Miami Hurricanes defy odds with impressive crop of recruits

Joseph Yearby of Central High runs for a touchdown against Carol City at Traz Powell Stadium, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013.
Joseph Yearby of Central High runs for a touchdown against Carol City at Traz Powell Stadium, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013.
Peter Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald staff

Miami Herald Writer

When it comes to recruiting, nobody has come up with an exact science of how some coveted “4 and 5 Star” athletes never live up to the hype.

Though there are a number of reasons you can point to, the actual reason is that many of these people who are putting those lofty ratings on players never really see these athletes play football – with full gear on – live.

Talk to any head football coach across the country that isn’t looking for a job every other year and you will find someone who is doing a lot of recruiting on their own. Butch Davis insisted that his coaches evaluate and not to listen to what others say – or judge from watching someone in shorts. 

To fully understand what recruiting is all about, maybe you should follow the lead of University of Miami head coach Al Golden. If you want to know something about what it takes to get the “lofty” players, but also uncover gems – across they country – this is the man I would ask.

I happen to believe what Golden and his staff have done the past two years – under the cloud of the NCAA – is amazing. I don’t know anyone – and I mean anyone – who could have attracted the athletes that the Hurricanes have.

Ask just about anyone who has played football at the “U” and they will all explain how “void of talent” this program was when Golden arrived. This program had deteriorated to the point that the once flowing pipeline to the NFL had dried up.

Unlike most current-day Hurricanes who will talk about Randy Shannon, Larry Coker, Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis and Jimmy Johnson, I remember when selling this program was not so easy. Lou Saban, Fran Curci, Pete Elliott, Carl Selmer and the legendary Charlie Tate set the table for Howard Schnellenberger and the success that would come for over two decades.

At a time when this Hurricane program didn’t meet the expectations of the fans, for Golden and his staff to be at this point – after coming in and watching this program lay down in the Sun Bowl against Notre Dame, they have to be beaming inside.

The smiles have to be over a tremendous 2012 and 2013 class that addressed some needs, but for a 2014 group that has the entire country watching and has the attention of Florida-bred players.

Offensive game-changers such as receivers Tyre Brady (South Dade) and Darrell Langham (Santaluces); running backs Joe Yearby (Miami Central) and Brandon Powell (Deerfield Beach); and big-time line prospects Trevor Darling (Central), Nick Linder (St. Thomas), K.C. McDermott (Palm Beach Central) and Reilly Gibbons (St. Petersburg Catholic).

The class also has Trayon Gray from Carol City, who played quarterback and receiver, but many believe he could be a top-flight running back or safety.

The defense is loaded. With the team needing depth in so many places, acquiring quality football talent was essential.

Athletes such as linemen Anthony Moten (St. Thomas), Chad Thomas (Booker T. Washington), Travonte Valentine (Champagnat), Demetrius Jackson (Booker T. Washington) and Trent Harris (Winter Park); linebackers Michael Smith (Northwestern), Darrion Owens (Orange Park Oakleaf) and Terry McCray (Blanche Ely); and defensive secondary standouts Nigel Bethel (Booker T. Washington), Ryan Mayes (Northwestern) and Dennis Turner (Dillard). 


Three members of the Miami Central football team have been invited to take part in the 2014 Under Armour All-American Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Running backs Dalvin Cook (Florida commit) and Yearby and lineman Darling, will join Homestead receiver Ermon Lane (Florida), St. Thomas receiver Corey Holmes (Notre Dame) and Booker T. Washington defensive end Chad Thomas (Miami).  

We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the Class of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Send a YouTube or Hudl link and information about the athlete to Larry Blustein at .

Follow Larry on Twitter at

Read more Recruiting stories from the Miami Herald

  • On the recruiting trail

    Jordan Cronkrite reverses, won’t go to UM

    The University of Miami’s crowded backfield situation in the 2015 recruiting class got a bit more roomier after Westminster Christian running back Jordan Cronkrite announced Saturday morning on Twitter that he was withdrawing his commitment from the Hurricanes.

  • In My Opinion

    Local high school linemen drawing notice

    There was a time when college recruiters would come to South Florida, check out the receivers, running backs and secondary prospects and then head back north to get their linemen. Times have certainly changed.

  • In My Opinion

    Larry Blustein: Broward County top 25 recruits


Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category