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Storm Center, January 17th. A new assistant coach. 2 new transfers. And Recruiting picking up.

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Let’s start our Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with some Canes talk, yea?

Miami Introduces Mario Cristobal as Head Football Coach Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday everybody. I hope you all take a moment to reflect on the man, his message, and legacy on this holiday Monday.

With that being said, let’s talk some Canes, shall we?

Cristobal adds assistant coach

Last week, we talked about the open spots on Mario Cristobal’s inaugural coaching staff at Miami. On Friday morning, one of the open spots was filled when Kevin Smith was announced as Miami’s Running Backs coach.

A Miami native, Smith played his collegiate ball at UCF. And, he was preeeeetty good: he ran for nearly 2600 yards and 29 TDs.....in 2007 ALONE. No. Those aren’t typos.

After a short stint in the NFL (with YOUR Detroit Lions!!!!), Smith got into coaching. He coached RBs at FAU — including Buffalo Bills starting RB Devin Singletary — before moving to Ole Miss to coach RBs for Lane Kiffin. With several years of great success coaching the position to his credit, Smith returns home to Miami on Cristobal’s staff for the Hurricanes in 2022.

Welcome home, coach! Can’t wait to see you work!

Canes add two homegrown transfers

It’s no secret that Miami has looked to reshape and reload the roster heading into the 2022 season. And, with several holes on the roster, and the likelihood that Miami doesn’t take a full 25 HS players in this recruiting class, Miami reasonably, and expectedly, looked to the Transfer Portal for additional talent.

This week, Miami added a pair of players who were 4-star recruits from Miami in previous classes. First up, Clemson WR Frank Ladson, a Homestead (FL) alum who selected the Tigers over the Canes and others in the 2019 recruiting class , committed to coming home to play for the Canes.

A dynamic 6’3” 205lb receiver, Ladson battled injury and inconsistency at Clemson. He has great talent, however, and the hope is he follows in the footsteps of K.J. Osborn and Charleston Rambo and takes a big step forward in his performance here with Miami.

Next up, Miami went to a position that didn’t NEED help, but hey, you can’t ever have too many good players, right? And, leveraging the relationship with new RB coach Kevin Smith, Miami added Ole Miss RB Henry Parrish to the roster on Sunday.

You’re not crazy here. Parrish previously played for RB coach Smith at Ole Miss the last 2 years, so transferring home to Miami to continue to play for him makes all the sense in the world. Parrish is a Miami (FL) Christopher Columbus alum and was not really that recruited by Miami in the 2020 recruiting class, despite having a standout season for the Explorers. But, Miami took RBs Donald Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton in that class, so it’s not like they were without elite talent in the class. But now, that group gets even deeper with Parrish returning home to play for the Canes.

It wasn’t all good news on the portal front this week, however. Former Oregon CB DJ James, who officially visited Miami during the week, announced his intention to return to his home-state and play for Auburn on Sunday.

Can’t get ‘em all, I guess.

Big Visit weekend in the rearview...

Recruiting is picking up! I’ll be back with a bigger piece on that, but the Dead Period ended, Miami hosted multiple transfer targets (including the aforementioned Parrish), and HS prospects as well.

While all the names are notable (and, again, we’ll go over them all soon), the headline here is the fact that Miami (FL) Monsignor Pace 5-star DL Shemar Stewart was on campus. He canceled a visit to Texas A&M — the presumed leaders in his recruitment at this point — to instead come South to Miami. Not only that, but Miami coaches met with Stewart at 12:01am on Wednesday, literal minutes after the recruiting Dead Period ended. AND, furthermore, Stewart is still scheduled to take a last-weekend Official Visit to Miami in 2 weeks. That visit will end just days before National Signing Day on February 2nd.

Miami got other prospects on campus for Official Visits this weekend. And they all had one thing in common: they were linemen. With Cristobal being a former National Championship winning Offensive Lineman himself, he knows the value of having big, physical dudes up front on both sides of the ball. While the Canes have added skill players both in the HS class and through the Portal since Cristobal has become head coach, the Canes are missing real SERIOUS size on both sides of the ball (and 6’6” 220lb DE Cyrus Moss is a step in the right direction, but his lithe build doesn’t really fit this point of conversation, yanno?). Hopefully, that’ll change soon.

In Cristobal We Trust...

...and a big(ger?) weekend ahead

With a major 7v7 tournament in Miami this weekend, Cristobal and company have elected to eschew Official Visits for seniors and instead pivot to the future. And in looking to the future, Miami has scheduled a special day focused solely on underclassmen.

Welcome to Elite Prospect Day.

Miami has invited and plans on having a TON of elite underclassmen on campus this Friday for this new spotlight day, Mario Cristobal’s big re-introduction to the recruiting scene. There are nearly 10 5-star prospects and a slew of other 4-stars who have said they’ll be in attendance. And, if you’ve read The Recruiting Rules you know that you have to follow the visits. And Elite Prospect Day is a big day to know, and follow, for the future of the Canes’ roster with Cristobal leading the team.

We’ll talk more about this later this week (again, I promise), but the focus is growing the connection with the future stars of the program this Friday, and continue to cultivate relationships with the available senior prospects throughout the rest of the week, before a big downhill push toward next weekend’s visits (the final visits before Signing Day), and then Signing Day itself.

Blips on the Radar

Justin Dottavio looked at some games Cristobal previously coached to see what we can expect from his teams at Miami. Here’s the series for you:

This is really great stuff. If you haven’t read it already, do yourself a favor and check it out. I guarantee you’ll learn something.

Our resident ProCanes expert Jake Marcus wrote about Miami alum Braxton Berrios being named 1st team All-Pro!

John Michaels asks the question “How Far Away are the Canes?”

Justin Dottavio weighs the pros and cons of Ken Dorsey as Miami’s next OC

And that’s about it.

Plenty happened last week. Plenty will happen this week. And I’m excited to see where things go.

Make it a great Monday, everybody!

Go Canes