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It's Now or Never for The U

Three years ago, something took place on a football field that I had never seen in my life, and has yet to be duplicated. The most dynamic collection of high school talent I’ve ever seen came across the country and descended onto Ford Field in Dallas, to take on the best high school football team the state of Texas had to offer.

In warm-ups alone, I was astounded by the speed, power, athleticism, and precision of this team from Miami and thought to myself that Southlake Carroll didn’t have a shot in hell of staying with them, let alone winning the game. As great as Southlake was, Miami Northwestern was simply on another level of football, altogether. The game turned out to be a classic, with Miami Northwestern pulling out the victory in the most exciting high school game I have ever seen in person.

Another reason why this was so amazing is because the majority of the stars from Northwestern signed onto play at the University of Miami. Basically, Randy Shannon pulled off the coup of a lifetime. He basically did three years ago what Pat Riley just pulled off with Wade, Bosh, and LeBron. This is exactly why it’s now or never for The U. Miami has to go to BCS bowl this year, or all the hard work that began three years ago will go completely down the drain.

When you look at the Hurricanes, they have everything in place to make a run right now. Last year’s season showed the highest highs and the lowest lows. They started off on fire, winning three of their first four games, and then hit a lull, and even though they finished the season strong, there’s still sentiment among college football fans that the season could have gone better. They won a thriller against Florida State, beat a very competitive Oklahoma at home, but they also got steamrolled against Beamer Ball and Virginia Tech, as well as losing to Clemson. They finished 9-4, but for a team with the recruiting class they brought in back in 2008, along with Shannon’s expectations, as well as everyone else’s, anything short of 11 wins and a BCS berth will be a failure.

Jacory Harris is a legitimate Heisman candidate, and showed last year why they have absolutely no worries at the quarterback position. Aldarius Johnson and Tommy Streeter are the two receivers from that team. Granted, Miami has other good receivers on the team, but it's time for these guys to step up, and show why Miami recruited them. On the defensive side, they brought in Marcus Forston and Sean Spence from that squad. Also included in that ridiculous class was Ben Jones and Kendall Thompkins, who both contributed on special teams last year, and Jones also helped on the offensive line. It's safe to say one of their goals when they arrived on campus was to bring an attitude and winning mentality back to Coral Gables. They made tremendous strides last year, and the hope is they can put them over the top this year.

Trust and believe, I know there’s more to The U’s success than these seven guys, but going off of what I saw on that particular field three years ago, they’re gonna have to play their part to ensure Miami gets to where they want to go. Their second game of the season has them playing in The Shoe, just to turn around and play at Pittsburgh. Two consecutive games in hostile territory will test them early, but this is the way it’s supposed to be. It’s do or die for these boys, and anything less than playing in a BCS bowl will be the definition of disappointment.

Be easy.
-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!

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