The Manny Diaz Era

On December 27, 2018 the Miami Hurricanes took an embarrassing loss to the Wisconsin Badgers, with a final score of 35-3. At the time, Hurricane fans thought we had seen the last of Manny Diaz, who had just accepted the head coaching job at Temple University. After another disappointing season, the Hurricanes needed a change in their program and they needed it now. To much of Canes’ fans surprise, Mark Richt announced his decision to step down as head coach and enter retirement. At this point, the program seemed to be falling apart: we lost our head coach, defensive coordinator, and star wide receiver Jeff Thomas had decided to transfer to University of Illinois. Under Mark Richt, the 2019 recruiting class was ranked 28th nationally and 4th in the ACC. To put that into perspective, the Hurricanes had ten 3-star commits, seven 4-star commits, and zero 5-star commits.

After leaving Miami’s program for a little over two weeks, Canes’ fans received the news that Manny Diaz would be returning, but this time as the new head coach. For his first order of business, Coach Diaz, decided to revamp the coaching staff. The Hurricanes hired Dan Enos (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Blake Baker (defensive coordinator/inside linebackers), Butch Barry (offensive line), Taylor Stubblefield (wide receivers), Stephen Field (tight ends), Todd Stroud (defensive line), and Eric Hickson (running backs).

Manny Diaz continued to win the offseason by using the transfer portal to bring in highly touted players such as: the 2017 number 1 overall recruit Jaelan Phillips (OLB) UCLA, Tate Martell (QB) Ohio State, Bubba Bolden (S) USC, K.J. Osborn (WR) University at Buffalo, Tommy Kennedy (OL) Butler, Chigozie Nnoruka (DL) UCLA, and the most recent addition Trevon Hill (DE) Virginia Tech. Not to mention star receiver Jeff Thomas decided to return to Miami under Coach Diaz. Adding these players was key considering the Hurricanes had a late head coach change and were ranked 28th nationally for their 2019 recruiting class.

Quarterback play has been a problem for the Hurricanes the past two seasons since the departure of Brad Kaaya. With the addition of Dan Enos, our young quarterbacks have the ability to thrive under their new coach. The three quarterbacks competing for the starting job are: N’Kosi Perry, Tate Martell, and Jarren Williams. This is a good problem for the team to have because each of these quarterbacks have the ability to come in and play a huge role in the offense. With the program undergoing new changes there has been a lot of hype surrounding the team and the upcoming season. I hope the Hurricanes can live up to the hype.

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