We're back again this week, Canes fans! This time, the questions that came in were a bit more difficult to answer, but we gave it our best shot. With that, let's get to work!
Our first question this week comes from Greg Kitchens:
What are your feelings on the U reloaded doc? Are you guys supporting it?
A) Go Canes to you as well, Greg. As far as the U Reloaded documentary, we definitely support it. Anything that shows what the Canes were about back in the heyday is certainly alright by us. In fact, Jerry Steinberg caught up with one of the guys behind the documentary, Canes legend Najeh Davenport, to speak with him about it. I know they are having a bit of trouble raising the capital needed to get this thing off the ground, so any help that Canes fans could give would of course be more than welcome. Here's a link to the Kickstarter page.
The next question covers hoops, which is awesome because that means there is still a lot of buzz about the historic season Miami had on the hardwood last year. Jesse Rothburg (@Jesse_The_Human) asks:
I know he will probably see increased playing time this year with our depleted front line, but why is he playing basketball in the first place? He clearly does not have much skill, but he is a physical freak. Ever since I first saw him get garbage time minutes in a basketball game, I have wonder why is he not on the football team? Seems to me like he could be a pretty effective TE or DE. Did Golden ever show interest?
As with last week, Jerry is Johnny on the spot with the answer to this question:
A) Funny you should ask. I asked Erik himself the very same thing last year. Great minds do think alike!
Swoope's answer was that while he has considered it, the football coaching staff had not YET reached out to him about it. But it is definitely something worth watching. We promise to ask again, as we will surely sit down with Swoope at some point in the near future. And I agree 110% with you that Swoope is the kind of athlete who could pull it off.
In the meantime, let's not completely discount what he brings to the hardwood. In some of those garbage minutes he showed an improved jumper (albeit in a very small sample). When he got minutes with the regs, he was a valuable defender, rebounder, and energy guy. The guy he reminds me most of as a basketball player not coincidentally, is Jimmy Graham. The big difference being Graham was 6'8 and Swoope is only 6'5. Which is exactly why the football idea seems to make a ton of sense.
Next up we have a recruiting question sent to us by Dana Boyle:
Can you give us an idea about how big this class might be and either a best guess list or a big board type breakdown of each position?
If this stuff is somewhere already please let me know where I can find it.
Thanks as always,
A) No, no Dana. Thank YOU. As far as the size of this class, or a best guess at a final list, unfortunately it is still too early to really know what the staff is shooting for. As we get closer to February, it will be easier to do the math and figure out the maximum that Miami can take this year, but until we know who in the last class has made it, who hasn't, and how many spots are open on the team, it's just a crap shoot. I can tell you this, though, the staff is going at this year full bore. Last year they self-restrained themselves a bit due to the NCAA issue, but they are more or less ignoring that this year.
As far as a list of Miami targets, or who they want, there are a couple of good places to start. Over at InsideTheU, they have a list of all the offers that Miami currently has out. Also, our friends over at CanesInsight have a Big Board feature that helps show you just who Miami really wants in this class. Of course, both are subject to change on basically a daily basis, so don't treat either one as gospel.
Our guy Ricky Paolillo (@RCPcane49) is back again this week, whether we like it or not, with a question about the running backs:
Aside from Duke, how do you see the others performing?
I'm talking Maurice Hagens, Dallas Crawford, Eduardo Clements, Corn Elder, Danny Dillard, Augustus Edwards, and Ray Lewis III.
A) For some of these guys, it's easy to predict. Others, not so much. Hagens will be solid whenever he touches the ball, just as he has been throughout his career. The only problem is, it may not be all that much. Of course, with the depth behind Duke, we could very well see Hagens get the rock on short yardage situations or goal line sets. Crawford should be a big factor this year, while Clements likely won't be due to injury. Dillard sat out a year, and while he has gotten better, he still has a lot to prove before he becomes a consistent option.
As far as the rest go, we just have no idea. We've all seen the tape, but they haven't shown anything on the field yet. If you were to ask me to rank them in order of perceived importance, I would have to say Edwards then Corn. Ray Lewis will be playing LB, I believe, so I won't include him in this answer. There is, however, one other new comer that will factor in heavily to this rotation, and that is De'Andre Johnson. He is coming to Miami as a walk-on in the hopes of receiving a scholarship, and with his size and experience (two scholarship years at Iowa plus one year of JUCO), he will very likely impact the depth in a big way. We also have Walter Tucker, who backed up Sony Michel in high school, but he, like Ray, will start out at line backer.
Our last question was tentatively taken from Bud Elliot over at Tomahawk Nation. As we all have seen, this sort of thing can end up in a swarm of useless trolls, but the question he asked actually was very poignant, given recent events.
What type of season does Miami need to keep the support going for Al Golden's tenure? Does Miami need to win the division to have fans keep the faith? With 19 returning starters, and the bulk of the team's strength (offensive line, quarterback) leaving after 2013, what will fan support look like if he doesn't at least get the Canes to play for the ship in 2013?
I know Al Golden has six years left on his guaranteed deal, so absent gross misconduct, he's not going anywhere. My question is solely about support from fans and boosters.
A) Here's the thing, as far as support for Golden is concerned, there seems to be a ton of smoke from certain portions of the fan base, as well as fans of other schools. However, as far as boosters, the administration, and the majority of fans are concerned, this is a non-issue.
The reasoning here is pretty simple. When you consider most head coaching jobs, it seems like guys get about three to four years to prove themselves, after which time they are either sent packing or given an extension. However, most coaches don't sign on under the cloud that Golden did. He took the job without being told about the NCAA situation, the AD bolted shortly after he came on, and a good portion of the team he inherited left early for the NFL draft. Basically, he was brought on to help rebuild Miami, but ended up having to demolish what was left, and start over basically from scratch.
It's extremely fair to say that if you are going to give Golden the "standard" 3-4 year go at it, his first two years shouldn't be included in that. Hell, the fact that he stuck with Miami through everything, turning down much better job offers left and right, is testament enough to his commitment to Miami. If there are fans out there, and there are, who are clamoring for his head because of the results of his first two years in spite of everything, they are doing so more of less behind the blinders of the 80's.
Golden is primed to take this team to great places this year, and even if things were to conspire against him and the team were to end up a game or two better than last year, I don't see any situation in which his job would be in jeopardy. He was able to take last year's team, starting something like 16 true freshman throughout the year, and basically coach them to the ACC championship game. Sure, his record was 7-5, but with everything else, that's a hell of a coaching job. There's no reason that anyone should be trying to see him fired, regardless of the outcome of this year.
Well, I take that back, if he were to somehow turn in a 2 or 3 win season this year, then sure, I'll let you call for his job, but that isn't going to happen.
That does it for this week's mailbag! As always, feel free to send your questions to SOTUMailbag@gmail.com, and we will do our best to get them answered every Friday!