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Crucial time for recruiting

There is no time more important for a program to be at its best than during the peak of recruiting season. The University of Miami entered its stretch run this year by firing its coach and sending a bunch of assistants, many who likely will not be here, to go out and bring in a strong recruiting class to help salvage the future.It doesn't exactly sound like a great plan. But the truth is Miami can still salvage its future and stay away from suffering what likely will be another down year somewhere down the road if this administration can hire quality with some quickness.

Miamihurricanes_1Recruits at this point can tell you whatever they want. Believe me, I've found that out the hard way covering preps in this town for more than 7 years. North Miami Beach offensive lineman Max Jean-Gilles had me convinced he was going to be a Hurricane. On Signing Day, he pulled out a Georgia cap from underneath a table and made me feel stupid. I got over it. UM didn't. I'm sure they would have loved to have Jean-Gilles, an All-American guard at Georgia, opening holes instead of some of the guys they had there during what's turned out to be three bad seasons by UM standards in a row.

Nowadays, the recruiting game has changed a bit. Guys like Jean-Gilles make their decisions before the holidays so they can announce them on TV. The guys who really aren't that special wait until National Signing Day. The Hurricanes have missed on certain key players the last couple of years, especially locally... Davin Joseph (Oklahoma), Nate Salley (Ohio State), Quintero Frierson (Rutgers), Dwayne Bowe (LSU), Elvis Dumervil (Louisville). This year, in all honesty, they can't afford to. The top athletes in Dade and Broward this season are solid.

The fact the Hurricanes don't have any commitments from any Dade or Broward player at this point is disturbing. I know the Hurricanes hit an all-time low at 6-6 this season, well, for at least the people in my generation. But I talk to these kids all the time. As much as Northwestern RB Antwain Easterling may love the Gators right now, the truth is you can hear in his voice he'd love to be just like his cousin, Willis McGahee, tearing up the Orange Bowl turf and being a star in front of his friends and family. Ditto for St. Thomas Aquinas safety Major Wright and Homestead WR Alphonso Bryant, two elite players.

This is the time when whoever ends up staying at Miami has to make a serious push to keep the local guys here. Not next month when the new coach comes in and the players UM fought so hard for outside of Florida have already picked USC, Texas, Florida and Tennessee. Now is the time, when the Hurricanes have to take care of the local guys and actually make them feel like they aren't being treating like a last resort. If they don't, I fear whoever ends up with this coaching job will have two seasons to make up.

I_tomlemmingOK, I'm done yapping. I interviewed quite a few local players in the last couple of days, the father UM commitment Nick Fanuzzi, as well as CSTV.com's Tom Lemming, a recruiting guru who has been at this thing for years and told me he thinks UM has to have their coaching search finalized by Dec. 10 or likely faces another terrible recruiting season. Lemming is great. We talked about plenty of things including the coaching search, recruits UM should target, their current commitments and who he thinks will get away, etc. Anyway, I've posted all of the audio interviews in our audio section. Click on the link and listen in if you have time. In the next few days as I have conversations with coaches and recruits from across the nation, I plan on sharing them with you so you can here the people themselves react to the questions.

Here's what I would like you to react to:
1. Of the current UM coaching staff, who would you like to see retained?
2. Are there any local recruits you would like to see UM go after?
3. Now that we've seen a ton of candidates' names get tossed into this thing, who do you think absolutely has to be crossed off the list?

Also, before I wrap this up. Just have to send my condolences to UM men's basketball coach Frank Haith, whose nephew was the 23-year old bachelor who was shot and killed by police in New York Saturday night. Sad story for the Haith family, but yet another chapter in what has turned out to be one of the worst seasons for off the field incidents for members of the University of Miami family I can remember.


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1. The one coach who we can not afford to lose is DC Randy Shannon. Our best D-player, J.Beason already said that he will bolt for the NFL if Shannon is not back. The new coach will have a up hill battle if he fires the one coach who kept us in most of the games this year. He will lose the support of the players and local HS coaches.

