Miami Hurricanes Football: Recapping the Biggest 2014 Offseason News So Far
Team-related news is released nearly every week, so it's easy to forget the memorable stories surrounding Miami Hurricanes football.
Remember when head coach Al Golden was discussing the head coaching position at Penn State? That feels like years ago.
As we kick the dirt waiting for the offseason to finally end, let's take a trip down a six-month Memory Lane to recap what has happened since the 2013 campaign finished in less-than-glorious fashion.
Note: All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Rankings reflect 247Sports Composite.
Golden Stays, Entire Staff Retained
Once Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien accepted the same position with the Houston Texans, rumors immediately circulated about Golden returning to his alma mater. However, whether Golden was never officially offered the job or he turned it down, he stayed with the 'Canes.
Mark D'Onofrio came to "The U" alongside Golden, but his defense regressed in a major way after a brilliant start. As the competition improved, the Miami D folded, which led to four losses over the final six games.
But Golden valued continuity over potential changes.
"It's my decision, and my decision was that starting over for these young people is not the answer," Golden said, per Matt Porter of The Palm Beach Post. "Continuity, continued progress, continue with the same position coaches and techniques and scheme, was the better answer for me."
James Coley seemed to plateau as a play-caller midway through the season, but it would have been unfair to relieve him of duties after just one year. Plus, his recruiting ability was a key reason some players, including running back Joseph Yearby, ultimately chose Miami.
Ryan Williams Suffers ACL Injury
Ryan Williams performed very well in mop-up duty last season, and there was little doubt he would be under center in 2014.
But during spring practice, the senior quarterback suffered an ACL injury that required surgery and almost derailed his hopes of being a starter. However, Susan Miller Degnan of The Miami Herald noted Williams' surgery "could not have gone better."
Though his status for the regular season may not be in question, the actual recovery time is still unknown to the public. According to Degnan, Williams wants to be ready for the nonconference battle on the road against Nebraska.
Until Williams is completely healthy, redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen or true freshman Brad Kaaya will likely serve as the starter.
New Uniforms Released
For years, Miami fans have been begging for new uniforms. At the spring game in early April, the Hurricanes released their updated look from Nike.
The uniforms include four jerseys, four pairs of pants and three helmets which will be complemented by tradition-focused black socks and cleats.
Miami calls the orange uniforms "Juice," the whites "Stormtrooper," the greens "Surge" and the gray "Smoke." A fan favorite is the flashy new orange helmet, and the 'Canes now have 48 different combinations.
Will this affect on-field performance? No. But The U will definitely be playing in style.
Note: The school's official athletics site released an in-depth look at the customization and features of the uniforms.
Only 3 Hurricanes Drafted
Once a powerhouse pipeline school for the NFL draft, the 2014 edition reflected the lowest point of Miami football.
The Jacksonville Jaguars preferred versatility and selected offensive lineman Brandon Linder late in the third round.
Pat O'Donnell found a home in the Windy City during the sixth round with the Chicago Bears and has since been blasting punts to the roof of the team's practice facility.
The Buffalo Bills took a seventh-round flier on offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, whose work ethic and motivation have been questioned for years. Physically, he could be an All-Pro talent, but the mental side of football has slowed Henderson.
Along with a slew of expected free agents, quarterback Stephen Morris and record-setting wide receiver Allen Hurns went undrafted. Eight players signed UDFA contracts, but only a couple may actually make the final roster.
Respectable Start to 2015 Recruiting Class
Miami currently holds commitments from a pair of 4-star running backs in Jordan Cronkrite and Dexter Williams. Whereas Cronkrite seems like a lock to Miami, Golden must keep Williams from flipping to Louisville, Florida or Ohio State.
The coaching staff has been given a handful of pledges along the offensive and defensive lines, including second-generation player Scott Patchan.
Though the program is still looking for the first commit from a defensive back, the position group is deep, and many of its 2015 top prospects are either uncommitted or still entertaining offers.
Miami's is far from a completed class, but Golden and Co. have engineered a solid foundation to this point.
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