Thursday, February 5, 2015

Report Card for NSD 2015

I'm going to give a C- for the class overall

Offense
QB...D  We'll likely get one in Evan in the coming days or weeks. But we just let too many get away from us here (Lawson, who committed to VT, and Jackson, who committed to Louisville). Hopefully we keep Kaaya healthy, because if he goes down, ouch.

RB...C-  Glad we kept Walton and was the saving grace here at this positiion, but lost both Cronkrite and Scarlett to a rival up North in UF, who got them to flip from UM. That's just utterly inexcusable to let them both get away. Yearby and Gus (especially Gus) must step up with the departure of Duke.

WR..D...Finding PD's replacement was a disaster, outside of getting Cager. Letting Callaway from a pipeline school like BTW go to UF. Utterly embarrassing. Here we have back Berrios, Brady, Coley (who likely will fill PD's position), Jones, Kidd, Lewis. Those guys now have to step it up and produce in 2015. Likely starters here are Malcolm and Scott (if healthy, otherwise it'll be Coley at the other WR).

TE...C...Losing Clive is tough. The hope here is Jerome Washington can pay immediate dividends for us there.We'll have Dobard as the #1 TE in 2015.

OL...B....Brad got his guy there in Milo.We also brought in Gauthier, Jones, Loftus, Mahoney, and the big one being St. Louis.The likely starters here are: LT Darling, LG Linder, C KC (if healthy. if not, I can see Gall at this spot), RG Danny, RT Sunny. Having Knighton back and staying healthy only helps here. The depth here is very strong.

Defense
LB...F...Yes we ended up with Gordiner from NJ and Perry...however, you don't replace a guy like Denzel with just anyone.The guy that MUST step up as a leader of the D in 15 is Kirby, likely moves to the MIKE LB spot. Also you can Grace and Owens on the outside.

DT...D- Yes, we got Norton which was huge, but struck out on key guys like Green and Scott. We have Courtel back as well as Calvin, Michael, Moten, and Kamalu here, as well as D Jackson. We also got Fines here.

DE...B-...Geting MacIntosh was HUGE and add that Chad and Tyriq are here at those spots, we have some great ones in the making here.

CB/S...C+.. Getting Johnson here early was critical for us. Getting Redwine to flip to us and keeping him home was key. Jackson and Knowles will be good supporting players going forward here.We'll getting back a healthy RayShawn Jenkins. I want to see in the Spring where he is in his recovery. I really need to see Tracy really step up and be that shutdown corner we recruited him to be three years ago. Corn has come up big for us here and needs to stay healthy. I really need to see Deon Bush step up and have a big year in 15.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

NSD Predictions for Uncommitted CANE targets

Well, we are on the eve of National Signing Day and this past weekend we took some major hits. The biggest one being last night when Florida flipped RB Jordan Scarlett, the one recruit we could not afford to lose.

Anyway, here's who I think some uncommitted targets that we're still after end up:

CB Rashad Fenton (Carol City) - We came in the game late, but too late, according to Fenton and his people. The contenders are Florida, South Carolina, and Louisville. 

Prediction: South Carolina

ATH Marcus Lewis (Washington, DC Gonzaga) - Late last night, Lewis said he would delay his decision until early evening tomorrow because now FSU and Texas came into the game. That's not a good sign especially to have FSU in the mix. You know Jimbo will do anything to stick it to UM any way possible and this looks like a case of that here

Prediction: Florida State 

DT Kevin Scott (Los Angeles, CA Bishop Mora Salesian) - With Ole Miss out of it when they picked up Ross Donelly from TX last night. So it's between SC and us. This is one in play here, now that Rasheem Green is going to SC. This is one Golden, D, and Jethro personally have been on for a while. This is one we absolutely MUST have in this class. However, most of the indications believe Scott will end up staying on the West Coast. 

