Earlier today, The Ringer dropped an episode of ‘Dual Threat with Ryen Russillo’ in which the host spoke with Bruce Feldman of The Athletic about his article entitled ‘At Miami, the search for lost swag.’ Russillo’s podcast focuses on college and pro football and is one of the top-ranked podcasts during the football season. Ahead of the 2019 season, the Canes are already starting to build some national buzz. Here are some takeaways from both the article and the podcast:
There is general optimism about Manny Diaz outside of Miami
Feldman’s article looked into Diaz’s journey growing up in Miami to now leading his hometown team. While his story is captivating, Feldman and Russillo were more impressed by CMD’s work with the Canes’ defense over the past 3 seasons. Both believed QB play was one of the main factors in Miami’s inconsistency last season as well as in the time since the mid-00’s. Diaz has done a great job getting the right players into his system and getting them to perform at a top level.
The rest of the country gets the ‘State of Miami’ concept
Russillo was intrigued by Feldman’s deep dive into the Canes struggles to return to national prominence, specifically his take on Miami’s recruiting failures. Feldman believed that while Miami struck out on most of its QBs, a more crucial repeated mistake was missing out on a run of program-altering local wideouts. Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, and Jerry Jeudy were all coming up through the ranks in our backyard and ended up playing for Alabama instead.
Canes players were helping with recruiting all the way back to the 80s
While this seems like normal practice in the age of social media, I thought it was notable that Alonzo Highsmith spoke with Feldman about how the Canes players would dictate to the coaching staff whether recruits had what it took to wear the orange and green. Russillo and Feldman believed finding players that already had the hunger to build up The U specifically would be crucial to progress in Coral Gables. While that appears to be a basic concept, they noted that Miami was in a unique situation where other schools could use their superior facilities to create a more compelling case for recruits. If incoming recruits aren’t bought in to the Miami history and brand, it would be difficult for them to handle adversity.
Miami has been thrown into a specific group of struggling old powers
Russillo and Feldman believed Miami’s situation was comparable to Nebraska and Tennessee, as schools that were in the national title hunt year after year but just haven’t been able to put an entire season together in over a decade. Of the three schools, both Russillo and Feldman believed Nebraska and Tennessee are less likely to return to being an elite program.
As Canes fans, we’re used to the national media coming in when Miami strings together a few wins to ask, “Is Miami back?” As Manny Diaz prepares to usher in “The New Miami”, it seems that those same outlets are taking a different approach. You can listen to the Dual Threat podcast or read Bruce Feldman’s article on The Athletic in the links below.