Much like his brother before him, Washington Redskins Pro Bowl wide receiver Santana Moss, Sinorice Moss has proven that big things come in small packages. A key contributor on special teams since his freshman year, Moss did not equal the production his brother provided Miami during his career, but he was still a valuable part of the team’s offense.
At Carol City High School, Moss was a dangerous triple-threat athlete as a standout receiver in a run-oriented offense. He earned second-team All-Dade honors as a senior, adding All-Region accolades from Student Sports magazine and Prep Star. Florida Prep Football ranked Moss seventh among the state of Florida’s wide receivers and twenty-seventh overall. He also ranked thirteenth on the Miami-Dade Top 20 list according to the Miami Herald.
As a senior, Moss caught 23 passes for 506 yards and eight touchdowns, rushed for 86 yards on two carries and also punted 12 times for a 29-yard average (long of 44). His best game as a senior was a four-catch, 132-yard, two-touchdown outing against Goleman High. As a junior, Moss grabbed 18 passes for 432 yards and six touchdowns.
Moss was also an accomplished track athlete who ran a 10.99-second 100-meter dash at the USATF Junior National Championships as a junior. He had a personal best long jump of 22 feet, 11 inches, as a freshman and graduated as an Honor Roll student.
As a true freshman at Miami, Moss appeared in twelve games, seeing most of his action on special teams. He recorded four tackles and gained 30 yards on three receptions. He again served in a reserve role as a sophomore, totaling 111 yards on eight catches (13.9 avg) while also gaining 24 yards on a kickoff return.
In 2004, Moss was bothered by a hamstring injury that forced him to sit out the Louisville game and see limited action in several other contests. He started twice at split end and two more times at flanker. Moss ranked fourth on the team with 20 receptions for 351 yards (17.5 avg) and three touchdowns. He also posted four solo tackles and gained 19 yards on a punt return.
Moss played in 12 games as a senior, leading the Hurricanes with 37 receptions for 614 yards. He averaged 16.6 yards per reception and caught six touchdowns. He added seven carries for 55 yards.
Positives: Shows explosiveness and a quick first step to easily gain advantage on the defender…Has above average flexibility, balance, body control and change of direction agility, to go with a fluid, natural running motion…Conscientious worker in the training room and in practices…Runs precise routes, staying at the low pad level needed to generate a burst in and out of his breaks…Shows good field alertness, doing a nice job of keeping his feet in bounds along the sidelines…His quickness out of his breaks allow him to separate from defenders and immediately uncover…Maintains concentration on the ball in flight, doing a good job of adjusting his body to look the ball in…Shows good flexibility in his turning motion and times his leaps to get to the ball at its high point.
Negatives: Shorter and lighter than ideal and his frame has no room for additional growth…Has the speed to separate in the open, but lacks the strength to defeat the press and can be jammed at the line of scrimmage…Best when given a clear lane to run, as he does not have the power or leg drive to break tackles…More of a pester type as a blocker, as he does not have the strong base needed to prevent defenders from running over him when blocking at the line of scrimmage…Hard worker, but lacks production …Gets bounced around quite a bit when trying to work in the slot or over the middle (best served out on the flank and isolated in one-on-one situations).
Moss has a compact frame with a big bubble and thick thighs and calves, but his frame has minimal room for further growth. He is shorter than ideal, but shows good explosion and quickness to get off the line and into his routes. The thing you notice on film is his ability to get to top speed and accelerate past defenders. He shows good body control and balance in separating from defenders after the catch.
His sudden burst allows Moss to immediately gain advantage on the defender. He needs a clear lane in order to get off the line, as he lacks the hand strength and usage to defeat the press and prevent from being rerouted by physical cornerbacks. Moss does a nice job of dropping his weight and sinking his hips to stay at a low pad level in and out of his breaks.
Moss has a good feel for the chains and does a decent job of working back for the ball. While he is used sometimes in the slot and has the ability to make the initial tackler miss, his lack of overall strength generally sees him get "ping-ponged" when trying to squeeze through traffic or combat for the ball in a crowd. He is better served using his vertical ability to stretch the field rather than work underneath.
Moss shows natural hands to catch away from the body’s frame and is not the type who will double catch or absorb the ball into his body. He shows good flexibility to adjust to the off-target throws and has the second gear to quickly race past defenders. When he attempts to break tackles though, he is easily brought down due to size limitations and strength issues. Few defenders can recover when Moss beats them on long routes, but he is not the overpowering type who can drive through defenders.
