State of Miami The Canes sit at 34th after ESD rankings were compiled. What is going on one might ask? Miami is in a talent rich area and typically recruits very well. They have tradition and the “Cane thing “, a solid if not spectacular coach in Mark Richt who has been through the wars, so what happened and is happening to our friends down south and can this be righted by NSD? In no particular order I’ve listed the top issues plaguing the Canes with recruits. 1. The Dade/Broward “us against the world” mentality is gone. Many families now are encouraging their top rated prospects to leave the area rather than stay and play for the hometown canes. Some of this is seen as wanting to get them away from the culture of Miami and some just want them to pursue the best opportunity available. For the Cane recruiters, too many times, UM is not viewed as the best case scenario. 2. Program Perception- perception is reality and regardless if true or not, there is a perception that CMR is just riding out the clock. His offense is often criticized and his son on staff is not very popular with the Cane Fans (cue the cane fan jokes). The handling of and lack of development for QB’s is another problem. The Canes lost out on what once had the making of a top grade OL. It seems like a lifetime ago but at one time the Canes were in the hunt for Neal/Lucas/Tarquin and Kingsley. They end up with scrambling for 3 stars and grad transfers from Butler. Diaz Leaves- When Diaz announced and even before it was official, several prospects withdrew their commitment. Solomon, their highest rated LB, flips to Michigan. Several big names UM was hoping to be in the mix for, crossed the Canes off the list. UM conceded Summerall and Zip before signing day. Stephenson was thought to be a Cane but now they don’t think so. 3. Snow Ball- when momentum is in your favor it is a beautiful thing to watch. However, when it goes against you it is almost impossible to stop. This is where they are and answers are hard to find. Will they be able to attract a big name DC? That’s doubtful and it still remains to be seen how many coaches may follow Diaz to Temple. 4. Administration-Many wonder about the level of concern the administration shows for the FB program. The facilities are not great and we all know the fan support or lack thereof. 5. Can CMR turn it around? I don’t know but my contact down there has all but given up. He claims the negativity is worse than the last Golden year and is of the belief that CMR does not have the fire anymore to do what’s needed. 6. Can UF take advantage? In some ways, they already. What I would hope to see is UF put a really strong recruiter in South Florida. It would be preferable to have someone who has strong ties down there; however that would mean a staff change. If CDM is not willing to do that, then he will just need to keep building relationships in the area. 7. Candy’s predictions for the Canes. I expect UM will climb the ranks a bit with a couple of big names. That said, the damage for this year will be hard to overcome. OL will be a problem in the future and UM will need to pull a UF on the Ol in recruiting next year. I expect them to have OK records in the ACC. Even Cane fans think they may still win their weak division next year. From a perception stand point they need to beat UF next season. CDM and staff need to not just win but crush the Canes.