March , 2009

Sideline Scouting

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Canes’ Shields moving to CB

Posted by Administrator On March - 5 - 2009

Receiver Sam Shields, who has had an up and down career on the offensive side of the ball for three seasons, will be moving to defense when spring practice begins later this month.

CaneSport has confirmed that Shields will be moving to cornerback at the start of spring practice, a spot where the Hurricanes need depth and help. The hope is that Shields can develop rapidly at that position during spring practice and, with a full off-season of work, can be a big factor in the secondary when the season begins in August. If he is not ready, Shields has never been redshirted and would be a candidate to redshirt if Miami finds that it is solid enough on special teams to live without him this season. But that will be a late August decision.

Shields has a chance to develop into a good corner because he has shown great aggressiveness and tackling skills on special teams.

Miami has an obvious numbers situation at receiver and the move gives Shield a chance to develop at a position where he might have a better shot of playing in the NFL.

Shields finished last season with only 11 catches for 124 yards, making his biggest impact on special teams as the team’s best flier. He had a couple of major mental gaffes, including a 15-yard penalty for coming too close to a punt returner and another penalty for running onto the field when his personnel group had not been called that was a critical moment in the loss to Florida State.

Shields had 27 catches for 346 yards as a sophomore, a season that included a suspension. As a freshman he had 37 receptions for 501 yards and four touchdowns.

He has started 12 games in his career at wide receiver.

Shields was one of the nation’s top receiver recruits coming out of Sarasota Booker High School. His senior year there he had 67 receptions for 1,201 yards and 22 touchdons.

With sub-4.3 second speed, he has thus far not lived up to his potential at Miami. But with his natural athletic ability and Miami’s needs at cornerback, Shields’ fortunes could turn around quickly on defense.


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