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Miami Hurricanes

Former Canes QB Brad Kaaya looking to improve draft stock

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Icon Sportswire

(Our Roy Cummings begins his coverage from the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine)

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana –

A class of quarterbacks that is considered among the weakest in years will make its way to the NFL Scouting Combine this week in an effort to enhance its value ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft.

One member of that class who’s going to have a hard time achieving that objective is three-year University of Miami starter Brad Kaaya.

Kaya is currently projected to go in the middle rounds of the draft (the third or fourth round to Buffalo is one popular projection), and that probably won’t change, no matter what Kaaya does here at the combine.

Even if Kaaya throws and interviews well, and he likely will, he still won’t be able to show scouts, coaches and general manager what it is they really need to see, which is greater pocket presence.

Make no mistake; Kaaya has NFL star-caliber traits. He has NFL size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), an NFL arm and NFL smarts. And all he did was get better during each of his three seasons at Miami.

When it was all said and done with the Hurricanes, Kaaya had completed 720 of the 1,188 passes (60.6 percent) he threw for 9,968 yards, 69 touchdowns and just 24 interceptions.

As NFL analyst Mike Mayock pointed out, though, Kaaya never did find the kind of comfort level inside a collapsing pocket that would make him an elite-level NFL prospect.

“Here are my thoughts on (Kaaya),’’ Mayock said during a conference call with reporters this week. “First off, I think he’s a talented kid. He’s got the prototypical size. And he makes three to five throws per game that are awesome. (Throws) where you sit back and you go, ‘Yep, that’s it. That’s it. That’s NFL-(caliber).’

“But then you watch the pocket mechanics break down, and I think he starts to panic a little bit when he sees a flash of color from the other team. He starts to hurry his throws and ends up with poor locations and poor decisions.

“When he has clear vision and clean feet, he’s really good. But it’s the pocket mechanics (in the pocket that hurt his grade). So I think it’s going to take him a little bit of time (before he’s ready to step in and start in the NFL).’’

[graphiq id=”6tS4Nz36XXf” title=” Brad Kaaya Overview” width=”600″ height=”675″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/6tS4Nz36XXf” ]

The good news is that Kaaya’s not alone. Mayock is one of several analysts who’s not sure if there is in fact a Day 1 starters among the quarterbacks in this year’s draft.

How does that help Kaaya? Well, if the majority of quarterback-needy teams agree that all the quarterbacks in this year’s class need time to develop, then the playing field evens up a bit.

And if the playing field evens up, then it’s possible that either through his interviews or his workouts, Kaaya will be able to enhance his draft stock after all.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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Miami Hurricanes

Former Canes and Bucs TE Kellen Winslow II will stand trial for felony rape

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The horrifying allegations against for Hurricanes and Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow in San Diego, CA, have led to the judge in his case ruling at his preliminary hearing that there is sufficient evidence for a trial.

As USAToday.com’s Josh Peter reported from the courtroom, San Diego County Judge Harry Elias made his ruling late Thursday morning. And, he agreed with prosecutors that there is enough for the case to move forward later this year on two charges of felony rape, two counts of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, and forcible sodomy on one of the accusers.

There had been some belief that the charges might be greatly reduced or thrown out all together, when two of the women who testified earlier this week at the preliminary hearing could not identify Winslow II at the defense table.

However as this photo shows, his lawyers used a typical defense tactic of changing Winslow’s appearance by having him shave, put on glasses and allowing his hair to grow out the last four weeks that he’s been incarcerated:

Prosecutors countered by using arrest photos of Winslow unshaven, without glasses and with a shaved head to better identify him.

As we wrote previously when Winslow was taken into custody, the bizarre allegations brought by multiple women in the San Diego area are enough to turn your stomach.

Winslow is alleged to have raped separate middle aged women, 54 and 58 years old, one in March and again, in May. Prosecutors detailed on June 15th in court that the women were both allegedly picked up, as hitchhikers or transients by Winslow and then, allegedly raped. They further said, Winslow threatened to kill both women, if they went to the police.

And now, prosecutors believe Winslow apparently was attempting to rape a 71 year old and an 86 year old earlier in June at the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park.

Further from the complaint, that’s what prosecutors now believe Winslow was attempting to do on June 7th, when a neighbor in the mobile home park spotted him going into a mobile home and confronted him.

Winslow left in a black SUV, but was found by authorities a short time later, and arrested after a traffic stop.

At that time he was only charged with one count of burglary of the residence, which carried a $50,000 bond, and he was released.

Winslow is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, and played for the Hurricanes from 2001 through 2003. He earned All-American honors and the John Mackey Award for the nation’s top tight end in his final season.

Winslow was the sixth overall pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2004 draft, where he reunited with the coach that recruited him and coached him originally at Miami, Butch Davis.