2. Who better than us should know about the talent in the state. Rutger has over 20 players from FLA on its roster. Pitt and WV always come to FLA for players. If UM doesn't win the battle for FLA we will have another tough year. UM should be the first choice for the best players in South FLA. This is the way we have won in the past. If it is not broken; you don't have to fix it. I understand that we can't keep them all but we should get the lion's share.

I agree with Russell 100%. Coach Shannon is got to be part of the package deal. That coach and his staff is the only reason we didn't get blown out every game. We faced really good teams this year and most were kept well below their averages.

As far as recruiting for the U goes. You have to mine you fields. This area is a gold mine. South Florida is where we breed speed and skill. Every team in the country wants the kids in south Florida. Back in the day they didn't have much of a chance, but under the Coker era the mine is now open to the public. The new guy has to make it a private club again. Kids from out-of-state used to be flattered if invited; now the kids in Miami's back yard are the ones who feel lucky, if they don't feel disrespected by UM waiting so long to make a late move.

I don't like Barry Alvarez, Steve Spurrier or Mark Richt.
Barry has been out of the game for a while and I don't know if he is the kind of recruiter we need. What has Richt done in GA? Berlin was enough Gator for me. Steve would spend most of the time playing golf anyway.

I like Schiano but Miami would have to commit to spending a ton of money on facilities. That was job one at Rutgers. to quote James Earl Jones... Build it and they will come. The OB in all her magical glory is in fact a crappy venue in desperate need of a face lift. The Botox just doesn't hold up anymore. Even "small schools" have LED displays; we have light bulbs in 3 colors that only work 80% of the time. And the benches are awful.

The state of emergency is the bottom line. The Broken U isn't enough anymore.

Go 'Canes

first of all, lemming is a moron. there is a reason espn got rid of him. look at his past lists, they are the least accurate out of any of the services.

second, beason is NOT our best defensive player. in order to be our best defensive player, you need to make the sure tackles and not go for the bone-jarring hit every time. kenny philips, meriweather, atkins, campbell are all far better players than beason. hell i would say sharpton was the better lb once he had a game under his belt. we could use his leadership, but then again the leaders on this years team clearly were not too effective.

as far as the coaches go, it all depends who we bring in. if we have a high scoring, high octane offensive coach then keep shannon. if not, then adios. i think we absolutely must keep cristobal. i think we definitely need to keep olson as well...only kidding. palermo has been a good coach. walton is not bad either. i would not mind seeing a new strength coach brought in b/c our OL is weak and fat.

the problem with this entire staff has been their mis-identification of what south florida players to target. we let way too many players that would kill for a miami offer get away in favor of national players that were either not that good or stringing us along. shannon was a lazy recruiter and that is why i dont want to see him elevated to head coach.

the argument about facilities is crap. the players dont care about the lack of monitor, we do. it didnt prevent us from landing some studs a few years back. plus, if our workout facilities were so bad, then why do so many nfl players come here in the off-season? we need harder working coaches who can actually identify and coach talent - bottom line.

Miami needs to keep not only Randy Shannon but Mario Cristobal. Mario is very crucial in Miami recruiting. Last year the NY Jets were trying to hire him and now FIU is trying also.

We most definitely need to keep R. Shannon, but only as the DC. Why aren't we looking at some OC's from the NFL, look at what Charlie Wiess (sp) has done for Notre Dame. Immediately turned the program around, recruits wanted to go play for him just because of the promise he brought and respect he demanded from previous acheivements.

As far as local recruits, I sure hope we start showing these kids the attention the deserve and once recieved from previous U coaches. The way to restore the "swagger" at the U is by bringing in local talent who have a sense of pride and know the Miami tradition well.

Randy Shannon if your reading this please dont leave for Texas you belong here!!!! No that I got that out of my system.. The hurricanes have a good coach that they can hire in Randy Shannon we hire him and use the remaining money on a facelift for the OB i know that it wouldnt be enough for all of the work but its a start. Randy Shannon has been a hurricane for 10+ years and who better knows how to rebuild the "U" then him... Our recruits need to know that Miami always has the spotlight weither its good or bad so just because we have had a mediocre season doesnt mean we are gonna stay down forever. And also we need to keep Fla talent in Fla. Noel Devine was wanting to go to Miami and then Coker said "he wouldnt fit into our system" What was he thinking? Now hes considering out of state programs. Come on Donna and Paul dont get somebody outside of the program to coach the canes he's right there his name is RANDY SHANNON please give him the job..

