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Is UM fading down the recruiting stretch?

I got to enjoy a few days off after the Orange Bowl last week and took comfort in the fact there probably wouldn't be much Canes news outside of what Frank Haith's basketball team would do Saturday night against Wake Forest in a big ACC showdown.

It was definitely a good win for the Canes, who needed a big win to hang their hat on after going 14-1 against what was ranked the 313th best non-conference schedule. But as much as I want to keep focus on Canes hoops, the disturbing trend of emails I've been receiving lately concerning what U perceive as UM fading down the recruiting stretch warrants conversation.

Javarie Johnson Sunday night, UM lost yet another commitment from its 2010 class when Javarie Johnson of Dunbar High in Washington -- considered the Canes' top linebacker -- switched from UM to Maryland. According to several recruiting websites, Johnson's coaches said he wanted to stay closer to home.  Canesport.com reported Johnson scored below an 820 on his SAT, which is the athlete requirement for admission to UM. Either way, Johnson became the third highly-rated recruit to drop off UM's commitment list since December, joining Miami Northwestern defensive tackle Todd Chandler (now headed to USF) and Jacksonville's Louis Nix (bound for Notre Dame) 

The Hurricanes basically replaced Johnson with little known Kelvin Cain, a 6-4, 215-pound linebacker from Clovis Buchanan High School in California. Cain's other scholarship offers were from Fresno State, Portland State, Nevada and San Jose State, according to CaneSport. 

Losing "commitments" is never good, especially those considered highly ranked. But it happens in recruiting. So you probably shouldn't be stunned or feel like the Canes' recruiting efforts are crumbling to the ground when it happens. 

The real cause for concern will be if UM doesn't close strong come Feb. 3. Right now, most recruiting analysts would tell you this UM class being put together after a 9-3 season and bowl loss to Wisconsin is average at best, and certainly not anywhere near the top of any national rankings. UM has met needs. There are seven offensive linemen (St. Thomas Aquinas tackle Brandon Linder, Malcolme Bunche and Shane McDermott are solid), four linebackers (Gainesville Kevin Nelson is impressive), four cornerbacks (none highly regarded), three running backs (Storm Johnson and Eduardo Clements are considered high-end), two tight ends (JUCO signee Chase Ford should help right away), a quarterback, a safety, a defensive end and a receiver. 

But where critics say UM has failed is nabbing the stars in their own backyard. And they -- the critics -- would be right. The 2010 class in South Florida was considered one of the best in the country (as usual). Yet, when you look over the top names from Palm Beach south all the way to Homestead, there aren't many who will be heading to Coral Gables in a few months to continue their football careers. 

Look at the Top 40 players from South Florida according to Rivals.com and see where they are headed or what schools they are considering. I bolded the future Canes to make them easier to find... 

