Finally, some offense. In our first installment, we took a look at the very top of the Dolphins numerical roster, eight men who wear uniform numbers in the 90’s. All eight were defenders. Today, we move down to the 80’s and you know what that means…receivers and tight ends. Enjoy…
#89 Taurus Johnson: A potential factor in the return game equation, Johnson was one of the most prolific return men in the history of the University of South Florida. He spent a little time on the Fins practice squad late last season after having been released by the Lions and Chiefs, who signed him as an undrafted free agent out of USF.
#86: John Nalbone: Part of a busy situation at tight end, Nalbone was taken by the Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2009 draft, but never appeared in a game. He was inactive through Halloween, at which point he was released and signed to the practice squad. Now, though, he has a chance to make a move on the depth chart, thanks to a ton of uncertainty at his position. If you’re coming out to camp or following the day-to-day storylines of this team in the pre-season, there’s no question that the battle at tight end will be one of the more interesting ones to watch, if for no other reason than there really isn’t a standout performer. Opportunity is definitely knocking. Should be interesting to see who answers the door.
#85 Kory Sperry: Another tight end, Sperry came off the practice squad last November and started in his first career game, against the Bucs. In that game, he caught a five yard touchdown which made him part of the tight end group that caught the most TD passes in franchise history. Sperry was born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado, where I once spent a weekend, and he has one of the longest full names on the roster: Kory Kalani Kahaunaele Sperry.
#84 Patrick Turner: Here’s one to impress your friends with at the bar: 6’5″ Patrick Turner is the tallest receiver ever drafted by the Miami Dolphins. Not bad, right? Turner, taken in the third round of the 2009 draft, was active for just two games last season, and did not catch a pass. I’m one of these people who’s always super intrigued by tall wideouts. The fact is that most CBs are under six feet tall and so if a guy as tall as Turner can perfect the arts of route running and ball catching, he can be a terribly dangerous weapon. I’m going to keep my eye on him this August–we’ll call him one of my big pre-season sleepers.
#83 Greg Camarillo: Once known mostly for being the guy who caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Ravens to help the Dolphins win their first and only game in 2007, Rich (sorry, MadDog) Greg Camarillo has now become a very legitimate offensive threat and a candidate to start opposite Brandon Marshall at wide receiver. In 2009, Camarillo was coming off of a major knee injury suffered the year before and still managed to start all 16 games and finish second on the team in both receptions and receiving yards. Camarillo has a degree in engineering from Stanford, where he was a three-time Academic All-Pac-10 selection. If you’re a nerd like me, you’ve seen the History Channel’s great series, “America: The Story of Us” and if you’ve seen the show, you’ve very likely seen Greg’s dad Al, a history professor at Stanford, who is a featured commentator on the program.
#82: Brian Hartline: Another player in the mix at the wide receiver position, Hartline should compete for that non-Marshall starting job after playing in all 16 games and making two starts as a rookie last season. His three TD receptions last year lead the team, making him the first rookie to lead the Fins in receiving touchdowns since Chris Chambers in 2001. Hartline can sit back and watch his brother play on Saturdays…Michael Hartline is the starting quarterback at the University of Kentucky.
#81: Joey Haynos: One of the key bodies making for what should be an intense competition at tight end, Haynos knows how to make a team, after beginning his collegiate career as a walk-on at Maryland before earning a scholarship and lettering for four seasons with the Terrapins. Last season, he played in all 16 games and started half of them after making seven appearances as a backup the year before. Apparently Haynos is big on first impressions–his first career receptions at both the collegiate and professional levels were for touchdowns.
#80: Anthony Fasano: It’s a big year for the big tight end in 2010, as he tries to rebound from a 2009 that was noticeably less productive that his 2008. After scoring seven touchdowns in his first season with the Fins, Fasano had just two last year and will be competing with the likes of Haynos, Nalbone, and Sperry not only for playing time but maybe even for a roster spot. Meanwhile, being the proud Hurricanes fan that I am, I look forward to talking with Fasano about the renewal of the Miami-Notre Dame rivalry that was made official last week.
That’ll do it for the men in the 80’s, but don’t worry, more to come tomorrow, when we dig into the trenches and get to know some of the big guys up front. That’s right, offensive and defensive linemen are next–as we get set to break down the 70’s.
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