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Signing Day goes on without many surprises -- good or bad -- for Hurricanes Wednesday morning

A year ago, Hurricanes coach Al Golden sat around the fax machine on National Signing with the knowledge that sooner or later the NCAA was going to come around to hand down penalties.

There were no such worries Wednesday -- just happiness -- as the Hurricanes reeled in their best signing class in Golden’s four years in Coral Gables.

Among the big fish UM reeled in: Miami Booker T. Washington five-star defensive end Chad Thomas and pass rushing teammate Demetrius Jackson, California All-American quarterback Brad Kaaya, three All-American offensive linemen and a quartet of talented defensive tackles led by 6-4, 287-pound Anthony Moten from nearby Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

“A lot better,” Golden told ESPN when asked Wednesday morning around 10 a.m. how this year’s Signing Day compared to last year.

“We’re excited. We had a chance to get through the NCAA investigation. We have a lot of kids that fill a lot of needs for us, particularly in the front seven, which we really think we did a great job there. Not to mention we just ended up getting Chad [Thomas] and Demetrius [Jackson] from Booker T., two really good pass rushers.”

The day could have gone even better had UM been able to pick up a couple of late additions. But alas, Booker T. Washington quarterback Treon Harris and Immokalee cornerback J.C. Jackson – who UM made strong late pushes for – both opted to sign with the Florida Gators.

Hialeah Champagnat defensive tackle Travonte Valentine, a U.S. Army All-American committed to the Hurricanes until January, opted to sign with LSU over UM.

“Not a surprise in the end, but still a crushing blow for Miami,” Corey Long, Editor-In-Chief of FUEL Recruiting, said of the 6-3, 338-pound Valentine. “That was the prospect they needed.”

Thomas, the 6-5, 240-pound Under Armour All-American who visited Alabama and Florida State over the last couple weekends, had UM fans nervous before making his announcement in front of family, friends and teammates inside Booker T. Washington’s auditorium.

"For the next four years I plan to be at... the University of Miami," Thomas said as he pulled out his Hurricanes jacket and put it on.

Golden told ESPN he was “absolutely concerned” Thomas might head to Alabama “until all the faxes” were in.

“I had a chance to talk to [his mother] Steph this morning. I was excited about that," Golden said. "Chad has been good. Obviously he’s valuable to us because he’s a pass rusher.

"So now we not only bring in some interior guys in [Michael] Wyche, [Calvin] Heurtelou, [Cortel] Jenkins and [Anthony] Moten, but we get the pass rushers we needed to get desperately in [Trent] Harris, Demetrius Jackson, Chad Thomas, Mike Smith, guys like that."

Jackson, 6-4, 225-pound athletic defensive end rated a three-star recruit, got emotional talking about his commitment to the Hurricanes. A basketball standout at Booker T., he only played football his senior season at the school. But he was impressive, earned All-Dade First Team honors and interest from Arkansas and Texas late.

“It means a lot man. Growing up right there on 17th and Overtown I never thought I would be going to the University of Miami and for football,” Jackson said. “It shows you God’s work. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Kaaya, a 6-4, 215-pound four-star quarterback from West Hills, Calif., woke up early in the morning out on the West Coast to be one of the first players to fax his signed national letter of intent to UM. Malik Rosier, a 6-2, 205-pound dual-threat quarterback from Mobile, Ala., also signed with the Canes.

"Both of those young men came to our camp," Golden said. "We had a chance to see them live and how they operate, how they conduct the huddle and really their football intelligence. Brad, at first is a 6-5 guy. Excellent pocket passer, really can step up, did a tremendous job in the Semper Fidelis [All-American] game. Malik has a big strong arm, another bright young man, a leader. Malik is a little more versatile, can pull the ball down and run. Those two guys are really guys we think can make an impact at playing time for us."

Kaaya wasn’t the first recruit to get his fax into UM. That honored belonged to St. Thomas Under Armour All-American center Nick Linder, the 6-3, 273-pound younger brother of former Hurricane Brandon Linder.

"To be the first one in and locked is exciting," Linder said. "The coaches told me to try to be the first one in it at 7 a.m. So I was here at 6:59 to send it through."

Being a leader like his older brother, who started more than 40 games in his career for UM, is important to him the younger Linder said.

"It's definitely who I want to be," Linder said. "I want to come in and make an impact and that's what I'm working for right now."

UM's class came into the day ranked eighth nationally by ESPN. Does Golden think UM will improve or possibly slip?

"I think will stay around the same," Golden said. "I think we signed 26 guys, maybe 27 when it is all said and done. But it’s really the quality of it. If you look at the offensive line with [early enrollees Trevor] Darling, Kc McDermott and Linder, we’re really excited about those young people.

