won" the job. Golden, a former defensive coordinator at the University of Virginia, has been particularly vocal about the quarterback position - even telling the Palm Beach Post that he'd like to have "five or six quarterbacks."

"Right now, we're still not where we want to be. We need five or six quarterbacks. We're looking. If you're a talented recruit out there and you're looking for a chance to impact a program, it's still a great opportunity for you."

The topic came up after Golden landed a commitment from former Memphis starting quarterback Ryan Williams. Williams will transfer immediately, then be eligible to play beginning in 2012. Along with Williams and Morris, Miami already has a firm commitment from Gray Crow - one of the top ranked quarterbacks in the state. Golden has also said that he hopes to sign "at least one quarterback" who can enroll in January 2012 to take part in spring practice.

"If you're a rising senior and you have an opportunity to compete against only two quarterbacks – Ryan and Stephen – come January, that's the best deal going in college football," Golden said. "On the first day, you're getting reps with (the second-team offense) and if you're doing good, you can get reps with the (first-team offense). I think it's an incredible opportunity for someone."

Golden's first months on the job have been eventful, to say the least. There have been the normal slew of offseason troubles, which have led to some hasty transfers and dismissals. But the focus off the offseason continues to be a return to the top. Since arriving in the ACC in 2004, the Hurricanes' momentum has sputtered from the four straight Big East titles from 2000-2003. Golden has made no secrets about his goal for change around the program. As long as it results in competing for ACC titles, Hurricanes fans will have no problem with his surprising personnel decisions.
Posted on: May 13, 2011 10:26 am
 

Forcier not going to Miami after all

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The career of former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier has already taken a stunning number of turns for one that's still only two collegiate seasons deep. But it's just taken another one all the same.

ESPN's Heather Dinich is reporting that Forcier has now elected not to transfer to Miami, the school with which Forcier signed an Aid Agreement (and who announced his arrival) this past February. Dinich reports, however, that Forcier hasn't returned once to the Coral Gables campus since his first visit. A source cited by Dinich claims "personal reasons" for Forcier's decision.

More than one wag will claim those personal reasons will amount to one reason named "Ryan Williams" (the former Memphis starter now also competing for the Hurricanes' 2012 quarterback job), but given Forcier's limited exposure to the program before making what now looks like a hasty decision, some second thoughts might have been inevitable regardless of the depth chart. (In any case, we'll be watching the famous "@QBForce" Twitter feed closely this week in the hopes of clarification.)

In any case, Forcier now joins the swelling ranks of unaffiliated quarterback transfer targets. He might not be Russell Wilson, but given his impressive true freshman season and capable performances in relief of Denard Robinson in 2010, he's also likely to offer more immediate help (in 2012) than Tyler Gabbert.

As for Miami, Forcier's decision leaves them with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the projected 2012 roster: Stephen Morris and Williams. Expect Al Golden to hit the recruiting trail even harder than usual when it comes to finding a future signal-caller.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Eye on CFB Roundtable: preseason top 25

By Eye on College Football Bloggers

Each week, the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron- style to answer a pressing question regarding the wild, wide world of college football. This week's topic:

We've already talked about No. 1, but the end of spring has also meant a revision of the rest of the preseason top 25, like our colleague Dennis Dodd's. What teams do you feel like might deserve a better ranking at this stage (or one at all)? What teams do you feel like might be ranked too highly?

Jerry Hinnen: There always seems to be one team from the SEC that comes from outside the preseason polls and surprises--think Mississippi State last year, Ole Miss in 2008, etc. But Dennis's 25 already includes every SEC team but Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, and I'm not sold on any of those teams as poll material. (There's a case to be made for the Vols, but only if Tyler Bray takes a major step forward, and his 5-for-30 spring game suggests that step may not be imminent.)

So I'll look elsewhere for a sleeper and mention how much I like San Diego State. The Aztecs have absorbed some heavy losses in their pair of NFL-bound wideouts and, of course, the head coach-offensive coordinator pairing of Brady Hoke and Al Borges. But Ronnie Hillman is an All-American running back waiting to happen, and senior Ryan Lindley is easily the best MWC quarterback this side of Kellen Moore. Together, they're one of the nation's best RB-QB combos, and new OC Andy Ludwig (the man behind Utah's undefeated 2008 attack) should know how to get the most out of them.

Defensively, the Aztecs should be much more comfortable in the second year of Rocky Long's unorthodox 3-3-5 scheme, and the schedule also offers the opportunity for two huge statement wins since TCU and Boise State travel to San Diego. Put it all together, and I don't think the departures of Hoke and Borges will be nearly enough to stop the program's momentum towards the polls.

