WHEN: Today-April 9.
SPRING GAME: April 7 at the Orange Bowl, time to be announced; Fox Sports Net.
KEY LOSSES: WR Santana Moss, WR Reggie Wayne, RB James Jackson, LB Dan Morgan, DT Damione Lewis, S Al Blades, TE Ivan Mercer, DE Quincy Hipps, WR Andre King, LG Greg Laffere, CB Leonard Myers.
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Jr. QB Ken Dorsey (2,727 yards, 25 TDs), Sr. LT Bryant McKinnie (Outland Trophy candidate), Sr. RT Joaquin Gonzalez (Outland candidate), Jr. RB Clinton Portis (485 yards), Sr. FB Najeh Davenport (308 yards), Sr. WR Daryl Jones (87-yard punt return for TD), Jr. TE Jeremy Shockey (winning TD vs. FSU), Sr. DE Cornelius Green (27 tackles, 3 sacks), Sr. LB Chris Campbell (79 tackles, 4 sacks), Sr. S Edward Reed (Thorpe Trophy candidate), Sr. CB Mike Rumph (10 passes defensed), Jr. CB Phillip Buchanon (two defensive TDs), Jr. P Freddie Capshaw (All-Big East).
OUTLOOK: Again, the Hurricanes are eyeing the national championship, and they think the 2001 squad has just as good a chance as last season's. Dorsey is emerging as one of the best quarterbacks in school history. How he progresses will be critical because he loses his top receivers, Moss and Wayne, who often made him look good. Portis, if healthy, has 1,000-yard potential. Coaches believe McKinnie is the best tackle in college football. But UM loses loads of leadership and quality players from a second-ranked squad that finished 11-1. What made this outgoing senior class so special is it went through so much: the lean years of probation to almost winning a national title. Replacing it will be difficult.
BIGGEST QUESTION: Coaching. Larry Coker, a career assistant, takes over for Butch Davis, who returned the Hurricanes to national prominence before moving on to the Cleveland Browns. The former offensive coordinator is upbeat and energetic. He was overwhelmingly the players' choice. For the past five years, he has called plays from the press box. Now, he has to manage the entire team from field level. The coaching staff has two new coordinators. Former tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski was promoted to offensive coordinator. Ex-UM player and assistant Randy Shannon, who spent the past three seasons on the Miami Dolphins staff, returns as defensive coordinator.
NOTES: Sophomore D.J. Williams is switching back to linebacker after starting at fullback the second half of last season. Williams was recruited as a linebacker. UM will know early if it is a legitimate national championship contender. It opens at Penn State and on Sept. 15 hosts Washington. Miami also must travel to FSU on Oct. 15.
_ Compiled by Joe Frisaro.