It's indicative of the previous Miami coaching regime's inability to recruit properly that where awe-inspiring orange and green playmakers once roamed freely, there now stand just a kicker-beast-man-shark (see 3:06), Matt Bosher, and an offensive tackle, Jason Fox.
Yep, the pre-season All-Conference squad boasts just two Hurricanes (though, hey, it's two more than 2008 -- and most importantly, no less than Florida State).
Both Bosher, last year's team MVP, and Fox deserve every honor they can get their hands on. But it's still jaw-dropping to consider that a program that once enjoyed Frank Gore, Najeh Davenport, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Andre Johnson, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr. in the same season has put just two two offensive skill players (RB Tyrone Moss and TE Greg Olsen) on the All-ACC team in the last four years.
That should change shortly.
On the heels of Bosher, a junior, and Fox, a senior, comes the bulk of Miami's talent and the ambitious workhorses its rebuilding dreams -- and Randy Shannon's retirement fund -- are pinned on. Three of the top four Hurricanes in all-purpose yards last year were true freshman. Prior to the December bowl game, the Baby Canes accounted for 79 percent of the season's rushing yards, 82 percent of its points, 85 percent of its return yards and 65 percent of its receptions. Eight freshman scored touchdowns last season; no other school had more than six.
In other words, it's lonely at the top, but it's only a matter of time until Fox and Bosher get some company up there on the pedestal from Shannon's heralded recruiting classes.
That could come as early as season's end with the possible addition of Sean Spence, last year's consensus Freshman All-American linebacker and All-ACC Second Teamer. Others to keep an eye on in the next year or two: sophomore receiver Laron Byrd, junior running back Graig Cooper, sophomore outside linebacker Marcus Robinson, and, if he can finally fulfill the promise of his giant body and alligator-killing ways, junior defensive tackle Allen Bailey.
Make room, Virginia Tech.