The University of Miami isn't interested in signing Florida's best high school football players. The team rose to prominence by recruiting ballers like NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp, two-time Super Bowl winner Ray Lewis, and late great defensive back Sean Taylor, just to name a few Hurricanes who went on to stellar careers.

Those days are over.

During his first news conference as head coach in 2010, Al Golden promised that Florida was his battleground. He proved it a year later when his first recruiting class featured 18 student-athletes from the Sunshine State. "We want to be 80 percent Florida," Golden told the Miami Herald.

Now, Golden has completely changed his course. On National Signing Day this past February 5, he landed only five players from Florida. During the head coach's three-year tenure, as the cloud of the NCAA investigation into the Nevin Shapiro scandal hung over the program, the U has been avoiding talented Florida kids.

First, Olivier Vernon and Marcus Forston, two underclassmen born and raised in the 305, were accused of accepting improper benefits from Shapiro. They skipped their senior years to enter the 2012 NFL draft at the urging of school administrators. Two other juniors from inner-city Miami schools also left early.

Then Golden kicked linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong off the team. It was alleged that Armstrong had been dishonest during an internal investigation about dinner with a sports agent. Two sophomores from Miami-area high schools left the team in January.

Golden recently lashed out at the NCAA for hurting his recruiting, but there are more than enough talent-rich high school student-athletes in South Florida that can help the Canes compete for a national title. Golden also passed up an opportunity to hire Miami Central head coach Telly Lockette, who built a program that reached the state championship three straight years. Adding Lockette would have given the Canes the inside track on all the top local recruits.

If Golden doesn't change his way soon, it will be years before the football team competes again for a national title.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

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9 comments
BigChiliGuy
BigChiliGuy

All the South Florida talent is going to Tallahassee. Al Golden is a cancer to the University of Miami football program. Unless you get rid of the cancer, nothing is going to happen with the football program. But hey, now you have an up and coming basketball program with Jim Larranaga. Miami's glory days of football are all behind them now. Miami is already being replaced as a basketball town now that LeBron James took his talents south.

liberalsunite_attheo
liberalsunite_attheo

Luther, you amaze me at how dumb you are. You don't think Golden tried to recruit Florida players? The problem is that Miami is in the ACC which is not a football conference. Florida players go to the SEC so they can be on prime time TV. They wan't to go to the Pros, hard to do when you play in the ACC against Wake Forrest, Duke and Virginia. Who wants to watch Miami vs. Wake? And, no one goes to watch the games at Miami. The stands are almost as bare as a Marlins game.

dk002
dk002

Luke, go away! Your music sucked and you know nothing about college football recruiting.

laber_bart
laber_bart

Uncle Luke.....get a life and cut out the crap. It is nit Golen's responsibility to provide a college education to all and only S Florida kids!

CaneGrad05
CaneGrad05

Is this moron Luther really blaming Al Golden for Florida kids turning professional early when he advised them not to do so? Typical.  Is this moron Luther really blaming Al Golden for Ray Ray Armstrong, when Armstrong could not even later get eligible at any school in the country to play football? Typical.  Is this moron Luther really criticizing the decision of Al Golden to hire a FORMER HURRICANE FOOTBALL PLAYER FROM FLORIDA for his Staff in the same op/ed that bashes Al Golden for straying from Florida? Typical.  Oh, and sorry to the young Florida kids that Al Golden has recruited to Miami: Anthony Chickillo, Dallas Crawford, Phillip Dorsett, Denzel Perryman, Rashawn Scott, Deon Bush, Ereck Flowers, Jelani Hamilton, Tracy Howard, Duke Johnson, Malcolm Lewis,  Tyriq McCord, Earl Moore, and more..  sorry, but Luther has determined that you will not be "ballers" in the same vein of Lewis, Sapp and Taylor because "those days are over."

BigChiliGuy
BigChiliGuy

As an FSU fan, thank you for Xavier Rhodes, Devonta Freeman, Rodney Smith, Lamarcus Joyner, Kelvin Benjamin, Bobby Hart, Nick O'Leary, Ruben Carter, etc. etc.

 
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