Al Golden and the Miami Hurricanes have lost the commitment of 3-star wide receiver Travis Rudolph. Reportedly, the Hurricanes lost his commitment because they lost his trust.
That's never a great thing to hear, especially for a program that's desperately trying to rebuild and start over again via recruiting. Mixups, communication breakdowns and statements like this are extremely counterproductive on the recruiting trail.
It's important to remember that there's always two sides to each one of these stories, and we won't be able to hear Golden's explanation. As with everything in recruiting, take this news with a grain of salt.
That said, oftentimes perception is indeed reality, and for a program in Miami's position, even a false reality is one that the Hurricanes cannot afford.
When Kynon Codrington of Rivals.com reported over the weekend that Rudolph had decommitted, it was a trust issue, and Miami had lost the wideout's trust in favor of a few SEC coaches:
He stated, "I talked it over with my family and I decided to de-commit publicly. I haven't talked to the coaches, but I don't want to be listed as a committed prospect anymore."
Why the change of heart?
"With Miami they have to regain my trust. I have other options and a few coaches from the SEC have gained my trust," remarked Rudolph.
Today, Derek Tyson of ESPN.com filled in some of those blanks, according to quotes from Rudolph:
"I decommitted from Miami because there was trust issues," Rudolph said at the Miami NFTC on Sunday. "I felt like they were recruiting me inconsistently. I want to play wide receiver and I told them that, but they were doing that lying process where they would tell me one thing but it's really another.
"[Al] Golden was telling me he wanted me to play cornerback, but when he heard I wanted to play wide receiver he's telling me that, 'Oh, you're going to be the next Andre Johnson' and stuff. There were just some inconsistencies with the way they were recruiting me."
Again, it's important to remember that there's two sides to every story in recruiting and one of them cannot be represented, but either way, this is not a good look for Golden and Miami.
Trust is the bond that a recruiting relationship is built on. Players and the ones closest to them decide to put their trust in a school, a program and specifically a coach, with the hopes that said coach will deliver on the pitch that he makes to the recruit before signing day. Whether it be playing time, position, depth chart or anything in between, these are all factors that will determine the next four to five years of a recruit's life—and sometimes even his long-term future.
When you commit to a coach you are essentially trusting him to be in your corner for the next four to five years and well beyond. Any breach of trust can completely fray the coach to player relationship.
A breach of trust on the recruiting trail can completely break the recruit to player relationship, and in the case of Miami in Rudolph—that seems to be the case for now.
Will Rudolph end up in the SEC?
It's worth noting that according to Codrington's report, Rudolph has extensive ties to the program which include family members that have played for Miami and his high school head coach Steve Walsh. That said, Rudolph talked rather emphatically about looking at the SEC according to Tyson's report. Tyson also reported that Rudolph will visit Florida (no offer yet) and Florida State in the spring, and he wants to hear more from Alabama (no offer yet). Note: Check out Rudolph's 247Sports offer/interest list.
This doesn't necessarily mean that this is the end of the line for Miami and Rudolph, but the recruit to coach relationship definitely appears frayed.
Trust is huge on the recruiting trail, and warranted or not, Miami has reportedly lost Rudolph's trust.