It’s no secret, the state of Florida, specifically South Florida, produces the best football players in the country. Not an opinion, that’s a fact. The Hurricanes have won 5 national championships with the help of South Florida talent, and many of their best players in program history have come from The State of Miami.
Congrats to the state of Florida, which produced more NFL draft picks this year than any other state. Texas, Georgia, California and Louisiana round out the top five: pic.twitter.com/P046GxQd6O— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 4, 2021
However, while I don't want the Canes to shy away from getting the best local talent every year and making it their top priority for scouting, there is another area where I'd love to see Miami start to recruit more heavily, the great state of Texas.
13 of the first 55 picks in the NFL Draft are from the state of Texas.— Geoff Ketchum (@gkketch) April 25, 2020
In terms of which state has the best football players, Florida is first, but Texas is definitely second. Football is a religion there, and the state has churned out top talent year in and year out. As of last fall, Florida had produced the most current NFL Players with 194, and Texas was right there at second with 192.
States with the most 2020 #NFL players:— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) September 18, 2020
North Carolina 59
New Jersey 57
South Carolina 39
Maryland 39 pic.twitter.com/xoTm61wJiu
The Canes have benefitted from players from the Lonestar State in the past, with guys like Jessie Armstead, Eric Winston, Bubba Franks, Kevin Williams and Damione Lewis, just to name a few. Even our beloved Jimmy Johnson hails from South Texas.
Another one for 152 days out from opening day for UM. Kevin Williams set the Miami record in ‘91 with 152 punt return yards against PSU. He ran one back 91 yards for a score late in the game to help seal the win in the first matchup against Penn State since the ‘87 Fiesta Bowl. pic.twitter.com/enA832FgRj— Canes Legacy (@CanesLegacy) April 6, 2020
In fact, in each of the last five recruiting classes, Miami has signed at least one player from Texas.
As far as their current roster goes, Miami has a few Texas players, Elijah Arroyo, Charleston Rambo, Corey Flagg and D’Eriq King, among others. Flagg was a great recruiting find, a 3-star talent out of Houston, but was a tackling machine in high school playing at a high level in Texas. Arroyo quickly rose to become one of the best tight ends in the 2021 class, dominating opponents in the Frisco area.
Elijah Arroyo film review! We are TEU its a fact. Landing this kind of talent will only add to our Legacy. Arroyo will play so much as SLOT at UM. VERTICAL WEAPON with route running ability so much versatility. Below you see him out wide he breaks this CB with a sluggo(slant&go)! pic.twitter.com/oEFQBq7MAS— 365CANESFOOTBALL (@365canesinfo) March 15, 2021
The Hurricanes have had success with players from there, and I think they need give Texas even more of their energy. Texas is so spread out when it comes to their players, with an incredible amount of talent coming from Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Though, you’ll also find an offensive lineman out of West Texas, or you can checkout a power school like Lake Travis in Austin, filled with top prospects.
You can say Texas produces a lot of NFL talent.. pic.twitter.com/N1IeD4FBy6— MaxPreps (@MaxPreps) January 20, 2019
Miami already has the assistant coaches that’ll help in assisting that process, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and outside linebackers coach Ishmael Aristide. Lashlee was the OC at SMU in Dallas, and Aristide spent the last two years in College Station as a defensive analyst at Texas A&M.
BREAKING: Ishmael Aristide is finalizing a deal to join Manny Diaz’s staff as an assistant coach at Miami. Aristide was a top analyst for Texas A&M and was considered one of their top recruiters. He has deep recruiting roots in SoFla. Per @PeteThamel pic.twitter.com/YhfFyJa55K— Robby Espin (@robbyespin) February 20, 2021
Aristide is going to be crucial for the Hurricanes. He’s a native of Miami, so he knows South Florida well, but he was also perhaps the top recruiter for Texas A&M during his stint there. During that time, Aristide dominated recruiting areas like Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, and the Aggies finished each year he was there with a recruiting class ranked in the top 7 nationally.
We love the moves Manny Diaz continues to make. Ishmael Aristide is a rising young coach who is known as a beast recruiter. Should be a huge asset in upgrading Miami's defensive talent— CaneSport Miami Hurricanes (@CaneSport) February 20, 2021
As far as the 2022 class goes, Miami is looking at several recruits in Texas, including 4-star offensive tackle Cameron Williams. Playing for one of the top teams in the nation (Duncanville), I’ve been very high on Williams, who is planning on taking a visit to Miami, as are other 2022 Texas recruits as well.
Duncanville OL Cam Williams put on a show today and earned offensive MVP honors pic.twitter.com/vBl8C6WpXe— Jason Howell (@Jason_Howell) April 4, 2021
There’s also linebacker Justin Medlock, tight end RJ Maryland, 4-star ATH and potential striker Ish Harris, and plenty more. Maryland is the son of former UM legend Russell Maryland. Last season, Ish Harris had 1,788 yards of total offense and 18 touchdowns, and on defense he finished with 44 tackles and 5 interceptions.
If I’m Manny Diaz and recruiting coordinator David “Pop” Cooney, I of course keep South Florida a top priority for scouting, but I’d give Texas plenty of attention. With valuable recruiting assets like Lashlee and Aristide on the staff, you have to take advantage.