Miami Football Recruiting: Proof Golden Needs to Expand Reach Outside of Florida

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2013

Al Golden only worries about finding great players to put on the field. He doesn't care where they're from.
Al Golden only worries about finding great players to put on the field. He doesn't care where they're from.Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Al Golden, head coach of the Miami Hurricanes' football program, has been working to rebuild one of the best dynasties college football has ever seen.

It was a dynasty from the 1980s into the early 2000s, and it was started by one coach, Howard Schnellenberger, and his unique recruiting philosophy.

The 'State of Miami' was a term coined by Schnellenberger and it helped build the Miami football program into a powerhouse.

"Schnelly" would recruit the state of Florida south of Interstate 4, which runs approximately from Tampa to Orlando. There is absolutely no doubt the talent from the 'State of Miami' was what steered the Hurricanes to five national championships and various other opportunities at the title.

Fast forward to 2013 where Golden took plenty of heat after 14 of his 19 signees were not from Florida. Following signing day, big-time 'Canes supporter Luther Campbell—perhaps better known as "Uncle Luke"—took a shot at Golden criticizing him for "hating Florida."

Golden has shown he doesn't completely hate Florida, though, as all six of the current verbal commitments for the 2014 class to date are from the state.

But when one looks at the University of Miami's Sports Hall of Fame, it features 109 football inductees who came to Coral Gables from all over the country.

The number of inductees who hail from a different state may be surprising to some. This section is a breakdown of the home state of each member.

As the chart shows, 59 of the football inductees are from outside Florida, but 47 members are from in-state.

Names such as Jim Kelly (East Brady, PA), Ed Reed (St. Rose, LA) and Bubba Franks (Big Spring, TX) found their way to Miami as "outsiders," but 'Canes fans surely do not have many complaints about that.

For example, Schnellenberger's 1983 National Championship-winning team was not solely 'State of Miami' players. Much of the depth and talent of that team was absolutely from South Florida, but not every key player was.

Quarterback Bernie Kosar (Boardman, OH), All-American linebacker Jay Brophy (Akron, OH) and Orange Bowl hero Kenny Calhoun (Titusville, FL) were not from the 'State of Miami.'

Note: Calhoun is dependent on your interpretation of the northern-most border of South Florida. Titusville, FL sits along the "straight" line of I-4 from Tampa to Orlando.

But I know some of you are wondering, "Well, why didn't you focus on the guys who are actually from Florida?"

I hear you.

This graph switches focus to the 47 HOF inductees from the state of Florida.

While the majority of the school's Hall of Fame inductees are not from Florida, a strong number (37) are, in fact, from the 'State of Miami.'

It is important to note, however, that the 1987 National Championship team had a heavy dose of inductees from South Florida leading the squad.

Among others, Melvin Bratton (Miami, Northwestern HS), Michael Irvin (Fort Lauderdale, St. Thomas Aquinas HS) and Bennie Blades (Piper, Sunrise HS) led the way to the school's second national title.

The evolution of the Miami football program into dominance was reliant on local players staying home and playing for the 'Canes. Twenty-seven of the 109 inductees are from the neighboring counties of Dade, Broward or Palm Beach.

South Florida is the most important part of the state that needs to be recruited, but it doesn't mean the 'Canes should only recruit the 'State of Miami.'

Al Golden released his post-spring practice depth chart, and more than half of the listed starters are from the 'State of Miami.'

He is recruiting talent in South Florida that could be considered among the highest it's recently been strictly by the rankings of scouting services.

Not only is he recruiting the talent, the talent wants to come to the school.

But it doesn't mean Golden shouldn't snag some studs from out-of-state, either.


For those interested, here is the complete list of UM Sports Hall of Fame football inductees with home state, city and high school where available.

