Miami football former All-American Joaquin Gonzalez praises Paradise Camp

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The return of Paradise Camp this weekend was an added event that the Miami football program is getting back to normal. Prominent alums from throughout the last 35 plus years returned this past weekend led by Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver. Offensive tackle Joaquin Gonzalez praised Paradise Camp as a recruiting tool.

Gonzalez has been critical of the Miami football program in past years for not living up to the standards set during their glory years that resulted in five national championships. Prominent players returning this weekend was a positive for the Miami football program. Gonzalez observed firsthand.

Miami welcomed dozens of players, including multiple blue-chip prospects for Paradise Camp this past weekend. Getting those players on campus after a more than 14 month dead period in recruiting was critical according to head coach Manny Diaz. Diaz believes the Miami campus is a huge selling point to recruits.

Gonzalez was impressed by the talent on hand in Coral Gables as quoted by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Gonzalez was impressed by the amount of out of state players who attended Paradise Camp from out of state. Getting those players on campus was impressive. The next step is turning the recruits into commits.

"“Awesome…. It’s an unbelievable recruiting tool, really showcases the program. Really can see the local talent. I was taken back by how many kids from out of state are here. There’s very few programs that have this much talent that have gone through their doors to be able to have such a thing as a Paradise Camp.You can name a couple of them. This is unreal.”"

The comments from Gonzalez are important. The two-time All-American offensive tackle has been frequently critical of the Miami coaching staff. Not all of the alums of the Miami football team are going to be supportive. Having Gonzalez make the positive observations is a good look for the Hurricanes.

Next. Miami alums returning for Paradise Camp help set culture. dark

Following his Miami career, Gonzalez was a seventh-round pick of the Cleveland Browns where he played three seasons. Gonzalez played in 41 games with 14 starts with Cleveland. Following his stint with the Browns, Gonzalez played in five games with the Indianapolis Colts during his final season in the NFL in  2005.