By Stephen Diener
It’s still about 7 months away before the Miami Hurricanes start their 2019 season, but that doesn’t change the fact that they have grabbed the attention of the college football headlines.
First, it was the news that Mark Richt had retired, then the rehire of Manny Diaz as the new head coach, and now there is news that the Canes may be the front-runners for the services of the top free agent in college football. Yes, I know that the term “free agent” is not normally used in college football, but in this case, that is exactly what Jalen Hurts is.
The Alabama quarterback will be entering into his senior season and will be looking for a new place to finish out his college career. The national champion QB officially put in his transfer papers and will not be wearing the Crimson of Bama next season, but instead may be wearing the green and orange of the U.
The reports are coming out that Miami is on the short list of Jalen Hurts, to go along with schools like Oklahoma, TCU, and possibly a Mississippi State or Texas A&M, but those seem less likely at this point. It is no secret that the Canes need a new QB with what we saw last year. Yes, Jarren Williams may be a solid starter, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a guy like Jalen Hurts teach him a few things before moving onto the NFL next year?
Manny Diaz is actively pursuing Hurts, who by the way, now follow each other on Twitter as of last night. Hurts also started following the account of the young up and coming tight end, Brevin Jordan. Are these signs that he could be cozying up to the Canes? Absolutely! Does it mean he is coming down to sign today? Probably not, but it certainly seems like they have a good shot at landing one of the best quarterbacks in the country as it stands.
And even though Hurts would only be here for one year, that one year could help make all of the difference in how the Manny Diaz regime is going to play out. If Hurts comes in and brings them to the brink of the playoff, or even right into it, then Manny will have a much easier time building on that foundation and bringing in star recruits, rather than go through more growing pains with young QB’s that would only make Miami less attractive to recruits.
Plus, Hurts may also attract a big-name offensive coordinator that may not have considered the job otherwise. Lane Kiffin anyone? This one simple move could have ripple effects for the program for years to come.
Yes, even though it would only be a one and done relationship, you could see how the dominoes could begin to fall in Miami’s favor in the years after Jalen leaves. And if he comes, then the U could indeed be on the fast track to being “back.”