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Cassidy's Takeaways: Miami's Paradise Camp

Mark Richt
Mark Richt (AP Images)

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CORAL GABLES -- Mark Richt let out a verbal shrug of sorts when asked about it. The Miami head coach could barely try to care.

A new NCAA bylaw prohibiting colleges from hiring people “close to recruits” in most capacities has hurt on-campus summer camps. That much is indisputable. College staffs can’t pay high school coaches to work their events. Thus, said coaches are less likely to drive their best players to campus.

Whether the that result was intended or not, it’s taken hold. And the rule impacts schools in remote areas more than it does programs that sit on top of recruiting hot beds. It’s why Miami may actually see a boost because of it. After all, it’s easy to embrace a rule change that hurts your rivals more than it hurts you.

Tallahassee and Gainesville a great places, sure, but there are important differences.

“Quite frankly, we have a lot of good players around here from a very short distance away,” Richt said. “That makes it not a very big burden for them to come here.”

Richt says he expects the rule to impact colleges in other parts of the country more than it will affect his program, and logic dictates that he’s correct. Does he like it? Probably not, but there are a long list of coaches with more reason to whine.

“Last year, we could all pay coaches’ expenses and pay them to work, which made them more likely to bring the players from the area they’re close to,” Richt said before pointing out the recruiting mecca that surrounds his South Florida campus.

Kayode Oladele
Kayode Oladele (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Talk at Miami’s camp was that the Hurricanes have staked claim to a slight lead to land former Florida State commit Kayode Oladele. The Hurricanes will still need to hold off Georgia, which seems like the only other serious player. Oladele has not named a leader but those close to him say opinions are starting to form. The four-star defensive line hopes to announce a commitment on his Dec. 12 birthday.

Nadab Joseph
Nadab Joseph

Georgia is also a player for four-star defensive back Nadab Joseph. Joseph. Did not attend Saturday’s event at Miami, but he was a topic of conversation among his high school teammates and coaches that made the trip. At this juncture, LSU will need to fight to hang on to Joseph who could flip to either Alabama or UGA at any moment. Florida State remains involved but seems to have fallen behind the Tide and Bulldogs.

Mark Pope
Mark Pope (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Miami commit Mark Pope remains awesome. Despite his commitment and lofty ranking, Pope worked out on Saturday and looked like his usual dominant self. He also posed for a photo with UM alum Michael Irvin following the event.

Also still awesome? Delone Scaife, who has had a massive offseason. He was, once again, his dominant self on Saturday night.

Jonathan Huggins
Jonathan Huggins

The day’s pleasant surprises included Florida State commit Jonathan Huggins, who looked much better than his two-star ranking. It’s easy to bank on Huggins’ performance and size for the future, as he seems to be in for a massive senior season and a bump in ranking. Class of 2020 wide receiver Mark Britt also sent a message. Britt could easily be one of the state’s top wideouts when it comes time to rank his class, as he embarrassed a number of older, FBS-bound defensive backs.

Frank Ladson
Frank Ladson

Florida commit Frank Ladson worked out at Florida on Friday night and elected to sit out Saturday’s camp at Miami. Ladson was in attendance nevertheless, however, and said Miami is still recruiting him as hard as ever. Ladson, a class of 2019 receiver, holds an offer from the Hurricanes and spent some time with UM coaches at the event. On Saturday, he characterized his status as “committed but open.”

Miami brought the big-name alums back in force on Saturday. Ed Reed was the headliner. Michael Irvin was there. As were Duke Johnson, Antrel Rolle and others. The highlight of the alums, however, was listening to Jeremy Shockey sound as uncomfortable doing interviews as any former NFL player possibly could. Shockey faced a media scrum with a grin on his face and answered roughly 80 percent of questions with some version of the phrase “there are a lot of good players out here.”