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.
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 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.
Ishmael Aristide is a great hire if y’all would actually look into shit before complaining— Makaveli (@TimsDatDude_) February 20, 2021
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.
Good story by @Manny_Navarro on #Miami’s new OLB coach Ishmael Aristide, a 2013 Purdue graduate who left a six-figure job with Deloitte to pursue coaching and really impressed folks while on the A&M, Ole Miss and Auburn staffs. https://t.co/aFKzyT8u9N— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 21, 2021
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.
Sources: Ishmael Aristide is finalizing a deal to become an assistant coach at Miami. Aristide emerged as a star analyst for Texas A&M and was considered one of the program’s best recruiters. He has deep recruiting roots in south Florida, which made him attractive to Manny Diaz.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) February 20, 2021
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.
With TWill leaving, late, I just feel Ishmael Aristide is a really good hire.— Jasmaine P. ✍ (@Truly_Jas) February 20, 2021
Even if we were to have gotten Chaney, he is a great recruiter as well without developing experience.
It was REALLY late & barely any options left. Ishmael Aristide is one of the BEST recruiters.
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.
I appreciate you!— K M o n d (@TheKellenMond) February 24, 2021
Not everyone will know what type of impact you had, but your work, dedication & passion will always be RESPECTED by me!
Thank you for being a father figure, best friend, brother & mentor to me and so many others.
305 TO MY CITY! NO QUESTION. https://t.co/0Nj0w7oVgO
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.
Name I like after doing some research to replace ShaDon Brown, Ishmael Aristide. Not connected to the staff or the area in any way from what I can tell but he's very intriguing. Texas A&M has been recruiting DBs at a high level lately and he's a big reason for that apparently.— Cards Hive (@CSZCardsHive) February 4, 2021
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.
Ishmael Aristide says he took a look at Miami's recruiting board and said, "I know 85 to 90 percent of these guys."— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) March 4, 2021
He focused on recruiting Miami at Texas A&M and developed quite a reputation for it. Now, he says he has "the home-field advantage" being at UM.
Knowing Dade County well, Ishmael has made his presence felt when it comes to scouting and landing top talent in South Florida.
Ishmael Aristide on getting to recruit Miami, the city, as a coach for Miami, the University: "Not much different for me...Miami has been the center point of my recruiting. I've always focused on the city...Now, I'm playing home field advantage...I'm excited about that."— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) March 4, 2021
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.
Texas A&M has 12 signees in the final Rivals250— TexAgs (@TexAgs) January 22, 2020
Demond Demas (15)
Jaylon Jones (27)
Antonio Johnson (41)
Donell Harris (47)
Chris Morris (55)
Antonio Doyle (79)
Akinola Ogunbiyi (112)
Edgerrin Cooper (172)
M. Muhammad (186)
Fadil Diggs (204)
Isaiah Raikes (207)
Josh Moten (236)
“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.
Congratulations Coach Aristide this is big time for miami You have former Miami Northwestern Head Coach and you Principal son coaching. https://t.co/a8q5ZSCSKE— Luther Luke Campbell (@unclelukereal1) February 23, 2021
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.
Chase Smith looking quick so far. He could be the future at the Striker position at Miami.— Robby Espin (@robbyespin) April 17, 2021
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.
“It’s going down you better be careful” (Ishmael Aristide on other schools recruiting Miami)— Canes Insider (@InsiderCanes) March 4, 2021
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.