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A day later, cooler heads have prevailed at Booker T.; Matthew Thomas still in play for Canes

Sometimes you just need to talk things out. 

In the case of Booker T. Washington offensive lineman Denver Kirkland, coach Tim "Ice" Harris and the University of Miami it appears better communication between the parties involved could have prevented some hurt feelings and an ugly situation. But a day later, after a night to sleep on things, I can tell you UM hasn't poisoned itself in Overtown or burned any bridges permanently. There are grown ups involved here. Lessons have been learned.

For starters I spent about 30 minutes this afternoon chatting up Ice Harris and his son, offensive coordinator Tim Harris Jr., to get the real story of what might have gone wrong here. Ice told me afterward he didn't want to be quoted other than to say "I don't want to beat a dead horse." But without knowing UM's side of the story here -- coaches aren't allowed to discuss recruits publicly -- here is what I gathered from the situation:

Kirkland, a 6-5, 333-pound All-American offensive lineman, obviously wasn't the big fish UM was hoping to catch at Booker T. All-American linebacker Matthew Thomas, a consensus five-star recruit, has always been the guy Miami has gone after at Booker T. first and foremost. When Al Golden visited Booker T. on Thursday afternoon with a couple of his assistants he spent an hour and a half with Thomas and 10 minutes with Kirkland. 

Don't mistake for a second Booker T. coaches aren't aware Thomas is the guy everybody in the country wants or that Kirkland isn't "a shade below" Thomas in terms of being in the same league. Kirkland, Harris Jr. told me, didn't get a Miami offer until this past summer, after he had attended UM's camp.

But this is where the communication break down begins. In the eyes of Booker T.'s coaches, who spend every day with their players, there was no difference between Kirkland and Thomas. Once they got an offer from a school, they assumed schools were willing to go the distance with them -- all the way up until Signing Day -- to wait for a commitment. 

Ice Harris, having spent three years on Randy Shannon's staff at UM, is well aware of the recruiting game. He understands schools can pull scholarship offers and go in another direction if things change. Recruiting is a fluid game that changes from second to second. Ice Harris knows offers aren't guaranteed. He just never imagined in his wildest dreams -- not after Al Golden visited Booker T. Washington and spent time with both players Thursday -- that Miami was considering pulling Kirkland's scholarship. Why? Because there was no talk of a deadline according to them. 

"They might have told him it was getting a little tight for them or he needed to give them an assurance, but he wasn't ready to do that," Harris Jr. said. "But we told them -- told assistant Micheal Barrow -- we felt strongly he was going to go there. He just had to go through the process and make sure he was going to go there."

Why did Kirkland need more time? Because according to Booker T.'s staff, other college coaches were still coming in to talk to Kirkland. After Golden and his staff walked out the door Thursday, Harris said Jimbo Fisher and FSU was waiting to talk to Kirkland. Like it or not, it's a process. And now we know why. Because at any moment a school can decide to change directions -- the same way athletes can. Recruiting is fluid. 

Harris and Booker T.'s players just never expected to be jolted like that, especially not when they were telling Barrow it looked better for UM that they would land Kirkland than it did as far as netting Thomas. And maybe in the end, that wasn't good enough for Miami.

Maybe, Canes coaches thought Kirkland wasn't going to Miami (maybe new offensive coordinator James Coley had some better insight into the situation). Or, it really was a numbers crunch and UM knows it has other top tier recruits as silent commitments. Maybe the Canes just don't have room for an All-American offensive lineman because they've got six or seven other blue-chip talents in the bag. 

Still, it's just odd the way all this went down. For six months Miami wanted Denver Kirkland. Then six days before National Signing Day they decided they didn't want him anymore. I guess if you have six or seven better players you know for sure you are getting it makes sense to make room, toss out the trash.

But if you don't know that for sure then why do this? Why surprise a two-time state championship winning coach by yanking a scholarship away from one of his best players after you've told him for six months you want him and he's told you that you are likely to get him?

