Recruiting Prowess – Coach Mario Cristobal
It has been said on multiple occasions of him being relentless. Relentless in a very specific variable of the college football landscape, which if you believe like I do, is the catalyst of all great teams … Talent Acquisition, or in other words, the Recruiting of Blue Chip players.
Coach Mario Cristobal is that DUDE. The one of a handful of head coaches in the country who commands the room like few others. There are an abundant of good recruiters throughout college football, but there are only a few great ones. Is Mario in the same class as Saban, Jimbo, Dabo and Meyer? If you dont think so, I am sorry, but your are dead wrong.
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and realize he recruited the likes of T.Y. Hilton, Johnathan Cyprien and Anthony Gaitor as a first time head coach at FIU. After a quick 6 week stint back at Miami under Al Golden, the GOAT came calling and Nick Saban hired Mario to be his OL coach as well as Recruiting Coordinator. Saban doesn’t do anything that won’t make his team better and he just hired Mario to lead the recruiting of the best team in the country. Did it pay off? Coach Cristobal was at Alabama for four seasons and for those four seasons, Alabama had the #1 ranked recruiting class in the country. Now, some people believed it was because of the “A” on his chest (cough cough). I beg to differ, and I did. Simply put, Mario owned the recruiting game.
"Get used to Oregon recruiting at this level."@bartonsimmons explains the impact Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal is having on Oregon's recruiting process after landing No. 2 Kayvon Thibodeaux. pic.twitter.com/AqZcY4I6P0
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) December 19, 2018
Ultimately, Mario parlayed his continued growth and experience into the head coaching job at Oregon, quickly erasing any doubt of whether he could recruit at the highest level, when he wasn’t at the most dominant program in the land. In his final three seasons, Oregon had the #1 class in the Pac-12 while reeling in top recruits the likes of Penei Sewell (Lions), Javon Holland (Dolphins), Kayvon Thibodeaux (Giants), Mycah Pittman, Justin Flowe and Dante Manning.
Simply put, Coach Cristobal is one of the top 3 recruiters as a head coach in the country and we are now starting to see that ability translate into the early stages of his first full class at Miami, currently ranked #7 in all of college football.
Pinch Us, We’re Dreaming pic.twitter.com/RIsAiczZme
— Orange Bowl Boys 🎧 #OBB (@OrangeBowlBoys) June 26, 2022
And let’s be honest, the ability to recruit doesn’t simply fall into the player category. The ability to recruit, in life as a whole, is to have people around you see and believe in your vision as much, if not more, than you do. And that means coaches, support staff, strength staff, grad assistants and yes, the trainers carrying the water coolers.
Speaking of a staff full of recruiters, lets hear from our good friend Late Kick Josh
When is the last time a coaching staff was assembled in the ACC that made you say "woah"…? pic.twitter.com/GTeqkyr68f
— Josh Pate (@LateKickJosh) February 21, 2022
The Broyles Award is presented to the TOP coordinator in the land, the Best of the Best. Now, I’m not saying that the allure of the University of Miami and the BRAND of the U didn’t have a major influence in this decision by Gattis to make the move, but without Mario’s ability to sell his vision for Miami, I’m fairly sure this doesn’t happen.
BREAKING: Michigan OC Josh Gattis is heading to Miami. Gattis won the Broyles Award (Nation's top Assistant) this past season. What an absolutely HUGE hire by Mario Cristobal and Miami. pic.twitter.com/zn8LYxb5zT
— Spark College Football (@SparkCFB) February 6, 2022
And who else did Mario recruit? How about QB coach Frank Ponce, who if you didn’t know, was the Offensive Coordinator at App State, who finished 30th in the country last year with 441 yards per game, just 7 yards per game less than Miami. Mario did nothing short of convince his long time friend and confidant to give up his play calling duties and come home to coach the quarterbacks. Strategic? In my eyes, you better believe it. Ponce is the perfect successor for when Coach Gattis is hired on as a head coach in the next couple years. Layering the hierarchy of an organization is so simple, yet so often overlooked.
And it didn’t stop there. The hiring of a long time SEC staple in Kevin Steele at Defensive Coordinator, a three time national-power head coach in Charlie Strong to coach LBs and the 2021 #2 recruiter in the country and DB coach of the National Champion Georgia Bulldogs in Jahmile Addae.
🙌Mario Cristobal’s staff just got another huge addition: Georgia’s DB coach Jahmile Addae
🏈Addae was 247 Sports #2 ranked recruiter in the class of 2022 for Georgia. Huge pick up for Miami! pic.twitter.com/I9YaLO5KEZ
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) February 8, 2022
Are the Miami Hurricanes destined for a return to greatness? No really, is now the time…
All successful organizations are led by a successful leader, or in many cases, leaders. But make no mistake, there is always the alpha (or alphette) dog in the room with ultimate authority. The Miami Hurricanes Football Team has found their Alpha Dog in Coach Mario Cristobal, and they have pushed their chips ALL IN to the middle of the table with a 10 year, $80 million commitment, in an effort to return to glory.
And as we all know, the best of the best surround themselves with the best of the best, which is what Mario has certainly been able to accomplish in his first 6 months on campus. From hiring what is arguably a top 10 staff in the country (not debatable in terms of recruiting prowess) to surrounding these young student athletes with numerous hall of famers, former national championship coaches, all-time Miami greats and a seasoned talent evaluator at the highest level.
I’m not saying The U is back, but we just might be.
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