ACC Week: Youth is Served in Miami


Last season was a rough year for College Football teams in the state of Florida. Of the “Big Three” schools, and I don’t mean to discredit USF or UCF here, only Florida State finished above .500 with an 9-4 record.

New Miami Head Coach Al Golden and his staff had their work cut out for them in year one, working through an NCAA investigation with a fairly talented but terribly inconsistent squad. Now in year two, they’ll hope the Hurricanes can improve in a number of areas.

The Canes will need all the help they can get though. On offense they must replace their starting quarterback (Jacory Harris), their top rusher (Lamar Miller), as well as two of the top pass-catchers. Defensively the coaches need to find replacements for six starters, and they need to rebuild the defensive line up front. In total, Miami will return just 41 lettermen from last year’s team going into 2012.

The good news is help is on the way. How much help? By signing day 2012 the Miami Coaching staff had accumulated 33 signed letters of intent – that’s right, 33 players in one recruiting class.

As I said though, the Canes will need all the help they can get. Five-stars RB Duke Johnson and CB Tracy Howard should give an immediate boost at their respective positions, while the coaches will need Angelo Jean-Louis, Robert Lockheart, and Herb Waters to step in and play at receiver right away.

For the rest of the class, there will be plenty of opportunities to contribute right away, whether it’s at a starting position, in the two-deep or on special teams.

The question though, is how such a young Miami team will perform.

Last season the Canes were plagued by inconsistency, and their 2012 schedule is difficult to stay the least. Miami opens the season with road games at Boston College and at #15 Kansas State, who beat the Canes on a last-second goal line stand in 2011.

After a quick FCS battle with Bethune-Cookman, their next five games are against Georgia Tech, NC State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Florida State – definitely not murderers row, but if Miami can come out of there at leas 3-2 then that would be an impressive mark.

Al Golden and his staff consistently talk about turning Miami back into a winner, and this year could be a huge indicator of whether or not they are on the right track – regardless of how young their squad may be.