And that's where the confusion lies on Booker T.'s side. Ice Harris trusted his word to Barrow was good enough, that it was infiltrating the offices at UM and that the offer Kirkland had wasn't going to vanish. He still trusts Barrow, insisting he's " a great guy and the way he recruited his players is the right way." Ice Harris said his conversation with Barrow Friday morning "went well" and both sides are "trying to smooth things over."

It's the guys making the decisions down in Coral Gables, inside the offices, Ice Harris isn't sure about. After all, if Golden was already at Booker T. Thursday morning why not tell Kirkland yourself the bad news? Why send Barrow back to do it after a championship parade?

"I don't think the relationship as a whole between Miami and Booker T. is ruined," said Tim Harris Jr., a UM grad and former track star. "You have to look at every situation differently. I think everybody here can all agree this situation was handled bad and us being a pipeline here in the backyard of UM it shouldn't have come to this. But all of us here are professionals and I don't think anyone here wants to give the idea we would steer kids away from the University of Miami. If anything, we're just going to have to ask more questions. When they come in and say you have an offer we're going to ask 'Is there a deadline?' That goes for all schools. At the end of the day, UM is my school, it always will be. But I'm a coach here at Booker T. and we're here to protect the kids and keep them away from having something like this happen to them. So we will be smarter. We've learned a lesson."

And now, maybe, Miami will learn a lesson, too.

Star linebacker Matthew Thomas is still very much in play for the Canes. Harris assured me of that. UM coaches were with him last night in his home -- after they broke his teammate's heart. Thomas was shocked to hear what happened with Kirkland, Harris said. But he hasn't ruled the Canes out -- at least not as of noon Friday.

Then again, UM has never been the program at the top of Thomas' list. The way Harris Jr. explained it to me, Thomas didn't really care about Miami, didn't want to go there for most of the season. When Barrow or UM coaches would call him, Harris Jr. said, he wouldn't answer. It wasn't until Harris and his assistants urged him to open his ears and at least hear what UM had to offer that Thomas really began to listen. Florida State, they say, had always been Thomas' quiet leader. Now, USC is involved "and making a strong late push." Alabama has been in the mix, too.

Does UM really have a chance to get Thomas?

"Yeah they've got a chance," Harris Jr. said. "But it's not like Denver. We honestly don't know where he wants to go. It was FSU for a long time and now it's anybody's guess. I think we all feel like we're going to be surprised on Wednesday."

For Miami's sake, let's hope that surprise isn't like the one Kirkland got Thursday afternoon. That one stung.


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I've been traveling out of the country and just returned...did your Gators beat Louisville be 100 points as you predicted?



All Ur idiot Rivals.com "experts" still have Denver Kirkland as a Cane U Dumb Cluck... Great updated source from equally inferior minds like Urs Domasse-CaneTiluDie.

Well Soldy, go read the Artie Burns artilce that just went up. Thats how Matthew Thomas should b.
1. If the U doesnt get the booker guys and the other pendings, then ILL GUARANTEE U GOLDEN GOT SILENTS FROM SOME TOP STUDS, as ""butch davis said in yahoo article, he liked the 3 star athletic guys that loved football:
2. Rivals.com main page, not miami, all moved Thomas, 8 panelists, as a U committment, and then Miami called out DK. We dont need a 4th Olineman in this class, so we were still goin to honor it and he didnt say yes, so sayonara.
3. 4 of our 12 kids are espn 150 players, and GOLDEN LANDED HOWARD ON SIGNING DAY LAST YR, so with his track record at the U so far (being under SANCTION THREAT), I take Al's side on this.

Mathhew thomas, Carter, Burns, all HIGHLY UPGRADE THE DEFENSE

12-2... Top-10... Consensus #1 2013 Recruiting Class... Elite.

U ?

Soldy, your Mom is screaming for her nightly back-waxing. That might be OK in the trailerpark but them working folks can hear her in the suburbs.

Mathhew thomas, Carter, Burns, all HIGHLY UPGRADE THE EFENSE

Ur dreaming about Thomas, but ur delusion is comical and maybe if U can cram Carter and Burns into the same uniform, together they can fill a spot at D-Tackle which is null and void at Ur 'efenseless U.

now go away neutered-canestiludie.