1. Matt Elam, DB, Palm Beach Dwyer (Florida commitment)
2. Lamarcus Joyner, CB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida State commitment)
3. Jeff Luc, LB, Port St. Lucie (Florida State commitment)
4. Ivan McCartney, WR, Miramar (UM/West Virginia)
5. Gerald Christian, TE, Palm Beach Dwyer (Florida commitment)
6. Chris Dunkley, WR, Pahokee (Florida commitment)
7. Corey Lemonier, DL, Hialeah High (UM among six schools, but not favored)
8. Cody Riggs, CB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida commitment)
9. Michaelee Harris, WR, Northwestern (Louisville commitment)
10. Joshua Reese, WR, Miami Central (UCF commitment)
11. Quinton Dunbar, WR, Booker T. Washington (Florida commitment)
12. Eduardo Clements, RB, Booker T. Washington (Miami commitment)
13. Jakhari Gore, RB, Columbus (LSU commitment)
14. Giovanni Bernard, RB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Notre Dame commitment)
15. Lynden Trail, DE, Booker T. Washington (Florida commitment)
16. Delvin Jones, DE, Miami Palmetto (Tennessee commitment)
17. Torrian Wilson, OL, Miami Northwestern (Michigan, Tenn, Louisville)
18. Todd Chandler, DT, Miami Northwestern (USF commitment)
19. Brandon Gainer, RB, Miami Central (undecided)
20. De'Joshua Johnson, WR, Pahokee (Florida State commitment)
21. Brandon Linder, OL, St. Thomas Aquinas (Miami commitment)
22. Ethan Grant, RB, North Broward Prep (TCU commitment)
23. James Louis, WR, Delray Beach Atlantic (Ohio State commitment)
24. Jeffrey Godfrey, QB, Miami Central (UCF commitment)
25. Demar Dorsey, S, Boyd Anderson (Florida commitment)
26. Ted Meline, WR, North Miami (Tennessee commitment)
27. Richard Ash, DT, Pahokee (Michigan commitment)
28. Calvin Smith, DT, Hialeah (Tennessee commitment)
29. Brian Robinson, DB, St. Thomas Aquinas (undecided)
30. Shawn Corker, WR, Cardinal Gibbons (Texas Tech commitment)
31. Keion Payne, CB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Miami commitment)
32. Allen Hurns, WR, Carol City (Miami commitment)
33. David Perry, DE, University (Miami commitment)
34. James White, RB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Wisconsin commitment)
35. Darrius Milines, WR, Delray American Heritage (West Virginia commitment)
36. Max Beaulieu, DE, University (Syracuse commitment)
37. Shane McDermott, C, Palm Beach Central (Miami commitment)
38. Zachary Allen, LB, Pahokee (Wake Forest commitment)
39. Tony Grimes, CB, Hollywood Hills (Michigan/Mississippi)
40. Charles Fashaw, TE, Miami Northwestern (Undecided)

There were a few other Canes sprinkled in the Rivals 100 for Florida from other parts of the state: OT Tavadis Glenn from Jacksonville Parker was sandwiched in between Meline and Ash in the state rankings at No. 44; RB Darion Hall from Naples Lely is ranked 75th, right after Fashaw. Gainesville LB Kevin Nelson follows at 77, Fort Myers High CB Jeremy Davis is ranked 78th, OL Jonathan Feliciano from Davie Western is listed 92nd and QB Stephen Morris from Monsignor Pace is 93rd. 

Rankings and stars aren't everything. But the fact remains there is a lot of talent in UM's backyard heading to other place (namely pretty good football programs). Randy Shannon and his staff could make up for it with some excellent evaluation work and coaching, getting under the radar guys, making them better players and superstars. And they still have plenty of other high-end recruits (No. 1 OL Seantrel Henderson, Lemonier, McCartney, LB Christian Jones, TE Christian Thomas) at least reportedly interested in giving the program a look with visits.

But here's my advice: Keep your fingers crossed and hope the guys Shannon hired to restock his program with talent are a lot better at this than Rivals.

> In case you were wondering... Last year, the Canes nabbed RB Lamar Miller, DB Brandon McGee, DL Luther Robinson and DL Olivier Vernon among the Top 12 South Florida prospects according to Rivals. Among the state's Top 100 recruits, UM signed No. 2 overall player and safety Ray Ray Armstrong, No. 33 prospect in defensive end Dyron Dye, No. 39 prospect in cornerback Jamal Reid, No. 43 prospect in RB Mike James and No. 92 prospect in OL Cory White.


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The fact that Javarie Johnson could notget an 820 on his SAT is sad. Its a sad indictment on our educational system, and kuods for UM for not bowing to that- the kid still has to take courses at UM and stay above the fary, and if he cant be academically sound enough to even get an 820, I'm sorry but that will bring major problems Can you say Free Shoes University?. And to see that Maryland will take him, proves how uneven the college landscape is. How hard it is to monitor these programs- Look what happened to FSU!

Maybe the kid is dislexic like me- I meant to type kudos instead of kuods and fray instead of fary.

These are very troubling signs especially considering the horrible performance against Wisconsin. That alone, should have Shannon and the entire staff in hot water.

The reality is this team would have again struggled mightily if Whipple had not resurrected our offense. The team too often plays uninspired and players aren't developing.

The argument that our talent isn't where it needs to be is true, but it's relative. To a man, UM has more talent than Wisconsin and NC. The difference, we have a weak staff with the exception of Whipple and a few others.

