2013 Miami Hurricanes recruiting: How the hiring of James Coley could improve incoming class

Team Nitro defensive end Chris Jones (98) rushes past Team Highlight offensive tackle Denver Kirkland (72) during the first half at the Under Armour All-America high school Game at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

On Thursday, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher lost his offensive coordinator, James Coley, to the same position with the Miami Hurricanes. This, of course, after losing his defensive coordinator, Mark Stoops, to the open head coaching position at Kentucky.

While Stoops’ departure is a major loss in terms of game play and working towards an elite defensive unit, Coley brought a wholly different and an entirely unique set of skills to Tallahassee. Fisher himself calls all the plays in games and runs the offense during practices. Thus, while Coley’s title was grand, he was mostly a quarterbacks coach for the Seminoles.

And one of the program’s leading recruiters.

Now, the Miami native hits the recruiting trail for his new program, and there are several elite prospects who have yet to have made their decision as National Signing Day approaches on Feb. 6. Those who had been leaning towards Florida State are now rumored to be considering following Coley to Miami.

Coley will be calling the offensive plays for the Canes, so he can guarantee that certain guys see the playing field, as he himself will have the power to call their number on Saturdays.

[Good times to be a Miami fan, as this guy busts out ‘NCAA and Nevin are rats’ poster on national TV]

One of those young men is the nation’s No. 7-rated running back, Alex Collins. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Plantation, Fl. native has offers on the table from the likes of Wisconsin, Florida and Louisville — as well as both Florida State and Miami. He is ranked at No. 57 on the ESPN150, and is known for his elusiveness and good vision and hands out of the backfield.

Coley’s hiring may just lock up this star recruit for Miami.

Matthew Thomas is a five-star recruit and the top-ranked outside linebacker in the nation. The Miami native has also been directly affected by Coley’s move to the native city of both player and coach.

Denver Kirkland is another Miami native with offers on the table from both schools in question. Kirkland is a four-star recruit known for his strong run blocking, a huge plus for a player who is already 6-foot-4 and more than 330 pounds.

If Coley can somehow manage to swing just one of these three superstars in the direction of The U, Coral Gables will enjoy the swagger.

If all three wind up either heading to or staying in Miami, Coley and coach Al Golden will have undeniably smashed a recruiting home run.

And Jimbo Fisher and the Noles will be left out in the cold of Northern Florida in February (while it’s no Chicago, it’s certainly not South Beach, either).

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