The maxim pushed during recruiting is “commit to a school, not a coach”. This is to insulate players from the changes that happen with the coaching carousel. That’s good to say and fine to think in a vacuum. But, life, and recruiting, exists outside a vacuum.
In reality, the coaches who recruit and would coach the players matters greatly. The scheme a team runs matters as well (as do many, many other factors), but today we’re focusing on the coaching staff component of things.
For the Miami Hurricanes, offensive recruiting has come to a screeching halt. I mean, it wasn’t going exceedingly well earlier in the cycle, with only 5 commits on that side of the ball, although 4-star WR Jeremiah Payton is ELITE, full-stop.
Once he took the job back here at Miami, ending his 13 day tenure at Temple, Head Coach Manny Diaz’s first order of business was to inform the entire offensive coaching staff that they were not going to be retained moving forward. That wholesale change on the offensive coaching staff was a necessary move, but it also created a vacuum of leadership for the team and for recruiting at the moment.
Miami was reportedly interested in Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson as a grad transfer. Jackson, against the advice of the NFL advisory committee, declared for the NFL Draft. Could things have gone differently if Miami had an OC or QB coach already on staff? Maybe. It couldn’t have hurt.
Apart from Jackson, there has been no connection between Miami and any offensive player on the recruiting trail in recent weeks. That is directly connected to the fact that, at current, Miami has exactly 0 offensive coaches employed.
And, again for clarity— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) January 3, 2019
Miami has 0 offensive coaches. 5 will be added.
Miami has 5 defensive coaches with Baker. None will be added. Assignments/titles for 4 retained D coaches forthcoming.
I wrote about the names on the board/uncommitted who could fill the needs the Hurricanes still have after the Early Signing Period. It’s a good piece and a good list. InsideTheU just published a piece about potential grad transfer QBs now that Jackson is NFL bound. It, too, is a good piece and a good list.
And it doesn’t matter because no player is going to seriously consider a school without anyone employed to coach them.
Coach Diaz has stated that his goal is to have the assistant coaching staff hires completed by Thursday, when the recruiting calendar opens back up with a contact period. That would be nice, but that isn’t a firm deadline, by any stretch of the imagination. Diaz’s stated quest is to get the OC and other offensive hires right, not be quick about it. The desire to be right is obviously good, but the timeline means that Miami’s offensive recruiting will continue to be non-existent for the time being.
As I previously wrote, Miami needs PLENTY of additional players on offense (and defense too, now that I mention it). Because the defensive staff will be unchanged, and likely add someone to its ranks, those coaches can and are recruiting. But, they don’t have counterparts on offense yet, so there can be no connection or movement with offensive recruits at this time.
When Miami hires some offensive coaches and a scheme to fit Diaz’s desire to play fast, be cutting edge, and put the defense in conflict situations where players have to think and make choices about where to go and what to do, then maybe movement will be seen.
But, with the protracted nature of this coaching search, it is more likely that Miami is going to have to ride with what they have on offense for the 2019 recruiting class, maybe add a player or two, and turn heavy focus to the 2020 cycle for reinforcements in terms of numbers and quality on the offensive side of the ball.