Hola Arty ! The 20+ 4-5 Star TitleTown Parade begins soon.

Soldy, Babe:

When you didn't answer my question I did my own research and learned that Louisville waxed your Mighty (tee-hee) Gators in the worst attended Sugar Bowl since the 1940's and suffered the biggest upset in BCS history. Wow! That is humiliating!

Seriously, Louisville??????????

Hola Arty!

"Manny, why do you hate Miami so much? (snipped)

Posted by: Jon | February 01, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Jon, check out his bio.

BTW, Gallo's pseudonyms are more creative than he.
His anti-Golden crap is getting old.."Malice2wardnone" indeed. You forgot the "s."


But considering his clearly strong desire to "TRASH" The U whenever he gets a chance, and considering all the IDIOT trolls (Gallo, Soldy, etc...), this blog is getting tiresome.

I think Mike Casagrande over at the SunSentinel Hurricanes blog deserves the love.

If you guys want a substantive change in Navaro's clear Canes hatred (he's an FIU alumn after all and likely is PISSED we have Cristobal), then take your blogging and interest over to his competitor. When Manny's blog is just the trolls and crickets.... he'll get the message. He doesn't have much of a job, if there's no one here reading his regular TRASHING of the Hurricanes and Coach Golden.

Miami threw Kirkland "out like trash"???? That's a damning statement about Navaro's bias....

You die-hard Canes fans have power in numbers.

Leave this blog and go to the competitor and make Navaro and the Miami Herald sports editor know you're sick and tired of having their Canes reporter be the Canes TRASHER.

See ya later...

BTW folks, Alex gall, the kid from a REAL O-Line paradise, Ohio will be THE guy.
I'd rather be Ohio State of the south than the UF of the farther south.
UF, what a joke, getting nailed by a (future) ACC school.

Posted by: WestCoastCane | February 01, 2013 at 10:43 PM

To be fair, Susan M Degnan has posted many excellent "warm and fuzzy" blogs featuring Canes players/parents, etc. Really IMO nice stuff.
I agree that the tone of Manny's blog, this one in particular is crude, considering he prefaced it by the "one side' comment.

My worry is the the NCAA will conveniently "drop the bomb" Monday, in effect saying "who cares if our "investigation" is tainted, and our main"witness" entirely corruptable ands CORRUPTED, we'll just time this to extract the greatest pound of flesh we can."

oh come on. Bad publicitiy thats all miami has had for 3 ys. Since the shapiro stuff broke. If al can recruit with all that over him he can beat this. He pulled an offer from a kid who hadn't commited. Its not like he pulled an offer from a kid who had said im coming to miami . In fact had the kid chosen to tell coaches that when visiting with him he would still have the scholorship offer. This isn't bad pub. If bama can call kids the day before nsd tell them have to greyshirt and has no issue and otehr schools do same thing have no issue why would this hurt miami makes no sense it would. if a kid likes miami he will come to miami regardless of the press.

There is no lesson for Miami- Thelesson is for kids and all of the programs- Golden aint playing. The U aint playing. the years of begging recruits to come to the U-esp localtalent are over. Ovah. You want to come to thebest university in the state of florida, and the 40th best (out of 500 or more) in the country, with all the TV exposure, all the history, and being THE PIPELINE to the NFL, NFL-U if you will, the commit. Otherwise, the h-l with your garbage.

UM isnt playing.

No more scrubs trying to showboat.

We had enough of that with Jacorry Harris, Streeter, Forston and the Northwestern crew.

You come to the U. You need to compete and work your tails off.

Nothing is given to you. Except the scholie if you commit.

Kehoe for Prez!!