Bryan Fischer: One team I think is a bit under the radar is Georgia. The Dawgs get the other division favorite, South Carolina, early in the schedule--that could be key if the Gamecocks are breaking in Connor Shaw, who has all of 33 passes to his name. I'm concerned about Georgia's running game but they have a good quarterback and the defense should be markedly improved in year two under Todd Grantham.

West Virginia is another team that can really make a move. They lose a lot from last year on defense but should be solid nevertheless. They might have one of the best offenses in the country with Geno Smith running the show and get their big non-conference game against LSU at home.

Chip Patterson: I agree with Bryan that West Virginia is a team that could cause some problems this fall. Dana Holgorsen might have done the coaching job of the year in 2010 with Oklahoma State's offense; the Cowboys did not return a single offensive lineman and his scheme resulted in the third-most productive offense in the nation anyway. Now he gets a stable full of athletes that, in many people's opinions, have been underperforming under Bill Stewart. Smith is the type of quarterback who can be a threat in Holgorsen's spread, especially once he gets familiar with the reads and changing plays at the line of scrimmage. The toughest challenge on the Mountaineers' slate is an early-season battle with LSU in Morgantown (as Bryan mentioned). I think that game is winnable, and could give them confidence headed into the back-loaded conference schedule.

Virginia Tech, though, is a huge question mark in my opinion. While I'm not sure whether they will end up higher or lower than 17, there's as much of a chance of them finishing the season unranked as getting to 10 wins. Their schedule does set up extremely well, with Clemson, Miami and North Carolina coming to Blacksburg and Florida State, Maryland and N.C. State avoided completely. But Logan Thomas needs to prove himself in a game situation, and running back David Wilson will have to work without Darren Evans or Ryan Williams to compliment him. Even if the Hokies finish the season strong, the eye test does not have them as "Top 20 good" just yet.

Adam Jacobi: After the first, oh, eight teams, I've got some major concerns about nearly every team on the list. Spring is the season for questions, of course, but it's like, "Michigan State at 11? Really? Wisconsin at 12? Really? Arkansas at 13? Really?" But you look at that list, and yeah, that's about right.

The one team that stands out to me is Notre Dame, who sort of creeps in under the radar at 19. I don't expect that sterling recruiting class to make much of an impact in Year 1, but there's a lot of talent coming back for Brian Kelly to build on. They have options at quarterback with Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees, the passing game basically only lost tight end Kyle Rudolph (who was injured for the second half of the season anyway), and four of five starting linemen return. The defense, meanwhile, is still led by Manti Te'o and returns its top eight tacklers. There's some retooling to do up the middle of the front seven, but the leadership and experience are there for the D to take a big step forward this year.

Lastly, I really like the Irish's schedule. The only truly worrisome game is the season finale at Stanford; the rest of the games are winnable. That's not to say the Irish are definitely going 11-1 in the regular season -- that's not happening without a ton of luck -- but it's a nice very-best-case scenario.

BF: I think the top 10 is pretty much standard for everyone. Sure, you can change the order and move teams around, but you can't argue with those 10 teams much.

After that, I have an issue with Auburn at 15. I know they're the defending champions, but they lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and the Tigers have a very tough schedule where they could take some losses. I'm also not sold on Utah after watching them collapse down the stretch last year, and they've had a ton of guys sit out this spring with injuries. I'd swap them in the rankings with USC -- who has depth issues but also has Matt Barkley and Robert Woods throwing the ball around -- or UCF.

AJ: Here's something I want to know -- what do you do about Ohio State if you're a voter? Do you ding them since the Buckeye Five are suspended for five games? Do you un-ding them when they come back? How many spots does Jim Tressel's situation cost them? What's the protocol here?

Tom Fornelli: I would have them lower on my rankings, personally. Losing some of your best players and your head coach for five games is a big deal, even if those games are against MACifices that shouldn't prove much of a test to the Buckeyes. Either way, those players and Tressel aren't there to start the season, so we should treat Ohio State as if they're not there. And do you see Ohio State being a top-25 team with Joe Bauserman?

JH: Disagree. I don't think there's a "protocol" on how to deal with the Buckeyes' current (unprecedented) situation as it relates to preseason polls; your guess is as good as mine is as good as anyone else's. But I don't think dropping them out of the top 25 all together is fair. Until we hear otherwise from the NCAA, the Buckeye Five and Tressel won't miss any more than the first (mostly winnable) five games. Dropping them entirely -- under the mere assumption Tressel, Pryor, et al are a dead team walking -- seems to put the cart before the horse.

