Monday, February 17, 2014

My take on the Six sites Beckham Group has identified for New Stadium

Last week, David Beckham and his group ID'ed 6 sites. Yesterday, Barry Jackson in the Herald pointed out that UM and the Beckham group had talks, that are in their infancy right now. The idea is to have 40K for a new stadium. Beckham wants a marquee tenant to join him in his stadium and what bigger marquee name is there than UM Football.

That said, these are the Sites that were mentioned last week in the Herald and what it could mean for UM Football:
PORT OF MIAMI - This has been the main area of the Beckham Group. 


  • Beckham has some heavy hitters in play here, which include:
    • Simon Fuller, who is Beckham’s longtime business partner
    • Marcelo Claure, the Miami-based billionaire who heads a global wireless distributor. 
  • They believe this site could work here. 
  • This is owned by Miami-Dade county. so all that would have to be done here is sign a land deal once, instead of going through hoop after hoop. It’s very close to Biscayne Boulevard (via a Walking bridge), and has access to parking and the Metromover. 
  • Not to mention the views of Downtown Miami is second to none. 
  • They could build a mega-yacht marina that would have lots of restaurants and shops, which planners, have thought about for this site. 
  • A landscaped pedestrian bridge to Dodge Island, and the location could become a gathering place, according to Carlos Gimenez in the Herald.
Close to UM Campus 

  • Currently proposed is an existing seaport master plan which promises commercial development. Included in that plan are:
    • Offices
    • Hotel 
  • From a port perspective, Badly-needed revenue would be coming in. A lease for a stadium that could have MLS and UM, would not be able to match it. 
  • Critics have said that the proposed pedestrian bridge would probably have a grade of some sort — making the walk to the stadium more of a hike — and be challenging in the summer heat and humidity and especially when UM begins their season in September.
  • According to Beckham, he believes that a seaport location would not be able to compete with the Miami Heat for sports fans or concert bookings. However, if you listen to the some of the politicos in Miami-Dade, they have said that the issue of gridlock would happen when both the AAA and the new stadium, are hosting events (whether it be MLS or UM Football). 
    • This would be the case when Heat open their season in November and UM has a game there as well. The big nightmare would be for the FSU game. 
  • If you take what, the Chairperson of the Miami-Dade County Commission Rebeca Sosa says, then it carries a lot of weight. Her issue is the fact that she doesn't want tamp the growth of the Port. You have to remember as well, the tunnel that was forced on the taxpayers, only to have a stadium bring more cars in. This would be especially true for UM Football, and especially for the FSU game. She also wants the commissioners for the public's input (i.e. with a vote on any deal there). And she has suggested commissioners could ask for a public vote on any deal. Sosa said to a Spanish-language radio station two weeks ago: “I firmly believe the port is not an ideal location,  It’s going to bring more headaches.”
  • Here's something to remember here: Even though that slice of land is owned by Miami-Dade, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado points out that it once deeded a portion of the seaport to Miami-Dade. A restriction in the deed requires the land to be used for port purposes. Otherwise, it’s possible it could revert to the city. 
  • Lack of Mass Transit back to Broward and Palm Beach for Night Games. 
To me, right there, there are a couple of non-starters right there for UM with this site. 


There are two locations near Marlins Park that have been discussed here. 
  • The first site is west of Marlins Park, on three city-owned parcels currently used as green space and parking lots and on six privately owned residential and office properties. Taken together, the land along Northwest 17th Avenue amounts to nearly 10 acres. However, according to Jackson in the Herald, a county official told him that this site would be unlikely. 
  • The second site, on 19 acres of county-owned land northeast of the ballpark on the shores of the Miami River, appears far less feasible. There’s a public-housing facility for the elderly on the property. No shot this site happens either
  • In a word: parking. 
    • If you remember the days of the OB, then you realize that renting out parking spaces on a temporary basis works. 
    • There are four garages next to the ballpark already. 
  • Mass Transit: The city also has a free-of-charge trolley line that loops in riders. This is key for those that would rely on Mass Transit, especially for day games from Broward and Palm Beach. Close to Campus as well. 
Map A is from UM to the Marlins Park site: 
Map B is from West Palm Beach to the Marlins Park Site:

