It’s been enough time by now for Miami fans to come out of hiding after the beatdown they took in Charlotte against the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship game to get excited about the future. Right now the coaching carousel is in full rotation and for Miami it doesn’t look like much is going to effect their staff, which is a great thing. The main concern for Canes fans was the potential loss of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. But as it looks right now, he’s likely staying put and that’s a big deal for the program.
Miami is already going to hold a major advantage over Florida and Florida State as far as recruiting is concerned this cycle. With Jimbo Fisher leaving for Texas A&M the recruits that he was chasing after will likely reevaluate. The Noles have just hired former USF head coach, Will Taggart, who after only one year in Oregon comes back to a state he’s very familiar with.
The Florida Gators hired Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, which is a pretty big deal in of itself. But he’s dealing with a program certainly in a much deeper hole than FSU. Mullen will do great at recruiting, but he’s behind Mark Richt right now in the state at least this season.
Speaking of Richt, he just picked up some more hardware, winning the Walter Camp Award handed out the nation’s top head coach.
What’s the craziest situation is that Richt is now officially the longest tenured head coach in the state after only his second season. Yes you read that right! Mullen and Taggart start year one, Charlie Strong will be in year 2 at USF, aJosh Heupal taking over for Scott Frost at UCF, Lane Kiffin at FAU and Butch Davis at FIU will be entering year two.
All of this plays a huge role in recruiting and give Miami a significant advantage. That said retaining Manny Diaz was perhaps the biggest deal across the board.
As far as recruiting is concerned Diaz is the architect of the turnover chain, which became instant folklore across the college football landscape. But that’s not the only thing that draws recruits. It’s the style of play on defense which is aggressive. Miami has a ton of talent returning to a strong defense next year, which actually wont deter recruits. Since he came to Miami Diaz has shown that he willing to play freshman in key roles. In his first year the entire starting linebacker corps were true freshman. This season he had true freshman playing on the defensive line and at key roles in the defensive backfield.
Basically if you’re a freshman, you have talent and compete, Diaz is going to give you a shot. Another major thing that makes Diaz such a great assistant is his ability to develop players. We saw it with Chad Thomas the past two season, this season we saw it with RJ McIntosh who became an unstoppable beast down the stretch. Also in the backfield the vast improvements of Michael Jackson and Jaquan Johnson another sign of Diaz’s value. Though Mike Rumph should also get some of this credit too.
One of the biggest concerns for Miami fans this offseason was the possibility of Manny Diaz jumping ship. In a weird twist of fate their loss to Clemson probably kept him in South Florida at least one more year. Again this wasn’t supposed to be the year where Miami was going to flirt with the college football playoff. That’s supposed to be next season. Having Manny Diaz back in year three is going to be huge. Next season Miami will be coming in being a legit CFB playoff contender. A fully loaded Miami defense with Miami Diaz jumping around on the sidelines is certainly something to get Canes fans pumped.
Meanwhile he has an Orange Bowl to prepare for against a very good Wisconsin team.
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