With all that happened to the University of Miami over the 2010-2011 college football season, you would have thought that the Hurricanes stood about zero chance to make an impact on National Signing Day. However, what many of the skeptics, and this fan of "The U", seemed to underestimate was the power of a strong head coach, in this case Al Golden.
Nothing New For Golden
For Al Golden, making big changes with troubled college football programs is nothing new. In his last job before the University of Miami, Golden took a Temple University football team that had no wins before he arrived and built the program to achieve two consecutive winning seasons before he left the Philadelphia school for sunny South Florida.
Rosy Beginning Goes Bad Fast
When Al Golden came onto the scene in Miami he made immediate impacts. However, his progress was drastically slowed as an alleged scandal of epic proportions involving the University of Miami was revealed by Yahoo! Sports writer Charles Robinson just days before the start of the season. All of a sudden, the sunny job that Al Golden had as head coach of the Hurricanes was one that was extremely overcast and left many to wonder if Golden would even stick around.
Golden Leads Perseverance
The season for the Miami Hurricanes was definitely one filled with highs and lows. While the team won some big games, like the one against Ohio State, they lost several others that they probably should have won. But throughout the tumultuous season there was one thing that remained steady; Al Golden and his will to stay in South Florida. Despite finishing only 6-6 and not attending a bowl game, Golden still committed to the Hurricanes by extending his contract through the 2019 season proving his commitment to persevere.
Golden Gets the Goods
The perseverance that Golden showed paid off in a big way on February 1, which all college football fans know to be National Signing Day. Though the University of Miami had a mediocre year, no bowl appearance and are still awaiting the results of an ongoing NCAA investigation, Al Golden and company managed to land the number eight recruiting class overall.
This included many of the top athletes as rated by ESPN including the number one cornerback in the country, Tracy Howard. In all, the Hurricanes signed 33 commits, six of whom are on the ESPN Top 150 list of all high school football players in the country.
Momentum for "The U"
Going forward the University of Miami Hurricanes have a lot of positive momentum and a lot to look forward to. The Hurricanes' recruiting class of 2012 marks the first time since 2009 that the football program broke into the top ten. It was also only the first official recruiting class of Al Golden's many that he will have in his South Florida tenure. As for fans like me, there is nothing better than knowing that the team I love has a leader who is capable of producing results no matter how high the odds may be stacked against him.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal fan of "The U" since he was a child attending games at the original Orange Bowl. Still a resident of South Florida, he attends numerous Miami Hurricanes games each season and enjoys writing about NCAA Football and the Miami Hurricanes in particular.