TF: Seriously, though, I need somebody to explain to me why Arizona State is suddenly the cool team to vote for. Do people just really like their new uniforms? Is Vontaze Burfict sitting over their shoulders as they fill out their brackets? This is a team that won six games last year, with those six wins coming against Portland State, Northern Arizona, Washington, Washington State, UCLA and Arizona. Arizona is the only impressive win on that list, and it was a one-point victory in double overtime. This is a team that may have a lot of returning starters this year, but they're returning starters from a team that wasn't exactly a world-beater last season. Also, after losing quarterback Steven Threet to injury, the guy who has to lead that returning-starter-filled offense is still new.

JH: You didn't even mention their plague of torn ACLs this spring. I wish I could disagree -- the Sun Devils have had a ton of bad luck the last couple of seasons -- but they strike me, too, as a prime candidate to disappoint.




Posted on: March 17, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 1:26 pm
 

Memphis to lose its starting quarterback

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Here's a problem you generally don't want to deal with at any time, let alone on the first day of spring practice. With Memphis beginning its practice on Wednesday, it got a bit of a surprise from starting quarterback Ryan Williams as he's asked for his release from the program.

According to Williams' father, Rich Williams, his son has decided to leave the Tigers because head coach Larry Porter has decided to change the team's offensive scheme from a pro-style to a spread option attack. Which is what coaches tend to do after 1-11 seasons, and going 0-8 within conference play. Still, even when changing schemes, losing the quarterback with the most experience on your team seldom helps matters.

"Ryan Williams is no longer part of our program," Porter said Wednesday. "Obviously, the timing of this wasn't good, but I'd rather talk about the players who are still wearing the Memphis helmet."

Williams started ten games as a freshman last season, throwing for 2,075 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Williams took over for Cannon Smith last season, whom has now moved to safety. Another one of Memphis' backups last season, Tyler Bass, has transferred. Which means that the Tigers now go into the 2011 season with two quarterbacks on the roster in Will Gilchrist and Andy Summerlin. Both of whom are sophomores with now playing experience, and Summerlin is coming off of shoulder surgery.
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: February 22, 2011 2:54 pm
 

O'Cain takes over offense in Hokie shakeup

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Bryan Stinespring has been a Virginia Tech assistant for 18 years and has been Frank Beamer's offensive coordinator since 2002. If ever Beamer was going to change the latter arrangement, you'd have expected it to come following the 2007 and 2008 seasons, when Stinespring's attack finished 100th and 103rd in total offense, making him public coaching enemy No. 1 among Hokie fans.

But then Tech vaulted to No. 50 in 2009 and 42nd in 2010, and even those numbers don't do Stinespring justice; the Hokies finished 20th this past season in yards-per-play. The calls for Stinespring's job had gotten noticeably less audible. So he was safe for 2011 at least, right? Wrong :



That's Kyle Tucker of the Virginian-Pilot reporting that the Stinepsring era has officially ended in Blacksburg: he's been moved to position coaching with the tackles and tight ends, with Mike O'Cain taking over as the Hokie play-caller. (Curt Newsome will also move from coaching the entire offensive line to just the guards and centers, apparently.)

The news will likely be welcomed by Hokie fans on two fronts: not only is their object of coordinating scorn removed from the play-calling duties, but O'Cain seems like a quality replacement. The quarterbacks coach at Virginia Tech since 2006, O'Cain has several years of experience both as a head coach (at N.C. State) and an offensive coordinator (at Clemson). How much of an improvement he can make in the Hokie offense without the services of Tyrod Taylor remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely that he doesn't have the chops to better Stinespring's spotty record over the long haul.

The question remains, though: why now? Why throw this kind of curveball just when it seemed like Stinespring was getting his feet underneath him? The answer probably lies in the departures of Taylor and backfield mates Darren Evans and Ryan Williams; if Beamer wanted to make a change, starting over with a new quarterback and new running backs seems like a better time to do it than in the middle of Taylor's superstar tenure.

So Hokie fans finally get what they want in the coordinator's chair. Now we'll all see if they get what they want on the field.

UPDATE: Though it appears to be little more than semantics -- and the salary/prestige of the title involved -- multiple reports suggest that though O'Cain will definitely call plays for the Hokies in 2011, Stinespring may still retain his "offensive coordinator" title (even as he works prdominantly with the tackles and tight ends).


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com