Map C is from Fort Lauderdale to the Marlins Park Site:

  • For the first site, Beckham and his crew would have to deal with the city, and if you remember how they treated UM and the way the Marlins deal went down to evict UM from that site, its been a big problem even to this day and still rankles the UM faithful even today. 
    • Although Regalado said that no one has contacted him about that the site, and added that he would only consider it “if we have a referendum, and only if we can sell the land at market rate.” (“ Ese perro nos mordió ya,” he added in Spanish — literally, “that dog bit us already,” or been there, done that.) - Translation, no chance the stadium goes here on this site at all. 
  • For the second site, the issue here is that Miami-Dade County would have to relocate the King High Towers housing complex which comprises two 14-story high-rises. According to Gregg Fortner, director of the county’s public housing and community development department, he said through a spokeswoman that there is “no possibility” of public-housing property being used for a soccer stadium. 
  • The main problem with both these sites is that would have to deal with the same issues that haunt the Marlins, whose ballpark has had problems attracting fans as well as businesses to the neighborhood. The idea for the park was to be the engine for redevelopment and that has not happened as of yet. 
  • Another issue is that the Marlins, an MLS soccer team, and UM would also have to deal with scheduling challenges, given that their seasons overlap — though MLS plays far fewer matches, UM plays 7-8 home games a year. The conflicts would be mainly in September, when the Marlins wind down and UM starts up.
  • Lack of Mass Transit back to Broward and Palm Beach for Night Games. 
Now, something of note here: The School Board owns a nearly two-acre parcel north of its downtown headquarters, which it uses as a parking lot, as well as several other small parcels nearby. This could be beneficial here. 
  • It’s downtown
  • There are a couple of Metromover stops in that area

  • Close to 395. Those that drive from Broward and Palm Beach could get to this place easily
    • Map A: West Palm Beach to this site

    • Map B: Fort Lauderdale to this site

  • Possible spots for Tailgating. 
  • That parking-lot parcel the School board owns by itself won't cut it for a stadium. Beckham and his ground would have to gobble up a couple of privately owned properties — that would take too long for Beckham’s contract option to be exercised. Also, it would be too long for UM as well, if Beckham really wants UM as he says. 
  • Who knows if the School Board even wants to talk with Beckham’s group and/or UM officials. They weren't too happy with the snub two weeks to Beckham's big announcement. As School board Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman said at a School Board meeting the next day. “I think they totally disrespected the board, And if we don’t demand respect, we’ll never get it.” 
That to me says, this site is pretty DOA. 


This is an interesting area to watch here. Beckham's group have identified about 12 acres on Northwest 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue that once comprised the Wynwood Foreign Trade Zone, a boondoggle economic development project that never got off the ground. However, with Beckham and the possibility of adding UM Football, there's some possibilities here. 
  • Two properties that have a single private owner, New York entrepreneur Moishe Mana.
    • one 8 1/2 acres
    • the other about 3 acres 
  • On these sites, you have warehouses. 
    • These warehouses served as TV and film production studios. 
    • Miami-Dade County owns an additional acre or so of adjacent land.
  • What it means is that any deal cuts out Miami-Dade. That would make Beckham, his group, and UM look like heroes from a political point of view. 
  • Close to Campus (20 minutes)

  • Easy to get to from Broward and Palm Beach
    • Map A: West Palm Beach to this site:
    • Map B: Fort Lauderdale to this site:

  • The site is not near any public transit and that's a big deal for Beckham, who said that he wants a site close to Mass Transit. Too long a walk. Nearest station on Metrorail is Santa Clara. 
    • From Broward and Palm Beach, you would have to take Tri-Rail to Opa-Locka and then a bus from Opa-Locka Tri-Rail to NW 20th Street and NW 5th Place and walk 8 minutes to the site. 
    • No service back to Broward and Palm Beach late Saturday Night. 
  • For Beckham's group, they would have to pay more to get a lot of private land at the market rate.
    • Once that's done, they would have to build a garage for parking. 
  • Beckham's group will go with one or the other, but not both.  
What it means for UM, there are positives and negatives to this site. Though, if Beckham wants Mass Transit close by, then this is a no-go. This is a site to watch here. 