Prediction: SC

RB Dexter Williams (Winter Garden West Orange) - With Scarlett now at Florida, getting Williams in this class now becomes a MAJOR priority. With Louisville out of it, its really between Notre Dame (who has really made a push late), and us. I think in the end, Williams will not be in this class and we will have whiffed on the two prized backs in this class. 

Prediction: Notre Dame

WR Terrell Chatman (Baton Rouge, LA Central) - With Scarlett flipping to UF last night, this would be another devastating hit, if Chatman flips. Now, TCU is now the leader if he does flip, but the hat is making a push late to keep him home. I think he'll flip and we let another stud get away. 

Prediction: TCU

OT Tyree St. Louis (Bradenton IMG Academy) - Been committed since last year. Yes, he's still committed to us, but what's more concerning is that Florida has been making a strong play late in the game to get him to flip to UF. If I'm Kehoe, who has been on this kid during the process, I'm very livid that there's a chance this kid bolts for Gainesville, and those in the Hecht, it would be yet another hit if St. Louis bolts. In the end, I think we keep him.

Prediction: CANES

QB/ATH Torrance Gibson (American Heritage) - We made a push late to get him. An Ohio State commit for a while now. But realistically, if there's a flip to be made here, its going to be between LSU and Auburn. In the end, though, I can't see it happening

Prediction: Ohio State

QB Lamar Jackson (Boynton Beach) - A Louisville commit. Florida made a push here, as well as us, but in the end, look for him to stay put with commitment.

Prediction: Louisville

QB Evan Shirreffs (Jefferson, GA) - Consider the other schools that have recruited him (Georgetown, Brown, Columbia, and VMI), Coley has been recruiting this kid for a while now. In the end, look for him to end up in Coral Gables.

Prediction: CANES

WR Antonio Callaway (BTW) - Florida has been making a push late as well as FSU. But in the end, I think we'll end up with him

Prediction: CANES 

DT Kendrick Norton (Jacksonville Trinity Christian) - You figure with Scott likely not coming here, getting Norton becomes a MUST. We're the leaders to get him. Auburn is making a strong push in the end here. With Jethro recruiting him, there will be very glum faces in the Hecht Center if we were to strike out on Norton as well, with Green off the board and Scott likely off the board. Not getting another DT in this class would be completely devastating, especially when you consider after next season, it's going to be extremely thin there on the interior of the DL. Getting Norton is a MUST.

Prediction: CANES

DE Shelton Johnson (Delray Beach Atlantic) - Right now, FSU is the favorites for him. We're making a push here. But when you consider that when he was sick, the FSU coaches came down to visit him at home. That tells me a lot on where I think he'll end up and it sadly, won't be here.

Prediction: Florida State

DE Austrian Robinson (Pawling, NY Trinity Pawling School) - Maryland is the leader. Ole Miss is in the mix there. Jethro has been on this kid and made an OV here back on January 23rd and back on Friday, Jethro and D made an in-home visit to him. However, in the end, it won't be enough.

Prediction: Ole Miss

CB Sheldrick Redwine (Killian) - A Louisville commit. However, there's a good chance he flips here. Its been us and Auburn for that. I have to believe in the end, this is one to go our way.

Prediction: CANES

We'll see it all plays out tomorrow, but its realistically not looking very good right now. I want to see the interview on ESPNU with Al and look at the body language and the look on his face. That will be a tell tale sign of how this class rates. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Recruiting News 1/22/15

Another indictment on Al and the defensive staff from H.S. coaches in South Florida. This comes from Ryan Barlow on Joe Rose's show yesterday.

Bartow's Comments on Al and the state of CANES recruiting in South Florida to Joe Rose 1/21/15

That's not a good sign, especially with FSU doing very well down here and now UF, with Randy on their staff, they will do very well in the coming years.

If we don't get our act together soon, the 2016 class is in serious jeopardy.

Mario is getting who he wants to Bama, Strong is getting some recruits to Texas. Brewster is getting kids to FSU. Richt is getting kids to UGa. We didn't offer any of the kids that are going to UGa. That's a HUGE problem.