Why are continueing to talk about this?

Shannon is the best coach out there!

Greg S.- One good year in the big east does not make him a solid coach. I dont want anyone from Davis's staff

Reicht-His teams have underachieved since he got there

Barry A-Hello he retired from coaching last year!

Jim Levitt-See Greggy S

Shannon will win the national title as a head coach either at the U or somewhere elese. Dont screw this up fat boy, you should have been canned with LC.

Actually, most of the assistants should be kept, though that won't happen. The "common denominator" (problem) from the past several years is now gone. Shannon should surely be kept - unless he bolts. Olson is a good OC, and should be given another year now that he would be out from under Coker's offensive-controlling thumb. He came highly recommended and also did well here in the early 90's under another HC. He is taking undeserved blame this year. Palermo and Cristobal should also be kept. No assistants brought in by a new HC would be half as good for the U than them.

This whole aregument is wrong. The man who should get this gig, has a PhD in Educational Psych. Knows how to motivate, develop QB's, coordinate Offenses like nobody else, and is a great coach. Also, he is Asian and "ruv's flied lice". Norm Chow come on down. Save this sinking ship and win a few for yourself. Randy - see ya. Go cut yer teeth elsewhere. Don't let us find out yer another Larry promo.
Greg - Win the BE 3 yrs running, then we talk.
Stoops - Get another raise, you ain't coming here.
Spurrier - either offer him or don't. Don't ask him to interview, he doesn't do that.

FIU should offer Randy, its a great starting spot.

Tom Lemming? didn't he try to get Myron Rolle to put Notre Lame on his list, after he committed to FSU? didn't ESPN drop him cause he's a fraud?

I hope you can do better than Tom Lemming.

If you want the real scoop on SoFla H.S. ballers, contact Larry Blustein. He knows what's up. When UM dominates on the field, it means they've dominated recruiting SFLA. Hopefully the next coach realizes that...

ok first and formost, those who think its the "U" responsibility to keep up the OB dont know much b/c thats a miami dade owned facility and to get any type of work done on any miami-dade owned facility is hard as hell. i agree something should be done about the OB but the U needs to get MIAMI-DADE COUNTY to help cause thats their facility. second, coaching... shannon is a great defensive cordinator but i dont think after the last coaching sinario where we elevated from within will help shannons case.. in any case i think shannon will prolly end up at fiu.. just a gut feeling... and finally , recruiting... i agree w/ everyone who has commented about it, the U needs to do what the U use to do best.. keep the talent at home and dont let anyone else dip into our Kool-aid. what the U needs to do is put up one of those electric dog fences and give any coach thats not from miami a collar that way when they come down here they get a shock and know better than to come down here. greg shiano is the first one that should get one mailed to him. what was the number 20 miami player.... thats just wrong. butch had it right where he put up that fence and kept everyone in down here other than that... GO CANES


Rutgers actually has 21 players from the state of Florida; with 11 from Dade

Randy Shannon for president!!!!!!!!!!! He has my vote, Not that it matter.

thanxs russell that should further emphisize my point

I'd like us to keep Cristobal. He gives us just about the only recruiting edge we've got. If Shannon gets passed up for HC, which is likely because he has no HC experience, he's outta here.

Recruiting: We don't need anymore RBs. Get OL, WR, LB and QB.

Definitely don't want to see Spurrier or Alvarez coaching next year. And I think Shannon would be in over his head. We need a younger, hungry coach eager to make a name for himself.

