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Negative recruiting against Canes was hurdle that led all the way up to Signing Day

CORAL GABLES -- The first thing Al Golden did after putting the finishing touches on UM's 2012 signing class Wednesday afternoon was thank everyone who helped him put it together.

Jawand BlueEveryone got a shout out: UM President Donna Shalala; school professors; the wives of his assistant coaches who never saw their husbands; the fans and boosters who lent their private planes to allow Golden and his assistants to fly all over the country; the current players who hosted recruits; the recruits who became early enrollees and the longtime commitments who recruited the recruits on the fence.

Nope, this job wasn't easy. The way UM arrived Wednesday to a Top 10 nationally class of 33 recruits (second most in the nation behind Troy St. and Tempe who each brought in 35) was grueling process, a job only made tougher by looming NCAA sanctions, a 6-6 season and a whole lot of negative recruiting. 

"This was the most grueling six or seven weeks in my career in 17 years in the business," said Golden. "I can't remember any time when we were at Temple and we took over that we were facing anything harder than this.

"It was an incredible effort in light of all the things we encountered, all the obstacles in the last couple months. I won't sit here and tell you we didn't get absolutely crushed by opponents [with negative recruiting]. They saw a soft spot and they took it, went after it."

> The Hurricanes dealt with another dose of negative recruiting Wednesday after West Boca Raton linebacker JaWand Blue switched out of his commitment to Virginia Tech and picked Miami.

When Blue called Virginia Tech assistant coach Charley Wiles by phone, Palm Beach Post writer Matt Porter was there with Blue and overheard their conversation. According to Porter, Wiles tried to sway Blue by touting his program’s success in the ACC and cleanliness – a shot at Miami following the Nevin Shapiro scandal.

Without naming Virginia Tech directly, Golden fired back close to the end of his 40 minute press conference Wednesday: "At times [negative recruiting] can enter in the realm of vicious. I heard that happened today. You give them enough rope, they hang themselves. Let them say all those nasty things. At the end of the day when you're in the pressure cooker, how you react in front of recruits and their parents says a lot about you and the program. You lose kids, we wish them good luck."

Golden's fight is far from over. Until the NCAA hands down its punishment, UM will continue to get pelted. The good news for the Canes? None of it really appeared to affect the 2012 class Golden was able to put together.

Miramar All-American cornerback Tracy Howard said the NCAA investigation really didn't play a factor -- playing time did. Blue told 760 ESPN in West Palm Beach all he was thinking about was staying home and that he trusts the Canes aren't in big trouble. Same with St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Jelani Hamilton.


> Golden said the reason UM's class grew to be so large wasn't because of fear of impending NCAA sanctions but rather the departure of key underclassmen. So how many scholarships are available should a player come along? According to Golden, none.

> Golden said of the class: " I think it personifies and embodies what we're looking for. Lot of guys that want to be Miami Hurricanes. Lot of guys that understand what it means to be part of the tradition, not only how they play, but conduct themselves off the field, the passion they exhibit, the toughness. [They come from] a lot of championship programs, a lot of captains. A lot of tough guys. I'm probably a little surprised we're ranked as high as far as all the rankings and that stuff goes. Primarily I'm surprised because so many of them came from [UM camps]. A lot of the guys that came from the camp are under the radar. We've never been catalog shoppers."

> Golden said he looks for in players at his camps is character. "Our guys, if they're under the radar guys, we really don't care," Golden said. "They came to the camp - Jake O'Donnell and Dwayne Hoilett come to mind. I didn't care if either one of them had any offers. What we saw at camp with their speed, the tenacity they exhibited. Those are guys we need to get in the program. Herb Waters is another guy who came to camp and did a good job. We're not worried about the stars. We're grateful we have the recognition that goes along with having a highly ranked class."

> So when did Golden begin to believe UM really had a shot at luring Tracy Howard? After his in-home visit two weeks ago.

"The last couple weeks we started to build some momentum there and I just felt he was listening more. Then we had an opportunity when we went into the home, I think I left out of there and I felt good. I sensed something different. I think the more we talked to Tracy about football, academics, commitment to core values, I think the more his family understood. I think Shaiy and Tracy Sr., they were looking for something to carry on with the young man."

