The University of Miami Hurricanes football team has had a season-and-a-half for the ages. This past season, they were racked at the beginning of the year with the Nevin Shapiro mess, and they lost several key contributors for varying amounts of time.
Jacory Harris, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Olivier Vernon were just three key names that were missing from several of Miami's close losses last season.
The majority of the highly ranked class of 2008 has departed, along with some other high-profile names such as Tommy Streeter and Marcus Forston who have foresaken their senior seasons to follow the lure of the NFL.
With the still-ominious cloud of the NCAA hanging over them, Miami has still recruited to start re-tooling to finally make some noise in not only the ACC, but the national title picture for 2012.
After a 6-6 season and foregoing a bowl invitation as part of a self-imposed penalty, the Hurricanes have an astounding 31 commitments in the Class of 2012 so far with national signing day coming on February 1st.
Here are the top five commitments that make up the centerpiece of the Hurricanes' class of 2012:
Meet the gem of Miami's class.
Randy Johnson single-handedly dominated the 5-A state playoffs as he led his Miami-Norland team to a state championship.
Johnson will have big shoes to fill in Miami as he comes behind Hurricanes' legends such as Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore and Willis McGahee.
He's looking to team with Mike James to fill the position of the surprisingly-departed Lamar Miller.
Improved running back production will take the pressure off of Stephen Morris or whomever is the starter when the fall rolls around.
This pick may change as Hamilton is keeping a close eye on the NCAA inquiry regarding the Nevin Shapiro mess.
Jelani Hamilton is one of the most feared pass-rushers, and if he stays and signs with Miami, it would give the defense another talented playmaker to bring the heat against the elite QBs of the ACC.
Florida State has also garnered interest from Hamilton, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up going as we get closer to National Signing Day.
At 6'5" and 250 pounds, Hamilton is the real deal, and he will thrive wherever he goes.
Miami has had a solid tradition of sending quality defensive backs to the NFL.
Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Mike Rumph, Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle are just a few examples.
At 6'1" and 185 pounds, this Columbus star could be what the Hurricanes have been missing since Reed lurked in the secondary, and he could be a dynamic asset for the up-and-coming defense.
After seeing standout safety Ray-Ray Armstrong suspended multiple times last season, Bush may come in and prove that he will be the one to step in and take up the slack when Armstrong and others depart.
Pay attention to this kid as he gets ready for spring training after signing with the Hurricanes on February 1st.
Like Hamilton, McCord could become a dominant pass-rusher for Miami as the defense suffered greatly because of the inability to pressure quarterbacks such as Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas.
McCord has the ability to take over games and generate big plays against the run.
Miami could use a few more recruits in the last days up to national signing day, but if McCord and Hamilton both sign with the team, then Mark D'Onfrio's defense may be just fine after all.
At 6'3" and 222 pounds, McCord is another prototype defensive end in the mold of Baraka Atkins and Calais Campbell before him.
With the losses of Travis Benjamin and Tommy Streeter, the Hurricanes need more depth behind presumptive No. 1 wideout Allen Hurns.
Miami has produced a ton of big-play receivers such as Andre Johnson, Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne and others, and dominant wideouts often help open up the running game.
Jean-Louis is 6'0" and 185 pounds, so he would fit more in the slot as he has the speed and sure hands to make intermediate and deep catches.
The more capable wideouts the starting quarterback has, the easier his job is when looking for secondary reads if the first option is covered.