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Golden, UM steal local cornerback from Spurrier

It started with a visit from defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio on Monday, heated up when Steve Spurrier missed an in-home visit on Wednesday and ended in Al Golden's office Friday morning.

Thomas Finnie That's the short version of how Miami Central cornerback Thomas Finnie went from being a Gamecock to a Hurricane -- and the first local recruit Golden and his staff were able to sway away from another school since taking over for Randy Shannon

Finnie (5-10, 170, 4.4-speed) was a three-year starter for the Class 6A state champion Rockets and is considered the 39th best cornerback in the country by Rivals. He grew up dreaming of being a Miami Hurricane. But it wasn't until Friday that it became a reality.

"It's been a big week -- a lot has changed," said Finnie, an early enrollee who was all set to drive up to South Carolina Friday morning before UM got into his recruiting picture earlier this week. "I guess you can say it's pretty special. Everything is going to be good. I'm going to be a Miami Hurricane. I was always a Cane fan, grew up down here. Everybody likes to dream about UM and everything. Now, it's real."

Finnie received initial interest from the Hurricanes at the beginning of his senior season. But then, UM backed off. Finnie then committed to South Carolina and assumed the Hurricanes weren't interested. The plan for Finnie's family was to drive up to South Carolina this weekend. But little by little, Golden and his assistants got UM back into the picture, starting with a visit from D'Onofrio on Monday.

"They really showed themselves, really went after him the way they should recruit a kid," Finnie Sr. said. "Coach Golden told him everything we needed to hear in terms of us parents putting our child in his hands. They actually really showed the program to him and to me and my wife. He did a hell of a job.

"The recruiter from South Carolina did a good job. But we were suppose to meet with Steve Spurrier Wednesday and he never showed. The recruiter told us he had an emergency. But you could kind of see through that. That, he just wasn't going to come to that. That kind of took the air out of my son. When you get to meet the head coach, that means a lot to a kid, shows that you really want him. That took the air out of him. My wife wanted to meet him for him to know that 'I'm going to put my son in your hands.'

"But Golden went all out man. I'm talking about since yesterday and he had one day to do it. I told him my son is leaving in the morning. He asked for an opportunity to do it, to talk with us and everything. And he went at it. He was in Tampa with [Anthony] Chickillo. He said 'I'll come straight to your house when I leave there.' But I knew it was going to be at 2 or 3 in the morning. So we setup a meeting at 6 a.m. Everything he told my son starting yesterday, that made my son say he'll commit to UM."

Finnie, a former assistant coach at Miami Northwestern, said Golden and his staff really impressed him and just kept asking for an opportunity.

"The new coaching staff apologized for what happened, 'Saying we didn't have the opportunity to recruit, come after your son. Now, we're doing what we have to do to.' And I mean, in two days man, not even a whole day everything changed," Finnie Sr. said. "[Golden] really put pressure on us. He came at us. He was unreal. He was like: 'Sir I apologize for the old staff. We have a whole new staff. We evaluated your son, watched the state championship game and we were very impressed. We really like what we saw in him. And we want him, we want him bad. Whatever it is, I'm going to do everything I have to do to get him.'

"He impressed me and my wife. He showed I want him. They always said he was a heck of a recruiter. He can go get 'em and he showed he could do it. He went after him. He didn't let me say no. We tried everything. We said when we give our word, we stand behind it. He said 'I understand that. But give me an opporunity.' And he went from there.

"He told us everything a coach should tell a parent as far as getting their kid. South Carolina did it too. But we only got a chance to talk to the recruiter. [UM's] defensive coordinator, Michael Barrow, quite a few of the coaches contacted us about him. They said they evaluated him and that he has an opportunity to come in and play right now. They put it on the table. When they do it like that, it's hard to say no. Plus, he's staying home."

Finnie said he hopes to come in and compete right away for a starting job. The Hurricanes have only five cornerbacks on their current roster for 2011: redshirt sophomore Brandon McGee, junior and former running back Lee Chambers and three redshirt freshmen. 

"There's no better place than home," Finnie said. "With Brandon Harris and all the cornerbacks left, there's a lot of opportunity. They got new coaches, a new playbook. The U is going to be back soon. And I want to be a part of it."

