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#pounditThursday, February 29, 2024

Mario Cristobal sends bold message after Miami lands star recruit

Mario Cristobal wearing a Miami Hurricanes shirt.

Jan 22, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head football coach Mario Cristobal reacts while hyping up the crowd during the second half between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami coach Mario Cristobal sent a firm message after his biggest recruiting win since taking the job.

The Hurricanes pulled off a shocker by landing five-star cornerback Cormani McClain, who announced his commitment Thursday. McClain had been widely expected to sign with Florida, and few saw Miami as a serious factor in his recruitment.

Cristobal could not speak specifically about McClain, as the recruit has yet to officially sign. However, the Miami coach made it clear that he was making sure the program’s direction was changing quickly.

“When down here done right we can attract the best of the best and that guys they know the magnitude of Miami, the university and the history and everything else,” Cristobal told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports. “It hasn’t been done right in several years because Miami hasn’t made the commitment. Miami is committed now and Miami has made it clear it’s rebuilding and looking for elite players that have the mentality, the work ethic and the character, to be those builders to make Miami elite again.

“Miami was once the gold standard and needs to be the gold standard again.”

Cristobal’s remark about Miami not making the commitment is an interesting one. It was not that long ago that one major analyst questioned how much Miami even cared about the well-being of the program. That perception is obviously something Cristobal is set on changing.

Expectations were high for Miami after Cristobal left a good job at Oregon to return to his alma mater. The team’s 3-4 start has come as a disappointment in that context, but something like this should restore faith in the future of the program.

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