Recently, like many others, I was reading up on Darnell Washington’s official visit to Athens with the Georgia Bulldogs this past weekend and what he had to say about it. Washington is the top tight end recruit in the nation out of Las Vegas, with both UGA and Miami in his top five schools that he’s considering. The Dawgs were hosting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a primetime showdown, and Washington was thoroughly impressed with the gameday experience at Georgia.
“When it was all happening before the game, when the jets came across the sky and the crowd was going wild, it was great to experience that,” Washington told 247Sports. “I know that playing in front of a crowd like that would be a blessing.”
This just goes to show that FAN SUPPORT goes a long ways with recruits. This is a quote from 6’7” 260 lb 5 ⭐️ TE Darnell Washington. pic.twitter.com/U707pMeXac— Chico (@ChicoHull) September 24, 2019
It’s obvious that playing in front of a sold-out and rocking stadium is important to recruits, they want their home field to be an advantage, and most of all to feel that support.
From 1937 until 2007, the Miami Hurricanes had that home field advantage with the historic Orange Bowl. Many opposing players and coaches that had the misfortunate of visiting the OB said that it was the loudest stadium they had ever played in. I mean, a 58-home game winning streak speaks for itself.
Unfortunately, post OB UM home games have often conjured up thoughts of empty seats and half-filled stadiums. Though, that all changed prior to the 2016 season when Hard Rock Stadium underwent a major renovation. While the capacity was brought down, the difference in the noise from the crowd made you feel like you were back at the Old Lady again.
I hope everyone understands after last year - ND & VT - and last night - that The Rock is a legit home field advantage! https://t.co/WjfWVtvNhc— 5Rings_Canes (@5Rings_Canes) October 7, 2018
Never was that more apparent then when third-ranked Notre Dame came to Hard Rock in November of 2017 to duel with the 7th-ranked Hurricanes. During the 41-8 blowout of the Irish, Miami’s home crowd and the affect that they had was on full display. Kirk Herbstreit said during the game that it was the loudest crowd he had ever heard.
Herbie said that hard rock stadium at night was similar to going into death valley Clemson at night.— rOmaN (@Romancane) November 22, 2017
Sr Notre dame LB said hard rock was the LOUDEST stadium he had ever played in.
Home field advantage? Yeah we got that covered. #canes pic.twitter.com/8hzwK2FD0E
Brian Kelly admitted Notre Dame players were intimidated by Canes crowd!!!! Hard Rock Stadium renovation paying off LOUD AF in that place— Armando ️♀️ (@LakersCanes305) November 12, 2017
It wasn’t just the Notre Dame game when Hard Rock came alive. That same season when the Virginia Tech Hokies came to town, and Miami fans were in all black matching UM’s jerseys, the Canes rode that energy to a 28-10 win. “That place can get spooky now,” said Manny Diaz to reporters following the game when speaking about Hard Rock and the crowd.
Not sold out, but Hard Rock Stadium is going to be loud this evening for #Hokies and Miami.— David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP) November 5, 2017
Just a note – Hard Rock Stadium is packed and loud early on. Easy to tell the magnitude of the matchup. #Hurricanes— Isaiah Kim-Martinez (@isaiah_km) November 5, 2017
Or go back to the FSU game last season, when Miami came back from 27-7 deficit to win 28-27. Being in attendance, I can tell you that it was by far the loudest game I had ever been to in person. When Michael Pinckney intercepted a pass in the third quarter, I thought the roof was going to collapse. Or when Brevin Jordan scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth, those are the moments that these kids dream of, doing it front of their fans.
Happy Sunday. Grateful for 56 pic.twitter.com/zmSDSLhqvz— Confused Canes Fan (@hurricanesmarsh) January 27, 2019
Throwback to the madhouse Hard Rock was against FSU last year https://t.co/Bq9yxHl8QY— Confused Canes Fan (@hurricanesmarsh) May 27, 2019
It is ridiculously loud inside Hard Rock stadium... also... I’ve never seen fewer FSU fans at this game in my life— Mike Ryan Ruiz (@MichaelRyanRuiz) October 6, 2018
It’s been established that Hurricanes fans can bring the noise and make life hell for visiting teams. Only problem is, it’s not a weekly occurrence that HRS is the frenzy seen in those games mentioned above.
Announced attendance for Miami-Bethune: 52,036.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) September 14, 2019
For years, Miami has had problems drawing fans to games. Even in the heyday of winning championships in the early 2000’s or 80’s, you’d see half the stadium filled while the #1 Canes were dominating on the field.
With recent various moments of success, the yearly attendance is growing for Miami, and in 2018 they brought in an average of 61,469 fans to each home game, with Hard Rock’s capacity sitting at 64,767.
Since Big3 twitter loves to talk attendance.— ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) (@BGG_Miami) July 17, 2019
Ben Hill: UF
2018 avg: 82,328
2018 avg: 68,288
Hard Rock: UM
2018 avg: 61,469
So yea... Miami fans don’t support!!! pic.twitter.com/4wVsj4MM3m
Unlike schools like Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Michigan, where they’re located in these small college towns, UM is in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. So going to see a day game against Central Michigan only interested about 50,000 people this past Saturday.
Attendance announced as 49,997, meaning Miami goes over the 4 million mark all-time for its 78 appearances at Hard Rock Stadium.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) September 21, 2019
I’m going to come out and say it, Canes fans need to step up and start coming to games, plain and simple. I said it before and I'll say it again, you see that top recruits want to play in front of sold out stadiums for their home games, this is your chance to help your beloved Hurricanes. Obviously the team has to do their part and win, but if you going to games helps Miami with recruiting, then get to the stadium! If a five-star recruit comes to a Canes home game and sees 45,000 in attendance with no electricity, why would he want to spend the next four years there?
Here’s a perfect example for you. Quarterback Jarren Williams, during his recruiting process, chose to visit Miami during the Notre Dame game in 2017, and the experience that he had that night was a major reason why he committed to UM. “It was like, ‘Wow! I want to be a part of this!’ Williams told the Miami Herald last August. “I want to win a national championship. And I think this is the place to do it.’’
So there, proof!
A home game for the Canes is an amazing experience. From the tailgating scene, the Hurricane Walk, the team coming out of the smoke, throwing up the U, the Turnover Chain coming out, it is always a blast. Plus, tickets aren’t that expensive right now, and you can snag seats to the Va Tech game for as low as $22.
As a kid growing up, my father had season tickets to the Canes in the Orange Bowl, and even when Miami wasn’t doing great, those days spent tailgating and nights spent in the stands cheering for the U were some of the best of my life.
From October 5th till the 19th, the Canes play three straight games at home against Va Tech, the Virginia Cavaliers and then the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Not only will highly-coveted recruits be in attendance, but Miami’s quest for the ACC Coastal will be going on. You’ve seen the impact that UM fans have, so go and pack the Rock.
DeeJay Dallas said it best last year when he tweeted out, “Hard rock stadium is where opponents dreams come to die.”
Hard rock stadium is where opponents dreams come to die ✌— Double D (@DallasDeejay) September 28, 2018