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The Circus Is Leaving Town

Sound the alarm again! Ely cornerback Patrick Johnson does not want to be a Hurricane anymore. In the great words of my all-time favorite SNL character Matt Foley, played by the late great Chris Farley: "Well, la-dee-freakin-da!"

Can't say anyone should be surprised by this. In fact, I think Johnson, a five-star.com Rivals recruit and one heck of a cornerback, deserves some sort of an award. Maybe, Hurricane Recruit Hustler of The Year. Not once in the decade I've been covering recruiting in South Florida -- and I had a doozy with Willie Williams -- has a recruit created more of a stir/confusion among locals than PJ.

When he committed to UM in April, he flashed The U every chance he got. He told the local media everything Canes fans wanted to hear. And then he told the media from LSU everything they wanted to hear. And then he told the Florida folks the same thing. And then he told the FSU people he was going there. And then everyone wasn't sure where he was going. And then it turned into the greatest mystery in South Florida this football season.

I'm not trying to put Patrick Johnson down. After all, he's an 18-year old with a bright future, which he said today will no longer include the University of Miami. And, every kid deserves a chance to enjoy the recruiting process whichever way they see fit. Want to fool everyone? It's your right. Johnson obviously loved the limelight as did his family throughout this process.

But I hope this PJ saga will teach everyone involved a lesson.

To the fans, I hope it reminds you not to hang onto every word a teenager tells you. I hope this shows you this recruiting process -- this need to know which way a kid is leaning when he wakes up and then when goes to sleep is absurd. It ultimately means nothing until they sign a letter of intent and until they prove they have the grades and the test scores to get in.

To the kids and potential recruits who hope to follow in the footsteps of Johnson, I hope the outrage pouring out of bitter, local UM fans today will teach you that when you are in the public limelight, telling people what they want to hear and being dishonest is never good. Nobody likes liars. Johnson could have very well been a confused teenager in this whole process. His heart could have been with the Canes, but his interest in other places. But there is no need to be committed to any school if you aren't sure. It's OK to say I don't know. There certainly isn't a need to go on the radio or TV and pledge allegiance to someone when you know nothing is further from the truth. It makes you look like a liar.

The media isn't void of taking some heat here either. After all, there is a hungry machine that needs to be fed. The interest in high school recruiting is hitting all-time record highs. At The Miami Herald alone, the most read stories I've written in the past few months all pertain to the Hurricanes recruiting efforts (those Northwestern player profiles were huge hits). God knows .Com's have cashed in big-time with this recruiting talk. But I hope in some respect maybe this PJ saga will teach us all to settle down a little bit. News should only be news when something actually happens or is going to happen. I'm not perfect. I've fielded questions before on this blog about what-ifs and what-nots plenty (it's what this blog is for). But I think it's safe to say we've all gone a little overboard with recruiting -- the fans, the kids and the media. And maybe this PJ saga finally showed us all how bizarre it is.

Good luck PJ -- wherever you end up.

Comments

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For all Canes fans:

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/

Happy New Year from Canespace!

Show that kid the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$and he will put on your colors!!!!!!!

Also,anybody thats angry/madd about losing one recruit isnt very knowledgeable about cane history,one player wont make or break this program especially a corner. (1)Corner is the easiest position on the field to step right in and play,meaning you dont need high ranked recruits at corner to get the job done,when we were at our best we took non-highly ranked corners like Mike Rumph,Phillip Buchannon,Alphonso Marshall etc,none of these guys were 5 star recruits and all three played in the NFL or are stll playing. (2)If the canes sign 2 or 3 corners no matter who they are they will benefit from playing behind the #1 LB and #1 DT for their whole career's,a corner is only as good as his front seven because if they get pressure a corner's job becomes that much easier. Randy stated that he only wants guys who want to be at the U,basically saying that he shouldnt have to sell himself or the school,it sells itself. Obviously PJ doesnt want to be here,and his spin to the media speaks volume's about his desire to be here,remember no matter what he says we didnt pull his scholarship so he could be here if he wanted too and thats the bottom line,getting shown love or no love for that matter shouldnt be a factor if UM was truely in his heart.

PATRICK JOHNSON IS A SOFT CUP CAKE PERIOD JUST LOOK AT HIM!

WHO WANTS A KID WHO LIKES SOAP OPERAS AND DRAMA.

AND FOR THOSE WHO ARE DEFENDING HIM, PLEASE SPARE ME, THE KID PLAYED MIAMI LIKE A VIOLIN.

I UNDERSTAND IF HE DID NOT WANT TO COME HERE BUT DONT BE A CHICK ABOUT IT AND PLAY IT OUT LIKE A MOVIE ON LIFETIME.

let's talk about the U
Who do you guys think or want to be the next DC?
I would like Michael Barrow.

More important 'recruit' than PJ is a dynamic Def Coordinator.

Jake the Make Wieclaw coming to yoUr team!! Man it gets better.

Manny, you on tonight for the your Q&A?

Hope you can shed light on the early class coming in. One by one, the gaping holes are being filled big time. LB, Field Goal Kicker, LB crew... CB is still questionable. Lots of time still till signing day in Feb.

let's talk about the U
Who do you guys think or want to be the next DC?
I would like Michael Barrow.

Posted by: big mo | January 01, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Same thoughts here big mo. The inside the U did a podcast and their opinion that RS handles DC but hires an another position coach. I like your posit since it helps a transition in the future of Barrow as DC. Maybe make Barrow co DC.

The question would be who gets hired as the extra coach -- how about NW High School Coach. How about Vinnie T who just retired?

Mnny great article and totally on point!

I say lets call Kimbo Slice back to the 305 and recruit him as a 260lb line backer

You know what guys everyone wants to win and people once came to UM to win not rebuild so if PJ wants to win it should not be held against him

I AM AN AVID UM FAN AND I WILL BE TILL I DIE, BUT I DONT WISH ANYBODY BAD LUCK BECAUSE IT WILL TURN ON YOU. HE MADE HIS DECISION AND GOOD LUCK, BUT GOD DONT LIKE UGLY AND THE REST REMAINS TO BE SEEN.

I see another adolescent is on the computer.

I can read this with my eyes closed. This is another cash deal to f$u, a la Parker, Clifton Dickson, and Antoine Smith. His cousin Mcfadden took the money from a f$u alum and gave the money to Patrick Johnson. We don't need this kid.

Butch Davis rebuilt the program with guys that had respect and vision. No showboats (even though they had the talent to show off a little). So, when this kid says that he turned on UM because he "wasn't getting enough love lately" I say let him cry to someone else. I just hope he goes to FSU so we can remind him of his mistake at least once a year.

I hope this kid has a college career as good as willie williams. No career. He needs to get dump by one of our recievers and then trampled by the other 10 players when they score on his crappy school.

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