National expert likes direction Manny Diaz has Miami football trending

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

National recruiting expert Josh Pate likes the direction the Miami football program is heading in under head coach Manny Diaz. Pate discussed what Diaz has done to turn the Hurricanes around on the latest episode of Late Kick with Josh Pate.

The Miami football program has had a productive offseason with a positive turnover of the majority of the offensive coaching staff, upgrades to the player roster and a top 10 recruiting class. On the latest episode of Late Kick with Josh Pate, the eponymous host discussed the changes Diaz has led during the 2020 offseason.

Diaz fired offensive coordinator Dan Enos just a few days after the Hurricanes lost 14-0 to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl in December and replace him with Rhett Lashlee. Lashlee and Diaz replaced former Miami offensive line coach Butch Barry with former UNLV offensive line coach and coordinator Garin Justice.

Following the departure of wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield to Penn State Diaz and Lashlee brought in former Arizona State offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Rob Likens as his replacement. Likens has mentored a WR selected in the first round of each of the last two NFL Drafts.

The addition of D’Eriq King at quarterback gives Miami a player at the position who can go out and win a game with his play. The Hurricanes have not had a QB with the ability to take a game over since Brad Kaaya left after the 2016 season. The dual-threat ability King has is unprecedented at Miami.

"“He sees that something needs to change offensively, goes and gets Rhett Lashlee…Not only that, they see that QB is a mess, they go get DEriq King. He was a star QB already at Houston, and he’s going to come in and instantly turn them into a contender. Instantly make them capable of winning any game they play.Because they have that dynamic talent at QB…Here’s the third component…recruiting. It’s what it all circles back to. When James Williams surprised a lot of people by just choosing Miami sort of out of the blue…A lot of us thought Georgia led for him. I will tell you readily, I thought Georgia led for him.He commits to Miami and makes it a point to say I’m not leaving the state of Florida. Makes it a point to say it’s about family, it’s about brotherhood. You know the talking points down there…He dropped all of those on you, didn’t he?”"

Pate is one of many national college football experts to notice what Diaz and his staff have accomplished during the offseason. Diaz has shown the ability to be loyal to what is in the best interests of the Miami football program first. Past head coaches have been too loyal to assistants who have hindered the Hurricanes’ growth.

When the Enos led offense did not work in his first season as the coordinator Diaz went out and hired Lashlee to implement the up-tempo spread that Diaz had previously discussed when Enos was hired in January 2019. Lashlee brings experience running a spread that adapts to the personnel he has on his roster.

At Auburn in 2013, the Lashlee led Tigers led FBS in rushing offense using the spread. Past Miami offensive coordinators have often been too stubborn to adapt their system to the players Miami has on the roster. Lashlee has shown throughout his career to bring out the best in the abilities of the players he has.

Next. Miami could have biggest recruiting week in program history. dark

The Miami offense will likely look different in 2021 when King moves on to the NFL. King fits the Lashlee system perfectly. As Miami continues to recruit quarterbacks, Lashlee will be able to bring in more signal-callers to fit his system. Lashlee has also shown the ability to succeed with transfer QBs at Auburn and SMU.