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Hurtt recaps '09 recruiting, sets 2010 goals

Clint Hurtt just turned 30. He's got a daughter, a fiancee and a passion to stock the University of Miami football program again with talent as Randy Shannon's recruiting coordinator. Hurtt proved he's one of the best in the country at his job last week when he earned honors as a Rivals.com Top 25 Recruiter for the second year in a row. 

UM recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt One could argue Hurtt has the easiest job in the country with the type of talent he can pluck in a rich backyard consisting of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. And, that's pretty much what UM did to land ESPN's No. 1 recruiting class in 2008 (grabbing a boatload of talent from nearby mythical national champion Miami Northwestern and Class 4A state champion Booker T. Washington). But a look at UM's 2009 recruiting class (rated 11th by Rivals, 7th by ESPN and 19th by Scout.com) demonstrates how Hurtt can also do a fine job pursuing talent when the local area is having a down year. Of UM's 19 recruits in 2009, only six have roots in South Florida.

What Hurtt and his staff did mostly this past year was go out into the backyard of their in-state rivals (national champion Florida, USF and UCF) and pluck some of the state's best players. While Hurtt had his hand involved in all 19 recruits, he said he really either shared or handled the recruiting load by himself on eight recruits.

"The one thing I don't want people to get the wrong idea about is I did any of this by myself," Hurtt said Wednesday -- a week after putting together his third class at UM. "We have a great team of coaches who did a great job putting our class together."

Maybe so. But Hurtt deserves most of the high-fives. He and receivers coach Aubrey Hill combined to land UM's top recruit and his teammate -- safety Ray Ray Armstrong and defensive end Dyron Dye -- at Sanford Seminole. They also worked together on keeping defensive end Olivier Vernon from Miami American from straying to Alabama or Florida State. WIth the help of Micheal Barrow, Hurtt went into North Carolina to get defensive tackle Curtis Porter.

Jamal Reid catches a touchdown pass in the Under-Armour All-American game But Hurtt's best work -- aside from helping Joe Pannunzio convince tight end Billy Sanders to come back to UM on the eve of NSD -- was what he did in Gator Country by himself. He kept defensive tackle Luther Robinson from Fort Pierce Westwood from leaving UM for a late Gators push, he grabbed running back Mike James early from Polk County, and made sure he was first in line for cornerback Jamal Reid at his tiny high school in Lafayette, Fla.

Hurtt shared a lot of stories with me about UM's 2009 class, but it's Reid's recruitment he seems most proud of. Because, according to Hurtt, if the program was still recruiting the way it did a few years ago, the Canes probably would have been late getting in on Reid. Instead, they knew all about him before anyone else.

"One of the first things I told Randy we had to do when he made me the [recruiting] coordinator was we have to go into every high school in the state, every school no matter how big or how small," Hurtt said.

"You know as well as I do when you are wearing The U in some parts of this state, you get a funny look. This kid is 80 miles from Tallahassee and 45 from Gainesville. When I started making my way around everybody in this little town was telling me I got to go see Jamal Reid. Mind you this is the spring of his 10th grade year, the kid is coming off two 1,000-yard receiving seasons, 13 combined INTs. The first thing I do is make sure we're the first ones to fax that scholarship offer Sept. 1st. It made all the difference in the end when everybody else wanted him once he was an [Under-Armour] All-American."

> Going into every school in the state and making evaluations much earlier than previous UM staff's did aren't the only changes Hurtt has made as recruiting coordinator. In an effort to make sure the staff no longer wastes its time on high-level, out-of-state recruits UM has long odds of getting, Hurtt said he's implemented a rule.

"I call it the one-hour rule," Hurtt said. "If the kid lives more than an hour from a major airport, we really aren't going to bother because it's probably not worth it. Most parents aren't going to drive very far to then got on two flights to come see their kids play when they've got a bunch of other schools closer to them. That doesn't mean we won't go after a special kid who we might have a connection with. In recruiting nowadays, it's just so important to eliminate mistakes in a signing class. You can't make mistakes or it will set you back big time. You got to go after the best players, but the guys who fit your system, fit the character you want. You need to give those guys the attention instead of spreading yourself thin."