Moss tries to make an effort as a blocker, but is generally a non-factor. He has had some durability issues in the past, but when healthy his fluid, natural running motion lets him make the big plays. However, with all of his speed and natural hands, he has not produced or even come close to matching the numbers his brother, Santana, delivered for Miami.
With his speed, he might be able to contribute as a return specialist, but through four seasons, he was not utilized much in that role for the Hurricanes. His body control is evident by his ability to get in and out of his routes with a quick and fluid motion. Moss will be drafted much higher due to his quickness and not for his somewhat minimal production.
2004: Sat out the Louisville game due to a hamstring pull.
One of four team captains, Moss started 12 of 46 games for the Hurricanes…Has played flanker, split end and as a slot back…Has 63 receptions for 1,046 yards (16.6 avg) and eight touchdowns…His 92-yard catch vs. Temple in 2005 was the second-longest reception in school history, topped only by Horace Copeland’s 99-yarder vs. Arkansas in 1991…Brother, Santana, was a standout All-American receiver at Miami from 1997-2000 and holds the school career-record with 2,546 yards receiving while ranking third on the UM all-time record chart with 143 catches.
Campus: 4.45 in the 40-yard dash…35-inch vertical jump…300-pound bench press…435-pound squat…250-pound power clean.
Attended Carol City (Miami, Fla.) High school, playing football for head coach Walt Frazier…Was a dangerous triple-threat athlete as a standout receiver in a run-oriented offense…Earned second-team All-Dade honors as a senior, adding All-Region accolades from Student Sports magazine and Prep Star…Florida Prep Football ranked Moss seventh among the state of Florida’s wide receivers and twenty-seventh overall…Also ranked thirteenth on the Miami-Dade Top 20 list according to the Miami Herald…As a senior, Moss caught 23 passes for 506 yards and eight touchdowns, rushed for 86 yards on two carries and also punted 12 times for a 29-yard average (long of 44)…His best game as a senior was a four-catch, 132-yard, two-touchdown outing against Goleman High…As a junior, Moss grabbed 18 passes for 432 yards and six touchdowns…Also an accomplished track athlete who ran a 10.99-second 100-meter dash at the USATF Junior National Championships as a junior…Had a personal best long jump of 22 feet, 11 inches, as a freshman…Honor Roll student.
Criminology major…Brother, Santana, was an All-American receiver at the University of Miami (1997-2000), where he holds the school career-record with 2,546 yards receiving and ranks third all-time with 143 receptions. Santana was a first round selection by the New York Jets in the 2001 NFL Draft and presently plays for the Washington Redskins…Nickname is "Nory"…Son of Natalie and Lloyd Moss…Born Sinorice Travonce Moss on 12/28/83…Resides in Miami, Florida.
Former Army coach Todd Berry was hired by Miami as quarterbacks coach Friday, the first hiring by the Hurricanes since four longtime assistants were fired earlier this month.
Berry spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Louisiana-Monroe. He was fired by Army in October 2003 after going 5-35 in parts of four seasons.
"Without question he will help our offense move forward," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "Todd has turned down opportunities to coach in the NFL, so we’re pleased to have him as part of our offensive staff."
The Hurricanes were 9-3 this past season, which ended with a 40-3 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl. Three days after that defeat — Miami’s worst bowl loss ever — Coker fired offensive line coach Art Kehoe, offensive coordinator Dan Werner and running backs coach Don Soldinger, plus linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves.
Coker said he hasn’t decided who will serve as offensive coordinator or if there will be any major schematic changes.
Berry’s team at Louisiana-Monroe this past season featured quarterback Steven Jyles, who was the Sun Belt Conference’s player of the year. Berry’s offense yielded only nine sacks while throwing the ball 405 times during the 2005 season.
Berry also was head coach at Illinois State from 1996-99 and the offensive coordinator at East Carolina from 1992-95. Berry played under Coker when he was an assistant at Tulsa in the early 1980s.
Miami has gone 53-9 in five seasons under Coker, but six of those losses have come in the past two seasons — and the Hurricanes haven’t won the Atlantic Coast Conference title in either of their first two years as a member of that league.
Rich Olson, who worked for three years on the Miami Hurricanes‘ coaching staff with great success in the early 1990s, has returned to the program as its new offensive coordinator.
"I think the University of Miami, our coaching staff and our players are fortunate to have Rich Olson as part of the football program," Miami coach Larry Coker said in a statement Friday. "He’s going to be a great addition because of his knowledge of football, but more important because of his ability to unite our offensive staff and get our offense going into the direction we want it to go."