Shannon is the ideal coach considering his roots, but he simply won't bring us back and will be replaced shortly after Whipple bolts.

We need HELP!!!!

What would make me happy in recruiting. We need to finish strong and gather the talent that wants to be here. Ivan McCartney, Quadarias Mireles(fastest Wr out there), Christian Thomas, Arie Kouandjio, Mike Thornton. Now what would make me scream from the top of mountain we are back!!! we need to pull in Lache Seastrunk, Michaelee Harris, Seantrel Henderson, Corey Lemonier, J.R. Ferguson, Todd Chandler, Christian Jones, Josh Shirley.. I think that would be a dream team that would beat out Florida and drive us to National Championship in a few years!! Who am I kidding we will be lucky to get one more recruit.. Miami is fading and fading fast.

Manny who did UM hire to help with the recruiting efforts ? I saw they made changes but didn't know who ? Thanks

Manny, in a previous blog you noted that Cane's coaches don't work as hard as other coaches in recruiting because the simply expect great players to come to Miami. Is this really true or did I misread you? Thanks and God bless you.

Oh no, the sky is falling!

You find football players where you find football players. Every play to come out of south Florida is not elite.

Give me a break. This country is littered with football players. I don't hear VaTech or UGA fans bytching about their recruits. Last time I checked we were ahead of them in recruiting the past few years, yet they are better.

This does not look promising. Florida, Florida State and Alabama are cleaning house with blue chip recruits, while Miami is grabbing a 2 star kid getting offers from "Portland state" and losing 4 star recruits in an alarming fashion.

Shannon is getting by on ONE very good recruiting class (2008) and another decent one (2009). His coaching leaves much to be desired, so if he or his staff cannot recruit, then why are they still at Miami?

Manny (or anyone in the know) can you tell us what the kids not coming to Miami are saying? It cannot be competition or else these kids wouldn't be going to Florida which is loaded with talent.

Hey Manny....thanks for the good reporting. I just don't see Miami becoming an elite program under coach Shannon. You see coaches like Nick Saban come in, with a system, find the players to fit it and next thing you know they're national champs. I don't see it at Miami. We load up at the skill positions ie RB, WR and are thin in others. That's why we have a converted WR at CB and a right tackle, as you put it, will probably be better off in his academic pursuits than playing football. I guess we'll see next year. They're all his recruits now, so you can't fault Larry Coker past recruiting sins.

The Canes will be fine.

This does not look promising. Florida, Florida State and Alabama are cleaning house with blue chip recruits, while Miami is grabbing a 2 star kid getting offers from "Portland state" and losing 4 star recruits in an alarming fashion.

Shannon is getting by on ONE very good recruiting class (2008) and another decent one (2009). His coaching leaves much to be desired, so if he or his staff cannot recruit, then why are they still at Miami?

Manny (or anyone in the know) can you tell us what the kids not coming to Miami are saying? It cannot be competition or else these kids wouldn't be going to Florida which is loaded with talent.

Any un committed can go to Syracuse University. I hear that they have an up and coming program. They need some talent to make it happen. Great to play in a Dome is a plus for that speedy back wanting to show and strut his stuff.

I can't believe Miami is signing 2 star recruits while 4 stars keep running out the back door.

Can anyone in the know find out why these kids are leaving and why so many blue chip recruits are coming to Miami? It cannot be b/c of competition b/c Florida is loaded and they still are picking up 4-5 star recruits.

i would like to know 42 guys in the country let alone state of florida who show more than Mike James last year.

Miami's defensive line hasn't been good for 2 years now. I know Hurtt is Shannon's good buddy and one of his better recruiters, but only 1 d'lineman has comitted thus far. Recruiting doesn't look good so far but Va. Tech does it every year without a top ten class, they know how to coach up there. Hopefully it'll get better.

If they don't qualify its not much coaches can do.

In my opinion this is a make-it-or-break-it season for Shannon... Anything less than an ACC Championship should be grounds for dismissal!

Last season's recruiting class wasn't very strong either, so he better finish strong this season!