U said it 952. Golden said it a year or so ago. WE DONT WANT THE ""HAT GAME PLAYA's"". WE want kids that want to be at the U. Olsen and Alquin Mohammed are ranked #1 and #3 in the State of New Jersey, regardless of position. 2 studs\
1, Kevin Olsen just ranked #1 player in NJ
2 Alquin Mohammed #1 DE in NJ #3 in Country
3 . The Tight End Beau Sandland #1 Juco TE
4.The Tight End Standish Dobbard is ESPN 150
5. Artie Burns espn 150 , 4 star kid
6. Jamal Carter, 4 star kid
All the other Kids are those 3 star under the radar kids that excel.
ESPN RECRUITING NATION SHOW TONIGHT SAID THE U is 1 of 4 teams to watch on Wednesday as they expect Miami to climb the rankings ladder

LASTLY, unlike Rivals and Scout.com who grade by total points meaning more recruits U have, more pts u have.
ESPN HAS US #24 with only 12 kids..........WE HAVE STUDS UP AND DOWN THE COMMITT LIST W/o THE ONES COMIN ON WEDNESDAY.............""Fear the Tie""""

""Nothing to see here"" gator and Fsu trolls. I dont think any one of the U bloggers on here go on a UF or FSU blog and post stupid sheeeet. Why do U waste your time unless U do fear the U...on its way back, the mystique, swagger, 250k scholarship vs trailer park town tally and gainesvilles 6k per year degree or whatever it is (a joke).

""Harvard of the South"""

soldy and only 5 of those 8 panelists on rivals stlll pick kirkland to the U. not all 8. But all 8 pick M Thomas, and Alex Collins I believe 6/7 out of 8. That was updated this morning, and feman on miami.rivals.com stated he still thinks DK might be a late addition if things get smoothed out.
We also have a shot at Cunningham and Coley, the 2 Wr's.........If I was either one of them, WE HAVE NO WIDE RECEIVERS IN THIS CLASS, so why would U goto a school loaded on depth chart and that has 2-4 other wr committs???
I say Golden lands both Wr's on that Rivals list, collins, Thomas, and 1 of the 3 DT's(Bryant, Bostwick,Juco DT from TX), possibly 2 .......

Closing strong, blowin by Semiholes

And. http://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1466495 Updated today, half of the panelists changed matt thomas after 2 VISITS BY GOLDEN YESTERDAY MY FRIENDS


Shannon isn't here anymore, but since you feel the need to bring him up, here we go. Shannon pulled Bryce Brown's offer and everyone had the same reaction. People didnt like Shannon because he was a horrible head coach.

I do agree our defense plays slow. It's not the Miami defense we are used to. It's going to be interesting to see how Golden handles that D this year.

Man, you got it wrong on the bryce brown thing, nobody cared about bryce brown coming here, he was visiting his brother and decided to go and stop by and see lamar miller player, after he saw that game bryce decommitted cause why they called that man "Truth" miller, shannon only held that man's schalorship that long out of respect for arthur but they didn't want that cry baby here after it became real obvious he had the robert marve syndrome, don't want to compete.

Posted by: WestCoastCane | February 01, 2013 at 10:43 PM

WCC, not so fast my friend.
This is the sort of trash journalism up on the Sentinel as we speak.

If y'all beg hard enough, I'll print my response to Chris Hays' hatchet job of UM.

Thats a 1045 PM UPDATE
So according to the panelists, 5 of 8 still say DK goes to the U,
2. matt thomas 8/8
3. Alex Collins 6/8 panelists
and we have panelists sayin theres a chance with
4/ Stacy Coley
5. Jordan Cunningham
6. Jermaine Grace
And, we are in on the 3 DT's,(Bryant, Bostwick, Tx Juco DT). .....Golden can be a hero.

"She's your queen to be"

By the way uf and fsu trolls, when hoping Ur player goes to ur school, dont forget depth charts and committs this year. For example. with miami playing young guys while golden is buildin team, U CAN PLAY EARLY..
2. We have no WR Committs in this class, so if Im cunningham and coley, IM ALL OVER THAT
3. We have no RB's in this class, so if Im collins and this Syracuse Decommitt edwards, Im all over it.
4. We have no LB committs, so If I am Matt Thomas and Jermaine Grace, I am all over it.
5. We have barely any Dlineman, so Bostwick,Bryant,Juco kid, IM ALL OVER IT>


Dom, I certainly hope YOU, and they are correct.
Our biggest problem is not the possible penalties, I believe it's the ofttimes empty piece of crap stadium UM fans must travel to.
Shalala could have a statue on the campus if she could display some grit and get a nice cozy 45k seat stadium built on the tropical park property.
Donald trump offered to finance partly at one time. Problem is, Shalala's so left wing, any help from anyone without her point of view is ignored.
A shame, as her approval of coach L, coach Meier, and coach Golden is a hallmark of her administration. her "approval" of Nevin Shapiro, not so much.