Shayon Green > Hurtt praised all of UM 2009 recruits, but we did talk specifics about a few players. For starters, he's very excited about getting Shayon Green, a 6-2, 230-pound defensive end/linebacker from Tift County, Ga. Hurtt said getting Green helps UM immensley, especially after the Canes signed eight linebackers a year ago, but lost out on the two (Zach Kane and Antonio Harper) who figured to play middle linebacker. Hurtt said Green was brought in to fill those losses and said he feels Green will make an impact down the road. "He's extremely explosive, plays hard and has a high IQ," Hurtt said. "That's what you want in a middle linebacker. He's going to be great on special teams this year."

> Hurtt is very excited about the defensive players Miami brought in, especially the guys in the secondary. He said Prince Kent and Ray Ray Armstrong -- both Under-Armour All-Americans -- have the size Miami has been looking for a safety. And he promises that is what both will play. He said both Reid and Brandon McGee, who have great hips and long arms, will be impact cornerbacks.

> As for the offensive recruits, the first name out of Hurtt's mouth was tackle Jermaine Johnson, who sat out last season (his second out of high school). "We got five offensive linemen and were very happy with that," Hurtt said. "We're definitely happy we got Jermaine. He's a kid who is ready."

> One thing Hurtt is very excited about is the 2010 class in South Florida, one most recruiting experts believe will be the richest area in the country this fall. "Dade, Broward, Palm Beach is always loaded," Hurtt said. "But this coming year, it's absolutely loaded. Arguably you can say its going to be better than '08. Why? Because despite all the athletes we produce around here, South Florida always has a shortcoming on offensive linemen. There are a ton of instate linemen. Not just good linemen, special linemen."

> Hurtt said UM will have between 22-23 scholarships to use for next year. Like he did a year ago, he laid out the slots for me: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 3 TE, 4 OL, 3 DL, 3 LB, 3-4 DBs and possibly a kicker.

So far, the Canes have commitments from two 2010 recruits -- both are defensive tackles. Jacksonville Raines' Louis Nix, a Rivals five-star recruit, and Miami Northwestern's Todd Chandler, Miami-Dade's No. 2 recruit. By NCAA rule, Hurtt isn't allowed to discuss any of the players UM is going after, but he told me the Canes have already offered scholarships to between 30-35 players locally.

> I don't have a complete list of who those players are, but I've been able to confirm through conversations with high schools coaches, players and my friend Larry Blustein who many of those kids already are. The hotspot? Defending national champion St. Thomas Aquinas. The Canes have already offered four Raiders scholarships -- center Brandon Linder (Broward's top recruit), running back Giovanni Bernard, kicker Mike Palardy and safety Brian Robinson. There are plenty more players UM is chasing in Broward, but so far it looks like Boyd Anderson defensive back Demar Dorsey is the only other 954 player with a Canes scholarship offer to date.

Lamarcus Joyner In Dade, Miami has high interest or offers already out for: CB Lamarcus Joyner (Columbus), WR Michael Lee Harris (Northwestern), RB Eduardo Clements (Booker T. Washington), K Oscar Diaz (Booker T. Washington), DL Corey Lemonier (Hialeah), DL Calvin Smith (Hialeah), OL Torrian Wilson (Northwestern), RB Jakhari Gore (Columbus) and QB Jeffrey Godfrey (Miami Central).

In Palm Beach, UM is after Pahokee receiver Joshua Jones, tight end Zach Allen, Royal Palm Beach's receiver Chris Dunkley, Palm Beach Central center Shane McDermott, Dwyer tight end Gerald Christian and running back Matt Elam, and Delray Atlantic athlete James Lewis.

