Miami Hurricanes Football: National Signing Day Will Make or Break 2013 Class

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2013

Al Golden has thought long and hard as he puts together a very selective recruiting class.
Al Golden has thought long and hard as he puts together a very selective recruiting class.Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

As National Signing Day is officially less than a week away, all eyes will soon turn toward the microphones set in front of many top recruits.

Rumors—some true, some ridiculously false—will have been surfacing across the beauty we know as the World Wide Web and seemingly never cease.

But there won't be many schools in a make-or-break situation like the Miami Hurricanes now find themselves in.

From 5-star Matthew Thomas to 4-star Stacy Coley to 3-star Augustus Edwards, head coach Al Golden and his coaching staff are pursuing a variety of talented prospects.

Coach Golden has put together a solid recruiting class in 2013 with the dark cloud of NCAA sanctions lurking overhead, but it's simply decent.

Adam Gorney of Rivals.com is concerned with the small group of Miami commits—and somewhat rightfully so.

But here's the difference.

Back in November, CaneInsider's Jon Bastian noted Golden was planning on somewhere around 15 recruits in the 2013 class, therefore spots have been kept on hold for Miami's top targets (see Thomas, Matthew and Collins, Alex).

Golden has been working with the limited amount of scholarships due to the now-more-confusing-than-ever NCAA investigation, so the Canes currently have only 13 commitments.

It is quite possible that if Golden had not held back spots in preparation for potential scholarship reductions, Miami would have a few more commitments at this point in time.

However, after the NCAA discovered an issue with the NCAA, it seems as if Golden has opened up more spots for recruits.

Based on each respective player's 247sports profile, the Hurricanes are looking to add commitments from Thomas, Collins, Coley, Edwards, Denver Kirkland, Keith Bryant, Jay-nard Bostwick and a group of others.

Sidenote: Here is a list of the announcement times of Miami targets via State of The U.

Hypothetically speaking, say Thomas, Collins, Coley, Kirkland, Bostwick, and Edwards choose the Canes, then Golden accomplished more than anticipated.

If Miami grabs a majority of these top-notch players, the Canes immediately solidify themselves as a National Signing Day winner—maybe even the champion.

But—and I hate to do this—what about the worst case scenario?

Three or more of Thomas, Kirkland, Coley, Bryant and Edwards head to Florida State.

Plus Collins to Arkansas.

With Jermaine Grace to Louisville.

And Bostwick to Florida.

If that isn't the definition of "bust," then please help me out on what it is.

Personally, I would likely sit with an oversized spoon shoveling ice cream and cry myself into a slight depression.

This all said, Al Golden must feel good about his chances with many of these players. The school's official website reports ESPN3 will have 90 minutes of live coverage from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET on NSD.

He can't possibly want to have the national attention if he is sitting empty-handed in a conference room after striking out with some of the nation's top prospects, right?

Whether or not these players commit to Miami will be seen soon enough, but I feel like the guy in the white shirt and orange tie is not remotely worried.

National Signing Day will be exciting, to say the least, as Golden is proving himself to be the conductor of a thrilling race to the finish.

Golden could be asking those premier recruits one simple question.

"Are you on board? Because this train will leave without U!"

The train may be preparing to leave the station, but Golden is still looking for a few more passengers.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.