One of the strengths for the University of Miami football team going into the 2008 season is the talented and diverse stable of running backs returning to the Canes next year. With dependable Javaris James, multi-talented Shawnbrey McNeal, elusive Craig Cooper and speedy Lee Chambers all competing for playing time, the battle in the backfield will be both exciting and entertaining to watch in practice.
Canespace decided to take a closer look at the candidates to tote the rock for the Canes in 2008:
Javaris James: This talented back who, as you know, is related to former Cane, current NFL player and potential Hall of Famer Edgerrin James is the Canes most experienced and steady running back returning to the team in 2008. James is more of a "between the tackles" runner who is a hard nosed, tough and a team player. He seems to get better as the game goes on and as he gets more carries. James has to continue to step up his game if he is to hold onto his starting position in the Canes backfield.
Shawnbrey McNeal: The question Canes fans want answered going into next season is: Is McNeal the real deal? At first glance, Shawnbrey appears to have all the tools necessary to become THE feature back for the Canes as they move into The New Place (Dolphins Stadium) in 2008. Size, strength, speed and moves make McNeal the possible total package for the Canes. We will watch closely throughout Spring and Fall ball as McNeal strives to prove he is "The Man" for the Canes.
Graig Cooper: This small, quick and elusive running back was slated to be the "Next Great Thing" at UM when he arrived as the BMOC last year. Well after one season, the verdict is still out on Super Cooper. Is he very good? Yeah. Has he been unstoppable and absolutely great? Not so much. Rumors are that the Coop has added 15-20 pounds of muscle to his frame to make him more durable and a more of an every down back. Will we see the results on the field in 2008? Time will tell.
Lee Chambers: This Mississippi mud slinger is the fastest of all Canes backs heading into next season. He redshirted in 2007 and after a year of learning the system and getting well, he may just be ready to step up and into the spotlight for the Canes in 2008. He is a natural long strider who is smooth and the ability to change directions at full speed. An underdog with huge potential who may break into the starting line up.
Now that you have heard our analysis, you get to vote. Who will be the star for the Canes in 2008: