Golden talks recruiting "cloud." Grade Canes' class. Poll. Vote!; plus SI swimsuit cover, UM's new AD, LeBron/Wade 30-30 Club, Dolphins draft & more
[1) It is FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8. Pictured here is the leaked cover of the upcoming 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. It's Kate Upton! Again! (Not that there's anything wrong with that...) 2) Miami Hurricanes today promoted interim athletic director Blake James to fulltime AD. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Young QBs poll, how UM lost Collins, Gangnam golfer, Heat Big 5@45, Larranaga's amazin' Canes. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
National Signing Sighing Day: Click on Absurdity Meets Excess for today's latest column by me, on the inherent lunacy of turning a signed letter of intent into a nationally televised spectacle.
GOLDEN LAUDS UM RECRUITING CLASS DESPITE "THE CLOUD OVER OUR HEAD": Hurricanes coach Al Golden spoke glowingly of his 16-player 2013 recruiting class signed Wednesday, the small number another self-imposed penalty to perhaps lessen future NCAA sanctions. "It's a class we really had to fight for," Golden said. "I don't think anybody realizes what we've been up against [with] the cloud or the presence of the word 'sanctions.' The unknown is what's killing us and allowing us to be exposed to attack [by competing schools]. We were fighting with one arm behind our back." Golden half-kiddingly said the second question from every recruit or parent was the NCAA investigation, right after, "How are you doing?" Miami's class was ranked No. 21 in the nation, with fewere recruits than all but two schools ranked ahead of it. UM had a big win, a big loss and a weird sort of draw on Wednesday. The big win was Northeast WR Stacy Coley, the big loss was Booker T. Washington LB Matthew Thomas (to FSU), and the weirdness revolved around South Plantation RB Alex Collins. Collins had committed to Arkansas, but there was National SIgning Day drama as his mother refused to sign the letter of intent, wishing he would instead go to Miami. Collins' final decision is pending. Golden said Miami "may have room for one more" signing, but could not comment on Collins or his flux. Coley may be the prize of UM's class, along with QB Kevin Olsen, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad and Northwestern CB Artie Burns among eight four-star recruits in all. Less highly rated but also of note, of course, UM's 16 newest Hurricanes include Ray Lewis III, the son of the former Cane and newly minted Super Bowl champion, now retired.
LEBRON AND D-WADE'S 30-30 CLUB: LeBron James (32) and Dwyane Wade (31) each topped 30 points in a game this week for the 14th time in their 2 1/2 seasons together. Eight came the first season, four came last season and this was the second so far this season. Their most combined points when each tops 30 is 78 (LeBron 44, Wade 34) on Jan. 9, 2011. Next most is 71 three times, most recently March 14, 2012.
DUELING MOCKS: DOLPHINS TO TAKE RECEIVER NO. 1. OR A SAFETY: Mel Kiper Jr. in his newest mock draft has Miami taking Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson first, at 12th overall. ESPN mock rival Todd McShay has the Dolphins selecting Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. One of them may be right. Or both of them may be wrong. Or at least one of them may change their mind in future mocks. Science!
MARLINS LAND FOUR PROSPECTS IN TOP 100: The bright side: When you trade away your top players for prospects, in time your fram system feels the benefit. Miami's is ranked 16th of 30 teams entering this season, after being close to last a year earlier. The Marlins' four prospects rated in the Top 100 by ESPN.com are OF Christian Yelich (6th), RHP Jose Fernandez (16th), LHP Justin Nicolino (62nd) and OF Jake Marisnick (82nd).
Poll result: Luck a runaway for NFL's top young QB: We offered you a choice of seven passers with one or two years' experience and Andrew Luck dominated with 45.9 percent. Results otherwise reflected the great number of Dolphins fans among our readers. After Luck it was Ryan Tannehill 15.8%, Colin Kaepernick 15.5%, Robert Griffin III 11.5%, Russell Wilson 8.6%, Cam Newton 1.9%, Andy Dalton 0.6% and "other" 0.4%. I checked on votes from the state of Florida. The order was the same, though, interestingly, Luck's margin over Tannehill was slightly greater, at 47.2 to 14.6.
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...