National Signing Day a Huge Win for Miami Coach Golden
National Signing Day was a surprisingly clear recruiting win for the Miami Hurricanes’ football program. After a 6-6 season that was marred by a scandal engineered by a now imprisoned former booster, player suspensions, star Juniors and one sophomore leaving for the NFL, and a self-imposed sanction of passing up a bowl game, coach Al Golden proclaimed success. The Miami Herald reported the recruiting class was a consensus top 10 performance in the NCAA. And it was done with Florida, Florida State, University of South Florida, and most all top national programs thinking they could pick The U‘s pocket even in their own backyard.
Here’s an excerpt from the Herald article.
“It was National Signing Day, and no numerical ranking of UM’s recruiting class is necessary to validate what this coach and his embattled program had just accomplished. This was about resilience, about overcoming, about faith.
The day marked a huge victory for Hurricanes football – for this team and for the larger brand – and a huge triumph for Golden in particular.
The day also marked a resounding defeat for Shapiro and the notion one man with a vendetta could bring this program to its knees.
Golden, in trademark orange tie, was feisty in his late-afternoon campus news conference. …
“We’re the top institution in the state of Florida. Played for the most national championships. Most players in the NFL,” he said. “We need to stand up, we need to fight. Time to stop having an inferiority complex. Are we not supposed to beat Alabama [in recruiting] down here? Are we not supposed to beat Florida and Florida State? We got to start thinking like we’re the University of Miami again!”
UM’s against-odds recruiting bounty would have looked solid, all things considered, even without Tracy Howard, but it was this young man choosing the Hurricanes early Wednesday that lent the exclamation, elevated Miami’s to a consensus top-10 class and put a smiling face on the feeling UM had won the day.
Old Cane Michael Irvin was watching it live on TV like so many other fans.
“I got really emotional hearing that,” he said.
UM-as-family, the bond that makes Irvin care so deeply to this day, is a recruiting ally few schools can match, an ally stronger than an NCAA scandal. High school recruits see and hear countless NFL Canes proudly introduce their school as, simply, “The U.” They watch Ray Lewis on Sundays. They prepare to see a Super Bowl this week featuring Vince Wilfork and Antrel Rolle. Canes, everywhere.