Comments

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I would not call this stealing because we never offered this from the start. It's one thing if he was offered, selected USC over the "U" and now changes his mind b/c of Al Golden. That is not the case here; we offered and he accepted - nothing more. If you wish to go steal some players; go after the ones committed to UF and FSU and see what results. Please stop hyping up this guy without reason to do so, yet.

I read where Golden told the Dad that he would do whatever it took to get his kid......
Sounds like what I read from the Cam Newton fiasco......... JMHO.........???????

Thomas Finnie and family, Welcome to The U - ignore the haters they are ignorant. Now every week your are playing for friends and family and getting a much better education and playing for a great coaching staff. Coach Golden, keep it going fill needs and keeping grinding, this story is amazing.

1. Michael Barrow was part of Shannon's staff.

2. Brandon Harris departure created the opportunity to sell the U.

3. Why didn't Spurrier come if the young man is so talented? Perhaps South Carolina changed its mind about him.

4. With the departure of B. Harris, UM is desperate for a cornerback. The bigger question is, what did Al Golden do to keep Brandon Harris?

Yes!!! That's an impressive job Golden and staff.

Looking forward to seeing this kid on the field.

What happened with McNulty being our O-Coordinator.... Is that still happening or what?

Posted by: Chris

Why would Al Golden try to keep Brandon Harris here?

If the kid is projected to go high and get a big payday (that's what sounds like), then he has to let him go.

"We need to be a smarter, tougher, better conditioned & more disciplined team and I didnt see that"

Really? That's all?


@K Cane and others. You all really need to know facts before speaking. The coaches at Central who know Randy persoanlly have issues with him. For one they were upset Shannon or Whipple didnt recruit their Star but very short QB last year Godfrey and they are upset about different assistant coaches not getting hired on staff at UM. The old b/c you know me you owe me attitude. U people have no idea some of the things Shannon had to go through. So they were the ones blackballing Shannon and bad mouthing him making the relationship difficult between Miami and Central players.How idiotic that a coach wouldnt want a player to help his team just b/c of the High school. Do u people listen to yourselves.This is the same Central high that Najeh Davenport and Darnell Jenkins went to. And they were recruited before the Lockett staff thats there now!

Posted by: Caneboss | January 07, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Canes fans, please stop beating a dead horse. Coach Shannon is not a part of the coaching staff anymore. Your point has been made about him not being a good coach or recruiter. There is a new coaching staff in town. Let's see what happens when the new season starts. How long will the honeymoon last for Golden? Until that time, THAT HORSE IS DEAD regarding Shannon.

Posted by: Miami2Heart | January 07, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I remember this story from last year. I know all about this. There is more to this story to. Uncle Luke told RS to go to a spread offense. When he told RS that he said if he did not go to that he would be fired by the admin because everyone was using the spread. So Luke did not like it that him and Whipple did not go to the spread. This really became personal which should not have happen because it involved the kids getting in betwwen this mess. They the ones that suffer. The J.Wilder /the ex QB we had that wnet to Purde is similar to this story to. Thats why Wilder not considering us. Another thing that makes this an interesting story is the asst coaches we had/or is on now could not say anything about recruits because they were under RS rules which made them look like bad guys in the long run. Manny did say RS did not sign off on some recruits they were going after when they were going after kids.
So yes people need to stop this RS crap especially if they don't know the whole story. He is gone now and the new admin is working there azzes off now. People plz move forward. There was/is enough blame to go around.

Yes Miami has hit a very low point. The one thing win you hit bottom is you can stay there or get back up. No matter how bad people blast Miami's President and or the athletic director they both understand Miami needs this football program to bring in revenue to help the entire University. Miami will get back to being a strong contender. This year will be tough considering the new coaching staff has gotten a VERY LATE START. We will have to win with the players we have and we will have to push hard to develop them the way they should have all ready been. These coaches have a really wide range of experience and have a large recruiting base of knowledge as well.
Lets give these guys time. This year will be hard to judge based on the poor recruiting time they were given. They have their hands full for sure. Get us a few players for depth then win a few games we should not be favored in and DO NOT GET BEAT BY A DUKE OR ANY TEAM WE ARE FAVORED OVER. If we can come out of this with a winning record and not a loss to a lesser team we will be all right for the following year. This will get us back on track with recruiting. We play quite a few ranked teams this year. With a couple of wins we will have a chance to get the recruiting back. We also have a base for a team as of now so we have a chance to improve. Lets get past the Temple coach thing and look at the experience. Jimmy Johnson Butch Davis and Dennis Erickson were assistant coaches with zero head coaching experience. This team will improve and the kids will get the development they have missed. Lets do our parts as fans and give this a chance.