"The guys we have offers out to so far are the can't miss guys," Hurtt said. "But we're still very much watching film and following guys closely."

Here's my official toast to the next 11 months and three weeks before the next National Signing Day.


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MANNY how do you do it please keep it up!! Good work you need some kind of award or something. oh and thanks for the Daniel Campbell info.

We really need a player like Lamarcus Joyner! He reminds me of the "glory days" players Miami brought in during the Butch Davis era!!!

putting up that fence around the state of miami

Good info Manny. The Big Hurtt is on top of his game. Let's continue to lock down Sout Florida and keep this recruiting train moving!

I dont like that I dont see Mike Lamb rb Northwestern on the list.

And Giovanni Bernard rd St.Thomas is a lock,and I dont see Jakhari Gore going anywhere else other than the U

Hopefully we dont let UF or FSU snatch up Lamb

withdraw the offer to bryce brown. The dude dissed the canes talent & our coaches. We got enough talent, we need to coach what we have & next year we will get Jakhari Gore.

Clint Hurtt is doing the Lord's work, restocking the cupboard for The Randy.

I hope we get some football players that are good at playing football. I think that will make out football team more better.

Amen YAil Bloor. That is 1000% true!

I could care less if we bring 2 guys ast receiver who run 4-3 40s, but have hands of stone, cant run good routes are string beans who get jammed at the line or are problematic.

or 4-2 corners who cant cover or stay in assigments and blow coverages.

Or monster DEs who never develop.

Recruiters need to analyze that... Do these players have football iQ? are they ballers?

Seems like the U has discovered a well kept Dade County secret, Hialeah High....with the level of competition and the great coaching there are often gems to be had here......GO T-BREDS

Does anyone know if Jakhari Gore is related to Frank Gore?

yes jakhari is related to frank

lamb may stir up the pot as i heard he did later last season...i don' t think he is good enough to play here.....he may be another drama queen in the making. wasn't his dad pissed he wasn't approached by miami? we need to lock down linder and chandler from MNW...

yeah nccane jakhari is franks cousin. why would we offer corvin lamb he's did nothing to warrant an offer. look clements from booker t gainer from central and bernard from st. thomas are way better than him. plus he scared of comp.

Great job Manny as always, when are you gonna to exclusively get the 'Canes beat! No disrespect Susan, Manny just brings the goods! He's a fan and goes the extra mile. LOVE IT!

Thanks bro!

Go get 'em Hurtt. Damn I get so hype talking about SO FLA Football!!

Hey Manny Quick question for U.

How many of last years freshmans got a red-shirt????

Thanks in advances.

Reloading...........can't wait to watch Hurtt's recuiting classes in another year when they tear into the hated Gayturds.

jak. gore is frank gore`s borther?--i hope!

Seems like we'll be able to fill all our needs locally with the exception of 2 positions: TE and LB. We're gonna need to stretch outside of Miami-Dade and Broward to find them; Palm Beach has agood TE, but that's Gaytorland, and I think his teammate already commited to FU.

Also, another 6' QB? That'll give us 3. Dunno if thats the answer when you play a pro-style.

And 2 RBs out of Clements, Gore, Bernard, Gainer and yes even Lamb? It's gonna be tough..I know Jahkari is UM blood, but from what I've seen and read Clements, Bernard and Gainer look just as good if not better.

Randy Shannon's prowess as a recruiter and his ability to make good hires is starting to change my opinion on him.

Ability to bring in talent is probably the most indispensible skill in this program. The recruiting outlook is very positive I don't think anyone can argue with the skill-level of the team he is building. Furthermore, we can't afford to miss on next year's class. I wouldn't get rid of him next year, regardless of our record. Imagine a scenario where Randy is fired and we've got no coach in place next January. Do you want to see other schools in here recruiting big? If anything, he's got to get an in-season extension.

The OC and DC hires will hopefully address Shannon's shortcomings as a coach.

