The Miami Hurricanes aren’t exactly dominating on the recruiting trail these days. Well, at least not in the way we grew accustomed to after their ridiculous recruiting classes of the late 90′s and early 2000′s. No, these days it’s a much different story.
Al Golden is doing his best to not only bring in talent, but eligible talent that will go to class, get the necessary grades and produce on Saturdays. Oh, and it would help if they stayed away from boosters such as Nevin Shapiro.
The pending NCAA sanctions that are headed south to Coral Gables has certainly forced Golden to re-evaluate his recruiting methodology. But slowly and steadily, he is putting together his kind of class.
His efforts were rewarded during the U.S. Army All American Bowl, when superstar pass rusher Al-Quadin Muhammad gave a verbal commitment to the ‘Canes. But he almost changed his mind about Miami.
The 6’4” 230lb Muhammad, from the football factory that is Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey (N.J.), was very close to committing to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish not long ago. After an incredibly successful visit to Miami last month, Muhammad was clear about where he wanted to play ball next year. He was also considering the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Golden’s Hurricanes desperately need a pass rusher of Muhammad’s ability. This year, the Hurricanes averaged 0.9 sacks per game, good for 119th (out of 124) nationally. Their leading sack master, defensive end Anthony Chickillo, finished with four. Needless to say, if the Miami of new is going to become the Miami of old, their defense is going to have to start generating some pressure.
Muhammad could be what they’ve been looking for in the defensive front seven. He has the size and ability to play either defensive end or outside linebacker. Or if you have a creative defensive coordinator (like Miami’s Mark D’Onofrio), make him a hybrid end/’backer (similar to the way the Georgia Bulldogs used All American Jarvis Jones) and just cut him loose on the quarterback.
Wherever the Hurricanes end up playing Muhammad, he should step in and play right away, on third down passing situations if nothing else.
It’s going to be interesting to see if this makes a ripple effect on the ‘Canes class of ’13. After all, there’s still plenty of time left until National Signing Day (Feb. 6).