For West Virginia running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider, the prospect of competing against Miami is nothing new. While the Russell Athletic Bowl is the first game the two teams have played against each other since 2003, the two schools often go head to head for some of the most heralded recruits in the South Florida area (the most recent example is the widely covered battle for wide receiver Michael Harley Jr. ). Because of his experiencethere, Seider is familiar with many of the players on the Miami roster. The running backs coach shared his thoughts on what makes the athletes from the 305 area so special.
"They always think they're the best kids in the world and that's the mindset with how they grow up," Seider explained. "They compete every week even in high school and little league. It goes from little league to middle school to high school to college. (The Miami players) have more pressure on them with the expectations that Miami's trying to get back. That's what you deal with. They're playing with some young kids but their getting to be a good team back there."
And if "The U" is able to get back to winning big it will only make Seider's job in the area tougher. But even without Miami winning 11 games a year and competing for national titles some have speculated that recruiting wars will only ratchet up with the arrival of Charlie Strong (South Florida), Lane Kiffin (FAU) and Butch Davis (FIU) to the area. Seider, however, doesn't seemed too concerned with the prospect of competing with some big name coaches.
"First of all none of those head coaches are on a roll," Seider said. "Let's put that out there. Miami, Florida and Florida State are always going to be the three schools. I don't care what head coaches are down there, you still have to go down there, sit in those kids' living rooms and assistant coaches do that work anyway. That's where the trust comes with with the parents and the school. I think my name is pretty good with the coaches and the family members down there so that doesn't phase me at all. It's good when you have a name guy like those schools got but some of those head coaches had their own issues when they were at other places and some of them have created issues - at least in my neighborhood where I'm from. It's no different, you have to recruit and start relationships. Does it help having guys with names? Yea, but we recruit different kids than half of those guys anyways so it's not going to effect us."
It's safe to say that Seider hasn't bought into the national media's notion that South Florida, Florida Atlantic and Florida International are going to start plucking away Power 5 caliber recruits and his main adversaries will continue to be the big three (Miami, Florida, and Florid State). It's also safe to say that Seider is more than confident in his own abilities, something that shouldn't surprise you since he's a former south Florida kid.