It’s only the beginning of February. Yet, according my internal clock, it seems like we should only be days away from kicking off against FAU on August 31st. Why am I so far off? In part because of the time I have invested in following the NCAA’s own lack of “institutional control” regarding the Miami investigation. In part because Miami self-imposed sanctions and forfeited playing in both a bowl game and the ACC Championship Game, thus by definition making this off-season longer for Canes fans than our bowl-bound rivals. But mostly, because recruiting this year simply wore me out.
I cannot remember a year with more recruiting ups and downs. I cannot remember a year where more 4 and 5 star (for those star whores out there) kids committed and subsequently decommitted to Miami and/or had us waiting on their National Signing Day announcements. As you may recall last year, Miami received verbal commitments from its star-studded class well in advance of signing day. Tracy Howard’s commitment on NSD was simply the cherry on top. This year, Canes fans were left twisting in the wind over top rated recruits such as Alex Collins (4* RB), Matthew Thomas (5* LB), Denver Kirkland (4* OL), Jaynard Bostwick (4* DL), Keith Bryant (4* DL), Jermain Grace (4* OLB), Stacy Coley (4* WR), Augustus Edwards (3* FB), etc., etc., etc. Add to this the fact that Kirkland’s Miami scholarship was pulled and then reissued days before signing day. Add to this the fact that Keith Bryant tweeted “salute the hoot” just before getting thrown off FAU’s campus on an official visit. Yes you read that right, FAU. Add the fact that despite announcing on live television his intentions to play for Arkansas just 2 days ago, Alex Collins has not yet signed his LOI (A four letter station reported that his mother drove off with his letter to prevent him from signing). You can’t make this stuff up.
When the fog settled, the following young men made the decision to become Canes and take their talents to one of the finest academic and athletic institutions in the country:
Artie Burns (4* DB)
Al-Quadin Muhammad (4* DE)
Alex Figueroa (2*LB)(enrolled)
Augustus Edwards (3* FB)
Alex Gall (3* OL)
Beau Sandland (4* TE)(enrolled)
Devante Bond (3* LB)
Hunter Knighton (3* OL)(enrolled)
Jamal Carter (4* S)
Jermaine Grace (4* OLB)
Kevin Olsen (4* QB)
Ray Lewis III (3* ATH)
Sonny Odogwu (2* OL)(enrolled)
Stacy Coley (4* WR)
Standish Dobard (3* TE)(enrolled)
Ufomba Kamalu (2* DL)
While it is fine to be upset that so many top rated athletes holding Miami in their top 2-3, chose to attend other schools, one cannot be upset with the class of athletes that decided to come to Miami. Sure, there will always be talk of the “fish that got away”, but at the end of the day, Miami is bringing a solid class of athletes to The U. Best of all, the kids that chose Miami WANTED to be Canes. They saw through the NCAA investigation. They saw through the threat of future sanctions. They endured negative recruiting. And yet they chose to be Canes. It takes a special person to come to Miami. Not everyone can wear the U. Not everyone can take the pressure of playing for the hometown team.
Unlike 2008, this recruiting class will not be known for being the No. 1 class in the nation. That being said, after 4 years at The U, it has the potential to be known for something better. Only time will tell…now, if only the season opener was only days away…
Recruiting Class of 2013, Welcome to The U.
Special thanks goes out to CanesInsight.com for their NSD coverage. Their chat feature was a trip.