Posted: 1:48 am Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Miami weathers the storm of “negative recruiting” 

By Michael Carvell

Miami had 3 straight top 15 classes despite NCAA issues. Those issues are over (AP)

Miami had 3 straight top 15 classes despite NCAA issues. Those issues are over (AP)

Perhaps no other college football program in the country has had to deal with “negative recruiting” in recent years more than Miami.

Miami’s last three recruiting classes were somehow put together with a highly-publicized NCAA investigation looming over the football program. (It was finally settled last November, with the Hurricanes being stripped of nine scholarships but avoiding more serious penalties due to self-imposed sanctions)

Despite the volatile situation on the recruiting trail, Miami amazingly turned in three straight classes ranked in the top 15. It could’ve been even better if “negative recruiting” hadn’t been used frequently against the Hurricanes in battles for elite prospects.

“I think it (negative recruiting) is worse than ever, and clearly we were the poster child for that for three football seasons,” Miami coach Al Golden told the AJC. “Because of the ongoing NCAA investigation, we were literally a sitting duck. And all of competitors had a field day. It was a turkey shoot there for a while.

“It feels good now — not have to defend our program and our university against an NCAA investigation and potential sanctions, but rather to speak about our rich tradition, our national titles, our prominent players in both the College Football Hall of Fame and in the NFL Hall of Fame, our weather, our campus, our educational institution and obviously our community — which is one of the most diverse and rich in culture of anything of really any football program in the country.”

Let the good times roll again at The U? (AP)

Let the good times roll again at The U? (AP)

Golden could relate when South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier recently complained that a Big Ten school was “negative recruiting” against the Gamecocks, making a recruit worry about the local crime rate, among things.

“I think Coach Spurrier hit it on the head,” Golden said. “When you get to that point, you hope that the family and the student-athlete, along with the people that are important to the student-athlete, can see through that. When somebody pulls out that against South Carolina, they are at the point of desperation. You hope that a recruit and his family can see through that.

“But certainly you see all kinds of things in recruiting. And we’ve seen everything imaginable thrown at us the last 2.5 years. I’m real proud of our staff and our student-athletes for not just enduring but being able to move the program forward. We’re not where we want to be, but we’re a far cry from where we were on August, 15, 2011.”

Even though Miami’s NCAA issues were resolved last November, many of the team’s top targets (as with most colleges) for this year’s class had already made college decisions. The Hurricanes will get to see what it’s like to recruit without swirling NCAA issues with the upcoming Class of 2015 prospects.

“What is harder to measure is that these rising seniors now, all they’ve known during their freshman, sophomore and junior years is that the University of Miami has been embroiled in an NCAA investigation in a rather sensational controversy,” Golden said. “While we were a little too late to change the outcome of the 2014 group, at least with the 2015 group we have an entire spring and entire senior year to make sure they understand what our core values are, what our philosophy is, what an education from the University of Miami can afford them, and clearly the benefits of living in a place like Coral Gables — and experiencing college and not just attending. I think that’s important.”

Here’s the rest of the Q&A with Miami coach Al Golden:

How did your rival FSU winning the national championship benefit the ACC’s overall recruiting efforts? “I think that’s the dichotomy there. You’re mentioning the word ‘rival’ in one sentence, but in the latter part you mentioned the benefit to the Atlantic Coast Conference. It was a benefit to the ACC by them being up there all year (in the polls) and ultimately winning a national championship. Obviously, Clemson gave it a chase, and we’ve got to do our part at Miami, just like all the other schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The league is getting better. We certainly have the most densely populated area now in college football from Boston down to Key West … and from Kentucky to Pennsylvania. That’s a densely populated area that has the most television sets. So the future for the Atlantic Coast Conference is bright, and hopefully what Tallahassee did this year is just a glimpse of the future for our conference.”