I'm not the guy's biggest fan, if anything I've been very critical of him as a representative of the school. However, he isn't out there inciting a frathouse brawl and you can see honest attempts at improvement.

Let's get rollin Canes. I am PUMPED about Spring practices coming up. I'm hoping this B Brown deal is behind us.

Manny you are on top of your game! Great job!

I hope B Brown goes to another school and takes his advisor w/him or I hope some of the 9.99 money his advisor earns makes it into Browns hands so he will not be able to go to college for a rules violation, this kid is a me kid and not a team player. We need players who will commit and then help recruit other players, this Brown kid doesn't give a crap about anything but himself. We have two great RB this year, that's all we need!

Brown, stay in Kansas we don't want U!

jakhari is frank's cousin.. great job again manny

So actually Hurtt is the recruitor that should be getting all the credit and not Shannon so much.

why is no one talking about DB khalid marshall anymore from miami nw. i thought he was an all world corner back

canesjunkie: good poind with the don't fire randy next year.keep in mind that i have always been a supporter of randy(just saying if the situation would comew up). what if that possibilty comes up, and we don't win and fire randy? that could break the relationships with a few players that strongly consider UM and that would hurt UM for a loaded 2010.What is great is that UM really dosen't have to go out of state for players except for maybe TE and LB.As long as UM wins everything will fall into place.

MiamiMoe: every coach has a recruiting coordinator even pete carrol,nick saban,urban cryer.

pay attention to the U: That still doesn't answer the question of what has Shannon actually contributed to recruiting this year.

And the coordinators and position coaches (even Swasey) get involved in the recruiting. The coaches recruit certain guys because of previous connections with a school (Whipple will try to establish a pipeline to the U at STA because of his son), or based on position, or geography (i.e. Lovett is suppossed to be good at recruiting the NE). Some of the recruiting sites show which coaches recruited which kids.

Wes McGriff is the DB coach, and he recruited 3 guys (Shayon Green, Prince Kent and Brandon McGee), 2 of them are DBs. The 1 guy that he got that doesn't play his position is Green, and thats because they're from the same town in Georgia.

If you look at Clint Hurtt, all of his commits and targets (except for 1) this past year were from Central Florida, North Florida and the Carolinas. The 1 target (Devon kennard) that wasn't from that area plays DE, which is the position Hurtt coaches.


MiamiMoe......he is the closer....many times during this and multiple recruiting years you hear kids and parents say once they talked to RS they were sold.....he closes....as any good Manager, you can't be everywhere....he sends the guys out, and they tell him which ones he needs to visit.....he was busy this year getting a, OC and DC....so yeah he's been pretty busy!!

Exactly...RS is the closer. The big time recruits, the kids that are on the fence...he goes into their houses, sits in their living rooms and tells their parents why they and their sons should join the U family.
He delegates recruiting responsibilities to Hurtt and his other coaches and he closes the tough, important sales.

"Coffee's for closers."

Manny, you put a smile on my face today buddy. Great article, excellent investigative reporting skills on your end. Keep up the good work.
Go Canes!

miamimoe: U have to read between the lines. yes hurtt is suppose to go out and look for the players but randy is the one that hired him. he randy also visit the players they are trying to recruit as a HC in the recruiting business U have to be a great salesman because at the end the coach will talk to the not a recruiting coordinator. do U see ppl say that nick saban,urban meyer,or pete caroll shouldn,t be labeled a great recrutier at the end of the day the HC has the final say on who he wants to attentd the program not the RECRUTIER himself.


good stuff manwhrolio and DA U N Houston. mybad for the typo errors.

Manny great article, but one mistake Lamarcus Joyner is from Southwest Miami High not Columbus. I am a former Eagle and we were always a terrible football team so I am happy we have someone representing it.

I saw a video, can't remember where, but Lamb was saying that he wanted to leave miami, hasnt been anywhere else in his life, so Miami isnt in consideration for him...

