Commentary

Miami Hurricanes keeping it together

Miami commits QB Gray Crow and RB Duke Johnson making sure the class stays intact

Updated: August 18, 2011, 3:56 PM ET
By Corey Long | ESPN Recruiting

It appears that Miami has weathered the early storm in the recruiting world.

With all 24 of their verbal commitments holding strong 48 hours after the release of a detailed report about violations that could lead to major NCAA sanctions, the Hurricanes commits and coaching staff now have to survive the next step.

Patience.

"It's definitely going to be important for the guys in the class to remain calm and wait this out," said quarterback Gray Crow (Clearwater, Fla./Countryside). "In the end I believe everything will be fine."

[Duke Johnson] has been the guy that's helped secure a lot of these commitments and he's a leader in this class much like myself. So we're going to make sure everyone has put their trust in Coach [Al] Golden and this staff.

-- Miami commit QB Gray Crow

Crow said he plans to reach out to several recruits over the next few days and expects fellow Miami commit Randy "Duke" Johnson (Miami/Norland) to do the same.

"Duke has been the guy that's helped secure a lot of these commitments and he's a leader in this class much like myself," said Crow. "So we're going to make sure everyone has put their trust in Coach [Al] Golden and this staff."

While the current commits appear to be ready to hold the fort for now, Golden and his staff will have to do some work with uncommitted targets.

After spending the weekend in Coral Gables, defensive end Tyriq McCord (Tampa, Fla./Jefferson) said Miami was definitely going to have a position in his top group, but as he plans to announce his six finalists over the next few days the Hurricanes' spot might not be secure.

Offensive lineman Daniel Isidora (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay) was planning to make a decision between Miami and Wisconsin before the start of his senior season, but that might be on hold, according to coach Mark Guandolo.

"The players that aren't committed are definitely going to wait," said Miami Herald recruiting writer Larry Blustein. "I would be surprised if anyone [among] Miami's big targets committed right now or in the next few weeks. Everyone is going to want some questions answered first."

Miramar coach Damon Cogdell has three players who have drawn interest from Miami -- ESPNU 150 members Tracy Howard and Malcolm Lewis along with three-star prospect Devonte Mathis -- and Cogdell said all three remain interested in the program.

"They haven't dropped Miami from consideration yet and, really, there's no reason to right now," said Cogdell. "Coach Golden is a fine man and he's going to run a good program, so he's earned the benefit of the doubt.

"One of my former quarterbacks [Ryan Williams] is in the program, so what happens to Miami is very important to me."

Cogdell said his players know enough about the recruiting process to make an informed decision based on what could happen.

"They have all been dealing with the recruiting for a couple of years now, so I expect they will make the right decisions and understand what comes along with those decisions," he said.

If the NCAA does hand Miami major sanctions, it would not only affect its 2012 recruiting class but also a 2013 class that promises to be as good as any recruiting class South Florida has had.

Miami already had the early lead for several rising junior prospects, including running back Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage) and wide receiver Jordan Cunningham (Davie, Fla./University School).

Blustein added that while any sanctions would hamper Miami's more immediate recruiting classes, the program is strong enough not to fall into the sort of long-term struggles that SMU suffered when it was handed the “death penalty” in 1987.

"Even if Miami loses out this year and on the top 2013 kids, they will just focus on 2014 and 2015 prospects because those players are already getting noticed," said Blustein. "Coach Golden has done a really good job in building relationships, so if there's a fall off it won't be for very long. Certainly nothing like what SMU faced."

Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at coreyespn@gmail.com.

Corey Long

Reporter, RecruitingNation

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