OL Rodriguez talks future at UM after committing

OL Rodriguez talks future at UM after committing

Stefan Adams
2021 Columbus (FL) 3-star OL Ryan Rodriguez announced his intentions to commit to the Miami Hurricanes last night, and it represented the fulfillment of a goal he’s had for himself since he was young.

“I actually made the final decision on Friday, I sat down with my family and talked about it,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like this is where I’m going to better myself, this is where I’m going to grow. I wanted to secure my spot with coach (Garin) Justice and get to work with him early so I can start making an impact. Since I was born, this has been a dream.”

The 6-3 280 pound prospect’s family are also known for being huge Canes fans, so they were predictably excited when Rodriguez broke the news that he was staying home.

“They were all pumped,” Rodriguez said of his family. “Everyone’s going to buy their own season tickets and the tailgates are going to be crazy from our family. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Originally, Rodriguez was planning to visit schools like Wake Forest and Louisville this spring before making a summer decision, but felt he it was necessary to move up his timeline because of the campus shutdowns so his senior season was not disrupted.

“I didn’t know when I’d be able to make up those visits,” Rodriguez said. “If things are closed until August, that’s when my football season starts, so I didn’t want to interrupt my football season just to go visit a college. I knew Miami is a place where I fit, somewhere I knew I’ll be safe and feel comfortable.”

As for the Miami coaching staff, they too were expecting Rodriguez to wait until summer, and Rodriguez said they were surprised by the good news over the weekend.

“They had no idea I was even thinking about it,” Rodriguez said of the UM staff. “I called coach Justice on Saturday and let him know. He was fired up and super excited, and then I told Manny Diaz yesterday. We talked for about 45 minutes and he answered all my questions that I still had a little doubt with, and I was ready to go.”

Rodriguez has been a key priority for Justice for months now as UM’s center of the future, and the Columbus star was one of the first recruits offered by Justice when he arrived at Miami in early January.

“All the history [at Miami] and the legacy I could hold up there, I could be another great Columbus lineman there, and that means a lot for my pride and for my high school,” Rodriguez said. “Miami’s going to get someone who doesn’t stop until the whistle blows and is going to play with a lot of pride, is going to play with a high desire to win – I’m a very competitive person. So, every time I play, I’m going to play with an edge, play with competitiveness. That’s why Michael Jordan is my favorite.”

In the past, Rodriguez had talked about how he felt the Canes were primed for a big season in Diaz’s second year at the helm with Justice and new OC Rhett Lashlee added to the mix, and Rodriguez feels once that winning happens, you’ll see more local prospects stay home at UM.

“I don’t blame other kids for leaving and wanting to go win football games now,” Rodriguez said. “Miami really needs to turn things around soon and I think it’ll happen now. Coach Lashlee and coach Justice, I trust what they’re doing on offense, and that’s basically been the issue every year. So hopefully this is the time we turn things around and get things rolling now.”

In the meantime, Rodriguez says his focus is on this year’s 2021 class and the impact they can make on the field. Rodriguez has grown up around a good portion of Miami’s commits this cycle, and he’s confident that they can aid UM’s turnaround over the next few years.

“I grew up with Big Baby (Laurence Seymore), we played basketball together since we were young,” Rodriguez said. “Kahlil Brantley and Tim Burns, I played middle school football with them and I’ve hung out with them a few times at my house, they’re friends of mine. I’ve talked to Mike McLaughlin before at the camps.

“I also know Allan Haye, and Andy Borregales has been my friend since we was 5 years old, his mom and my mom are very close, so I’ll have a lot of friends. I feel like I’ll be able to be comfortable, I’m not going to be around people I don’t know. And also I know they’re all very hard workers, and very athletic and talented. They can all help the class.”

Rodriguez was known as a key leader in the locker room during Columbus’ state title run last season, and that’s not something that will change now that he’s part of Miami’s recruiting class, as he expects to assist in adding talent in the coming months starting with his teammate in 4-star DE Jabari Ishmael.

“I’ve been talking to my good friend Ish, but he’s a very quiet guy,” Rodriguez said. “I’m going to let him handle his recruiting how he wants, but I’ve been putting some stuff in his head. He going to wait to go visit some schools and then decide. Definitely Ish is a great person and he’s the next (Gregory) Rousseau - tall, lanky, athlete at D-End. We go against each other every day and make each other better.”

Ultimately, what are Rodriguez’s goals as Hurricane once he gets on campus?

“As soon as I get there, I’m trying to secure my academic situation and keep on top of that, that’s a priority – I’ll hopefully study business. Next, I’m going to work as hard as I can to compete for a starting job as a freshman. If it doesn’t happen, I’m not going to panic - I’m just going to develop, work hard, lift, and just get ready to keep working. I’m ready for anything that comes my way.”


Comments (13)

I like when he said .... “Since I was born, this has been a dream.” Can almost picture him in his crib saying ...... Mama, Dada, Da U. 😉
It is pretty cool that he gets to fulfill a childhood goal.
Also seems very sensible, even keeled, and has his priorities straight (academics, major, etc.)
Spoke super real about where the program is at. Seems like a smart kid. And he needs to help us land Ishmael. Cannot rely on family ties. Tyson Campbell said Rumph was a "father figure" right? lol
More kids like this please, love what Garin is doing!
Notice that all 3 OL commits are smart, have good feet and are not fat. And while Marshall is only shown as a 2 or 3 star, I like his height, feet and aggression. Take him as a OG, find another good OT and this will be a very good OL class.
Welcome to the U stud! This kid will be a big time center or guard for us!
Hopefully this is the kind of kid tht we used recruit back in the late 90"s and early 00's: kids with great character and the desire to win in miami. Bring in as many kids like this irrespective of stars 3,4, 5 whatever and will have a better chance to turn the program back into its winning ways. Go canes!
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