> On late addition Dequan Ivery, a 6-1, 300-pound defensive tackle from Lake City Columbia, Golden said: "A lot of people chase stars down the stretch. I kept challenging the staff to find me another nose guard in this class or next class. He's on the strength team, over a 400 pound bencher already, has leverage, can bend. He wanted to be a Hurricane."

> Golden likes all four players UM got from Palm Beach County: "[Receiver] Angelo [Jean-Louis] had a great week at Under Armour. All the coaches said `Who is this kid?' He did a great job up there. Gabe Terry is one of those guys, finished runner up in wrestling in his weight class, has a 3.6 (GPA) and the tape that he had. A beautiful young man, had a chance to visit with him during the season. He'll play [strongside linebacker] for us. Jawand [Blue] is a late addition for us today not because of his talent but because of scholarships that were promised before we got to him. He communicated with us down the stretch. We're grateful that he decided to join us. He'll help us at linebacker. [Receiver] Robert Lockhart I think is going to be a really good player. He'll be with us in May. He brings us length. That's a really good group in an area we haven't done great in. "

> Westminster Christian quarterback David Thompson has the green light to play baseball, Golden said. " He's going to help both programs out, is a tremendous young man. We'll see which way it goes. Coach [Jim] Morris and I have talked about how we'll manage it; we're both on the same page there. The wildcard is pro baseball, the draft. We'll see where that goes. [Quarterbacks] Preston [Dewey] and Gray [Crow] are doing well. Those guys are doing a great job for us and we're really excited about them competing. I think we've improved that position."

> Golden said cornerback Brandon McGee isn't running track this year and is instead focused on football by his choice.. walk on linebacker Nantambu Fentress apparently has interest in playing baseball... Golden confirmed Dallas Crawford has been switched to running back. "Dallas was a wildcat quarterback [in high school]. We ran him on scout team, will take a look at him [at running back] in the spring. We can always move him back to DB."


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Masacre at VT, bullying minorities leads to masacre and flubberneck wants to bad mouth Miami??!!LMAO..Freaking turkeys!!!!!plus a Poice Officer shot on campus!!Talk about negative stuff..

VT signed an awesome class of LBs.. that's one reason they had Blue as a greyshirt. So, not a huge loss. As for the guy talking about the shooting at VT, etc. You're an idiot.


This is not a "Butch Johnson" class. And for that matter there is absolutely nothing about Johnson connected to 'Goldy's program. Johnson looked adversity in the face and beat it and then some.

And how in the heck can U give a shout out to Shalala? For what?

Playthefreshmen, you're a moron, I'm a U fan through and through. I posted against the idiot *** U ... Fiddy/Fiddy U, and his gator fans friends. But you take the cake. No intelligent person would bring up shooting tragedies that happened at VT. No true alum of the U would ever show such lack of class. You are the biggest moron on this blog.

Delusional Gatrs says Howard came to Miami cause he can start right away and that wouldnt be the case at UF.

Hmmm.. I live In Gainesville and on TV20 news last night Muschump said they missed out on Howard but got the #2 CB in Jacoby and he would probably play right away??

Guys like you are the reason there is Sodomy in prison you friggin idiot

As a VT fan I am not embarrassed by anything that assistant said to Blue. He was being honest and told the kid being away from home will allow him to focus more on himself and his football. I have no idea what Blue lied to him about-but whatever its his decision and I wish him luck at the U. Kids from Florida will keep looking at VT, because it is a hell of an opportunity for them(most we get from Florida don't even get UM offers and still make it to the NFL). I know you UM will have the pick of the litter in Florida, because its the home team and its colder in VA, but with the few Florida kids that come up to Blacksburg we have turned into stars...

Golden is selling the Program,the Academics the Family, the town.
These other coaches are about as stupid as the Politicians smear campaigns. Its like thats all idiots know how to do to better themselves, like Soldy,Arty or whatever.