Year Player State City (High School)
2013 Ken Dorsey California Orinda (Miramonte)
2013 Brett Romberg Ontario, Canada Windsor (Belle River)
2012 Ed Reed Louisiana St. Rose (Destrehan)
2012 Bryant McKinnie New Jersey Woodbury (Woodbury)
2012 Ray Bellamy* Florida Palmetto (Lincoln Memorial)
2012 Rich Mercier Quebec, Canada Montreal (n/a)
2011 Reggie Wayne Louisiana New Orleans (John Ehret)
2011 Dan Morgan* Florida Coral Springs (Taravella)
2011 Santana Moss* Florida Carol City (Miami)
2010 Bubba Franks Texas Big Spring (Big Spring)
2010 Jim Cox* Florida Miami (Christopher Columbus)
2009 Edgerrin James* Florida Immokalee (Immokalee)
2009 Mike Sullivan Illinois Chicago (St. Francis DeSales)
2008 Randal Hill* Florida Miami (Killian)
2008 K.C. Jones Texas Midland (Robert E. Lee)
2008 Jeff Feagles Arizona Phoenix (Gerard Catholic)
2007 Maurice Crum Florida Tampa (Hillsborough)
2007 Albert Bentley* Florida Immokalee (Immokalee)
2006 Darrin Smith* Florida Norland (Miami)
2006 Ray Lewis Florida Lakeland (Kathleen)
2006 Ryan McNeil* Florida Fort Pierce (Westwood Christian)
2005 Warren Sapp Florida Apopka (Apopka)
2005 Michael Barrow* Florida Homestead (Homestead)
2004 Jack Johnson Pennsylvania Pittsburgh (Carrick)
2004 Jessie Armstead Texas Dallas (David W. Carter)
2004 Danny Miller* Florida Clewiston (Clewiston)
2004 Cortez Kennedy Arkansas Wilson (Rivercrest)
2003 Melvin Bratton* Florida Miami (Northwestern)
2003 Greg Mark New Jersey Cherry Hill (Pennsauken)
2003 Kevin Fagan* Florida Greenacres (John I. Leonard)
2003 Gino Torretta California Pinole (Pinole Valley)
2003 Leon Searcy Florida Orlando (Evans)
2002 George Mira, Jr.* Florida Palmetto (Palmetto)
2002 Carlos Huerta* Florida Miami (Christopher Columbus)
2001 Craig Erickson* Florida West Palm Beach (Cardinal Newman)
2001 Russell Maryland Illinois Chicago (Whitney Young)
2001 John Noppenberg Michigan Menominee (Menominee)
2000 Michael Irvin* Florida Fort Lauderdale (St. Thomas Aquinas)
2000 Bill Hawkins* Florida South Broward (Hollywood)
1999 Steve Walsh Minnesota St. Paul (Cretin-Derham)
1999 Daniel Stubbs New Jersey Little Silver (Red Bank)
1999 Lester Williams* Florida Miami (Carol City)
1999 Don Latimer* Florida Fort Pierce (Fort Pierce Central)
1998 Bennie Blades* Florida Piper (Sunrise)
1998 Jim Burt New York Orchard Park (Orchard Park)
1998 Vinny Testaverde New York Elmont (Sewanhaka)
1997 Jerome Brown* Florida Brooksville (Hernando)
1997 Alonzo Highsmith* Florida Miami (Christopher Columbus)
1996 Tom Sullivan Florida Duncan U. Fletcher (Neptune Beach)
1996 Don Smith Florida Tarpon Springs (Tarpon Springs)
1995 Charlie George* Florida Miami (Miami Senior)
1995 Eddie Brown* Florida Miami (Miami)
1995 Bernie Kosar Ohio Boardman (Boardman)
1994 Sam Scarnecchia Ohio Niles (n/a)
1994 Ronnie Lippett* Florida Sebring (Sebring)
1994 Harold Sears California Glendale (JUCO)
1993 Gary Dunn* Florida Coral Gables (Coral Gables)
1993 Fred Marion Florida Gainesville (F.W. Buchholz)