BY MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (East of Miami Central Station)

Former Miami Mayor and current County Commissioner Xavier Suarez asked Beckham’s group a while back to take a look at an 8 1/2-acre site belonging to the DOT and other private owners east of the Miami Intermodal Center (Miami Central Station), which is Miami International Airport’s car-rental and mass-transit hub.

  • It’s a central location with a neighboring Metrorail stop.
  • Easy to get to by Mass Transit from Broward and Palm Beach (Noon and 3:30 pm kickoffs)
  • Quick drive from UM to the site (20 minutes)
  • Easy drive from Broward and Palm Beach. 

  • Suarez went with John Alschuler, the New York developer working for Beckham’s group, to the site. They both came to the conclusion that without the closure of a portion of NW 37th Avenue in that area, that stadium would not fit.
  • Beckham and his group would have to fork over $80 million, just for a parking garage. According to Suarez, that would be in addition to buying the private property.
  • Long trip from UM via Metrorail to Miami Central Station. 
  • No mass transit back to Broward and Palm Beach from here after Night games. 
On this site, it could work for UM, but not for Beckham and his group. As close as this site is, at the end of the day, its a no go for this site. 

The way I see it. Of these sites, the best one with the most realistic shot for both Beckham and UM is the Wynwood site. Your takes. 

Here's the link to the article:

Read more here:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

CANES recruiting class of 2014

Instead of who we didn't get, here's the list of who we got, with Videos of each:

Joseph Yearby - RB (Miami Central)

KC McDermott - OT (PBC)

Chad Thomas - DE (BTW)

Brad Kaaya - QB (West Hills [CA] Chaminade)

Trevor Darling - OT (Miami Central)

Trent Harris - DE (Winter Park)

Anthony Moten - DT (STA)

Kiy Hester - S (Wayne [NJ] DePaul Catholic)

Darrion Owens - LB (Orange Park Oakleaf)

Darrell Langham - WR (Lantana Santaluces)

Braxton Berrios - WR (Raleigh [NC] Leesville Road)

Travone Gray - WR (Carol City)

Nick Linder - OT (STA)

Tyre Brady - WR (Homestead South Dade)

Calvin Heurtelou - DT (Scottsdale CC)

Christopher Herndon - TE (Norcross [GA])

Demetrius Jackson - DE (BTW)

Michael Wyche - DT (East Los Angeles [CA] CC)

David Njoku - ATH (Cedar Grove [NJ])

Ryan Mayes - S (MNW)

Marques Gayot - S (Lake Worth Park Vista)

Mike Smith - DE (MNW)

Malik Rosier - QB (Mobile [AL] Faith Academy)

Terry McCray - LB (Pompano Beach Ely)

Juwon Young - LB (Albany [GA])

Courtel Jenkins - DT (Wayne [NJ] DePaul Catholic)

Monday, February 3, 2014

National Signing Day schedule Updates

Wednesday, Feb. 5 (National Signing Day)

J.C. Jackson has committed to Florida this morning.

Damian Prince has announced on ESPNU that he has committed to Maryland. 

Travonte Valentine has committed to LSU. 

Struck out on both JC and Valentine. Losing Valentine was HUGE because it was in a need position too: DT. In the end, we just couldn't overcome the rumors of Al threatening to leave for Penn State and him having the meetings the same Saturday as the Army caused Valentine to decommit that day. It wasn't enough in the end and Valentine is off to Baton Rouge as a result. 

Myles Autry committed on ESPNU to Georgia Tech. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Latest recruiting news 2/1/14

We did get David Njoku out of NJ last night. Its a nice pickup for us here. He'll bring a lot to the table and we're going to put him at TE. 

It seems that QB Malik Rozier from Mobile (AL) Faith Christian visited us two weeks ago officially and will be a Hurricane come NSD on Wednesday. That was insurance in case Kaaya bolted, which he didn't, though he was very close to bolting to Boise. We have four QBs on the roster (Williams, Olsen, Kaaya, and Rozier). 

At the WR spot, having Brandon Berrios from NC really helps. Him enrolling early and on campus, is a boost to us here. This is a kid that will have an immediate impact for us here. The same can be said for Darrell Langham, who's the tallest WR we have right now. 

