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Miami Prospects Begin To Respond

Miami’s recruiting class for 2012 is one of the strongest in the nation.

For now.

The Hurricanes have commitments from 24 players for the 2012 class. Miami’s current class ranks No. 5 nationally on Rivals and No. 6 on ESPN.

But will that continue to be the case following yesterday’s report from Yahoo! Sports?

The immediate reaction from Miami’s commitments appears to be positive for the Hurricanes.

Running back Duke Johnson from Norland High School in Miami said he’s sticking with Miami despite the allegations facing the Hurricanes.

“Oh yea I’m the same with everything, I’m good to go,” Johnson told InsideTheU.com. “I’m not worried because this is all stuff that happened in the past. I know I haven’t received anything (in terms of benefits) and that has nothing to do with me or my family.”

Miami wide receiver commit Herb Waters had a similar response.

“My commitment is solid and I have no doubts in my mind that I want to be a Hurricane,” Waters told the website. “I know it’s going to blow over but that’s how people get when they see something good going on for a certain team or a certain person.”

Quarterback Gray Crow reaffirmed his commitment to Miami, although he left some wiggle room when he told InsideTheU he’s “pretty sold” on still going to Miami. Other prospects have remained silence since yesterday’s news broke.

As Bryan Fischer of CBSSports.com points out, Miami coach Al Golden will face a lot of questions on the recruiting trail regarding the allegations and potential violations for his program.

And a lot of those questions will come from current commitments.

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Vols Lead For Marlin Lane; ACC Team Pushing For Ray Drew?

Running back Marlin Lane is back on the open market now that he’s no longer committed to Clemson.

The Daytona Beach, Fla., native took an official visit to Tennessee this weekend. He left Knoxville favoring the Vols over Auburn, Miami and Purdue.

“The Tennessee visit went great,” Lane said. “The coaches and players are just terrific. Everyone there has such a great relationship with each other. I really liked the campus and facilities.”

Miami appears to be UT’s strongest challenge to land Lane. He visited Miami last week and met with new head coach Al Golden.

“I really like the coaches there,” Lane said of Miami. “Golden is real cool and it seems like they are going to be really good. I think he has a good plan. I really believe I can fit in good at either Miami or Tennessee.”

Lane told ESPN.com he will take the SAT on Saturday and then visit Florida State before he announces his college decision on National Signing Day on Feb. 2.

Check out the link above and you’ll also find a note on defensive end Ray Drew, who took an official visit to Miami this weekend. Drew, who’s also considering Georgia, Auburn, LSU and Clemson, was impressed with the Hurricanes program.

“I love Al Golden,” Drew told ESPN.com. “I mean, I really like him. He knows what he wants and is very hungry. He wants to bring Miami back to its glory days, back to where they were. He’s a high-energy, full-speed guy that’s very genuine. Al Golden is a people person. I was pretty impressed.”

Drew has already taken visits to Georgia, Auburn and LSU. He will visit Clemson this upcoming weekend.

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SEC Coaching News And Nuggets

Just a few headlines for you concerning Vanderbilt’s coaching search as well as all the other searches that involve SEC coaches:


Dan Mullen

1.  Dan Mullen and Mississippi State officials have gone silent.  No texts, no phone calls.  (No lights, no motor cars.  Not a single luxury.)  State officials would not comment when asked by The Jackson Clarion-Ledger if Miami had asked for permission to talk to Mullen.

2.  Jorge Milian of The Palm Beach Post notes that Miami AD Kirby Hocutt has gone quiet, too.  He wonders if they could be “pow-wowing.”  He also says “a university source” told him last night not to expect a coaching hire in Coral Gables until next week… though that could change.

3.  CaneSports.com (a Rivals site) says Tommy Tuberville, Randy Edsall, Kevin Sumlin, Al Golden, Marc Trestman, Kyle Whittingham, Jim Harbaugh, Chris Peterson and Gary Patterson are also being vetted by Miami’s search committee. 

4.  The Miami Herald reports that “a UM person familiar with the search” said earlier this week that if Mullen “hadn’t been contacted already, he would be eventually.”


Vanderbilt

5.  OwlScoop.com (the Rivals site for Temple) reported yesterday that Al Golden is not a candidate for coaching positions at Vanderbilt, Minnesota or Indiana, according to a source.  (FootballScoop.com — a site that seems to siphon off info like this without providing links or credit to the original authors — has “confirmed” that Golden is not a candidate.)

