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Hurricane recruits out of action

Miami's freshmen class is dwindling, with five of the 23 signees declared academically ineligible and a sixth waiting word on his status.

Add to that list WR Kevin Beard of Plantation, who missed weekend workouts because of a heart condition.

Five players have been ruled academically ineligible for the season: defensive linemen Marquis Johnson of Miami Edison, Kendrick Barrett of Grapeland, Texas, and Courtney Young of Bartow, and running backs Julian Battle of Wellington and Talib Humphrey of Miami Southridge.

WR Jason Geathers of Boca Raton Spanish River is awaiting approval from the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse concerning his test scores and transcripts. Coaches are hopeful of Geathers being cleared to play within the next few days.

Likewise, coaches are confidant that Beard's condition isn't serious and that he'll join the team by midweek.

EX 'BAMA STARTER TO TRANSFER?: LB Travis Carroll, a two-year starter at Alabama, visited UM over the weekend on a recruiting trip. Carroll, from Jacksonville, left Alabama and wants to transfer to Miami, Florida or FSU. Alabama coach Mike DuBose said he will allow Carroll to transfer to a school outside the Southeastern Conference, ruling out Florida.

Former UCLA quarterback J.P. Losman also visited UM this weekend. Losman, a freshman, left UCLA while in a five-man battle for the starting job.

POSITION BATTLES: Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano wants to settle on eight linemen to allow for frequent substitution, ensuring the Hurricanes will be fresh at that position in the fourth quarter.

The biggest competition on the defensive line is at left end. Quincy Hipps of Tampa, Brian Stinson, Jamal Green and William Joseph are battling for that job.

The Hurricanes, who return 10 of 11 starters on defense, are looking for backups at cornerback. Delvin Brown and Markese Fitzgerald of Dixie Hollins are the starters. That leaves Leonard Myers, Mike Rumpf and James Lewis vying for backup duties.

DORSEY PUSHES FOR NO. 2 QB: Plant City's Kenny Kelly is poised to take over at quarterback, but behind him the Hurricanes have some serious questions. Junior Zachary Hart is the backup for now, but coach Butch Davis expects freshman Ken Dorsey of Orinda, Calif., to compete for that job.

_ CHARLES MULLING

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