I think that bringing back Don Soldinger for starters would immediately help. He recruited and coached many if not all of the premier running backs at the U since he joined the U staff 1995 after he won 2 State Titles coaching Southridge High. talk about homegrown..... Does this recruiting and coaching job sound OK??? James Jackson (Glades Central), Edgerrin James(Immokalee HS) Najeh (Central HS), Payton( St. Viator/ Chicago), Portis (Gainesville HS), Mcgahee (Central HS), Gore (Gables HS), Ty Moss (Ely HS), Baby J (Immokalee), ......Whew....talk about recruiting and coaching local talent. In fact, A testament to Soldinger's talents as a coach is the fact that he has produced five of the six running backs in UM's 77-year football history to rush for 1,000 yards. In years past, Miami was known as QUarterback U. Recently that changed towards Running Back U. This was like a factory. Let's not Start With Art Kehoe....My God, how many offensive Lineman had he produced and sent to the NFL under his tenure???? 20 seasons working with the offensive line at UM, Kehoe produced six players (Brett Romberg in 2002, Bryant McKinnie in 2001, Joaquin Gonzalez in 2000, Richard Mercier in 1999, K.C. Jones in 1996 and Leon Searcy in 1991) who received first-team All-America honors, plus 18 more that went on to play in the NFL. Kehoe was on the staff of all five UM football national championships. Oh don't forget Mike Sullivan, Bibla, Romberg and Vernon Carey. Well enough of the history lesson. Bring these coaches back and watch how fast we return to glory!!!!! You can bankon it!!!!!

first of all, caneinohio, before you go on about noel devine, maybe you should check the news. he has been in 2 fights this season and now is not allowed to play in an allstar game. i am sure that is someone we really need to take in our program, unless we are planning on another bench-clearing brawl sometime soon.

second, harry - where can i get what you are smoking? olson is good? while i agree coker may have limited him, he certainly did not make him call 10 wr screens per game. he SUCKS. when we hired him, i thought well it can get no worse than werner - WRONG.

shannon is good at what he does, so long as we have a pressing offensive coach at the top. in that case, shannon's defense can stay back. however, whatever happened to the big play or crucial turnover aside from the int vs bc? not impressed with shannon when he does not have top talent running around. our cbs sucked and he just could not adapt. also, our lbs this year were horrendous - he was the coach for them. teach beason how to tackle PLEASE!

Well let me react to the original post. Of the current staff THE most important coach is Mario Cristobal. He is our best recruiter, by far, there isn't even a close second. And he is passionate about the U.

Next, which local recruits would I like to see UM go after? Well top of the list is RB Antwain Easterling his signing will be the dominoe that starts the local kids falling for the U. As a matter of fact, I'd probably sign at least 2-3 players off that Northwestern Team, just for kicks. To cement the pipeline. Because that team is a JR heavy powerhouse. Next recruit I'd focus on is Major Wright, S, the best defensive player in SFl this yr. Next WR Alphonso Bryant, Homestead best WR in SFL, next Deonte Thompson best WR in the state and he is from down the road 2 hours away at Glades Central of Belle Glade. Next I would set my sighs on Doug Wiggins from NMB, "athlete", QB, DB, RB, KR this kid does it all, much like Roscoe, and Devin, but a more complete Footballer. I'd say that is a good list if UM seals the deal on these kids, they WILL have a GREAT recruting season.Because the other local kids will jump on the bandwagon.

Crossed off the list of Coaching candidates? No one, not one! Wee'll, maybe with the exception of those who invited themselves. You know, they haven't received anything from the U but come out and say they aren't interested anyway. I think I would call a press conf. and say, "well we aren't interested in you either."...But other than that, keep everyone ON the list hell the U has a consultant who is much more knowledgable than we are looking for the BEST choice. So I say keep everyone in the bag and may the best man win. Here is my vote: Peterson the HC for Boise State. he was the Off. Co. of that offensive machine for a few years at Boise st. before being named HC last year, and all he did was get undefeated and into a BCS bowl.

Miami needs a coach who will recruit State of Florida players first and every other state for QB's. Look at Texas, 99% of their players are from Texas. Todd Mcshayne(ESPN) had the nerve to say South Carolina is a better program then Miami. With the right coach, Miami will be back in the top ten in two years, even maybe next year.

Canes Fan since 78

Whomever get's the H.C. Job needs to do like Butch Davis did. Put A fence around Dade and Broward counties Call it the State of Miami and sign all 25 of his scholarships from that area every year. It worked well for Davis. Eleven 1st rounders in his recruiting classes. WOW.

