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Cristobal to Miami Changes Recruiting in the State of Florida

The state of Florida has a new player in the recruiting game, and it’s new Miami Head Coach Mario Cristobal.

For any of the other programs in the state of Florida, they are going to have to step up their recruiting. There has not been a serious recruiting presence at Miami in quite some time, but that’s now changed.

The Hurricanes bringing in Mario Cristobal to be the Head Coach is huge for that program. He’s a tireless worker, already proved to be a coach that enjoys the grind of recruiting, i.e. spending countless hours on the phone and within Zoom meetings to land recruits, and wants his staff to be held accountable for their recruiting efforts.

Further, he played for the University of Miami (1989-1992), as well as being an assistant for the Hurricanes (2004-2007). He even attended Columbus High School in Miami so he’s a player that has ties to the area behind the institution he now represents once more.

To say that being at “The U” means something to him is an understatement. For all those reasons, Coach Cristobal is a threat on the recruiting trail.

Beyond programs in Florida, the programs that come into the Sunshine State are also on notice like Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson. Those three programs, among many, generally have quite a bit of success in Florida. That’s especially true in fertile recruiting areas like Broward County and Dade County near the University of Miami.

Broward is home to Fort Lauderdale and programs like Fort Lauderdale (St. Thomas Aquinas), Deerfield Beach, Plantation (American Heritage), Hollywood (Chaminade-Madonna) and Davie (Western) to name a few.

Dade County, meanwhile, has more top-notch talent-laden programs than arguably any other county in America. A few to know are Miami (Central), Homestead, Miami (Northwestern) Miami (Palmetto), Miami (Gulliver Prep), Miami (Edison), and the aforementioned Miami (Columbus) where Coach Cristobal once played.

Make no mistake, Coach Cristobal will make the rounds at those schools and attempt to reconnect the Miami Football program to them.

Now fired Head Coach Manny Diaz had lost the respect of local coaches. Until Dec. 4 when Miami (Central) linebacker Wesley Bissainthe committed to the Hurricanes, the Miami program did not have a single commitment from a program in Broward or Dade. Not one! To say the least, that’s a sign of bad mojo with the local coaches, many of which are diehard Miami fans.

Here’s a look at how Coach Cristobal did with his four full classes at Oregon based on 247 recruiting rankings:

2018 (No. 13), 2019 (No. 7), 2020 (No. 11), and 2021 (No. 6). Before heading off to Miami, the Ducks had a really good 2022 (No. 9) class as well, one in which Gordo (Ala.) High School quarterback Tanner Bailey already de-committed and is now being courted by other college football programs.

Tanner Bailey de-committed from Oregon after Coach Cristobal left Oregon for Miami

Tanner Bailey de-committed from Oregon after Coach Cristobal left Oregon for Miami

A few notes and questions regarding Coach Cristobal and the early stages of his transition to Coral Gables follow:

**Does he attempt to flip any of the commitments to the other in-state programs? He recruited many of them while being the leader of the Ducks, so there’s a prior relationship with many top prospects.

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**Similar to recruiting high school and junior college players, will Coach Cristobal want to bring in any current assistant coaches from other programs inside the state of Florida borders like Florida State or Florida or UCF? This is a huge factor in recruiting and a huge factor on game day as well.

**Will Coach Cristobal focus more on the state of Florida, or recruit nationally to help fill out the 2022 recruiting class?

**It’s been confirmed that long time quarterback commitment Jacurri Brown from Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes County has already spoken to Coach Cristobal. That conversation went quite well, but he’s still getting calls from other college football programs. Do not be surprised if his recruitment spills over into January and does not end this month.

**The former Miami coaching staff hit the transfer portal hard. Will Coach Cristobal and his staff have a similar approach?

**Long term, Coach Cristobal appears to be a great fit for the Miami program. He may not win big right away, but he has a chance to get Miami moving in the right direction with recruiting first and foremost.

For UCF coverage and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. For more college football, UCF and recruiting information, go to Twitter: @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as my YouTube Channel and Instagram page. Like and Subscribe!

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