Bartow says that facilities are important and winning and being on TV. Urban winning a title in Columbus, they'll be coming here more and they already have Bosa coming in the '16 class.

Hearing Bartow's comments yesterday on Joe Rose's show, those in the Hecht Center think they can ride this out and it will go away. I have news for them, it won't. This is going to be something a New President at UM will have to tackle early on in his/her presidency, and that's addressing the football program and determining Blake's and Al's future. Right now, we are taking a huge beating and if we don't finish strong, the calls for Al's ouster will only get louder and louder if they aren't that already.

Its not looking good inside the Hecht football offices right now.

However, from StateoftheU.com back on Monday and my takes:
  • Booker T. Washington CB Davante Davis visited campus, but in all likelihood will end up elsewhere. He's currently committed to Texas, but like Tim Irvin before him, Davis may be considering a flip to Auburn. I want to add that he will visit Gainesville tomorrow for his OV. However, I think he'll stay with his commitment to Texas here.
  • A late riser on the recruiting trail, DT Kevin Scott (Los Angeles, CA) was visited by Al Golden on the first day of the contact period, was given a scholarship offer, and scheduled an official visit to Miami for next weekend. The 6'5" 280lb Scott is being hotly pursued by several teams. Like most kids from LA, USC is thought to be the leader. A strong visit to Coral Gables may change that. We'll have to see when he comes to campus tomorrow for the OV. Considering that we need DTs in this class, getting Scott is critical.
  • WR commit Lawrence Cager visited Alabama this weekend and enjoyed it, but left still committed to Miami. Cager will be coming to Coral Gables for a visit tomorrow. With Gosier now decommitted, keeping Cager in this class is a MUST.
  • There's talk that WR commit Terrell Chatman may be close to flipping from Miami. He's my personal favorite WR in this class, so I hope that those rumors are unsubstantiated. Chatman is scheduled to visit Coral Gables on January 30th.  This kid is committed to us, and will visit us for the last visit. He's in Tempe for his OV to Arizona State tomorrow. He visited TCU last week.
  • After the decommitment of Dwayne Lawson, Miami has been looking for a QB in this class. And, after doing some searching, may have found one. Coming for a visit next weekend will be Evan Sherriffs (Jefferson, GA), a 6'6" 195lb player with great height and good developmental skills. As I said previously "don't be surprised if a lower ranked/unknown player from outside FL is the take for this class." Should Sherriffs, whose only current offers are Columbia and Virginia Military Institute, earn an offer and commit, that would most definitely be the case. But, before you go all doom and gloom, watch Sherriffs' highlights. You'll see some things you'll like. I suspect this kid will commit to us possibly as soon as his visit ends tomorrow.
  • WR target Daylon Charlot (Patterson, LA) visited Alabama. Widely considered a heavy lean to the Tide, Charlot left uncommitted. He did, however, drop this cryptic tweet during his visit: "Seems like everything is coming together" Take it for what its worth, however, in the end, I believe Bama will end up getting him. That's really an LSU-Bama battle there.
  • Former RB commit Dexter Williams visited Notre Dame and greatly enjoyed his visit ($). Williams says he is still high on both Louisville and Miami, in addition to Notre Dame. If he wants to play with friend Jalen Julius, the pick will be Louisville. If he wants to be close to home, the pick will be Miami. If he wants to go with the late charging school, the pick will be Notre Dame. In short, I have no idea which way Williams is going as of this moment. But, with a renewed sense that Jordan Scarlett will be in this class, Miami's pursuit of Williams isn't as important as it was a few days ago. With Scarlett now firmly in the fold, My gut tells me that in the end, it'll be Louisville that wins this battle holding off Notre Dame.
  • DE Arden Key is on campus for his OV today. He is scheduled to make an announcement on February 2nd. But, in my mind, his recruitment will go until NSD. He visited us on Monday and is schedule to visit South Carolina tomorrow and Auburn next Friday for his final visit. That's really a UGa vs South Carolina battle there. In the end, my gut tells me that Key will end up with the Bulldogs.
  • Targets LB John Houston and DT Rasheem Green, both 5-star players and teammates from Junipero Serra HS in Gardena, CA, visited Southern Cal this weekend. Each player brought multiple family members with them (Houston was said to have brought his grandparents along for the visit) and were on campus with 9 USC commits. I think that Houston is 100% USC, while Green is still in play for Miami. With Houston, SC is the favorite to get him and he has no other visits scheduled. I agree with StateoftheU on this, Houston likely ends up at SC. As for Green, that's a three-team race between us, SC, and Arizona State, whom he visits tomorrow for his last OV. In the end though, I think Green stays on the West Coast and ends up at SC.
  • DL target Austrian Robinson enjoyed his visit and moved the Canes up his leader board. Even with that positive move, Maryland still leads. In the end, I see Robinson signing with the Terrapins come National Signing day. Robinson visited us last week, and is in Oxford for his OV to Ole Miss tomorrow and in Columbus next Friday for his final OV before NSD. I'm going to disagree and I believe Urban is going to make that late push in the end and land this kid.  
  • DE target Russel Ude isn't likely to end up in this class. He's committed to Cal and will visit the Golden Bears next weekend. That visit should effectively end his recruitment. I'm going to disagree here. This might be a candidate for a flip here. He visits us tomorrow and visited Oregon last weekend. If we make a strong impression tomorrow on this end, we might be able to flip him to us.
I didn't add Richard MacIntosh from Cardinal Gibbons because he's committed to us firmly and he visits us tomorrow.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recruiting news 1/21/15

