Hey State of the U fans!
The "Monday Morning Miami Musings" (M4) is a new article series our site will be running every Monday after the Canes play a game. It's a reactionary piece to review what happened during the game. Now, what will set this series apart from our normal post game articles will be the fact that it will be written and posted 48 hours (or, if a Thursday game, 96 hours) after the saturday games are played. It is very well known that we're all passionate and have knee jerk reactions right after the Canes play. This series will be to hopefully give a solid and relatively unbiased account of the game that just transpired..
Now, since we didn't have a game this week there isn't too much to write about but we did have the bomb shell dropped on the Cane community Sunday afternoon with the news that Brad Kaaya, a freshman QB will start the season for the Canes. Cam Underwood, Jerry Steinberg and Ale Narciso have all written glowing reports about Kaaya but I actually think this news has two repercussions and both potentially negative for the Canes moving forward.
Before I get into my two points, I'd like to say this.. I'm a diehard Hurricane fan, have been for a while. I really, REALLY like Coach Golden and think he's been through hell and back with this team. Now that the sanction controversy is over with, UM will flourish. He's absolutely 100% the right guy for the job. However, Golden is sly as a fox. That can work out well in many aspects of when it comes to game planning and thinking on your feet come game day. Hell, it works when you need to make plans that shrewdly get things done but benefit the overall team goals when it comes to moving forward as a program as well. Starting Kaaya is a mistake to the UM Program because it gives Golden and his regime an "out" for the year and adversely hurts recruiting for that position for the next 2-3 seasons, period.
We all know the Hurricane defense has been a sieve the last two plus seasons. They rated in the 120s two seasons ago (out of about 125 teams) and then last season they were ranked in the 80s for total yards given up per game. Now with a freshman QB Golden has an "out" or an excuse if you will. If the defense gives up 24-30 points a game Golden can possibly point to offensive shortcomings attributed to "breaking in" a new QB. We've seen it before in post-game interviews and I believe we'll see it again. Will the defense truly play better? Who is to know. If they don't though... We can't shine the light (and the heat??) on Coach D'Onofrio and his staff. Nope, it'll all be about the shortcomings on offense and "gosh darnit, let's give him (Coach D'Onofrio) another year or two and THEN reevaluate the program." Should we be in a wait and see approach? We're going into Golden and his staff's fourth year, I think not. This move however, this one move, gives him that out clause for yet another year of possibly sitting on our hands as a fan base.
Lastly, I actually have to disagree with our staff member Cam Underwood on his logic about recruiting going forward and how this move actually helps UM. Albeit, it's a slight disagreement. In his last article he said that starting Brad Kaaya is good for the program because it shows that freshman can come in and play key roles and contribute right away for the program. I agree with that wholeheartedly. However, when it comes to QBs this will, in my opinion, shy away recruits for the next season or two. Think about it, if you're Dwayne Lawson, the four star QB recruit that UM has verbally committed for the incoming recruiting class of 2015.. Do you still want to go to UM? Kaaya is a freshman and he's starting. How many Programs have you heard of having a freshman come in and then lose the position to another player the following season? Very little if any. So you want to sit for the next 3+ years with very little opportunity to play unless Kaaya gets injured? Doubtful. Also, it was noted once he was committed he was still going to take visits to other schools and see what they had to offer. If Kaaya does average to above average on the field look for Lawson to decommit in search of more PT.
Now, has Lawson's commitment reaffirmed over the course of several months and he's open to the possible option of sitting and learning behind Kaaya? Perhaps. The fact of the matter though is that if Kaaya does take the reigns and doesn't look to relinquish the role, there will be consequences in recruiting. Players look for playing time right away and if there is none to be had odds are they will look for better opportunities.
A lot went into this decision when it came down to it. I'll be honest, I was never at practice but had to live through reports we've all read and the video we've all scrounged for when it comes to coverage. However, I have learned in the three plus seasons Golden has been in Coral Gables he's very good with the media and especially with shaping the Program's image when it comes to perception. The first year it was "let's get our players for the system" the second season it was "let's get through this scandal" and now it will be "we have a freshman QB who's learning on the fly." Here's my question to you all Canes fans: is that acceptable?