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Manny Diaz’s 2020 Recruiting Class Is A Big Step In Bringing Miami Back

Manny Diaz is getting his guys with his first recruiting class

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Miami at Duke Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While Manny Diaz’s first season definitely didn’t go the way he wanted it to, it’ll be interesting to see what role and impact Miami’s 2020 recruiting class will play in the Hurricanes future. This will be Diaz’s first real class that he’s been able to oversee as head coach, and this group of commits has me really excited about Miami and the years to come.

You can always tell a lot about a head coach’s first recruiting class, because that’s when they really get to sign their guys, and you can tell by some of the players that they land, and what kind of role they play in the the program turning it around.

Take Nick Saban for instance, and his recruiting class in 2008 for Alabama. Saban’s first year in Tuscaloosa was a disaster, going 7-6 and even losing a home game to ULM. Still, Saban had a process that Bama was to go through, and his 2008 class was to be the turning point for the program.

The crowned jewel of that class was five-star receiver Julio Jones, who has turned into one of the best WR’s in the NFL. He was the player that came to Tuscaloosa and immediately became a leader.

Then you also have four-star guys like running back Mark Ingram and offensive lineman Barrett Jones. But also, you have a player like three-star defensive end Marcell Dareus, who turned out to be a major part for Saban’s first championship team at Alabama in 2009.

Dabo Swinney’s first class at Clemson in 2009 only had 12 players, ranking 37th in the country, but they had certain pieces within those 12 that began to shape Clemson into the program we know today. You had quarterback Tajh Boyd, who was the highlight of the class. Then he added on with OL Brandon Thomas and linebacker Quandon Christian, players who weren't as highly touted, but building blocks you can create a winning culture around.

Even since then, the Tigers under Swinney, they haven’t gone out and signed the number one recruiting class every year. What Swinney does instead, is invest in his guys that are bought into the program, and are invested in the team, and you see the results.

When you look at the 2020 class for Miami and Diaz, you could say that running back Don Chaney Jr. is the jewel of the class. You also add in fellow RB Jaylan Knighton as well as quarterback Tyler Van Dyke and offensive lineman Jalen Rivers, those are the heavy hitters for the Canes in the 2020 class.

Also, you have three-star receiver Xavier Restrepo, who has become one of the leaders of the recruiting class, and has the tangibles to continue that leadership once he gets to Coral Gables. He may not be the highest ranked player on the board, but he’s a guy that can be a program changer just by the way he carries himself, and the way he supports his teammates. He reminds me a lot of Braxton Berrios, just by the way he plays the game as well as the passion he has for UM.

They’re coming into Miami currently as the 14th ranked recruiting class for 2020 according to 247Sports, and they have high expectations. But then again, that’s a main reason why some of them chose to commit to UM. Four-star safety Jalen Harrell even said in his commitment note, “I will be staying home to help make the Crib Great Again.”

No disrespect to previous Miami classes, but this 2020 group has something about them that gets you really excited. They have a strong sense of brotherhood even before enrolling at Miami, and they have lofty goals to bring UM back to where it should be.