"Joe Yearby, a great tailback from Miami Central. He fit a great need. We needed long receivers this year and we did that. [Darrell] Langham is 6-4 ½, Tyre Brady is taller than me at 6-3, [David] Njoku. Then we went into Georgia to get an H tight end, somebody that can move and get vertical in Chris Herndon. So, it’s a good group and a group we’re excited about it.

"And we topped it off on defense with the two safeties we ended up getting in Kiy Hester and Marques Gayot. It’s a really good day for the Miami Hurricanes. We’re really excited to move forward now without anything hanging over our heads."

Comments

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Great job Coach Golden and staff.

Let's step it up for 2014.

Welcome to all the new Cannes!

Go Canes!

Make that CANES!

Miami staff have to start offering earlier than they currently do. Point blank. We should not be losing top recruits to schools even to school such as LSU. Look at Lousianna top players, they dont shop around cause LSU is on them from the time they are sophmores in High School.

Congrats to all the new 2014 Miami Hurricanes in this improved recruiting class.

Here is to hoping that the coaching staff improves significantly (especially on defense surprise, surprise) and that Brad Kaaya is the QB of the future at The []_[]!

Go 'Canes!

A mediocre class, given that we have lost so many local recruits to UF, FSU, and outside of the state. No matter how we measure up today, too many kids leave our area; rather Valentine wanted to leave because of waiting to play is irrelevant. He could have red shirted at the “U” in that case; he left because he doesn’t feel comfortable with what AJ and D’No are offering. Bottom line, this year is it for AG; if he cannot produce by getting to ACC championship and finishing within the top 10 (at least), he should be fired. RS did not get the opportunities or funds that this staff has rec’d – no more excuses.

When was the last time Ga. Southern had a better recruiting class than Florida?

How about Duke better than UM?

Top rated classed mean ZERO. Look at the classes that Randy brought in. How about Florida's top rated classes over the last five years?

I'd rather have a roster full of 2 star kids that want to bleed Orange and Green and run through a wall to get it done!

Hopefully, this is what Coach Golden has signed.

Lastly, GREAT JOB COACH, for landing your best recruiting class ever!!

Noon update: UM lost out on three players it hoped to land: Travonte Valentine (LSU), JC Jackson (UF) and Treon Harris (UF).

UM also made a late push for Dillard DE Randy Ramsey, who chose Arkansas, and Tavon Ross, who picked Missouri.... Hialeah quarterback Alin Edouard, who dropped his UM commitment committed to Syracuse.

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OOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fer SIX fer u

al- stupid comment juslt like the stupid comments from all the gators on here- Louisiana commits all or most go to LSU bc in that state thers is nothing else. At most you may consider competition from neighboring Ole Miss or Miss State.

In this state- UF, FSU, UM, UCF, USF, FAU, FIU plus JU, FAMU, BCU.

GTFOH with stupid comments

Another stupid comment from a very stupid poster:
Treon harris decommitted from FSU, and now is going to UF

D--sh says what?

Nice try, piggy.

Weren't you the one talking up Quality over quantity just less than 24 hours ago?

Why, yes you were.

TV? a bummer, yes, but a drama queen. JC and TH? good gets for the Gators, they need them.

NOw, for the last round of scrubs you list as if they were important...You have no standing whatsoever to mention any one of those. none.

- and you damned well know it.

Alin Ed?!!! We stopped recruiting him, genius. Kaaya, Rosier.

You would have bashed any one of those had we taken them anyways.

Tend to your own house, piggy.
4-8
WPOTY v. GS.
21-16

You will never, ever live that down, especially because you come here and try so hard.

so, here's your dose today.

http://i.imgur.com/U0XFNT2.gif

Impotent rage.

Impotent.

I get fsu hauling in recruits but how is Florida doing it with that season they had. Fisher and mushchsmp are running circles around golden.

The day could have gone even better had UM been able to pick up a couple of late additions. But alas, Booker T. Washington quarterback Treon Harris and Immokalee cornerback J.C. Jackson – who UM made strong late pushes for – both opted to sign with the Florida Gators.

Hialeah Champagnat defensive tackle Travonte Valentine, a U.S. Army All-American committed to the Hurricanes until January, opted to sign with LSU over UM.

“Not a surprise in the end, but still a crushing blow for Miami,” Corey Long, Editor-In-Chief of FUEL Recruiting, said of the 6-3, 338-pound Valentine. “That was the prospect they needed.”

.

3 Swings ... 3 Wiiifffssss ... 3 Strikeouts ...

Nolekiller69 - “Top rated classes mean ZERO. Look at the classes that Randy brought in. How about Florida’s top rated classes over the last five years?”