It looks like barring any last minute snafu, we will also sign Tyre Brady from Homestead South Dade. There's a possibility according to David Lake of ITU, that Trayone Gray might not qualify. If his grades are good, he'll be here. 

We did lose Lockley to Marshall. However, we also have Chris Herndon from Norcross (GA) in the fold with Njoku's addition last night. We're good there. 

On the OL, having both McDermott and Darling on campus already really helps here. With the addition of Gibbons and Nick Linder, they will have their 'ships soon. Its a formality on Wednesday, when they will be officially CANES. 

On the DL, We have Chad in the fold, as my source told me a few weeks ago would happen, though Bama and FSU made runs at him late, in the end, we'll likely hold them off. New development in the Travonte Valentine front. It seems, according to Lake, that Anthony Moten is making a very strong push to get Valentine here. Make no mistake, getting Valentine is a MUST and you can see we're pulling out all the stops necessary to get him. The question is will it be enough come Wednesday Morning? All hands on deck inside the Football offices at the Hecht/Schwartz Center. 

According to Jamie Newberg, Demetrius Jackson will take an official to Texas, if he hasn't already. At the end of the day though, look for Jackson to be a CANE. 

It's going to be more important to get Valentine in this class because just yesterday, Michael Wyche de-committed because of an ACC rule, per Barry Jackson in the Herald. Losing Wyche hurts, but losing Valentine would be devastating, in addition to Wyche.
At LB, we have Young and Owens on campus already. Its a lock to have Mike Smith from MNW on Wednesday and he will play right away. We had to hold off Louisville and Arkansas for him. As for McCray out of Pompano Beach Ely, Bama and LSU are players for him as well. McCray hasn't tipped his hand as of yet, but look for him to be a CANE come Wednesday. 

In the Secondary, it was a coup to get the best player in NJ in Kiy Hester. According to Dieter Kurtenbach, it seems that Marques Gayot will be a CANE come Wednesday as well. That's big right there because it adds more depth to the secondary. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Latest recruiting news 1/30/14

Per Caneinsider this morning: Valentine has officially cancelled the OV for tomorrow, This confirms what Ryan Bartow said yesterday. So on Wednesday, its expected that Valentine will commit to LSU. As I said yesterday, this is a HUGE LOSS and Al's rep as a closer just took a big time hit with it.

To me, its yet another example of why still having D'Onofrio on this staff is killing us in recruiting. This really hurts because its in a NEED AREA: DL. Heads need to roll inside the football offices of the Hecht/Schwartz Center(s) for this one. 

A loss like this of a stud DT is going to take another 3-5 years to recover from. Anyone that thinks losing Valentine is no big deal needs to have their heads examined. This is a stud, a gamechanger in South Florida that's about to get away. Valentine going elsewhere sends a message to this staff, but D specifically: "I don't want to play in your defensive scheme." Bottom line, this loss hurts big time. DTs like Valentine don't come around every day. That's a once every 5-10 year type of player. 

We had the heavy hitters, but in the end, it seems that it wasn't enough. When Al flirted with Penn State, Valentine de-committed and the damage was done.

On another front, I was just told a few minutes ago by another reliable source that Brad Kaaya was likely gone. However, his source was incorrect. Kaaya put the rumors to bed with this tweet a few minutes ago: "I will be signing the National Letter of Intent issued to me by the University of Miami on National Signing Day February 5th" . It seems that while Boise State made a late push for him, his tweet puts that possibility of him bolting to Boise to bed for good.

However, Kaaya's teammate, Brayden Lenius has cancelled his trip to Coral Gables tomorrow and will be going up to Seattle instead to visit UW. That trip was set up by Kaaya as he didn't want to leave him at the altar sorta speak.

We will not lose Kaaya after all. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My take on Travonte Valentine cancelling OV to Miami on Friday

NSD is 6 days away. However, according to Ryan Bartow this afternoon, Travonte Valentine has cancelled his OV to Coral Gables on Friday. Its expected now that when he makes that announcement on NSD, it will be LSU that he goes to.