Stop hating on coach Shannon. He recruited all of south Florida. Some schools he was waiting to see if he can steal a 5 star recruit like the kid from Gardena, CA who committed to USC when RS got fired. We all know Shannon spent a lot time in California. He got players from Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. I know for a fact he was recruiting Palm Beach very well.

Real Cane Fans please do not engage these Gaytors and Moles that come on here with their juvenile foolishness. It is becoming apparent this new staff is re-capturing the OLD Swagga and this is freightening to them. They're calling their kids home and not letting their wives go out at night. Their fear is eminated through their knowing next years recruiting will not be the same with a Hurricane blowing thru the state for a whole year. Plus our reach is has widened with this staff. So let them blow gas and ignore them. We're Baaackkkkk!

Wow! This should be a wake up call to all college football programs who are recruitng South Florida. Slip up on a recruit just a little and Golden and co. will be all over it. Way to go! Thats how you do it!

Welcome to the U Mr Finnie.

thats what Golden and the staff is focusing on--- get kids, no matter what goofy stars they have, to come to the U, simply because they are talented and they wantto be canes. A 3 star athlete in florida is a 5 star in texas, ohio or Oklahoma. Period.

Luginbill and all of those i--iots areobsessed with their "stars"

look who dominated the UA All Star game. Look who made plays.

Chikillo for one, outshone Jadeveon Clowney

Eli Rogers looked very good.

Wittek is better than Brantley.

It was all there. It was in color.


Welcome to the U son. Time to shut down. Shut the front do'

You all will see, how many diamonds in the rough are going to pop out. Jon Alvarez, ILB from Fort Myers- beast. Bleeds green and orange. Watch and see Dallas Crawford (who grew up a cane fan) and maybe Sammy Watkins recommit to the u.


Way to go Coach. Congradulations to Finnie for wanting to be part of something special. On another note let's not through Shannon under the bus for not going after the kids at Central. There is always more to the story than what is told. I understand that Uncle Luc was coaching the LB at Central. I have heard stories of coaches are required to recruit those kids and the street agents that surround that program. Sounds like Coach separated this kid away from all that other mess and sat down with some sensible parents who were actually involved in the process. I hope that this is just the beginning.

Monday all coached will be in place...you are seeing the rebirth of Miami football,,,,until we win the ACC we are Miami not the U....

Some of u people make me laugh. Don't get me wrong. I'm no randy Shannon butt boy, but some of u have amnesia. Was randy a great recruiter when he got Allen Bailey at the last minute? How about when he got Mr. Henderson?

I hear u guys keep talkin about nw as if we have the whole high school roster on the squad now. Since 08, Miami hasn't signed a bull. U guys didnt company when he got guys out of st. Thomas, belle glades, pace, or any other winning programs in south Florida.

As long as I've been knowing recruiting, a good class is when u end up with maybe 12 starters and 8 contributing in any form of fashion. So did randy really suck as a recruiter? Let's see.....

His 08 class: Travis Benjamin, maybe a future 3rd,4th rounded. Branding Harris, 1st, 2nd rounder. V.t, a future 3rd, 4th rounder, Sean Spence, (only because of size) a 4th, 5th rounder, Damon Buchanan, free agent, laron byrd, 4th rounder, lee chambers,(dont be sunrise he is starting at cb next year). Unknown. Marcus forston,(underachiever, likely 4th rounder). Aquarius, (lazy) undrafted. Micanor regis, 7th rounder. Marcus Robinson,( once he is moved to his true position at outside rush linebacker) will be drafted late rounds.Andrew smith, over achieved. Tommy street, will be a 2nd,3rd rounder! Branding Washington,(the best of the bulls so far) 3rd,4th rounder.