There are 13 days left for recruiting before NSD on February 4th. I came across something this morning from SFBayCane on Canestime about a kid named Adrienne Talon LB from Flanagan. 

According to him, we decided to pass on this kid without hesitation. This guy now has an offer from TCU, whom he visited on January 16th, and will visit Temple next weekend for the final visit before NSD. 

Once again, it seems to me that Al and D have no clue about recruiting in South Florida. They both have the Penn State mentality under Paterno. 

The question he's asking and I'm sure many of us are as well is: "Why then does he prefer larger, slower linebackers??" 

We know the D has failed and failed miserably on Al's watch. 

Visits this week are: 
  • Lawrence Cager WR Towson (MD) Calvert Hall College - Committed to us on 1/3 at the Army Game. The other serious contender for him is Bama. Prediction: CANE
  • Shelton Johnson DE Delray Atlantic - Besides us, there are two other serious contenders in the mix here in FSU (which is the favorite to get him, and whom he visits next weekend for the final visit before NSD), Michigan (whom he visited last week), and Virginia Tech (out of the running). Prediction: FSU
  • Michael Jackson CB Birmingham (AL) Spain Park - Committed to us back in October. Clemson is a long shot to possibly flip him, but I don't see that happening. Prediction: Sticks with CANE commitment
  • Kevin Scott DT Los Angeles (CA) Bishop Mora Salesian - Besides us, the other four contenders for him are Purdue (visited them last week), San Diego State, USC (the odds on favorite to land him), and Ole Miss (who gets the last visit before NSD). Prediction: Scott stays out West to go to SC.  
For the visits, especially with Johnson and Scott, we need to make an impression on both, but especially Scott, if we don't land Rasheem Green from California on the DL. 


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Take on the future of CANES Football

A very good take from themirabeau on Canestime on the future of CANES football and the search for new president.

Here's his take in entirety and then my thoughts:
I know that our NEW President will have his hands full with learning the lay of the land and other important University issues. But a decision on the direction of our football team must among them soon or it will become increasing more difficult for Miami football. Few other problems he (she) will face may have the long term impact of finally solving that problem.