One problem would be Miami is loaded with Jrs. & Soph coming back next year and the depth chart don't look so hot for those kids coming in to play right away.
Losing Nix & chandler is no big deal. One is to heavy & the other is to short.
Kids coming from out of state are always going to be iffy because of being so far away from home. Why else would you choose Maryland over the "U" in Johnson's case.
The problem I have with the recruiting effort is we are taking to my kids that are reaches, yeah some of them will pan out. Boise State's roster is loaded with those kind of players and they do pretty good with them. Good coaching will take care of a lot of tweeners but you can not win Nat'l Championships with a bunch of tweeners.
Miami has never gotten a bunch of Nat'l top 100 guys as a whole. Florida is taking USC's spot has the top 100 kids destination. Why? Because they have been consistantly in the Nat'l spot light the last 7 years. The one thing Florida doesn't have is a great running back and they can't seem to find one, no matter how great they recruit. Heck, we can't even win the A.C.C. title and then we lay an egg against Wisconsin, That really inspires a kid coming from High School to want to play for us! All those kids right in our back yard and we scoop, maybe 5 of the top 50 in the state of Florida. We need big time D. Tackles because we have no pass rush and therefore we don't intercept any passes. When is the last time we had more than 10 interceptions in a season? We don't get turnovers on defense. We have 5 thousand D. Ends that are pretty good. Our L.B's are decent but not great and that's what we are bringing in to replace the ones we have. Offensively we have a bunch of weapons but can't figure out who is the go to guy. We can't keep our backup Q.B's on campus and if we do he doesn't come from a pro style offense. Why are we recruiting those kind of Q.B's.Our o-line is awful when we play against top caliber teams. This is also where we need a couple top tier kids.
No, stars are not the most important thing in evaluating talent but you have to ask yourself are we running a camp atmoshere here where we take anyone or are we trying to win a nat'l championship?

Miami needs to recruit Jesse Scroggins hard! This guy is another Jacory Harris.

If we close with Lemonier and McCartney this class goes from good to very good. Keep your fingers crossed for Christian Jones, he's better that Javarie Johnson anyway. If we Land Henderson it will be the best OL class UM has ever had. We don't have the momentum FSU or UF has right now but that can all change on NSD.

There are really 5 players who decommitted, you left out Kent who changed to FSU and Dunbar from BTW who changed to Flordia...that's 5 in one year - Unbelievable. This year was supposed to be one of the best recruiting classes ever in South Florida - so not only is Shannon unable to win - 3 years no bowl wins, but he is losing the recruting battle as well.

not good
UF in turmoil
and we still cant steal thr thunder
shannon strength is suppose to be recruiting

if he fails at that then hes pretty much useless
and we should get rid of him ASAP

This is what happens when the "U" has a bowl game and a chance at a ten win season in its own back yard and gets spanked by a lower ranked team that Miami use to beat by 30 points. After I left that game I knew that recruits would be turned off by the teams effort. After the 30/30 UM special recruits were actualy contacting Randy Shannon about maybe coming here. The "U" had been given a free recruiting pass with that special. But instead of taking that momentum and kicking some butt the team faded faster than a South Florida winter. I guess the UM faithful, like myself, will have to get used to alot of 9-4 seasons for years to come. Nontheless, GOOOO! CANES! WHATS UP EDD.

This class so far is exactly what are program has become average at best. You sound still a little hopeful Manny, but it doesn't sound like you are even giving this class a ringing endorsement neither.

When the U ranked consistently and won National Championships recruiting was very improtant and doing so in South Florida was primary. So long as that is down played or not successfully executed, expect to remain average. Players look at the coaching team overall and it is not a confidence builder by any stretch. So they opt to go elsewhere. Simply put, Shalala not setting UM football program as a priority keeps us down. It is upsetting.

Let's look at some facts: 4 years ago USC's recruiting class was ranked #2 while Alabama's was ranked #18. 3 years ago USC's class was raked #1 while Alabama was ranked #17. I don't know what you guys think, but in my opinion it's worked out better for Alabama than USC. Some 3 star recruits include Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford and Kendall Hunter just to name a few.

