I predicted the failure of Miami's enormous and awful 2010 class. I've pointed to it as a primary reason why Miami will have to fight to make a bowl in 2012 as the 'Canes will be unable to replace 21 scholarship seniors (including 11 starters and 5 other key reserves) with the players they signed in the 2010 class as those players are not Miami caliber. I just didn't think my predictions would come true after the players had been in the program for only a single season. But with Jeffrey Brown being charged with rape and Miami suspending as many as eight other players for at least one game, it is time to take a look at that poison pill of a class and ask the question: is it already a failure?
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- 30: Players signed by Miami in 2010
- 20: Players remaining from the 2010 class after ten dismissals/transfers.
- 16: Players from the 2010 class eligible to play in the first game after four suspensions.
Let's recall some of the arguments where I predicted this:
Shannon dominated recruiting in 2007 and particularly 2008, but has now crashed into the mountain. Miami's latest class is 30 players and few of them had offers from elite programs. Further, Shannon is getting destroyed in Dade and Broward and is nonexistent in Palm Beach County.. The Canes didn't land a top-26 player from Dade in 2010. Taking a class of enormous size and marginal (at best) talent is the kind of thing that can hurt a program for a half-decade. Of similarly sized classes, Miami's is rated closer to Houston than it is to Auburn.
Miami could be good in 2010 and 2011 because of the talent it brought in in 2007 and 2008, but the 2012 and 2013 teams could struggle to make a bowl game.
That window to win for Miami I mentioned above? 2011 is the last year it will be open for a few years. After 2011 Miami loses a ton of talent (21 scholarship seniors including 12 starters and 6 other key reserves). And while many teams lose talent and replace it with more veteran talent, the Canes simply don't have the young players on their roster to do that. Why? Shannon's recruiting steadily declined after 2008, including a really poor effort in 2010 when he took an amazing number of scrubs after getting dominated by FSU & UF on the recruiting trail. Shannon's grabbing a huge number of players was a well-chronicled desperation move by Shannon to improve the rating of his class on the recruiting sites, not by quality, but by quantity. But Golden is stuck with those players nobody else wanted. He knew that he was getting out of Temple, but perhaps he didn't know what he was getting into.
And in response to the claim that recruiting rankings don't matter and that Miami will be loaded:
Every year the rankings get more accurate. With the advent of the internet, sleepers are becoming scarcer and scarcer. Miami fans will tell you that Ed Reed was a two-star recruit. That's correct. But Alonzo Highsmith was recruited by Notre Dame, Michigan, and every other program in the country. Kellen Winslow, Antrelle Rolle, Sean Taylor, and Vince Wilfork were all five-star recruits. This idea that Miami was built on below-average recruits is silly. The idea that with the advent of the internet, Miami is losing its edge in evaluating SoFla talent is not. Programs have greater access to SoFla kids and those kids from Miami have greater exposure to other programs.
Miami's recruiting isn't falling off a cliff and the 'Canes will always have decent players. But Miami might not always have great players. And that's what I don't understand about what Miami did last year. The Canes took this enormous class of very average players. Teams do not have unlimited scholarships. The 'Canes are stuck with these scrubs for the next four years unless they elect to transfer or go on a crime spree.
Inside, we break it down player-by-player.
|5||OL||Seantrel Henderson||Suspended, talented, possible transfer|
|4||RB||Eduardo Clements||Moved to corner|
|4||OL||Brandon Linder||Good, very promising.|
|4||OL||Malcolm Bunche||Surprisingly very good|
|3||WR||Allen Hurns||Could be decent|
|3||RB||Darion Hall||Wasted scholarship|
|3||LB||Tyrone Cornelius||Too early to tell|
|3||DE||David Perry||Still super raw (from Bahamas)|
|3||DB||Kacy Rodgers||Too early to tell|
|3||TE||Chase Ford||Nothing special|
|3||RB||Maurice Hagens||Nothing special|
|3||QB||Stephen Morris||Potentially good|
|3||OL||Shane McDermott||Could be good|
|3||OL||Johnathan Feliciano||Not Miami quality|
|3||TE||Clive Walford||Very raw athlete|
|2||LB||James Gaines||Could be decent|
|2||LB||Kelvin Cain||Suspended/ could be decent|
|2||TE||Asante-Jabari Cleveland||Potentially pretty good|
Again, to re-cap
- Of the 30 who signed: only 20 remain.
- Of those 20, an astounding four more have been suspended for at least one game in the upcoming season.
- So, of the original 30 signed, half are both on the team and eligible to play in the season opener.
When a team takes a class of 30 players, it is saying "this is the foundation upon which we will build our house for the next four years." But the building material that Miami's class resembles isn't concrete, but rather Chinese drywall.
However, Miami does seem to be getting rid of a decent amount of these kids. That is a good thing only if they are able to replace them with freshmen who will be better as freshmen than the departed players from the 2010 class would be as third-year players.