Just my point; top rated classes mean ZERO, unless you have coaching (i.e., AG and D'No) that fail to develop talent or put these players in a position to win with their schemes or lack thereof. For me, the higher rated or quality players that we have lost over the past three plus years could at least have covered or made up for the poor schemes and lack of development by superior skill sets. If we get two star players without the superior coaching to build and develop these players - what do you get? NOTHING, but two star talent trying to play "U" football. The higher rated players that we have picked up over the past three years have not lived up to billing not because they were five or four stars coming in, but lack of development and coaching. You cannot have it both ways; either we get higher rated recruits who can play from the get go or we get two star players that need further development from the jump. If I had to pick, give me the four and five star players who can play; at least some plays will be made.

Cutler ridge laz,

bro, I've heard you on the radio...you bleed orange and green. As do most here.

Unassailable truth:

So whatever you can muster about the UM program dating back to 2001,

Facts are;
You are here bashing UM, while boasting on a UF program who just finished its worst season since 1978 under Dickey.

You finished that season with a loss to Div. II GS, while simultaneously providing the Worst Play of the Year for ESPN...a play that will mark your program in all of modern CFB history...

For all you say about UM, we don't have that dubious distinction, nor anything remotely close for comparison.

Your Latest, greatest NFL legacy is a sociopathic murderer. 27 arrests under your championship coach.

Your championship coach then left you in shambles and for greener pastures after lying to you about it, and is now flourishing for having done so.

Ergo, I root for Urban and even OSU at your expense.

It is truly mystifying that you even have the audacity to cast your pebbles...

I guess you can relate better than most to the saying "you can't win em all!"

This is a good class. ..nice job of recruiting.

I'm looking forward to the qb battle between kaaya and williams.

Al,

valentine just like lsu, nothing can be done about that. Just worry about what we did get...which looks pretty good.

A good recruiting class is always a good start, but whether it'll convert to more wins remains a mystery. The 'Canes have played below their recruiting-class rankings for several years now.

I think the NCAA has two kinds of college football. On one hand are the teams at colleges and universities. On the other hand are teams at institutions that are little more than the NFL's de-facto farm system masquerading as schools.

The colleges and universities are going to get young men who are at least somewhat interested in getting at least some college education. The NFL farm teams are going to get most of the pure football players who are only doing what they have to do before going pro.

I think that if the NFL started an official minor-league system, it would go a long way toward balancing out the recruiting system. I recently read that 65 of the top 100 high-school baseball players went directly into pro baseball's minor leagues instead of going to college. The same would probably be true about high-school football players if the NFL started a farm system, and we'd see the SEC's recruiting dominance quickly dry up; and I don't think it would hurt college football's competitive spirit. Rivalries would still flourish, and fan interest wouldn't decrease.

Anyway . . . the University of Miami might've been an NFL farm school at one time, but it's not now. Given that, Golden's recruited an admirable class. But let's not get too excited. These guys aren't likely to make an immediate impact and, as I said, the 'Canes haven't played up to their recruiting-class ranking for several years.

But those who expect the 'Canes to compete with NFL farm teams like those at FSU, LSU, Alabama and Auburn are dreaming. What pure football player would bother with a genuine college or university, where he'll probably have to actually study, when he could go to an NFL farm school, concentrate on little else (including the law, if you look at FSU) besides football for a couple of years, and then go pro?

It makes sense to me. If I was a gifted young football player--especially from a poor family--I'd go to an NFL farm school, learn as much as I could, and get that pro contract. I wouldn't fool around with a college education until I'd made my and my family's financial futures secure. I could always go back to school in my 30s and get a Ph.D., like Shaquille O'Neal did.

If (when) the NFL starts a farm system, it will:

1) Open up an entirely new and lucrative sports venue for fans and sports journalists,
2) Bring economic growth to small towns with minor-league teams,
3) Bring balance to college football,
4) Bring an academic focus back to the country's post-secondary education system,
5) Rid the country's post-secondary educational system of those who are using it to make money from football, and
6) Relieve high-school football players of the burden of going to college when they're not interested.

An NFL farm system is a win-win-win-win-win-win proposition, and it's about time the NFL got off its dead butt and made this happen.

I'm a long-time 'Canes fan, always will be, and hope Golden & Co can field a more physically competitive team this year (but I'll be watching 'Canes basketball and baseball before all of that). Nonetheless, I'm also a realist, and I know that--barring the formation of an NFL farm system--the University of Miami will have to change fundamentally, from a post-secondary academic institution to an NFL farm program, before it can realistically compete with the likes of most SEC schools, Florida State, et cetera.

Beed..

I hate these uf fools. I went on a uf board once...years ago.

welcome to the U...I hope all contribute and make the CANE Nation proud! All the DL bodies should be good for competition, and rotation...JJ Style...God Bless!

To coach gold, thank you for weathering the strom, for fighting for us in the trenches, and staying to rep the benefits to come, from this point on out!!! it's a new day with new recruiting trails to blaze!!! this years recruiting pitch is, " not what you can do for the U, but what the U can do for you!!!"! THIS HAS BEEN A WEATHER REPORT, STROM CENTER, BY me Catigory 006

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