Hopefully, the new President will be a confident outsider with strong academic and sports roots.  You CAN have both. Stanford and Duke are prime examples. If not, and we select a "dandy" who doesn't see the positive impact and value of sports, and how we can take advantage of our sports roots, then we can write this program off.

Its hard to assess the psychology of any group, especially a group as large as the BOT's. BUT it seems to me that ever since a strong personality like JJ was able to succeed here without /despite lack of BOT, Admin support, Foote felt upstaged and resented it.

That fear and resentment seems to have found its way down to Shalala. Shalala has the program exactly where she wants it. If not, she would have insisted on changes like she has done elsewhere within the University.

Whatever we do must be done quickly. Not only do we have FSU and the SEC cherry picking S. Florida athletes,  PAC 12 and the Big 10 now with the addition of Harbaugh will be making much stronger inroads. That will be hard to reverse. It will become impossible to reverse if we continue being mediocre in football.

Now the way I see it is that I agree with many of his points here.

I'm told by my contact in the BOT that the leading candidate to be the next UM president is James Starvidis, the current dean of the Fletcher Law School at Tufts university in Mass. He's a native of West Palm Beach, he's 59, and was a Navy Admiral who headed Southern Command in Miami before becoming Supreme Allied Commander for NATO in Europe.

This is the kind of guy that's no-nonsense and you could tell, this guy knows what it takes to turn something around and quick.

Here's something he said back in November to the Miami Hurricane student newspaper that I found real interesting.

On Donna:
"On President Shalala, her advice was absolutely pivotal to me entering academe after a long career in the Navy.  She encouraged me by pointing out how higher education is a way to continue a life of service, by extolling the joy of being around wonderful students and brilliant faculty, and clarifying a sense that what I had learned in the military – leadership, execution of complex strategies, advocacy and the challenge of leading big organizations – would translate to the academic world.  She also recommended me for my current position as Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts, and has helped me with advice about listening, building consensus, and strategic planning as I have taken up duties there.  I owe her a great deal, and will always be grateful."

"President Shalala has been a high visibility national-level leader for U of M, and her loss will be felt strongly in many dimensions – particularly her deep knowledge of the University after over a decade in office.  She brings broad experience in leading complex organizations, a deep love of higher education, and a brilliant mind to any challenge – very hard attributes to replace."

On his possible interest in being next UM President:
"In terms of the university’s next president, I know there will be a vibrant search that will surface a superb array of candidates.  Whoever comes next to the U will be a lucky university president indeed."

Now, the way I read into that is Richard Fain (head of Royal Caribbean) is leading that search right now. There are many great candidates as Stavridis said, but according to my BOT contact, he's the leader right now to succeed Donna as the next boss at UM.

If it is Stavridis that takes over, one of the first things he'll do from what I'm told, is do a top to bottom review of the entire university. However, when I asked about the Athletics department and football specifically, I was told nothing will be done on that until the 2nd half of the year (i.e., evaluation of Blake and Al).

That's a dangerous sign if that comes to pass in reference to waiting until 2nd half of the year, because you're looking at the 2015 season already being a lost season, you put the danger of losing the 2016 class in play. If I'm Stavridis, and I get this job, one of the first things I'm doing is fixing the football program very quickly and getting it back to national prominence fast and to do that, one of the first things I'm doing is cleaning house in the Football offices in the Hecht Center and also showing Blake the door. You have to factor in Adidas wanting us to be their version of Oregon. Adidas is not going to want to see a mediocre product on the field. Another reason why next year, Al MUST get to Charlotte and win 10 games minimum to survive.

If we get off to a slow start next year (i.e. 1-3 or 1-4), it would not surprise me for Al to get the boot and not finish the season, with a new president (Stavridis?) in charge and Adidas wanting results on the field. They will not stand for mediocrity and neither will the fans, which is already wanting Al's head as well as Blake's and you can hear it at the BUC with the Fire Al chants.

CANES football is at a crossroads right now. What direction will it go in? That will be the big question going forward.