I’ve got to confess, I almost didn’t write a National Signing Day article. I tried to put pen to paper (really finger to key but that doesn’t have the same ring to it), and I was stumped. Do I play up the fact that Miami signed a VERY GOOD recruiting class? This class of 26 includes 12 4/5 star athletes,11 studs from ESPN’s Top 300, and is ranked No. 10 overall by ESPN. Or do I bring up the fact that the Canes swung and missed on some top tier talent that not only chose against Miami, but rather chose in favor of FSU? (cough … Cook, Lane, Featherston … cough, cough) Do I bring focus on the fact that as of late last night, one of the jewels in Miami’s class, Chad Thomas was wavering on his commitment and Golden’s work to keep him in Miami is nothing short of a miracle? Or do I point out that Valentine dropped his commitment after Golden flirted with Penn State? (Note: I think Valentine was gone anyway and unfairly used Penn State as an excuse).
The point is, no matter which direction I choose to highlight, someone will say “yeah, but.” Even I have been flip-flopping back and forth.
Perhaps the best way to describe this Miami Class is by using the stock market as a metaphor. Let’s say you set out to buy a stock. You do your research and you choose a solid historical blue-chip company like Boeing. Boeing is a great company. Boeing recorded $81.70 billion in sales in 2013 and ranked No. 30 on the Fortune 500. Boeing recently came out with its brand new 787 Dreamliner jet and money is literally flying in the door. You buy Boeing stock (Symbol BA). Then the day comes for Boeing to announce its earnings. Boeing states that its fourth-quarter profit rose 26% and announces that it predicts revenue of $87.5 billion to $90.5 billion for 2014 – roughly $10 billion more than 2013. What happens to your stock? It drops. It drops not because Boeing is a bad company (far from it), but it drops because the experts predicted that the revenue would be even higher.
Coach Golden and Co. pulled in a very good recruiting class (think Boeing’s announced earnings). But, Canes fans (stock market experts) were expecting an even better class.
Heck, Assistant Athletic Director, Chris Yandle felt the need to take to Twitter in defense of this top 10 class:
Valid or not, Canes fans set a very high bar when it comes to their on the field expectations. In previous interviews, Coach Golden has repeatedly stated that he refuses to lower that bar. This results in a mixed-bag of emotions surrounding a top 10 recruiting class.
My view is as follows. This class is great. In an ideal world, would I have liked to have picked up a couple of the guys that chose to go elsewhere? Absolutely. But let me be very clear – I would not trade a single player that signed with Miami today for any of them. These kids are family. Welcome to the family. Welcome to the insanely high expectations. Welcome to being champions. Miami Class of 2014, Welcome to The U.