I wish the kid the best, very kid has thier own mind they aren't property...

However that vid was at the beggining of his junior season, he still has time to ponder his decision, maybe Jacory and Marcus can help him feel more comfortable about Da U

I tell you one thing, WR Michael Lee Harris (Northwestern) is da truth, he's just as big as Aldarious, but faster and more elusive.

Also #85 WR at Mirimar is a beast too!!

So much to pick from you really can't lose next year...

To bad we can't keep them all, but I also love it when i see our local guys starting and runinng things at other schools, when thier not playing Da U of course...

All we need is West Palm Down to Miami and we're straight!!!

Shannon sits down and talks to the player and their parents. He is the guy that convinces their mother that UM is where her son should play. And once that happens, there is no turning back.

The U needs to prune some dead wood to get more scholarships for next yr. I would like to see 25-28 that is the way to build a championship team. It is not all bad either, telling certian people transfer, or keep a non football scholarship and get on with your education. Hurtt seems to really know his stuff on recruiting

K-MAN, the SW fan,

Joyner is out of Southwest, it's been talked about on the net, he's head to the Explorers. This has been known for at least a week.

Sept. 7 at Florida State (ESPN)
Sept. 17 Georgia Tech (ESPN)
Sept. 26 at Virginia Tech
Oct. 3 Oklahoma
Oct. 10 Florida A&M
Oct. 17 at Central Florida
Oct. 24 Clemson
Oct. 31 at Wake Forest
Nov. 7 Virginia
Nov. 14 at North Carolina
Nov. 21 Duke
Nov. 28 at South Florida

Has anyone seen the schedule for next year yet? the acc just released it, and it is right into the the heart of the schedule for this team, we should know early how good they are? Open at FSU, home to GT, at VT, and then home to Oklahoma?

I agree with you that there is definitely some dead weight taking up a scholly, but wouldn't "telling certian people transfer, or keep a non football scholarship and get on with your education" go against one of the basic principles of the U that we are a family?
I'm all good with getting rid of the knuckleheads and the problem kids, but RS has seemingly already trimmed that fat.
To tell an underachiever he's gotta go just because he isn't as good as someone we want from next year's class is pretty hypocritical.

So Joyner's gonna be an Explorer. I thought I had read that he was a big FSU fan to begin with, plus now he's going to Columbus. We haven't really had any luck recruiting their players lately anyways...hope Randy AND Hurtt and CO. can pull it off.

OK guys I see your point on Shannon still being an important part of the picture when it comes to closing the deal but this is the first I've heard on how Hurtt has had a great influence on changing recruiting strategies and would like to see credit given when it's due.

MiamiMoe: it's like that in every profession. A grunt does the dirty work and his superior, or his superior's superior gets the cred. From government, to the private sector, to sports. I think we have some truely unheralded recruiters, they make Randy's sell a lot easier. You really only heard about Randy having to sell and be in contact with some of the highly recruited out-of-towners that were basically a shot in the dark anyways.

The very thing that makes Shannon so effective is his ability to connect with people on a ono-on-one level...

Lets face it, there something about the guy thats remarkable.

Just because he's not as media friendly as we would like, dosent discount his abilities...

I think the guy is a master chess player, and is more concerned with taking care of business than playing checkers with the media.

When you analyze some of the moves Shannon has made, you have to tip you hat at some point ans say, dang, he had it all under control to begin with.

Shannon bleeds Orange and Green, and theres no doubt in my mind that this team is going to be better next year under his direction. Just because he's not an open book doesn't mean the guy isnt working his tail off, and doing what needs to be done.

Those group of freshman will be more experienced, bigger, stronger, and faster; and will win the games they almost won last year...

10-3, and a top ten bowl in 2010 i think!...

Its easier to do down a mountain than it is to climb up one. It takes time to reverse Coker's imprint!

We're on track...

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