Have to agree w/ the last to comments said. lock up the home town recruits keep them here cement the line down here and if need be go out of state for QB only... everything else is down here even QB'S you can get down here (Tim tebow is good and that’s saying something for me to say cause I just don’t like a damn gator besides my cousin) as for the coaching I have to say anyone that can recruit. The charm of Boise state hc coming here sounds pretty but you got to make it known to him that losing is not an option especially to FSU AND VT. You lose to them you don’t come back and in 5 years you need a national title. A title every 5 years and be in the running every year. Cause lets face it down here in Miami that’s what it is whether it’s fair or not that’s what it is

Keep Randy Shannon and the defensive staff intact. Add a LB Coach (Michael Barrow?) so Shannon can assume the HC. Keep Cristobal and Mosley on the offensive side- maybe Todd Berry... maybe not. Bring back Soldinger. Find Gary Stevens and put him back up in the both as OC and Associate Head Coach. The man is the right man for the job (Shannon and Gary Stevens) and will do a great job. Both know this program. Both know South Florida. Both will get U results.

If Greg Schiano does not become the next Miami head coach; the job should go to Coach Shannon. He represents the U. He played here and has been the best part of the coaching staff for years. His defense always played tough, intense, and sometimes dominent. The young south florida recruits would love to play for a succesful black coach.---
The U should offer a scholoriship to EVERY NORTHWESTERN senior and junior. They have the miami mentality and they are the most talented high school team i have seen in years.----

Lets turn the U back to where it belongs, dominating college football.


I hate to say it but you people are idiots. Our defense is good, but not great, and has consistently declined over the last three years. The best defensive units we've had were the guys recruited by Schiano (NOT Shannon) before he left; those were the '00, '01, and '02 units. SHANNON IS NOT THE RIGHT GUY FOR THE JOB NOW! It is not a big deal AT ALL if he is let go. His national recruiting is abysmal. He is not the leader this team needs. We need fresh blood. End of story!!!

Josh A:

We understand if you love Schiano but don't knock Shannon to build him up in the process. Go to Rutgers website and count the number of players who he recruited that are from the state of FLA. I will save yo the time and tell you the number #21. We all would not mind if he came back but your statement makes no sense if you look at the stats and hints of racism. Did Schiano win the Assistant Coach of the Year Award? Miami as a whole does not recruit well outside the state of Florida. Don't blame that on Shannon. What outstanding defense player did Schiano recruit that did not come out of the state of Florida besides (Reed). We don't have to go out of the state for talent. I am saying that we shouldn't recruit the best nationally...but realistically.....is it required for us to be great again. So save the name calling and show your true colors because they obvious are not Orange & Green.

Mark Richt has won 3 SEC East Titles, two SEC titles, won 60 games in 6 years and finished in the Top 10, 4 of the 6 years as coach including 13-1 in 2002. His worst record, 2001 and this year, have resulted in 8 win seasons. This year he has done it with a true freshman at QB during a rebuilding year. He was FSU's offensive coordinator for years - look at the difference there since he left and he played QB at the U. He can recruit and has won big games on the road. If the choice was him or Schiano...I'd take Richt.

First of all we need to hire Schiano. Yes he only won the big east once but since he started at rutgers their record has gotten better every year. He is a motivator and thats what we need. He maid those second rate players that no major team looked at go 10-1. Thats coaching. I didn't see Shannon's defense stopping Louisville but I saw those throwaways from rutgers stop them He needs to stay at DC and he needs to tighten up. His defenses has slipped since we havent had those monsters like we used to. His defensive recruits have been terrible lately. I've seen guys(Romeo Davis, Glenn Cook, and T. Gooden)start on this team and have sucked. These guys wouldn't have been offered scholarships 6 years ago.Why is it again that Willie Williams wasn't playing over these guys? Second hurry up and fire the OC Olson. That was the worst offense that i have ever seen in all my years watching the U. 2 yard routes are not what we do here. Forget about all these coaches with this spread offence crap. Remember we are the U. We need to get back to a pro style offense when we used to line up and kick ass. Remember those days it wasn't too long ago.These spread offenses are for programs that don't have the talent to be successful running a pro style against good teams. With a Schiano hire and a good OC like a Gary Stevens we will be contending for a title real soon. We definately need someone with UM ties that knows what is expected here and had been part of winning here.
Coker should have been gone last year. He did a terrible job with the program that Butch left him. Yeah he won a national title with those studs but so could you and I. He wasn't the OC or DC so he did nothing. Look where the program is 5 years later and it is sad. His entire staff was horrible at recruiting. We were not a hard sell to ballers after he won a title and barely lost one the next year. Lastly we need to offer a scholarship to the best quarterback in the state the junior at Northwestern.

