Fans who recall Miami's surprisingly well-regarded recruiting class in February -- surprising because many of the most sought-after athletes in the country apparently looked hard at a program that's 12-14 over the last two years, with a relatively small, notoriously fickle fan base, no on-campus stadium, and fatal shooting deaths of both an active player and a recent alumnus in the span of a year, along with at least one other non-fatal shooting incident since 2006, and thought, "Where do I sign up?" -- might be interested in a small story in today's Palm Beach Post detailing the likely attrition from February's haul by the time practice starts next week:
Eligibility Concerns May Delay Seven UM Recruits
CORAL GABLES — As many as seven freshmen from Miami's recruiting class may not be on hand when the Hurricanes report to school Thursday.
According to coach Randy Shannon, four incoming freshmen still have issues to resolve with the NCAA Clearinghouse and two other recruits already have enrolled in prep school after they were unable to qualify academically.
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Attrition: All in the game, dawg.
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Hat tip, as usual, to The Wizard of Odds, a noted recruiting skeptic who advises readers its "time to adjust those recruiting rankings." Not quite. The story goes on to list five players, Zach Kane, C.J. Odom, Brandon Washington, Antonio Harper and Brandon Marti. According to Rivals' archives, Harper was a three-star prospect, and Kane, Odom and Marti were all two-star players. Only Washington was considered a high-profile, four-star guy.
At 33 players, Miami's class was the largest in the country, and, because the NCAA only allows 25 signees from a single class to actually arrive on a full scholarship, assumed attrition of at least seven or eight guys. Fortunately for the 'Canes -- although not for the young men themselves -- that attrition is mostly from the bottom of the class, rather than the top; expected stars like Marcus Fortson, Arthur Brown, Shawn Spence, Aldarius Johnson and Jacory Harris (all of whom happened to be in for the spring) are, we can assume, still on track. Washington's projected loss hurts because the class, for its size, was thin on offensive lineman (besides Washington, there was only Benjamin Jones, another hometown four-star). But as for the attrition in general, it's hard for anyone to wring hands now when we knew it was coming -- unless you joined Brian Cook's earnest call to require schools to show specifically where a scholarship is coming from before they're allowed to offer it, that's how the chips fall in this business.