Mario Cristobal is making some major noise on the recruiting trail this offseason.
Cristobal, 51, returned home to Miami at the end of the 2021 season after spending a few years at Oregon.
It hasn’t taken Cristobal long to completely change the trajectory of the program for the better.
JD PicKell of On3 believes the Hurricanes are finally on the right track with Cristobal at the helm.
“The Miami Hurricanes have had a lot going on in South Beach. It has been anything but quiet down in Coral Gables, and there’s a lot of things to unpack with Miami,” said PicKell. “It looks like they’re going to be in a lot of ways, a very different looking program from a culture standpoint going into 2022. The biggest sentiment to me, when I take a look at this program and put our fingers down to the wrist and take a pulse, this Miami program — this fanbase especially — is just taking a really, really big exhale, because they got their guy in-house. They have their university now committing to the football program.
“Previously under Manny Diaz, they kind of found ways to get it done towards the end of last year, but to have the university go on offense, and go get a guy in one of their own in Mario Cristobal. A guy who understands not just Miami, but understands ‘The U’ — the fanbase now feels like, ‘Okay, now we’re actually taking some steps forward.’ Before it felt like one step forward, two steps back. Okay, we got out quarterback — now he’s hurt. Okay, we have some direction on offense — now we don’t have anywhere that we’re going. Defense looks good — defense doesn’t look good. Now, it finally feels like steps are being taken forward. Not just in the short term, but in the long term. They feel like they’re actually building for something in the future.”
Cristobal’s recruiting abilities have never been under question. Miami will have a talented roster on paper.
The big question is can all that talent translate to on-field success? Cristobal was never able to take the Ducks to the College Football Playoff, despite having elite players like Justin Herbert, Penei Sewell and Kayvon Thibodeaux on the roster.
Can Cristobal return Miami to glory?