Point is, Miami has talent.... lazy talent, but still talent. The reasons why guys like Sam shields become players in the league is because they can't b.s. around once they get to dat point

Some of u people make me laugh. Don't get me wrong. I'm no randy Shannon butt boy, but some of u have amnesia. Was randy a great recruiter when he got Allen Bailey at the last minute? How about when he got Mr. Henderson?

I hear u guys keep talkin about nw as if we have the whole high school roster on the squad now. Since 08, Miami hasn't signed a bull. U guys didnt company when he got guys out of st. Thomas, belle glades, pace, or any other winning programs in south Florida.

As long as I've been knowing recruiting, a good class is when u end up with maybe 12 starters and 8 contributing in any form of fashion. So did randy really suck as a recruiter? Let's see.....

His 08 class: Travis Benjamin, maybe a future 3rd,4th rounded. Branding Harris, 1st, 2nd rounder. V.t, a future 3rd, 4th rounder, Sean Spence, (only because of size) a 4th, 5th rounder, Damon Buchanan, free agent, laron byrd, 4th rounder, lee chambers,(dont be sunrise he is starting at cb next year). Unknown. Marcus forston,(underachiever, likely 4th rounder). Aquarius, (lazy) undrafted. Micanor regis, 7th rounder. Marcus Robinson,( once he is moved to his true position at outside rush linebacker) will be drafted late rounds.Andrew smith, over achieved. Tommy street, will be a 2nd,3rd rounder! Branding Washington,(the best of the bulls so far) 3rd,4th rounder.

Point is, Miami has talent.... lazy talent, but still talent. The reasons why guys like Sam shields become players in the league is because they can't b.s. around once they get to dat point

Goldern rally hasn't knocked socks off with recruiting. The Central DB was RS's recruit.

There's talent all over Florida, especially in the Muck. Heck, down there, those guys growing up chasing 'wabbits — and frickin' catch 'em.

Why isn't somebody in the Muck right now> i bet RS would be down there, because he knows how to recruit.

Regarding JUCO talent, didn't U get that guy Chase at TE?

If he was a Randy Shannon recruit then why was he committed to South Carolina then whizkid? He was committed to them instead of us to begin with because Shannon Sucked and now The U has a Real Coach and he knows he will get the coaching now that he wouldn't have if Shannon were still here.
IF Shannon knew how to recruit then why was every school picking the ones they wanted first and then Randy got the scraps.
We are on the rise back to the top under Golden thank God.

All of you skeptics out there. I saw video of the kid on Rivals, and Finnie is a player. Being ranked the 39th best CB in the nation is pretty good I would say. I don't know what the difference is between the 10th ranked corner and the 39th. He has enough talent to be Nationally ranked!!!! Secondly, he was going to be a corner in the SEC, again, I'd say pretty good.

Back to the video, the kid hustles and is not afraid to put a hit on somebody. I haven't seen very many corners play with the same passion on the 'Canes team right now, and here this kid was hitting people in the open field, chasing down running backs that got through the line, and being the first guy downfield on a kickoff return and then tackling the returner. Great steal Golden!!!! Finnie is a tremendous pickup!

Great start, Coach. I'm feeling that Hurricane pride coming back! GO CANES!

Pretty impressive; I like Golden's (and staff) tenacity. It appears that Golden really 'gets it'. THE STATE OF MIAMI IS BEING FORMED ONCE AGAIN!!!!!!

C-A-N-E-S CANES!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I'm likin Coach Golden. Like his energy, like his attitude. Like the fact that they're planning a reunion for all the old ball players. Can you imagine going to such a reunion of players from the U? Can you imagine being counted among that group? That's incredible. Coach Golden has VISION and PASSION and so does everyone he hires. I can feel this turnaround in my gut. I feel it. And I like it.

The approach of Coach Golden and his staff are first class. All he asks is the opportunity to present the UM and his staff to potential recruits If given the opportunity the potential UM recruit can see not only his interest but the sincerity of which he presents the UM and the football program. He is a breath of fresh air in south Fla.