Soldy, Arty, Pig, Curse....whichever personality has come out to play today.....I guess his meth dealer got arrested again.....you can always tell by the way he reacts and responds

Cut all the Crap guys...the Canes did great when no one especially the soldys, arties, and piggies, not to mention curses and 10 years od meds, wished we did not..

My take is let us enjoy the feeling and watch as these guys whine, and wring their shattered egos as the 'Canes set up for a great Class to blow their pathethic programs away..

The 'Canes are reloading hang out and watch out.
Go 'Canes

Good to see Blue say see ya to the Jokies. Any one who talks trash about another school got what was coming. I am sure the Gayturds and the Semiholes did the same. I see Tracy and Bush starting in the secondary this year. And Da Duke will start in the backfield too. I think Duke is going to down as one of the best backs the Canes ever had.

Canetillidie I am with you on the eudo comment. Look forward to that continuing.

Amazes me the idiocy that can come from a few. Doubt many true UM affiliates(current students/alum/etc) are even posting here.

VT alum here btw. First and foremost to joke about the shooting shows how much of an ignorant individual you are who probably doesnt have the mental capacity to attend an ACC level university. Any true member of an ACC school would not post such a thing, ESPECIALLY on a football topic as if it is relevant.

In terms of the ASSISTANT COACH who was talking to Blue. I would imagine that the majority of the conversation was blown out of proportion since the reporter who said something was on the Blue side of the conversation. He even mistakenly thought it was Beamer at first so we really cant trust much now can we.

At least attempt to be real about the story and not blow it out of proportion, especially the UM "faithful".

Not sure how much another top recruiting class will help UM on the field since it seems most of their talent tries to leave to the NFL as early as possible. For all the talk you would think UM and FSU would be running the conference (if we based everything on recruiting ranks).

The Haters are going nuts.
Golden is doing something right :)

Btw, bringing up the shooting is a low blow and i'm a diehard canes fan.

I don't fault the canes fans for celebrating the only W they've got from us in 2+ years. How is it that an asst. coach can get scorned for having a negative reaction to someone decommitting at the last minute from a team who had recruited him for a very long time to flip to a team who had no interest in him until the last couple of weeks of the recruiting process? The weekend before, he had an official visit at VT and reaffirmed his commitment. Then to only wait until signing day and call and say no thanks? Please.
And the real setup was to have a reporter on hand to witness the private conversation between them and to have the lack of class to post it up on twitter? That was the biggest immature thing that happened throughout this whole thing.
We'll let the chips fall where they may and see what the NCAA does to UM and then get a reaction from UM fanatics.

Ok, let's not talk about the shootings. Let's talk about Va Tech:

V Tech: the champion wanna be pretenders of the world. For 20 years they have come close. Like kissing your sister. Seriously. What have they won. Please dont say ACC championships. So theyve beaten Miami, but they go lose to Boise State. Please. They bring shame to the ACC for always choking late.

get out of here with any C-hokie talk.

Michael Vick.
Marcus Vick.

Excellent legacy.

Some o u idiots must have lost a kid to dap U. [1 rb duke. 1. Cb. Tracy. Top 10 n all 3 sites. Oh and stars mean jack. Uf has had 2 awful years in. Row. ANs all those 5 stars. Jumbo had what 5 and 4 losses las 2 years. Goldi sounds lido jimmy. W don't catalog shop. Stars mean jack.

What a mix of players.Can t wait to see if they have any chemistry and heart.How strong.........collectively is this year s team s will??????????????????????Hope Moore and Ivery and our defensive line show improvement.Our trenches especially on the D line were very weak and slow.We had plenty of holes unplugged all year even with the good play of Spence.Hope Perryman shows improvement also.Guess most of my excitement is being saved for Morris the eventual winner at QB I feel.I ve always loved the competitor in the kid and wonder if he can be a real strong leader.I know he ll run when he has to...and he s quick boy.Sooooooooo......I expect alot of accurate passing and bombs with his rocket arm and if our receivers can dance after the catch............Lord have mercy.What a treat to go with the DUKE.Can t wait.....GO CANES.

A solid class coming in. We are finally back to the old formula for recruiting the STATE OF MIAMI.

I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect!

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