If there is one positive for the Miami Hurricanes during the pandemic it has been their recruiting efforts. Head coach Manny Diaz has the Hurricanes with a top 10 recruiting class according to 247 Sports. While recruiting rankings are nice and add excitement among the fan base, Miami is doing something more important. As the Hurricanes on-field struggles have continued, the top players in South Florida have left for other programs. Despite coming off of a seven loss season with an embarrassing loss to Louisiana Tech in the bowl game, Miami is still rolling in recruiting. Currently the Hurricanes join Ohio State and Alabama as the only schools with multiple five star prospects committed.
Miami Hurricanes Recruiting;Taking Back South Florida
Best of The Best
It was Howard Schnellenberger that famously coined the term “State of Miami” referring to his recruiting strategy. That philosophy laid the foundation in the ’80s that would bring Miami several national championships. Even as times as evolved, South Florida remains a hotbed for talent and battleground for intense recruiting wars. The Hurricanes now have to fight some of the nation’s best program to keep that talent from leaving. It has been eight years since the Hurricanes have landed the best player in either Broward or Dade county. That streak looks to come to an end as Miami has secured the commitment of James Williams, the top ranked player in the state. The 6-5, 218 pound safety was long rumored to be a lock to Georgia but decided on the hometown Hurricanes. His commitment gave the Hurricanes a big recruiting win over an SEC power. As the best player in Broward county, his commitment shocked many nationally but also help create a wave.
The Hurricanes also nabbed the commitment of Leonard Taylor, who many have as the best player in Miami-Dade county. Long thought to be a Florida lean for much of the process, Diaz and his staff made up significant ground. The 6-4, defensive tackle’s commitment helps give Miami a future chaos creator in the interior. Miami has used the pandemic to stress the importance of family and community to the local players and it seems to be paying off.
Loyal To The Soil
While Miami has grabbed headlines by grabbing two five star prospects in their backyard, they’ve recreated the allure of keeping the best talent home. There is a clear emphasis on locking down the South Florida area and keeping the talent together. In fact of the 21 commitments, only three of the players currently play high school football outside of South Florida. Two of those players also happen to be originally from Miami and has family in the area. Thomas Davis is the lone prospect without ties to the area and he plays in South Georgia at Lowndes high school.
One of the more masterful things Miami has done with this recruiting class is identifying peer to peer relationships. The majority of this class has played with at least one other member in the class either in youth football or in high school. That has made it easier for players and parents to feel comfortable with the decision to stay home for college. Another underrated point in this recruiting class is the number of players that come from championship high school programs. These players are used to winning and look to carry that tradition to the University of Miami. The Hurricanes have four players committed from Miami Northwestern, a program that has won three consecutive state championships. Chaminade Madonna high school is another program that has won three straight titles and Miami has a trio of players from there.
In a time with plenty uncertainty as to what will happen this season, Diaz has done a good job in recruiting. He’s managed to get some of the best talent in his backyard to believe in the program even after a six win season. It’s also noteworthy that Miami has been able to better Florida in securing the best talent within the state. Even after a New Year’s Six bowl win, it is Miami that has the most local talent committed. This is rather unusual as the whoever is the “king” of the state usually does the better job of landing the top prospects from the state.