Cooney gives insight on how UM's 2021 class was built

Cooney gives insight on how UM's 2021 class was built

Stefan Adams
Miami Hurricanes Director of Recruiting David Cooney spoke to the media today, saying he was pleased with the 2021 class Miami brought in, but specified that the work was not done.

“My first year here, that 2020 class, now getting the ‘21 class in - the kids locally see that we’re no longer just getting the low-hanging fruit so to speak where we miss on big-name guys and get a tier 2 or 3 guy,” Cooney said. “We’re starting to get some of those top-notch players that kids see on Thursday and Friday nights doing spectacular thing. And those guys want to be part of our classes. Good and great players want to play with other good and great players. It’s imperative we continue to shake all trees and make sure these kids understand we’re a program on the rise and will work our butts off to keep those players home.”

Looking forward to the upcoming 2022 class, Cooney addressed the challenge of matching UM’s recent classes and discussed focusing on the South Florida area, especially on defense.

“Locally, on the defensive side of the ball, it’s going to be a dogfight to keep a lot of these kids home,” he said. “We have a lot of household names, how these kids are being ranked and their performances on different nights of play. Those kids are phenomenal on the defensive side of the ball - linebackers, D line, those will be positions of key importance and guys that we want to make sure we keep our thumbprint on.

“What we try to do is identify kids as early as we can. Offers - what does an offer mean nowadays? Once we identify kids we want to build a relationship with, cultivating those relationships is what enables you to get those kids from wherever… We’re not just going to let (another school) have them - that goes for any kid we genuinely want. We’re going to go after them, are not going to relent.”

Of the first 20 commits that signed on Wednesday, all of them pledged to Miami before the season. Looking back, why does Cooney think all of UM’s commits stuck with little to no drama throughout the season?

“It was a collection of things that helped us keep those kids committed,” Cooney said. “It’s no secret, kids want to be part of a winning culture. And our team did very, very well throughout the course of the season. A couple of hiccups, but our kids see the direction coach (Manny) Diaz and his staff are taking the program. They want to be part of it, believe in it. And our coaches did a great job even in the midst of game-planning, the day-to-day, making sure they spend a lot of time contacting those kids.

“But the main thing that we did along the lines of what we started doing a lot last year - the parent involvement was very, very key with the uncertainty of COVID. Just everything going on globally, these parents want to make sure their kids are in the hands of people that genuinely care about their well-being. They want to see how genuine you are, and our coaches do an amazing job of being transparent with the parents. They see it.”

Of course, Miami’s 21st commitment came later on Wednesday night, and like most quarterbacks, QB Jake Garcia was a key centerpiece for this 2021 class.

“Just having a kid that loves the game, his confidence just oozes off of him,” Cooney said of Garcia. “He’s just one of those kids that when you’re around him, get to hear him speak, practice - I’ll never forget when he did a workout, it was all eyes on him and he didn’t flinch. I always say you rarely see coach Diaz smile when a kid’s working out, but when Jake finished that workout, it was one of those `Hey, we have one in this guy.’ I think that leadership, passion, those are two key traits in a quarterback you have to have. And I think we’ve got that in Jake.

“When he was at Narbonne (High School), they were a pretty heavy tempo team. I liken his game to Shane Buechele when Rhett was at SMU. He was able to get the ball out of his hands quickly, made reads and that’s where Jake excels. He saw in coach Lashlee - Rhett did an amazing job of making that kid feel comfortable with the offensive scheme and the things we wanted him to do once he got here. I think it’s going to be a great fit for him.”

Another monumental addition to the class came over the summer when 5-star DT Leonard Taylor committed the Hurricanes just a few months after eliminating them from contention.

“Well, a lot of people don’t know, I’ve known Leonard for a very long time,” Cooney said. “Those comments were on the candid side, it was a reality at the time. It was reassuring him to come be a part of the change. He’s always wanted to be a Cane. But we weren’t holding up our end of the bargain.

“Once things started to flip, we started to win games. Even in the summer you could tell, we went and got D’Eriq King. The kids saw we were trying to make moves and improve this program. It’s easy for a kid that’s always wanted to be a Cane when you see things of that nature happening. It’s `They’re taking steps in the right direction.’ Now we start to win on top of that. And Leonard’s a mama’s boy, so he wasn’t going anywhere.”

After Miami lost to North Carolina over the weekend, Cooney and the rest of the staff had reached out to all the commits within 90 minutes.

“I think one of the big things is we don’t let one loss define us,” Cooney said. “That UNC game doesn’t define who this program is and the type of culture and environment we’re trying to build around here. We continuously impress that on kids. The kids see the final product on gameday, but don’t get a chance to see the work that goes into it. We just constantly kind of hound on the fact that you can come in here and be a part of the change. And they see their peers playing early, our freshman class came in hair on fire trying to get on the field and I think that’s a part of it as well. Being able to see `I can be that guy next year if I do my part in practice,’ that kind of helps keeping those guys in the classes.”
 

