The University of Miami football team has faced its fair share of criticism these past few seasons, yet signing day has always served as a date that can return optimism to the program.
According to a composite recruitment ranking compiled by Rivals.com, UM enters this signing day at No. 26. Even with a rough season, this ranking is low for Miami standards. Last year’s signing class ranked at No. 12 and included only one five-star recruit.
The results of this year’s signing day should come as no surprise. For more than a decade, UM has had inconsistent seasons, and the team underwent an NCAA investigation that lasted about two years. It’s time to accept that the Hurricanes should no longer think of themselves as a football powerhouse with top recruits lining outside the door.
For starters, Miami has competition for recruits from other Florida universities and top Division I schools. Given the pull that schools like Florida State and the University of Florida may have, even for a program with the tradition of UM, bringing in top recruits is no longer a rite of passage. UM should look more toward its backyard for recruits who would like to stay close to home.
Recruits are also looking to attend a school where they will be most successful. If Miami continues with its lackluster performance on the field and on the sidelines, then the probability of winning another championship is unrealistic.
Let’s not get bogged down with the lack of a five-star recruits or whatever ranking Rivals.com gives the class. These elements only paint part of next season’s picture.
Coaches should develop the skills of the players we already have – the ones who want to be Canes. The personnel needs to support these recruits not only for the greater good of the team, but also for the players in whatever they choose to pursue after their time at the university.
As a program, UM should push forward and make the best of its new recruits. With good fortune, a successful 2015 campaign will aid continued progress for a top five 2016 recruiting class.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.