Nearly six months ago, the Miami Hurricanes had just been shutout in the Independence Bowl 14-0, to the hands of the mighty Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, thus ending one of the more disappointing seasons in program history with a 6-7 record.
Before the Walk-ons Independence Bowl, I wrote on Manny Diaz and Miami. I mentioned Diaz is doing something special and to give him time, I still believe that but this performance is just downright embarrassing. https://t.co/bpolTyMjnf— RJ Nealon (@RNealonsports) December 27, 2019
Today, that same Miami Hurricanes team is having an off-season for the ages, and it’s about time we give credit to head coach Manny Diaz.
Listen, I've been very critical about Diaz and how his first season as head coach went, and I'm still waiting to see if all of this can translate into wins in the fall. However, the fact that he’s been able to basically keep the Hurricanes in the spotlight over the past few months, is simply incredible.
I'll say it again, from mid-January to August, Manny Diaz is elite!!! #canes@CanesEDIT @CanesInSight @apfenny @hurricanesmarsh @HurricaneVision @Romancane @EddieRoyce23 @face_ventura @ThisCat @TexCanes @30For30_DG @305miami6924 @itsy_atkins @OrangeBowlBoys @PeterAriz— Steve Kim (@StevESPNKim) February 5, 2020
Last night was the latest example of this, as Miami picked up a verbal commitment from 4-star wide receiver Romello Brinson. The commitment put the Hurricanes 2021 recruiting class at number nine in the nation. Between Brinson, Jacolby George and others, there are few schools in the country as hot on the recruiting trail as the Canes.
Just like last year, Diaz and his staff have absolutely owned the transfer portal, vastly improving their roster. Jarren Williams wasn’t working out at quarterback, so they went out and got D’Eriq King, a QB who is one of the most exciting players in the country. The offensive line was obviously a problem in 2019, so they went out and grabbed Jarrid Williams and Issiah Walker Jr. Jonathan Garvin and Trevon Hill left to the NFL, so they went out and picked up Quincy Roche, one of the top defensive ends returning in 2020.
The biggest question marks when last season ended for the Miami Hurricanes were QB, OL and kicker.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 8, 2020
I have no idea how they’ll do from September to December, but Manny Diaz had a pretty good offseason.
The culture and energy of the Miami locker-room was a huge issue in 2019, so Diaz picks former Hurricane and NFL Hall of Famer Ed Reed to become the chief of staff. Reed is a guy who knows what a winning culture looks like, and his example to the Canes roster is going to do wonders for Miami.
Within 36 days of bowl loss—Enos/Barry fired, UM moved to spread/hired Lashlee, solved QB issue (King), K issue (Borregales), upgraded at DE (Roche), landed quality class (top RBs in Dade/Broward) and hired a legend as CoS—yet many of you shitbirds as miserable as ever. #TheU pic.twitter.com/D7I0upvUTr— It's a U Thing ... (@ItsAUThingBlog) January 31, 2020
Many head coaches won’t fire any of their assistants after a bad first season, but Diaz realized that changes needed to be made. Dan Enos obviously wasn’t working as offensive coordinator, Diaz went out and got one of the top guys in college football in Rhett Lashlee, who runs a modernized offense that Miami fans have been praying to get for 15 years.
The Rhett Lashlee hiring as UM's OC is official. "Rhett has directed some of the most innovative offenses in college football in recent years," Manny Diaz said.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 4, 2020
Butch Barry and Taylor Stubblefield were replaced by Rob Likens and Garin Justice, who have been hitting home-run after home-run when it comes to recruiting, and have plenty of experience when it comes to developing players.
The Hurricanes struck gold finally! Garin Justice is an impact Coach, Teacher and Recruiter!— Blustein Recruiting (@larryblustein) January 11, 2020
You can say all you want about going 6-7 last year and losing to FIU, but you can’t sit there and not be astounded by what Diaz has been able to accomplish since December. Even in the middle of a pandemic, Manny has been able to somehow restore faith in this great program, without his team playing a single snap of football in 2020.
I get being negative, indignant & disgusted after losses & snubs. But the Misery Militia is ridiculous We signed a good class, great considering the misery of the season. ANY role ER plays is a good one, more involved the better sure. Hope we develop the class & #GOCANES— Laz (@CutlerRidgeLAZ) February 6, 2020
Manny Diaz is Mr Off-Season.... I'll give him that much. #canes@CanesEDIT @CanesInSight @apfenny @305miami6924 @305miami6924 @bomberro2 @itsy_atkins @Romancane @ThisCat @PaulsScoop1 @OrangeBowlBoys @hurricanesmarsh @HurricaneVision @EddieRoyce23 @TexCanes @PeterAriz— Steve Kim (@StevESPNKim) June 8, 2020
One thing is for sure, Diaz is building something in Coral Gables, and those around the program, whether it be players, fan, recruits, we all see it. There’s excitement once again about UM, and reason to believe Diaz can be that guy to lead Miami back to prominence.
If Manny starts winning y’all boys in trouble...— Grantlong (@Grantlonggg) June 14, 2020
I completely understand those who are in the “wait and see” mindset, because I am too. But for now, keep on doing what you’re Coach Diaz. The only left to do, is win.