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April 14, 2011

College Football Report - Miami Hurricanes in Talks of 'Hard Knocks' Type Series:

Football fans have always been curious, intense and passionate about their sport more than any other fan group in America. It’s what has turned football into the country’s favorite and most popular sport.

There isn’t a whole lot of knowledge of what actually goes into the sport outside of game day though. That’s where HBO stepped in, creating the award winning series Hard Knocks, which profiles and goes in-depth into the training camp of an NFL team.

The show’s success and popularity took off much like anyone would expect, showing the grit of an NFL practice and the drama, and or excitement, of making or getting cut from an NFL roster. It also gave fans an in-depth look at their favorite players on and off the field.

The popularity of the show and inside views the teams and HBO combined to give have made way for future endeavors to take place. While we may never see an HBO series go into the world of college football, it appears a college football Hard Knocks related series is in the works.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the University of Miami is in talks with ESPNU about a 30-minute special series profiling the Hurricanes football team through fall camp in August.

It looks to be part of a large plan by Hurricanes head coach Al Golden to bring exposure to fans and increase coverage of the football program.

“It’s a full-access look at what goes into preparing for a college football season,” Associate Athletic Director for Communications Chris Freet told the Post. “We’re intrigued by the possibilities.”

Already scheduled to air on ESPNU will be an inside look at UM’s spring game that takes place Saturday, April 16 at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium. The show is set to air at 4:30 p.m. on April 28.

Teamed with 3 Penny Films, the Hurricanes official athletic site,, has already featured nine short films since January that profile Miami’s journey through the offseason conditioning program to National Signing Day and most recently into spring practices.

3 Penny Films has joined with football programs at Auburn and Maryland in the past, with the Hurricanes becoming its newest project this year. The shows have drawn rave reviews, with one of the Miami episodes drawing over 25,000 views on YouTube. With one of the largest followings in the country, and popularity of ESPN’s 30 for 30 Miami documentary, it’s not exactly a surprise the shows have taken off.

The first episode touched on the first Miami staff meeting under new head coach Al Golden and profiled and went inside the weight room and efforts of longtime strength and conditioning Coach, Andreu Swasey.

From there the films took fans inside a recruiting official visit weekend at Miami and an inside look at National Signing Day on campus. The videos give fans a look at the passion and excitement of coaches waiting for faxes and phone calls to roll in.

Episode four gives a look at the Hurricanes conditioning program and intense persona of defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio. The sixth episode shows glimpses of the Hurricanes first spring practice that took place on March 7, while the seventh came just days later in the team’s first day of full pads and the intense and likable attitude of offensive line coach Art Kehoe:

The fifth episode gave fans an inside look at the day in the life of All-Conference linebacker Sean Spence. The episode profiles Spence (above) working out at 5:00 a.m. to going to a finance class and walking the campus.

The last two episodes that have aired profile the Hurricanes intense spring preparation, including an inside look at the running back competition and a profile of the team’s first spring scrimmage in Palm Beach County.

The interviews, footage and inside look at the Hurricanes football program provided by 3 Penny Films and `Canes All-Access has opened the eyes to the college football world much like the HBO’s Hard Knocks did for the NFL, although the move has been made on a smaller scale, so far.

If the plan to join with ESPNU by the summer goes through, Al Golden and the Hurricanes will be able to reach, and open up to, a number of college football fans at a large exposure other teams just aren’t getting.

A Golden move in the `Canes attempt to bring themselves back into the college football limelight.

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All writing and views subject to © Drew P. Kochanny, All Rights Reserved. Photo's credited to rights owner.