I recently spoke with a friend of mine who is an LSU fan. I was bragging, of some sorts, about Auburn potentially having an opportunity to sneak away with commitments from La'el Collins and Jeremy Hill.
He said, "If Les Miles can't secure a 5-star offensive lineman from Baton Rouge (Collins), then he oughta be run out of town." I am inclined to agree.
How can you let another school come into your city and steal away a player of that caliber? It's preposterous. But in college football recruiting, it's war. And it happens all the time.
Still, you have to think. LSU is a proud program with a rich history of success, and that includes success on the recruiting trail as well as on the field. They won two national championships in five years. The talent pool in Louisiana is deep and magnificent.
Last year, Auburn snagged the nation's top-ranked athlete (Trovon Reed) right from under LSU's fingers. This year, Auburn has a commitment from 4-star OT Greg Robinson, from the same high school as Reed. There's no way Les Miles would allow that, right?
And it'll only get worse if LSU loses out on Collins and Hill. So what does it all mean? Of course, Auburn is a historically good program. So losing prospects to good programs is not really a shocker.
Maybe Les Miles has lost his touch. Or maybe Gene Chizik is purely magical. Maybe it's a combination of the two. But most likely, it's just who recruits the best.
But still, what does it mean when a nationally-known powerhouse loses grip of a 5-star player from within its own claimed city.
In case you don't know, I'm talking about Miami.
The program that overturned college football. "Thug U" they were called. They got who they wanted, and they won ball games.
Miami has always been good at recruiting. At least, since it became an elite program. I remember reading the tricks about it. How they would oversign, then turn around and sign football players to track scholarships.
Basically, Miami knew what it was doing.
But long gone are the days of prominence for Miami. Now they can be viewed as average: still searching for that next great coach, ready to lead the Hurricanes to the promise land. Is it Al Golden? We'll see.
Miami has still been able to land top prospects despite these disappointments.
Miami finished 7-5 and is set to play Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl. This matchup, years ago, generally put top 5 teams against each other.
It was a rivalry known by many as "Catholics vs. Convicts". (I jokingly call this meeting the We're Not As Good As We Used To Be Bowl.)
Regardless of record, the firing of Randy Shannon came as a shock to the college football world. While many Miami faithful had been calling for the fire, it can be viewed as controversial as well as costly.
One of the downsides came on the recruiting trail.
Miami held a commitment from 5-star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a passer from Miami, Fla. He is listed as the No. 5 QB in the nation by Rivals and No. 8 by ESPN.
With the firing of Shannon, decommitments loomed. Bridgewater and 4-star guard Marcus Jackson decommitted. Defensive end Anthony Chickillo wavered in his commitment but for now is still on board.
Miami has a decent shot at seeing Jackson come back.
Bridgewater wasted no time, however. His decommitment from Miami quickly become a commitment to Louisville.
Let's go back to earlier when I spoke of my friend's comment about LSU and La'el Collins.
Obviously, Al Golden can't be run out of town. He just got there. But it is significant when Louisville (who only had one 4-star commitment prior) can come into Miami and steal its best quarterback.
Bridgewater is from the same high school as Jacory Harris. You know that area has to be painted orange and green.
How do they lose a player like that?
It's a sad story for the fans. It's devastating for the program.
When you look at the past, Miami is one of the greater programs in college football. But that's all it is, really: the past.
One commit lost, while a huge loss, is not enough to declare this program dead. This program will never be dead. However, it must be said that a program like this needs to secure these players.
There were headlines last year. Is Miami Back? Has "The U" Returned? A 7-5 season is an answer.
I don't think that Miami is gone for good. I would be saddened if they were. I have faith in Al Golden. The U will rise again. How long that takes remains to be seen.
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