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Kehoe Shines As Canes Recruiter

Sunday, November 17, 2013 3:43pm
By: Miami Insider

Miami offensive line coach Art Kehoe is experiencing a recruiting renaissance for the Hurricanes.

CORAL GABLES – It has been a rebirth for Art Kehoe at Miami.

The Hurricanes’ running game ranks in the upper third in the country. He has developed probably the deepest position on the team. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said Florida State coaches told him Miami’s offensive line was the most prepared of any front it had faced to that point.

And this season, he’s considered one of the top recruiters in the country.

Kehoe, 56, has proved you can go home again.

“(Recruiting) definitely has improved with him,” said Chris Stock, a reporter for Eye on the U. “Before there were questions of how good of a recruiter he was, especially late in his tenure. When he came back, he made that a point of emphasis.”

Not only did Kehoe get verbal commitments from one five-star, one four-star and two three-star players, but he also kept it in the Canes’ family.

Kc McDermott, the five-star lineman from Palm Beach Central, is the brother of Shane. Nick Linder, from St. Thomas Aquinas, is the brother of Brandon. Miami also got verbals from four-star Trevor Darling from Miami Central as well as Reilly Gibbons.

“This is the best they’ve done on offensive-line recruiting under Golden,” Stock said. “This always has been a strong unit. Other units had question marks with depth and talent.”

These efforts have Kehoe ranked as the No. 11 recruiter in the ACC and No. 54 overall. Considering there are more than 1,100 college football assistants, he’s in pretty good company.

“Most people around him says he’s a little different than he used to be,” Stock said. “He’s mellowed out a little. He’s an older assistant, but kids still relate to him. He has a unique passion for the position.”

Those years of coaching at Mississippi and the California Redwoods of the United Football League are in the rearview mirror for Kehoe.

He has made good with all those Hurricanes’ backers who called Golden on his behalf.

Basketball Has Rough Debut

Only in Miami could fans arrive late for a 10 p.m. tip.

Yes, the game was moved back for homecoming activities. Even with that, the crowd for a team unfurling its banners from ACC titles and an NCAA Sweet 16 was embarrassing. There were maybe 2,500 fans in the stands. It just shows how tough it is for this program to sustain interest.

And after Nov. 8’s losing performance against St. Francis, fans won’t be in any hurry to return. Saying Miami is offensively challenged is like saying Obamacare is meeting resistance.

“We’re going to have a hard time manufacturing points,” coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We’re limited.”

Miami knew it would be without guards Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez, transfers who’ll start next season. What it didn’t expect was to lose guard Deandre Burnett for the season with a wrist injury. Some on the Miami coaching staff thought he could’ve been the team’s leading scorer.

Without him, the Hurricanes will have to rely on veteran players who haven’t played much in their careers.

Larrañaga said his players were anxious at the start – and they never relaxed. Miami went 0-for-15 on three-pointers and 19-for-61 overall (31.1 percent).

The Hurricanes also committed three turnovers on the inbounds.

“And it wasn’t like they were pressuring us,” Larrañaga said.

Last season, the Hurricanes got off to a rough start before totally turning it around. There’s a big talent difference, though. Larranaga, who earned national coaching honors last season, could do a better job this year and this team still would be lucky to finish .500.

It’s hard to see the Hurricanes shooting this poorly again. But it’s also hard to see them having an easier team on their schedule.