I don't understand why fans freak out about this. Why do you take the word of a "scout" (some of which have never played football before) who works for a major corporation (Yahoo or ESPN (which is ABC which is Disney)) over good coaches? Don't you guys see the conflict in interest these "scouts" have?

As well, UF is the hot team right now. There is no doubting that. But what do you think is going to happen next year when UF has an average season and we contend for the NC?

This is disturbing indeed. What gives? You'd think that Miami enjoys some key recruiting advantages over other schools: The program appears to be on the rise, the UM has a great football tradition, and the NFL abounds with UM alum. Also, you'd think that Shannon's deep Miami roots, and his inspiring rags-to-riches story, would give him a strong connection to local prospects and, equally importantly, to the prospects' parents. Are we being out-recruited, paying the price for terrible home game attendance, or is there something else afoot?

Manny, you took a lot of heat when you wrote a couple of months ago that the fence around S.FL seems to have been left open. The bottom line is we are living in the past, we think we don't have to chase players. What I can't understand is we read about players such as Louis Nix and Todd Chandler saying they have heard from coaches that they are not calling them so they decommit and our attitude is that we don't need them if they don't want to be true Canes. National Championship teams, Texas, Alabama (done in 3 years), Florida, LSU do it by recruiting there backyard players that have dominated the HS level. I also noticed that we wait to long to offer these kids as Juniors, I don't care what RS said about evaluating first then offering that mentality will alway have us in the back seat. Once these kids go to another school they start recruiting there buddies who are Juniors this is why I have a problem with the U not recognizing the politics behind passing on kids like Geno Smith, Noel Devine (eventhough he did not have the grade you still offer). RS needs to take note from Saban, Mack Brown and U Meyer if we are going to turn this around. Taylor Cook should never of transfered but RS started saying there was no 2nd string named, so Taylor said goodbye. RS and Whipple should've sat down with the young man to assure him he had a future with the U and that his opportunity would be there if he kept working hard. Another thing wey to many #1 ranked players becoming bust at the U, the problem I have is none of them proved they were bust, point blank guys like Arthur Brown will never see the field because RS likes making examples of them. Just my opinion! By the way I started writing as Canecern right after we lost the NC to Ohio State. Why! because Coker started ignoring how important it is to recruit the top players in the country most are in the South which is why I have always been a fan of Kyle Wright because despite the fact that he did not have great receiver, no O line to protect him the guy stuck it out as a true Cane never requesting to transfer. To me that is a true Cane unlike alot of these guys who transfer even when they are given the opportunity (Marve).


Making us nervous man......lie to us and give us something good!!


Affirmative. This class is supposed to be loaded with stars and would have solidified our hold on SoFla, filled in the gaps and created much needed depth and most importantly, given us more difference makers for the future. Very dissapointing. Am still hopeful we pull in a great place.

Dear Manny,
i am stunned by the subpar recruiting class at UM. It is amazing that the alleged recruiting guru Randy Shannon could pull in such a poor class. With harris having surgery, where is the QB depth???? UM has not yet extended him, and Whipple has one more year at best. UM football needs a NEW COACH NOW!!!! Shannon cannot even recruit. That was his only really strength. He is done in Dade, broward, and Palm Beach. it is truly shameful. Rivals, ESPN, and Canestime all blast the UM recruiting. How can Maryland, South Florida, West Virginia, a new coach at FSU, and a suspect urban meyer, run circles around UM????
How can Shannon justify replacing a 4 star recruit witha ONE STAR recruit that has not even received any major college offers??? He had that one year Northwestern effort and then doom. UM is finished if they do not overhaul their coaching from top to bottom. UF has, FSU has, South Florida has with no coach. It is tragic.
Alumni, please rise up and speak.

Thanks for the info Manny. This is turning into a disaster. RS is in over his head!!! He always has been and never deserved this job in the first place. Please tell us that they are not considering giving him a contract extension. I would love to see him gone now but I know that isn't going to happen because the administration seems to have a love affair with him and are cheap. At the very least let's see how next season goes before the administration permanently destroys this program. Bad times at the U for sure Manny.

This one really hurts Manny !!