After his rookie season Winslow suffered a horrific knee and leg injuries in a motorcycle accident in a Cleveland suburb mall parking lot. He was unable to play in the 2005 season, because of the injuries.

Winslow played three more seasons for the Browns before being traded in the 2009 offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In exchange for a second and fifth round picks, the Bucs acquired Winslow and gave him at that time the largest contract for a tight end in NFL history at $36 million over six seasons.

In his first season in Tampa Bay he set the Bucs single season tight end receiving record with 77 catches and 884 yards. He led the team in receptions again in 2010, as the Bucs finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. In his final Buccaneers season of 2011 Winslow finished with 75 receptions in a dismal 4-12 year.

Winslow was traded in the offseason of 2012 to the Seattle Seahawks, but they released him months later, when he refused to reduce his salary.

He bounced after that to the New England Patriots and the New York Jets with his final season being 2013. With the Jets, he only started three games, and was also suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the League’s substance-abuse policy.

Winslow’s side was granted a victory of sorts Thursday, as for the first time since he was taken into custody the second time, he was granted $2 million bail.

According to USA Today, Winslow’s mother could be seen weeping outside the courtroom, while Kellen Sr. was more upbeat.

There is not a trial date set as of yet for the case.

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Miami Hurricanes

Former Hurricanes-Bucs Star TE Kellen Winslow II arrested for felony rape

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami Hurricanes All-American and Buccaneers NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II is in bigger legal trouble in San Diego, California, than what we knew last week.

This, after authorities there filed multiple felony charges, including rape, sodomy, and kidnapping in connection with an incident last week.

TMZ had the details first earlier Thursday night.

We originally did not write about the trespassing /burglary charge from last week, but now the numerous serious felony charges have obviously changed the importance.

Winslow was booked in the Vista Detention Center in San Diego Thursday afternoon, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning where more details will be given on the charges.

Winslow is the son of NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, and played for the Hurricanes from 2001 through 2003. He earned All-American honors and the John Mackey Award for the nation’s top tight end in his final season.

Winslow was the sixth overall pick of the Cleveland Browns in the 2004 draft, where he reunited with the coach that recruited him and coached him originally at Miami, Butch Davis.

After his rookie season Winslow suffered a horrific knee and leg injuries in a motorcycle accident in a Cleveland suburb mall parking lot. He was unable to play in the 2005 season, because of the injuries.

Winslow played three more seasons for the Browns before being traded in the 2009 offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In exchange for a second and fifth round picks, the Bucs acquired Winslow and gave him at that time the largest contract for a tight end in NFL history at $36 million over six seasons.

In his first season in Tampa Bay he set the Bucs single season tight end receiving record with 77 catches and 884 yards. He led the team in receptions again in 2010, as the Bucs finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. In his final Buccaneers season of 2011 Winslow finished with 75 receptions in a dismal 4-12 year.

Winslow was traded in the offseason of 2012 to the Seattle Seahawks, but they released him months later, when he refused to reduce his salary.

He bounced after that to the New England Patriots and the New York Jets with his final season being 2013. With the Jets, he only started three games, and was also suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the League’s substance-abuse policy.

This is not his first trouble with the law since his career ended, as Winslow was arrested for possession of synthetic marijuana in January of 2014.

It is believed that authorities will elaborate on why Winslow was only charged with felony first-degree burglary last week at the mobile home park in Southern California, and had been released on $50,000 Bond.

There is clearly large new evidence of much more serious charges in that case.

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Miami Hurricanes

Miami rewards Mark Richt’s early success with new deal

Florida Football Insiders

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Hurricanes have decided to reward coach Mark Richt after just two seasons with a new contract. Richt, who has led the Canes to a 19-7 record in his two seasons in Coral Gables, is now signed through 2023. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.
Miami is a private institution and not obligated to release coaching salaries, however, at the time of his December 2015 hire, he was believed to have been given $4 million per season.
A year ago, Miami surprised many by playing their way into the College Football Playoff conversation late in the year. This was after the Hurricanes got off to an unbeaten start and late in the season won critical ACC games over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame at home, who were both rank in the top 15 at the time. The Notre Dame blowout was an eye opener on national television that put Miami in position to make the four team post season semi-finals.
Unfortunately for the Canes, the story didn’t end well. In fact, it crashed, when they lost on the Friday after Thanksgiving to a Pittsburgh team with a losing record. A week later they were blown out by ACC Champion Clemson in the Championship Game in Charlotte.
Then, Wisconsin beat Miami essentially in a home game in the Capital One Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes record finishing out at 10 and 3.
There is no doubt that Richt is one of the true gentleman of college coaching, and he has turned Miami back into a contender quicker than what predecessors Randy Shannon or Al Golden ever could.
Miami has also been scoring big with recruits over the last couple of seasons as well. This year’s signing class was ranked in the top 10 of every major high school football/college recruiting service or website.
So, the future is bright for the Canes and their fans.
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