A 29-veteran coach in college football and the NFL, Olson has coached some of the top names in college football and the NFL. He was Miami’s wide receivers coach in 1992 and was an integral part of Gino Torretta’s success when the quarterback won the Heisman Trophy that year.
Olson spent the last 11 years in the NFL with Seattle, Washington, Arizona, San Francisco and Minnesota, coaching quarterbacks Daunte Culpepper, Jake Plummer and Warren Moon, in addition to then-college players Trent Dilfer, and running backs Craig James and Eric Dickerson, the latter a Hall of Famer.
"I am so excited to be coming back to the University of Miami," Olson said. "I enjoyed my time here and now I get an opportunity to come back and compete for a national championship. That’s what college football is about.
"To win consistently, you have to be able to run the football. We have a really good quarterback, a tight end and receivers. But we have to be able to run the ball. We can’t throw it every down. If defenses have to defend the run and the pass, then we have a better chance to win."
He replaces Dan Werner, one of four assistants fired by coach Larry Coker after the Hurricanes went 9-3 last season.
Art Kehoe spent nearly three decades helping build the Miami Hurricanes’ image as the swaggering bad boys of college football. His new mission: Bring that attitude to Mississippi.
"It’s all about being in shape, tough as hell, on time and busting your (hump) every day of your life," Kehoe said. "You can’t stop delivering the message. They’re going to get that message as hard as they can get it."
This spring is crucial for Kehoe and offensive coordinator Dan Werner, who are spreading that message in a new place. Forced out at Miami after a lopsided bowl loss, Werner and Kehoe joined Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron, another ex-Hurricanes assistant, to help turn the Rebels’ recent stagger into a swagger.
"It’s not `We can win.’ We WILL win. That’s the attitude we want to have, and it starts from (each player) individually," Werner said. "If you’re blocking the best defensive lineman in the country, you have to have the attitude that `I’m going to kick his butt."
That was Miami’s reputation during the 1980s, and that’s the approach Ole Miss is taking to reverse Orgeron’s miserable first season in which the Rebels finished 3-8 with one of the worst offenses in the nation.
He tried to run the freewheeling system perfected at his previous stop, Southern California, by his mentor Pete Carroll. That plan backfired - at least partly because of philosophical differences with then-offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone.
Orgeron fired Mazzone after the Rebels ranked 111th in Division I-A with 281.7 yards per game and were last in the SEC with averages of 13.5 points and 73 yards rushing, and then searched for a coordinator capable of overhauling the offense.
He found a pair of assistants cast aside by his former employer. Miami fired Kehoe, Werner and two other coaches in the aftermath of an embarrassing 40-3 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl.
Orgeron quickly snatched them up, making Kehoe his offensive line coach and putting Werner in charge of the offense.
"I told (Werner) I needed a coordinator that could come in and be confident in running his own scheme," Orgeron said. "Dan has complete control of the offense."
Werner plans to spend most of the spring teaching his players the basics of the Hurricanes’ pro-style offense, which is predicated on confusing defenses by running seemingly basic plays from multiple sets.
"I want our guys to run certain plays out of literally a hundred different formations," Werner said. "The philosophy is, keep it simple for our players, make it hard on the defense."
And, more importantly, prevent a culture of losing from forming at Ole Miss, the only SEC West school never to appear in the league championship game.
"You start winning games, you start getting cocky," Kehoe said.
Miami never had a problem believing it could win, and during two seasons in the late 1980s, this trio helped shape that attitude.
Orgeron and Werner were graduate assistants while Kehoe coached the offensive line in 1988, when Miami finished 11-1 and won the Orange Bowl in coach Jimmy Johnson’s final season.
Dennis Erickson took over in 1989, moved Orgeron to defensive line coach, made Werner a volunteer assistant and kept Kehoe in charge of the offensive line during the Hurricanes’ march to a third national championship.
They broke up the following year, with Werner moving to UNLV and eventually to several other schools before returning in 2001. Orgeron left Miami after the 1992 season and latched on at I-AA Nicholls State in ‘94.
Kehoe remained with the Hurricanes until he was fired after his 27th season as a player or coach in Coral Gables.
Now they’re together again, hoping to recreate Miami’s mystique in Mississippi.
"The first thing is to learn the schemes so (players) know what to do," Werner said. "Then, you’ve got to be a good enough player to back up what you’re talking about. And once you’ve got that confidence that you’re winning on the field and you know what you’re doing, it sort of builds itself."