Comments (30)

When he spoke of the local kids and the defensive side of the ball, he didn't even mention CB!! Wow. He said, Those kids are phenomenal on the defensive side of the ball - linebackers, D line, those will be positions of key importance and guys that we want to make sure we keep our thumbprint on. WHY DID HE LEAVE OUT CB??
 
When he spoke of the local kids and the defensive side of the ball, he didn't even mention CB!! Wow. He said, Those kids are phenomenal on the defensive side of the ball - linebackers, D line, those will be positions of key importance and guys that we want to make sure we keep our thumbprint on. WHY DID HE LEAVE OUT CB??
maybe we won’t be using Corners in Bakers wonderful scheme
 
I guess so buddy.. Beat it til it gets fix.. It's sad that this program allows this type of sh!t year in and year out, Miami was once a straight power house NOW it's just average.. And IT'S BECAUSE. THEY ACCEPT AVERAGE..

There's a difference between "accept average" and "no choice but to take the average" cuz beggars can't be choosers...

Chooser status comes back when we start winning divisions and NC's.
 
He’s always wanted to be a Cane. But we weren’t holding up our end of the bargain.]

I've been saying this for years in response to all the bag complaints about the SEC. Local kids want to stay home and be local heroes. Kids everywhere do. But they also have their own lives to consider. When UM is obviously not serious about its program, local kids are going to do what's in their best interest, long and short-term. That's to go somewhere that takes football seriously, and if they get paid to do so, well, what's not American abotu that? But if UM shows them that its a good choice, we'll win our share. We don't have to outbid the SEC. We have to be a relevant option.
 
Have no fear. I have thread banned each and every one of these mean miserable mopes from this thread. This thread is now a mope-free safe space.

We will not dare question why CB was not addressed here.

Ok... all slurpers... please feel free to agree with each other and express your inner slurper amongst your peers.
 
I've been saying this for years in response to all the bag complaints about the SEC. Local kids want to stay home and be local heroes. Kids everywhere do. But they also have their own lives to consider. When UM is obviously not serious about its program, local kids are going to do what's in their best interest, long and short-term. That's to go somewhere that takes football seriously, and if they get paid to do so, well, what's not American abotu that? But if UM shows them that its a good choice, we'll win our share. We don't have to outbid the SEC. We have to be a relevant option.

I’ve been saying the same thing; hence new coaches always get love here on their 2nd recruiting class, b/c local kids want to believe the home town finally got it right.

I continued & continue to say, win & they will come. The bag theory has been a nice cover story to make fans feel better about a kid from the back yard not come here. These kids have NFL aspirations & ppl who are legit depending on them in some cases. They are not going to come here if we ain’t putting out a good product.

Manny’s TNM mantra has been successful thus far; but if he fizzles like all of his predecessors after yr 3, 4....we’ll see the continued trend of the crib going elsewhere making everyone else great.
 
I've been saying this for years in response to all the bag complaints about the SEC. Local kids want to stay home and be local heroes. Kids everywhere do. But they also have their own lives to consider. When UM is obviously not serious about its program, local kids are going to do what's in their best interest, long and short-term. That's to go somewhere that takes football seriously, and if they get paid to do so, well, what's not American abotu that? But if UM shows them that its a good choice, we'll win our share. We don't have to outbid the SEC. We have to be a relevant option.
Does Miami need a bag game to be serious about its program? Relevance is difficult when top OOS schools are dropping bags and we’re not. Especially the size bags you read rumors of.
 
Does Miami need a bag game to be serious about its program? Relevance is difficult when top OOS schools are dropping bags and we’re not. Especially the size bags you read rumors of.
Depends on what you even mean. Top OOS schools have been dropping 'bags' since the 1970s, at least. That isht ain't new. Maybe the scale goes up but whatever was in that bag in 1985 sure seemed like a lot to the kid who had to make a decision in 1985. That's the biggest misnomer about the comparison. Folks think 100K or whatever the rumor is today is somehow different than the 20K that some kid in 1980s got. To the kid, whatever you get, it's a lot more than you have and it's relevant. Everything's more expensive today, anyhow.

UM, IMO, does not need to be competitive in 'bags.' That doesn't mean kids don't need to get the right experience in college, some spending money, maybe a booster car, I don't know, there are ways to make sure you're 'relevant' without trying to offer the same choices.

Kids who want to come to UM want to come to UM. The school has to make it seem like a decent choice. Care abotu the program, care about the kids, don't rub their faces in what they could get elsewhere. You don't have to have a BMW to date that chica ... she's a nice girl ... but damn, you better have a car.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
265
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
WR
5'9"
190
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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