1992 Don James Ohio Massillon (Washington)
1992 Rubin Carter* Florida Fort Lauderdale (Stranahan)
1992 Jim Kelly Pennsylvania East Brady (East Brady)
1991 Tom Pratt Wisconsin Beloit (Memorial)
1991 Tony Cristiani Florida Brandon (*Likely Brandon HS*)
1990 Ottis Anderson* Florida West Palm Beach (Forest Hill)
1990 Tom Beier Michigan Bay City (St. Joseph's)
1990 Don Mariutto* Florida Miami (Miami Senior)
1989 Dennis Harrah West Virginia Charleston (Stonewall Jackson)
1989 Eddie Edwards* Florida Fort Pierce (Fort Pierce Central)
1989 Tony Cline Indiana Michigan City (Michigan City)
1988 Dr. Francis Rouviere Illinois Buckner (n/a)
1988 Mike Barnes Pennsylvania Pittsburgh (Peabody)
1987 Nick A. Chickillo Pennsylvania Scranton (West Scranton)
1987 Jack Losch Pennsylvania Williamsport (n/a)
1986 Chuck Foreman Maryland Frederick (Frederick)
1985 Dr. Harry Mallios Pennsylvania Philadelphia (n/a)
1984 Bob Tatarek Pennsylvania Jeanette (Jeanette Senior)
1983 Pete Banaszak Wisconsin Crivitz (Crivitz)
1983 Pete Mastellone New Jersey Hillside (Hillside)
1982 Burgess Owens Florida Tallahassee (James L. Rickards)
1982 Harvey James* Florida Miami (Miami Senior)
1981 Ed Weisacosky Pennsylvania Pottsville (Pottsville)
1980 Fran Curci* Florida Miami (Archbishop Curley)
1980 Ted Hendricks* Florida Hialeah (Hialeah)
1978 Gordon Malloy Georgia Atlanta (North Fulton)
1978 Edward Cameron New Jersey Neward (n/a)
1977 Dan Conners Pennsylvania St. Mary's (St. Marys Area)
1977 Armand Vari Pennsylvania Pittsburgh (St. George)
1976 Ray Arckey Pennsylvania Scranton (Scranton Tech)
1975 Bill Miller Pennsylvania McKeesport (McKeesport)
1974 Chuck Klein New York Jamaica (n/a)
1974 Frank McDonald New Jersey Nutley (n/a)
1973 George Mira, Sr.* Florida Key West (Key West)
1973 Leo Martin Pennsylvania Pittsburgh (Westinghouse)
1973 Larry Wilson* Florida Miami (Miami)
1972 Jim Otto Wisconsin Wausau (Wausau)
1972 Harry Ghaul New Jersey Burlington (Burlington City)
1972 Jim Dooley* Florida Miami (Miami Senior)
1971 Rod Ashman n/a
1971 Nick Wolcuff New York Brooklyn (n/a)
1971 Jack Hackett Pennsylvania McKeesport (McKeesport)
1970 Frank Smith New York Tuckahoe (Tuckahoe)
1970 Al Carapella New York Tuckahoe (Tuckahoe)
1970 Don Bosseler New York Batavia (Batavia)
1970 Tom Kearns Massachusetts Somerville (Somerville)
1969 Bill Kimbrough n/a
1969 Bob Masterson New Jersey North Branch (North Branch)
1969 Denny Leonard n/a
1969 Walter Kichefski Wisconsin Rhinelander (Rhinelander)
1967 Eddie Dunn* Florida ***Raised in Miami***

*- Denote 'State of Miami' players

Notes: Denny Leonard, Bill Kimbrough and Rod Ashman are the three members about whom I could not find any information for this piece.

Special thanks to John Routh, Director, UM Sports Hall of Fame, for supplying additional information during research.

Thank you to reader Tom Popadak for inquiring about this topic!


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