It's always awkward when a new college football head coach comes to town, especially for the players who were recruited by the previous guy.
Two upperclassmen with the Miami Hurricanes, both recruited by fired coach Randy Shannon, have quit in the past month, leading to speculation that Al Golden is favoring his own younger recruits over the players he inherited from the previous coach.
Defensive end Kelvin Cain and offensive lineman Jermaine Johnson have quit in the past month. Both were juniors recruited by Shannon, though, neither gave reason for their departure. There's a lot of speculation it could be because of Golden's attitude toward the upperclassmen.
"Is it something against Randy Shannon players?" Luther Robinson Sr., father of Luther Robinson, a defensive tackle recruited on Shannon, told Joe Rose on WQAM this week. Robinson Sr. is angry his son hasn't been getting much playing time this season.
Jorge Milian of The Palm Beach Post claims an upperclassman called him up out of the blue yesterday to voice a similar complaint:
One UM upperclassman called me on Wednesday afternoon - first time that's happened since I've been on this beat - voicing a similar complaint. The player did not want to be named, fearing that going public would subject him to recriminations from the coaching staff. But the player said that several of his teammates feel like they are seeing their game action reduced or taken away completely based primarily on their connection with the former staff.
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Of course, Golden isn't exactly working with the cream of the crop of Shannon's recruits. Many of Shannon's best players have graduated, left for the NFL draft, or otherwise split town.
And the good ones that are still here are a big part of Golden's team. Players like Stephen Morris, Allen Hurns, and Mike James.
Considering the average tenure at UM for a head coach since 1979 has been exactly five years, a lot of Canes players historically do end up playing at some point for a different coach than the one they were recruited under. It hasn't hampered the team in the past, and hopefully Golden isn't letting preference for his own recruits hamper the team now.