Last fall, while I was commiserating with the other two Orange Bowl Boys about the downfall of the football program, we fanaticized about our ideal resolution. It was very simple: Blake James Fired, Mario as Head Coach, and Alonzo Highsmith as General Manager.
Well, today the Miami Hurricanes brought the trifecta home as they hired Zo as General Manager of Football Operations. Besides being a Hurricane legend and National Title winning player, he has been a top scout in the NFL for the last 20+ years. Hired in 1999 by the Packers, he spent 13 seasons there and has a Super Bowl ring to prove it. Most recently, he was with the Seahawks as of, well, last weekend. Obviously, the full circle aspect of this move hasn’t been lost on Highsmith as he told us…
After all the good feelings and hooray cheers, we need to look at what exactly ‘GM of Football Ops’ looks like. Does that mean Ed Reed is no longer on the staff? Where will this job fall on the hierarchy of positions?
Let’s start with the gig. Here’s how Zo described his responsibilities…
So, pretty much what we’d all think. It also seems like this role is still being defined and sculpted as I write this. For AD Dan Radakovich, this isn’t some new curveball that’s being forced on him as his Clemson athletic department had a similar position for the football program. This is all about having as many smart people in the room as possible. Call it the Alabama philosophy.
“Alonzo is a true Miami Hurricane,” Mario Cristobal said. “He understands the commitment and sacrifice it takes to be a champion on and off the field. His tremendous passion for the University of Miami and this city is unparalleled. Alonzo brings experience as a student-athlete, a first-round NFL draft pick and an NFL executive. He shares our vision for the trajectory and the culture of this football program, and his knowledge and experience will allow him to make a positive and powerful impact on our program and community. I am fired up to welcome home another Miami Hurricane!”
With Zo’s arrival, one question some have asked is ‘what’s Ed Reed’s future on the staff?’ Well, we asked Highsmith that as well and here’s what he said…
While nothing official has been reported, I certainly hope there is still room for the GOAT. There needs to be room for the GOAT. Look at this staff, it’s top-5 in the country. Between the coaches and the off-field guys, it’s an absolute stable of thoroughbreds. Charlie Strong is coaching linebackers…LINEBACKERS. You don’t need me to review the roster, we all know it, and now Dan and Mario have put the cherry on top of the sundae with Alonzo’s hiring.
It’s great to be a Miami Hurricane!