New Miami head coach Mark Richt knows a thing or two about the importance of recruiting. During his time as a head coach at Georgia, Richt took time to set up opportunities in which he could open lines of communication with high school football coaches throughout the state of Georgia to help build inroads for his Georgia Bulldogs that were in need of building, repairing or could benefit from a little sprucing up. He is taking that philosophy and strategy with him to Miami, where he hopes to have similar results with the Miami Hurricanes.
Richt’s plan is simple. As outlined in a story by Andrea Adelson for ESPN.com, Richt just wants to talk x’s and o’s with high school coaches as a way to get to know them better. Richt is no stranger to Florida recruiting, of course, but any opportunity to establish new relationships with the high schools coaches in his new home state is a worthwhile one.
“We break bread together and talk ball,” Richt said. We get to know each other. If they want to see what we’re doing, great. A lot of times, we’d watch the film of our practice together and let them hear us as a staff talk about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, corrections and all that. Then if they have questions, we’ll do that or if they want to talk about any subject they want to talk about.”
Florida State pulled the second-ranked recruiting class in 2016, its third consecutive top five recruiting class according to Rivals. The Florida Gators have brought in recruiting classes anywhere between No. 4 and No. 23 every season since 2013. Both the Seminoles and Gators have been staying ahead of Miami. Richt’s first recruiting class at Miami ranked No. 24 according to Rivals, but he can get a pass for having such a short time working on recruiting for Miami. Maybe the new effort is paying off for Richt. Although still a long way away from signing day, Miami currently holds the third-best recruiting class for 2017 with 15 commitments currently lined up (Ohio State and Oklahoma take the top two spots for now). Miami has just one four-star recruit though.
It will take a little bit of time for Richt to get Miami on the same level as Florida State and Clemson in the ACC. The truth is, Miami has a few steps to go just to win its own division. Since joining the ACC, Miami has failed to win the ACC Coastal Division and play for an ACC championship, which is bizarre considering Miami was brought in as a football power to help balance the scales on the football field. Since Miami has joined the ACC, Virginia Tech has represented the Coastal Division five times; Georgia Tech four times and Duke and North Carolina once each. Richt will be able to get Miami to the ACC Championship Game, but before thinking about how to take down Florida State and Clemson, it needs to get by the rest fo the Coastal Division first.