New FIU football coach Ron Turner's not stupid. He knows current recruits were still in their action figure stage the last time he sat in a recruit's home to close the deal. He knows he doesn't have much of a reputation in South Florida among high school coaches.
That's why Turner said to me Thursday night he knows his staff has to include some "guys with Florida connections, guys high school coaches can trust." He also said he wants a diverse staff in every way.
Among the calls from Dade and Broward Turner's probably getting as I'm writing this, he should probably check for a couple of numbers. One belongs to Central High coach and Northwestern High graudate Telly Lockette. Lockette's Rockets just won their second state title in three years, have three consecutive state title game appearances and would've had four but for a semifinal loss to eventual state champion Miramar in 2009.
Granted, Lockette's working with an overabundance of talent at Central and he wouldn't have the same talent advantage at FIU. But he'll be able to help recruit that talent as well as anyone.
The same could be said for Corey Bell, an Edison High and South Carolina defensive back who coached at his high school alma mater for 10 years before going to the University of Miami as part of Randy Shannon's staff. Bell's at American High now.