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Hiring Ishmael Aristide Was One Of The Best Moves Miami Has Made This Off-Season

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Aristide will be one of Manny Diaz’s most important assets in Miami moving forward as a progr

247 Sports

This off-season continues to drag on for the Hurricanes, feels like the bowl game against Oklahoma State was years ago. It’s wild to think about all the changes that Miami has made since the end of last season, Blake Baker leaving, Jess Simpson returning, Travis Williams being hired....and then leaving.

One of the more important moves that Manny Diaz has made this off-season however, and one that isn’t being talked about as much, was the hiring of outside linebackers coach Ishmael Aristide.

Aristide was brought in after Williams departed for UCF, and there were a large majority of Canes fans who simply didn't know who he was. People saw that this was going to be his first on-field coaching position, didn’t do their research on him, and simply left it at that.

I’ll admit, at first, I hardly knew who Aristide was when he was brought on the staff. I looked into it a little bit, saw his previous position, knew he was a good recruiter, and was then pleased with the hiring.

However, just this week I was talking to a good friend of mine, who’s from Texas and a diehard Longhorns fan. We started talking football, and somehow Aristide was brought up, and my buddy went on and on, and on....and on, about how great Ish is, specifically as a recruiter.

So I looked more into it, and realized that Aristide is now one of coach Diaz’s greatest assets on his staff, and will be a crucial piece in Miami moving forward and building an elite roster.

Viewed as one of the top up-and-coming coaches in college football, Aristide was placed on the CFB 30 Under 30 List by 247 Sports last September, which highlights the brightest young minds around the nation.

Aristide spent the last two seasons as a defensive analyst at Texas A&M, and was regarded as perhaps the Aggies top recruiter, especially in the talent filled areas of Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. While he was in College Station, Aristide helped A&M secure a top 7 recruiting class nationally in each cycle he was there for.

Aristide was specifically helpful in recruiting defensive backs. Just in the 2020 class alone, Aristide helped Texas A&M land one 5-star safety, another 4-star at safety and two 4-stars at cornerback.

So not only does Aristide have deep connections with recruiting Texas, but he’s also a native of.....Miami, Florida. Fun fact, Ish’s father, Wallace Aristide, is the principal of Miami Northwestern High School.

Knowing Dade County well, Ishmael has made his presence felt when it comes to scouting and landing top talent in South Florida.

Aristide was one of the main reasons Texas A&M was able to secure highly-ranked defensive end Donell Harris in 2020, out of Gulliver Prep, just down the street from UM’s campus. Ish also helped in bringing 2021 4-star recruits Amari Daniels and Yulkeith Brown from Miami Central to College Station.

“When Manny hired me, it’s pretty much a shoe-in because you’re going to recruit Miami every year and you’re going to just fit right in. Whoever our top guys are on that board, I know 85 percent of them. It’s not going to be a lot different for me,” Aristide told reporters after being hired by UM.

Since arriving at Miami, Aristide has assisted in the recruitment of top-target, 4-star linebacker Wesley Bissainthe, also from Miami Central. Then, he’s built a relationship with two 4-star prospects out of Orlando, LB DeMario Tolan and safety Markeith Williams. In addition, Aristide has been working closely with 4-star ATH Ish Harris who’s just outside the Dallas area in Texas.

As far as his on-field role, Aristide will be coaching the strikers, led by returning starter Gilbert Frierson, who blossomed in 2020 and became perhaps the best player on Miami’s defense.

When speaking to the media about his new position coach, Frierson had this to say, “That guy comes with a lot of energy every day. He wants us to work, kinda crazy. He comes to practice with pride.”

Behind Frierson, fifth-year senior Amari Carter has made the switch from safety to striker. Then, there’s true freshman Chase Smith, an early-enrollee who impressed during spring practice, and a player who has a bright future ahead of him.

And as far as recruiting, Aristide, along with cornerbacks coach Demarcus Van Dyke, new DB’s coach Travaris Robinson, and director of recruiting Pop Cooney, the Canes boast one of the best recruiting staffs in the ACC. Give them some time, and maybe they’ll rival the top recruiting staffs in the nation.

With recruiting season going to start heating up in June, and fall camp starting in July, I’m excited to see Aristide get to work, both on the scouting trail and on Greentree.