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For Now, I’m All The Way Back In On Manny Diaz. It’s Time To Win.

Manny Diaz keeps making moves, and I’m back in on the Canes optimism.

Miami v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

If you’ve read my articles or tweets recently, or listened to me on the radio or my podcast, you know how disgusted I was in Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes on how they ended the 2020 season.

I was relentless in my slander and distaste in the fact that Miami started the season with a promising 8-1 record, only to see the year end in a 62-24 shellacking to UNC, and then another bowl loss in a defeat at the hands of Oklahoma State. It seemed that a season that seemed like such a step in the right direction, all came crumbling down within five minutes of the Canes-Tar Heels game.

Furthermore, I was greatly displeased in the fact that Blake Baker was still somehow on staff as defensive coordinator, even after giving up 554 rushing yards to UNC. For these points, I did not see the program heading in the right direction even just a few weeks ago, as opposed to the overwhelming feeling of optimism that I had just several months prior.

I stand before you today however, well actually tonight, that once again, I’ve bought in to the Manny Diaz era at the University of Miami, and believe that yes, there is hope, and there is reason to be excited about this program.

Ok no, Diaz didn’t fire Blake Baker, but yes, he is gone. While it wasn’t all the doing and working of Manny, he has managed to revamp this defensive coaching staff, and turn it into a group of proven recruiters and developers that rival any staff in the ACC, besides Clemson of course.

Diaz has done this in all three off-seasons he’s been Miami’s head coach. Shortly after being named HC in December of 2018, he got rid of the entire offensive staff that was there under Mark Richt, including the strength and condition coach.

Following the 2019 season, after the failed Dan Enos era, he got rid of them as well, brining in Rhett Lashlee, Rob Likens and Garin Justice, and all they did was help Miami reach offensive heights not achieved in more than 15 years.

Now, he’s trying to emulate that same success with this new defensive staff. Travaris Robinson, who has repeatedly churned out first and second round talent at defensive back, takes over a Miami secondary who has developed just one 1st round DB in 10 years. T-Rob is also considered one of the best recruiters in college football.

Travis Williams takes over as inside linebackers coach, someone who developed All-SEC LB’s during his time at Auburn. He takes over a position group at Miami that has SEVERELY underperformed in recent memory, both on the field and in recruiting.

Manny even took a page out of Nick Saban’s book, and brought in Bob Shoop as a defensive analyst. Shoop has incredible experience as a defensive coach, and will serve as yet another tool on Diaz’s staff.

Todd Stroud isn’t there as defensive line coach, but Manny brought in Jess Simpson, and if you saw what he did at Miami in 2018 with the DL, you should understand why I’m so excited about this hire.

So yes, Manny, I applaud you making the necessary changes once again, and for this, I’m all the way back on the optimistic train.

Now let me say this, I made my 8-4 prediction for 2021 when the schedule came out last week, and I'm sticking with it. However, I’m much more excited about the direction that this program is headed. Give this another year or two, and I think the Canes are going to be in a position where they’re challenging Clemson for the ACC Championship, yes I said it.

Though, if you look at the title for this article, at the beginning it says.....for now, and that’s the important part. Now, more than ever, it’s up to coach Diaz to win. You have the talent to win the Coastal, and now you have a complete staff for the first time since he’s become the Miami head coach. You don't have any, ANY excuses for the 2021 season. You can’t have your team look unprepared in the biggest games. You can’t have players coming out in December saying some on the team still aren’t bought in.

It’s all on you Manny.