It does seem something is wrong. It would be interesting to ask other recruits why they did not come to the U. It does not seem to make sense.

What it tells me is that Randy and Co doesnt think WE NEED MUCH to get to the next level. Were stocked at the skill posistions...so...perhaps our recruits this year are for "depth" purposes!!The most important posistion that needs to be addressed is the offensive line...and...I think we accomplished that this year with our boys from STA...so...everyone chill...perhaps these recruits know that they will not play much in the next year or two and are going elsewhere!! Todd Chandler is too small for us...if they have him listed at 6ft then he is really 5'10...get real...this aint pop warner football!!

I said to everybody who will listen. Randy Shannon is an AVERAGE football coach, nothing more. He has this aura as a great recruiter because Our previous coach, I am trying to forget his name, was absolutely awful recruiting. A couple of solid years does not a recruiting juggernaut make. The Canes need to find themselves a name coach, good with the X's and O's, and the great recruiting will follow. Recruiting in South Fla is like shooting fish, albeit small fast fish, in a barrel. The 2010 performance, thus far, is sub par!

Manny your last comment that ratings are not everything and that getting a 2-3 star good player and turning him into a 5 star playing athelete is far more important. I'm not interested in the stars after the players name. What I am concerned about his his dedication to the school and the game. After all getting an education is the real reason to go to college RIGHT? is it for the chance to getr the big $ after 2-3 years of playing bedamned the education. One thing is wrong woth that assumption, the graduation rate is very high at the U and has for several years now. One last comment in recruiting..I would rather get a 3-2 star player and have hime stay for 3-4 years than to get a 5-4 star players that only has thoughts of a 2 year playing scedule before he dreams of the NFL. Thanks as usual keep up the good work and see you on FEB. 4th

Recruiting by the "STAR" system is exactly what got Miami in trouble with Coker. I trust in Randy and all the recruiters because we are looking for players that fit "OUR" system not what rivals.com says come on. Besides a lot of what is expected of these young athletes can be coached up and we will do so.

In related news, the sky is falling. The sky is falling.

You stated that Canesport.com reported that J. Johnson was below the academic minimum for admission. Do you advocate a return to the days of letting in thugs just because they're talented? Coach Shannon is on the right track with where he's going with this team. It's never going to be the Stanford or Northwestern of the South but there are a lot of schools out there that have proven that intelligent players can be just as talented as the troublesome superstars from the bottom of the academic barrel. So you make an exception to your academic minimums and sign one of these kids. Better than even odds that he'll miss one or more games (including bowls) for academic reasons. How many teams had players sit out their bowl this year for academic reasons? You're better off by far trading a little bit of talent for character and academic agility.

UM is a 2nd tier program and fading fast, it follows that they would attract 2nd tier players and compete with the likes of Nevada and Portland State for 2nd tier players. What a joke.

Very sad when Manny tells us, "Randy Shannon and his staff could make up for it with some excellent evaluation work and coaching, getting under the radar guys, making them better players and superstars." Wow this sucks how bad things are now. The ACC is horrible and Miami is stuck in the middle of it. I think they will come out of it, maybe when my boy turns 16, to bad he is only 2.

Javarie Johnson switched his commitment because he couldn't academically qualify for the University of Miami, not because of recruiting technique.

Kelvin Cain has offers from fresno state, portland state and nevada and san jose state. What a joke. I was looking at the cornerback commits on rivals yesterday and the CB's that are commited to the U were all 3 starts DB's. Nobody wants to go to the U anymore.


Did we really lose this recruit, or did he not make the required score and decide to bolt?

I think what we have to take in to account is how many recruits they have signed. After Johnson left we have 25 "verballed" which isn't too bad and we have a couple guys left who are coming in.

Another point I'd like to make is that from listening to Shannon he seems to want to play older players and develop the young talent. In the same interview he basically said the more freshmen you play the more mistakes they will make, eluding to developing them and possible redshirting.

I'd love to see the number one recruiting class every year but it just doesn't happen. Also, we really have to wait for a few years to judge how effective those players signed actually are. I don't have to name examples because in the last 10 years at UM there have been many..

Be patient and we'll see how the players develop.

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