Miami football and Mario Cristobal creating Midwest pipeline

Mario Cristobal has created a pipeline to the Midwest in the last two Miami football classes.
All American Bowl
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The Miami football program signed defensive linemen Marquise Lightfoot, Elias Rudolph and Justin Scott in 2024 class from the Midwest. Tight ends Luka Gilbert and Brock Schott are committed to the 2025 Miami class from the Midwest as Mario Cristobal builds a pipeline to the region.

In his article "Three-Point Stance: Miami, USC invading the Midwest" Greg Smith examined how the Hurricanes and Trojans are creating a pipeline in recruiting in the Heartland of the United States. The history of success for Miami recruiting in the Midwest goes back to their championship era during the 1980s and early 1990s.

University of Miami Sports Hall of Famers defensive tackle Russell Maryland and offensive tackle Mike Sullivan won national championships with the Hurricanes after matriculating in Coral Gables from Chicago. Miami could potentially pursue Kent State transfer DT C.J. West, originally from Chicago.

In his effort to reestablish the Miami football program nationally, Cristobal is recruiting the entire USA. Establishing a pipeline in the Midwest in the 2024 and 2025 classes has helped Miami. The top two 2024 Miami signees are from Chicago. Smith discussed Miami's success in the Midwest.

"2. Miami/USC invading the Midwest
There is something happening in the Midwest with elite prospects that should have programs based in the region on notice. Miami and USC are two programs that have enjoyed immense success in their history, but each has been down in recent years and desperately trying to climb back into national relevance. And both programs have made talent in the Midwest a priority.

Miami made a statement in the 2024 cycle by landing a pair of Midwest five-star defensive linemen with Justin Scott and Marquise Lightfoot. Four-star defensive end Elias Rudolph from Ohio also joined the program. The Hurricanes have already struck twice in the Midwest this cycle. Ohio four-star tight end Luka Gilbert and Indiana four-star tight end Brock Schott are in the class."

Greg Smith, Rivals.Com

Lightfoot and Scott were the highest-ranked 2024 Miami signees. Schott is the highest-ranked 2025 Miami commit and Gilbert is third. Rudolph is likely more of a long-term prospect with the potential to redshirt in 2024. Expect Cristobal and the Miami staff to continue recruiting prospects in the Midwest.

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One name to watch is three-star wide receiver Eugene Hilton Jr. from Zionsville, Indiana, who is listed as warm with Miami by 247Sports. With Lightfoot and Scott set up for success at Miami, the pipeline to the Midwest should continue. Lightfoot and Scott helped Miami sign a top-10 2024 class.