We sent the heavy hitters on this one (Al, D, Jethro, Hurlie, Williams). The tide really turned when Valentine de-committed at the US Army game because of Golden having one foot out the door to Happy Valley and he met that Saturday with PSU officials in Miami. On that Sunday, when Golden gave Penn State a 4 p.m. deadline, PSU brass balked, and once Munchak was fired by Tennessee, everything changed dramatically, and in the end, PSU said no. Hence, the statement from Al that night that he was staying. However, the damage was already done with Valentine. 

On that Monday, in the interview with Joe Rose, he wasn't going to discuss PSU at all. When he defended D, to me and I've been a big supporter of Al through all this, it told me that kids weren't going to come here and play in D's failed scheme. 

How it relates to Valentine, Al and Hurlie went up to Palm Bay to meet with Valentine's mom yesterday or this morning. D and Jethro, according to Bartow, were at the Champagnat Hoops game last night meeting with Valentine's coach Mark Tunsil. 

Here's what it all tells me, once Al had one foot out the door, Valentine decided to walk and open up his recruitment. This is also a message to Al from the kids in the area, who are very smart, they don't want to play for D and with Valentine likely going to LSU, and the hat (Miles) is coming in tonight to meet with Valentine's mom, to likely seal the deal, is a major indictment on Al, D'Onofrio and the entire staff and why D needs to go yesterday. Al keeping D, to me, is scaring away top defensive recruits who have made it clear (See Bethel), they don't want to play for D and his system. 

This is a MAJOR loss, and those that say it isn't, is just fooling themselves. This was a player we could NOT afford to let get away and in a need area too. The fact that he's likely going to get away to me, speaks volumes about the ineptitude of this staff and Al's rep being a closer taking a big time hit here. The kids are starting to see through Al's sell job. This loss is clearly on Al because a) he had one foot out the door to Penn State, and B) having D still around. Also, this loss is also on Hurlie because this was his responsibility. 

Al and the staff better have someone in mind on the interior of the DL between now and 2/5, because losing Valentine is a MAJOR LOSS. To me, this sets us back at least 3-5 years. Valentine is that type of player that comes around once every 5-10 years. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Latest recruiting news 1/23/14

Here's the latest recruiting news from The U:

An article from Bleacher Report, per Peter Ariz of on our chances to land top recruits still on our radar.

  1. Travonte Valentine - DT Hialeah Champagnat - We're sending the heavy hitters on Defense here (D, Franklin, Williams, and Hurlie). Tomorrow will be an important day because that's when Valentine will be in Baton Rouge on an OV. If he comes back to Miami without saying he's going to LSU, our chances go up on NSD to land him. This, for The U, is the #1 priority to land this kid. Not landing this kid means this class is mediocre at best. Landing this kid, makes this class great. Valentine is a MUST GET here. Chances of getting him: 55%. 
  2. Gavin Bryant - LB Jackson (AL) - A Tennessee commit here. We're going to get him to listen as Al and Company will pursue him, but at the end of the day, look for him to remain at Tennessee. Chances of him: Just about 0%. 
  3. J.C. Jackson - ATH Immokalee - Right now, we are in the lead for him. However, look for this to be settled on NSD. Jackson's dad, Chris, told Luke Stampini, that the Gators and Muschamp made a visit. Something very interesting, FSU hasn't made a move yet, according to Mr. Jackson. He already visited us back on Dec 13, and was in Gainesville last week on an OV. Chances of landing him: 40%
  4. Treon Harris - ATH BTW - As I said last week, Auburn is a player here as well as UF. Harris' Brother (Brandon - Former CANE), said to Safid Deen last week in the Herald that he's "open to listening to [the 'Canes], but they’re trying to make up a lot of ground in a short time." . Though he's currently committed to FSU, Auburn, I believe is going to make a very strong play for him, as I was told on by a source very close to BTW and Ice. Don't be shocked if he ends up at Auburn in the end. Chances of getting him: 15%
  5. Brayden Lenius - WR West Hills (CA) Chaminade - He's visited Washington State already, and will visit the Twin Cities tomorrow for an OV there at Minnesota. We get the last shot with a visit from him next weekend. This is a teammate of Brad Kaaya, who has committed to us for a while now. This looks like a package deal here. If we get Kaaya, as expected, then Lenius will come here as well. Chance of getting him: 90%
Here's the link to the article from Bleacher Report.