Alfred Golden joined WQAM’s Jorge Sedano on Wednesday to chat about National
Hype Signing Day.
The Canes signed 15 young men from all over the place with the hope of adding some essential depth, especially on the struggling defensive side of the ball. Not only was the Miami head coach battling against negative recruiting with the NCAA Investigation still hovering, but also faced some tension with a local high school powerhouse.
They faced a limited, hard number of scholarships this year, which caused some issues with Booker T Washington in the recruitment of offensive lineman Denver Kirkland. It was believed they pulled his scholarship last week when he refused to commit before signing day.
The Canes ended up with just four players signed from Dade and Broward.
On where they came up short in this year’s class:
Golden: “If we’re really honest with ourselves, We didn’t do as well today as we wanted at defensive tackle and we’ve got to get that fixed… We have to continue to develop the guys we threw out there last year. We played a lot of young guys last year…A lot of those defensive tackles were pushed to play before they were ready”
On the notion that they’re not recruiting South Florida well enough:
“I don’t think that’s fair at all. Just look at the last two years. We had very small numbers to deal with to begin with, so we knew we were going to expose ourselves to the competition. It’s not like the competition when our numbers are small were going to leave south Florida… Because of the scholarship reductions and that’s compounded by the fact we had a reduction in official visits.
“You go back to the greatest team that ever played here, the 2001 team. They were 55 percent from the state of Florida That notion that every kid on the team is from one county, that’s not true at all. We cant take everybody down here.”
On negative recruiting against you with NCAA investigation still hovering:
“Immeasurable. It’s been painful. We’re all very confident where were going with the program and what we need to do… Once this gets turned and this gets dropped we’ll back to having some leverage. Right now we don’t have leverage because were constantly battling those questions”
On the Denver Kirkland situation (Miami withdrew an offer to lineman Denver Kirkland last week when he chose not to commit on the spot and instead wait until signing day):
“I’m not going to rehash anything publicly other than the fact I was going against the finite number. It was out of my control… At the end I couldn’t control the numbers because in any normal year if you’re not going against a penalty, if you go over one or go over two you can absorb it into your class… When you have a penalty and cant go past that number, and that’s a finite number, you’re done. You’re out of scholarships. The reality is that at the end we had a run on a couple of commitments at the end there and I ran out of room.
If the relationship between Booker T and Miami is strained :
“It was an Unfortunate circumstance. I hope we can move forward. I have a lot of respect for Coach Harris and his staff, and obviously Booker T… At the end of the day if everyone is making the decision on signing day and you e only have a 25-30 percent chance of getting somebody, these things occur, and it’s tough. It’s even tougher now when we’re up against a backstop, if you will.”