I know there’s a ridiculous amount of talent in Miami. But have you ever thought about having spring practices in the Northern part of the state for recruiting purposes? “We’ve basically been staying within a two-hour radius. It’s not that we don’t want to go to other parts of the state, but it has really been about our student-athletes. We didn’t want to have them have a two-day trip in the spring. We ask so much out of them year-round that I just didn’t want them to have to be part of a four-hour bus ride, stay overnight somewhere, and then practice the next day. So we’ve been keeping them local, and this year we’re not going to go off campus except for our spring game.”

Chris Herndon

TE Chris Herndon of Norcross (AJC)

You signed two players this year from Georgia, including Norcross High School tight end Chris Herndon. He wasn’t heavily ranked or heavily recruited but you guys didn’t care. You jumped on him right away without much hesitation. What about that? “We had one of our assistant coaches see him in spring ball in individual drills and practice. Not everybody is looking for what we’re looking for in that position for a ‘move’ tight end. Chris is 6-4 and he weighed in at 235 at our camp. So we were attracted to him, and he came down to camp and did a great job. He’s got a great family, and he’s an excellent student. So he’s obviously a guy that we went on. Again, we have an excellent state for recruiting. I think Florida produced 370 Division I players this year. But the fact is if there are kids from Georgia, which is one of our secondary recruiting areas, if there are kids up there that have interest and appreciate the value of a University of Miami education and want to come down and be part of this, certainly we will recruit up there every year.”

What is your sales pitch to any of Georgia’s top 2015 prospects who may be considering Miami? “It’s one of the most unique places in college football. There’s very few places that bring the combination of a top 40 small private education, and couple that with really one of the greatest football traditions in America – more national championships that anybody in the last 30 years. We’ve played for more than anybody. We’ve had as many guys in the NFL as anybody else. So that combination, plus when you look at Coral Gables and the surrounding communities that provide all the amenities of a small-college town — plus you have culture and diversity that only a world-class city like Miami can bring. There are very few places in college football that can afford a young person that type of college experience. That’s what I would say. You can spend four years at a school, or you can experience it. At the University of Miami, you can experience it.”

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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28 comments
Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

I really don't understand why Miami has suffered a decline since their dominance in the 80s and early 90s. And I don't understand why they would have problems recruiting, despite their facilities. It's a pure football school, private education in a great location---certainly better than Athens!

I do know they have some of the most obnoxious fans of any program, for whatever reasons.

Golden certainly seems to have Paul Johnson's number.

HighTechJacket99
HighTechJacket99

Columbia, SC is a real garden spot; a gem of city.  Just visit there and you will see how wonderful a town it really is!


/sarc

NOVAJacket
NOVAJacket

Golden wants everyone to throw Miami a pit party when every bit of it was their own making from Shalala on down and they got off incredibly light because of the NCAA bumbling of the investigation.  Sorry, Al, no tears for you....

dawgs01
dawgs01

i know another ga kid that miami is after.  he played at banneker a few yrs ago and was recruited by louisville out of high school was a four star.  got into some trouble so he left louisville and finally got into a juco in mississippi.  he is gonna end up in the SEC or at Miami it looks like.  had a great yr at itawaba last yr and this yr mark my words he will be one of the top juco kids recrutied in the country.

dawgs01
dawgs01

I think Al Golden has done a great job at Miami.  I think they got him to get them through the rough waters and then get rid of  him but he has proven he and his coaching staff can recruit and coach.  I think he will continue to build the program back to what it is.  i like it when Miami is at there best.  It is good for college football when the florida schools are doing good.

RambleOn84
RambleOn84

Cry me a river.


They CHEATED.  They are CHEATERS.  "Amazingly" they keep recruiting well?  No, it's not "amazing."  They're probably just still cheating.


Programs like Miami, UNC, USCw, and others have proven that it pays to cheat.  The NCAA has no teeth, unless you are a smaller program that doesn't generate a lot of revenue.

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

Miami should have every title stripped. One of the dirtier programs..next to bama. The recent stuff should have garnered major sanctions but the even more corrupt Emmett dropped the ball.

Didn't too of he Miami staff members named in scandal coach at bama the past five or six years? Two schools that love to pay for titles.