Shandel Richardson:

Not USC. Not Texas. Not Oklahoma. Not Florida. Yes, South Carolina ...

Posted by: Sergeant Shultz...I know nothing! | January 07, 2011 at 01:34 PM

South Carolina had a better team than USC, Texas and Florida. LOL. What are you talking about man? DO you even watch college football. Lol. What a joke.

Good move by Golden keep up the good work.

@Jah! Thanks for setting that jerk straight!!! I would have LOVED to still D. Bowers from Clemson three years ago! Yes, Clemson!

I SAW FINNIE PLAY IN THE PLAYOFFS AGAINST SOUTH DADE AND BEFORE I KNEW HIS NAME I ASKED WHO NO. 5 IS - THE KID IS AWESOME!!! DOES NOT STOP PLAYING UNTIL THE WHISTLE AND HE'S FAST AS H**L!

Great job, Golden... by the way, most of you guys know so little about football if give me a HEADACHE!

Good to hear about that kind of enthusiasm from Al Golden. I figured he was Mr Penn St all the way, vowing to never sway a player verbally committed to another school, never recruting inner city Black kids, no rednecks...

Manny forgot to mention 19,000 at the UM last home game

Is that the same South Carolina that Florida is like 40 and 2 against? Wow you beat the worst Floida team in 25 years, how did you in your rare "bowl" appearence?

Finally were recruiting Miami Central......Randy won't look @ them because of the rivalry with N.W. ITS A DIFFERENT LEVEL who cares.

Not that it matters to me personally, but one major reason Miami wouldn't be in Rivals top ten list is that we don't need more than 15 recruits this year. With that said, they add up the "stars" and mathematically figure what the group equals to. Most of the schools have a lot more than the 7-15 recruits Miami needs this year, so the bs you jackazz gator/fsu fans are spewing about the recruiting doesn't hold any water. Oh, I'm sorry, let me explain that..your point about UM recruiting sucks.

U guys are dumb. Shannon is a Miami norland grad. U really believe he cared about the rivalry of two high schools dat recruits high school kids themselves? He got black listed for not getting Jeff last year.

Congrats Finnie !
Great job Golden! as many will see, Golden is a tireless worker, and he will expect that from his coaches and players. There could be some very nice surprises from Coral Gables this year. Canes back in the NC picture? YOU BET! We need that nastyness back, that hard nosed, I will kick your butt, relentless pressure from both sides of the ball. I do not believe that Golden is too far away from that game. Go Canes! Welcome to the GOLDEN GAME!!!


lol, hes the 39th best CB by rivals. I mean that is a good player but by no means a game changer. Don't get it twisted a 4.4 is fast, very fast, but in the south they are almost a dime a dozen. Good for UM but until Golden gets a Nole recruit or a guy we wanted Im not sweating.

Posted by: Tfmtb@yahoo.com | January 07, 2011 at 12:23 PM


What the hell do you know, you idiot? How the F do you know he's not a game-changer? The guy could come here and be an All-American or he could be a bust. AGain, what the F do you know, you clueless Miami Herald poster @sshole?

Coincidence that "Uncle Luke" is now at Central? Look for Golden to get 5-6 very good players like this, kids that never would have been considered by prior regime.

we are going after Jucos now. We have 2 prep schoolers I think and Duron carter is a juco kid and the #1 Juco CB in the nation is coming in 4 a visit. THINGS R GOOD GO U

Good job "R". Let em' have it. For the record Marks, Klien, Sapp, Taylor, Reed, Portis, Morgan, Brown, Kosar, Shockey, were ALL way under the radar and NOT 5 star blue chips! All have rings. Hum.... Don't have to steal anybody to get tough, mentally smart kids who would love to hit for the Canes. Golden, good job. We are rebuilding people. And getting those egos that are 5 star iS NOT the answer. We have proved that! I reference the above names again. I remember Warren Sapp from Apopka, HS. Tough, mean kid, but he was too slow to play for UF, remember? Go Golden! Go Canes!

http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1173945


CHECK THAT OUT FELLOW CANE HOMIES AND HOMEGIRLS

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