by Carl Cabey,
The 2011 Season for the Miami Hurricanes didn’t quite go as expected. The Hurricanes finished 6-6 and turned down their bowl games. Here are the post season awards:
Offensive player of the year: Lamar Miller.
Miller was the most exciting player to play for the Hurricanes in some time. He had that play-making ability where you held your breath every time he touched the ball because there was a chance he’d take it to the house. Al Golden will do a lot of recruiting, but the player he may have to recruit the hardest is Miller and why he should return to Miami next season.
Defensive player of the year: Sean Spence.
Spence was everywhere on the field this season. He was the heart and soul of the defense and always seemed to be around the ball. Spence was a leader on and off the field and will be missed by the UM defense. Spence is smart enough that you can see him get into coaching when he’s done playing football.
Most improved player of the year: Tommy Streeter.
Streeter came out of nowhere. The 6’6 receiver wasn’t able to see the field in his first 2 years but really took advantage of a new coaching staff and a new start. Streeter erupted as Harris’ favorite target and became not only a possession receiver but was also used as a deep threat. Golden will have to visit Streeter and see if he can stay for his senior season.
MVP: Jacory Harris & Lamar Miller.
Jacory was also in the running for most improved. Despite having a bad last game the season he just had was a full 180. He went from 14 tds and 15 int to 20 tds and 9 int. 4 of the interceptions were in the last game. His decision-making was clearly better. Miller had the first 1000 yard season since 2002 when Willis McGahee did it.
Freshman of the year: Anthony Chickilo and Denzel Perryman.
Chickilo was the prized recruit of this class and he didn’t disappoint. He earned the starting job midway through the season and never looked back. Perryman came into the scene late and had a knack for the ball. He seemed to get better every game as the season went on. Golden and D’Onofrio will build around them two.
Al Golden: Golden impressed Canes fans right from the jump with his approach. His first speech was so good you would have thought he would be running for president. Fans quickly caught on and loved the way he handled himself on and off the field. The fan base came up with fear the tie and each game more people decided to wear ties in the crowd. He made some questionable decisions with special teams but other than that had a good year. He didn’t lose a game by more than a touchdown and the team never quit which is not something that could be said previously. It will be interesting to see how Golden does with a full year of recruiting. Grade: B
Jedd Fisch: Fisch deserves at least half of the credit for Jacory Harris’ improvement at quarterback. Fisch did a great job play calling this year and knew just when to use trick plays. He’s a quarterback friendly coach and it will be interesting to see the type of players he prefers to recruit and how he will use them. If he can do this on a consistent basis Fisch may be getting calls offering him a head coaching position. Grade A-
Mark D’Onofrio: D’onofrio had to adjust to using a 4-3 scheme because the Canes didn’t have the right players for the 3-4 scheme he likes to use. D’onofrio’s defense took a lot of heat at the beginning of the season but you could see improvement every game. It will be critical that he and Golden land the players they need for a successful 3-4 defense. Luckily for D’onofrio 2 of the bright spots of the defense in Chickilo and Perryman were only freshman and will be on this defense for at least two more years. Grade: C+