UM Recruiting Blog: 2/27

The NFL Combine just took place the past few days. While only two Hurricanes competed at the event, 36 total players from the state of Florida competed. 17 of those players are from Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Lets take a closer look.

Dade Players -- WR Rodney Smith (FSU), WR Kenbrell Thompkins (Cincinnati), WR Connor Vernon (Duke), DE Corey Lemonier (Auburn), DE Tourek Williams (FIU), LB Etienne Sabino (Ohio State), DB Jonathan Cyprien (FIU), CB Xavier Rhodes (FSU), and CB Kayvon Webster (USF).

Broward Players -- QB Geno Smith (West Virginia), RB Gio Bernard (UNC), WR Denard Robinson (Michigan), WR Stedman Bailey (West Virginia), OL Stephane Milhim (UMass-Amherst), and DB Brandon McGee (UM).

Palm Beach Players -- LB Jon Bostic (Florida) and DB Matt Elam (Florida)

The total numbers are 9 from Dade, 6 from Broward, and 2 from Palm Beach.

One of the reasons why Miami has been sub-par the last few seasons under Al Golden is because of the lack of talent on the roster. It all starts at home. UM has the most talent-friendly recruiting base in the entire country. 16 players from the tri-county area proves that. The bottom line is that Randy Shannon and his coaching staff simply didn't get it done on the recruiting front in those areas. As long as UM evaluates and recruits well in South Florida, it'll always compete for championships. Lets take a closer look at this.

Of the 17:

UM Players: McGee

Players Miami offered:

Bernard -- The Canes offered him early in the process but never made a serious effort to get him down the stretch. To their credit, they got Lamar Miller that year but a stronger effort should have been made to land Bernard.

Robinson -- Miami did a nice job recruiting him. Unfortunately, he wanted to be a college quarterback and he simply wasn't a good fit for a pro style offense. He went to Michigan and became a very successful QB in the spread offense. There wasn't much UM could have done differently here.

Lemonier -- Miami offered and was in it until the very end. Auburn was able to steal him away at the last minute. This was considered a big loss at the time, and it turned out to be that way.

Bostic -- Like they did with Bernard, the Canes offered him early in the process. They did not, however, make him a priority down the stretch. After signing a strong group of LB's in 2008, the Canes didn't sign a single LB in their 2009 class. In hindsight, Bostic should have been more of a priority.

Sabino -- Like Bernard and Bostic, Sabino was offered early on the UM coaches but wasn't made a big priority down the stretch. He signed with Ohio State without much of a fight from the Canes in a year when the Canes signed NINE linebackers. Only Sean Spence and Arthur Brown from that group had better college careers than Sabino. In hindsight, Miami should have recruited him much harder and especially more than players like Gavin Hardin, Zach Kane, Brandon Marti, and Antonio Harper.

Elam -- Miami offered him early and recruited him hard. Unfortunately, he was set on becoming a Florida Gator from the beginning. He didn't really give anyone else much of a chance.

Webster -- He was committed to the Hurricanes for awhile. USF was somehow able to wrestle away his commitment at the last minute. This was a legitimate recruiting loss for the Canes, especially when it came to USF.

Players who were not offered:

Smith -- The Canes had just signed three quarterbacks the year before including the player they wanted to be the future of the program -- Jacory Harris. In hindsight, that was a wrong decision. While Harris had a decent career at Miami, Smith will likely be the first quarterback taken in April's draft. It turns out, Smith is a more talented player than nearly all the quarterbacks UM had signed in a long time.

Thompkins -- He was a star player at Miami Northwestern but didn't have the grades to be recruited. He went the Junior College route before Cincinnati.

Vernon -- Miami never recruited him. It was a big mistake. He left Duke as the ACC's all-time leading receiver.

Milhim -- Miami never recruited him. He didn't have any Div 1 offers, actually. He's another reason why OL recruiting is always the hardest to predict.

Williams -- Miami never recruited him. He was lightly recruited and wound up at FIU. He could have provided much needed help along the DL the last two years. Coming from Shannon's old high school, he's a kid Miami should have offered (in hindsight).

Cyprien -- He's a local safety from North Miami Beach. Miami never recruited him. Had they, he would likely have started the last two seasons for the Canes.

Rhodes -- Miami recruited him but never offered, which is surprising considering he was a big cornerback that Shannon's system needed to be successful. FSU got the benefits of Miami's non-offer.

Smith -- A big receiver from south Miami, FSU took a gamble on him and it paid off.

No BCS schools offered Cyprien, Milhim, or Williams so it's tough to call them evaluation mistakes by Miami. However, a lot of schools wanted G. Smith, R. Smith, Vernon, and Rhodes so those can be considered evaluation mistakes.

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