FSU has 4 LB's already in this class, I know Thomas is the #1 OLB, but with Miami HAVING ZERO LB's, its kinda a no brainer.

2. FSU has 2 or 3 Wr Committs I believe already, so, with Coley , why not come to the U. MIAMI HAS ZERO WR COMMITTS.

3. Again, MIA HAS ZERO RB COMMITTS> SO why would Alex Collins not want it??

IMAWRITER, If U recall, just like the Marlins, when the canes win, people come out. I think to gain some momentum , they should give out free tickets to all the youth leagues and all those young athletes from age 10-14 would b Cane Fans.....at least youd fill the seats when we play the DUKE's etc.

2. Golden called out DK for a reason, and all those panelists on Rivals sure did change Thomas to all 8 predicting Miami. Theres a reason for why golden would call this kid out. Meaning we have 7-8 Kids ready to pledge Allegiance to the U and WE DONT NEED A 4th O LINEMAN UNLESS HE WAS SERIOUS....... 5 panelists still say hes comin to Mia.

Espn recruiting show also stated MIAMI is 1 of 4 teams to watch on Wednesday , as they expect Goldent to finish strong. All signs are pointing in a positive direction

Ray lewis they say is an Athlete, not RB, and Rivals had said the JUCO LB might be a Defensive End. But we do not have WR,LB,RB commits from any high school seniors

Dom, glad you're still up. It's CST here.
I grew up watching my alma mater from the age of ten, at the beloved OB.
That placed rocked, smelled, and ROCKED A WHOLE LOT MORE. It was, as you prolly know a HUGE home-field advantage. It's no surprise, BOTH the Canes program( with the help of horrible coaching and recruiting) and the Dolphins (with the help from a grossly under achieving FO) have fallen upon harder times.

Look at the programs thriving, and you'll see teams who WIN ALL their home games, as they are truly HOME games.

I hope we score HUGE on Wednesday, and I believe you're right about fans, and especially Miami sports fans in general. Give them a WINNER, and they'll come.
As example, the miracle coach L has wrought.

I have a good feeling. Especially with Al pulling tracy howard last year on signing day. Every one of the bashers on here said no way in heck. Everyone saw the DK situation as a bad thing, but when those rivals panelists all put thomas for the U, it made sense. Looking at our list, we have 3 OLINE committs and some redshirted last year, so, in honoring matt thomas's teammate and our word(and DK;s parents said a Feb 1 deadline from what I read) they called him out.

Unlike some of these guys, Obviously golden wouldnt want to destroy a pipeline, so he knows something we dont. he had an in school and a dinner at thomas's house, and then they call out DK.

It would seem since we were going to take 16-18 kids, those 6-7 are falling in line, so why offer a 4th Olineman if he says ""Im waiting till wednesday"". They prob even said he can stay silent, JUST TELL US THE TRUTH

Especially with Ray Lewis Retiring, if i am a stud Linebacker knowing ray jr is gonna play with me and ""DAD"" will be at the U at every practice , WHO WOULD NOT WANT TO LEARN FROM RAY EFFIN LEWIS??

I think its gonna b a good wednesday, we all need some good news

Silly Silly Cane Fans... While the GATORS and 'NOLES have a Class of 20+ FULLY COMMITTED STUDS already in the Barn, U are roaming aimlessly out in the 4-5 Star Void pasture stepping in crap chasing mostly 2 and barely 3 Star table scraps along with the likes of the USF's, UCF's, Rutger's, Purdue's, Buffalo's and bottom feeders of the ACC mediocre programs of the College Football Landscape.

U keep dreaming like Dimwit-Dom-tilhebedead that a miracle is coming only to find out come Wed. Feb. 6th., Ur reality is a living nightmare.