First of all, I appreciate the great comments for Shannon. If he decides to go then see ya. Bye, Bye. It won't bother me a t all. They need to bring in a real head coach that will surpass any other offense in the NCAA. Tom Leach is the perfect one to bring in. He is not just a maybe but he has already proven his genious at Texas Tech. Imagine what he could do with the Miami quality players. WOW. Our defense will be fine. Look at the recruits we have been getting. They are predominately defense. Our defense is well respected and we get the best players to sign with out any problem every year. It is the offense that has lost the games for us. It is really sad when your defense allows an average of 11 points a game and you still lose 6 games for the season. How is this possible. You have a better chance of winning the lottery. It is un heard of. Shannon needs to stay but if he wants to get upset and leave becasue he gets passed over then crew em'. We will find a defensive coor. A head coach is much harder to come by. History speaks for itself.

why are you people backing Randy Shannon? He is a lazy recruiter. He is our LB coach and DC but yet we DO NOT have one LB that has committed to Miami. Coker recruited most of the defensive recruits in this class, aka Chris Perry, Van Dyke before he decommitted, Damien Berry so what exactly is Shannon doing. When UM wants to send it's best recruiter out they send Cristobal not Shannon. And you want this guy to be the head coach. What kind of talent would he bring in?

Scaw; u have absolutley NO football knowledge. Shannons defensive schemes were tought to him by sciano. There were so many injuries to th LB core this year, and they still were the most consistent group on the D.Miami has a lot of talent returning on offense and defense. Shannon is the only coach that was able to motivate his players to play up to and above thier potential. If you dont believe me as Jon Beason. If Jeff Fisher does not become the U's coach then the BEST man for the job is Shannon. The local recruits would love to play for a coach born and raised in the county of dade. Once again We need to offer a schoarship to every senior and junior at Northwestern HIgh.

TIN, first of all get a dictionary so you can learn how to spell. Nowhere in my earlier post did I criticize Shannon's effort as a defensive coordinator. You never responded to the lack of success he has had as a recruiter. I repeat we do not have one LB committed to UM and he is the LB coach. If Shannon is the man for the job then you would think he would have some influence over the defensive players that may decommitt because Coker was fired. The truth looks to be as if the defensive recruits were coming to play for Coker not Shannon.

Scaw, I cant spell. Numbers,football, and women is what i know. The LB core is young, the only playmaker on D the U is losing is Meriweather. Beasons words; " if shannon is not back next year i will go pro". that statement says alot. Read inbetween the lines SCAW.A young succesfull black miami guy will recruit SF great. U make it seem like he don't try. As a head coach it is all on him; b4 it was on Coker. I coach 6A high school football down here; northwestern is the truth. Their players would rather play for shannon than coker. That is inside info.

TIN, I am sure you are a HS coach and you have insider info right when you can't even spell. If Beason left it would not bother me a bit, he plays like Leon Williams trying to make one arm tackles and overrunning almost every play. If defensive players like Major Wright wanted to play for Shannon then they would but he is going to go to Ohio St. probably. I wish Shannon the best because I want to win but your "insider info" looks like garbage.

This is a great day 2 b a CANE!!!!! We now have a coach that will succed for decades @ the U. SCAW read Barry Jacksons article bout Shannon. Stop the Shannon bashing. this message is from the most important coach on the field; an offensive line coach. I'm through wit you

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