Gandolph
Gandolph

Good commercial for the U.  


Golden is a good coach and while Miami has had a history of permissiveness (and, I don't want to hear from the SEC fans, where it isn't any better at your program), I think that he will do it the right way and get Miami back on top and not the third best program in Florida.


What's up with you GT fans?  You seem to trash everything on every blog not about how wonderful GT is. Get a life.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Miami can't even draw flies for home football games. This year UM vs UF in Miami almost the enitre upper deck was empty. Lot of great HS recruits 2 hours away from Da U. As Howard Schnellenberger said..."we're taking these three counties and FSU/UF can have the rest".

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

this article is sickening as though miami is a victim of negetive recruting.  they are in the parthenon of crooked programs along with any school from alabama the only thing they need to overcome is themselves

BCB
BCB

How much did Golden pay the AJC for this article?

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

 Miami has out dated facilities, the Stadium they play in is a 30+ minute drive from Campus, they were hung up in NCAA purgatory for at least 3 year and yet for the last 3 years they still were able to Recruit better than GT and CPJ.

GT fans were on pins & needles hoping and praying that Penn St. would hire Al Golden away from Miami  because they  felt that they way he was running their program, even with the NCAA hovering , that CPJ would never beat Miami as long as Golden was there.

Miami has much worse facilities than GT, but it was minimized because a guy like Golden EMBRACES RECRUITING whereas a guy like CPJ "hates recruiting".

Good for Miami, kinda amazing they can find a guy like Al Golden at about $1 Million LESS than what CPJ makes, yet many CPJ apologists feel that CPJ is "the best  that we can do at GT".

Even with guys like Saban and Urban Meyer earning ridiculous amounts of money I have always felt that GT FB could find a better HC for LESS than what CPJ makes.

Vandy found James Frankiln that set their course for their FB future, Miami found Al Golden, Stanford found Shaw, ND found Brina Kelly, yet the CPJ apologists come up with all kinds of crazy metrics to make excuses for CPJ's poor performance as GT 's HC.

GTLee
GTLee

Why is Donald Duck the mascot for a team called Hurricanes?

SLR
SLR

Hurricanes have always been and will always be--------THUGS!!

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

Aww poor Hurricanes, you have a few hooker boats for players and recruits and everybody bashes you.


It's just not fair

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

In the last paragraph Golden conveniently forgot to mention Miami has the most probations.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

I think the Canes got themselves a winner Coach. Glad he didnt go back to Ped St.

RambleOn84
RambleOn84

@dawgs01  

I agree with the first part (that they had originally intended that he would not last long).  I'm not sure I agree he is a great coach.  With all of the talent they have, I haven't been that impressed with their performance overall.


As for him being a great recruiter, I think Archie Bunker could be a "great recruiter" at Miami.

LondonG
LondonG

@AlternativeDawg  

Most stupid post I have ever read.  You are either very young or very undedicated, or both......

Joeblow118
Joeblow118

@MikeBanning  CPJ and Golden make about the same amount, Golden's salary is around 2-2.5 million (most likely the upper range).  As well as I don't know where you're getting that Miami has outdated facilities, they just opened up a 15 million dollar athletic complex this past year, and are currently raising 7 million for a new turf practice facility.

Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB
Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB

Wiener is showing his true colors. And to think he actually poses as a real GT fan on the blogs, what a fraud. Talk about getting a life. Yours is all about bashing GT. And I mean that is all you got! Wow! I'm actually starting to feel really sad for you. Well okay, not really but I do find it hard to believe that there are losers in this world that can't find more worth while things do with their time on this planet.

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@Joeblow118 @MikeBanning  

Al Golden was at $1.7MM per year when CPJ was at $2.5MM per year and that about a year ago, so unless Golden got a new Contract that i haven't heard about then I don't think that annual bumps could get Golden to $2.2 to $2.5MM that fast.

Miami is notoriously cheap when it comes to paying FB coaches.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

I always respect the comments of a fanbase that has  won N-O-T-H-I-N-G since  Saturday Nght Fever.