Well GOTZ, 4 of the 12 r espn 150 players, the 5th Jamal Carter is a high 4 star, and the 6th out of only 12 players was the #1 Juco player in the US.
6 blue chips, and 6 3 star kids. Butch Davis is quoted today in the Rivals and yahoo article that CALLS MIAMI THE BEST FOOTBALL FACTORY, stating he hated the 5 star and craved the hungry 3 star t

Umm. Gotz, Al Golden in his 1st full class last year with Looming Sanctions had a top 10 class on Both Rivals and ESPN. with only 12 players, espn which doesnt grade by total points has Miami ranked 24, with 12 players.
Does rutgers or purdue have a top 10 last year? and climbin????

I wouldnt put UF and FSU in the same sentence. Both teams have been down recently, yes UF an FSU had decent seasons. but, lets not forget Uf lost what 5 or so last year, fsu also had losses in 2010/11.

#2. UF has NEVER EVER , even their NT years had an undefeated season, EVER, I believe FSU had 1 of their 2 title seasons with no losses,

Miami , 1983 NT, undefeated in 1986,1987 reg seasons, 1989 national title, undefeated in 1991 and 1992 reg seasons. Undefeated in 2001 and 2002 regualar seasons, and played in 11 title games in 19 years......

and had their 6th title stolen by a ref in 2003 fiesta

Coaches- don't be upset- he has other offers and if he really wanted to go play for the U he would have given them that commitment when they flat out asked him to come to the U and give them his word- he said NO- he didn't want to play for the U. Why are you all so upset?

I forgot to mention that the 1988 season , the ref in the U documentary called a fumble when mia lost by 1, that would be 1 more undefeated season had the call gone correctly, and, in 2000, although finishing #2 n beatin fsu in reg season, bcs computers chose fsu over miami when they got spanked by a weak OU team.

That would be 3 titles, all by ref goof or computer, counting the 2003 fiesta screw up by the ref.....UR SCHOOL WISHES IT CAN HAVE THOSE PROBLEMS

I don't get all the hoopla, DK had an offer and wasn't ready to give us his pledge so we moved on. I know he is a talented kid and he wanted his moment to play the hat game but if Miami was his choice he would have relayed that to the coaches and told them to keep it quiet. Al Golden is going to shock some people with some commits he will get next week. This staff is way too meticulous and detailed oriented to not have an adequate contingency plan in place. And the gators should be worried because we are going to whoop them the second game of the year and the noles won't even win their ACC division next year.

WAY TO GO CAPTAIN HOOK.....We were called 1 of 4 teams to watch on the espn recruting show for this wednesday and U r correct, theres a reason they called out DK. Spots r fillin for some kids that want the U, and we needed an answer

Bashers be ware. and again, GOLDEN HAD A TOP 10 CLASS LAST YR, , I see this joker above saying Miami is buffalo or purdue ?? come on, man.......

Gotz, on a lovely january night a soon to be ACC team UL made a mockery of UF's so called "defense"...and offense.

Short-term memory loss is a bee-yatch, no?

Gotta put my tired, soon to be wrinkled butt to bed.
G'night Canes fans, you too, trolls.

Kirkland was playing the Canes. He's going SEC and just wanted miami's hat on the table when he choose. Coley gave staff heads up. Manny- look before u leap next time.

Barrow should have let him have his day. You don't strong arm a kid from one of your main pipelines. At the very least talk to the coach before pulling a ship if the coach has been involved. Just a bad play by Golden and his staff.

Finally have a coach with balls

It seems to me that if UM believed that he was going elsewhere there would be no need to pull their offer. This recruiting game is just that- a game being played by 17-18 year old kids and grown men. I wish all parties concerned the best, and let us move on.

Signing all of these players won't mean diddly squat if they are not coached up right. I hope the coaches are watching film and adjusting the defensive scheme to match our talent. Some Fans talk about Fisch being the only good coach. Keyhoe made it all happen.

Miami s DC is still the most depressing thought heading into the upcoming season.......regardless of the number of solid defensive recruits we ll get next week officially.

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