6.  Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com reports that Stanford offensive coordinator Greg Roman will interview with Vanderbilt officials today.

7.  The Tennessean reported yesterday that Roman “shuns report of Friday interview,” but that story has since been removed.  It is not on the site as of 9:45am ET.

8.  The Sporting News reported yesterday that Vandy has interest in former Miami coach Randy Shannon.

9.  Meanwhile, this writer for “Nashville Scene” magazine explains how a new coach could “transform Vanderbilt into a scrappier, more exciting losing team.”


Jim McElwain

10.  Colorado is taking its time in naming Jon Embree head coach…

11.  But former Buffs coach Bill McCartney continues to spill the beans.  “Take it to the bank and hang your hat on it,” he said of Embree’s eminent hiring.  Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain was a finalist for the CU job.


Les Miles

12.  Les Miles says he was never contacted by Colorado.  But Woody Paige of The Denver Post says Miles, Troy Calhoun and Mike Bellotti “didn’t feel a fit at CU.”  Does that mean those coaches were contacted and said they didn’t feel a fit… or that CU didn’t feel those guys were fits so they didn’t contact them?  Looking at CU’s final list of candidates, it’s evident they weren’t interested in spending Miles-type cash on a new coach.


Gus Malzahn

13.  In the pure speculation from a student newspaper department: If Malzahn accepted the Vanderbilt job he could reunite with offensive line coach Herb Hand with whom he worked at Tulsa in 2007.

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FoxSports’ Evans Tweets Golden Nixes Vandy

As you know by now, I’m not a Twitter guy.  In fact, I think it’s the final straw in the dumbing down of society.

Take for instance the fact that I’m having to report on something Thayer Evans of FoxSports.com tweeted yesterday:


“Strike Temple coach Al Golden from lists for Vanderbilt and Minnesota jobs according to sources.”


That’s it.  What sources?  What exactly did they say?  Who the hell knows?  It’s Twitter, baby. 

(As always, please follow us at twitter.com/mrsec.  Thank you, The Management.)

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Miami Closing In On Mullen?

The Rivals.com site for Miami — CaneSport.com — reports today that Dan Mullen is target 1A for for the Hurricanes while former NFL coach Jon Gruden is 1B.

The site claims that sources (plural) have told CaneSport.com “that Mullen has been contacted by representatives of the Miami coaching search and could have a meeting with (athletic director Kirby) Hocutt by Tuesday night if Gruden isn’t hired first.  Mullen is rock solid as a recruiter and has connections in the state from his time as offensive coordinator at Florida.  He is also an established offensive-minded coach who fits the old Miami mold of hiring coaching who are up and comers ready to take the net step in their careers.”

Over the years, numerous former Gruden players have said that he would never coach in the college game.  He wasn’t known for being patient with pro players, so it’s debatable whether or not he has enough “teacher” in him to survive at the college level.

Also, though his name continues to make headlines, NFL insiders like SI.com’s Peter King have said there is no way Gruden will take the Miami job. 

If those near Gruden are correct in believing that he won’t go to the college ranks… and if CaneSport.com is correct… it looks/sounds like Mullen might have a decision to make early next week.

Interestingly, three other SEC-related names appear on CaneSport.com’s list of 15 Miami candidates:

Al Golden (#6 on their list) — Temple’s coach is also a candidate at Vanderbilt and Minnesota.

Houston Nutt (#8) — “We hear the University of Mississippi coach would be receptive to overtures from Miami.  But at the moment we are not sure where he might rank on Hocutt’s ledger.”

Mark Richt (#13) — Georgia’s coach has already denied interest in his alma mater’s gig.

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Golden Reportedly Has A Hefty Buyout

In case you were wondering, matching Al Golden’s salary at Temple shouldn’t be a problem for Vanderbilt… but his buyout might be.

The Owls reportedly pay Golden about $575,000 per year.  The Commodores paid Bobby Johnson about $1 million and — reportedly — are willing to double that figure for the right man this time around.  As both schools are private, we are not sure of their exact spending.  That said, it’s likely that Vandy could double, triple or quadruple Golden’s pay if need be.

Golden’s buyout is another matter.  The Temple coach reportedly — there’s that word again — has a $2 million escape clause in his contract.

As we said earlier today, if Vandy lands Golden, it will be clear that VU has decided to open up its coffers and invest a bit more in its football program.

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