Those that follow college football closely know that Florida is one of the top states year in and year out for elite recruits.
Programs such as Clemson and Alabama have disregarded our home field advantage in their pursuit of their top prospects.
Recent National Championship rosters are littered with athletes from the 305 and 954 area codes.
In better times locally those rosters resided in the Orange Bowl on Saturdays.
Back when Howard Schnellenberger established the unofficial “State of Miami”, which extended through most of Florida, the path was inevitable.
Is wasn’t so much the players choosing Miami, it was the Hurricanes choosing them.
Now with another key signing Miami continues their efforts to reverse the trend of interstate defection.
The Miami Hurricanes scored a major coup this week by landing five-star offensive tackle Jalen Rivers from Orange Park, just outside of Jacksonville.
Right in Dan Mullen’s backyard.
Down the road from Willie Taggart’s place.
Rivers had offers from the usual suspects in Tuscaloosa and Clemson among many others but decided to take his talents to Coral Gables instead.
On the surface one signing does not imply greatness or contention is to follow, but looking deeper at the offers Rivers had to debate it gains significance.
Besides the aforementioned teams, Rivers had offers from Florida, Florida State, and USF among many other Power 5 programs.
To land a player of this caliber against this competition shows there is some swagger in our recruiting efforts.
Rivers wants to be here.
For that to translate to consistent roster depth full of four and five star players is one step.
Getting them to buy in is next.
Manny Diaz and his staff have begun the process of establishing a solid foundation to build upon.
Even prior to the Rivers signing.
Now they must avoid it becoming an outlier.
David Eversole runs the site MiamiSportsWave.com and will be contributing stories on the University of Miami here, as we expand our Hurricanes coverage. Illustration by Beau Bradbury.