University of Miami

What do Miami Hurricanes’ latest coaching hires bring to the table as recruiters?

Getting to know Tate Martell, Miami Hurricane’s newest QB

Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell announced he is transferring to Miami. Here are five things to know about the former four-star recruit.
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Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell announced he is transferring to Miami. Here are five things to know about the former four-star recruit.

Before Daniel Carter decided to sign with the Pittsburgh Panthers out of St. Thomas Aquinas, the four-star running back nearly decided to head all the way out to Manhattan, Kansas.

An Under Armour All-American, Carter claimed nearly 30 offers throughout his recruiting process, including high-profile ones from the Miami Hurricanes, Georgia Bulldogs, LSU Tigers, Kentucky Wildcats, Texas Longhorns, West Virginia Mountaineers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines and Oregon Ducks, but the only two official visits he took were with Pittsburgh and the Kansas State Wildcats.

Kansas State, unsurprisingly, has never had much of a presence in recruiting the Miami metropolitan area. For one season, Eric Hickson changed things at least a little bit. Carter considered Kansas State because of the running backs coach from Fort Lauderdale.

“I love him,” Carter said in a message. “Coach Hickson and I talk to this day.”

Hickson is one of two new position coaches the Miami Hurricanes have hired since announcing Dan Enos as their new offensive coordinator Friday. On Saturday, Miami announced Hickson as its new running backs coach and Butch Barry as its new offensive line coach. Neither has much a track record as a recruiter, although at least Hickson has the potential to be a strong recruiter in South Florida.

Before he became Kansas State’s all-time leading rusher, Hickson was a standout at Dillard, then he returned to Broward County for coaching stops at Coral Springs Charter and Plantation American Heritage before he headed to the college ranks.

“I’ve known Eric and his whole family since he was in youth football,” recruiting analyst Larry Blustein said. “He was an outstanding football player at Dillard. Judging by all the contacts he’s made, all the players and coaches he knows, and by his demeanor — just an outgoing, positive person all-around — he will be one of their best recruiters.”

His two Division I stops prior to Coral Gables — Kansas State and the Akron Zips — didn’t set him up to reel in any national recruits, but he’s already getting positive reviews from coaches in the Miami metro area, including University coach Daniel Luque. Four-star running back Kenny McIntosh, who played for Luque with the Sharks, signed with Georgia over the Hurricanes and others last month.

Barry is even more of an unknown. He was a tight ends coach for Enos with the Central Michigan Chippewas earlier this decade before he went to work as an assistant offensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At Central Michigan, Enos didn’t have a chance to land national recruits, either, so he’ll have to prove himself on the field.

The situation could be similar to defensive line coach Jess Simpson, although Simpson was a well-respected high school coach in Georgia before going to work for the Atlanta Falcons. Still, Simpson used his NFL experience as a way to appeal to recruits early in his tenure before he proved himself to be an adept teacher in his first season with the Hurricanes last year.

Miami isn’t exactly losing much on the recruiting trail with former offensive line coach Stacy Searels departing, either. Two offensive linemen flipped from the Hurricanes to the Florida Gators last month, forcing Miami to rebuild an offensive line class from scratch just before the early signing period. Searels didn’t sign a single blue-chip prospect in his final class with the Hurricanes.

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